General Fitness

4 Keys to Break that Plateau

No matter what the reasons may be, hitting a plateau is inevitable. The core of the following steps is consistency. As long as you can be as consistent as possible, typically the results you seek will follow. Over the years there are a few things I question every client when we re-measure and re-evaulate. Hopefully one or a few of the following will help you get back on track to being a healthier, happier you.

1. Check sleep patterns. Ultimately you want to follow your own natural Cyrcadian rhtyhm, which can be taught. Its generally pretty simple. Go to bed when you are tired. When you start doing this you will find it becomes easier and easier to wake up. Eventually the completion of this training will cumulate with being able to wake up naturally. So if you dont get woken up via the pesky alarm clock, you are in the right zone. Getting proper rest can do a number of positive things for the body and mind, including reducing stress hormones, helping your body heal and repair to keeping your inflammation down and immune system optimal.

2. Avoid anything processed. There are a number of reasons for this. For starters, the body was not meant to process chemicals and additives. Packed and processed foods are more expensive than whole foods and are lack the nutrient density that whole foods do. Additionally you will find that the increase in nutrients (micro and phyto mainly) will see you with an increase in energy and mental sharpness. The benefit is greater fat loss.

3. Log it. As simple as it sounds. When you track what you eat, and even track your workouts, you can usually ensure consistent progress, even in small chunks. Ive included some great examples here. Biggest point is to keep it simple. Do that and you should find success!

4. H2O. Get plenty of it. Sure there are lots of formulas that suggest how much you should consume. But bottom line, drink as much as you can. If you can get in a gallon per day you will see energy increase, bowel movements get more consistent and you will get sick less often.

 

Try them, get back on track and let me know how it goes. If you still struggle, feel free to contact me at any time!

To your health!

Kevin


Get SMART with Goal Setting!

So, you have a goal, something to work for? If you do, thats awesome! If not, find something to achieve, even something small. We have all been there. We decide we want something and say “I want that” or “I want to do that”. You all know what I am talking about. Its akin to January 1st and a resolution.

But its different this time. Isn’t it? And it WILL be! It doesn’t matter whether its to lose 20 pounds of fat, walk or run a 5k or marathon, or even step on a stage in a tiny thong or bikini and strut your stuff. What matters most in this goal, is setting a plan. And being SMART about it. SMART goal setting is a great, simple way to both analyze your goal, and make sure you have a proper plan in place to hit that goal. Let me explain a little bit about how this works.

While no one part is greater than the whole, lets break it down for you! I will use running a 5k as an example, but keep in mind that it can, and does translate well to ANY goal you want to accomplish!

 

S – Specific - Run a 5k. Not just as simple as that. What I always recommend to my clients is to pick an event. It doesn’t matter if its your first 5k or your 100th 5k, it just matters that you have picked your event. Now sign up for it! Once you have paid your entry fee, you are now locked in. Now we can break the rest of your SMART goal setting down for you.

M – Measurable - Well we know 5 kilometers is measurable. Now what we need to do is set up your training plan so you can cross the finish line with confidence! What you do is you break down your training time into segments. So if your event is in 3 months, break it down into smaller chunks. A goal for each month, or week makes the whole event manageable and enjoyable!

A – Achievable - Always pick a goal that is attainable for you and your abilities. Lets say its your first 5k event. Likely, your goal isn’t to win it, but to do the whole thing, and not feel dead at the end! Walk, Jog or Run, it doesn’t matter how you get there, only that you are bettering yourself!

R – Realistic - Don’t shoot for the stars right away. If you want to compete in an Iron-Man event, but never done a 5k before, start with the 5k, progress to a 10k. Advance to short duathlons (run-bike-run) and then short triathlons (or even relay versions). Crawl, walk, jog, run….you get the idea!

T – Timely - Sticking with the 5k theme, if you have never done a 5k and you want to run it, don’t pick a 5k that’s in 2 weeks. Give yourself some time to train for it.

 

With proper goal setting, proper training plans fall into place. As such, you will significantly reduce your risk of injury, stay healthier, and be more able to enjoy the process. The goal is the reward for your plan, your work and your consistent determination to accomplish your goal. And remember, we at Strong Point Fitness are here to help you! Real people getting REAL results! To your health!

 

 


Why the Squat is the KING of exercises

Over the years many debate which exercise is the best exercise to have in your arsenal. Without equal, the Squat is the KING of all exercises. Below, I briefly discuss 10 reasons why (outside of science proving the squat is king).

  1. In the multi-variations that are possible (back, front, split, sumo, and others), squats work every major muscle group in the entire body and on both sides of the body—no other exercise can do this!
  2. Squats are totally free! You already have everything you need to achieve a world-class body sculpting strength and fitness training program. They do this by challenging your heart rate and conditioning.
  3. Squats can be done virtually anywhere—all you need is a few square feet and you’re off to the races.
  4. Squats solve time-constraint issues. Once you’re in the groove, you’ll be able to perform an entire workout in less time than it would take to drive to a gym and change into gym clothes.
  5. Squats have almost no risk of injury. This is especially true as you integrate a number of variations into your routine that challenge, sculpt, and strengthen your entire musculature from multiple angles.
  6. Squats are the key to a sound and healthy heart and a powerful pair of lungs. They integrate both cardio endurance and cardio interval training into one series of exercises.
  7. Squats build lithe, perfectly sculpted muscles from your neck to toes. The result is a sculpted physique that is always proportionate to your body’s natural frame, muscle and bone structure.
  8. Squats are the key to dynamic lifelong weight management, because as they build muscle, they automatically accelerate your body’s fat-burning engines. One pound of muscle burns 30-50 calories a day, in contrast to just 2-6 calories burned by one pound of fat per day. Your muscles thus reset your metabolism, burning fat twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week.
  9. Squats are the foundation of a fitness lifestyle that will keep you young, vibrant, energized, and totally strong for life!
  10. They reinforce your personal willpower and self-determination to do and accomplish great things. They are the ultimate self-fulfilling prophecy for lifelong strength and fitness.

