Friday, June 13, 2014

Think Fit, Act Fit, Be Fit...



When it comes to health and fitness, 95% of dieters fail and less than 15% of Americans exercise on a daily basis. Why is this? You can scour the entire Earth, Internet, all the magazines, DVDs, diet/exercise books for the best information and so-called fitness or weight management secrets. However, with all this information and resources available why does it seem that people just don't get it and haven't achieved all their goals. We really don't need any more diet and exercise information. Everything you need to know you already know. The hard part I think is in the application - that is applying what you have learned and know.

The key to achieving your goals is really "mental". Success is created in the mind first. All the fancy exercises, workout plans, pills, 30 min DVDs, or diets will not overpower a poor misguided mindset. All the best exercises we know already. All the best foods we know already. You have to change your belief system, attitude, and expectation's about healthy living. There are no quick fixes or special exercises that will magically give you the body you desire. You didn't just wake up out of shape, overweight or obese one day. Your current body and current fitness level is the result of the choices you have made in the past, which are directly related to your thoughts, beliefs, and most importantly "practice" of healthy living. Now there are of some us who are fighting genetic, hormonal, and other limitations that make things more difficult, but our daily habits, choices, and lifestyle trumps all of those barriers. Granted some may have a harder path then others, but its your path - OWN IT!

The process of changing your mindset begins by creating new thoughts, attitudes, and habits that point you in the right direction of the results you desire. Success is a direction - not a destination. Stop focusing so much on the results and focus on the actual steps and the process that lead to the results. Your workout in the gym is just the beginning of the process. Once you leave the gym you must continue to perform and do the things that are necessary to achieve the results. The work isn't over after the cool down and stretch. You will not be able to out exercise the bad habits and behaviors. This simply does not work. It only leads to frustration and slow results.

So as I stated above focus more on the daily process. Its about winning the daily battles that lead to winning the war. Your not going to be able to go through this process without changing something. Mostly likely it will be something you are resistance to change, but this is part of the process. Becoming more aware of your food choices and where you can squeeze in more physical activity is the key.

Bottom line is you have to think, eat, live, and walk like the healthy and fit person you are and want to be. Do this and watch the real change take place.

Knowing is not enough; We must apply. Willing is not enough; we must do. ~ Bruce Lee.

EDUCATION and SAFETY always leads to RESULTS.

MAKE UP YOUR MIND!

Friday, October 25, 2013

The Scale is a Liar...


By Ron McDonald Jr | Fitness Coach

Here’s the best advice you’ll ever hear in regard to weight management-- “THROW AWAY YOUR SCALE.” The focus (obsession) on weight is the very reason why most people fail or get discouraged. It’s misguided and dangerous. Do you really think you can sum up how healthy you are by some arbitrary number. Why as humans do we have to quantify are health down to easy to understand numbers. Why do we give the scale so much power? Weighing yourself on the scale to determine your health, is like asking Stevie Wonder how do I you look?

Here is a example conversation between you and the scale:

You [Standing on scale] - "How healthy am I scale?"
Scale [With you standing on it] - "200"

You [Standing on scale] - "But scale I have been working hard and eating clean"
Scale [With you standing on it] - "200"


You [Standing on scale] - "But scale I feel great and have dropped 3 pants sizes"
Scale [With you standing on it] - "200"

You [Standing on scale] - "But scale everyone has noticed a change in my appearance"
Scale [With you standing on it] - "200"


This conversation is going no where, so stop asking the scale and ask yourself. The scale can only tell you how much you weigh in total, but it just simply cannot tell you if you've decreased body fat, improved performance, . If you want to measure your success what you should focus on are:

  1. Do I have more energy?
  2. Have my behaviors changed and accomplished the perceived impossible?
  3. Am I living a more healthy life?
  4. Do my clothes fit better?
  5. Am I physically able to do new and more things?
  6. Are no longer dependent on medications?
  7. Increased strength and lean/tightened muscles.
  8. Is my cholesterol and blood pressure lower?
  9. Improved level of vitality and vigor.
  10. How you feel (mood, do you sleep better, etc.)
And this is just a short list of things. Don't diminish all that you have accomplished down to just numbers. There in old saying - "Figures lie; and liars figure". Numbers simply cannot sum up all the progress that you have been making in "Your" quest for healthier living.

