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Flexibility Training

Can’t Touch Your Toes? Here’s What Your Body Is Trying to Tell You

By Bojana GalicUpdated January 1, 2020

Fact Checked

If you’re active, you likely set aside time for aerobic exercise to improve your heart health. You may even carve out a few hours a week for strength training to build or maintain muscle mass. But how much time are you devoting for flexibility training?

Man and woman outside stretching and trying to touch their toes

It’s totally fine if you can’t touch your toes — yet. There are stretches that’ll get you there.Credit: Antonio_Diaz/iStock/GettyImages

Though often neglected, improving your flexibility is a crucial part of maintaining an overall healthy body, according to the American Council on Exercise. Regular stretching can help improve your posture, relieve muscle tension and may even reduce your risk of injury.

Even if you dreaded the sit-and-reach test in elementary school PE class and still struggle to reach your toes during a yoga class, don’t totally abandon this stretch just yet. Take note of your sticking points (ex. chronically tight hamstrings or stiff hip flexors) and listen to your body.

And if you can’t figure out exactly what your hang up is, these tips from Samuel Chan, physical therapist at Bespoke Treatments in New York City, will help you improve your flexibility and finally touch your toes.

If You: Feel Tugging in the Back of Your Legs

You Might: Have Weak Hamstrings

Sometimes weakness in the body can be misconstrued as poor flexibility, Chan says. In some cases, feeling a tugging or tightness on the back of your legs as you reach for your toes may actually indicate weak hamstrings, rather than a lack of flexibility.

Incorporating hamstring-strengthening exercises can help you improve your range of motion. “Loaded mobility and strengthening can yield good, long-lasting changes in your flexibility and decrease sensations of ‘tightness,'” Chan says.

One exercise to try in the gym is the Romanian deadlift, he says. Throughout the majority of this exercise, your hamstrings work eccentrically, meaning they lengthen to lift the weight. As a result, your hamstrings stay under tension longer, which strengthens them.

And don’t forget to foam roll after you work out! Foam rolling your hamstrings (and legs in general) can help promote blood flow to these muscles, promoting relaxation and flexibility, Chan says. Try to devote 60 to 90 seconds of foam rolling for your hamstrings after you exercise.

Romanian Deadlift

  1. Stand with your legs at about hip-width apart. You can either hold a pair of dumbbells at your sides or a barbell in front of you, gripping the bar with your hands about shoulder-width apart. 
  2. Shoot your hips back and bend your knees slightly as you hinge forward, keeping a flat back.
  3. Lower the weight(s) toward the ground, keeping it/them close to the body. You should feel a stretch down the back of your legs as you lower the weight. 
  4. Once your upper body is parallel to the ground, reverse the motion and bring your hips forward, returning to standing.

If You: Feel Tightness in Your Hips

You Might: Have Tight Hip Flexors

If you’re not already overwhelmed by all the reasons why sitting for hours isn’t healthy, here’s another: tight hips. Your hip flexors, a group of muscles at the front of your hips, adapt to being in a shortened position after long bouts of sitting.

When they’re chronically shortened, your hip flexors pull on your pelvis, causing it to tip forward (also known as an anterior pelvic tilt). An anterior pelvic tilt then places tension on your hamstrings even before you begin to reach for your toes, Chan says. That doesn’t leave much room for stretching if your hamstrings are already at their limit.

If possible, stand up and move around more frequently throughout the day for at least a few quick minutes, he says. Consider setting an alarm on your phone or fitness tracker that reminds you to stand up every hour or so. Or consider investing in a standing desk to give your hip flexors and chance to lengthen.

And make sure to stretch your hip flexors properly. Even a simple kneeling hip flexor stretch is a good way to maintain mobility.

Kneeling Hip Flexor Stretch

  1. Kneel on the ground with your right leg out in front of you, bent at 90 degrees. Place the left knee on the ground for support.
  2. Tuck your hips slightly and begin to lean into your right knee. You should feel a stretch along the front of your left hip. 
  3. Sit here for about 30 seconds, then switch sides.

Read more: 7 Dynamic Stretches to Improve Hip Mobility

If You: Feel a Pinch in Your Lower Back

You Might: Have Poor Nerve Mobility

Your muscles aren’t the only potential hindrances to touching your toes. If you begin to feel a pinch in your lower back that shoots down your legs, you may be experiencing tension in your nervous system, Chan says.

Ideally, our nerves should be able to slide and move independently from other muscles and tissues surrounding them. But poor nerve mobility can cause tension in this movement, which starts in your lower back or in the back of your legs. Mobility exercises, like an active hamstring stretch, can help alleviate this tension.

Another thing to keep in mind when it comes to your sciatic nerve is your posture, Chan says. “Since the sciatic nerve comes from the spine, sitting posture is very important — make sure to have your lower back supported!” If you’re sitting for a long time, keep a pillow on your chair for some added support.

Active Hamstring Stretch

  1. Lie on your back with your legs straight out and arms at your sides.
  2. Raise your right leg up toward the sky, keeping it straight and grab the back of your thigh with both hands.
  3. Slowly pull your leg toward you until you feel a stretch on the back of your leg.
  4. Keeping your knee in place, facing the ceiling, lower your heel toward the ground and then raise it back up.
  5. Lower and raise the bottom part of your leg several times to loosen the hamstring, then switch legs.

Always remember to stretch before and after your workout. Just remember not to hold your stretches for longer than 15 seconds before exercising. Make it a great day!!!!

Philip “FitGuy46”

Certified Personal Trainer

4 Types of Workouts That Help Women Burn More Fat at the Gym

By Kaitlin CondonUpdated December 30, 2019Reviewed by Aubrey Bailey, PT, DPT, CHT

Your time is valuable — especially at the gym. So if your goal is to burn body fat, you’ll need to be strategic about the kinds of workouts you do. The goods news, though, is that you don’t need a ton of time for these workouts. Even 30 minutes will boost your fat-loss efforts.

Determined female athletes exercising on rowing machines in crossfit gym to lose body fat

HIIT, strength training and full-body circuits are all great ways to burn fat and boost your metabolism.Credit: Cavan Images/Cavan/GettyImages

But keep in mind that when it comes to losing body fat, you diet matters just as much (if not more) than your workouts. That likely means reducing the number of calories you’re currently eating, so that you’re burning more calories than you’re consuming.

Exercise is even more effective when paired with a healthy diet. Download the MyPlate app to track your calories consumed and burned for a complete picture of your overall health.

While maintaining a proper diet can help you shave off excess calories, your body composition (ratio of fat to muscle) will change faster with the right fat-burning exercises for women. Hit the gym several times a week with a fitness regimen that combines cardio and strength training.

Tip

Start your workouts with strength training and finish with cardio or HIIT. Another option is to lift weights at least three times per week and do cardio or full-body circuits on separate days.

1. Cardio Machines

One of the best ways to blast away calories is through cardiovascular exercise. Cardio causes your heart rate to increase, which gets your heart pumping harder, your body sweating and calories burning. In fact, depending on your weight, workout intensity and the machine you choose, you can expect to burn between 250 and 750 calories in 30 minutes.

The treadmill, elliptical trainer, stationary bike and stair stepper are among the best cardio machines at the gym. They allow you to alter the speed, as well as the resistance, during your workout, keeping your body challenged. Perform cardio exercise three to four times a week for 30 to 45 minutes to burn calories and shed excess body fat.

2. Weight-Lifting

While cardio exercise torches more calories during the workout than lifting weights does, building lean muscle mass helps you burn more calories in the long run. Lean muscle requires more energy (read: calories) to maintain, even when you’re not working out.

Plus, you’ll experience what’s called “the after-burn effect” (excess post-exercise oxygen consumption, EPOC). High-intensity strength training increases resting energy expenditure for up to 24 hours after exercise, according to a 2017 study published in the Journal of Human Sport and Exercise.

Lift weights at least three times a week using a combination of upper- and lower-body exercises to build lean muscle. In general, most women tend to store fat on their arms, legs and backside, so focus on these areas.

To work on your arms, perform exercises like the shoulder press, push-ups and triceps extension.

Move 1: Shoulder Press

  1. Stand holding a dumbbell in each hand at shoulder height, palms facing out.
  2. Press the weights straight overhead without raising your shoulders or locking out your elbows.
  3. Lower back down to your shoulders.

Move 2: Push-Ups

  1. Start on all fours, hands under shoulders. Straighten your legs straight out behind you so that you’re in a high plank — your body forming a diagonal line from feet to head.
  2. Bend your elbows out at a 45-degree angle to your body and lower your chest to the ground (or as far as your strength and mobility allow).
  3. Press back up to the start.

Move 3: Triceps Extension

  1. Hold either a dumbbell in each hand or one large dumbbell with both hands above your head.
  2. Lower the weights slowly behind your head.
  3. Press back up to the start without shrugging your shoulders or locking out your elbows.

When it comes to toning your lower body, look no further than the sumo squat, walking lunge and Bulgarian split squat.

Move 1: Sumo Squat

  1. Stand with your feet wider than hip-width apart, feet pointed out slightly.
  2. Bend your knees and hinge your hips to lower your butt toward the ground, keeping your back straight and your knees tracking over your toes.
  3. Lower down as far as your strength and mobility will allow.
  4. Press back up to standing.

Move 2: Walking Lunge

  1. Stand tall, then take a step a few feet forward, bending both knees to 90 degrees.
  2. Press off your back foot and bring it to meet your front foot as you return to standing.
  3. Step forward again, but this time with the opposite leg.

Move 3: Bulgarian Split Squat

  1. Start in a split stance with one foot in front of the other. Place your back foot up on a weight bench or chair.
  2. Bend both knees to lower straight down. Your front knee should be bent to 90 degrees and your knee in line with your ankle.
  3. Drive through your feet to return to standing.

Thus, a fat-burning strength training workout for women might look like this:

  • Warm up for 3 to 5 minutes with light cardio and dynamic stretches. Then do:
  • 20 sumo squats
  • 10 push-ups
  • 20 Bulgarian split squats (10 each leg)
  • 10 shoulder presses
  • Repeat for 4 rounds.
  • Finish with 10 minutes on the step mill.
  • Cool down with 3 to 5 minutes of static stretching.

Try this full-body weight-lifting workout for fat loss.

3. HIIT Workouts

High-intensity interval training, or HIIT, involves short but intense bursts of activity followed by less-intense active recovery or rest. This type of workout helps promote weight loss and reduce belly fat in a shorter amount of time than steady-state cardio, according to a 2017 study published in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise.

