Don’t End Up Like Santa

Will you gain another ten pounds this holiday season?

Not if you do the following…

Set a workout goal. You may not be able to hit the gym as often as normal, but that is not an excuse to skip it for a month. Make it your goal to get in two workouts per week to maintain your progress, if you currently do not workout out start by taking a short walk each day.

Eat before heading out to parties. Going hungry will result in binging on wings, chips, and cookies that you would not normally eat.

Limited your lattes. Stop justifying your daily Venti Peppermint Mocha Latte as a seasonal treat when in reality you are addicted to these and justify them year round.

De-stress with a walk, not a bottle of wine. You may be stressed and drinking to relax may help you feel better now, but the extra weight gained will cause a new stress.

If you blow it today get over it and move on. One or two days of bad eating or a missed workout is not going derail you, but a month of poor choices will leave you with extra work to do in January.

Change your choices today so you don’t start 2018 ten pounds heavier.

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Get More From Less

While only a small percentage of the population workouts regularly, something like 18%, many of those who do are doing too much.

Three to four days per week is optimal. I’ve even seen clients who only workout two days per week get amazing results. Of course food is always the big determining factor of the results someone gets.

Now, what gets interesting is those who workout more than the recommended 3 to 4 days is that they don’t get any better results. Those extra days don’t add anything to them. In many cases it breaks their bodies down and causes them to have aches, pains, and injuries. We forget that exercise is a stress, stress causes oxidization in the body, and too much oxidation causes the body to age – whether its with aches and pains, or appearance. (That is probably not the technical scientific explaination, but ultimately is what is happens. That’s why we’re coaches and not scientists.)

Yes, I know some believe that they are getting great results by working out every day, but you have to ask how much stronger, leaner, faster, whatever the goal is they would be if they gave themselves more time to recover.

This doesn’t mean you have to sit around for three or four days a week. That is never recommended, but what about getting outside for a walk, doing a mobility circuit with soft tissue work, biking, climbing, kayaking, skiing, pick up basketball, tennis, really anything other than another hard workout in the gym.

If you want to go to the gym every day we recommend at PNF to do three strength workouts each week. After those three workouts maybe do a circuit workout in a Cardio Power, Strength Revolution, or Boxing Bootcamp session. But, here is the trick and often missed part – go easy! That means no heavy weight, keep you heart rate no higher than the 70’s, and just focus on getting in some little movement in those additional workouts.

To get the best results in the gym you need to take your foot off the gas a few days per week.

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Holiday Fitness Survival Tips

 

The holiday season is here once again! For many this time of year is full of enjoyment, family get togethers, Christmas Parties, holiday shopping, and yes stress!

This all works to create the perfect storm for the dreaded holiday weight gain. Many will plan to set their New Year’s Resolutions to lose weight and get into shape, but unfortunately many will gain 5-10 pounds between Thanksgiving and the New Year. So when January finally rolls around there are additional pounds to work off.

But, this is doesn’t have to happen to you!

All you have to do is follow our “Holiday Survival” tips and you will start the New Year in the same size pants and your belt in the same hole. Heck, you might even start 2018 in better shape with these tips!

1 . Set a workout goal.

It is easy this time of the year to skip workouts or even stop working out altogether. After all, friends and family are visiting from out of town that you haven’t seen since last year. Somehow you’ve ended up hung-over again from drinking too much at the most recent Christmas Party. All of which makes it easy to miss your regular workouts and just say the heck with it until January.

But, do you really want to have to start all over again in a month? Do you want to be sore after each workout again and lose all that toned muscle that you have worked so hard for to a layer of pudge?

We didn’t think so.

That is why it is important to set a workout goal for the next six weeks.

Maybe you typically get in three to four workouts each week. Awesome! But, it may make sense for you to cut back to two per week until January. So let’s set the goal of getting in eight workouts between now and January 2nd.

Sound doable?

Great!

It doesn’t matter how you get in these eight workouts. It could be two this week, four the following week, and one the week after. You’re still on track, actually one ahead.

Focus on maintaining your fitness over these next four weeks and you’ll survive the holidays without losing all of your hard work.

2. Survive the holiday parties.

Over the next few weeks you will more than likely have your share of Christmas parties to attend. Some you may be looking forward to and catching up with old friends, while others you may be attending more out of obligation.

So how do you keep your nutrition in check and your belt buckle in the same notch?

Simple really. You just need a plan.

Which parties do you want to really indulge at, let your hair down, and just kickback and have a good time?

At those let yourself have a few drinks with your friends. If there are appetizers “to die for”, treat yourself and enjoy them. As for the other obligatory parties sip a scotch or nurse a beer or two through out the night. And then make an early exit.