It is imperative to understand that this healthy living thing isn't about weight. Its about being able to live the life you want to live; when you want; how you want without any restrictions. Just keep focused and improve 1% everyday. After 100 days that 100% improvement. Just MAKE UP YOUR MIND.

Yours in good health and spirit

Monday, August 19, 2013

The Results Killer...


By Ron McDonald Jr | Fitness Coach

Beware! The "Results Killer" is still on the loose. There is nothing more deadly to a weight (fat) loss program than "poor" nutrition a.k.a the "Results Killer". Once the Results Killer gets a hold of your weight-loss (fat) program, it can be a real tragedy. We may need to call in the Special Victims Unit (SVU) for this case.

In my line of work, I don't think I can count the number of times I have witnessed someone become victim to the Results Killer. I find that people really don't understand; so it's my job to help them understand. There is basically nothing that can be done to out-train a poor diet. This would include over-eating and under-eating. Yes I said "under-eating" Too little calories can have just as much effect on your results as eating too many calories daily, maybe even worse. Both these scenarios can sabotage your results. Its like digging a grave for your results with a knife and fork. I apologize for the harsh example, but I want to help you and gets your attention.  I know its not easy, but with the right planning and process we can overcome and defeat the "Results Killer".

To protect yourself from the Results Killer, keep reading. If you looking for a quick fix or a "make me superfit-instantly-right now-today" pill you come to the wrong place.

To keep the Results Killer at bay your diet should consist mainly of lean proteins, fruits and vegetables. Keep starches and refined carbs to a minimum. Drink plenty of fluids (primarily water), and try to eat at least 4-5 small meals per day. This will help your body maintain blood sugar levels and keep burning fat (when your not in the gym). When it comes to carbohydrates there are “good” carbs and there are “bad” carbs just like there is “healthy” and “unhealthy” fats. “Good” carbs include colorful/fibrous vegetables (like leafy greens, tomatoes, cucumbers, beets, etc.) and fibrous fruits such as grapefruits, pears, and apples. “Bad” carbs include starchy pastas, rice, potatoes, potato chips, candies, sugary sweets like cakes and cookies, and French fries. Just keep it simple.

However, when it comes to weight loss (fat), it’s calories in versus calories out at the end of the day. So this means even overeating on healthy food can be a "Results Killer" as well. You must create a caloric deficit, while eating enough protein, healthy carbs and healthy fats. You simply can't get around this process. The most effective way to create that deficit is to use a combination of quality nutrition and exercise. This fights fat and the "Results Killer" from all angles.  So lets begin to fight against this killer together by working on building a healthy habit of planning your daily meals.  Preparation is the key.  I have put together a sample meal plan below that will help in the food choices and structure in planning daily meals.

Example Meal Plan (approx. every 2.5 - 3 hours)

Meal 1 - Super Shake (Whey Protein, Grounded Flax Seeds, Emergen-C, Frozen Fruit Mix)
Meal 2 - Mixed Nuts (almonds, walnuts, and/or Brazil nuts)  and fresh whole fruit (pear or apple)
Meal 3 - Green salad, albacore tuna, fresh mixed veggies, and balsamic dressing
Meal 4 - Veggies and Greek Yogurt
Meal 5 - Salmon, Steam mixed veggies, and fresh cut fruit

"Exercise is king. Nutrition is queen. Put them together and you've got a kingdom" ~ Jack LaLanne

Yours in good health and spirit.

***

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Muscles Don't Grow in the Gym...



