I just returned from Spring Break in the Dominican Republic with my kids. We had such a blast! We stayed at the Dreams Resort and were so impressed with the customer service, entertainment and activities and friendliness of the staff.
Most people when they go away on holidays gain a few pounds because they get out of their routine and are drinking and eating more than usual. Well, one of these days, I would love for you to vacation with me because guess what…I always lose weight when I go away on holidays. And the best part is I still indulge while I’m there. Keep reading to find out how…
“Personal success is never static. It usually comes in small steps leading to other small steps that lead to broader achievement” W. Roberts
I love this quote above because it’s so true. Sometimes people get caught up in the fact that their goal is so big and zealous that it seems impossible so sometimes they get ‘paralysis by analysis’ and do nothing. But if they just did something, no matter how small or insignificant, that points them in the direction of their goal they would soon be achieving amazing results. You just have to take it one day at a time, one little small success at a time. So the message this week is “Do Something!”
Cardiovascular conditioning: With the longer days, this week I am suggesting you incorporate a cardio-split workout as often as you can. This means that you workout or are active twice in one day. So you could, for example, get up in the morning and head to the gym for an indoor cycling class and then later in the evening, go for a walk, bike ride or take a yoga class. Try to take advantage of the burst of energy many people experience in the spring!
“Do not be afraid to demand great things of yourself. Powers which you never dreamed you possessed will leap to your assistance…” O. Marden
Cardiovascular conditioning: This week make a commitment to be more active in your life. The International Journal of Obesity released a stat that estimates we expend approximately 800 calories less per day than we did a few decades ago based on our sedentary lifestyles. So commit to taking the stairs, walking or cycling to do errands or parking a few blocks from your destination. Take advantage of the lighter evenings and head out for a bike ride or walk after dinner. Just move your body more throughout the day and you won’t have to spend hours at the gym!
Muscle Conditioning - I wanted to give you a quick full body Kettlebell workout set that you can do when you are running short on time. It will take only 5 minutes and will work your entire body. Remember, if you don’t have a Kettlebell you can pick one up at a Sporting Good Store and Target stocks them too. It’s nice to have a number of different muscle conditioning tools. Feel free to take lots of breaks if you are new to Kettlebell Training and listen to your body and modify any moves that you are not comfortable with. This is a more advanced training approach so if you are new to exercise, you might want to choose one of our previous training options instead.
If you cannot view the video clip above, cut and paste the following link into your browser. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ylWhQSmAU1w
You now have 6 different muscle conditioning videoclips. If you ready to advance your program, maybe chose two to three different videoclips and complete them back to back for a more challenging workout. Or mix up your workouts throughout the week so you challenge your body in a variety of different ways.
Nutrition – If you drink alcohol, eliminate or reduce your intake to only 1-2x this week.
Other Helpful tips: You’ve done a full six weeks of training and it’s time to reward yourself. Go out and treat yourself to a massage, a shopping spree or a weekend get-away.
Yesterday I was at the “Get Motivated” workshop all day in Portland, Oregon. Speakers included such greatness as Rudy Giuliani, Laura Bush, Bill Cosby, General Colin Powell, Terry Bradshaw and more.
I believe motivation has to be a daily occurrence – just like brushing your teeth. You can’t wake up one morning and say “I’m good to go, I brushed my teeth yesterday.” It doesn’t matter. You’ve got to brush your teeth everyday no matter what. It’s the same with motivation. You can attend a workshop or read a book and be motivated. But it doesn’t always last. It’s important to regularly surround yourself with people who inspire and challenge you, books that teach and energize you and workshops that light the fire deep in your belly. That’s what keeps you moving forward and enjoying your best life ever!
A couple highlights that I wrote down from the workshops yesterday:
1. Bill Cosby says…Don’t limit yourself. Face your fears. Live your life courageously!
2. Rudy Giuliani says 1. Always be reading two books, one for fun and another to challenge you, 2nd, Listen to people you admire 3rd, Set goals and make notes 4th, Relax and think.
3. I liked this rhyme. ‘Mirror Mirror on the wall, Tell me what’s my call?!’ Ask yourself – What’s your call? What’s your passion? Where are your skill-sets best suited?
