Guide to Getting Your Fitness Started...Even When You're Busy AF

Guide to Getting Your Fitness Started...Even When You're Busy AF

Have you ever stressed about being so busy that you can't find time to work on your fitness, get healthy, and stay in shape?

In this article, we're going to show you what you need to get the ball rolling.  It may be more simple than you think.  Check it out!

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HELP! I'm Super Stressed, Overweight, and Inconsistent With My Fitness Goals.

HELP!  I'm Super Stressed, Overweight, and Inconsistent With My Fitness Goals.

Do you ever feel like work becomes SO busy that it becomes impossible to work on your fitness and health goals?  Does the stress of deadlines and responsibilities make it feel like you don't have any time for, well, you?  Does not feeling like you're able to ever stay consistent with your fitness or nutrition plans?

If you've ever answered a resounding 'YES!' to any of these questions then read on.  This article is going to be your jam!

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3 Tips For Smashing Strength PRs

Strength training is f#$%ing hard.  Period.  It takes copious amounts of time, effort, and a burning desire to keep getting better (at picking things up and putting them down).  You must continuously challenge yourself and as you raise the bar you must continue to evolve. Some days are better than others and once you move past the beginner stages of strength you will quickly find that it gets more difficult to continue making progress and hitting PRs (personal records) aka 'making dem gainz'.  Progress is not linear and that can be frustrating.  I get it, trust me.

But despite the difficulty there's something utterly satisfying about lifting just a little more than you've ever done before.  Whether you increase from an 8kg to a 12kg kettlebell press or just deadlift 5 more pounds than you did last week...that accomplishment is yours, you've earned it.  Enjoy that shit!

To help you on your journey, here are 3 pro tips on how to keep smashing strength PRs...

1 - Prioritize StrengthIMG_2927

As epic strength coach and philosopher Dan John always says, "The goal is to keep the goal, the goal."  All to often I find that people focus on too many goals at once.  They combine the goals of fat loss, movement, being strong AF, marathoning, and being America's next Ninja Warrior all at the same time.  As a result they hit a plateau in all areas.

The fix: Avoid having goal ADD and do everything in your power to get it done!  If your goal is to get stronger overall or at any one particular lift your focus should be just that.  Prioritize the lift you want to get stronger at earlier in your training program when you are fresh.  Also, focus on being mindful of how you are performing the lift.  Be present.

2 - EAT

If you want you get stronger you must EAT!  There is no ifs, ands or buts about this one.  If you're not consuming adequate amounts of protein, carbohydrates and healthy fats your body will not be recovering from each training session or building adequate strength and muscle.  I can't stress enough how important nutrition is to getting stronger just as much as it is to burning fat and maintaining a healthy body weight.  You can't out train a poor diet works in this instance as well!

The fix:

  1. Consume 40-80 grams of carbs circa your training sessions to aid in recovery.  My go-to is white rice and occasionally the tasty treat (insert tasty treat here).  You don't need to go overboard on carbs every day but it is important when you crush your workouts.
  2. Consume 20-40 grams of protein circa your training session to aid in building muscle.  Any good protein source is okay here depending on your dietary preferences.  Personally, I'm a huge proponent of whey protein.  It's super easy to prepare, digests easily, and is more bioavailable to your body.  Basically, that means a greater percentage of what is digested gets used.
  3. Get adequate calories.  A good litmus test is if you find you're not recovering well or making progress you may be eating too few calories.  This is where you get to experiment to see what works for you!

3 - Be Patient

Good things come to those who wait and all that jazz.  Nothing happens overnight and for strength training this is especially true when you have a whole plethora of other things going on in your life that drain you.  Stress from work, relationships, other workouts, alcohol, kids, and general 'life stuff' are all cumulative.

Strength PR

The fix: Consistency is king and if you stick with your strength training long enough and are patient, I promise you will be handsomely rewarded with mountains of PRs.  Nothing works better than patience and consistency.  You will enter the PR city where the grass is green and the girls are pretty.

Finishing Up

In conclusion, showing up is the easy part but you have to put in the work if you want to experience glorious gains in your strength and fitness.  If your goal is to get stronger you want to make it a priority to learn how to, well, get stronger and focus there.  What you eat matters so don't neglect what you're doing outside of the gym as well.

Now go hit some PRs and let us know how you're doing!