Muscle growth does not take place in the gym and on the other hand neither does weight loss.  The body will change through the process of consistent productive exercise, proper nutrition, and adequate rest/recovery. I have witnessed on many occasions where you see the guys lifting weights and checking out their muscles in the mirror to see if there was any immediate change. Maybe if they looked harder or squinted their eyes, you might see something. Also to be fair I also see the ladies checking their weight several times throughout their workout to see if the scale will show any changes. What people don't seem to understand is that the actual process of change takes place outside the gym when you are eating clean, recovering/resting, and sleeping adequately.  So lets go more in depth.

Inside the Gym
When you are working out in the gym what you are actually doing is attempting to stimulate your body in order to get a response. Nothing happens without stimulus. Exercise is that stimulus. You are trying to force your body to safely change due to the stress you placed it under. For adaptation to occur, the body must be confronted with a stressor or some form of stress that creates the need for response. This involves all the resistances training and  cardiovascular conditioning.  So working out is like planting seeds.  However if those seeds aren't watered properly and/or don't receive the proper nutrients then the desired results cannot be expected to be achieved.  In addition it is important to be aware not to overdue the seed planting as a whole.  There is a such thing as "over training", which occurs when the body is put under excessive stress and can cause injury and overall body system breakdown.  So its important to give a good effort in your training but overdoing it won't get you any closer to your goal, it will actually delay results.

Outside the Gym
So in layman's terms what this means is that we need to focus on watering, resting, and the feeding process outside of the gym. The workout is not over once you leave the training facility.  It actually has just begun.  Generally speaking a workout is about 30 - 60 minutes that leaves about 23 hours left for sleeping, eating, and other physical activities take place outside of the gym. These activities are critical in making sure that the 30-60 minutes of training will not be all in vain. Constantly applying stress can lead to over training and serious side effects. In addition not getting the proper rest and food in your system is just as important.

So clean eating plays a key role as well. Do you think your body will be able to adapt and recovery better from the stress of exercise from fries, chips, doughnuts and soda or lean protein, water, healthy fats, and fruits and veggies? The food we eat is used to build new cells and lay down new stronger muscle tissue in our body. There is no way around it.  In addition to proper nutrition, adequate rest and recovery is paramount.  Giving the muscular system and other body systems time to re-calibrate and repair from the stress prevents injuries, puts the body in the best state to burn fat, and improves performance.

So the take away message is to understand that most or more of the focus needs to be placed on what all of us do outside of the gym. You cannot out train poor nutrition. Don't even try it. So don't work hard in the gym and then do the direct opposite outside of the gym. You deserve better for all your hard work - so just focus on being better in and outside of the gym.

EDUCATION and SAFETY always lead to RESULTS.

Yours in good health and spirit.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Its Not All About the Losses...


In the world of fitness, health, and wellness what I have noticed is that most of our attention or focus is on losing something, whether is pounds on the scale, fat from our belly, inches from our thighs and/or butt. Whatever body part you can think of, someone wants to LOSE something. With all the focus placed on "losing" something, I think its easy to forget how much you actually gain that is really what this being fit, healthy, well, and looking your best is all about. In my opinion it should be more about what you gain than lose.

What I would like for you to do is to change your focus heighten your awareness and think more about starting a fitness program or continuing your existing program with the goal of gaining something. Now many people need to lose weight and some need to gain, but this isn't what I am referring to. What I am referring to is all the wonderful things benefits you receive by exercising daily and living healthy lifestyle. Most people know the benefits of exercise but there are some subtle and less recognized benefits that go unnoticed.

Here is a list of some things you gain:

  1. Control of your life - with so many things in our lives that we cannot control, I feel fitness and daily exercise is one way we can truly impact our lives in a good way. This to me is the #1 benefit. When you are exercising I like to call it "ME" time. Exercising regularly is a guaranteed time you have allotted to love thy self. This is very important.

  2. Empowerment - think of how you use the word "can't" and "I can't" before you found what you "can" do in a fitness program. Every time you face a tough workout or exercise - after you complete it - you realize that the only limitation was lack of  feeling able to physically do it. Now there is no stopping you. You can do anything and everything. You are in the drivers seat.  Keep challenging yourself and pushing yourself to new heights. The feeling will change all other facets of your life.

