Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Your Fat Burning Workout Routine - Women's Health Magazine

Everyone has her own workout routine, and while we approve of the "workout," the "routine" has us worried. Familiarity might be comfortable, but it's not effective — certainly not when it comes to a sweat session. Doing the same thing over and over lulls your muscles into an I-can-do-this tedium and lessens your calorie burn.

The good news: You don't need to ditch your current workout to see more weight loss success results. You just need to learn how to rev it up. Follow these tips from some of the top trainers around the country for an ultra-efficient workout that zaps more calories and burns more fat. For calorie-torching foods and exercises, check out WH's Best Fat-Burning Foods and workout "Accelerate the Burn."

How to Burn Fat FastThe Treadmill

Your Comfort Zone
Flipping channels on the tube, you lope along, either running or walking, at the same ho-hum speed you were at yesterday. And the day before. And the day before that.

Blast More Fat
Don't bounce. You're not in an allergy-drug ad, running through fields of flowers. Keep your movement forward, not up and down, says Los Angeles-based personal trainer Gunnar Peterson. "Anything vertical is wasted energy: It doesn't help you." By focusing on what's ahead, you'll go faster and burn more calories in a shorter period of time.

Squeeze your glutes. "Do it as you push off your toes," says Jan Griscom, a personal trainer at New York City's Chelsea Piers. By focusing on your backside, you'll contract — and tone — the muscle (and make it, not the fat surrounding it, the star of your Sevens). And the more muscle you have, the more calories you'll need to maintain it — and the more fat you'll burn.

Challenge your muscles. At the end of a workout, slow your speed to 2.5 to 3.5 miles per hour. Skip for 30 seconds, walk for 30; walk backward for 30, forward for 30; stand sideways and shuffle with your right foot leading for 30 seconds, walk for 30, and repeat with left foot leading. "You'll call into action other muscles that don't work while going forward," Peterson says. "Which means they'll be surprised" — as will the person on the treadmill next to you — "and add to the calorie burn."

Tread lightly. Runners should land lightly to minimize impact on the joints; you shouldn't be able to hear your foot strike over your iPod. If you can, pretend as if you're landing on eggs and don't want to break them; you may need to slow the speed to get control of your strides.

Elliptical Trainer

Your Comfort Zone
Gliding along at a medium pace, your legs are on autopilot. And, if the machine has arms, your upper body is too.

Blast More Fat
Never stop working. To maximize fat burning, don't let the machine's gliding momentum dictate your pace. Your leg muscles should push the pedals around. If there are rails, lightly rest your hands on them — but no white-knuckling, since you may end up supporting your body weight that way.

Use intervals. During every third song on your MP3 player or every commercial break, ramp up the intensity and go as hard as you can. "A steady pace at a sustainable speed burns calories consistently, but intervals blast up the count," Peterson says.

Use your whole body. Every other minute, concentrate on strengthening your arms or core — you'll recruit more muscles and incinerate more fat. For example, if you're on a full-body machine, consciously engage your arms; push and pull with the same intensity as you're using for your legs. If it's a lower-body machine, put your arms in an athletic position — elbows bent, upper arms close to your ribs — to strengthen your core. For tips to blast your buns at the gym, see WH's "Rump Shakers."

Make sure your knees are pointing in the same direction as your toes. "Don't let your knees fall inward," says Mark Nutting, CSCS, NSCA-CPT, fitness director at Saco Sports & Fitness in Saco, Maine, "That puts severe stress on your ligaments."

Stair Stepper

Your Comfort Zone
You're bent forward at the hips, elbows locked, hands on the rails to ease your load on your beloved hills program, where you've been slogging away at level 7 since Christmas.

Blast More Fat
Stand up straight. Pretend you're squeezing a balloon between your shoulder blades, says Brooke Siler, author of The Ultimate Pilates Body Challenge. Use the rails for balance only, not support. Picture-perfect posture forces your core and back muscles to contract — great for toning. And engaging more muscles means burning more fat.

Mix up the depth of your stepping. In doing so, you'll surprise your muscles, which leads to an increased calorie burn. If you're a short stepper, add 1 minute of long, slow steps every 5 minutes. "Challenge your leg muscles in a way that they're not used to being challenged," Peterson says. If you usually go long and slow, pick up the pace and shorten the step to about 6 inches to make your muscles react and therefore adapt — that's where the change comes in.

