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1/7/2010                                   Happy New Year!!
And away we go!! Another year to to add to our lives, another year to work at being more healthy and more fit, and another year to train. Don't make big promises to yourself that you know that you won't or can't keep. What I mean is to avoid scrapping a training routine, find activities and movements that you like (maybe even enjoy!) and design a program around that. Hate running or walking on a treadmill? That's OK!! There are other (and more effective) ways to be active and become fit and healthy. You do not have to punish yourself to become healthier and more fit or to be a better athlete. Why should you? On the other hand, there are programs, good programs, and better programs. And all programs need to be goal specific, designed to meet your needs, and based upon your unique abilities. That doesn't mean that programs can't be similar, but very few, if any, can ever be the same in all parameters. We are too unique!! Take some time to do your research and think about what you want and what you need. They aren't always the same. Here is a great article to get you started.

What I know about Fitness.....
by Michelle Winningham

Have a great 2010!! Don't even think about settling for less!


Happy Friday!!
It's been a great week, and I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend.....but here's some "food for thought" from Alwyn Cosgrove:
So here we are again...Today(April 1) marks the 25% point of the year. Sorry - it's not an April fools joke.
The entire first quarter of 2009 has already passed- we are now three months into 2009.
90 days are gone forever.
Are you on track with those New Years Resolutions? Are you on track with your goals?
If you wanted to lose 20lbs this year - are you down 5lbs already?
If your goal was to do 250 workouts - have you completed 62 ?
It's amazing how time passes so quickly. If you need a "do-over" then I'm going to give you one.
You can REDO your New Years Resolutions right now and get started all over again.
That's right - I'm letting you off the hook - but don't waste a single second.
If your goal is fat loss - start today
If your goal is muscle building - start today
If your goal is (insert anything here) - start TODAY !
25% of this year is gone forever. Will you make changes TODAY or will another 25% pass, then another 25% -- and before you know it -- it's 2010.....

And another great article link :

19 Tips For Getting The Body You Want
Work Hard!!

Happy Friday everyone!! Having read yet another great article a moment ago, I thought (yeah, I read and think...sometimes before I speak, not often-I think it's mild Tourettes) of a cool idea. When I find an especially good article that happens to agree with my thinking and training strategy (and/or follows along lines of recent arguments, debates, etc.), I am gonna supply a direct link to said article.
This one is by Angie Lee and adresses "Toning Muscles" and the popular "Should Women Lift Weights". It's a great and informative article. Just click the title below.
“To lift or not to lift”? This is the question