Today, into Week 5 of the Love Yourself Fitness & Training program, I wanted to introduce you to Kettlebell Training. It’s so important to add variety to your program in order to keep stimulating your system so I want to give you a repertoire of different workouts that you can do anywhere utilizing various tools.
Cardio – Complete 3-5 cardio sessions this week between 20-60 minutes long.
Muscle Conditioning - Complete the Kettlebell videoclip below three times this week on alternating days. If you don’t have a Kettlebell, you can pick one up at a Sporting Good Store and Target stocks them too. I would suggest a weight of 8-15 pounds depending on how much strength training you do. I chose a videoclip from a Kettlebell class that I was teaching. Feel free to take lots of breaks if you are new to Kettlebell Training and listen to your body and modify any moves that you are not comfortable with.
Now that you have a few different muscle conditioning videoclips, if you ready to advance your program, maybe chose two to three different videoclips and complete them back to back for a more challenging workout.
Nutrition – If your goal is to reduce your body fat, work on reducing your portion sizes. For example, instead of a full sandwich at lunch, try eating half a sandwich. Try grabbing 2/3 of the pasta you would normally eat.
In today’s post we focus on a workout that you can do when you don’t have a ton of time. Which if you are anything like me, that is often! But just remember this – a lack of time is NEVER an excuse. You just gotta prioritize your time and get it done!
ps. Please excuse the amateur video clip. Brianna is filming, Jackson is in the background playing with his toys and Oso is barking. Just another day in the McMillan household! LOL! But you will get the idea!
Cardiovascular conditioning: Today’s cardio workout is fabulous when you’re on a time crunch. Do a 20 minute cardio workout – walking, jogging, cycling, swimming, hiking etc. Do 1 minute easy and 1 minute hard and do that for 20 minutes for an awesome cardio effort.
Muscle Conditioning: Today’s muscle conditioning workout again is great when you’re tight for time.
Chin-ups – I picked up the chin-up bar at Targets a few years ago for my daughter and they are so effective for a great upper body workout – for you and the kids! You will get back, arms and core. Do a set of chin-ups (or jumping chin-ups). Try for 8-20 reps.
Walking Lunges – Do a set of 20 each leg or 40 total
Push-ups. Try for 8-20 reps on your knees or toes
Plank – Hold for 1 minute, even if you have to take breaks to get there.
That’s it for a full body muscle conditioning workout! Beginners complete one set, intermediate complete two sets and advanced complete three sets.
Nutrition – This week try to avoid eating 3 hours before bed. When I want to shed fat fast, this is the one tip that I adhere to and notice that it brings forth the quickest results. Usually late night eating is calories that are not needed and will often result in fat storage so avoid this and watch the fat melt away.
Other Helpful tips: Make a fitness wish-list. Write down all the things that you’d like to do this summer that would make it incredibly memorable. Would you like to learn how to kayak, row or rock-climb? Would you like to hike the Grand Canyon or West Coast trail or cycle the Oregon coast? Would you like to complete a half-marathon or triathlon? Maybe you’d like to cycle through Tuscany Italy with us! Make your list and then decide on the three things you will commit to achieving this summer. Keep your list somewhere highly visible to remind you of your commitment. Click on the following link to see which awesome events we are hosting. Maybe you can join me! I would love to help you cross some of those adventures off your bucket list. http://www.nwpersonaltraining.com/subs/events/events.php?event_type=upcoming
1. Change your mind-set. I hear people often say “I’m so tired today, I don’t have the energy to workout!” Instead you should say the exact opposite. “I’m so tired and have no energy so I NEED to workout!” Energy creates energy. Almost 100% of the time, you are going to feel so amazing when you are done!
2. Ask the right question! People will often consider “Should I workout today?” That is the wrong question because the answer to that question should always be yes! You should always try to move your body every single day – unless of course under unusual circumstances like if you’re really sick. It doesn’t mean you have to have a hard workout everyday but you should do something active everyday. Instead of asking yourself whether you should workout, instead ask “What type of workout should I do today?” because you will do something!