HIIT comes in many forms, but it’s easy to get started on cardio machines, such as the treadmill. For example, try this HIIT treadmill workout:

  • Warm up for 3 to 5 minutes at an easy pace.
  • Run at a challenging pace for one minute.
  • Jog or walk for two minutes.
  • Repeat this 3-minute block five times for a total of 15 minutes.
  • Cool down for 3 to 5 minutes at an easy pace.

HIIT workouts are supposed to be intense, so it’s best to work your way up with the number of intervals you are doing. Start with five, and as your fitness improves, increase workout duration and intensity.

Incorporate these fat-burning exercises into your HIIT routine.

4. Circuit Training

Circuit training is a combination of strength-training and cardio exercise, offering the best of both worlds. This makes it one of the best fat-burning workouts for women. According to a 2017 research paper featured in the journal Frontiers in Physiology, high-intensity circuit training improves body composition aka muscle-to-fat ratio while increasing overall strength.

A typical training session involves different strength-training exercises for each muscle group; you move quickly from one exercise to another, which keeps your heart rate elevated and the calories burning.

Instead of resting after a strength-training circuit, you can also perform cardio exercises in between, such as jumping jacks and jump rope to ramp up your overall calorie burn.

Do one of these circuit-training workouts next time you’re at the gym.

Fat-Loss Workout Gym Plan

Now that you have the workouts that will help you burn fat at the gym, remember that consistency is the key. Create a workout plan, clean up your diet and set clear goals. Exercise three to five times per week to fully reap the benefits.

Beware that there’s no one-size-fits-all solution for weight loss. Experiment with different fat-burning exercises for women and keep your workouts diverse. Track your results and adjust your gym plan accordingly. For example, if you’re having trouble losing those last few pounds, add HIIT to the mix.

This one is for the ladies. Always remember to consult with your physician before beginning any exercise regimen, especially if you have had any prior health issues. Make it a great day!!!

Philip “FitGuy46

Certified Personal Trainer

How to Start Exercising in Your 40s, 50s, 60s and Beyond

By Lambeth HochwaldUpdated October 4, 2019

If you’re over 40 and haven’t exercised in years (or ever), take heart: An August 2019 study published in Frontiers in Physiology concluded that it’s never too late to start working out. While the study was small, the results indicate that even those who start exercising in their late 70s can reap the benefits of exercise.

Full length of mature man wearing sports shoe at home

(Image: Cavan Images/Cavan/GettyImages)

So what’s the best way to approach exercise at this phase of life? “For anyone who is returning to exercise after a long break — say, several years or more without exercising — it’s important to start slow and gradually increase your duration and intensity,” says Leanne Pedante, head of the training program at STRIDE, a running-based fitness club in Los Angeles.

“As we age, incorporating both cardio and strength work becomes important. Aerobic exercise keeps your heart healthy, while resistance training helps keep bones strong,” Pedante says. To help you kickstart a workout routine, here’s a decade-by-decade guide to getting (and staying) active.

Read more: Denise Austin Shares the Best Exercises for Your 40s, 50s, 60s and Beyond

How to start exercising in your 40s, 50s, 60s and beyond graphic

(Image: Graphic: LIVESTRONG.com Creative)

Exercising in Your 40s

The bad news? “Muscle loss has already begun when you’re in your 40s,” says Linda Melone, certified personal trainer and founder of Ageless After 50. “This age-related loss of muscle and decline in strength occurs naturally so if you haven’t started a resistance training program, now’s the time.” If you don’t, you can expect to lose between three- and five-percent of your muscle mass each decade.

The good news? Even if you haven’t been steadily working out, you can start an exercise regimen in your 40s and get up to speed pretty quickly, provided you don’t have any health issues or previous injuries, says Tamara Jones, certified personal trainer and a Pilates instructor in New York City.

“While I wouldn’t turn around and try to run a marathon tomorrow if you haven’t been routinely exercising, you can likely jump into a two- to three-times-a-week exercise schedule,” she says. “This could include working with a trainer in a gym or taking an exercise class at your local YMCA or gym.”

Unfortunately, this decade can be especially hard on the ladies. “Women in their 40s are just potentially getting into perimenopause,” says Debra Atkinson, CEO of Flipping 50. “They may have symptoms of hot flashes, weight gain and more belly fat.” But exercise can help mange those symptoms.

How to Start: Moderate activity that includes frequent brisk walks around your neighborhood or leisurely swims at the pool are good options to ease into things, says Mitchell Fischer, fitness manager of Gold’s Gym in San Antonio, Texas.

“To get the most cardiovascular benefit, keep this in mind: If you’re speaking full sentences and don’t feel short of breath, you’re not getting the full benefit,” he says. “You should only be able to get five to six words out at a time to catch your breath.”

You should also add weight lifting to your weekly regimen, starting slowly to avoid injuries and mastering proper form using your body weight before adding resistance. But don’t sell your workouts short, either. “If you’re doing three sets of 10 reps with a certain weight and don’t feel it, you’re not challenging yourself,” he says. Pick a weight you can comfortably and safely lift but that also provide a challenge on your last two reps.

Working Out in Your 50s

In your 50s, muscle loss accelerates as muscular strength, endurance and muscle mass continue to decrease. “By age 50, metabolism may be down between 10 to 15 percent as a result of a drop in muscle,” Melone says.

“In addition, bone density decreases for both men and women and increases the risk of bone fractures.” Plus, ligaments also become less “elastic” and hydrated, making overuse injuries more likely, Melone says.

How to Start: It can help to have a few sessions with a personal trainer to assess how you’re moving before you throw yourself into a workout regimen, Jones says. A trainer will put you through a series of diagnostic tests to check your flexibility and core strength. This is the perfect time to ask what exercises he or she recommends for your fitness level, workout experience and injury history.

Based on what they tell you, you can amp up your cardio workouts by biking, swimming, rowing or taking brisk walks. And always find the time to strength train. “If you’re working hard enough and taking shorter rest breaks between reps, you will get your heart rate up and that will have cardiac benefits,” says Morgan Nolte, DPT, a board-certified clinical specialist in geriatric physical therapy in Omaha, Nebraska.

“Weight training will also build your strength, which is so important for body function and weight management, and strong leg and core muscles will improve your balance to prevent falls.” Key exercises you can include in your two or three day a week regimen: push-ups, squats and planks. Body-weight exercises like these build functional strength to continue to perform day-to-day activities without injury.

Read more: HIIT Over 50: A 20-Minute, Low-Impact Workout for Beginners

Getting Active in Your 60s and Beyond

This is a tougher stage to jump-start a regimen, but it’s not impossible to make it happen. Your goal: Be conservative and consider going back to the basics, Jones says.

“My best advice: If you’re patient and consistent you’ll reap the rewards,” she says. “At this age, I would also recommend working with a trainer at least to start out as this professional will be very helpful in creating a fitness routine for you to follow.”

How to Start: Since osteoarthritis may rear its ugly head during this decade, that’s all the more reason you should always warm up for at least 10 minutes before every workout, Melon says.

This is also a great time to partner with a friend on daily walks or workouts. “After you retire, your workplace community is gone and isolation becomes increasingly likely,” Pedante says. “Group fitness classes are an amazing way to stay not just physically active, but socially active as well.” Try Zumba or other dance classes or water aerobics.

At the gym, consider doing treadmill intervals to develop stronger legs, stronger hearts and greater lung capacity. “Speed-walking treadmill intervals on an incline make for a tough workout and if balance is a concern, guardrails provide extra support,” Pedante says.

No matter your life stage, do your best to neverage yourself out of exercise, Jones says. “I always tell people who haven’t exercised in a while to start with a brisk walk,” she says. “Then find the methods and intensities that will help you enjoy exercise and keep you motivated to stay consistent. I’d give this same advice to a 20-year-old: Always listen to your body. It will tell you what’s working and what isn’t.”

Just remember that you’re never too old to start exercising. Make it a great day!!!

Philip “FitGuy46”

Certified Personal Trainer


Your Guide to Body Fat: What It Is, What’s Healthy and How to Lose It

By Kaitlin AhernNovember 25, 2019Reviewed by Emily Weber, MDView Related Topics

Three women friends walking arm-in-arm after an exercise class

A healthy body fat percentage looks different for everyone.Credit: Tinpixels/E+/GettyImages

Body fat is one of those surprisingly complex topics. The idea of it is simple enough — it’s the fat stored in your body (duh). But did you know there are at least four different typesof body fat, each of which plays a different role? And that one type is far more dangerous than the others? (Fortunately, it’s the easiest one to lose — more on that later.)

Here, we’ll break it all down for you, from defining body fat to measuring it, laying out what’s healthy percentage-wise and digging into the best tips on how to lose it for good.

Body Fat 101

A man running on a path by the water

Not all body fat is bad.Credit: vgajic/E+/GettyImages

First, there’s one important thing to keep in mind: Body fat isn’t necessarily “bad.” In fact, our bodies need a certain amount just to carry out basic everyday functions, from thinking to staying warm. Fat also helps our bodies store important vitamins, regulate hormones and keep our metabolism chugging.

So why does body fat have such a bad rep? Well, as the saying goes, too much of anything can be a bad thing, and too much body fat is no exception. Still, just how harmful that fat is to your health depends on several factors, including what type it is and where it’s stored.

Learn about the four types of body fat, and why some are healthier than others.

How Much Do I Have?

A woman measuring her waist size with a tape measure

Measuring certain body parts can help you determine your overall body fat percentage.Credit: flukyfluky/iStock/GettyImages

Even more than your weight, your body fat percentage can tell you a lot about your overall health. Unfortunately, it’s not quite as easy to measure. While a scale can give you an accurate weight reading in seconds, there are several different methods for calculating how much body fat you have, and they vary widely when it comes to ease of use, accuracy and cost.

For example, there are several formulas out there that incorporate your height, weight and different body part measurements (think: waist, hips, neck), but they’re clunky, to say the least. And even if you are a math whiz, you’ll still only get a rough estimate of your composition from these equations.

Here are the best methods for estimating your body fat percentageat home or with the help of a professional.

What’s Healthy?

A woman in athletic clothes stretching outdoors

A healthy body fat percentage looks different for men and women.Credit: Drazen_/E+/GettyImages

Once you’ve learned how to tally your body fat percentage, the next step is understanding how your number measures up. In other words, is your percent body fat healthy?

Just like weight and body mass index, there’s no one optimal number when it comes to fat. Instead, experts agree that people can be healthy at a wide range of body fat levels — although those ranges are different for men versus women.

Find out if your body fat percentage falls in the healthy range, and why women need more body fat than men.