Exercise or Punishment?
As I watch people exercise, the thought often crosses my mind, "Are they exercising their bodies or demons?"  Trainers are in pursuit of something - better health, fitness, sports performance, or just performing better than last workout. Exercisers seem to be paying penance - for over-eating, skipping a few workouts (or more than a few), having a few drinks, etc.
Have a goal(s) for the long and short term. Work to accomplish goals and enjoy improved mood, performance, body, health, fitness, and many other positive side-effects.  
I just don't have the TIME ...
The Futurist Magazine reported that the average American is watching 2.6 hours of TV per day! Sure, I'm as guilty as anyone, but as my dear brother always says, "Get your priorities straight." That's 18 hours a week to squeeze in a great 30 - 45 minute workout most days of the week. Yes, break a sweat every day and see what happens.
The Full Package Plus
The missing ingredient for a lot of hard working, frustrated gym goers has been lack of progress and affordable help - at $15/half hour session we aren't price gouging, but I understand times are tough. For a measley extra $10/month, I will personally evaluate and write out your exercise schedule. Affordability and accountability are built in for anyone who is interested and willing to do what it takes to improve - hard work not short cuts...    
(1) Nutrition needs to be in order - reduce junk foods like bad fats and sugars
   Possibly start adding fish oils and a multi-vitamin - check with your doctor, of course
(2) Strength Training - the most valuable tool of all
    Two days a week minimum and four days a week maximum for starters
(3) Aerobic Exercise is beneficial when used correctly
    The tricky part is the intensity
(4) Be Consistent - find activities that you enjoy and be active every day 
    Weightlifting one day and Cycling, Mt. Biking, Hiking,Walking, etc. the next
Same guidelines as Upper Body Movements, keep it simple, and start easy.
1) Squat Variation(knee dominant movement)-Gobblet, Front, Zercher or Back Squats
2) Deadlift Variation(hip dominant movement)-Romanian Dead Lifts or Back Extensions
3) 1-Leg Movement(to find and correct imbalances)-Lunges, Step-Ups or Bulgarian Squats
4) Walking or Running - before jogging or running get "in shape" first!!
Can't squat? Really? How do you get off a chair, toilet seat or any other place where you have to "stand up" (that's at least a partial squat, folks). Squats can be benificial for you.
Alwyn Cosgrove has said it best, "If you're not paraplegic and not squatting, please kick your own ass for me."
Lower Body Training burns a lot of calories and builds a lot of useful strength - "functional".
Yes, you need to train lower body. Yes, you probably can and should do squats. No, you've probably not done them correctly.
Google these lifts to get more information. Hey! You might even want to come to the gym for personal coaching. Call for some information on Personal Training Packages..
If you are going to loose bodyfat, STRENGTH TRAINING is invaluable. Not only can you build lean mass and strength, but strength training is a great destressor and will help keep muscle tissue while you are losing bodyfat. Being stronger will help you in every aspect of life.  Some movements are better than others, and the big, basic lifts are best because of the amount of effort/work required. If you are a beginner, check with your doctor to make sure you are healthy enough first, and then follow these guidelines:
a) Choose Compound Lifts - more than one joint is involved
b) Work All Planes of Movement - don't focus on bodyparts, the body is one piece
c) Work Limbs Together (Bilaterally) and Separately (Unilaterally)
d) Allow for Recovery 
e) Keep Work-Outs Short and Intense
A great work-out for the Upper Body could consist of:
1) BB or DB Bench Presses, Incline Presses, Dips, or Push-Ups
2) Seated Rows, Bent BB or DB Rows,or Prone Rows
3) BB or DB Military Pesses, or Push Presses
4) Chin-Ups, Pull-Ups, or Lat Pull Variations
5) Ax Chops, Wipers, or Russian Twists
Just choose one exercise per group per day, do 2-3 work-outs per week, and don't use the same movement more than once per week. Begin with one set of each movement with a weight you can handle 10-12 repititions.
Will cover Lower Body next week.
To change your body composition with diet alone, you can count on half the weight loss to be fat tissue while the other half will be muscle and, possibly, organ tissue. Exercise, especially, progressive strength training, will keep the amount of muscle loss to a minimum. If you are a beginner, you may even gain some muscle tissue as you lose bodyfat. Ideally, nutrition and exercise are used to change your body in a positive way.
I see, more often than I like, people going through the motions of exercise. Yes, it is better than no activity; but, if you want to make changes and progress, you must improve upon previous workout bests. For example, if yesterday 30 push-ups were done, the next workout try to get more. Same thing with walking, jogging, running, or whatever your activity choice may be. There are a number of ways to continue to improve - more time or reps, more miles or weight, improving time, etc. Be creative. Make good choices on activities and enjoy what you do! More next time on EXERCISE SELECTION.
Yeah....That's the next most popular question....The answer?? Just like everything else it depends upon your desired rusults - your individual goals.
Do you want stronger abdominal muscles? Easy. An exercise, such as simple as crunches, done 2 - 3 times per week in a progressive manner - just like the walking.
However, this is not why most people want to "work the stomach". Most of the folks who ask this question want to reduce the amount of fat in this area. It is called spot reducing, and, while you can target muscles for strengthening, you cannot target certain areas of bodyfat. Bodyfat comes off as it goes on (only in reverse) and is better accomplished through big movements - think squats, deadlifts, sprints and other HIIT, push-ups, pull-ups, etc. Nothing wrong with smaller movements, such as crunches, especially if you have certain areas of weakness, but to reduce bodyfat you must burn a lot of calories and isolation movements(crunches) do not do the job of compound movements(Turkish Get-Ups). Yes, the introduction of strength training is going to be very important and, just like walking, start slow and easy and build. More next week. Have a great weekend!
Nutrition, nutrition, nutrition.
Same old question nearly every time someone comes to the gym, "Can you help me tone-up?" Folks, this is just another term that means "help me lose bodyfat".
OK, let's assume you've gotten your physician's approval and started moving in the most simple and basic way possible - you are walking 30-60 minutes per day. The least amount of work that you can do to affect a decrease in bodyfat levels is 60 minutes per day "most" days of the week - we are talking 5 - 7 days a week. Nutrition must be in order - keep working on those nutritional guidelines from last newsletter.
Tennessee Takes Bronze!!.
I guess that would be great in a lot of things, but ranking as the third highest state in the nation for obesity in adults is not one of them. Obesity is defined as abnormal or excessive fat accumulation that presents a risk to health. Being healthy takes a bit of thought and effort and self-control and knowledge and effort and .... Well, I guess you could go on and on, but what does it really take to change one's body composition and health? In the next few newsletters, I will outline a program for Beginner and Intermediate Exercisers.
Beginners need to make small changes at the start that lead to big changes later. A Check-up with your Physician to make sure you are healthy enough to exercise is a good idea. At a minimum, people should strive to at least walk for 30 to 60 minutes a day. It doesn't have to be all at once. For example, an early morning walk of 10 minutes, a lunch-time walk of 10 minutes, and an afternoon walk of 10 minutes is a 30 minute day. Even starting with 5 or 10 minutes per day and building up is OK. Anything beats nothing and movement is the key. But dietary changes are also necessary for most people to see a difference in their Body Compositions.
Basic Nutrition Guidelines
Start with limiting your sugar/carbohydrate intake (find out what has sugars in it!!!). Don't eat anything with high-fructose corn syrups, partially hydrogenated fats or oils, or transfats. Don't drink your calories! Do drink lots of water, eat lots of fresh vegetables and a few fruits. Also, have a lean protein source with every meal along with a serving (1/2 cup) or two of vegetables. You should strive to eat 5 or 6 small meals per day. More next time, but try implementing a few of these ideas at a time until you make a significant change.
NINE Movements for Every Healthy Body
Must Haves for Your Training Routine
by Scott Agee