Cardiovascular conditioning: Focus on consistency this week. Get at least 3 cardio workouts in of various lengths and intensities.
Muscle Conditioning: Follow along with today’s routine. Today you will need an exercise tube with handles – you can purchase at Target, a sporting good store or online at www.twistconditioning.com We also use a staircase today but if you don’t have one in your house, you can still follow the program without. Beginners complete one set, intermediate complete two sets and advanced complete three sets.
If you cannot view the video clip above, cut and paste the following link into your browser. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ckGyXVUP644
After week one, you should be developing some good healthy habits. Continue doing everything you learned last week and add on today’s tips. Remember that Knowledge + Action = Results. This program will provide you the tools and the resources you need to make sure you’re doing this the right way and my goal is also to inspire you to take action. By consistently taking the right kinds of action steps, you will achieve incredible results and get into amazing shape!
Cardiovascular conditioning: During your shorter, high intensity cardio day, try brief 30 second intervals. So go hard for 30 seconds and then back off for 30-60 seconds and then repeat. Do this for 20 minutes. Remember to mix up your duration and intensity of your cardio workouts during the week. Sometimes go long and easy and other times go hard and short. We want to train all levels of your energy systems.
Muscle Conditioning: Follow along with today’s routine. You will need a set of light and heavy handweights and a bench or step. Beginners complete one set, intermediate complete two sets and advanced complete three sets.
If you cannot view the video clip above, cut and paste the following link into your browser. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_zq1BwPvyd4
Today we launch the “Love Yourself” Fitness and Training program and what better day to start taking better care of yourself than on Valentine’s Day! You are the only person you are going to be with every day and every moment of your entire life and your health is your most important asset! If you take the time out of your busy schedule to do what you need to do to be at your best then that will positively impact every part of your life – physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually! And then you’ll be better able to take care of all those you love! Remember what they say on an airline flight…put your oxygen mask on first before you help the person beside you!
Now remember it’s not enough to just think about taking your health and fitness to a new level. It does you no good to just talk about it. You actually have to DO something. So today I propose you give yourself the best Valentine’s Day gift ever and launch this program and get in the best shape of your life!
Each week I will provide you with easy tips that you can implement right away so that week by week you are getting closer to your Personal Best! If you make the commitment and follow along with this program, you can expect to improve your aerobic fitness, muscle tone and flexibility, increase your energy levels and reduce your body fat.
Week 1: Focus on this week’s tips. By the end of the week, you will have started to develop a fitness habit in these areas and you’ll be ready for week 2.
Cardiovascular Conditioning: Find an aerobic activity like walking, jogging, cycling, hiking, fitness classes, dance or swimming that you know you can stick to a minimum of 3x/week. Don’t choose jogging if you hate to jog. You’ll never stick to it long enough to get any results. One workout go shorter and harder, another more moderate intensity and duration and another workout long and easy.
Beginner: Perform your activity 3x this week.
Intermediate: Perform your activity 4x this week.
Advanced: Perform your activity 5x this week.
Muscle Conditioning: Complete the YouTube Muscle conditioning segment below. Go for 3x this week on alternate days. Today’s program doesn’t require any additional equipment. I wanted to show you that you can give yourself an amazing workout anywhere with no equipment whatsoever. You’ll see I’m right in the privacy of my living room and I’m just using body weight. You’ll have to excuse the low production quality. It’s just me and my girlfriend and a flip camera. But heck, what do you expect?! It’s free! And sometimes, the best things in life don’t cost a thing! Have fun!
If you can’t view the clip above, cut and paste the next link into your browser. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pZjhyrZbC6A
Next Monday is Valentine’s Day. In honor of this special day, I am going to launch a ‘Love Yourself’ fitness program. Every week, I will provide you with exercise and nutrition tips and live video clips that you can follow along with anywhere – home, work, hotel…
To help you mentally and physically prepare, here’s what I need you to do.