**WEB EXCLUSIVE add some weights.
Integrate this 10-minute total body challenge, suggested by says Brooke Siler, author of The Ultimate Pilates Body Challenge, into your stair-stepping workout to tone and challenge muscles and blast more fat. Each section lasts two minutes. For a back and shoulder workout, extend your arms from your shoulders and do small circles in one direction for 10 counts, then reverse directions for ten.
To build shin strength, use just the balls of feet to push down the pedals (don't lift heels); For hamstrings, use just heels on the pedals (keep your toes lifted).
For an abs workout, holding a 3- to 5-pound weight in each hand. Bend your elbows and palms close to your abs and twist slowly from side to side as you keep your abs engaged. For the last two minutes, increase the machine speed and keep twisting.

Tuck your glutes under your hips. And make sure your feet are flat on the pedals. If you originate all movement in your core, not your legs, it will (a) hurt like a bitch and (b) work new muscles hard [see (a)], giving you — you guessed it — a more intense burn.

Spinning Class

Your Comfort Zone
Forget sweating — you haven't even started glistening yet. And you're about to start the cooldown. What was that about indoor cycling being such a good workout?

Blast More Fat
Crank it up. God created the resistance knob for a heavenly reason. Use it, especially on hills, to whittle your thighs to swimsuit-worthy slimness. Dixie Douville, R.N., a master Spinning instructor with Mad Dogg Athletics in Flanders, New Jersey, advises a pace of 60 to 80 revolutions per minute on hills. Find yours by counting how many times one foot goes around in 15 seconds and multiplying by four.

And keep it there. On flat terrain, aim for 80 to 110 rpm. That way, you'll use your muscles, not the momentum of the weighted front wheel, to power the bike. Go faster and you risk momentum taking over. "If you're going above 110, you need to increase resistance" until you're back in the 80 to 110 range, Douville says. "That makes the workout much harder and the calorie burn more significant than just pedaling faster."

Sit when you climb. This increases your muscular endurance and incinerates more fat. When you stand, you can use your whole leg for leverage and your body weight for momentum; sitting means you have to push more weight around with less help. "Unless you increase the resistance significantly, standing is basically bailing out of a climb," Douville says.

If the bike doesn't fit your frame, you won't get the maximum benefit from your ride (you will, however, get a massive back ache.) If you've got petite feet, don't cram them into the toe cage. "The ball of your foot should be over the pedal," she says Douville, "Otherwise, your arch supports all your weight and your foot goes numb." Your seat should be high enough so your knee bends slightly at the bottom of a pedal stroke, and it should be far enough away from the handlebars so that, when the pedals are at 3 and 9 o'clock, your knees are directly over your ankles. "Most people have their seats too close to their handlebars, and that puts tremendous stress on the knees," says Douville.


Your Comfort Zone
You pass the yellow house 7 minutes into your run, the coffee shop 10 minutes later. Thirteen minutes after that, you're home — where you take off your shoes so you can find them tomorrow to do the exact same route.

Blast More Fat
Run tall. Even more important, think about running tall. "Doing that immediately stops you from slouching and forces your arms to go front to back, not side to side," says Greg McMillan, a personal trainer and running coach in Austin, Texas. "Your hips stay tucked under, your butt doesn't stick out, and as a result, your stride is much more effective: You go farther with less energy expended." The result? You can suddenly run longer — and burn more calories.

Mix it up. Run your regular route in the opposite direction so your body doesn't know when to expect the hills. Better yet: Change your speed. "People shuffle when they run at the same pace all the time," McMillan says. "The body gets very efficient and doesn't have to work." If you typically run 30 minutes, try this 3-day routine: Day 1, go slower than your usual pace, but run for 40 minutes. Day 2, speed it up a notch, but run for only 20 minutes. Day 3, throw in some intervals: Run fast for 1 minute, easy for 2, and repeat 6 to 10 times. "Not only does that make the workout go by fast," McMillan says, "but it also burns more calories."

Drill it in. At the end of a workout, slim down your legs, bump up your heart rate, and build speed by doing drills. For 15 seconds, do knee pulls: Pull one knee high until your quads are parallel to the ground, then alternate with the other knee in rapid succession. Jog for 1 minute. Do 15 seconds of butt kicks: Try to hit your glutes with your heel. Jog for 1 minute. Finally, do grapevine (moving sideways, step your left foot over your right foot, then your left foot behind your right foot). Do 15 seconds, leading with one foot, then 15 seconds with the other. Jog for 1 minute, then cool down. As your strength increases, add sets.

Weight Training

Your Comfort Zone
Intimidated by heavy metal, you stick to the light stuff — nothing more than 10 pounds, please — then saunter over to the watercooler for an extended drink.

