Tag Archives: fat loss

THE Strength, Performance, Fat Loss and Health Tool

Even if I was the inventor of this piece of equipment, I would still never tell you it was the only training tool you will ever need to reach your goals (although I do feel it could be ;D) Yes, you could only use it and excel at superhuman levels but I prefer to look at things in a complimentary fashion vs an either or.

The barbell. Definitely my favorite piece of equipment and whether you are a newbie or a seasoned vet, the barbell is hands down one of the best tools for any and all goals.

Barbell training is a great way to get a lot of work done in a short amount of time. There are a ton of exercises you can do that will hit just about every muscle in your body, from the superficial to the stabilizers and if you move the bar at a faster pace, you will work your heart muscle pretty darn effectively too!

Want to be faster, have a firm round booty, jump higher, throw powerful punches, be able to LIVE a long life, not be on a medication timeline, look great nekked from head to toe etcetera etcetera (did I spell that right :p) ? You can do some of the following barbell exercises:

Back Squatsdownload

Deadlifts images

Push Press images (1)

Rows download (1)

Angled Barbell Press

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Glute Bridge

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I could seriously go on forever on not only the variations of these particular exercises, but the countless other exercises and ways to use barbells for any training goal. Maybe these are not fancy new age moves, (and I could show you some in person if you’d like and have some training behind you) but these basics just freaking work. The entertainment exercises are great for just that as well as for advanced peeps.

With even just the above exercises you are going to build fat burning, performance enhancing muscle mass and strength from head to toe, literally.

With the above, you will be preventing a whole host of diseases (and while I guess I am not really supposed to say this but you will most certainly treat or fix some you may already have) and other misfortunes that come from NOT training.

More work done in less time with barbell training no matter your goal, your age or your training background, sounds pretty kick ass to me!

Indulging in Treats and Napping Just May be Your Key to a Healthy Holiday Season

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The holiday season is full of celebrations. From office parties to family events, everyone gathers to spread a little extra cheer. While people may be wary of what all of the holiday treats will mean for their health, avoiding all of the revelry could cause more harm than good.  Creating a balance between restraint and indulgence will help sustain physical, mental and emotional well-being. Come out of the holiday season feeling just as good as you did when you went in with these easy tips.

Choose wisely.

During the holidays there are tempting treats everywhere you turn. From cookies at the office to fondue at the holiday party, your favorites can be hard to resist. But if you choose your treats wisely, you can guiltlessly enjoy every bite.

Browse the buffet line for healthy options like veggies or fruit, shrimp cocktails or chicken skewers so you won’t have to skip dessert. You can always share a sweet treat with someone else to keep you accountable. And if you’re worried about not having the will power, it’s a good idea to eat 1.5 ounces of healthy protein before an event to keep you feeling satiated.

Don’t deny yourself.

Food is connected to family, culture, tradition and celebration, and it should be a source of enjoyment. Avoid creating a list of items you cannot have. “When it comes to tempting foods, forbidding them only makes you want them even more,” says Debbie Swanson, registered dietician, and nutrition and healthy-cooking tips instructor at The International Culinary School at The Art Institute of Colorado. She suggests eating smaller portions of your favorites, such as a bite of pie instead of the whole piece. “My friend makes the best apple pie. I always have two bites,” Swanson says.

Work it off.

The best way to prevent the extra pounds from sneaking up on you is to engage in a regular exercise routine. Doing something as simple as parking farther away from the office or taking the stairs instead of the elevator can help increase the number of steps you take each day.

Individuals typically gain around two pounds during the holidays, according to the Mayo Clinic. “The problem is that we don’t lose the weight,” Swanson says. Rather than adding weight that you have to work off later, maintain a workout regimen or find other ways to burn the calories you consume throughout the busy day.

Make “me” time.

Research over the past two decades has begun to demonstrate the strong connection between mental health and the strength of the immune system, which affects overall physical well-being, according to Jim Wasner, dean for the American School of Professional Psychology at Argosy University | Schaumburg. Wasner says that the strength and resilience of everyone’s overall immune system, feeling depressed or overly anxious, often correlates with poorer physical health and vulnerability to illnesses. “Relax and schedule time for yourself,” he says.” Go easy on the alcohol and sugar. Catch up on your sleep.” Maintaining this overall balance will keep you physically and mentally healthy during the holiday season.