Never show up hungry to a party. Sure it’s easier to just eat when you get there. But will that be the best and healthiest option? Probably not, and you will end up eating stuff you normally wouldn’t. Eating a healthy meal before will ensure that you don’t gorge yourself on fried and sugary foods along with preventing you from mindlessly munching throughout the night.

Use the smallest plates available. Research has shown that eating a full plate results in a feeling of satisfied hunger, regardless of the size of the plate. So filling a smaller plate will result in eating less, but still experiencing the same satisfaction.

Don’t make it a late night. To prevent weight gain you need to get your sleep. Set a time that you plan to leave and stick to it. This way you won’t wake up the next morning regretting the “just one more beer” that you had three times and only four hours of sleep.

3. Workout effectively.

Time is an issue more than ever during the holidays so you need to get the most bang for your buck when working out.

Research has shown that over a 12-week period weight training resulted in 6 pounds more fat loss that aerobic training. This is due the increased metabolic demand of weight training that keeps you burning calories for hours longer than going for a jog.

So hit the weights for 30-45 minutes 2-3 times a week for the most effective workouts.

4. Start Now.

Stop procrastinating. Stop making excuses. Just get started.

Yes, it is crazy this time of the year. But, you need to take care of yourself. Stop telling yourself that you will get back to the gym in January and that you just have to get through the holidays. All that is going to do is add ten pounds you will need to lose all over again. It only takes exercising 2x per week for 45 minutes per week to maintain your weight when paired with good eating.

If you are planning on starting in January, start now!

Even though you are busy, starting a fitness program now a couple times a week will prevent that extra weight gain. Think about how much better you will feel when you wake up January 1st and have already lost a few pounds because you already started your journey.

It does not take much to keep up with your workouts or get started.

Keep up by making it a priority to get in two workouts each week.

Is that doable?

You bet.

Get started by taking a walk each day and maybe a couple sets of push-ups and squats with bodyweight.

Doable?

Absolutely.

Stop procrastinating and just get started. Stop making excuses about why you can’t workout right now and just commit to a couple short workouts each week.

This is a fun and festive time of the year. Stick to the tips above and you will make it through to January.

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5 Fitness Hacks

At some point in time we will all struggle with our fitness and seeing the results we are looking for. And other times everything will be going well just as planned, but we still want to optimize our efforts.

Focusing on clean eating and getting in three workouts is a big part to being successful with fitness and weight loss, but sometimes is the little things that make big differences.

The following five “Fitness Hacks” can not only help you break out of a plateau, they can also take your game to the next level when everything is going well.

#1. Sleep.

Without 7-8 hours of sleep each night it is impossible for your body to function at it’s highest level. It is during this time asleep that your body’s hormones regulate and the bodies tissues can repair and regenerate themselves.

When you are sleep deprived you body will have increased cravings for sugar and simple carbs. The reason for this is because your body is low on energy and the sugar will provide a quick boost. The downside is that this boost doesn’t last long and you will need another hit of sugar to keep going.

Many times those who claim to have a “sweet tooth” will find that this sweet tooth decreases if they get adequate sleep.

Additionally, spending most days sleep deprived is a stressor on your body that causes increases in cortisol levels. When this happens your body does not process fat properly and tends to store more fat on the body.

So here is how to get good nights sleep.

  • Aim for 7-8 hours every night. You cannot make up lost sleep over the weekends.
  • Avoid alcohol within 3-4 hours of going to bed.
  • Go to bed and wake up at the same time each day or within a half hour difference.
  • Avoid electronics (iPhone, iPad, Computer, and TV) within one hour of going to bed. The light from these devices is similar to the waking am sunshine and triggers your body to want to wake up, which makes it hard to fall asleep.
  • Keep your bedroom cold and dark, which means around 68 degrees and no night lights.

#2. Practice Good Recovery Techniques

You cannot push your body day in and day out without it breaking down.

This means you only need three to four good workouts per week. More than this and your body breaks down over time. Sure you may feel fine for a few weeks or a few months of working out everyday, but eventually the body will break. It may start just as an occasionally achy joint or back, or you may find that you are feeling slightly less energetic, or begin to see a decrease in strength. These are all the beginnings of physical breakdown.

The good news is this can all be avoided with a few simple techniques.

  • Limit workouts to no more than 4 per week.
  • Take daily low intensity walks.
  • Foam roll and stretch daily. This is best right before bed. Take 5 minutes and roll out your entire body, followed by a few light stretches for your tight areas.

#3. Fuel Your Results

Freakin’ eat already.

Why is everyone afraid of food?

Only in America where we have an abundance of everything would practicing starvation and having doctor’s recommending starvation to lose weight. If starvation is not good for third world countries or people living on the streets in America, why is it good for those living well off?