     These exercises  are a series of movements that should be included in some way in everyone's training. According to Lou Schuler and Alwyn Cosgrove in their book The New Rules of Lifting, these exercises cover all the bases. For general strength and fitness, these exercises can't be beaten. They will also help balance any program. You don't have to do each movement every training session, but each movement should be worked into your weekly routine. If you are not including them in your training, maybe you should give them a try.

You should have these movements or a variation of each in your program:

1) The Squat - Squat variations include: Power, Olympic, Front, Back, Overhead, Zercher, etc. - take your pick

2) The Deadlift - Variations include: Rack Pulls, Sumo, Deficit, Thick-Bar, Zercher, One-Handed, etc.

3) The Horizontal Push - Regular Bench Press, Flat DB Press, Power Bench Press, Push-Ups, etc.

4)The Vertical Push - Military Presses, Power Press, Push Press, Arnold Presses, Cuban Presses, etc.

5)The Horizontal Pull - Seated Cable Rows, BB or DB Bent Rows, Face Pulls, Reverse Push-Ups, etc.

6)The Vertical Pull - Chins, Pull-Ups, Lat Pulls, Bike Rows, etc.

7) The Twist - This motion can be upper or lower body, as in: Russian Twists, Wood Chops, Wipers, etc.

8) The Lunge - Unilateral (single-limb) training is great, try: Walking or Stationary Lunges, Split Squats, Bulgarian Squats, Step-Ups, etc.

9) Walking/Running - If you are not walking or running, you probably should be. Of course walking or running can be done anywhere, but for the gym you could include Farmer's Walks, Figure-Eights, Over-Head DB Walks, etc.