Healthy Ways to Lose Body Fat

A woman checking her fitness tracker during a workout

Higher-intensity workouts and strength-training are both beneficial for burning fat.Credit: Hinterhaus Productions/DigitalVision/GettyImages

Then there’s the million-dollar question: If your percentage is above the healthy range, what’s the best way to bring that number down? Trying to lose body fat can feel complicated because of the amount of misinformation out there, but the best methods are pretty straightforward.

There’s a bit more to it than just “calories in, calories out,” though. And it’s important to note that losing fat isn’t the same thing as losing weight.

Get the skinny on shedding body fat, including all the science-backed ways that actually work.

The Truth About Targeting

Men doing sit ups during a workout class

Targeted weight loss, aka “spot reduction,” is a myth.Credit: Ridofranz/iStock/GettyImages

If you tend to store fat in certain areas, like your belly or hips, you might want to target fat loss to that specific body part. It’s a tempting thought — but unfortunately, that’s not really how weight loss works.

It all comes down to how our bodies store and use fat, which, when you think about it, is a pretty impressive process. Instead of bemoaning it (again, tempting), try working with your body to achieve the result you want.

See why some people hold fat in different parts of the body, and what you should really focus onwhen it comes to trimming your arms or thighs.

Truly a very complex topic. Make it a great day!!!

Philip “FitGuy46”

Certified Personal Trainer

Does Sweating Mean That You Are Losing Weight?

By Marygrace TaylorUpdated December 19, 2019

Fact Checked

Being drenched with sweat at the end of an exercise session can make you feel like you’ve worked pretty hard. And when you hop on the scale — hey! — it might even read a few pounds lighter. But does that actually mean that you’ve lost fat and are getting closer to your weight-loss goal?

The answer might seem like an obvious yes. But the truth is, sweating tons doesn’t necessarily mean you’re on the path to a smaller jeans size. Here’s everything you need to know about sweating and weight loss, plus why sweating too much is dangerous.

What Is Sweat, Exactly?

Sweat is a liquid that’s released from your sweat glands to help you stay cool when your body temp rises, per the U.S. National Library of Medicine. That can happen during physical activity, of course. But if it’s really hot and humid, you can be dripping sweat without even lifting a finger.

Sweat is mostly water, along with some salt and tiny amounts of other compounds like ammonia and urea. It doesn’t contain any fat. (Also, a fun fact: The stuff doesn’t actually smell on its own at all. It only starts to reek when it mixes with the bacteria on your skin, according to the International Hyperhidrosis Society.)

Sweating and Weight Loss

Can sweating help you lose weight? The answer is… kind of, but not directly. In order to lose weight, you need to burn calories. One pound of fat contains about 3,500 calories of stored energy, so in order to lose 1 pound, that’s the number of calories you’d need to burn.

Sweating in and of itself, though, doesn’t burn calories. “You can be lying down in a sauna and sweating buckets or sitting outside on a 100-degree day,” explains Los Angeles-based personal trainer Jill Brown. “If you’re not moving, you’re most likely not burning any more calories than if you were sitting in an air-conditioned room.”

So why does the scale show a lower number after you’ve sweat a lot? Sweating does lead to temporary weight loss, but the pounds are from water, not body fat. “It’s possible for your body weight to fluctuate 3 to 5 pounds just from water retention or loss,” Brown says. So after guzzling a few glasses of H2O to rehydrate, your weight will be right back to where it was before your sweat session.

We lose body fat over time by using more calories than we take in. That can be accomplished by eating fewer calories and by burning them through physical activity. “On average, a moderate- to high-intensity workout will burn approximately 350 calories an hour, depending on factors like age, gender, muscle mass and type of exercise,” Brown says. Do that for an hour every day and cut out 150 daily calories, and you’ll have burned around 3,500 calories and lost a pound of fat by the end of the week.

Does Sweating a Lot During a Workout Mean You’re Burning More Calories?

Body fat is lost by burning calories, not by sweating. But most of us tend to sweat when we exercise. So is it fair to assume that heavier sweating means you’re getting a harder workout — and burning more body fat?

More vigorous activities can cause more sweating than less vigorous ones. But you shouldn’t automatically assume that sweating a ton means you worked really hard and burned a ton of calories. Or that not sweating much means you took it easy and didn’t burn many calories.

For one thing, some people just tend to sweat more than others. (Thanks, genetics!) Also, environmental factors like temperature and ventilation can have a major influence on how much you sweat, Brown points out. Case in point: In a July 2013 study done by the American Council on Exercise, researchers had subjects take the same yoga class in a 70-degree room and in a 92-degree room. Even though subjects sweat more and felt like they worked harder in the hotter room, their calorie burn was basically the same during both classes.

The moral of the story: Don’t use your sweat to gauge how many calories you’re burning. Sweating can be a sign that you’re working hard and burning lots of cals, but that’s not always the case. If you’re trying to keep tabs on your calorie burn, consider using an activity tracker instead.

Curious exactly how many calories you burn during your workouts? Download the MyPlate app for a more accurate and customized estimate.

What Can Sweat Actually Tell You?

You can’t necessarily rely on sweat to tell whether you’ve burned a lot of calories or are losing body fat. So what can those little droplets tell you? “Sweat can let you know how much fluid you’re losing,” says Jason Machowsky, RD, a sports dietitian and exercise physiologist at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City.

Generally, you want to avoid losing more than 2 to 3 percent of your body weight through sweat. (For a 150-pound person, that’s 4.5 pounds.) Sweating out more than that can put you at risk for dehydration, which can be dangerous. And if you’re exercising, it can potentially cause your performance to suffer.

The Risks of Excessive Sweating

Losing a couple pounds of water from sweating isn’t a big deal. But losing more than 3 percent of your body weight is dangerous because it puts you in the dehydration zone. In serious cases, dehydration can lead to heatstroke, urinary and kidney problems, seizures and shock, per the Mayo Clinic.

Signs of Dehydration

  • Thirst
  • Peeing less often, or having pee that’s a darker color than usual
  • Fatigue
  • Dizziness
  • Confusion
  • Dry skin
  • In severe cases, fainting, rapid heartbeat and/or rapid breathing

Anyone can become dehydrated from sweating, but you’re at higher risk if you’re working out in a hot or humid environment, exercising vigorously or not replenishing lost fluids by drinking more water. “An issue I sometimes see is people start workouts dehydrated, by exercising first thing in the morning without drinking fluids or working all day and not drinking water, and then the exercise exacerbates it,” Machowsky says.

Drinking before, during and after a workout can help you stay hydrated as you sweat. The American Council on Exerciserecommends drinking a glass of water 20 to 30 minutes before exercising, another glass every 10 to 20 minutes throughout your workout and another glass within 30 minutes of stopping. Going hard for more than an hour? “You may do better with a sports drink containing some electrolytes,” says Machowsky. The added electrolytes will help your body rehydrate faster.

Always remember to stay well hydrated. Make it a great day!!!

Philip “FitGuy46”

Certified Personal Trainer

4 Ab Exercises That Won’t Hurt Your Back

By Kelsey CasselburyUpdated November 13, 2019Reviewed by Lisa Maloney, CPT

Sometimes, ab exercises can feel like a no-win proposition — you have back pain because you don’t have core strength, but training those muscles makes your back hurt. To solve this problem, look for moves that train your entire core — the muscles that surround and stabilize your spine, including your abs — that won’t put undue stress on your back.

Woman raising her leg while doing side plank

Try side planks if you want to avoid hurting your back.Credit: Zinkevych/iStock/GettyImages

Are Crunches Good or Bad for Your Back?

When it comes to ab exercises, your first thought might be to lie on your back and start crunching. For most people, this exercise is mild, suitable and effective. But if your back isn’t entirely healthy, the repetitive action of flexing the lumbar spine might cause problems; it’s best to speak with your doctor about the ins and outs of your particular back condition to be sure.

Warning

If you have a back injury, talk to your health care provider before undertaking a comprehensive core workout plan. And if you’re just embarking on a core strength routine, start with basic exercises before you switch to more advanced moves.

How about sit-ups? Although this exercise is often conflated with crunches they’re quite different, and hinge-at-the-hip sit-ups work your hip flexors, which are muscles that run from your thighs to your lower back. If you have tight or overly strong flexors, it can pull on the lower spine and cause low back pain.

The Best Ab Exercises That Don’t Strain Your Back

But even if your back is healthy enough for crunches and sit-ups, you might still want to skip them. Why? They’re not a very functional or effective exercise, and more often than not, they’re done incorrectly, putting undue strain on your neck. Try one of the four exercises below — ranked from beginner to more advanced — instead.

1. Leg Slide

Because this exercise has you maintaining a neutral spine throughout, it’s less likely to cause back pain.

  1. V on your back, place your hands on hip bones and move your spine into a neutral position. Your feet should be flat on the ground with knees bent.
  2. Engage your ab muscles, exhale and extend your right leg, sliding your heel along the ground as you do.
  3. Return to the starting position and repeat on the left side.
  4. Complete six to eight reps on each leg.

Tip

To increase the difficulty of this move, lift the non-sliding leg so the foot is raised and the knee is bent to a 90-degree angle.

2. Bird-Dog

While slightly awkward at first, the bird-dog exercise promotes lower back strength and helps work on balance.

  1. Get on all fours, with your hands and knees on the ground.
  2. At the same time, raise your left arm forward and your right leg straight back. Keep your right hand and left knee on the ground to support your body.
  3. Return your arm and leg to the floor.
  4. Raise your right arm forward and left leg straight back.
  5. Repeat on both sides for six to eight reps.

3. Modified Plank

The plank pose is an ideal abdominal exercise because, according to the American Council on Exercise (ACE), it requires minimal movement while engaging all layers of the abdominal fascia.

  1. Lie face-down. 
  2. Raise your body so you’re supporting yourself on your forearms and knees.
  3. Position your elbows directly under your shoulders. 
  4. Hold for 30 to 60 seconds, or as long as you can without compromising your form.

Tip

Keep your forearms parallel to each other. Joining your hands together during a plank can create instability in your shoulder joint, according to ACE.

4. Plank With Rotation

Once you’ve mastered the modified plank, push yourself to a full plank, which requires balancing on your toes instead of your knees. When that also becomes too easy, add a thoracic rotation for extra strength-building benefits.

  1. Lift up to a high plank by balancing on your hands and toes, hands directly under your shoulders.
  2. Press your right hand into the ground, rotate your feet and hips to the left, then raise your left arm toward to the ceiling. 
  3. Rotate your left arm back down. 
  4. Press your left hand into the ground and repeat on the other side. 
  5. Do three to six reps on each side.