Resolutions and Taking Baby Steps

One month down and 11 to go, are you making progress towards where you want to be this year?

January is always the hardest but do it right and you might be feeling refreshed and eager enough to finish what you started!

For myself, the toughest part hasn't been lack of motivation....it is the fact that I am being continuously bombarded with weight loss ticks, tips and programs, new workout programs and deals.  I become paralyzed and find it easy to get sidetracked and forget what I should be doing.

Each TV commercial and radio spot that I hear talking about the “new you” and pimping some trendy new diet and exercise plan for only $89.99 a month drives me nuts!  With this information (most of it bad) overload people are  jumping on the resolution train and doing little more than spinning their wheels.

The media wants you to believe the only way to succeed with your New Year's resolution is to  completely overhaul your entire life in one month by going to the gym everyday, never eating sweets again EVER, and telling you everything you have been doing your entire life is wrong, wrong,wrong!

Will those things really make you feel better and become a “new you”?

Why kick of the new year with something so hard, give it up a month later and get down on yourself?

Why not change a few small things one at a time that will truly make you feel good?  Sometimes just a baby step in the right direction is all you need.

Here is a list of things 5 that truly give me a honest good feeling about being fit and healthy and makes me feel like a “new me” every morning not just in January.  These steps are free and easy!

 1. Sleep

pup sleeping

Being a preschool teacher I am used to breaking concepts and lessons down to more basic levels.  If I want to teach my kids a science experiment then I need to teach them the skill of scientific observation.  If I want to teach counting by 5s then they need to master counting by 1s.  The same concept went for my life, if I wanted to make myself feel good, then I need to evaluate what my body NEEDED on a basic level.

When I really thought about it, I wasn’t getting enough of sleep.

It was so simple!

Try making it a point in your life to get to bed at an earlier hour, preparing your lunch and breakfast the night before to get extra time in the morning to sleep.  Turn off the TV, ipod, cell phones, tablets and other electronics earlier, make your lunch and breakfast, your kids breakfast and lunch, set out your daily vitamins next to a large glass for water and the coffee contraption of your choice, the night before so there is no prep in the early hours and you can get a few extra ZZZZZZs.  An extra 30 minuets of prep at night can easily turn into an extra hour of rest in the morning!

morning

2. H 2 the O

alot of water

I know, at least for me, I NEED good water intake.  I know the moment that I am low on my liquids.  If I haven’t reached for my water bottle enough that day the headache sets in, I feel a bit more sluggish a lot like I have a hangover.

NOT FUN!

If this continues for a few days my skin and hair will point out that I need more H2O.  My skin breaks out my hair is not on its best behavior.  When I talk about increasing your water consumption I’m not talking about an extra mini bottle of water a day.

water

I drink A LOT of water and YES I pee a good amount and so will you.  So what?!  An extra trip to the bathroom, a couple extra minutes out of your day is worth the clear skin, life back in my hair and a happy digestive track.  I don’t mind my bathroom trips, it’s a couple minutes of quiet time.  I give myself a smile in the mirror, wipe the smudge of finger paint of my face, take a deep breath, center myself and head back to my students.

3. ME TIME

Do you have time during the day to reflect?

Do you have a run to mentally sort through the events in the day or do you journal about things that you are proud of or things that bother you?

running          journaling

However and whenever you take some ME time, DO IT!  It will be the most important thing you will do that day!  Take time to reflect, what made you feel good or bad that day, what will you do differently or the same tomorrow.

This is a skill that I just started and I am still perfecting, some nights I journal, other days I mentally reflect during a workout.  It’s not always the same, but it always has the same result, I feel mentally cleansed and ready to take on the next day!

4. HONESTY

Being honest with yourself can be hard but also essential!  If you don’t like to get up at 4am before work for that boot camp with your girlfriend, be honest about it!  If you hate it, you won’t keep it up!  If you keep dragging yourself there because your gal pals go, you will be negative about it and it won’t bring you JOY. What is it really bringing you besides stress and negativity?

Don’t get me wrong though!!

You should get out there and try new things, and some of it will be HARD. Yet, there is a moment where you need to decide if it is hard because you are being challenged OR if the whole experience is just not for you.  If not, then there are other activities and groups to try till you find one that fits and brings you a good feeling.  Life is too short to not spend it doing something that makes your life worthwhile so find out how to get your sweat on and lift heavy things in a way that you enjoy!

powerlifting

 

 5. Good Morning Beautiful

The power of positive thought is surprising!  It may feel silly, but take a moment to look yourself in the morning and give yourself a positive comment.