  3. Self Medication - I am not talking about the 150% proof version of self medication, I am talking about the fact that exercise is medicine. Exercise helps in the prevention of many preventable diseases. Exercise can reduce and/or eliminate your dependency or need for prescription drugs.  Exercise is your daily drug as many hormones are release during exercise that help keep you at your best mentally and physically.

  4. Ability to Manage Stress -Life is full of ups and downs but how you manage the "downs" is the key. Exercise is excellent way to blow off some steam and manage some stress. Exercise causes the release of various brain chemicals that will make you feel happier and relaxed after your workout.

  5. Aging Slowly - Exercise slows down the aging process significantly. The day we are born the aging process begins. Through exercise and proper nutrition you can keep your body healthy and build up a great defense against the many forces that speed up the aging process. So in a way you could potentially gain more time and quality of life.

  6. Sleep better - Without proper rest the body will not perform at its best. Through exercise you can force yourself to have a better night sleep. By burning all the energy you will exhaust the body in a good way that will help you fall into a deeper sleep which allow you to get the necessary rest you need. Remember Work + Rest = Success.

  7. Self Esteem - This is another very important gain through exercise and is human need identified on Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs. Through exercise and healthy eating you can improve how you feel about yourself. In addition through the process of change you learn to have more confidence and assurance in your abilities and appearance. One thing I know if you feel great about yourself it impacts how you feel about many other areas of your life.
By no means is this the complete list, but just a few that I feel are significant. However hopefully this brings your quest for health and wellness into a different perspective for you. Yeah I know weight loss, sexiness, six-packs, and toned glutes may be many peoples goals but I suggest making some of the things I talked about the ultimate goals. By realizing these benefits and pursuing these as goals you focus more on gaining something that losing something. If you actually think about it you gain more than you will ever lose. Focus on the gains not just the losses.

Remember that EDUCATION and SAFETY always leads to RESULTS.

Yours in good health and spirit.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Is Your Chair Evil?

Yeah the chair we all are sitting in right now can be thought of as pure evil. However not like a cruel, unjust, and sinister kind of evil, but a much worst form of evil which is called "necessary" evil. In our so called modern society sitting in chairs could be considered a competitive sport. In our daily lives we all sit to relax, learn, enjoy entertainment, travel, work, and various other reasons. Many of us sit for 6 to 10 hrs each day. Does that make you want you stand up, well if not lets look a little deeper.

In the sitting position the human body is relatively immobilized and this is the position most of us are in for a significant portion of our waking hours. Being in this position as much as we are leads to metabolic, muscle weakness, bio mechanical, and orthopedic problems, which basically interferes with your ability to move appropriately and exercise without pain. I have worked with many people who complain about lower and upper back pain related to long hours of sitting.

So what do we do? Well I cannot expect that we will stop sitting all together as it is a big part of our current way of life. However I can ask or suggest that we look for ways to sit less. In addition to sitting less, I suggest starting a fitness program that is designed and geared towards strengthening and restoring the function of the human body. Basically a counter-attack for the many hours of sitting we will endure. Focus on strengthen the glutes (butt), hamstrings, core muscles, and upper back muscles. In addition focus on flexibility by stretching the hip flexors, chest muscles, hamstrings, quadriceps, and calves.

Overall the goal of any fitness program outside of weight-loss, fat-loss, or building muscle which are all important; is to help maintain or restore function to the human body as we progress in age. In our daily lives we desire to be healthy and pain free as we carry out the business of our day. So focus on sitting less, exercising appropriately, and eating nutritiously and you will be on the right path.

EDUCATION and SAFETY always leads to RESULTS.

Be Well.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

FatFighterFitnessCamp at the Greenbelt Sportsplex

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This web site and its content does not provide medical advice and does not direct that you undertake any specific exercise or fitness regimen. You must consult a physician before undertaking any activity described in this web site.