Life is Great

What Will You Look Like on June 1st?

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Just for a minute consider something…

Consider who you want to be on June 1st.

If you were at the very top of your health and well-being, what would you feel like? What would your family members and friends say about you? How much energy would you have?

So fast-forward and paint yourself a picture: What do you look like on June 8th?

That’s what the Whole Life Challenge will do for you when you join my team and make a commitment to replace a few bad habits with good habits. You can learn more about it here.

Once you’ve checked it out, you can join my team here: http://www.whole.lc/wlc1904/t/k2-fitness-performance/join

For six weeks, starting on April 13th and ending on June 1st, we’ll work on all the areas of our well-being—like nutrition, mobility, and exercise, for starters.

The Whole Life Challenge is basically a game that challenges us to “try on” a whole life of health and fitness for six weeks. As a team, we can win points and lose points (hopefully we’ll win more than we lose). And the prize is … Well, it’s who you are on June 1st.

I hope you’ll watch the videos and join my team. In fact, I WANT you on my team!

Watch the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xbicemIo-Sk

To join my team: K2 Fitness & Performance

Our Team’s name: K2 Fitness & Performance

The Eating Rules

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eating rulesBurn More Calories than you consume.  I WISH IT WAS THAT SIMPLE!

Though scientifically true, this rule is usually a recipe for disaster; it is a simple way for dieticians and doctors to tell overweight, lazy people that they must start exercising, or simply get off their butt and start moving.
“If you want to lose weight, you must create a calorie deficit,(i.e. burn more calories than you take in.),   However, when you burn more calories than you take in – where does your body go to get the extra energy it needs? It takes it from body tissue…both fat and muscle.  Body fat is nothing more than a layer of energy that your body is storing.  We need to tap into the layer of energy that is lying on top of your metabolic engine.  

Dieting without exercise will always slow down your metabolism

The following are some basic rules that help most of live and healthier life.

1)       Eat protein with every meal.  Everyone has their opinion on how much, but as close to 1 gram of protein per pound of bodyweight divided equally amongst your daily meals. So if you weigh 150 lbs, you should eat 25 grams of protein with each meal. 25 x 6 = 150. Protein will control your insulin levels, which effects fat storage and energy.

2)       Eat every 3 – 4 hours. Cutting calories can raise your levels of the stress-related hormone cortisol, which can increase belly fat storage. Calorie restriction leads to metabolic adaptations which are responsible for 99% of weight-loss plateaus. Eating the right foods on a timely basis will keep your body burning.

3)       Eat within an hour after you exercise. Eating a combined protein and carbohydrate meal with 90 minutes after exercise nearly doubles the insulin response, which results in more stored glycogen. This translates to better recovery and more energy.

4)       Drink water.  Drinking plenty of water has particular benefits for your midsection. It helps keep your stomach full so you don’t overeat, and it helps flush out excess sodium to prevent belly bloating. (Eating more potassium-rich foods, such as tomatoes and bananas, will also help in this area.)

The following 2 are not rules, But great ideas to implement.

5)       No carbs 1 or 2 days a week.  Carb cycling is a trick bodybuilder’s use to keep their bodies guessing.

6)       Cheat Day is HUGE.  Eat whatever you want 1 Day a week.  This is important because it has been proven to help people stick to a healthier eating routine.  Plus deprivation sucks!!!  Your diet isn’t what you eat sometimes, it is what you choose to eat to help you thrive.  

What should I eat?  Whole Foods!

Paleo, South Beach, Atkins, Beach Body, etc all proclaim ONE SIMPLE TRUTH!  Whole foods are what you should be eating!

So what are whole foods? We live in a society that eats so much processed and manufactured food that I think there’s some genuine confusion about what qualifies as a whole food. Whole foods are food in its natural state; You’re getting it intact, with all of the fiber, vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients that are in the food.