Starvation is categorized as a daily caloric intake below 1,200 calories per day and is considered dangerously low once below 800 calories per day. While this will produce quick results, it also slows the metabolism to a halt in order for your body to survive. Being that all of our metabolisms slow as we age, actively slowly it is not the solution. Sure you can take pills to “boost” the metabolism, but your body will learn to lean on these instead of itself to keep the metabolism going. In the end when you begin eating normally again all of the weight will come back and in many cases body fat percentages will increase due to the loss in muscle tissue. This all leads to a less efficient metabolism.

So what is the answer?

Eat clean, real food and stop eating processed garbage and drinking yourself into oblivion on the weekends.

Clean food with proper portion sizes never fails.

#4. Eat 80/20

We’ve all heard of the 80/20 Rule.

In fact many of us may claim to even practice it. But do we really?

Here is how to check. Add up all of your weekly calories in two columns “good” and “bad”.

Does the “good” make up 80% of the total calories?

If not, you’re not practicing 80/20. Your practicing something else, maybe 60/40 or whatever number you got.

The reason this happens so easily is because we can eat clean all weekend and then blow it on the weekend by going over 20% with a few drinks and other treats due to the high calorie content of these foods.

#5. Make Time To Decompress

You need to time to just sit quietly each day and reflect. This helps you body relax and lowers stress. It doesn’t have to be long maybe only 10-15 minutes each day, but you need some time with no kids, no spouse, maybe the dog, and no devices. Just you.

If you can do this outside even better, this can be done with a walk or sitting on the patio. It can be down with a hot bath or shower, or through meditation. It doesn’t matter how you get it, your body just needs a little time each day for quiet reflection and stillness.

Give some of these or all of these a try and see how they impact your body in a positive way.

Strength vs. Cardio

If you only have time for one or two workouts a week, they have got to be strength.

Why “Strength” over “Cardio”?

Your muscles are the powerhouses of the metabolism and the key to living a vibrant, youthful life, no matter what your age may be.

So why “Strength” over “Cardio”?

There is a Hierarchy of Fitness and “strength” reigns as King, while “cardio” plays the role of a mere peasant. Strength training increases your work capacity to improve the ease at which you can perform daily activities. Strength training will stimulate your body to burn more calories in the hours after your workout than cardio does. A strong body is a youthful body and will help to make you look years younger than you really are. Strong bodies move well and experience less injuries.

While cardio on the other hand slows the bodies metabolism over time, as the body adapts easily to this type of exercise. Cardio does very little to increase work capacity, so while you can run 10 miles easily, carrying a suitcase up a flight of stairs will be exhausting.

Worse yet, excessive cardio will actually age the body due to the oxidative stress it places on the body, as well as and not promote an injury resistent body.

Focus on getting your strength workouts in each week, once you have done three you can still go for a short run or two if you really enjoy your cardio. Keep this order and you will get amazing results and feel wonderful.

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Never Bulk Up Again

If you are afraid to lift weights because you are afraid of bulking up, you need to look at how you eat.

Women need to lift and need to lift heavy weight. Lifting doesn’t not bulk up women; it is poor choices that bulk up women when they lift. Or as Dwight Schrute from the Office puts it, “False, it’s not lifting weights that makes women bulky. It’s eating cupcakes that makes women bulky.”

As much as you may want to believe that you can go out Friday and Saturday night and eat and drink whatever you please and then burn it off in the gym simply doesn’t work. This is why most people fail to see their body change, at least change for the better. You can blame the workout program, but it is really the food and lifestyle habits that need changed.

This does not mean you can never enjoy your favorite foods or have a drink, but they do need to be controlled. Cheat 20% of the time and you should be fine that means 20% of your weekly calories come from “bad” foods and the other 80% come from “good” foods. Tracking it this way for a week usually reveals that you are only eating clean 50-60% of the time, here lies the problem.

And what about alcohol? Keep it to no more than six drinks a week and you will be fine. (Just don’t go out and buy bigger wine glasses.)

Here are three tips to ensure you never bulk up:

  1. Eat Clean. This means lean proteins, lots of veggies, good quality carbs such as brown rice, sweet potatoes, and whole-wheat pasta (1 cup serving, not 4) make up 80% of your weekly calories.
  2. Stop The Latte Habit. Drinking calories is the fastest way to pack on extra weight. Lattes, soda, juices, and sports drinks are loaded with sugar and as little as one or two a day can cause you gain weight.
  3. Lift Three Days A Week. Three 45 minute strength training sessions that focus on total body movements will create changes in your body cardio can never do. In a short time people will begin to notice that something has changed and ask what you are doing different because you look amazing. And if you still would like to do some cardio go for it, just make sure you always get your three strength workouts in each week.