Follow these tips and you’ll be on your way to a rock solid core.

Make it a great day!!!

Philip “FitGuy46”

Certified Personal Trainer

How a Strong Core Can Keep You Fit and Pain-Free

By Isadora BaumUpdated December 30, 2019Reviewed by Katie McKinney, ACE CPT and GFI, FMS Level 1

When it comes to being in shape and working toward your fitness goals, a lot depends on your core. The muscles in your core — which extend from your chest and upper back to your hips and glutes — initiate and support just about every movement and are important for building flexibility and endurance.

Father exercising with baby in park, enjoying the benefits of a strong core

A strong core means balance and stability in your daily life as well as your workouts. Not to mention, keeping up with the kids.Credit: Raphye Alexius/Image Source/GettyImages

Read more: So, What Exactly Is Your Core?

How a Strong Core Benefits Your Everyday Life

Basically, your core supports everything you do. “First and foremost, it supports and protects your spine,” says Kat Wiersum, certified Pilates instructor at Amplified Pilates Center and interval instructor at Studio Three in Chicago.

That can mean preventing or lessening back pain — good news for the 80 percent of Americans that deal with it, according to the American Chiropractic Association.

“Beyond that, it ensures your body is in correct alignment and lets your bones and muscles move in the most uninhibited way possible.” The stronger your core is, the more correctly your body can move, which will help you feel less pain or tension during your day-to-day life.

When your core is weak, it can lead injury in other parts of your body as the other muscles attempt to compensate. For example, if your glutes (yes, they’re part of your core!) are weak, that can lead to overuse in your hip flexors and lower back, Wiersum says.

A solid, stable torso also gives your workout performance a boost. For example, in a 2018 study in The Saudi Journal of Sports Medicine, working on core strength improved the pace of speed skaters. And a March 2019 study in PLoS One, found that college athletes were able to improve their balance, endurance and running economy with eight weeks of core training.

Why Strong Abs Are Also Important

Your entire core is important, but your abs are important on their own, too! Since your abs are a part of your core (and a pretty large part, at that), the stronger your abs are, the stronger your core will be as a whole.

“Since we spend a lot of time moving forward and forward-facing, the front-body muscles tend to do a little more work naturally than the back-body muscles,” Wiersum says. So, your abs are primarily responsible for keeping your posture strong and your body aligned.

How to Tell if You Have a Strong Core

With all of the above-mentioned benefits, who wouldn’t want a strong core? But how can you tell if yours needs work?

Lift yourself up into a forearm plank and assess. Does it look like your belly button is pushing outwards? If so, try and engage it better to bring it toward your spine, Wiersum says.

Now time yourself. “You should be able to hold it for at least 30 seconds without lifting or shifting your hips,” says Katie Dunlop, CPT.

Or you can try the leg-lowering test. “Lie on your back with hands at your side or thumbs slightly under your hips,” Dunlop says. “Straighten your legs and lower them toward the ground without compromising a neutral spine position to at least a 45-degree angle,” she says.

Read more: Build a Core Workout Routine That Targets More Than Just Your Abs

What Six-Pack Abs Say About Your Core Strength

So if you have six-pack abs, that must mean you have amazing core strength, right? Not always. “Simply having a six pack doesn’t mean you’re strong, and people can also have a six pack that shows because of their low body fat percentage, but they may not have solid core strength,” Dunlop says.

Usually, six-pack abs can indicate that you have strong rectus abdominis muscles (the front of your abdomen), but you could still be overlooking the rest of the muscles of your core Wiersum says. And that puts you at risk for injury and pain. “This is common when people only work their rectus abdominis and neglect their back muscles especially,” she says.

At the same time, someone may be strong and have a well-functioning, aligned core but never have visible abs. So, don’t use just your abs as a way to define a strong core. Think of it as a nice perk if you have a chiseled midsection, but not as a measure of what’s necessary to be healthy or fit.

How to Strengthen Your Core

Ensure that you’re reaping all the benefits of a strong core you whole life long with these exercises.

Move 1: Forearm Plank

  1. Lie on your stomach with your forearms tucked underneath your body. Your elbows should be under your shoulders with your forearms extending out in front of you.
  2. Lift your hips and torso off the floor, supporting your body using your elbows, forearms and hands.
  3. Keep your body aligned from your ankles to your neck, keeping your back and hips as straight as possible. Look three to five inches in front of you to keep a neutral neck alignment.
  4. Hold the position for 30 to 60 seconds, or as long as you can.

Move 2: Bicycle Crunches

  1. Begin lying on the ground and place your hands behind your head.
  2. Raise your legs at a 45-degree angle, fully extended.
  3. Raise your torso and bring your right knee toward your chest, twisting your left elbow toward the knee.
  4. Keeping the shoulder blades off the ground, extend the right leg and bring the right knee toward the face, twisting the left elbow toward the knee.
  5. Continue alternating, keeping your upper body off the ground.

Move 3: Bird-Dog

  1. Start on your hands and knees with your back parallel to the floor.
  2. Slowly straighten your left arm and right leg until both are aligned with your back, pointing straight out.
  3. Hold this position for a few seconds, then slowly alternate to your right arm and left leg, returning to the starting position each time.
  4. As you alternate arms and legs, focus on keeping your back and torso as still as you can. Don’t arch your back or allow your hips and shoulders to sag in either direction.

A strong core is mandatory to help in preventing injuries. Would you build a house on a weak foundation? Then why would you try to build muscle on a weak core? Make it a great day!!!

Philip “FitGuy46”

Certified Personal Trainer

Weight Loss Tip

Tip

If you’re actively losing weight, aim to eat about 1.3 grams of lean proteinper kilogram of body weight each day. Keep in mind that a kilogram equals about 2.2 pounds. So, for example, a 250-pound person should aim to eat about 148 grams of protein daily (for reference, a 3-ounce serving of roasted chicken breast contains about 25 grams of protein, per the USDA).

Good morning everyone. One of today’s tips is to incorporate protein into your diet to aid you in your weight loss goals. Make it a great day!!!

Philip “FitGuy46”

Certified Personal Trainer

Food And Weight Loss

5 Reasons You’re Still Not Losing Weight After Cutting Junk Food

By Hallie LevineUpdated December 26, 2019

Fact Checked

You’ve said sayonara to cookies, chips and virtually anything that comes in a bag or a box, so why haven’t the pounds magically flown off your tummy, butt and hips? Alas, cutting out — or cutting back — on junky or processed foods in your diet doesn’t automatically translate into weight loss.

Woman drinking fresh orange juice

Even if you’ve cut out junk food, getting too many liquid calories may sabotage your weight loss.Credit: Rawpixel/iStock/GettyImages

“It’s true that a foundational step toward losing weight is taking out highly processed junk food — that is, anything that has a label that reads more like a lab experiment and/or contains added sugar,” says Liz Wyosnick, RDN, a registered dietitian in Seattle and owner of the private practice Equilibriyum.

body of research has tied processed foods to weight gain, and indeed, a small-but-groundbreaking study published May 2019 in Cell Metabolism found that people who eat a highly processed diet are apt to take in about 500 more calories each day than those who eat unprocessed foods.

Read more: Trying to Lose Weight? This Is the One Food Group You Should Probably Cut (No, It’s Not Carbs)

Oftentimes, though, nixing junk food isn’t enough on its own. Here are a few other common reasons why the scale may not be moving in the right direction.

1. You’re Eating Too Much of a Good Thing

Healthy whole foods like avocado, coconut oil, red meat, nuts and cheese all get points for being high-protein, satiating options, but they are also calorie-dense, too. “The portion size can make a huge difference in the amount of fat and therefore calories consumed in a day,” explains Wyosnick. One medium avocado, for example, has over 300 calories and 30 grams of total fat.

Fix it: When it comes to high-fat, high-calorie whole foods, sticking to healthy portion sizes is key.

  • One-quarter of an avocado clocks in at 75 calories but will give you plenty of filling, good-for-you fat and fiber, says Wyosnick. 
  • Opt for just 1 ounce of nuts as a snack (160 calories, 14 grams of fat). 
  • When it comes to red meat, “Stick to the portion that will fit in your palm (without the fingers), which is about 4 ounces,” says Wyosnick. You’ll still get all the benefits of satiation, but you’ll be doing your waistline a favor, too.

Did you know that keeping a food diary is one of the most effective ways to manage your weight? Download the MyPlate app to easily track calories, stay focused and achieve your goals!

Read more: 8 Dietitian-Approved Tricks to Make Portion Control Easier

2. You’re Drinking Your Calories

Guzzling plenty of fluids is important for weight loss, since it supports digestion and helps your body flush out toxins, explains Wyosnick. But not all fluids are created equal.

Fruit juices, sugary coffee drinks and that extra glass of wine or two at dinner aren’t doing you any favors. “I have clients who drink a ton of juice because they think it’s healthy, but they also don’t realize that it has a ton of calories,” says Ellen Albertson, PhD, RDN, a nutritionist and psychologist in Burlington, Vermont. “Just because a food is healthier and not ‘junk food’ doesn’t mean it’s calorie-free.”

Fix it: Keep drinking, but stick mainly to calorie-free water, black coffee, sparkling water and tea — and view that cocktail or full-fat cappuccino as an occasional indulgence, says Wyosnick.

Drink strategically, too. Try downing two cups of water 30 minutes before each meal. One study, published in the July-December 2014 issue of the Journal of Natural Science, Biology and Medicine found that this tactic can help reduce hunger and aids in weight loss over time.

And while organic fruit or veggie juices may sound healthy, they are laden with sugar and calories: Instead, eat the whole foods, which are also rich in filling fiber.

Read more: 6 Tricks to Help You Feel Fuller on Less Food

Intermittent fasting concept showing an alarm clock next to an empty plate with silverware on a blue wooden table

Timing your meals strategically may help with weight loss.Credit: everydayplus/iStock/GettyImages

3. You’re Not Timing Your Meals Correctly

Whether you’re skipping meals or noshing throughout the day, both ends of the meal timing spectrum can inhibit weight loss, says Wyosnick. If you graze constantly, you’re likely consuming extra calories throughout the day that make it harder to shed fat. But waiting too long to eat — or forgetting a meal entirely — can also backfire because it may leave you so ravenous that you eat everything in sight.

Fix it: Wyosnick recommends eating every three and a half to four hours during a 10- to 12-hour daytime eating period. “This meal-timing strategy supports steady blood sugar control and means that during the times between meals, and overnight, fat reserves are used more readily,” she explains.

