Ladies, Do These 2 Things to Get Results…For Real

There are no magic foods that burn fat, and there are no must eat foods for optimal results. However, if there was a must-have food group or category of foods, it would be:

Protein – one of the three main macronutrients that I always seem to be talking about.

9/10 times when I first meet with a female client or go over the food journal of a client online, the first thing I notice is not enough protein.

Protein is super helpful in fat loss and then the subsequent weight loss management for a few different reasons.

  • It is key for building muscle.
  • It has the highest thermic effect of the three macros – meaning it costs about 25% of the calories from protein during digestion compared to 6% for carbs and 2% for fat.
  • It helps you feel full sooner at a meal, and helps you feel more satisfied after the meal – so you don’t have to go and snack 1 hour later.

So how much protein per day are we talking?

Well, study after study shows that 2g/kg of Bw is best. For those of you who aren’t down with the kilos, that is your BW in pounds, divided by 2.2.

Let’s take a 150 pound woman, divide by 2.2 = 68kg x 2 = 136g protein

In other words, my usual recommendation of .8-1g/lb is useful (120-150g)

How does one eat 136g of protein per day?

It may seem daunting, and there are many ways to do so, but I recommend breaking it down into more manageable windows.

Let’s say you sleep 7 hours per night (you better be!). Wake up at 6AM, and go to sleep at 11PM.

Now we have 17 hours left in the day to eat. Break that up into 3 windows (136/3= 45ish)

  • Window 1 – 6AM-11AM
  • Window 2 – 11AM – 5PM
  • Window 3 – 5PM-11PM

Now your goal is to eat 45g of protein within each one of those 3 windows. Much more manageable to be honest.

This might be one meal in each window, or 2 meals in each window, or a meal and a snack in each window…this isn’t as important as just getting enough protein in the day. It comes down to what works best for YOU.

Lastly, your sources. When we talk about protein, we mean LEAN proteins. Peanut butter, nuts, and fatty sausage have some protein in them, but they are NOT good sources of protein.

Why is this?

Peanut butter = 1 serving = 8g/protein and 16g fat. Most of the calories in PB come from fat.

Chicken Breast = 3oz. = 27g/protein and 3g fat. Most of the calories come from protein.

Other great sources:

  • Sirloin beef – 4oz – 21g
  • Chicken – 3oz – 27g
  • Cottage Cheese – 1cup – 28g
  • Egg whites – 1/2 cup – 10g
  • Greek yogurt – 1 cup – 20g
  • Pork loin – 5oz – 20g
  • Salmon – 4oz – 23g
  • Tofu – 1/2 cup – 10g
  • Protein powder – 1 scoop – 20-30g

Use those sources for most of your protein intake, figure out your three windows, and spread your needs out over those windows and you will be good to go!

What is the 2nd thing?

Strength Training

Strength training to build muscle. Not fluffy exercises, not hours on the cardio deck, not the latest late-night tv gadget – the iron. The dumbbells, the barbells, the kettlebells… the things that many women still fear.

Don’t fear them. Embrace them, embrace your strength, and celebrate what you can truly accomplish in the gym.

The gym is not a place to punish yourself, make up for meals eaten, or work out until your sins have been forgiven.

Strength training with heavy, compound movements, and yes – resting.

By properly strength training AND eating enough protein as described above, you will turn your body into a fat-melting machine, that burns more calories at rest than your friends who seem to spend hours and hour at the gym running their knees away.

Strength training requires effort, enough effort that produces tension, and that tension creates some fatigue in the muscle – and that muscle is adequately fueled with protein. This is how muscle grows.

Strength training requires YOU to challenge yourself, not the other way around. What do I mean by this? Look no further than this excellent quote from my friend Clifton Harski:

One reason that most group fitness relies on high rep / cardio-slop type workouts is that people FEEL like they are working hard…because EVENTUALLY if you do anything long enough or without enough rest, things FEEL hard.

The difference with STRENGTH training is that it should be hard/difficult almost immediately, and people are NOT often willing to work hard and push themselves.

They wait for HARD TO HAPPEN.

Instead of making HARD HAPPEN IMMEDIATELY.

The strength training approach will lead to more physique and physical capability changes OVER TIME.

And it requires that people increase their effort and intensity over time as they earn it.

Cardio slop HIIIT stuff is always hard because people just try and work at a pace and level they cannot sustain. You might even argue that because of that they never actually recover so it just keeps getting harder and their gainz keep being a thing of dreams.

