Friday, June 27, 2008

The dog days of summer

It is finally here...

As summer begins we look forward to long lazy days spent relaxing on the beach, evenings hanging with friends over a barbeque's and blazing weekends tanning by the pool. The Summer season truly is great for recharging but unfortunately it can spell trouble for your fitness goals. The truth is that on a nice summer day, no one wants to be inside a hot, stuffy gym.

The solution to beating the summer fitness blah's is to perform your workouts in the park.
The beauty about working out in the park is that the environment offers variety that exercising in the gym doesn't. For example instead of using a workout bench for step-ups or dips you can perform them on a picnic table or bench. Another benefit to outdoor training is that it can be done with no equipment whatsoever.

My top 10 best exercises for outdoor training are;

  1. The dynamic lunge
  2. The bodyweight squat
  3. The push-up
  4. The dip
  5. Mountain climbers
  6. Burpees
  7. The pike
  8. Sprinter sit-ups
  9. Toe touch
  10. Lateral lunges
All of these exercises can be found in the DropYourFreshman15 bodyweight manual.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

A stunning realization

Every once in awhile I have a stunning realization. It can come from listening to a lecture or reading a book, or even talking to other top trainers in the field.

Today my stunning realization came when I was reading through a forum I have been contributing to for a few months. As I was searching through topics I came across a thread titled weight loss for teens. Because I have trained so many young women I decided I should check it out and see what people where doing to get fit across the country. What i saw shocked me!

As a personal trainer I am always surrounded by people who know health and live health I expect everyone else to know these things too. Boy was I wrong.

A contributer posted what she was eating on a daily basis to try to lose 15 pounds.
It started with a morning meal of kashi cereal, soy milk and an apple. Though seamingly healthy this combination of foods is not going to help anyone lose weight. What she doesnt know is that breakfast is the meal that will determine how your body will handle food for the rest of the day. A high carbohydrate breakfast like cereal with fruit and soy milk can cause your blood sugar to remain high throughout the day. The problem with that is that high blood sugar can cause an insulin spike which will lead to fat GAIN.

Her next meal was slightly better with a salad combined with a fruit and nut bar. The one complaint I would have about this meal, is that it lacks any protein to help build and repair lean muscle mass. Lean muscle mass is one of the most important factors when looking to lose bodyfat.

The last meal she documented was a stir fry. Now I have no problems with stir fry I think they can be very healthy dependent on the ingredients. A stir fry composed of chicken, broccoli and bell peppers is a perfect meal for someone looking to get leaner.

My final complaint about this would be dieters food log is the fact that she doesn't consume enough calories. The sum total of her daily food intake was less than 1000 calories, which may seem like a good idea for fat loss but in actuality will signal to your body that it is being starved and force it to hold onto fat.

The flabby arm cure

Recently I was approached by a security guard at one of the condominiums where I train a client.
The security was a young woman in her twenty's and like so many women her age couldnt figure out how to get rid of her trouble spot.

The spot in question, the dreaded flabby arm.

Growing up I was never aware of the flabby arm amongst young women, but it seems to be pretty common. Her question caused me to do some research on the issue, and it seems that flabby triceps are a function of an over production of the sex hormone estrogen in the body.

Estrogen is a hormone that men and women produce, women obviously produce more making them more soft ( carry more body fat ) The benefit behind estrogen is that the more shapely a woman is the better she is primed for having a baby.

Now the problem with an excess of estrogen is that it can cause unwanted body fat in some areas such as the back of the arm and thighs. Causes of excessive estrogen production are;

  • Birth control pills
  • Menopause
  • Xenoestrogens from plastics ( bottles and Tupperware )
  • Xenoestrogens from carpet fibers
  • Xenoestrogens from scented lotions and bath products
  • Excessive carbohydrate intake
  • Excessive Beer intake
Meaning many of the products that the majority of university age women are using in everyday life are causing them to get the flabby arm syndrome. The good news is that a sound diet and strength training program like the Drop Your Freshman15 program can help eleviate the side effects of excess estrogen.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Lisa's workout June 4th,208

arm circles
chest and back dynamic stretch
Pnf patterns
prisoner squats
leg swings
warrior lunge
sumo to drop lunge

Core activation
Front bridge
Side Bridge
Hip Lift hold

Strength Training
Superset A - perform all movements with no rest in between each movement
Med Ball Clean and Press x 15
Med Ball Burpee to chest pass x 15
Med Ball Alternating push-up x 20
Mountain Climber x 30 seconds
Active rest on stationary bike 90 seconds
rest 60 seconds and repeat

Perform 2 sets of superset A then progress to superset B

Dumbbells bent row x 15
Sprinter sit up x 20
Static split squat x 10 per leg
running in place 1 min
push-up plank
Active rest on stationary bike 90 seconds

Perform 2 sets of superset B then progress to superset C

Med ball overhead sit up toss x 10
Med ball chest pass sit up toss x 10
Med ball russian twist x 10
Pike x 10
rest 60 seconds repeat.