Try to front-load as many of your calories as possible, too: Big breakfast eaters experienced more than twice the amount of weight loss compared to big dinner eaters at the end of 12 weeks, according to a March 2013 study published in the journal Obesity.

Read more: You Are When You Eat? How Intermittent Fasting Affects Weight Loss

4. You Overcompensate for Exercise With Food

You may feel virtuous ordering that protein shake at your gym’s juice bar after your spin class, but there’s a chance you may not actually need those extra calories, says Wyosnick. Pre- and post-workout snacks can be beneficial, but only if they’re timed and portioned appropriately with your other food intake.

Fix it: If it has been more than two hours since your last meal, it’s a good idea to have a small snack before your workout, to help you power through it, advises Wyosnick. If it’s after your workout and your next meal is more than two hours away, have a small, protein-packed snack to aid in recovery.

But if you’re exercising close to meal times, it’s probably a better idea to wait to refuel at your next meal, so you’re not consuming extra calories.

Asian woman using mobile phone while lying in bed

Not getting enough shut-eye has been linked to weight gain.Credit: Enes Evren/iStock/GettyImages

5. You’re Not Getting Enough Sleep

When the amount of time you spend sleeping goes down, your weight goes up, says Los Angeles-based sleep expert Michael Breus, PhD, author of The Power of When.

It doesn’t take long to see these effects, either: One study published April 2013 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found that just a week of sleeping five hours a night (instead of the recommended seven to eight) led participants to gain an average of 2 pounds.

“Sleep deprivation causes changes to hormones that regulate hunger and appetite: It reduces leptin, which suppresses appetite, and raises ghrelin, which triggers hunger,” Breus says. It also causes your body to churn out more cortisol, he adds, which creates more intense cravings for fat-laden foods. The result? You’re more likely to have a second or third helping of steak and skimp on low-calorie and low-fat fare like veggies.

Fix it: Prioritize getting enough zzzs each night. For most people, that’s about seven and a half hours, says Breus. And don’t fall into the trap of thinking you can make up lost sleep time on the weekends, either. “You want to stick to the same bedtime and wake up time throughout the week, because when your sleep has a regular rhythm, your biological clock will be in sync, and all your other bodily functions — including your metabolism — will run more smoothly,” he explains.

Follow these tips on your journey to weight loss. Make it a great day!!!

Philip “FitGuy46”

Certified Personal Trainer

Weight Loss Strategy

Strategy

A weight loss plan emphasizing whole foods that are minimally processed is the best weight loss strategy, says the American Heart Association, Harvard School of Public Health and the CDC. Instead of cutting food out altogether, seek to create calorie deficit of between 500 and 1,000 calories. Utilize physical activity along with dietary measures to create this negative calorie balance. This is the safe alternative to losing weight. No magic pills! Make it a great day!!!

Philip “FitGuy46”

Certified Personal Trainer

Does Starving Yourself Help You Lose Weight?

Warning

You need a minimum of 1,200 calories per day as a woman or 1,500 as a man to support nutrition for bodily functions like breathing, cellular repair, hormone production and pumping blood, says MedlinePlus. Starvation leaves no fuel for these basic bodily functions, let alone energy for daily tasks. Following a fast or starvation diet for several days can also cause nutritional deficiencies, dizziness, weakness, digestive distress, nausea, irritability, depression and fatigue. Undergoing a fast or starvation diet for too long can seriously compromise your health, and lead to organ failure and even death.

So please be careful when starting your weight loss journey. Make it a great day!

Philip “FitGuy46”

Certified Personal Trainer

Weight Loss Tips

How to Lose Weight Fast — the Healthy Way

By Christine MugnoloUpdated October 17, 2019Reviewed by Claudia Thompson, PhD, RD

African-American couple exercising together

Building muscle can help you lose weight fast, since muscle burns more calories than fat.Credit: kali9/E+/GettyImages

If you Google the words “how to lose weight fast,” dozens of crash diets, detox teas and diet pills will appear in your web browser. Sadly, most if not all of these methods are both unhealthy and ineffective ways to shed unwanted pounds.

Here’s what you should really know about weight loss, the dangerous side effects of losing rapidly and how to safely speed up the process.

Weight Loss 101

Understanding how weight loss works is the first step in shedding those unwanted pounds. While everyone wants to know how to lose weight quickly, there’s really no magic pill or shortcut out there. You have to put in the work, and a big part of that is monitoring calories.

Burning more calories than you take in creates a deficit, which is required for weight loss. The size of the deficit will dictate how much and how fast you lose, but doctors and health organizations recommend that weight loss be gradual and steady — no more than 1 to 2 pounds per week.

Because 3,500 calories equals 1 pound of fat, you’ll need to burn 3,500 calories to lose 1 pound, according to the Mayo Clinic. So, if you cut approximately 500 to 1,000 calories from your daily diet, you can safely lose 1 to 2 pounds per week.

Did you know that keeping a food diary is one of the most effective ways to manage your weight? Download the MyPlate app to easily track calories, stay focused and achieve your goals!

How Many Calories Should I Eat to Lose Weight?

To figure out how many calories you should be consuming daily for weight loss, you need to subtract the daily caloric deficit you’re aiming for (500 or 1,000, for example) from your total daily energy expenditure (TDEE), which is, according to the American Council on Exercise (ACE), the total amount of calories an individual burns in a given day. To estimate your TDEE, you first need to calculate your resting metabolic rate (RMR), which you can do by using the Mifflin-St Jeor Equation.

Mifflin-St Jeor Equation to Calculate RMR

  • Male: 9.99 x weight + 6.25 x height – 4.92 x age + 5
  • Female: 9.99 x weight + 6.25 x height – 4.92 x age – 161

(Measure weight in kilograms, height in centimeters, age in years)

To calculate kilograms, divide the number of pounds by 2.2. To calculate centimeters, multiply the number of inches by 2.54.

So, for example, a 40-year-old woman who is 5’5” and weighs 175 pounds would complete the equation like this:

9.99 x 79.3787 + 6.25 x 165.1 – 4.92 x 40 -161 = 1,467

This number is the best estimate of how many calories your body needs each day to perform the most basic of functions, according to ACE. In other words, the minimum amount you need to simply exist, without factoring in the calories you burn via any form of physical activity.

Calculating TDEE

Per ACE, to estimate your TDEE, you’ll need to multiply your RMR by a number based on your activity level:

  • Sedentary: Little to no exercise = RMR x 1.2
  • Lightly Active: Light exercise 1-3 days per week = RMR x 1.375
  • Moderately Active: Moderate exercise 3-5 days per week = RMR x 1.55
  • Very Active: Hard exercise 6-7 days per week = RMR x 1.725
  • Extremely Active: Hard daily exercise and a physical job = RMR x 1.9

So, for example, if your RMR is 1,467 calories and you’re moderately active, your TDEE is right around 2,274 calories per day. If you want to lose 2 pounds per week, your daily calorie goal should be around 1,274. Keep in mind, though, that these equations aren’t perfect. So you should plan to monitor your hunger levels and weight loss along the way, adjusting your calorie intake as needed so you’re losing weight without starving yourself.

Warning

Calorie intake should not fall below 1,200 per day for women or 1,500 per day for men, except under the supervision of a health professional, according to Harvard Health Publishing. Eating too few calories can endanger your health by depriving you of necessary nutrients.

Of course, all of this computing can get tricky. But LIVESTRONG.com’s MyPlate appwill do the work for you. Simply enter your age, height, weight, sex and weekly weight-loss goal into the app, and it will calculate your daily calorie goal. The app also acts as a food, calorie, macronutrients and water tracker, to help you stay on course toward your ultimate goal. 

Read more: How to Set a Realistic Goal Weight

Is Exercise Necessary to Lose Weight Fast?

Diet and exercise go hand in hand, because remember, burning more calories than you take in is the ultimate goal. Several factors affect how many calories people burn daily, such as genes, age and body size, according to Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, but the one thing that can be easily modified is the amount of exercise a person gets regularly. And while it is possible to lose weight with a very calorie-restrictive diet alone, exercise promotes weight loss and helps you maintain a healthy body weight in the long run.

Keep in mind that when you lose weight too fast, you lose lean muscle and little body fat. Strength-training not only burns a ton of calories but also builds lean muscle and helps rid the body of fat. Indeed, a September 2015 study published in Medicine and Science in Sports and Exerciseconcluded that lifting helps prevent your metabolism from slowing down after weight loss. That’s a good thing, because having a lower metabolic rate makes weight loss and maintenance more difficult.

“Exercise builds muscle. Muscle is denser than fat. When we build muscle, we need to consume calories to maintain the muscle,” says Shanna Levine, MD, owner of Goals Healthcare. “The amazing aspect about building muscle is that muscle will burn fat, even when you are resting, which also improves your metabolism.”

Read more: The Best Strength-Training Exercises for Weight Loss

The Dangers of Rapid Weight Loss

It’s natural to be eager to hit your goal weight, and while rapid weight loss can be achieved, it typically comes with some not-so-great consequences. In order to lose weight at a faster rate than 2 pounds per week, your daily caloric deficit would need to be greater than 1,000 calories, which means you wouldn’t be consuming enough energy from food to keep your body functioning properly, according to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

“Rapid weight loss never happens in a healthy way,” says Dr. Levine. “Healthy weight loss is considered 1 to 2 pounds a week, so rapid weight loss happens in states of extreme calorie deprivation.”

Your body needs a variety of foods for their health benefits, but when you cut out certain foods to lose weight fast, you’re likely to experience nutrient deficiencies. You need vitamins, minerals, fiber and other nutrients for your long-term well-being, and these shouldn’t be pushed aside in your pursuit of a certain number on the scale. Your immune system, bones and heart, as well as other vital organs can be compromised.

Furthermore, when you don’t take in enough calories, your body goes into survival mode and begins to break down muscle (not fat) in order to release the glucose that’s stored there, which can be used for energy (since you’re not getting energy from food). Your metabolism also starts to slow down in an effort to conserve energy. Sluggishness, feeling cold and constipation can occur. And speaking of glucose, your brain runs on it and needs a constant supply to run efficiently. If you’re low on energy and hungry, you’ll lose your ability to focus.

And then there’s gallstones. A diet of 800 calories or less can increase the risk of gallstones, according to John Hopkins Medicine, because as the body metabolizes fat during fast weight loss, it causes the liver to secrete cholesterol into bile, which forms stones. Gallstones can cause severe abdominal discomfort and you may need surgery to remove them.