Basically, it’s the healthy whole food, rather than the bits that remain after refinement and processing. Eating healthy whole foods has all sorts of benefits.  Their nutrients may help to keep your immune system strong and protect you from disease including

  • cardiovascular disease
  • many types of cancer
  • type 2 diabetes

They also contain phytochemicals, the general name for natural compounds in plants.   They help in different ways.  Some are antioxidants, which protect cells against damage.  Examples of antioxidant phytochemicals are flavonoids, carotenoids, and lycopene. Usually, the term whole foods is confined to vegetables, fruits, and grains.  But any dietitian will agree that eating a skinless chicken breast is preferable to eating processed chicken nuggets.

The Synergy of Healthy Whole Foods

One of the biggest advantages of eating whole foods is that you’re getting the natural synergy of all of these nutrients together. We know that when they’re eaten in food, they have all sorts of health benefits. There’s another thing.  We simply don’t know all of the nutrients in a food that make it healthy. Nutrition science is always discovering new components of foods, things that we didn’t know are there.  Many of them are not even available in supplement form.

Avoiding Additives in Food

The nutrients lost during refinement are not the only disadvantage of eating processed foods.  What’s added can also be a problem. A lot of health conscious people are wary of the preservatives and chemicals that are added to processed and manufactured foods.  These foods are loaded with salt, sugar, and saturated and trans fats. With all of the extra fat and sugar in processed foods, the calories can quickly add up and lead to weight gain.  But eating more healthy whole foods may actually help you lose weight.  The natural fiber in many vegetables, fruits, and grains may fill you up without adding many calories.

The Cost of Whole Foods

There’s another bonus to eating healthy whole foods.  Although the name may now be synonymous with that fancy grocery store, whole foods are much cheaper than processed foods.  They’re also available everywhere. A bag of healthy brown rice is going to be cheaper than a fancy prepackaged rice mix. The other key to a healthy diet is variety.  Don’t get caught up in nutritional details and just eat a wide variety of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.  Not only is it simple, but it’s the best way to be sure you’re getting all the nutrients you need.

YOU MUST EAT AFTER TRAINING!!!!!!

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You’ve just finished an intense training session.  Do you know what—and when—you need to eat in order to maximize your results? Than focus, learn and listen!

Yes, things have changed a bit over the past decade.  As the population grows fatter, more research has shown that eating as soon as possible pays off HUGE dividends. (I know you NJ people know about dividends).

First, a quick run-down of the science behind eating for recovery, then a word about fluids, and finally, we get into the timing of your post workout eating, the types of foods that work the best, and some of the guiding principles to keep in mind. Let’s go!

WHAT’S THE POINT OF EATING AFTER EXERCISE?

It’s all about two things: recovery and storage. You need to recover the losses you undertook during the exercise, and your body is simply better at storing that recovery fuel right after your workout. Sure, you can eat later—but the benefits won’t be as good.

Your muscles need carbohydrate and fluid to replace glycogen and water losses during the exercise. The muscles store more glycogen immediately after exercise than they do later.” The quicker your muscles recover, the sooner they will be ready to “perform’ for your again.

You want to stick to carbs and protein. Why, exactly? Becuase protein provides the amino acids necessary to rebuild muscle tissue that is damaged during intense, prolonged exercise. It can also increase the absorption of water from the intestines and improve muscle hydration. The amino acids in protein can also stimulate the immune system, making you more resistant to colds and other infections.

While you might find some advice that suggests carbs will serve you fine on their own, most studies find that athletes who refueled with carbohydrate and protein had 100 percent greater muscle glycogen stores than those who only ate carbohydrate. Insulin was also highest in those who consumed a carbohydrate and protein drink.” The magic ratio seems to be 4:1—for every four grams of carbs, you should have one gram of protein.

IMPORTANT POINT.  Eating post-workout is most important for those who workout nearly every day—and hopefully that’s you.  To make gains, whether it be strength, lean muscle, speed, flexibility, etc, you need your muscle to recover ASAP.

But if you only exercise 2 -3 times per week, you don’t need to worry as much about post-exercise foods because your body will have enough time between workouts to recover.  You should probably focus on healthier proteins and veggies, so you don’t put on extra fat.

THE RE-HYDRATION ESSENTIALS.

Let’s keep it simple.  Re-Hydration is always your #1 priority, especially if you’ve gone for a run and haven’t had access to any water during it.

