Category Archives: Fitness

5 Pillars of Reaching Your Fitness Goals

Reaching fitness goals can be challenging for anyone. If you want to achieve peak fitness and life-long health you must set and obtain fitness goals. But, how do we do this? Through understanding, focus, and commitment you can reach your goals.

The 5 pillars of Reaching Fitness Goals will provide the foundation to get you there. The 1st Pillar is the set your Ultimate Fitness Goal Mindset. In order to do this you need to find a fitness goal and set out a program to achieve it.

Pillar 1: Setting your Fitness Mindset

Set your goal. Then, find a workout program and diet program to fit your individual needs. Excellent! Now all we have to do is get motivated and in the proper mindset to start training towards our goals.

Pillar 2: Form Workout and Nutrition Habits

So you’ve set a Fitness Goal, and you’ve set your fitness mindset. Now what? Just like most things in life, we need to form a habit to accomplish our goals. The basic idea of habits is the same for everything, both personal and fitness related.

Patience! When you set your goals they may take longer than expected. Most people feel like they’re not making the kind of progress they want, so they think they don’t have enough self discipline. That’s not true. We all have plenty of discipline but the problem lies in the fact that we are often disciplined to habits that are not in line with our goals. We need to form meaningful habits that align with our workout and nutrition goals – this is Pillar 2.

The key to achieving fitness success is to form these new habits. New habits that are in line with where we want to go, the things that we want to achieve, the goals that we want to reach. How do we do this? There is a specific formula to form habits, which can be implemented in all parts of our lives. All it takes is 21 days.

Habit Forming Basics

The way you form a new habit is by doing it and tracking it for 21 days straight. It takes at least 21 days to reform the pathways in our brain and the muscle memory that is involved in making these habits part of the daily routine. If you can do it for 21 days straight, you’ll find that you no longer have to think about it very hard, because it’s now a habit.

Start with one habit at a time and build from there. For instance, your first habit might be to workout 5 days per week. Then, after these 21 days of implementing that habit, start the next habit of eating a healthy diet. Don’t try to force too many changes too quickly.

Pillar 3: Eat Like an Athlete

Water!

Water is so important it should almost be a Pillar on its own. Just remember, if you feel thirsty, you’re dehydrated. Don’t wait until you’re thirsty to start hydrating! As little as a 1% loss of water can translate to an increase in core temperature during exercise, and reduced performance. A 3-5% loss of water can put serious strain on the cardiovascular system and impair the ability of the body to dissipate heat, resulting in heat stroke. When the body loses 7%, the result is most likely unconsciousness.

Make sure you drink at least 8 cups of pure water per day. You can drink other things, but make sure that at a minimum you consume your 8 glasses of water. Also, don’t drink it all at once. Sip water all day.

If you drink it all at once, you could actually get dehydrated even more. Your body will release diuretic hormones to excrete as much of the excess water as possible. Hypernatremia is the condition of drinking an extremely large amount of water in a short amount of time. It is important to know about this condition so you don’t overload you’re body with water.

Another thing to avoid is drinking large amounts of water with your meals. A large amount of water with meals will reduce the processing ability of your digestive system. Give your body 15 minutes before and 30-60 minutes after the meal before you start drinking water normally.

Balanced and Nutritious!

Athletes require higher quantities of vitamins, protein, and carbohydrates. Eat whole, organic foods to achieve the most nutrition possible from what you consume. Also, take daily supplements. You should strive to eat whole foods and a clean diet. The amount of calories the supplements you consume will vary depending on your particular fitness goal and your amount and length of workouts.

Protein Power!

It may seem like protein is just another form of energy, but it’s not. The muscle mass you build will largely depend on whether you’re doing physical training like lifting weights. And any excess protein that isn’t broken down by the body and used as an energy source. Make sure you eat protein at all meals, which can include meats, eggs, soy, or other options such as cheese and milk.

You need to increase your protein intake to one gram per pound of body weight to preserve your calorie-burning, muscle mass. Eating protein triggers muscle growth. In fact, every time you eat at least 10 to 15 grams of protein, you trigger a burst of protein synthesis. When you eat at least 30 grams, that period of synthesis lasts about three hours-and that means even more muscle growth.

Protein has a different relationship with your digestive system than other food, and protein doesn’t cause spikes in blood sugar like carbohydrates do. With a smaller effect on your blood sugar comes a smaller crash, which means sustainable energy throughout the day and fewer cravings. Protein can keep you fuller for longer, too.

Build these three items into your fitness habits – – Drink plenty of water, eat balanced and nutritious, and make sure you’re getting enough protein. That’s Pillar 3.

Pillar 4: Make Adjustments to your Fitness Program

Do you want to make the BIGGEST fitness gains in your life? The easiest way to do this is by working hard and Making Adjustment to your Fitness Program – Pillar 4. What do I mean? We need to mix up our workouts and keep our bodies guessing. We need to keep things fun and interesting. Don’t always do the exact same workout routine! If you always do the same exercises, in the exact same order, you’ll start to plateau in your fitness program. So, here’s how we make adjustments:

Try a different type of workout:

• Boxing
• Crossfit
• Kettlebells
• Rowing
• Swimming
• Rock Climbing

Mix up your routines

If you always do cardio first, then lift weight, reverse the order. Make sure you warm-up properly, but reversing the order will allow you to be more energetic, stronger for your lifting routine. If you always do flat bench press, try using dumbbells instead. These simple tweaks to your routines will push you to the next level. Revamp your workout today!

Rest when you need it

If you need to throttle back or take a day off, do it. You’re never going to make big gains if you don’t rest. Just remember, being lazy and needing a rest day are two different things. Don’t take a day off just because you’re feeling lazy – get off the coach, put on your favorite high-energy music, and get motivated!