Allow yourself to enjoy the celebrations, just maintain the balance between health-conscious and indulgent decisions so the holidays don’t get the best of you.

Seriously though, be more like this otter images (omg this little guy is so cute and really just wanted a reason to put this somewhere lol) and just chillout a little. The effects of stress and stressing out about a pound or two or and inch or two :p will do you more harm than the laughter and enjoyment you will experience from the little bit of indulgence with good friends and family 😉

Ass to Grass Squats, Hybrid Half Squats and You

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In terms of many things, on a grand scheme level, there are not necessarily any rights or wrongs, just different approaches. This is within reason of course, but for the most part it stands to be pretty legit. I have decided to use the squat as a way to highlight this today. My goal is to help you consider if what’s hot right now is what works for YOU and your goals in the safest, most effective, time-efficient manner.

Many might also tell you that to do any type of squat that doesn’t break parallel is a waste, a joke. No, no that is not true. In fact, these can actually help you progress, depending on what your goals are. The important thing to know though, is that they are not the ONLY way you should be squatting or the only thing you should be doing. On either end of the spectrum of ATG or half squats, vary things over time for ultimate progress.

The trend of ass-to-the-grass squats quickly came and to be honest seems to already be fizzling out, or at least balancing out. The case for this is probably because most people are not equipped for that and have either gotten injured or not made progress as quickly as they would with other methods. That doesn’t mean that type of squat is wrong, it just means that for some it may not be right 😉

Yes, it is cool and impressive to be able to do that under high loads if your greater trochanter is a certain size and sits a certain way in your joint socket, your pelvic tilt is perfectly managed, tendon/ligament strength or recoil ability, Q-angle, ankle and hip mobility, flexibilty yet stability in the right areas, proper reciprocal inhibition, sufficient core strength…are you getting the picture here? It is “cool” but is it the best way to reach your goals in the safest, most efficient manner or are there far too many things that are getting in the way of you just getting a better butt, building metabolism boosting muscle, and pretty much being healthier and adding to your already jacked up levels of awesome?

If you want to have the goal to be able to squat A-T-G, wicked cool! By no means is there anything wrong with that, BUTT (<—- see what I did there lol) if you just want to make progress in terms of disease prevention, health, performance, aesthetics or otherwise, you do not NEED to do these to make great strides and in fact, incorporating some half squats aka hybrid deadlift/squat/goodmornings into your program might just be what you need to literally leap and power forward in your goals.

If you are looking for ways to mix up your training to develop more power and shape and you have beaten the regular squats into the ground but cannot safely go ATG, try the hybrid half squats between reps or your normal squats. For example, if you are doing 5 sets of 6-8 reps try this:

-First 2 reps are regular, slow and controlled, followed by 3 powerfully exerted half squats, followed by the remainder as regular slow and controlled reps.

The moral of the story is, kids don’t do drugs, friends don’t let friends wear puffy paint sweaters, and don’t try to fit square pegs into round holes. Seriously though, What I am trying to say here is that there are many ways to reach your goals. Try not to look at things so black or white and that you must do xyz or you will never get there. We are all different and just because a particular exercise or whatever else is not working for you, it does not mean there is anything wrong with you or that things are hopeless. Just keep plugging away to find your fit.

-To perform this hybrid half squat, if you are performing a high bar squat, lower the bar so it rests across your upper back. Create tension throughout your entire body,especially your butt and upper back and bracing your abs. With a slight bend in your knees, shoot your hips back so you are angled at about 45 degrees. On the way up, power your hips up and forward while being sure to catch a quarter in your butt cheeks at the top but not hyperextending your lower back. Basically, it is somewhat of a deadlift but with the bar on your back.

Also, if you would like to learn more about the benefits of “partial movements” or want to just check on if I am BS’ing you 😉 read more here: http://journals.lww.com/nsca-jscr/Fulltext/2014/11000/The_Efficacy_of_Incorporating_Partial_Squats_in.2.aspx

Nutrition, Body Composition and Health Demo Recap

This past Saturday I was a guest at Southside Muay Thai. Not only was EVERYONE there so helpful in getting me set up (yeah they even jumped to help me bring my stuff in from the car without my even asking…thank you so much!) and beyond encouraging, but the fact that I over went by almost 2 hours there says a lot about their interest and dedication to their goals.