I couldn’t put it any better.

You need to be willing to step up and challenge yourself in the gym – not waiting around for that 100th rep of tricep kickbacks to make your arm feel like it is falling off.

One final example to drive this home…

Let’s say your goal is to do 8 squats. First, make sure your form is perfect. Then how much weight did you use? 20 pounds. Ok – how hard was that?

Using a scale of 1-10 how hard was 8 reps with 20 pounds?

1 being no problem at all

10 being “all out effort, I cannot do another rep!”

For your working sets, you should be at 8 or 9 on this scale. 1-2 reps “left in the tank”.

If you have never actually given strength training a chance, what is there to lose? Give it a go, and give it time – you won’t be sorry!

Would you like more help on taking back your life, learning to love health and food again, and getting life long results along the way? IF so —> CHECK OUT ONLINE COACHING***

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Stay healthy my friends,

 

The 9 Essential Exercises for Serious Runners (with Videos)

Runners love to run. This is obvious. Running can also be a double-edged sword.

Some swear it is the best form of exercise, and others swear off it for life because of bad experiences.

Running can be one of the best forms of exercise and competition, and at the same time can be one of the most stressful and injurious forms of exercise.

Running is a fantastic way to improve your physical, and mental health, your internal and external health, and meet a lot of awesome people.

When you run, your foot strikes the ground, one foot at a time, with the force of 3 to 4 times your body weight on the joints of the hip, knee, and ankle.

What most of them need is not more running, but more strength training. Appropriate strength training. The right kind of strength training…if they want to maximize their potential.

Because of the impact and stress on the joints, and most people’s running form, the muscles of the lower body can often get imbalanced. The quads get dominant and the posterior chain becomes underused and weak.

The goal of strength training for runners should be to balance out the lower body, and also strengthen the most powerful muscles of the lower body – the hamstrings and the glutes.

Here are 9 exercises you should be doing regularly as a runner, and doing them well! They are in no particular order of importance but are in order from most basic to most advanced.

1) Body Weight Glute Bridge

The most foundational exercise for the glutes (your booty). Make sure your heels are about a hands length away from your butt, flatten your back before bridging up, then drive your hips up toward the sky, and squeeze your cheeks together like never before.

Add a pause at the top to make sure you are feeling it in your glutes, and if you have a hard time flattening your lower back, try lifting your head slightly – as seen in the video.

2) Single-Leg Foot Elevated Glute Bridge

Running is done on one foot at a time, so it makes sense to train each leg individually. This helps balance out the muscles left to right and find weak links from left to right.

Start with your foot up on a bench (or windowsill) at a height that allows you to start at a 90-degree bend at the hip and a 90-degree bend at the knee.

Flatten your back, and pull your other knee toward your chest.

Drive the arch of the working foot into the bench (or windowsill), drive your hips up while maintaining that 90 degree bend in your knee.

3) Weighted Glute Bridge Variations

The final step of training the glutes for power is loading them up with some weight. This isn’t your 100 rep booty bump Bootcamp challenge, but REAL strength training. Aim for reps of 6 to 12, get a strong squeeze, and feel the glute pump.

These 3 variations go from easiest to hardest.

With the B-Stance, you are really only using one leg, and the other is just resting on the floor as a sort of kickstand. So in the above video, I am working my left glute, and my right foot is just helping with balance.

4) Hamstring Curls

Now that we have covered the powerhouse of the lower body, lets shift gears and talk hamstrings.

Using a stability ball, drive your hips up and curl your heels in towards your butt – the KEY is keeping your hips up. If you drop your hips and curl in like many people tend to do, you lose all tension and synergy from the hamstrings into the hips…and that is the whole point of the exercise!

Notice in the video, how at the top of the curl, you could draw a straight line from my knees to my shoulders. That is the goal.

5) Romanian Deadlifts (RDL’s)

This is a pure hip hinge – and it lights up the hamstrings when done right. Start with a soft bend in your knees, but from there, drive your hips back, not down.

Pretend like you are trying to push a desk drawer shut with your butt because your hands are full and you are too lazy to turn around.

Keep your back flat from your head to your tailbone. Do NOT round your back forward, or keep your head pulled up and back – keep your spine locked at neutral and head on straight in line with your chest.

In this video, I am using a barbell – but you can do this movement pattern with dumbbells, kettlebells, sandbags, or a small child.