Pillar 5: Reward, Rest, and Repeat

You’ve just finished a phase of your training or you’ve completed a fitness goal. You deserve a reward. Setting and achieving ultimate fitness goals takes time and effort. One thing that’s important for you is taking time to reward yourself throughout your training. And, especially at the end you should reward yourself. Rewarding and resting is the key to your 5th pillar – Reward, Rest, and Repeat. Here are some Reward Ideas:

• Take a Vacation
• Go to the Spa
• Read a Great Book
• Go on a Hiking Trip

REST

Do you have trouble getting enough rest at night? If you’re working out and striving towards your fitness goal, rest is critical in your program. Rest increases performance because your body is able to repair itself and recharge its batteries. Without at least 7 hours of sleep per night, your progress will be slower and achieving your fitness goals will be harder. There are some easy things that help me sleep at night – try them and start sleeping better today!

• Establish a sleeping Routine
• Turn off the Television
• Use a Sleep Machine
• Keep your room below 74 Degrees F (23 C)
• Use Aromatherapy Products – Lavender, Chamomile, Sandalwood
• Take ZMA

These simple things will increase your sleep and they will increase your performance. These tips are the 5th pillar – Reward, Rest, and Repeat. Now it’s time to Rest and pick your next Ultimate Fitness Goal.

Tips For Getting Fitness at Home

A person is said to be physically fit if he or she is physically sound, healthy and he or she has the ability to perform physical activities well. Nowadays more than 60 % of people say that they don’t have enough time to running for an hour or hit the gym. But all these people want to be fit and get into better shape.

No doubt people all over the world are more and more health conscious, but most of them don’t know how actually complete fitness can be achieved. Although one can prepare his / her personal fitness plan provided some important tips and precautions have been taken into consideration, otherwise it can cause adverse effects.

Online books and videos about fitness training can be helpful to some extent but has the drawback of non confirmation that you are adopting them correctly.

If you can not visit gyms or health clubs and also are not able to make up your mind to rely upon books or videos, then the best option for you could be hiring a personal trainer for few days. Personal training sessions are very popular these days among people who want a focused fitness program designed for their individual needs and implementing it in the right direction at their own place.

You may hire a certified and professional personal fitness coach who can provide you fitness training sessions with a well organized fitness plan as per your age, sex, medical condition and your daily works schedule at your home or office.

Benefits of hiring a Personal Fitness Coach:

Diet plan – Personal fitness coach prepare daily diet plan in which he / she decides that what are your calorie requirements and how can you get it perfectly. Fitness trainer know very well that according to trainee’s age, height, weight and medical condition what calories requires to get high fitness results.

Fitness training sessions – On the basis of trainee’s age, sex, weight, height and medical condition fitness instructor prepares the physical exercise session plan in which he or she decides what type of exercise is required for trainee and which exercise a trainee should do first and for how many times. Fitness coach divides the whole fitness programs in different small sessions and set the priorities and time of exercise according to particular fitness trainee. This training program you can further continue by yourself at your home.

Exercise Equipments– Personal fitness trainer generally bring fitness equipments needed for exercising and also can guide you what kind of equipments you should use to carry on with your fitness program.

Physical and Mental fitness– Perfect physical fitness is directly correlated to mental fitness. A certified fitness trainer trains you to develop a positive attitude and motivates you for exercising so that you lead a healthy life.

Fitness Training Programs

Physical fitness is the state of the human body when it is in perfect health. Being fit is very important to stay alert both physically and mentally and also to ward off certain diseases that attack as the body ages. Fitness programs are schedules that allow a person to incorporate exercise into their daily routine. There may be many reasons for taking up a fitness program: to gain strength, to lose weight, to lose body fat, to fight certain disabilities, or just to become more fit.

Fitness training is for making the body stronger and fitter. There are many kinds of fitness training programs: cardiovascular training, strength training, flexibility training, nutrition, and weight management. All these can be incorporated into a single fitness program for having a healthy body weight, improved level of strength, improved co-ordination and a resilient body. Each of these depends on the kind of body we have and it’s potential. There is no ideal fitness training program. They are normally custom designed as per individual requirements and capabilities.

Fitness training increases metabolism, strength, flexibility and muscle tone, as well as decreasing stress levels in the body. There are also sports-specific fitness training programs like soccer fitness training, football fitness training, swimming fitness training, golf fitness training and so on. There are also fitness training programs for kids.

A fitness trainer should be able to design the right kind of fitness program. It should cover all relevant aspects like: strength, flexibility, aerobic and anaerobic endurance, agility, and speed. These days, there are many professional fitness training centers that have sophisticated equipment to suit all kinds of people and their fitness needs. These centers have professional and medical specialists who would be able to offer advice about the best kind of fitness program. They provide customized workout routines, nutrition plans, personal trainers, and expert guidance to make the results last.

Reasons For a Fitness Trainer While Saving Money

Many Americans today think that having their very own in home fitness trainer is a luxury for those only that are rich and famous. We all know that celebrities like Oprah and Madonna have a fitness trainer yet we rarely stop to think how affordable in home fitness training really is or that we too can have a great trainer that will get exceptional results. We succumb to the idea that a workout DVD or a fitness book will whip us into shape while patting ourselves on the back for the money we think we saved, but our fitness goals never are reached and the book simply is added to the shelf. Worse yet, we may have spent several thousand dollars on a treadmill that we never use except for hanging clothes when we run out of hanger space. The key component we miss is that hiring an in home fitness trainer with the right company will actually save us money and obtain measurable results.

These 5 key components will get you results, teach you how to work out, and eat right while saving thousands of dollars over the course of a year. An in home fitness trainer with some large companies can cost as little as $35.99 per session.