Note: This is an advanced program, for more examples of Lisa's fat burning routines visit

Lisa's journey

If you have visited then you have read about my client Lisa who inspired me to create the DropYour Freshman15 system.

Lisa was your typical university student who studied hard and partied hard. I had been training her mom for years and was introduced to Lisa when she was in her third year of school. She had come back heavier than she had ever been and felt horribly about the weight gain. Over the course of 8 weeks we where able to get Lisa down about 4 dress sizes utilizing the exact same workouts found in the DropYourFreshman 15 manuals.

Lisa went away to school in September to finish her final year, and now she is back.
As bad as this sounds I expected Lisa to come back heavier than she was when she left.
Though she did gain a few pounds Lisa still looks great, we have started working out again and in only a week she looks thinner in her face. I will post her progress and workouts over the next few months and let you guys see just how effective the Drop Your Freshman 15 program is.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Celebrity hot bodz

I found this video of "The Hills " Heidi Montag working out with her personal trainer.
As you can see Heidi and Spencer incorporate multi joint movements like the Push press and lunge exercise to help them get lean " beach bodies".

For examples of exercises that will take you from frump to fab check out

Heidi has a great body and has taken it to another level by incorporating a strength training routine like the Drop Your Freshman 15 program.

Survival of the fittest

In an attempt to find out which schools ranked highest in terms of fitness I came across this
study done by The Princeton Review and Mens Health Magazine.
The study was conducted in 2005 and ranked the fittest and fattest universitys.
The results;

The Top 20 Fittest Colleges in America


[2] University of California, Santa Barbara

[3] Boston University

[4] University of Vermont

[5] Northwestern University (III.)

[6] University of Colorado, Boulder

[7] University of Notre Dame (Ind.)

[8] University of California, Santa Cruz

[9] University of Wisconsin, Madison

[10] University of Wisconsin, La Crosse

[11] Boston College

[12] Texas Christian University

[13] University of California, Davis

[14] Georgia Institute of Technology

[15] Salisbury University (Md.)

[16] Georgetown University (D.C.)

[17] College of William and Mary (Va.)

[18] College of Charleston (S.C.)

[19] East Carolina University (N.C.)

[20] California State University, Long Beach

The school that rated numero uno happens to be a Mormon school, so that means no drinking, smoking or even caffeine (yeessh). The schools that ranked lowest were;

The Top 20 Fattest Colleges in America


[2] University of New Orleans

[3] Mississippi State University

[4] Southern Illinois University Carbondale

[5] Portland State University (Ore.)

[6] University of North Carolina. Greensboro

[7] Eastern Michigan University

[8] University of Kentucky

[9] SUNY College, Brockport (N.Y.)

[10] University of South Florida

[11] University of Nebraska, Omaha

[12] Seton Hall University (N.J.)

[13] Louisiana State University

[14] Southwest Missouri State University

[15] University of Texas. Dallas

[16] West Chester University of Pennsylvania

[17] University of Cincinnati

[18] Winona State University (Minn.)

[19] University of Maine

[20] Old Dominion University (Va.)

The study went on to rank colleges based on factors such as most athletic;


students are required to exercise 5 days a week

all the way down to biggest gainers.


who on average gain 20.4 pounds since starting college (ouch)
seems like they could use the Drop Your Freshman 15 e-book

One of the most crucial factors for weight loss

The always get the same reaction when I tell people what I do for work.

First they flex their bicep ( which must be the universal signal for personal trainer) then
they ask me a serious of questions about how to lose fat around (insert body part here)

The truth is that the life of a personal trainer has it's ups and downs.
The ups mostly occur when you see a client change their life for the better by losing weight,
finally being able to fit into a pair of pants or come out of their shell.

The bad on the other hand can come in a variety of packages.
for the topic of the blog I will keep the suckiness brief and talk about the crappy sleep
schedule most trainers are faced with.

Unless you are somehow blessed by the scheduling gods, most trainers have to train people before or after work which means most trainers either have to get to their clients home before the sun dawns or train them later in the evening. This schedule of early mornings and late nights can take its toll on the body.

When I started training clients in home, my earliest session was at 5:45 AM, within a few months I had put on as many as 20lbs and it could directly be tied to sleep deprivation.
A study presented at the American Thoracic Society International Conference showed that middle-aged women who sleep 5 or fewer hours each night weigh an average of 2.5 kg more than those who sleep for at least 7 hours, meaning sleep or lack of does play a huge role in body weight.

Now lets think about the typical sleep patterns for a university student. I remember when I was
in school I stayed up until all hours of the night, and unless once again blessed by the schedule gods, I would have to wake up relatively early for class. Did I mention I was my heaviest in college?

Thankfully I am back to a descent fighting weight, my key to keeping the weight down even with my crappy sleep patterns have been outlined in the DropYourFreshman15 manual