For you OCD-ers, Science says weigh yourself pre- and post-workout, and use the difference to replace fluid losses. For example, drink 16 fl oz of water for every 1 lb lost. .

WHEN TO EAT.

Do we need to eat right away? You might say no, not exactly—you probably want to get some fluids into you, towel off, get changed, take a quick shower—whatever your normal post-workout routine is.

However, those first 15 minutes are crucial! The enzymes that help the body resynthesize muscle glycogen are really most active in that first 15 minutes. The longer we wait to eat something, the longer it takes to recover.

If you can’t get to some proper food within those first 15 minutes, make sure you get something in your stomach within an hour, maximum, post-workout. You won’t get much increased storage at all if you wait longer than that.

WHAT TO EAT—WITH REAL SUGGESTIONS.

Ah, and now the crucial question, where we move away from talk of abstract carbohydrates and protein, and into actual suggestions for the kind of things you should scarf down post-workout.

The simple solution may be a post workout drink.  3:1 combo of carbohydrate and protein is perfect and shakes are easier to digest than real foods and make it easier to get the right ratio. If you can’t make one at home, most of the 24 hour convenience stores carry them.

Columbia University comes at us with some real food suggestions: “eat a few slices of turkey on a wheat bagel, or have a large glass of protein fortified milk. The most important nutritional strategy post workout, though, is fluid replacement. Drink water, juice, or carbohydrate rich sports drinks to replace what you sweat out.” All good advice, although be careful of sports drinks that function more as sugar-delivery systems than workout tools.

Make sure you don’t use your post-workout eating as a chance to load up on too much sugar, or things you might not eat if you hadn’t worked out. And avoid fats for the same reason you avoided them before you exercised: they’re too hard for your stomach to digest after all that work.

Also, avoid falling into the trap of becoming reliant on sports food supplements, believing this to be the only and/or best way to meet your recovery goals. This often results in our athletes “doubling up” with their recovery, consuming a sports food supplement that meets certain recovery goals, e.g. liquid meal supplement, then following this up soon afterwards with a meal that would help them meet the same recovery goal, e.g. bowl of cereal with fresh fruit.

Unless constrained by poor availability or lack of time, we are best advised to favor real food/fluid options that allow ussto meet recovery and other dietary goals simultaneously.  This is especially important for athletes on a low energy budget. Top advice.

THE FINAL BITS OF ADVICE.

Eating after exercise takes some time to get used to. Remember that if you’re working out just 2-3 times a week, it’s not as critically important to concentrate on your post-workout recovery. But if you’re working out nearly every day—it’s essential.  If you are trying to gain muscle-it’s more than essential.

And don’t think of your post-workout food as a proper meal: the portion sizes should never get that big. Keep it small -a fist-sized quantity. Low-fat chocolate milk works very well. The goal is not a post-exercise meal. It’s really a post-exercise appetizer to help the body recover as quickly as it can.” That’s a strange-but-perfect way to think about it: a post-exercise appetizer.

Keep these general principles in mind, eat clean and healthy above all, and you’ll be recovering from K2’s workouts in no time. Well, maybe not in no time…

Calories In vs. Calories Out

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Calories In = Calories Out. 

Yes this is a myth!!  At least for most of you…..AND ESPECIALLY IF YOU ARE AN ATHLETE!

We are always told by our doctors and dieticians that calories in = calories out.  Yes this is a simple way to tell an overweight person to put down the Twinkies and go for a walk, but it can also be a recipe for disaster.

When our clients would follow everything we said based on this theory and nothing would happen, and even sometimes their weight went up, us trainers thought they were cheating with either their food intake or cardio program. This probably made them feel even worse than they already did and on top of that we were just as frustrated as they were. As trainers all we really want to do is to help our clients reach their goals.

Being a Certified Nutritionist I now know this theory is not sound and should be thrown way when it comes to losing weight. By now everyone seems to know not all food is created equal when we compare 2000 calories a day of Pepsi and donuts vs. 2000 calories a day of meat and vegetables. Most of us trying to lose weight understand that one pound equals 3,500 calories, but is it as simple as consuming 500 fewer calories a day to lose one pound of weight per week? I beg to differ.