I didn’t realize they had a pad class followed by an instructional type of class back to back on Saturday so I will definitely be coming out for that when time permits (that was a hard lesson to learn lol)! Pad work (and sparring) are 2 of my faves 🙂 . It was nice to meet many new people as well as some that I have only met through social media. It was even more of a blessing to have such a good turn out and reception by all.

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Aside from the giveaway and goodie bags, I also set up their own “packages” with their anthropometrics (body composition, height, weight, measurements etc) to help them see and get started on where they are. Information sheets and site links were also given as well as my dropping as many knowledge bombs as were inquired upon lol. That is one of my favourite things too. Doing what I can to educate and empower people, in many ways, excites the bejeez outta me and I look forward to the opportunities to come, which I will post about when completely solidified.

Again I wanted to thank Lebert Fitness, Supplement Source and Southside Muay Thai members and guests, for an exceptional experience.

 

p.s. re-branding and other things are coming so stay tuned 🙂

 

Screw Green Eggs and Ham, Try Greenpie!

It was a process of wanting, working for than some elimination to get in on the beta testing and mentorship for something that will be both a tremendous learning experience (keep learning from EVERYONE and learn from your mistakes…just learn!) as well as a life changer.

I am not ashamed to admit my frequent cases of paralysis by analysis in many areas (crapsicles I detest that saying at this point but it just depicts things so formidably it bears over usage), and that is where learning from your mistakes vs simply learning comes in. Action is far more tremendous a feat. With the help of some great people who have fallen into my life recently, more action and errr re-action (no not reaction, although that too is a thing I am working on lol) shall be taken!

Embracing and allowing yourself to step away from sole focus on two particular passions that do not serve you in the proper sustaining ways has been quite a journey of lessons :p. The fork is now veering in another more appropriate and self-serving yet still people serving direction so a woooh to that 😉

Technology, lifestyle based and other online things are everywhere and you can so easily get paralyzed and confused and many will lurk and try to get you on board with things only to benefit themselves and their outcomes. Not being negative, just trying to help you be mindful. I have made the decision to stick with ONE at a time and I suggest you do the same. We are not made for the overload society wants to put on us and while a lot of it is SO awesome, too much is not. Mirna and one of my other mentors is also helping me a lot with that whole focus thing. You can’t do everything on your own but you do need to be selective.

Not only is my experience earned about an app to help you better serve your clients, it is related to improving business, protocols and mind set. These are things you can and should reach out and learn from as many REAL successful, honest and like-minded peeps. That like mindedness is probably more important than anything. We have almost now completed our first week and I am happy with the group and our mentor. I am very lucky to be getting more mentorship and guidance in the right ways in many areas (finally 🙂 ) and I look forward to things to come.

I am pretty stoked though to be finally allowing myself to take care of me while also being able to more effectively and efficiently help others. A lot of people pretend, especially those trying to “help you” with their magical gadgets and systems,  and pretend they have had it all figured out from the get-go all by themselves and that they are living perfect lives of stress free bliss never making any mistakes in anything. I promise you that is a lie and I share some of my things with you to hopefully help you think and to keep going on whatever YOUR journeys entail 😉  I am very grateful for this opportunity and can’t wait to share the outcomes with you!

 

The Future of Health and Fitness

I have such a love-hate relationship with how health and fitness has been going the past few years. I think it is ridiculously awesome that there are so many apps, gadgets and other scientific tools to help track, monitor and improve ourselves. Whether you are simply a busy exec trying to manage your stress levels to prevent a heart attack or aneurism :p, an athlete looking to improve performance, or just someone looking to look and feel optimal, there is officially an app for ALL of that! I think the only reason I hate this at all is simply because they can be darn pricey and can be hard to grasp for those less technically inclined.

Fit Bit– This is one of the currently most popular gadgets. There are different items that you can use to track and monitor your activity, sleep and eating behaviours. The most popular seems to be the wireless band and app download. The average price is $99.95 th

Healbe– This is a new and seemingly cool concept that was tweeted to me. It is still in the process of being fully launched so you can grab it before it really hits the market at $299.99. I am a little skeptical about this one as it’s FLOW technology seems a bit farfetched. You do need to know though that algorithms are not my forte so this just may be fully legit. I am not sure about paying that much without really knowing feedback but the concept is pretty cool. It says it measures calorie intake and output, hydration levels, stress, heart rate and sleep.