 

 


Achieve More Success with Rules Winners Follow

The philosopher Ralph Waldo Emerson once said that, “a foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds.” As far as we know, however, Emerson never completed a marathon, bench-pressed 300 pounds, or pitched a shut-out. Those who have, and those who have trained those who have, repeatedly say that the secret to success isn’t magical pills, high-tech equipment, or even transcendentalism. If you want to get stronger, lose fat, or achieve any athletic goal, they say, you’ve got to put in the hard work, and it’s got to be consistent. If you dont have a plan, you should consider getting one together. It will help keep you on track for the goals you set.

Set an ambitious goal. It shouldn’t be outlandishly difficult,  but it should be enough of a stretch that you’ll be excited to work toward it. Nobody who sets a goal of losing 5 pounds miraculously loses 20.

Be specific. It’s not enough to simply envision yourself succeeding at a goal. There are multiple studies have shown that intention fails about 75 percent of the time. Instead envision all the hard work that will make you succeed. To do this, break down your goals into the exact steps you’ll need to get there.

Who, What, Where, When. Multiple studies have shown that deciding ahead of time where and when you’re going to do a chore more than doubles the likelihood that you will. So give your steps to success a day, time, and place. Rather than “I’m going to weight-train three hours per week,” tell yourself “I’m going to the gym on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 8 until 9.” If possible, do this with other people who are successfully reaching their fitness goals. Science shows that willpower is contagious.

Why. Every goal should have a good reason behind it that matches your values and inspires you: to live long enough to play with your grandkids, or make your father proud, or help the world.  Then when you feel your willpower fading, you can remember your “why” and it’ll give you a boost.

Trust but verify. Your brain, will help you reach your goals by trying to close the gap between “where you want to be and where you actually are.” To do that, however, it needs feedback. It can’t tell you to keep doing crunches if you haven’t set a goal for crunches then counted how many you’ve done. Use this to your advantage: When you’re tempted to inhale that bag of tortilla chips, a quick jump on the scale will remind you and your brain that there’s still work to do.

Create If-Thens. When you tell yourself you’ll run on Wednesdays, your brain starts to unconsciously match the If (Wednesday) with the Then (run). You can also create If-Thens to ward off potential problems: “If I crave a frosted doughnut, I’ll eat an apple instead.” “If it’s cold and rainy and I don’t want to run, I’ll just put on raingear.” “If I think I’m too tired to work out, I’ll think about my ‘why.’” If-Thens start to work on an unconscious level and become habits, which spares your willpower.

Self-control is like a muscle: It improves with use. The more you carry out the steps toward your goal, the easier it becomes.

Reward your successes. Science reveals that one little gift can double your self-control, and it doesn’t have to be a box of chocolates. You can pay yourself for reaching a crucial stage, or watch an extra hour of junky TV, or simply think about what you’re learning from the process. Anything that makes you feel good will help you to be good.

Feed your self-control muscle. Studies show that willpower weakens significantly when our glucose level drops, and can inprove significantly even from rinsing your mouth with something sweet. (But skip the Splenda; it won’t work.) So plan your eating to keep your glucose stable throughout the day.

Recognize the will-power weakeners. Twelve-steppers are taught to be especially on-guard for slip-ups when they’re hungry, angry, lonely, or tired. If you feel tempted to lapse, do some “why thinking;” focus on your long-term goals and ideals.

Don’t exhaust your self-control muscle. Trying to achieve too many goals at once can overload it and reduce odds for success. If you’re training for a triathlon, maybe leave your goal of studying for the GRE or improving your Urdu until the race is done.

Focus on mastery, not performance. Studies show that when we stop trying to be good and start trying to get better we not only do better, but work harder and persist longer. And persistence and hard work, have a lot more to do with success than innate ability.

Shut it. Overconfidence is a proven impediment to success. Studies show that talking about our goals actually reduces motivation. Stop discussing what you’re going to achieve and you’ll be more likely to actually achieve it.


When life gets busy… Don’t forget to make time for your fitness!

I tend to be the type of person who is super busy all the time, and I like it that way, but when unexpected things come up it can be difficult to make time for everything.

For me, fitness is a priority and working out is a habit that I’ve been working to develop for quite some time, however there are still times it is challenging to try to get to the gym as often as I would like to.

I’ve had a lot of people ask me how I manage to get to the gym so often with as busy as I am, and to be honest, it’s pretty simple… I make a schedule for my week and I stick to it.

I would suggest having a day planner (or using one of the many calendar applications available on most smart phones) to keep track of your plans, but take a few moments on Sunday (or your preferred day of the week) to schedule in when you work/go to school, when you plan to hit the gym, and any other major errands/outings you may have. Keeping a schedule this way has helped me stay on track, especially this month since I’m trying to meet Kevin’s challenge of 30 workouts in 31 days!


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