1st. Grab a sheet of paper and pen. If you’re not working out right now, ask yourself why it’s important that you start. What about your current situation are you not content with? How would your life be better if you were looking and feeling your best? Keep asking yourself why it’s important to you that you start taking better care of yourself. If you are currently exercising, ask yourself why you are ready to ramp things up a bit? Are you ready to take things to the next level? Finding the compelling reason to stick to an exercise and nutrition plan every day no matter what is the most important thing you can do as you launch a new program.
2nd: Go Shopping for Food – If you workout already consistently, achieving a lean physique is about 90% nutrition. So it’s time to get focused and serious about what you put in your body. So here are some good nutritious items to stock up on. Go through the list and pick up those items that you would enjoy eating regularly.
Cold cereal – Cherrios, , Bran, Granola
100% whole grain bread or English muffins (or other bread products)
100% whole wheat pitas
100% whole wheat tortillas
100% whole wheat pizza shells
100% whole wheat pasta
Meats (I will let you choose whether you include meat into your diet or not):
Skinless, boneless chicken breast halves and/or frozen cut-up chicken for stir-fries
Skinless salmon filets / 1 whole fish
Skinless turkey breasts
Sliced cooked salmon, turkey or chicken
Ground turkey or lean beef
Frozen chicken or vegetable meat patties
Dairy (Again, I will let you choose whether you include dairy or not):
Skim milk or low-fat soy/rice/oatbran milk fortified with vitamin D and calcium
1 bag of part-skim shredded mozzarella cheese
Container of feta-cheese
Low-fat probiotic Yogurt cups
Bags of frozen veggies – green beans, peas, broccoli, corn, stir-fry
Bags of frozen fruit – blueberries, raspberries, strawberries
Frozen Meals – Lean Cuisine or Healthy Choice – When you’re too tired to cook or in a hurry, these are life savers. They are low in salt, calories, fat and Trans-fats plus they’re actually quite yummy! Nothing better than the real thing though, however, this would be a better fast-food choice that a hamburger joint.
Soups – look for low sodium
Soy-nut peanut butter or all-natural peanut butter (no trans fat, no added sugar)
Bottled Water/Flavored Water
100% Orange with pulp/Cranberry/Grapefruit Juice (fortified with calcium, magnesium and Vit. D)
V-8 (low sodium)
Fresh Produce: Fruits/Vegetables
You’ve got complete freedom in this area. Buy what you love. Here’s some must haves…
3-5 bags of salad mix like Romaine, Spinach or Mixed Greens (make it easy to make salads everyday)
Bag of cut-up stir-fry veggies
Pre-cut and washed veggies – carrots, broccoli, sweet peas, cauliflower, celery, asparagus, mushrooms (make it easy to eat your veggies!)
Peppers – red, yellow, orange, green
Apples/Pears/Grapes/Bananas/Oranges/Grapefruit/Tangerines – plus whatever is in season
Soy sauce – low sodium
Salad dressing/Salad spritzers – vinaigrettes are a great choice
Other favorite spices
Nuts – raw walnuts/almonds unsalted– don’t buy too much. And once you get them home, put them in mini-ziplock snack bags separated 10 to a bag
Dried fruits – apricots, cranberries, apples…
If you have a real sweet tooth and are looking for healthier options to prevent the 500 plus calorie dessert binges, try the following:
Yogurt and granola
Weight-watcher deserts – they typically keep them at 100 calories per serving
Pudding cups – 60 calories per cup
Gum/Small bag of hard candies – when you feel a craving coming on, chew on some gum or pop a hard candy and suck on it for a while. It will often do the trick.
Frozen yogurt – but just buy the smaller cartons to prevent eating a whole gallon
Step 3: Buy some toysYou are going to need some fitness equipment to follow along with the program. So head to your local fitness or sporting goods store (even Target stocks up on a lot of these items) and pick up the following items:
Set of handweights – you will need some light and heavy options. For me, I would pick up a set of 5, 10, 15 and 20 pound hand weights. If that’s not an option, chose 5 and 10 pound weights. If you are a guy, go with some heavier options.
A step/bench – we will use this a lot to step up onto, to use as a bench to lie on or sit on
A medicine ball – Go for a 5 – 8 pound ball
A kettlebell – Go for a 8-15 pound option
An elastic band exercise tube with handles – Go for a medium/hard resistance
A skipping rope
If you are going to be following along with the program on hard floors, pick up a mat. You won’t need a mat if you will be on carpet.