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Push – This is a device and app that I was introduced to. I have not yet had the privilege to fully experience it but I did get to mock trial it at their facility. This is a gadget geared towards lifting that measures reps, sets, tempo, power and so on. It seems to be one of the easier and definitely more accurate ways than many straight up apps you can download to your phone. You can currently pre-order it for $149 before it too hits the market.

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Polar– The Polar brand is one that I have used and trusted for a long ass time. I have typically gone for just the cheap-o basic model of HR measure as I did my own calculations. They have come out with some pretty cool features and no doubt to the validity and reliability of the applications and such as they have been doing this stuff for decades. You can now track the various training aspects related to heart rate and training zones, calories, training load and most importantly, recovery status (this is probably utilizing something along the lines of heart rate variability)

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There are hundreds of apps and gizmos out there and it can be so overwhelming. This is yet another reason that I both love-hate this (current) yet futuristic state of the health and fitness industry. I say just do a bit of your own research, ask around and find the best fun tool to help you with your goals. Be sure it has a warranty and technical support. Also be sure that it offers you just what you need and not too much as that can needlessly raise the price as well as your confusion.

Happy training ya’all and a woooooh 2 YOU!

PS If you want some help figuring out what is best for you hit me up below in the comments box 🙂

Butts and Guts Workout

Sometimes in order to get comfortable in your own skin, you have to first get really uncomfortable in your own skin! This is a (ahem) fun workout that you can do with a partner, no gym required. Things are always more fun with a buddy and you are doing each other a huge favour by helping one another to be healthy, fit and achieve your goals.

This workout can either be done on its own or as, what I like to call, a post lifting FUN-ISH TO FINISH (finishers schminishers lol) yeaaah these are the ish ;D

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This workout is designed to help shape your booty as well as your mind. Tap into that aggressor within and be gutsy in pushing yourself, each other. The first 2 rounds will serve as your warmup as you grease your grooves and get your muscles, nervous system and cardio warmed up. After that though, start bringing that A game 😉 45 seconds each exercise with 15 seconds to catch your breath or transition. 4-6 rounds with 60 seconds rest in between rounds.

Partner High-Five Power Squat Hops – facing each other, squat down and touch the ground than pop up into a jump squat and high five your partner. Squat and touch you right hand to your left foot, pop up and high five your right hand to your partners opposite hand. Switch sides and repeat for time.

Partner Pushup Punches – face each other in a pushup position. You both do a push up than as you come up, reach out to the opposite side and lightly punch your partner in the face (lol just kidding!) tap your partners hand.

Lateral Lunge to Crossover Smack – face each other with feet shoulder-width apart. You will both step to the side (lateral lunge) but in opposite directions. As you push off, come back to stand and high five (smack) your partners hand like tag teaming in wrestling lol and you immediately switch to lunge the other way. Repeat for time.

Jab-Cross Sprawl – face each other in a strong athletic stance. Partner 1 will hold their hands out front while partner 2 hits their hands with a 1-2 jab-cross combo than sprawls our (like a burpee without the pushup). As soon as partner 2 gets back to their feet, partner 2 holds out their hands while partner 1 hits the hands than the ground.

Leap Frogs to Inchworm to Pushup – just like when you were a kid, one person is curled on the ground while the other will (with wide legs) leap over. When the frog lands, he/she will inchworm walkout, perform a pushup, than be the ball on the ground for their partner.

Partner One-Legged Squats –I actually found a picture similar to what I want so here you go. Don’t try to go too deep or you may find too much strain on your knees. untitled

Boom and a Woooooh! There you go. A fun yet challenging addition to your days to bring you a sweet butt and test your guts.

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 (if you want to know exactly how to do these, a program or if you are are in the GTA and need that partner to push you, hit me up!)

Rooftop Fitness Party in Downtown Toronto

This morning brought out an exciting array of fellow fitness instructors, yogis, studio/gym owners and fitness enthusiasts to a party atop the Big Carrot . This fun filled, health promoting event was for the media launch of Tryfit.ca . Before I continue I would like to thank Jake for having me out. It was an exceptional way to start my day. I had to leave early to teach a class but the time I was there was awesome.

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Aside from the banging beats from the DJ, the snacks and spa water quenching my thirst for some awe-inspiring oh yeah-ness, every one there was so friendly. It is always great to see a community of like-minded positive people in one place.