1. An in home fitness trainer comes to you, at your home, and on your time. For one price, they bring the equipment while providing you with an outstanding one-hour workout. By hiring an in home personal trainer, you forego the expensive one year contract of a monthly gym membership, the initial enrollment fee, and the added expense of hiring their on-site trainer. Most people think that it would be less expensive to join a local health club, but in reality, it is actually more expensive. Just think 10 sessions with an in home fitness trainer at a discounted price could be as low as a mere $35.99 per session. Memberships at some of the well-known national gym chains can run a new member a gigantic $299 enrollment fee plus $45 per month on a one-year contract for a total of $839. Most of all, this is without the cost of having a fitness trainer to meet your goals. If you factor that in as well at $65 per session for 10 sessions, you end up paying a whopping $1489.00. For that price, you could have an in home fitness trainer for 37 sessions.

2. By having an in home fitness trainer, you do not need to spend money on equipment that generally does not work. A lot of us watch those shopping channels on TV to order the latest craze equipment that we expect to get us fit and it simply sits under the bed or collects dust in a corner. Even worse, for some of us the treadmill we used once becomes a clothing rack and storage unit. Save money and space by having an in home fitness trainer come to you, bring all the equipment, and once they are done leave with it. No more need to store expensive pieces of bulky equipment that you will never use, because they can show you how to get an effective workout with just a stability ball and a few bands. The Nordic Track treadmill T7, which retails for $799, prices as a “mid range” treadmill without any special features. Why would you pay almost $800 to “go walking” when you can get 20 sessions with an in home fitness trainer for almost that same price? When did it cost to go walking anyway?

3. Driving to the gym, sitting in traffic, and driving back spends gas and wastes precious time. The average American lives 10 miles from a local health club or gym and if you factor in the price of driving to the gym, sitting in long traffic and driving home after a workout, it is still cheaper to hire a fitness trainer to come to your home and provide the service for you. Based on the average of 20 miles to and from the gym and while gas could cost you, on average $2.50 per gallon, it may well cost almost $3 roundtrip each time. If you go 3 days a week, over the period of one year, it will cost about $468.

4. An in home fitness trainer will teach you how to eat healthy and less expensive. Many people think that it means that you have to go on a strict diet that could potentially make you unhappy with a starving feeling all the time. Some people think it means buying expensive prepackaged meal plans, shakes and assorted items from a magical slimming list. An in home fitness trainer can teach you how to visit a fast food drive through, when you have to, leave full, satisfied and healthy for an affordable price. The average shake is $7.00 and pre packaged food runs upwards of $13.00 a meal. If you like to cook at home, an in home fitness trainer can even go to the grocery store with you and teach you how to purchase food that is more healthy and within budget. Today’s American culture reaches for food that is fast, easy to make, and usually from a box, can, or jar that is loaded with fat, salt, calories, and sugar. An in home fitness trainer can help you make solid healthy food choices while reducing your weekly grocery bill. One or two trips with an in home fitness trainer to the grocery store can save you thousands of dollars on your food bill each year.

5. It is hard to find reliable daycare at an affordable price when you want to work out. Childcare at the gym, which is usually staffed with a few teenagers, has relatively no experience with children. By having a fitness trainer come to you, your child is safe within your reach and you can work out with no stress or additional cost. If you hire a local babysitter at $7 per hour to watch your child and you go the gym for an hour with adding in travel time, you could pay an average of $42 a week that equals $2184.00 per year. You could have 60 sessions with a fitness trainer while not leaving your child with a stranger at the same time.

After considering the cost of going to a gym and buying unnecessary equipment, hiring a fitness trainer to meet your fitness goals will save you money. A few sessions with a fitness trainer can cost less than $400, which can teach you a lot while saving you over $5000 in the long run.

How to Make It As a Fitness Model

People that follow my stuff know I generally write about nutrition, supplements, training, and other topics that are more science based than subjective topics, such as what is covered in this article. I decided to shuck my science geek persona, and write on a topic I know will be helpful to thousands of would be and want to be fitness models.

As well a known “hard core” science based no BS writer, why I am writing what some will perceive as a “fluff” article? Over the years I have gotten hundreds, perhaps thousands, of gals that ask me via email, letters, or in person “how do I become a fitness model Will? You have been in the business a long time, surly you of all people should know.” I get this from newbies and I get this from women that have been at it a while but have been unable to “break in” effectively.

The fact is, I have been in the fitness, health, and bodybuilding biz a long time, and though I am known as a science and nutrition based “guru” type, I have trained many a fitness athlete, and judged fitness and figure/bikini shows for the NPC, Fitness America, Fitness USA, and other federations as well as given marketing and business advice to all sorts of athletes, including fitness models. So, it’s not as far fetched as it might seem that I am going to use this space to cover a non scientific topic, which is, how one goes about being a fitness model.

This article will be useful to both experienced and novice types looking to “break in” to the biz. If you are already a professional and successful fitness model, I am sure you may still glean some useful information from this article.

First the bad news, there is no one way to become a successful fitness model. There is no single path or magic secret. There are however some key things a person can do to greatly improve their chances of “making it” in the fitness biz as a model, and perhaps using that success as a launching pad to greater things, such as movies, TV, etc.

Several of the top fitness models (Trish Stratus and Vicki Pratt come to mind but there are many others) have gone onto careers in entertainment of all kinds. Bottom line, though there is no magic secret to being successful as a fitness model, this article will be about as close to a blueprint for success as you will find.

“Do I need to compete?”

This is a question I get asked all the time and it’s not an easy one to answer. In fact, the answer is (drum roll) yes and no. The person has to deicide why they are competing in the first place to answer that question. For example, do you need to compete if your goal is to be a successful fitness model?

The answer is no. Many of today’s well-known fitness models have never competed, or they competed in a few small shows and it was clearly not part of their success as fitness models. However, competing does have its potential uses.