Why You’ll Likely Regain Weight Lost Too Quickly

Severely restricting calories and/or working out excessively are not only unhealthy approaches to weight loss, according to the Mayo Clinic, but you also can’t maintain them as long-term lifestyle changes. That’s one of the main reasons why it’s probable you’ll gain back the weight you lost on a rapid diet plan.

Moreover, if you lose a lot of weight quickly, you may not lose as much fat as you would with a safer, slower rate of weight loss. You’re more likely to lose water weight (more on that later) and/or lean muscle tissue, because burning that many fat calories in a short period is difficult. In fact, in one small study of 47 people, published January 2016 in Obesity, researchers assigned about half the group to a diet of 500 calories per day for five weeks, and the other half to a diet of 1,250 calories per day for 12 weeks. The groups lost similar amounts of weight, but those who followed the extremely low-calorie diet lost six times more muscle.

And losing muscle can come back to haunt you, since muscle burns more calories than fat. That means the more muscle you have, the more calories you burn — and vice versa. Having less muscle drops the number of calories you can consume in a day without gaining weight.

Slower weight loss is safer and can be maintained long-term. Since you’re gradually making better decisions each day, you begin to make lifestyle changes, while learning to incorporate healthier foods. Old, bad habits are replaced with new, healthy habits and your lower weight can be sustained while keeping your energy up and your nutrients boxes checked off.

“A super restrictive diet isn’t sustainable long-term. A lot of times, the first holiday after the loss comes around, you give in to a slice of apple pie and then another and eventually you find yourself right back where you started on the scale,” says Jenny Champion, RD, CPT. “Slow weight loss is better because you leave yourself some wiggle room for birthdays and Thanksgiving. You also won’t put so much pressure on yourself to achieve a lofty weight goal in a very short time.”

Read more: What Really Happens to Your Body When You Yo-Yo Diet

The Deal with Water Weight

If you’re using more energy than you’re consuming (aka following a low-calorie diet), water weight — that extra bloat — is the first to go. Remember that your body will turn to glycogen (which is made up of glucose) when it runs out of energy from food. Glycogen is metabolized quickly in order to meet the body’s need for glucose, but each gram of glycogen is tied to 3 grams of water, according to a September 2015 study in the European Journal of Applied Physiology. So when your storage of glycogen is used up, a lot of water is released quickly.

Of course, as soon as you eat enough carbs, your glycogen supply is restored and so is the water weight (they are called carbo_hydrates_, after all!). So, if you’re on a low-cal diet but happen to slip up and notice an extra pound or two on the scale, it’s likely not fat that you’ve gained.

“In healthy individuals, extra water weight is no more than 1 to 2 pounds and fluctuates with our diet and level of activity,” says Dr. Levine. “High carbohydrate or sodium intake increases water weight. But those who maintain a balanced diet should focus on the loss of weight attributed to body fat and not extra water weight. They can do this by eating a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, water, complex carbohydrates and lean proteins.”

Keeping Quick Weight Loss Healthy

Losing weight at a slow-and-steady pace while changing your unhealthy habits is the way to go. But if you’re looking to speed up your slim-down for an event or to get into a favorite pair of jeans — don’t fall victim to some fad or crash diet. You can do it safely with some expert-backed ways. Champion offers the following suggestions:

  1. Cutting back on carbs has continually been shown to speed up weight loss. This doesn’t mean you have to go keto; even just actively trying to eat less bread, pasta, rice and pizza will help move the needle.
  2. Add more protein since it’s the known “appetite squasher.” Also, protein helps to maintain muscle mass and metabolic rate as you lose weight, which is the key to actually keeping it off once it’s gone. 
  3. Load up your plates (yes, all of them) with vegetables. They’re super filling and low on calories, so you’ll naturally be more satisfied on less food by the end of the day, which promotes steady weight loss.

Weight loss takes time. One to two pounds a week is normal and safe. Make it a great day!!!

Philip “FitGuy46”

Certified Personal Trainer

Weight Loss

I posted some tips on weight loss below.

The Best Tips for Every Stage of Your Weight-Loss Journey

By Kaitlin AhernUpdated September 12, 2019

Weight loss ultimately comes down to burning more calories than you take in. But if you’ve ever tried losing weight, you also know that this seemingly simple formula isn’t always easy to put into practice. And that can be downright frustrating.

Of course, weight-loss tips are everywhere you look, but how do you know which are safe, legit and will actually move the number on the scale? You could spend days researching and still not be totally sure — so we went ahead and did the legwork for you.

Here’s what you need to know about weight loss, including all the research-backed advice that really works.

The Science Behind Successful Weight Loss

A table full of healthy food and information about weight loss

Knowing the facts about weight loss will help you develop a plan that delivers results.Credit: Rawpixel Ltd/iStock/GettyImages

To start, you’re going to need to separate the facts from the heard-it-through-the-grapevine fodder. What worked for someone else — or even a group of people — may not be your ideal approach, and for many different reasons. But having a good grip on the basics, such as knowing exactly how to calculate and track your daily calories, will help you spot a fad from a mile away and create a personalized weight-loss regimen that delivers results.

Here’s what’s actually happening in your body when you lose weight — and how to get started.

What to Know About Short-Term Weight Loss

Woman checking her performance on smartwatch looking to lose weight fast

“Crash” diets may yield quick results, but they’re usually not sustainable — or safe.Credit: Jacob Ammentorp Lund/iStock/GettyImages

With their promise of lightning-fast results, fad or “crash” diets may be tempting, but they often do more harm than good by slowing your metabolism and causing you to lose lean muscle mass (which makes it harder to both maintain the weight lost andto drop pounds down the road). While it is possible to lose pounds fast, there’s definitely a right and a wrong approach. The best way? It starts with setting a realistic goal weight.

Get the full picture on losing pounds quickly, including how to do it the healthy way.

All About Overeating

View from above of friends eating at a restaurant

If you have trouble stopping yourself from overeating, there’s a good chance you’re noshing from a place of emotion rather than true hunger.Credit: Hero Images/Hero Images/GettyImages

When it comes to common roadblocks on the weight-loss journey, overeating is one of the biggies. Even if you know all about serving sizes and portion control, it can sometimes be a challenge to get your eating under control and stick to a calorie count that will result in weight loss. The good news? It’s probably all in your head (hello, emotional eating) — and there are concrete steps you can take to tame this bad habit.

Hear from experts on what causes overeating in the first place, and then learn how to quash it.

Science-Backed Weight-Loss Hacks

A woman sitting at a table and drinking water before eating lunch

Research shows that drinking two cups of water before a meal could help you lose weight.Credit: Ridofranz/iStock/GettyImages

While there’s no magic bullet when it comes to losing weight, research has uncovered many small tweaks that can make the process a lot easier. For example, did you know that distractions while you’re eating could cost you extra calories? Or that simply drinking two cups of water before a meal might help you shave off pounds — without any other changes to your diet?

Take a peek at 11 more tricks that go far beyond the “eat less, move more” mantra.

Breaking Through Weight-Loss Plateaus

Woman's feet standing on a white bathroom scale with her toes raised

It can be frustrating when your weight loss plateaus, but it’s a totally normal part of the process.Credit: Blend Images/John Fedele/Tetra images/GettyImages

Nothing is more frustrating than watching the number on the scale steadily fall for weeks, and then suddenly — nothing. The truth is, even when you’re sticking to your diet and exercise plan like glue, it’s totally normal to experience a plateau at some point. The key: Don’t get discouraged, because you’re still on the right path. And know that, with just a few adjustments, you can get the scale moving in the right direction again.

I truly hope this information helped you guys. Make it a great day!!!

Philip “FitGuy46”

Certified Personal Trainer

Nutrition

Savory oatmeal with egg and avocado

Credit: VeselovaElena/iStock/GettyImages

Oatmeal is a breakfast staple and it’s easy to see why the whole grain has become a fan favorite. It checks all the boxes: affordable, nutritious and versatile. A bowl of homemade oatmeal costs less than a dollar and will provide a healthy dose of heart-friendly soluble fiber.

But one of the most convenient attributes about oatmeal is its subtle flavor. Oats can be incorporated into and topped with so many other foods, from sweeter options like fresh fruit, nut butters and honey, to savory choices like vegetables, eggs, cheese, meat and herbs. Enjoy these savory, creative and comforting oatmeal bowls anytime — for breakfast and beyond

So make sure to get your oatmeal servings in. Make it a great day!!!

Philip “FitGuy46”

Glutes A.K.A. Booty

Why You Should Care About Strong Glutes

All three muscles that make up your glutes work together to help with hip rotation and movement and contribute to core strength. Specifically, the gluteus maximus serves many daily functions like helping you climb stairs and maintain balance while walking or running.

Plus, building strong glutes mean lowering your risk of pain and injury. When the glutes become weak, it puts you at higher risk for common issues like knee and lower back pain, according to the American Council on Exercise. That’s key for the 80 percent of American adults who suffer from lower back pain at some point in their lives.

So keep those glutes strong to avoid injuries!!! Make it a great day!!!!

Philip “FitGuy46”

Push Ups

Decline Push-Ups vs. Regular Push-Ups

By Andrea Boldt

Fact Checked

If you’re going to do just one exercise ever, the push-up should be it. It teaches your muscles to work in coordination, strengthens your upper body and core and is fuss-free enough to do just about anywhere. A regular push-up may get boring over time, however, so add in variations.

One variation that changes up how the push-up affects your upper body muscles is the decline push-up. You elevate your legs on a surface that’s usually 12 to 20 inches off the floor and place your hands on the floor, by your armpits and slightly wider than shoulder-distance apart. From this angle, you then perform a classic push-up movement by bending and extending your elbows.

A decline variation targets your upper chest and fronts of shoulders more aggressively than a regular push-up performed on level ground. Perform it in addition to a regular push-up — as well as with other chest exercises — to get the most well-rounded chest development.

Where Your Chest Develops

The pectoralis major is a fan-like muscle that makes up the chest wall. The upper portion of this muscle is known as the clavicular region and the middle-to-lower portion is the sternal region. Being angled down in a decline puts more weight and emphasis on the clavicular head of the chest. A regular push-up emphasizes the sternal portion of the pectoralis major primarily. The clavicular region is still activated, but not as intensely as it is in the decline variation.

The more dramatic the angle, the greater the activation of the upper chest region. But, if you elevate too high, so that you’re close to or in a handstand position, the shoulders do the primary work as you push up and down; the chest only assists.

Shoulder Activation

In addition to increasing activation of the upper chest, decline push-ups also force the fronts of your shoulders — known as the anterior deltoids — to work more intensely than they will in a regular push-up. This makes decline push-ups an effective shoulder exercise.