“Go get ‘em tiger”

“Hey good looking”

"You're going to have a great day"

boy in mirror

It sounds silly but REALLY say it OUT LOUD.  My husband caught me the other day talking to myself in the mirror, I blushed, I laughed and explained why I was talking to myself then I moved on. I had given myself a positive reinforcement, got a little giggle session in and continued on with my day.  Oh yeah, learning to laugh at yourself is a fun and valuable skill!

Keep in mind that feeling great about yourself doesn't have to take a lot of money or a lot of time in your day or be a massive goal.  Sometimes the little changes or resolutions are what make the largest impact.

Drink up, sleep in, be honest and love yourself!

These easy tips will instantly have you feeling like a NEW YOU!

3 Steps to Succeed With ANY Resolution

Happy New Years, Boston!  I hope you all had a wonderful holiday season and are ready for another happy, healthy and successful year! With all the excitement and work going into opening AMP Fitness, Lindsay and I decided to keep it low key this New Years Eve and reflect on all the things we accomplished last year.  Between getting married, me leaving my job to start the business, and Lindsay finishing her masters and now our new adventure with AMP Fitness we felt we deserved a night out indulging in some oysters.  Lots of them!

We decided not to make any resolutions since 9 times out of 10 people make them and give up a week later.  We just promised ourselves that we would work towards making AMP the best training facility in Boston and still make time for each other throughout the year.  Yay date nights, we'll need em!

Before you make a new resolution for 2014 it will make all the difference in the world to take a step back and look at the ones you may have failed before moving forward.

  • Was it fear?
  • Lack of resources?
  • Not enough effort?
  • Not enough preparation?
  • Not enough support?

1. Make mistakes.  Make lots of them.  Just learn from them.

It is okay if you failed in the past.  Hey, that's life.  Failure is all part of the process and sometimes breeds the greatest success.  But the difference between constantly failing and moving towards success is not making the same mistakes you have made in the past.  Heck, I'm not the smartest of our species and make plenty of mistakes.  Daily.  Just ask my wife. :-)

If you failed to gain strength and get fit what got in your way?

If you failed to lose fat, what were the obstacles that stopped you?

Asking yourself these questions has both the benefit of reflecting on your past mistakes and also analyzing  your current habits to help you succeed.

2. Set realistic expectations and achieve them by any means necessary!

Notice how I didn't say low or high expectations.  Just realistic.

During the first session with a new client I am always straight forward and honest with what their expectations should be.  This will not only help them achieve greater success but will show them that they can be accountable for their own results.

The first things to understand are:

  • Magazine models and celebrities are NOT the norm.  They are paid to look like that.
  • Not everyone is physically gifted, some DO have to work harder than others.  Everyone will get different results and people have different body types.  This is okay.
  • It is possible for ANYONE to get awesome results whether it is strength or fat loss.  You just have to make sure you are consistent with the right program.

Once you have set your expectations, make a plan of action.  If it doesn't work, make another one.  Exhaust every option until you succeed.  Then set new expectations.

During this process, though, expect to have ups and downs.  Understanding that progress isn't always linear is key to not hitting a low and stressing yourself out.  You should NOT be at the mercy of your emotions.

3. Keep yourself accountable.

One trick I learned from my wife is to journal.  It not only helps you to keep yourself accountable but it also allows you to reflect and take a more objective look at your actions.  For some people, this will be key to succeeding.

Whether you like using a pen and paper, or using a blog to write your thoughts down, the idea is the same.  Keep a journal entry of your actions, emotions and thoughts of important moments in your process and save them for later introspection.  (Do I get extra points for using a big word?)

From what I have found with my clients, this step works wonders for both exercise and nutrition goals especially because it shows you instantly what you can improve upon.  Your weaknesses will stick out like a sore thumb making it easier for you to spot them and attack there.

If you are more into tracking than journaling, there are many fitness and nutrition apps to allow you to do this.   Here are two to check out:

Fitocracy

MyCalorieTracker

There you have it.  Use this process to reflect on your past goals and achieve them all in 2014 and beyond!

And remember this as we enter 2014...