Stop worrying about bulking and start lifting!

 

If you are interested in seeing our strength training can change your body, get started with our 6-Week “Strong is the New Sexy” Challenge by clicking the link below.

What To Expect At A Gym

We get it, walking into a gym for the first time is very intimidating. Will you know what to do? Will you fit in? Will you be able to do everything? Will you be so sore tomorrow that you can’t move? And many more valid concerns. Here’s the good news everyone has those same thoughts the first time they come to the gym. No one wants to look out of place or feel embarrassed.

Here are a few things to expect at a gym.

  1. Greeted by name when you walk in the door. We know you and are happy to see you.
  2. No yelling coaches. No one wants yelled at by a super fit coach that is 20 years younger than they are. Yelling is not motivational. Instead you will find coaches who will guide you and support you. They will meet you where you are today. If you had a stressful day, didn’t get enough sleep, and ate poorly that is okay. We will adjust the workout to fit your energy level and give you strategies to improve on your struggle. Bottom line is we want you leave with a smile on your face and feeling good.
  3. Everyone’s success is celebrated no matter how big or how small. Whether you did your first push-up or set a new PR in your clean each success is treated equally. There is no award ceremony after each workout to celebrate how awesome the “gym superstar” is, because each member is awesome is different ways.
  4. Don’t know what to do, or if you are doing in properly. No problem. That is what makes us different from many gyms. We are a training gym, that means instead of coming in and being left to your own devices to decide what to do, we will provide a program, coaching, and guidance to help you each step of the way.
  5. It’s exercise, not brain surgery. Fitness should be fun and coming to the gym for an hour should be best part of your day, at least we think so. We want you to enjoy being here, to laugh, to socialize, to have fun, and get fit in the process.
  6. You are more than a membership payment. Sure we are here to make money, but that is not the only thing we care about. When you join, we want you to come. If we haven’t seen you in a week or too some one will follow up with you. When you join PNF you become part of the PNF Fitness Family and  will be treated like family. Our goal is to help people live healthier, more enjoyable lives through fitness, not just collect payments.

Coming to a gym should not be intimidating and it shouldn’t be a place you go to once you are fit. At PNF the gym is a place to feel welcomed, to be supported, and to have a little fun while creating the best version of you possible through fitness.

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5 Fitness Mistakes

With all the conflicting advice and information available on exercise it can be difficult to know what to do and what works best to get into awesome shape, feel good, and have a body that you feel confident in.

Using our 16 years of experience in the fitness industry here are five mistakes we see many people make in their workout and fitness plans.

 

You Use Exercise As Punishment

Exercise is intended to be a reward for your body. Exercise should be something that makes you feel better, more confident, and add to your life. It should not be beat down that leaves you laying dead on the floor, or as a punishment for what you ate or gaining a few pounds.

 

You Only Do Cardio and High Intensity Interval Training

While cardio and HIIT can be beneficial and have a place in fitness, when they are the only form of exercise they can hinder your results. Overtime they both will cause a loss in muscle tissue, which leads to increased body fat percentages, and HIIT tends to make you extremely hungry afterward causing you to overeat.

This doesn’t mean that you have to give up your cardio or HIIT, you just need to limit them to 1-2 workouts per week and get in 2-3 total body strength workouts first. Following this order will get better results and create positive change.

 

You Don’t Eat Enough

You cannot restrict calories forever. Your body needs fuel to power through your workouts and keep everything running like a well oiled machine. When calorie restriction goes too long the body begins to lose muscle and gain body fat, leading to the dreaded skinny fat body type.

Also, as you change your nutritional requirements will change. As you get leaner and stronger your body needs more daily calories and needs a higher daily carb intake.

 

You Don’t Allow Your Body Time To Rest

Working out every day may work for short period of time, but it soon leads to burn out and an achy, tired body.

Three to four workouts per week is optimal and if you want to add a daily walk or light mobility work that will help you recover faster between workouts. Again as you get stronger you are able to stress the body more each workout and that stress requires more time to recover in order to keep making progress.

 

You’re Only Focused On Burning Calories

How many calories you burn in your workout plays a very small role in the results you get. It is very easy to get caught up in the calorie burn of your workout and feel the need to do more cardio and HIIT, as those tend to create a higher burn.

You will never out exercise a bad diet. So thinking you can go out drinking and eat bad tonight and then burn it all off in the gym is a recipe for failure. Clean eating done 80% of the time with a few strength workouts each week will beat the pants off of cardio and HIIT workouts when in comes to getting results and decreasing body fat.

Hard work and consistency are important for results, but it has to be the right consistent effort. If you’ve been making any of the above 5 Fitness Mistakes correct them in your routine and watch your results take off!

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