Form Considerations

Both a regular push-up and a decline push-up call for a rigid torso, which is achieved by strongly bracing your abs. If your hips sag or hike upward, you lose a big benefit of both types of push-ups — serious activation of your core.

Who’s It For?

A person just starting out exercising should master the regular push-up before attempting a decline push-up. With a regular push-up, you can easily modify the move, so that you don’t break form, such as by putting your knees down or pushing up against a wall or incline. A decline push-up doesn’t come with such modification — if you put your knees down, you’ve lost the angle.

Complementary Exercises

For an evenly developed chest, include the regular push-up and decline push-up in your workouts. Other exercises that the American Council on Exercise found of most benefit for chest development include:

  • Bench Presses
  • Bent-Forward Cable Crossovers
  • Pec Deck Machine

Make it a great day!!!

Philip “FitGuy46

Being Strong For Life

Functional fitness has exploded in popularity with the rise of CrossFit, F45 and similar workouts, but it’s by no means a fad. These types of exercises develop the strength and mobility you need for daily activities like picking up heavy objects, putting something on a high shelf and even getting up from the floor.

As people age, they lose the ability to perform these everyday tasks due to decreased bone density and muscle mass and increased inflammation and joint degeneration, among other things, according to the Merck Manual.

However, a November 2019 study published in the Journal of Applied Physiology shows that exercising may help delay some of the signs of aging — so much so that the muscle cells of older men closely resembled the muscle cells of 25-year-old men. Strength training in particularStrength training helps combat many age-related issues, such as the loss of strength, mobility and bone density. By Amanda Capritto

Make it a great day!!!

Philip “FitGuy46

Burning Fat

Tip for burning more fat at the gym.

Start your workouts with strength training and finish with cardio or HIIT. Another option is to lift weights at least three times per week and do cardio or full-body circuits on separate days. Make it a great day!!!

Philip “FitGuy46”

Certified Personal Trainer

Lose Weight And Tone Up!!!

Hi I’m a recent grad from NASM. I am a Certified Personal Trainer. I specialize in fitness assessment, program design and weight training.

I want to help people who have had difficulties in the past incorporating fitness as a lifetime goal. My desire is to help potential clients see fitness as a lifetime endeavor. My philosophy is that fitness should be sustainable and a lifelong goal.

My plan as a fitness coach is to teach my clients to make in incorporate fitness as a permanent part of their lives to be engaging, and for the outcome to continuously be revolving into a better physical shape.

Make it a great day!!!

So if you live in the San Antonio area, Boerne area, New Braunfels area, San Marcos area, or Austin area check out my website at: www.fitguy46personaltraining.com

Philip “FitGuy46”

Strength Training Workout

Chest And Back Workout
Post Workout

Try this workout.

Flat bench barbell press 3 sets 10

Standing Cable Flyes 6 sets 10

Flat bench dumbbell press 3 sets 10

Pull ups 3 sets 10

Seated cable rows 4 sets 10

Bent over barbell rows 3 sets 10

Seated cable pull downs 3 sets 10

Hey fit family!!! Had another great workout!!! Make it a great day!!!

Philip “FitGuy46”

Being Successful

“If you want to be successful, you’ve got to take responsibility for where you are now, where you want to go, and do the work to grow yourself and your business to the next level.” – Sean Greely

Good morning fitness family!!! I know I’ve been gone for a while but I’m back. I was really down. This quote helped motivate me to start taking responsibility for where I am and where I want to go. I’m going to start working harder to reach my goals as a Certified Personal Trainer!!!

Philip “FitGuy46”

Philip “FitGuy46”

Encouraging Thoughts

“Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen.”

“We stand behind our principles, and we’re not afraid to tell people what we think. We’ve even gotten into trouble for that from time to time because people aren’t always that interested in what we think.

What we may need to do a bit more is to listen-really listen- to what others think and to give what they say serious consideration. Sometimes we’re so busy planning the next thing that we want to say that we barely hear what anyone else has to offer.” Linda Picone

I won’t falter in my willingness to put myself on the line, but I realize that others may feel just as strongly about their positions. I will listen to and respect their thoughts-even if I still don’t agree.

Good afternoon fitness family. Sometimes it helps to keep an open mind. So make it a great day!!!

Philip “FitGuy46”

FitGuy46 Strength Training Workout

Chest & Back Workout Session

Hey fitness family!!! Had another great workout which consisted of back and chest. I’m still working on getting my first clients. Trying to start a new career is hard and can be really frustrating at times but I’m not giving up!!! I will continue to blog and post my workout pictures, workouts and results to show that I know how to get results. Today’s exercises were:

Pull ups 4 sets 10

Incline dumbbell bench press 4 sets 10

Flat bench dumbbell press 3 sets 10

Bent over dumbbell rows 3 sets 10

Seated cable rows 4 sets 10

Decline push ups 4 sets 10

Flat bench dumbbell press 3 sets 10

Flat bench barbell pullover 3 sets 10

Make it a great rest of the day!!!

Philip “FitGuy46”

Certified Personal Trainer

In Search of Clients

I am new to the personal training field. I am in search of clients to train. I have been going to the gym and working out since May of 2015. I am looking for 5 clients in and around the San Antonio, Texas area to train for free and monitor their health and fitness goals. I’m positive that I can get you the results you are looking for. Whether it’s weight loss, toning up, building muscle or cardio. I can get you the results you’re looking for but you will need to be dedicated and put in 110%!!! So if you’re willing to do the work and put in 110% message me so we can get started. Make it a great day!!!

Philip “FitGuy46”

Certified Personal Trainer

Legs And Triceps Workout

Dumbbell sumo squats 3 sets 10

Kettle bell swings 3 sets 10

Dumbbell walking lunges 3 sets 10

Leg abduction 3 sets 10

Leg adduction 3 sets 10

Tricep dips 4 sets 12

Tricep cable press downs 4 sets 10

Decline diamond push ups 4 sets 10

Standing barbell calf raises 6 sets 10

Yet another great strength training workout!!! Try This workout and tell me what y’all think. Make it a great day!!!

Philip “FitGuy46”

Strength Training Session

Chest And Back Workout

Pull ups 5 sets 10

Seated cable rows 4 sets 10

Barbell pullover 4 sets 10

Decline dumbbell press 3 sets 10

Machine fly 3 sets 10

Flat bench barbell press 3 sets 10

Incline dumbbell press 3 sets 10

Hey there fitness family!!! Had another great day at the gym. Hope you guys get that workout in!!! Make it a great day!!!!

Philip “FitGuy46”

Core Training Workout

Core Workout Session

My core workout consisted of:

Wall supported handstands 3 sets 30 seconds

Burpees 3 sets 10

Pseudo push ups 3 sets 10

Cable rotations 6 sets 10

Planks 6 sets 30 seconds

Had a great core workout today!!! Integrating core exercises into your fitness training helps you reach your fitness goals. It also helps cut down on injuries. Make it a great day!!!

Philip “FitGuy46”

Strength Training Workout

Shoulders & Biceps Workout

Good morning fitness family!!! My workout session this morning consisted of shoulders and biceps.

Upright barbell rows 5 sets 8

Barbell shrugs 4 sets 10

Cable shrugs 3 sets 10

Face pulls 4 sets 10

Dumbbell curls 6 sets 8

Overhead cable curls 3 sets 10

Barbell spider curls 3 sets 10

Incline dumbbell curls 4 sets 8

Another great workout in the books!!! Make it a great day!!!

Philip “FitGuy46”

Positive Quote

“I can live for two months on a good compliment.” Mark Twain

“We might not think a casual compliment means all that much, but consider how we feel after someone tells us we’ve done a good job, we look good today, or they admire one of our many fine qualities. We hold our head a little higher, smile a little more broadly, step a little more brightly.

When someone gives us a compliment, we tend to think better of them, too. Clearly, they’re smart and insightful.” Linda Picone

I enjoy it when someone gives me a compliment, and why not? It prompts me to give compliments as well.

Hey fit family!!! Don’t forget to give those compliments every chance you get!!! Make it a great day!!!

Philip “FitGuy46”

Strength Training

Strength Training Session

Today’s workout consisted of Legs, triceps, and calves.

Leg press 3 sets 10

Kettle bell swings 3 sets 10

Leg adduction 3 sets 10

Leg adduction 3 sets 10

Leg extensions 4 sets 20

Tricep extension 4 sets 10

Diamond push ups 4 sets 10

Overhead cable extension 4 sets 8

Dips 4 sets 10

Seated calf raises 4 sets 20

FitGuy46

Hey fitness family I had another great workout this morning!!! Make it a great day!!!

Philip “FitGuy46”

Strength Training

Chest & Back Workout

Hello fitness family!!! Today my strength workout consisted of chest and back.

Flat bench barbell press 4 sets 10

Incline dumbbell press 4 sets 10

Tricep press downs 3 sets 10

Seated cable rows 4 sets 10

Pull ups 3 sets 10

Lying barbell pullovers 3 sets 10

It was a great workout 👍👍👍!!! Make it a great day!!!

Philip “FitGuy46”

Daily Quote

New Endings

“Though you can go back and make a brand new start, anyone can start from now and make a brand new ending.” Carl Bard

“We can spend a lot of time analyzing the bad decisions we’ve made, the mistakes we’ve made, the friends we’ve hurt. If only we’d been smarter, more patient, or just nicer. We can’t change the past, no matter how much we analyze it.

But we can move forward in new ways, making better decisions, avoiding the old mistakes, and being nicer to those around us. We have countless opportunities to reinvent or reorient ourselves.” Linda Picone

I don’t have to be defined by things I’ve done in the past. I can make the future what I want it to be.

Good morning fitness family!!! Remember not to dwell on the past. Let it go and make your new endings!!! So make it a great day!!!

Philip “FitGuy46”

Positive Quote

Mental Attitude

“Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal; nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude.” Thomas Jefferson

“Can’t do it.” “Never could do it.” “Never will be able to do it.” “No one could do it.” “We don’t have the right resources.” “We haven’t been trained.” “We don’t have the time.”

“We’re full of excuses for why we can’t do something, even before we we’ve made one small effort to get it done. Will we succeed? Not with this attitude. But if we take on the challenge with enthusiasm and energy, assuming that we’re going to do just fine, we just might.” Linda Picone

I may not be able to change the tasks that need to get done, but I can change my approach to them.

Good afternoon fitness family!!! This is today’s quote of the day. Having the right mental attitude will help aid you in achieving your goals. So make it a great day!!!