The day was gorgeous (aka sunny and hot wooooh) and the rooftop venue made the mini-workout sessions that were a part of the event much more enjoyable. The ability to network and to share stories was also a highlight. While there was fun to be had, it was all very professional and well organized by all.

I love what Tryfit.ca is doing. There are so many great spots in Toronto and so many different styles, modalities and venues that it is a shame NOT to experience as many of them as you can. The fact that they are also helping to grow and promote good people trying to make a difference, makes me love this concept even more. By offering what they are, they are not only helping to grow the smaller businesses in the community, but they are also helping others to find their fit when it comes to fitness.

Thank you for what you do!

 

P.S. I am totally for hire for teaching classes, events, consulting, event coverage, writing…;) athletictraynor@gmail.com

My Protein Shake Brings All The Boys To The Yard

In case you haven’t gotten the gist of the title, it is a play on this:

…and in case you haven’t figured it out yet, protein rocks for a rocking figure. If you are a foxy lady trying to bring more sass while tightening up your ass, get some more protein in your diet…seriously. BUTT (lol see what I did there) you must also put in the work by lifting some weights or you can forget about really changing your body composition and shape.

How can protein help you feel better AND give you more game ladies? Well let me give you a quick 411 on some of this macronutrients macro superpowers (FYI macro means large, big, major).

  • Protein will help to rebuild and maintain the sculpted muscle you have been working on for shapeliness.
  • Protein will help you to have more balanced energy for the things you love to do, or have to do.
  • Protein can provide you with amino acids that help with mental health and focus.
  • Protein will help to keep you satiated which means less hunger pangs and less of a chance of overdosing on your calories.
  • Protein will help to give you strong and lustrous hair, skin and nails.

So what are some solid sources of protein you ask? There is a difference between animal sources and vegetarian sources where animal sources are always complete, only some vegetarian sources are.

  • Chicken, turkey, fish, ostrich, beef, eggs
  • Complete : Soy, tempeh Incomplete but complimentary: beans, nuts, seeds, legumes (complete means that the source provides all of the amino acids that make up a full protein. The incomplete yet complimentary mean that individually the source does not provide all of the amino acids to make a full protein but if you consume them together, you can get the complete range of aminos.)
  • Greek yogurt, cottage cheese, low fat cheeses (Allegro makes the lowest fat highest protein source I have found)
  • Powders like whey, casein, vegetarian versions with things like pea and hemp combos

How much protein should you get in a day?

This is very individual but an idea would be between 1-2g/kg depending on how much you train and the types of activities, how YOU respond to a higher protein diet, as well as what your goal is at the time.

If you want have more energy, look better (yes we ALL do so enough already), and even perform better at school, work, sport, sex…up the ante by upping your protein.

 

Mind Muscle Connection

It is a given that in order to reshape your body and change your body composition, you must put on some lean muscle. This can mean different amounts to different people but having a good foundation of muscle will help with adding shape, the repartitioning of nutrients for fat loss, energy and health, as well as preventing injury, making you stronger, and helping “tighten up” your body.images

There are many different styles of resistance training out there. None of them are flat out wrong per se, but very often there is a major factor missing that will hold you back regardless of the method. This factor is the mind to muscle connection, the ability to actually create tension in the muscles.

Truly concentrating on creating tension aka putting stress on the muscles you are working, be it in lifting weights or with calisthenics, you will facilitate greater strength, movement ability and a better level of body composition due to the awesome muscle you can build with focus. This mind to muscle connection prevents you from just going through the motions and putting all of the stress on your nervous system or joints

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From learning how to properly brace, to being able to put actual tension on your muscles instead of using momentum, it takes a lot of practice, focus and intention. This particular practice is so often ignored but is one of the most important for preventing injuries as well as for developing a body that is healthy, lean, athletic, agile and functional. You must also realize the importance of being in that moment and focusing on your goal instead of just checking out the hotties in the gym 😉

Our minds are our most powerful weapons when it comes to our bodies. They must work together to be optimal. To simply focus on dieting, cardio, circuits and throwing weights, is shortchanging yourself from being your best. The ability to focus and work with intent should first be the goal as it will make the more superficial things like losing fat, building a booty, become that much simpler. Control your mind and you can control your body.