When trying to lose weight and creating a healthy body it’s much more than calories in vs calories out. When I take clients on for weight loss, I approach it in way that educates on creating a healthy body, not just about weight loss. Weight loss should be a byproduct of having a healthy body and feeding it the right fuel.

Here’s a few questions you need to ask yourself for becoming healthy.

  • How is stress level?
  • How do you sleep?
  • Are you eating enough protein?  Water?
  • Are you eating specifically for your Metabolic Type?
  • What’s your exercise routine? Are you exercising too much?

The truth is food can be a medicine or it can be a poison.  Sometimes food that you think are a healthy good source of protein, but can be creating inflammation in your body, causing stress and releasing cortisol, which promotes weight gain.

So, make sure you do your research and choose foods that make you feel great and give you tons of energy.

Why Olympic Lifts

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Why Olympic Lift?
By Wil Fleming
There is a large portion of coaches that don’t think Olympic lifting has any benefits whatsoever. These coaches believe that the benefits of Olympic lifting is over blown, inflated and doesn’t really pertain to athletes. They cite the time it takes to teach athletes the lifts (too long they say), and they cite risk vs. reward (they say the risk is too great for too little reward). This post is not for those coaches, if you are one of those coaches, then I applaud you for creating more explosive, faster and more dominant athletes while not using Olympic lifts. This post is for the coaches that are doing the Olympic lifts or on the fence about these lifts, that need more ammunition when discussing their programs or want a final piece of the puzzle to commit to training their athletes with these lifts.

Type II muscle development

Type II (Fast twitch) muscle fiber is the golden currency for successful athletes. Greater type II muscle makes athletes more explosive, and faster. Type II muscle fibers are part of high threshold motor units and only react to high output activities, so curls with the 25 lbs dumbbells are not going to cut it. Olympic lifts are high power movements and recruit type II muscle for activation, the more explosive movement is used the more preferentially these units will be recruited. There are movements that replicate the power output of Olympic lifts, but don’t hit on all the other great parts of Olympic lifts.

Improved coordination

The Olympic lifts are a great display of coordination and motor skill for all athletes. There is a precise control of the body that is necessary to complete these lifts. While this coordination is not identical to that required by any other sport nothing else in the weightroom is an identical match to sporting events either. This coordination does center around the hips and legs, similar to many other sporting events.

Improved power characteristics

The completion of the Olympic lifts includes full extension of the hips and knees in an explosive manner. This improvement has great carryover to hip and knee extension power in other areas of athletics. Athletes that are trained extensively in the Olympic lifts show improved rates of force development which greatly improves their power creating ability.

Improved force absorption

Often overlooked, receiving the bar overhead or at the chest requires the athlete to absorb force. This is the piece of the puzzle that can really make the Olympic lifts something that keeps athletes healthier. Most displays of power in the field of play must have a corresponding need to absorb force upon landing, Olympic lifts above other displays of power in the gym can provide this.

Success elsewhere

There are some athletes with whom I do not use the Olympic lifts. Those athletes that have a history of back pain or back injuries would be first among them. For younger athletes (12-14) I teach the Olympic lifts only as a skill, something to be improved upon by repetition not by weight used. For other athletes that are able, the Olympic lifts can serve a great role

Boost your metabolism all Day

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Boost Your Metabolism all Day!!

Upside down at K2

When you want to create a lean, firm body, the best way to accomplish it is with an effective workout program and a healthy eating plan. But that’s not the end of the story . . . . Because no matter how much you’re putting into your exercise sessions, practicing a range of healthy habits the rest of the time can give your metabolism an even bigger kick.

 

So here’s a full day’s worth of metabolism boosters. Any one of them may have a relatively minor effect, but when put together, they’re bound to help your body burn fat more efficiently. Add these tips to your weight loss arsenal, and you’ll get the results you want as quickly as possible.

Morning

  1. Get some sun. A little outdoor time in the morning can help you slim down in three ways. First, bright light helps regulate your body clock, so you’ll be more energetic during the day and sleep better at night. Second, during the winter months, sunshine helps ward off SAD (seasonal affective disorder), a condition that can lead to uncontrolled food cravings. And third, sunlight on your skin increases your levels of vitamin D, which are associated with a higher metabolism and a lower risk of obesity. (While sunscreen cuts down on your natural vitamin D production, experts warn that you shouldn’t spend much time outside without it. You can also get more D by taking multivitamins, drinking fortified milk, and eating fatty fish.)