One of them is exposure. At the upper level shows, there will often be editors, publishers, photographers, supplement company owners, and other business people. So, competing can improve your exposure. Also, competing can make sense if you are trying to build a business that is related to your competing or will benefit from you winning a show.

For example, say you have a private training gym you are trying to build. Sure, having the title of say Ms Fitness America, or winning the NPC Nationals and being an IFBB pro, will help your reputation and the notoriety of your business. There are many scenarios were it would help to have won a show for a business or other endeavors.

On the other hand, it must be realized that winning a show does not in any way guarantee success in the business end (and it really is a business) of being a fitness model. The phone wont ring off the hook with big offers for contracts. Also, it’s very important to realize that it’s common that the 4th or 6th or 8th place finisher in a fitness or figure show will get more press than the winner. Why? Though the winner might have what it took to win that show, it’s often other gals the editor, publishers, supplement companies etc, feel is more marketable.

I have seen it many times where the winner was shocked to find she didn’t get nearly the attention she expected and other girls who placed lower have gotten attention in the form of photos shoots, magazine coverage, etc. Something to keep in mind when you ask yourself the important question “do I need to compete and if so, why am I competing?” Answer that question, and you will know the answer to the heading of this section. Winning a title of some sort can be a stepping stone, but it is not in itself any guarantee of success in the fitness industry. It’s like a college degree; it’s what you do with it.

Now. If you compete for the fun of it, then by all means go for it, but the above is focusing on competing as it relates to the business aspect of being a fitness model.

Right body, wrong federation?

Ok, so after reading the above you have decided you are going to compete, or will compete again. If you don’t plan to compete, you can skip this section. The biggest mistake I see here is so many gals have the right body for the wrong federation. Each federation has its own judging criteria and a competitor will do poorly simply because they didn’t bother to research which show would be best suited for them.

I will give you a perfect real world example of this. Recently I judged a show whose criteria for the figure round was the women should be more on the curvy softer side with some tone, vs. being more muscular and athletic with less bodyfat that other federations might allow. At this show one of the most beautiful women I have ever seen came out. She was very proportional, great muscle tone, lean, and athletically shaped with narrow hips and waist and wider shoulders. How did she do at this show? She didn’t even place in the top ten!

Why? Because she was not what we were instructed to look for and didn’t fit the criteria. After the show I informed her that she looked great, but this may not the federation for her. I told her she had much more of an NPC type body, where a little more muscle, athletic build, and less bodyfat is rewarded.

The following week I was judging an NPC fitness, figure, and bodybuilding show and there she was. How did she do? She won the entire show with all judges voting her number one unanimously.

Conversely, if your body type tends to be more rounded and toned, but with a little more bodyfat, wider (but not fat!) hips, you may be better off competing in say the Fitness America Pageants. If you are going to compete:

(1) find out exactly what the judging criteria is for that federation and

(2) go see those shows as a spectator for several different federations and see which one your physique, style, etc will fit into best.

(3) You have to decide if you truly have the athletic abilities to compete in a fitness competition (which requires a routine) or a figure/bikini competition.

I often see women who would do well in a figure show but really don’t have the athletic abilities do the routines required to be competitive with other athletes in the show. Some shows will allow you to do both competitions and some wont.

Networking 101: dos and don’ts…

In so many respects, this is the area that will make or break you in any business, and yet, people in the fitness industry do an amazingly poor job at it. If you don’t network and market yourself properly, you can pretty much forget about having any real success as a fitness model, or a success in virtually any business. For the sake of space, we will stick to fitness.

When I first started out, I was a self marketing machine. I could be found at every show I thought might be an opportunity, walking the isles of trade shows, bodybuilding, shows, fitness show, and others. I gave out a zillion cards and I took a million home with me, and followed up on each and every one. I went to as many industry related meetings, outings, parties, etc. as I could get into. I now have the reputation and experience in the industry that I don’t have to go to such a show unless I feel like it, or have meetings, but they were quite helpful in the beginning.

I am always amazed at the number of fitness models who contact me who have never even been to the Arnold Classic Fitness Weekend, or the Mr. Olympia, or the trade shows like the NNFA Expo West and others. If you want to make it in the fitness business you sure as hell had better treat it like a business.

I have seen many a pretty girl who wants to be a fitness model who thinks if they stand there looking pretty long enough, someone is going to offer to put their face on the cover of a magazine. News flash, there are millions of beautiful women out there and to be noticed, you have to hussle to get that business like everyone else by networking your butt off, or having a good agent (if you can afford such a thing) who is doing it for you.

Pick a few major industry shows to attend (some of which were mentioned above) and go to them every year. Have a plan of attack of exactly how you plan to market yourself and network. Many fitness models, bodybuilders, etc see a show as one big party. If that’s you, then have fun at the party, but don’t think you are really marketing yourself as a serous business person or athlete.

Another thing that always amazes me is the number of fitness models who either have no business cards, or have some cards they printed up on their bubble jet printer at home! They ask me to help them or what ever and I say “give me your card” and they look at me like “I am so pretty I should not need a card you fool.” This attitude turns off editors, photographers, writers, and industry people faster then if they found out you were really a transvestite. Don’t do it. For every pretty girl out there who thinks the world owes them a favor, there are 100 who are ready to act like professionals.

Ever wonder why some fitness model you know is doing better than you are even though you know you are prettier than her? That may be why…never ever go to a show to network without good cards, bios, and professionally done head and body shots you can give to said editors, publishers, photographers, industry types, etc. Don’t stand around looking pretty assuming they will find you, find them first and introduce yourself. And of course it should go without saying you should be in good condition and have something of a tan to look your best.