You can also progress to the much harder single leg RDL, but make sure you have your hip hinge form down first!

6) Split Squats

To integrate the hips, glutes, quads, and hamstrings as one in the best way possible for runners, look no further than single leg split squat and lunge variations. Running is done on one leg at a time, so it makes sense to train one leg at a time, right?

The split variation or other single-leg variations also allow you to keep a better spinal position – and avoid the dreaded hunched over squat look that I see in so many endurance athletes. You know what I’m talking about… but this is a different story and post altogether.

**If your squat looks like this, shoot me a message and I’ll hook you up with your fix.**

* Again – these can be done with any type of weight, and the weight in multiple positions – we are just focussed on the movement pattern itself.

7) Rear Foot Elevated or Bulgarian Split Squat

Slightly more advanced, the RFE SS allows you to get a deeper stretch in your hips, and really isolate the single leg.

Slow them down, and feel the stretch. Drive your plant foot through the floor. Don’t be afraid to challenge these with heavier weights!

8) Reverse Lunge

The reverse lunge is a slightly more dynamic and advanced single-leg movement, but again – form matters. The big key to focus on here is to step back, but not JAM your foot back into the ground. Control is key, and slowing this one down is your friend.

9) Walking Lunge

The walking lunge brings it all together. Single leg work with added forward locomotion…sounds like running, right?

Keep the core tight and control each step, driving through the heel and getting the glutes firing here. Make sure you keep your front foot flat on the ground as you come up from the lunge. No tippy toes!

So there you have it, the 9 exercises all runners should be focussing on!

How and when should you do them? Great question!

I would shoot for 2-3 days per week, depending on how intense your running training is at the current moment.

From there, pick one bridge variation, one hamstring variation and one single-leg variation per day. Complete 2-4 sets of each exercise, and keep the reps between 6 and 12 reps. 

Would you like more help on taking back your life, learning to love health and food again, and getting life long results along the way? IF so —> CHECK OUT ONLINE COACHING***

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4 Ways to Simplify Your Workouts Without Stressing Over the Small Stuff (With Videos)

When it comes to working out, there are a million different things you can do and a million different ways that people think is best.

The one common factor: hard work and challenging stimulus.

So why do we NEED to overcomplicate things? The tried and true methods still exist for a reason. The staple exercises still exist for a reason. They work.

But what about when we are low on time, energy, equipment or creativity? Can we still get in a good workout? I better bet you can. Here are a few of my favorite methods or modalities to train when there is a limiting factor.

Time

I love doing simple timed supersets or trisets. Let’s say you only have 30 minutes to be in and out of the gym. Okay, take 5 minutes to warm up and 5 minutes to cool down. That means we have 20 minutes for a workout.

Pick 2 to 3 exercises that hit different muscle groups – upper, lower and maybe abs.

Set a timer to beep every 2 minutes, then do 6-12 reps of each exercise, rest until the beep, and repeat again. Here is a simple example using just one dumbbell:

Dumbbell Offset Reverse Lunge

Dumbbell Renegade Rows

If you do this every 2 minutes, that means you are getting in 10 sets of each. Pretty darn good work.

No Equipment

Your body weight can be a great tool here.

Keep it simple, pick a set number of rounds, or like the previous example, do timed rounds.

Here we have a squat, row, single leg RDL, pushup and single leg glute bridge:

***If you don’t even have a bar to row on, just skip it, but make sure you get in some rowing movements later in the week!***

Just a Barbell

“Just” a barbell is a ridiculous statement. You can do SO MUCH with a barbell!

Here is a simple barbell complex: squat, row, RDL, and push up.

Obviously, you want to use a challenging weight, and the right number of reps based on the weight and or the rounds you choose to do. I have done this exact complex for 25 minutes straight (6-8 reps per exercise with 135 on the bar, plus 1-minute rest after each round) and it is BRUTAL!

Get Creative

Maybe you just have a foam roller? Or a log? There is literally no excuse to NOT get a workout in.

Here is a foam roller only complex, and my cabin log workout (this was more of a joke, but it IS possible!)

 

BONUS: It doesn’t always have to be crazy! 

Here was a cabin mobility/pump workout I did in the basement of my parent’s cabin. Don’t overthink these things!

Would you like more help on taking back your life, learning to love health and food again, and getting life long results along the way? IF so —> CHECK OUT ONLINE COACHING***

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Stay healthy my friends,