 

  1. Eat a good breakfast. Research has shown that a filling breakfast that includes both lean protein and complex carbohydrates helps you burn fat all day (and keeps you satisfied longer, too). In a study presented to the Endocrine Society, dieters who ate hearty breakfasts stuck to their food plans and ended up losing more weight than those who didn’t, despite the fact that their daily caloric intake was actually slightly higher.
  2. And add some grapefruit. There’s a reason grapefruit diets have never gone out of fashion. In a recent study in the journal Diabetes, mice on a high-fat diet that were given naringenin—a flavonoid chemical that gives grapefruit its slightly bitter taste—didn’t gain weight, while others on the same diet did. And a study conducted at the Nutrition and Metabolic Research Center at Scripps Clinic found that half a grapefruit before each meal helped obese people drop more than 3 pounds over 12 weeks. (Consult your doctor if you’re taking any medications—large amounts of grapefruit can change the way they’re metabolized by your body.)
  3. Have a hot beverage. As you’ve surely heard by now, regular consumption of green or oolong tea can raise your metabolism by as much as 5 percent. But plain old java gives your fat-burning ability a boost too. Green coffee beans have been found to boost your metabolism through the combination of caffeine and something called chlorogenic acid. While roasting lowers the amount of this chemical, according to the Coffee Science Information Centre, a light roast retains more than a dark roast.

Whatever you drink, don’t overdo it, and keep the additives to a minimum—the calories in cream and sugar, or a coffeehouse latte, can far outweigh any fat-burning benefits.

Midday

  1. Take the stairs. Your daily workout will do more than anything else to burn fat and build lean muscle. But that doesn’t mean you should be a slug the rest of the time. A highly publicized British study found that kids who were very active during physical education classes were that much less active throughout the day, which suggests that you may need to make a conscious effort to move your body when you’re not working out, including taking such simple steps as walking everywhere you can and using stairs rather than elevators. Even relatively brief periods of exercise will help keep your metabolism revving at a higher level.
  2. Snack on nuts. All nuts (including peanuts, which aren’t technically nuts, but whatever) are fairly high in calories, but they’re also full of nutrients, especially protein and healthful fats. In a study at Purdue University, when people added 500 calories of peanuts to their daily diets, they ate less during meals and increased their resting metabolic rates by 11 percent. You don’t need to eat so many, though. Just an ounce at a time will go a long way toward boosting your metabolism and keeping you satisfied.
  3. Shop in the outer aisles of the grocery store. Most supermarkets are laid out in similar ways: produce, meats, fish, dairy products, and other fresh, whole foods are along the outside edges, while processed, boxed, and canned foods are in the inner aisles. Shop on the perimeter first, and you’ll end up with nutritious ingredients that will fuel your muscles while keeping you full—and because they’re higher in fiber and protein and lower in starch, you can eat more of them and still lose weight.
  4. Take time to relax. Stress can take a toll on your metabolism. When scientists at Georgetown University fed two groups of mice a high-fat, high-sugar diet, the ones under stress gained more than twice as much weight as the low-stress group. If your job (or any other part of your life) leaves you feeling like a mouse in a cage, try to find ways of cutting down on stress. At some point during the day, take a break for meditation, yoga, or just sitting in a peaceful place and thinking about something pleasant.