You want to go to the shows and party? Fine, but do it in private after the work is done and don’t make a fool out of yourself at some industry sponsored get together. Hell, I was virtually poured into a cab at last years Arnold Classic after going to a sushi place with some well know industry types and companies owners (you know who you are!) but at least no one saw me! We had our own little private get together after the show to let loose.

Let me give you one final real world example of how NOT to market yourself. Last year I was on retainer as a consultant to a mid sized supplement company. The owner of the company asked me if I knew a couple of fitness model types that could work his booth for a trade show. In fact, he requested “unknowns, some new faces people had not seen yet but had real potential to grow with the company.” I went and found him two such gals I thought fit the bill.

He offered to pay their flights, room, and food plus a thousand dollars each for the days work. The two girls were told to be at the booth 9am sharp. The night before at the hotel, I saw the two girls getting in a cab at 11pm or so dressed to kill, clearly on their way out to party. The next day they showed up at the booth an hour and a half late and hung over! What was the result of this? (1) it embarrassed me to no end as I had recommended them to the company owner (2) they would never get work from that company again (3) they would never get any work from me again and (4) they would not get a reference from either of us for other jobs.

I see this type of thing all the time in the fitness biz, and it’s not limited to fitness models. Amazingly, a few weeks after the show they emailed me and the company owner wanting to know when their next job would be! Amazing…

Who loves you baby?

If there is one universal truth, it’s that the camera either loves you or it does not. Any professional photographers will tell you this. For some unknown reason, some people are very photogenic and some are not. Truth be known, there are some well known fitness models (who shall remain nameless as they would probably smack me the next time they saw me) who are not all that attractive in person. It’s just that the camera loves them and they are very photogenic, but not terribly pretty in person.

Conversely, I have seen the reverse many times; a girl who is much better looking in person than in photographs. Such is the fate of the person who wants to be a model of any kind, including a fitness model. If you find you are not very photogenic, keep working with different photographers until you find one that really captures you well and pay that photographer handsomely!

Fitness Coach Vs Fitness Trainer

North America is getting fatter and fatter! There are numerous studies proven this so I won’t get into all the statistics from the American College of Sports Medicine, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as well as the American Heart Association. Just trust me…as a population we are getting fatter.

But wait; there are more fitness centers, gym, personal trainers and fitness related info-products then ever before…so how can this be?

Here a few things that we know:

  • A one-size-fits-all approach to fitness does not work
  • Knowing biomechanics is good but effective in developing a compete fitness program
  • Life stages and changes in a person’s life must be taken into account when developing a fitness program
  • Not all fades are created equal. To embrace the latest and greatest fade is very ineffective in making consistent fitness progress
  • The carrot or the stick? A positive approach works much better then a fear based approach, to anything, especially fitness
  • Social and domestic support is crucial for starting and continuing a fitness program
  • In the end, we need to embrace a holistic model of fitness, working on the body alone is not enough

So, where does this leave you?

If you are not getting the results your desire or if you’re not having fun with your fitness program it maybe time to take a look at fitness coaching. “But I already have a personal fitness trainer, why do I need a fitness coach?”

First, if you’re not getting the results it might not be your trainer, it could be you. I’m not saying it’s your directly at fault, but there maybe some underlying situations that you and your trainer are not aware of that a good certified fitness coach could help you discover and find a solution.

So what is fitness coaching?

It can be called an ongoing and guided conversation and process between you and a health fitness coach that is a conversation:

  • Involving a comprehensive fitness-related dialogue about your needs, interests and personal active lifestyle orientations
  • Directed toward broad based goals of personal and health gains that are
  • Attained through continued involvement in physically activates which are
  • Adjusted occasionally according to your evolving life agenda

I know, you’re probably saying “That sounds nice, but again, I have a personal trainer.”

What a personal trainer is trained and certified to do is develop the specific workout routine for you. They are to assess your currently physical abilities and limitations and develop a routine around these parameters along with your fitness goals. Then they are to ensure that you perform the routine with biometric perfection. That is want a fitness trainer is schooled and trained in. If they are performing more then this and are not properly trained and educated in that field, they are stepping out of the bounders of a trainer.

A fitness coach, through and open and ongoing dialogue, will help you

  • Determine the best physical activity for you
  • Stay on track and achieve your fitness goals
  • Work through any resistance or sticking points
  • With support for all parts of your life

Basically a fitness coach will help you develop your fitness strategy and stay on track with it and a fitness/personal trainer will help you develop the tactics to get you to your goal.

In this day and age we are all bombarded with so many distractions that we need to have a qualified support team around us so that we can achieve our goals with a much ‘ease’ as possible,. I believe that two key members on this team should be a fitness coach and fitness/personal trainer.

Benefits of Fitness

Fitness is a great way to stay healthy. Exercising on a regular basis has countless benefits for the body and the mind. A study done on 25,000 volunteers has shown that physical exercising is more important to the health than losing weight. Overweight people who are fit have lower chances of developing heart problems, diabetes or osteoporosis. Who can practice fitness? Is fitness for you? The good news is that anybody, regardless of age, can benefit from fitness. Fitness exercises range from developing flexibility, to building up strength and losing extra pounds.

Short-term benefits of fitness:

• A healthier heart – Fitness makes the heart pump faster and it helps develop and strengthen the muscle of the heart.

• Stronger muscles and bones – Fitness exercises that work the muscles, such as weight lifting, develop the muscles and increase bone density. This translates into a body that is more resistant to fractures and injuries. People over 40, who have higher risks of developing osteoporosis and arthritis, can maintain a younger body for a longer time through fitness.

• Losing weight – Fitness burns calories and reduces body fat. If you exercise on a regular basis, the body will not only burn calories while you’re at the gym, but it will also burn calories while you’re resting. If you combine fitness with a healthy diet, you will have a fit and great looking body.