Note: I will provide options for any exercise if you don’t have any of the pieces of equipment listed above so don’t be detoured if you can’t find the time or money to pick up these items.
So take the next week to prepare and be ready for a “Love Yourself” kick-butt workout and nutrition plan. Keep in mind, it would be pretty awesome to Love your best friend, your spouse, your kids, your co-worker, your sister, your brother, your mom, dad, your neighbor and invite them to join in the program too!
“Character is the ability to carry out a good resolution long after the excitement of the moment has passed.” — Cavett Robert
It’s been one month since many of us set a New Year’s Resolution. It’s a great time to analyze and assess your performance so far. Are you on track? If not, it’s time for an intervention. Ask yourself what you need to start doing? What do you need to stop doing? What do you need to keep doing?
It terms of exercise, for most people, it’s a chore. There’s no enjoyment associated with it whatsoever. So whatever you can do to make exercise more fun, the greater the chances you will stick with it.
Try some of these tips:
Workout with a buddy. You may find that having a friend around really helps with exercise adherence and you may be able to encourage each other to try out new activities. Or hire a personal trainer. They will add variety, safety, fun and keep you accountable to ensure you experience great results. And that will motivate you to keep working out!
Enroll in fun, active programs. For example, sign up with some friends for a Zumba, BallRoom, Latin or Swing class. Take a scuba-diving class together. Participate in a recreational sport program.
Get out your IPOD and workout to your favorite play-list. Music always makes a workout more enjoyable.
Purchase some new exercise DVDs: Do you follow exercise videos? Well if you can recite the cues from the instructor word for word, you may want to purchase a few more videos to add to your repertoire.
Knowledge is Power. Make it a goal to learn about your body. Attend lectures, purchase exercise, nutrition or motivational books or consult with a personal trainer. The more you know, the easier it is to convince yourself to stick to your program.
Do something new. Next workout, try a brand new exercise you’ve never done before. If you always do tricep pressdowns to work your triceps, next workout try a tricep dip. If you always jump onto the treadmill for your cardio training, try the stairmaster or rowing machine.
Vary your pace. If you always do level 3 on the stairmaster for 30 minutes, next workout go for level 4 for only 20 minutes. If you always run for 40 minutes, next workout run for only 20 minutes and incorporate some high-intensity intervals. If you always do the same number of reps, go for a change of pace. For example, if you always do 15 reps of any exercise, next workout increase the resistance a bit and do only 10 reps. This will keep you mentally and physically stimulated!
Change the sequence of your workouts. If you always do your cardio exercise first, next workout do a brief warm-up, then do your muscle conditioning exercises and then finish with your cardio. If you always do your leg exercises before your upper body exercises, reverse this next workout.
Mix up your classes: If you’re a class-goer and you’ve found yourself attending the same type of class, mix it up! If you are a regular stepper, next class go for an indoor cycling, boxing, Yoga, Tai Chi, Pilates, funk or hip hop class.
Mix up the indoors and outdoors. Do you find yourself always working out indoors? Once a week, go outside for a power walk, run, hike, inline skate or cycle – climb a set of stairs outside instead of the machine-version. If you’re always outside, go indoors for one workout a week. Start a resistance training program or indoor rockclimbing. The change of scenery may be something your body needs.
Go for an adrenaline rush. Every few months, we encourage our clients to set a new, challenging goal. We’ve had clients train for fun runs, triathlons, half marathons, marathons, extreme hiking adventures, snowboarding or skiing, and cycling treks. These types of goals have really helped inspire our clients to stick to their fitness program. Try new activities like hiking, indoor rockclimbing, snowboarding/skiing, skate-skiing, snowshoeing, whitewater rafting, sea kayaking, or a running clinic.
Practicing a few of these tips will definitely add some flavor to your exercise program and increase the chances that you will stick with it long enough to experience incredible results!
Yours in health and fitness,
ps. If you have a workout tip that has helped you stick to your program, please leave a comment. You may inspire others!