Blast More Fat
Pop some veins. Forget vanity. The weight you're hoisting should leave you red-faced and weak. "By the last rep, you should feel as though you have to put the weight down," says Brad Jordan, a personal trainer in Dayton, Ohio. "Three sets are plenty." Each day you lift, change it up. On one day, choose a weight you can lift for 8 to 12 reps; the next session, go with a lighter weight and lift 12 to 15 reps; on the last session, increase the load and lift only six to eight reps. It won't make you huge. It will build more muscle, which (all together now) burns more fat.

Minimize downtime. Allow 1 minute between sets for maximum burn. You'll keep your heart rate elevated and your metabolism juiced — both helpful calorie-burning boosts.

Recruit all muscles. To use as many muscles as possible, stand instead of sitting. Or, even better, stand on a Bosu or balance board. Don't let machines be an excuse to rest, Griscom says. For example, on the chest press machine, don't let your back touch the seat (or drop the seat all the way down). Get into a squatting position and do the reps from there.

**WEB EXCLUSIVE: Form Fix Just say no to the inner- and outer-thigh machine, what Nutting calls, "the most overused and under-needed piece of equipment. The inner and outer thighs get a much better workout when you do squats, lunges, step-ups and leg presses; anytime you have to keep your knee tracking forward, they get a workout.
Your Fat Burning Workout Routine

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Staying Fit-Focused

I have to say, I am proud of myself. It's been a long journey/struggle through many holidays, and although I'm not perfect, I am focused and committed to my health. I spent one week limiting my beverage consumption to water (plus one or two lite beers). By the time the Christmas holiday came around, I was ready for what was to come. And I gotta say, I did pretty well. I limited my second serving of dinner to much smaller portions than I had in the past. I was even able to say "no thank you" when it came to desserts. There's a first time for everything. So let me be the first to congratulate myself for setting limits, staying focused and staying in control. Let me also congratulate you for having the self-control to say "No" to that second (or third) slice of apple pie. No matter where you're at... congratulate yourself. That's the start of your new focus on fitness.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

It's Time to Get Serious About Ab Work

http://www.extreme-fitness-now.com/images/woman-flat-stomach.jpghttp://cm1.theinsider.com/media/0/201/41/usher-abs.0.0.0x0.415x600.jpegI have made the decision to give myself a hardcore upcoming workout week. I have already changed my lifestyle - eating, exercising and meditating. However, my dedication to my abs has not been up to par. When I go to the gym, I find it easy to work the upper body (chest, arms, shoulder, etc...) and to do 20-30 minutes of cardio (yes I've been improving). Unfortunately, I let my ab workout slip from my regimen. I am not sure how it happened. It could have been lack of time, boredom with the workout, or maybe it simply slipped my mind. Regardless, next week I am kicking my butt into gear.

I am going to push myself like I haven't done in the past. Eating habits must change, workout has to be revised. This is for the good of me. Abs are the core of the body. It is the midsection that keeps the upper body (including the back) and the lower body strong and balanced. It is also very important in keeping the posture straight. In general, different sections of your body depends on your stomach muscles.

http://images.askmen.com/money/keywords/abs_965764.jpgThe first thing I am going to do is increase my water intake and decrease other beverages. Drinking water helps flush fat by helping to create a more efficient metabolism. Research has shown that 75% of body is made up of water. By consuming more water we increase our metabolism and burn more calories. That starts now.

I will also plan out my meals and design an exercise regimen that fits my lifestyle and schedule. This is doable. This is not a crash diet, fad, or temporary solution. This will become my life- giving me a longer life.

What can you do to live a longer life? Shouldn't you put your foot... and your fork down and live your life?! Why not start today.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Top Ten 'Move Your Body' Workout Songs

Okay, so you made it to the living room, picked up your weights and you are ready to move your body; but somethings missing. Hmmm, everything seems to be in place, but suddenly you realize that their is an uninspiring melody playing in your head... or on the television. These sounds can be negative self-talk, a Hostess Cupcake commercial, or some very slow... take a nap (or gettn busy) type music. No, no, no... this will definitely not work.

Music (especially if it drowns out the negative self-talk) can be a very important part of your work out. That's why aerobic instructors work diligently to ensure that they have the most inspiring and effective music for their class. Michael Jackson for Step Class, Flo Rida for Spin, and Uman for Yoga. You pick your style, your tunes and your workout. Let the music complement your workout goals.