• Reducing stress – You have countless stress factors in your life, and stress is very dangerous to your health and it can give you a general state of crankiness and anxiety. Exercising relieves stress and triggers the secretion of endorphins in the body. Endorphins, also called “the happiness hormone” create a state of relaxation. There is something called “a runner’s high”. This basically means that people feel happier after exercising.

• A more restful sleep – Stress and health problems sometime cause insomnia and other sleep disturbances. Fitness will give you a deep and restful sleep, which is important for the body to be able to recover and function normally.

• Increased ability to focus – Research shows that people who exercise think faster and clearer. Fitness does not only do wonders for the body, but it also benefits the mind, through improving circulation in the brain and taking away the stress that sometimes clouds our judgment.

Long-term benefits of fitness:

• Reduced blood pressure – High blood pressure can lead to strokes and heart attacks. Heart problems are the leading cause of death in the world. Fitness means a stronger heart, which pumps blood more efficiently through the body and the the force put on the arteries decreases. Regular exercising is one of the drug-free methods to treat hypertension.

• Reduced coronary problems – People living a sedentary life have twice as many chances of developing coronary problems that those who exercise.

• Reduced cholesterol levels – People with high cholesterol levels have higher chances of developing cardiovascular problems. Fitness helps reduce cholesterol levels by burning the fat in the body. Studies show that people with high cholesterol levels who make exercising part of their daily routine cut their chances of developing heart problems in half.

• Improved posture – Fitness helps maintain a strong backbone with a healthy posture. It helps with back problems and back pain, that are often associated with a sedentary life.

• Reduced risk of developing diabetes – Physical activity lowers the risk of developing type 2 diabetes through the effect it has on insulin levels, through lowering the level of sugar in the body and though maintaining a fit body.

People are starting to understand more and more the importance of including physical activity in their daily routine. If you want to have the fitness routine tailored for you, fitness companies offer personal training. You can regularly go to the gym or you can go to a fitness boot camp, to push yourself harder and really work your body. You can practice fitness alone, with your friends or co-workers. There are a lot of corporate entities that work with fitness companies to allow their employees to exercise at the work place, because fitness increases work productivity. Make sure you exercise for 30 minutes at least two or three times as week, or even daily if possible, to get all the wonderful benefits of fitness.

Fitness Franchise

If you are looking for a franchise opportunity that will offer you a good earning potential, you may want to consider purchasing a fitness franchise. The current health obsessed climate makes a fitness franchise a good way to create a money-making business while helping people look and feel their best. There are a number of fitness franchise opportunities out there, and finding the right one can be a satisfying venture for your entrepreneurial spirit.

One type of fitness franchise is to open a fitness center. There are a number of types of fitness centers available for your fitness franchise purchase. You can even get specific with your fitness center. There are fitness franchise opportunities that are fitness centers exclusively for men or women or even ones that cater more to the serious fitness guru. Some fitness centers offer only specific types of fitness like jazzercise.

Another type of fitness franchise available is the weight loss center. Some weight loss centers function as both fitness centers and weight loss clinics. You will be able to use your fitness franchise to help people not only tone and exercise, but you will also be getting them on a better nutritional plan.

The third type of fitness franchise involves being a seller of fitness equipment. This type of fitness franchise opportunity can be done through a retail setting or even online. There are a lot of fitness franchise opportunities where you can sell specific types of fitness equipment to used fitness equipment. There is a great demand for people to have access to fitness equipment at home, so finding a fitness franchise to sell equipment can be very lucrative.

No matter what fitness franchise you choose, you still need to follow some basics of choosing and purchasing a fitness franchise. Remember that you will be responsible for all the aspects of your fitness franchise from sales, marketing, and human resources to customer service, operations, legal compliance, and accounting. The good thing is that most fitness franchise opportunities will at least offer you some basic guidelines for operations.

Be prepared to fill out an application for your fitness franchise which will involve a credit and often a background check. If you pass the fitness franchise guidelines, you will probably receive the fitness franchise’s Uniform Franchise Offering Circular, or UFOC, which you should read over carefully. The UFOC will include important information like the franchise history, key principles, financial statements, litigations, franchise openings and closings, contacts, agreements, requirements, and more.

Also, be aware that the success of your fitness franchise will be based upon a number of factors such as your territory, site location, and your commitment. Even though much of your success depends on you, it is nice to know that your fitness franchise has the support of the franchisor, so you have somewhere to turn for assistance.

Power of a Home Fitness Gym

For the stay at home moms and working moms getting to the gym can be a hassle. Between work meetings, school meeting and everyday chores the gym is the last thing we want to do at the end of the day.

We all know physical fitness is important to stay healthy. The question I will attempt to answer is how to fit a good quality workout into your busy schedule.

The Answer: A Home Fitness Gym.

Now I am not talking about going out and buying workout equipment or a treadmill. Although eventually you may decide it is necessary for you, but definitely it is not required.

I want to show you how to set up a quality home fitness gym, which will have great fitness programs to use. You will have to spend some money, but not thousands of dollars.

One item I really like are fitness balls. You know those big balls, which allow you to do ab workouts. Most fitness balls can be purchased for $20 to $50.

Miss the Camaraderie

The hardest part of setting up the home fitness gym is a having a proper atmosphere. At home you do not have all the people you see in an aerobics or biking class. The reason gyms are so popular is due to the camaraderie from other women at the class. When you miss a couple classes they ask where you have been and they missed you.

Working out at your own home fitness gym you do lose that camaraderie. How can we fix this element?

Use DVDs

The best way I have found is the use of DVDs. There are thousands of fitness programs to purchase from as little as $10 to $70 or $80. The most important consideration is the person leading the workout video. I have found some to be a little too perky and annoying, sort of nails on a chalkboard personality.