Nighttime

  1. Watch your eating. If you’re like most people, your activity level slows down at night, and so does your metabolism. And yet there’s also a tendency to eat a lot at this time, either by having a big dinner or snacking in front of the TV, or both. If you’re overeating due to stress or boredom, the evening is a good time to concentrate on healthful dietary habits.
  2. Hold the hooch. Your body loves alcohol—so much so, in fact, that it’ll burn its byproducts as fuel before anything else. That means that while you’re processing alcohol, you’re not burning fat. Of course, alcoholic beverages also have calories, virtually none of which are good for anything other than helping you gain weight.
  3. Turn off your screens. At least 2 hours before bedtime, dim the lights, put away your computer, and turn off your video games. Bright lights, including those from computer screens, can interfere with your body’s production of melatonin, an antioxidant hormone that builds up in the evening and helps you sleep. Research has shown that higher levels of melatonin are associated with lower levels of body fat.
  4. Catch your z’s. While you’re asleep, your body is hard at work producing hormones responsible for weight loss, muscle gain, and glucose metabolism. Studies have found that consistently getting less than the optimal 8 or so hours per night leads to a lower metabolism and a higher body mass. If you find yourself getting sleepy during the day, going to bed just an hour earlier could make a significant difference in your waistline.

Is A.M. The Best Time To Exercise?

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A.M. is the best time to exercise?

By Kevin Haag, Fitness Consultant

 

When is the best time to exercise? Whenever you can make time to exercise is the best time. For some people, it’s nearly impossible to find the time to exercise at all, and for others there’s no way they can break a sweat until the evening. But if a.m. exercise may be an option, I’ve got five reasons why working out in the morning is best.

It’s a fact that burning 500 calories at6 a.m.is no different from burning the same amount at6 p.m.So what difference does it make what time you choose to do your workout?

For you night owls out there, working out in the evening may be the best thing for you, but for the majority of people looking to get in shape, the morning looks a lot brighter for making true gains in your fitness and weight loss goals.

Why? Well, for these sensible reasons:

 

Consistency

As the day goes on you get busier and busier and your schedule can easily change, leaving you no time for exercise. How many times has that happened to you? Probably more often that not.

Get your workout out of the way by doing it first thing in the morning and you can be flexible to any changes that may pop up during your day. This way, you’ll have no excuses for not exercising, because you’ve already done it before your day got hectic. This means you’re more likely to exercise every day, helping you to be consistent with your workouts for lasting results.

Metabolism Boost
Start your day out right and you’ll reap the benefits all day long. Morning exercise will rev up your metabolism, helping you to burn more calories all throughout the day.

Ever notice that after you work out for awhile you actually feel like you have more energy than when you were taking it easy?

That’s because your metabolism kicks in and feeds your body a consistent stream of energy all day long. You would be burning more calories while reading this if you had only worked out this morning.

Healthy Routine

Your body craves routine! Waking up at the same time every day to get your workout in helps your body to regulate many different functions for optimal performance all day long. It’s known as your circadian clock, and everyone has one.

This “clock” is really the routine that your body is set to. It takes time and practice to change this internal clock, so don’t expect to be waking up cheery at first if you’re trying to wake up earlier to exercise.

As you get up earlier on a consistent basis, your body will adapt and you’ll find that it’s not as difficult to wake up at5:30 a.m.as you thought it would be. In fact, you’ll probably end up waking up at the same time every morning without an alarm clock.

Research has also shown that your body is better able to prepare for the day ahead when your sleeping routine is consistent.

Smarten Up!
Have an important meeting with the boss today? A big, scary test at school today? Exercising in the morning gets the blood flowing to your brain, circulating precious nutrients and oxygen-rich blood to your various organs. More oxygen to your brain gives you a mental boost, helping you to stay focused all day long.

Don’t let morning fog stop you from getting that promotion, or getting an A on that test. Get up, get moving and get what you want out of your day

 

You Will Look Great and Feel AWESOME!
Your body will thank you, and so will your mirror. Exercise is not only healthy for your heart; it’s also great for an ego-boost. With consistent exercise you will shed unwanted pounds that have plagued you for years, giving you a new outlook on life.

And what better way to start your day than knowing you’re doing your body good?

What’s Your Fitness Style?

Some people find it easy to set the alarm clock for4:30 a.m.and jump out of bed for a five-mile run, while others hit the snooze button so many times that the chance of a morning workout becomes obsolete. There are specific aspects of your personality that determine what kind of exerciser you are, so if you’ve found yourself in a fitness rut it’s time to put your unique interests back into the equation.

Kevin Haag is a Fitness Trainer and Consultant with the K2Performance Team, and is the founder of Summit Fitness Adventure Boot Camps. You can reach Kevin at 908-803-8019 or http://www.LiveK2.com