Here is Mind Ur Body Fitness' top 10 workout songs. These songs are great for cardio and weighttraining.

1) Forever - Chris Brown
2) Shake It - Metro Station
3) Let It Rock - Kevin Rudolph (feat Lil Wayne)
4) Don't Stop the Music - Rihanna
5) Disturbia - Rihanna
6) All Nite - Janet Jackson
7) Just Dance - Lady Ga Ga
8) Dreamer - Chris Brown
9) Eye of the Tiger
10a) He Ya! - Andre 3000
10b) Move Along - The All-American Reject

What do you think? What's on your playlist?

Biggest Loser's Bob Harper Fitness Advice

I created a few motivational montage videos on youtube using audio and video clips of Bob Harper. Check it out at the link below.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Work Out The Way You Want To

Flat Stomach Workout for Women
Originally uploaded by mewall82

Despite what you hear, read or are told what to do, when you exercise you have to make it fun. And by making it fun, I mean do it your way. Talk to your trainer, research exercises online, or sit back (for now) and watch ExerciseTv.


Because in order to stay motivated you have to create a workout plan that fits your lifestyle and more importantly, your interests. Find exercises that are in line with your daily habits, hobbies, etc. If you like to walk, then take a walk. If you like basketball, volleyball, dancing, etc. then make time with some friends and get out there and do it. And who can forget that good ole' New England snow? Shoveling anyone? That's a great exercise.

Trainers can very helpful in helping you discover exercises that fit your personality. They will also teach you the proper form when starting the program. But like I said you can also find some great online tutorials. So get out there and get active... And Have Fun!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

From fat to gym rat, woman loses 200 pounds

From fat to gym rat, woman loses 200 pounds

By Steve Almasy, CNN
December 4, 2009 11:17 a.m. EST
  • After topping scale at 352 pounds, Oregon woman lost 200 pounds over six years
  • Her escalating blood pressure proved a motivating factor to change diet, improve fitness
  • She says always have a plan for what to eat, cut out sugar
  • To lose weight, you need to form a positive self-image and do things to reinforce that notion, she says
(CNN) -- These days, Becky Griggs starts her morning well before the sun comes up, in time to meet her clients at the gym at 5:30. It's a big change from six years ago, when she was 352 pounds and, as she calls it, engaged in a "slow form of suicide."
She said that growing up, she was always the pudgy kid, but in hindsight, she was only slightly overweight. In her mind, though, she was a fat girl.
"We are taught what is slim and skinny and pretty and right," she said recently by phone, "but in reality, what is fit and healthy is a different thing."
Positive self-image means a lot, she said, and it has been the key to her losing more than 200 pounds.
Name: Becky Griggs, a 43-year-old fitness trainer from Oregon City, Oregon. She teaches four days a week. Before she became a trainer five years ago, she operated a yarn shop. She is a married mother of two children in their early 20s.
Background: One of the things that began to worry Griggs as an adult was her blood pressure. For years, it was low, but when it started to climb, that really caught her attention.
She also was worried about needing help from her husband. Just walking back from the bathroom in the middle of the night became a nightmare. She would return to bed and worry that she was going to pass out and die.
"I used to lay in bed awake, and my heart was racing so hard that I was afraid, and I wanted to make sure that if I needed help that I was cognizant of that," she said.
How much she lost: At her heaviest, she was 352 pounds. When she competed in a body-building contest this year, she weighed 139 pounds. Most of the time, she weighs about 150.
iReport: Share your weight loss success story
How she lost it: "Calories in versus calories out," she said. Like many overweight people, she had a bookshelf of diet plan books. But she needed to go back to what she called a super-simple plan of five small meals a day, focused on protein and something "God grew." About 80 percent of what she ate to lose weight was protein.
Weight loss success stories
Sugar and flour were out. She refers to it as clean eating. It sounds easy, she says, but when you start reading labels closely, you see how many foods have sugar in them. That includes most protein bars, which Griggs says are basically candy bars.
How she's keeping it off: She's not always eating clean, she said. But she plans ahead to counteract the moments of being "naughty."
"Food doesn't control me anymore, I control it," she said. "And I work out."
She loves being fit, she said. Muscles burn more fat, and they fit better in your clothes, she pointed out. Working out and getting sweaty is the best thing you can do for yourself each day, she said.
Read about other success stories at CNN's Fit Nation
It's more important to lose body fat, she said. All the students in her classes have their body fat pinched at the beginning and pinched again each month. She says it is a much better measure of your health than the height-and-weight charts put together by the government.
She became a fitness trainer to keep her in the gym. She didn't want to go back to "being that other girl," she said. To ensure that she would be faithful to her workouts, she became a trainer.
"It's taken time, but I know now that this me is the me who I am, and that fat girl, she is not me anymore," she said. "I am me because of her, but I won't ever go back to being her."
Advice for others: You have to believe that you can improve your health before you can make dietary and fitness changes. Put positive images in your mind, she said. Picture yourself putting down that hamburger and getting off the couch. And keep doing it.
She also said that morbidly obese people need to come to a reckoning about their weight. Many people who are that overweight are terrified of what they will become if they lose all those pounds, she said. Instead, they hide behind the fat and the food.
She also recommended finding like-minded people. When she was losing weight, she serendipitously found those folks at the gym, and they are a source of positive feedback, too. She also found support at a ballroom dance class.
Also, be careful around family members. "We moms, we're pushers," she said. Especially around holiday meals. Here's where positive self-image comes into play again.
"I tell clients and people in my classes that when you can look me in the eye and say, 'Oh my gosh, I had brownies and ice cream last night, and it was so good, that's when you have it,' " she said. "If you pick it up and start to eat it, and the negative self-talk starts ... that's when you put it down and say, 'No, thank you.' "