Multiple Fitness DVDs

What I have done is bought one from a “workout guru” who has a number of different titles. The reason is simple. I get bored doing the same routine over and over again, but with I really like the person on the video. I solve this problem by purchasing their other workout DVDs.

The use of workout DVDs is a quick and easy way to set up a home fitness gym. All you need is the fitness ball and a fitness program on a DVD and you are ready to go.

Now The Hard Part

Here is the hard part. We still have to find the time to workout. Yes, time is still an issue because as we know kids and a husband have their own needs.

What I have done is carve out a 30 minutes in the morning after the kids go to school and before I have to go to work. It is a quick workout, but I do feel better once I am done.

Home Gym Will Save Time and Money

However, the 30-minute workout saves me the hour and a half I would spend at the gym. Oh, I forgot to mention this money saving tip. Since you no longer have to spend $50 a month for a gym membership this money can be used to set up a home fitness gym.

Use the $50 to buy new DVDs or other fitness equipment each month.

Creating your own home fitness gym is fun. You get to design the gym and workouts to meet your fitness needs. If you get bored just redesign the fitness program with different equipment and DVDs.

Now go set up your home fitness gym today!

The Road To Fitness

For most of us, choosing to be fit is more a test of will than a one time decision. Being “fit” covers a change in our lifestyle much more than just embarking upon a new exercise or diet program. For me, the choice came about 15 years ago. I was about 24 years old when friends of mine convinced me to start going to the gym as a group. At that time, I knew I didn’t really like the way I looked, so I thought it would be a good idea. How hard could it be? Well, it didn’t take long before I knew the answer to that question. And to tell you the truth, at that time my workouts were not that difficult. But getting up at 5am to be at the gym by 5:30, certainly was, Also, since there were 4 of us and only 1 really knew what he was doing, the workouts were VERY long. Too long when you mix in the water cooler talk that often took over some workouts.

So, after trying this approach for about 3 weeks I still wasn’t motivated nor did I look forward to working out and was about to quit. As luck would have it for me, 2 guys in the group beat me to it, leaving just myself and the only person who knew anything about working out correctly at that time. That changed everything.

With just 2 of us now, we were much more focused and I got some really good coaching on the basics. After a month of 1-1 time, we started increasing the intensity of the workouts and mixing in some really fun cycle classes. Somewhere within the next month, I saw a change. Not just in my appearance, but my outlook and attitude were all effected. At that point, I was hooked. I worked out consistently at the gym 5 times a week incorporating cardio, running and weights. I looked and felt good thinking this would always be my way of life.

And it was, until about 5 years ago. In 2007, my mother was diagnosed with brain cancer and turned my life upside down. I quickly lost interest in many of my normal activities including fitness. During the next 2 years, I really let myself go and didn’t much care to get back into the swing of things. A major life changing event will do this to a person, and I was no exception. My wife became really concerned about my decline in fitness and began encouraging me to get back into it. I tried but absolutely could not get motivated. After much research and a hard look in the mirror, I was able to pull back the self discipline I once had. It was not easy, and it took a lot of planning and hard work. So, today, I want to share what helped me conquer my fitness demons. Hope these help you.

The reason I’m giving so much background of my personal fitness experience is to show that each of us will struggle in different ways with choosing fit. Lifetime fitness really isn’t a “one size fits all” approach. We all have different situations that initiate our interest of getting in shape, keeping us motivated and sustaining the lifestyle for the long term. However, I do believe there are some common practices we can all adopt to help us overcome obstacles at any of these stages and become an improved, healthier and fit person.

1. Initiate – This may be the easiest of the 3 stages because it only requires us to decide to get fit, but not actually do anything. That said, don’t underestimate the importance and key factors that should be use to initiate your fitness journey. The main things to remember here are these:

    • Do this for you! Be sure you’re not just giving in to pressure from others. You need to be willing to take this step and feel good its the right approach for you.
    • Start with the end in mind. Set goals and imagine what you want your body and health to reflect during the journey. Lose 25 pounds, Get ripped, lower cholesterol, feel better, keep up with the kids.
    • Choose the right program.– The right fitness program for you is very important and will vary depending on your fitness starting point. Choosing one too hard, or that doesn’t yield results fast enough will quickly discourage you and run the risk of bailing too quickly. Find the balance of enjoyable exercise that challenge you enough to hit early goals. Don’t discount the power of proven favorites like walking, jogging and biking to get started. These can help your body start getting into a routine that will be a base to adopt going forward. Just try to perform your exercise at the same time daily to get your internal clock know what to expect. As you establish a rhythm, and hit some milestones you’ve set, it may be time to try new programs or increase the difficulty of your current routines. For a list of some awesome routines, just leave a comment requesting it.
  • Accept that your eating habits MUST change. Like it or not, it is part of the game. By not embracing the fact that the workouts alone will not cut it, you’re bound to fail when results do not come. The good news is, the change in eating habits can actually be a very positive experience. You’ll feel great and have the energy to workout the right way. Completely removing everything you like about food is the WRONG way to approach this. You can still eat really good tasting and satisfying foods without sabotaging your hard work. There are even ways to sneak in your favorites and not feel guilty about it, so don’t worry about that. Just know that what and how you eat makes all the difference in the end.

2. Stay Motivated – Everyone is motivated out of the gate when starting a fitness program, but that quickly fades for many people when they realize the process is more difficult than they imagined. Make no mistake, getting fit is HARD, but the challenge is not unlike anything else worth having in life. You must commit and keep motivated using several tactics, of which I’ve tried many. Try these to help you stay on track.

    • Aim for some quick results. Everyone wants this, but it is key to see some quick results early on so that the momentum of starting the program does not dwindle. Losing a pound or two, dropping a pant size, completing a workout without stopping, whatever makes you feel good. Be realistic about this, but have something you shoot for so you can taste success and drive you to continue.
    • Read about being fit. This is truly a big motivator as it shows you success stories and gives a lot of ideas about achieving goals. So take the time to read a magazine or internet article about your favorite exercise, or healthy food. You’ll be surprised how engaged you may quickly become.
    • Get the sweat flowing. For me, a workout that doesn’t do this leaves me somewhat empty. Getting your heart rate up (and sweating) activates all of the key things that makes exercise so effective. It burns calories, strengthen the heart and cardio system, and releases endorphins in the brain that make you feel great. You’ll see!
    • Never settle – Set, Reset and Reset your PB (Personal Best). Constantly challenging your last record is an awesome way to stay in the game. Run that mile faster, go longer, extra reps, extra sets, higher jumps, deeper lunges, better form. The list can go on and on. You can be your best competition and there’s nothing like competition to motivate the heart and soul. So kick your own butt! You’ll enjoy it.
    • Do what you can! We all have limits and quite often use them as excuses that interfere with our fitness routines. Time, stress, aches, and tiredness all contribute to our justification to digress or completely stop a program. Don’t let that happen. If you find yourself giving in to one of these temptations, try to at least do something. Convince yourself you can at least do 1/2 or even 1/3 of a workout. (10 minutes? Don’t go as intense or fast. Give yourself a break, without actually giving yourself a break. You may be surprised by convincing yourself to at least get started, you’ll be more willing to push harder during the workout.
    • Don’t tempt yourself or give in to food junkies. Everyone I know encounters this during their fitness journey. It involves either being introduced to a food situation that makes it difficult to say no, or being encouraged by others to “cheat” even when they know how you feel about staying on track. By giving in to either, you will likely feel guilty afterwards, which oddly enough increases your chances to continue cheating. The negative feeling of guilt are powerful and can actually begin a vicious cycle of continuing the pattern, so don’t let this happen. The first of these is actually easier to deal with by simply planning around it, or modifying the portions of food you have available so they at least meet some of the standards of your diet. For the second, if you find yourself in this situation often, have a gameplan. Either be ready to defend your stance on cheating or plan to deal with it in another way. Maybe use it as your cheat meal, compensate for it on the next day or week, or modify the portions so you can at least control the damage.
  • Keep a support network. Family, friends, social networks, whatever. Have some person you can confide in about your struggles that can offer positive support. Works wonders in the beginning.

3. Sustain the Life Style. This part can seem a little easier once you achieve your goals, but the long term approach to fitness is actually one that must always be top of mind. While this stage is a practice of discipline, even an “iron will” can be bent when the lifestyle is too far from what a person enjoys. So how can you force yourself to embrace a long term lifestyle that doesn’t match who you are? Well, actually you can’t. I think people are amazing and capable of just about anything. But not allowing yourself to be YOU jeopardizes your character and simply said, is not right for anyone.

Because of this, let’s look at this challenge from a different approach. How do create a lifestyle that is both fit and matches your personality? The answer may be a little different for everyone, but for me, I can provide a few tips that helped. Consider these and possibly modify to suit your own needs.

    • Find your fit, in fitness! Put another way, find exercise and diet that allow you to be fulfilled. What activities do you enjoy, or for that matter, dislike? Running, walking, lifting, bike riding, Plyometrics, calisthenics, WiiFit, whatever. If nothing lights your fire, you will have a tough road hereJ However, if you’ve read this far into the post, I doubt there’s nothing for you.
    • Challenge yourself! Once you’ve found the exercise(s) you enjoy, don’t always settle for moderate workout. You need to push yourself for various reasons. It not only keeps your workouts interesting, it provides the edge required to make an impact on your fitness. The level of “intensity” differs from person to person, but you know when you’ve given your all. Don’t cheat yourself out of real benefits. I don’t think someone really taps into the true benefits of fitness until they crank up the volume of the workout. You’ll look better, feel better, and even be more confident and positive.
    • Learn how to eat clean, then do it 90% of the time. There are a ton of books on the topic of eating right, and they all have some validity. Find a good nutrition plan that works for your body, and learn the framework. Once you understand the basics of nutrition, portion control and the most harmful foods to avoid, the rest can be adapted to your eating habits. Now, eat this way 90% of the time. This gives you the break people need to keep their sanity. I eat approx 5 times a day, which means I have 35 meals per week. In my world, I allow 3 of those meals to stray from my normal eating. I don’t lock myself to a day, or time of day to do this. I choose the right meal to allow this based on “life”. Sometimes it’s a donut breakfast with my daughter or an awesome dinner with my wife. Maybe a good ole fashion home cooked meal from my mother in law. It doesn’t matter, just stay committed not to go beyond this limit and please don’t overdo it. The 90% rule is not a free for all at the dinner table. That could really wreck your progress! It is a way to give yourself the freedom you need to eat foods you really enjoy to make the system work for you.
  • Variety, Variety, Variety! Did I say that enough? If so, it’s because I believe without variety in your fitness it will inevitably become boring while not allowing enough areas of the body to get attention. If workouts become stale and mundane, you run the risk of disengaging in them and eventually quit. Who wants to do always do something that’s boring and hard..NOT! This doesn’t mean you have to always recreate your entire workout. Most often slight adjustment to your current routine will provide the mix needed to spice them up. If you run/bike, change the route, look at modifying the weights or reps on a lifting routine, even changing the intensity or order of the exercises can help liven things up. Whatever you decide to do to make them a little different helps and you’ll see how quickly it rekindles your interest in staying fit.

Hopefully these tips on “Choosing Fit” will help you Set, Hit and Maintain your fitness goals. They have done wonders for me in my life and I am constantly looking for new items to add in each section. Let me know your own ideas, and feel free to share with all your fit friends. Like I said, it’s a tough road but worth it and doable with a little bit of strategy. Hope this helps you on your journey.