From the CNN Website

Winter Workouts And Winter Excercises To Stay In Shape During Winter - AOL Health

Winter Workouts And Winter Excercises To Stay In Shape During Winter - AOL Health

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Lose that Baby Fat

Kelli and Child
Originally uploaded by 1tommyb

Say you just gave birth, baby's out and about, and you take your time walking over to the mirror- hoping to see that pre-pregnancy body staring back at you. Sorry, but more than likely, you're not going to see it. You have to remember that your body has gone through approximately ten months of reshaping, stretching and preparing for delivery. You have housed another life inside your body, and although it is possible for you to return to that lean physique you so desperately miss, its going to take a little effort on your part.

According to my Female Health Advisor, Rochelle W., new moms should start off slow if they want to regain the body they are looking for. "The female body is designed to have children." Women who have children "have to allow their bodies time to return to their natural state.  But you must be proactive."

There are a number of exercises that are beneficial to healthy weight loss. Especially kegel exercises, which help tone the pelvic floor muscles that were over-stretched during birth. So please, stay away from those crash diets; they can do more harm than good. Like with all exercise regimens, this should be a lifestyle change. My wife, and the mother of my 6-month old daughter, was at her wits end when she discovered that after she gave birth her body didn't magically return to its pre-pregnancy size. Although she heeded her doctor's advice to wait, my wife anxiously wanted to return to her active lifestyle so that she could feel good about herself and her appearance.

Luckily she followed her doctor's advice by doing very mild activities, she was avid about breastfeeding (which really helped), and after being cleared by the doctor she allowed me to train her again. (I also bought her a Wii Fit). But one of the best things she did was to begin taking yoga. She said that yoga provided her with the peace of mind she needed. It gave her a few minutes out of the house (or in a separate room while our daughter was asleep) to focus on herself, her breathing and her life as a new mom. After a few weeks, she dropped 20lbs. Now, six months later she has lost the full pregnancy weight (give or take a few pounds) and fits comfortably into her new pair of Express Skinny Leg jeans.

Losing weight post pregnancy should be a natural progression, not a quick fix. You should also get your doctor's OK before beginning any exercise program.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Reasons to Live... Healthy

So tired!
Originally uploaded by Katy Gartside Photography
What are you doing tomorrow morning? Maybe I should start with this very moment. What are you doing right now? What can you do to make yourself healthier this very moment? Put down the candy bar and replace it with some fruit, move away from your desk and take a stroll around the office, take the stairs instead of the elevator... or if you are on your way out, park as far away as you comfortably can from your destination and then walk the distance. It's these little things that count. It doesn't have to be painful and it doesn't have to cost anything. But the benefits are improved mental and physical well-being, improved sex drive, and improved mood.

So here's something to think about the next time you need some motivation: If you have children, a pet, or someone you are close to, think about how much more you can do with them if your health is greatly improved. You will be less dissatisfied with life and less "crabby". Improved health means improved life... now isn't that what it's all about?!

One last suggestion for motivation: Take a picture of your newborn baby girl, your five-year old son, your Irish Terrier, or your significant other and place it in your wallet, post as your desktop wallpaper, or place it as the background on your phone or ipod touch. So when you want to be active but lack the push, just look at the image and get moving!