Philip “FitGuy46”

Strength Workout Session

Shoulder & Bicep Workout

Hello fitness family. My strength training workout consisted of:

Wall supported handstands 3 sets 10 (30 seconds)

Upright barbell rows 4 sets 8

Barbell shrugs 4 sets 8

Cable shrugs 3 sets 10

Dumbbell curls 6 sets 8

Chin ups 3 sets 10

Preacher curls 4 sets 10

Barbell curls 4 sets 10

Working on perfecting my workouts as a personal trainer. Make it a great day!!!

Philip “FitGuy46”

Strength Training Workout

Legs Triceps & Calves

Good evening fitness family!!! My strength training workout today consisted of:

Squats 4 sets of 10

Kettle bell swing 3 sets of 10

Hip adduction 3 sets 10

Hip abduction 3 sets of 10

Walking lunges 3 sets of 10

Tricep press downs 4 sets of 10

Diamond push ups 4 sets of 10

Overhead cable extension 3 sets of 10

Standing barbell calf raises 10 sets of 10

Seated calf raises 5 sets of 10

I had a great workout today. Legs feel like jelly but it was a great workout!!! Make it a great day!!!

Philip “FitGuy46”

Today’s Quote Of The Day

Doing Something

“In any moment of decision, the best thing you can do is the right thing, the next best thing is the wrong thing, and the worst thing you can do is nothing.” Theodore Roosevelt

“What if we’re wrong? What if if we pick the wrong person to love, or the wrong job to devote ourselves to, or the wrong city to live in? We waffle and weave. Maybe we can put off the decision for a while. Maybe things will be clearer tomorrow.

Not making a decision is making a decision-and it may well be the worst decision we could make.” Linda Picone

I’ll do my research, talk to people I trust, and think hard. Then I’ll make a decision and move forward. If it turns out that I’ve taken the wrong path, I can always turn around and go the right way. If I don’t make a decision, I’ll never know the right way to go.

Good morning fitness family!!! This is the quote for today. So make it a great day day!!!

Philip “FitGuy46”

Daily Positive Quote

Enjoying The Detour

“The really happy person is the one who can enjoy the scenery on a detour.” Anonymous

“Oops, we’ve run into a detour on our way to where we had planned to go. We thought we were going to law school or culinary school or on a trip to Europe, but something happened, and now we find ourselves working and living in places we never dreamed of.

Maybe someone close to us needed our help. Maybe our finances didn’t work out the way we’d hoped. Maybe we unexpectedly fell in love. We can sigh over the plans that went awry-or we can be pleased about landing right where we are. Maybe we’ll get back to those original plans, maybe not. Whatever we do, we’re going to be happy. Linda Picone

I won’t cry over what seem to be missed opportunities. I’ll value the opportunities I have instead.

Happy weekend fitness family!!! Don’t dread over the missed opportunities. Always value the opportunities that you have now to help you succeed in life!!! Make it a great day!!!

Philip “FitGuy46”

Positive Quote Of The Day

Bad Memory

“Happiness is good health and a bad memory.” Ingrid Bergman

“We worry a lot about forgetting things. We make notes and tuck them in our pockets or post lists in prominent places around the house. We keep our address book or daily calendar with us at all times. We practice little tricks for remembering names and places.

We would be happier, though, if we could forget some things. Let’s forget about those occasions when people betrayed us, made us cry, or sinned against us. Let’s forget about those times when we embarrassed ourselves, acted meanly, or let ourselves down. There’s no point in wallowing in such memories-and plenty of reasons to move on.” Linda Picone

My good memories I’ll keep for a long time. My bad ones I’ll let go. So let all those bad memories go and treasure those good memories forever fitness family!!!

Philip “FitGuy46”

My Strength Training Workout

Shoulders & Biceps

My shoulders and biceps training consisted of:

Standing shoulder press, lateral dumbbell raises, dumbbell shoulder shrugs, standing dumbbell curls, spider ez barbell curls, incline dumbbell curls.

Good evening fitness family! FitGuy46 here. Just wanted to share my strength workout with y’all. I’m an up and coming certified personal trainer in search of my first potential clients. Really looking forward to helping clients reach their fitness goals.

Philip “FitGuy46”

Today’s Positive Quote

Beating The Competition

“Don’t bother just to be better than your contemporaries or predecessors. Try to be better than yourself.” William Faulkner

“Sports has given us the concept of “personal best,” the idea that our most important competition is with ourselves. Can we do better today than we did yesterday? Can we do even better tomorrow?

Competing with ourselves is healthier than competing with others. For one thing, there’s no way to cheat. For another, there can be no envy or resentment-no “sore losing”- if we’re competing against ourselves.” Linda Picone

What do I want to improve on? I’ll keep track of my personal bests so that I can continually try to “be better than myself.”

Good morning fitness family!!! FitGuy46 here with today’s quote of positivity. This is another great one. Makes a lot of sense. I will be incorporating this into my own lifestyle today. How about y’all?

Positive Quotes

Continuity

“Even if I knew that tomorrow the world would go to pieces, I would still plant my apple tree.” Martin Luther

“Too quietly and peacefully go about our business sometimes requires great courage. Events in the world or in our own lives may make us want to scream and wail, tear out our hair, or beat our heads against the wall. But we don’t do any of those things. We square our shoulders, look straight ahead, and carry out our daily routines. We try to restore normality to what feels like chaos.” Linda Picone

I admire people who just keep going, without bragging or feeling the need to tell everyone about it. I can be one of those people.

I truly hope this gives you guys the motivation to keep doing what you’re doing and move forward.

Philip “FitGuy46”

Strength Training Workout

Legs & Triceps Workout

Good evening fitness family!!! My strength training workout today consisted of:

Squat jumps, dumbbell sumo squats? Kettle bell swings, wall sits, tricep cable press downs, overhead cable tricep extensions, dips, seated calf raises.

I had a great workout today. The gym was a little crowded but I was able to still get my workout in without having to wait too long on equipment to open up. I hope everyone has a great night and I’ll talk to y’all tomorrow.

Philip “FitGuy46”

Quote Of The Day

The Rat Race

“The problem with winning the rat race is you’re still a rat.” Lily Tomlin

“None of us likes to lose, we all want to be winners. But what, exactly, does winning mean? And what if we decide that we don’t want to compete? Does this automatically make us a loser?

Maybe it’s time to get rid of the idea that life is a kind of race. What if, instead, we saw life as a kind of dance, where the idea isn’t to win but to learn new moves, execute them gracefully, and, above all, enjoy ourselves?” Linda Picone

I want to win as much as the next person, but I don’t feel obliged to accept someone else’s definition of winning. My own definition of winning is to maintain my integrity, optimism, compassion in the face of events that threaten these qualities.

So make it a great day!!!!

Philip A.K.A. “FitGuy46”

Core Training Workout

My Core Workout

Good evening fitness family. I hope all is well. Today my core workout consisted of:

Wall supported hand stands, burpees, decline sit ups, pseudo push ups, front planks, side planks. Incorporating core exercises into your workouts will help you in reaching your fitness goals. It will also help in cutting down on possible injuries. Would you build a house on a weak foundation? My question to you is, why would you try to build muscle around a weak core? When you start doing core exercises you will notice the difference in your lifts and your stabilization muscles.

Until next time. Make it a great day!!!

Philip A.K.A. FitGuy46

Motivational Quotes

The Miracle Of The World

“This world, after all our science and sciences, is still a miracle: wonderful, inscrutable, magical and more, to whosoever will think it.” Thomas Carlyle

“We have learned a lot about the world we live in, from the geology of the land beneath us, to the biology of the life that surrounds us, to the physics of the sky above us. We know how diamonds are formed, how waterfalls were created, how birds are able to migrate for thousands of miles, and much more.

Knowing these things, however,doesn’t necessarily explain the world to us. We can understand the how, but we still don’t know the why. Searching for the why is the occupation of a lifetime.” Linda Picone

I am awed by the world I live in, and the more I know about it, the greater my sense of wonder about it.

Good morning fitness family!!! Please give some thought to today’s motivational quote.

Philip A.K.A. FitGuy46

Strength Training Workout

My Chest & Back Workout

Good evening fitness family I got my workout in earlier. My workout today consisted of:

Incline dumbbell press, pull ups, flat bench dumbbell press, bent over dumbbell rows, seated cable rows, decline push ups, straight arm cable pull down.

Cooling Down After My Workout

Quote Of The Day

New Possibilities

“What after all has maintained the human race on this old globe, despite all the calamities of nature and all the tragic failings of mankind, if not the faith in new possibilities and the courage to advocate them.” Jane Addams

“From the time Homo sapiens evolved, we have dreamed of a better world. Because of our dreams, we have left our homes on long, arduous, uncertain journeys over land and water. Because of our dreams, we have sent explorers into the deepest oceans and the far reaches of outer space.

Because of our dreams, we get up every morning with an enduring faith in the possibilities that this day may bring.” Linda Picone

Typhoons, earthquakes, war, famine-you’d think the human race would have given up by now. But we keep on. My problems are tiny compared to what others have faced. I will keep on, no matter what is thrown my way.

The Rookie Certified Personal Trainer

Want To Get Shredded?

Hello fitness family. My name is Philip. I am a San Antonio native, and I am a rookie Certified Personal Trainer. I decided to be my first client. I have been working out since May of 2015. I’m going to be my first client because I want to show potential clients that I can get them positive results.

I started by getting my in body analysis done today. My basal metabolic rate is 2031 kcal. Basal metabolic rate is the minimum number of calories needed to sustain life at a resting state. BMR is directly correlated to lean body mass.

My body composition analysis:

My total body water is 124.6 lbs, dry lean mass 45 lbs, body fat mass 31.5 lbs.

My muscle-fat analysis:

My total weight is 201lbs, skeletal muscle mass 98.1 lbs, body fat mass 31.5 lbs.

My obesity analysis:

My BMI is 28.8, body fat percentage is 15.7%.

Segmental lean analysis:

My right arm is 11.44 lbs, left arm is11.51 lbs, trunk is 81 lbs, right leg is 23.52 lbs, left leg is 22.93 lbs.

I will updating my progress weekly, so follow me and keep track of my progress. This my way of advertising my services as a certified personal trainer. I can and will get results for my potential clients. So please stay tuned. My goal is to be rookie of the year!!!

Strength Training Workout

My Strength Training

Good afternoon fitness family!!! My workout today consisted of:

Seated dumbbell press

Seated dumbbell lateral raises

Standing cable shrugs

Cable face pulls

Dumbbell shoulder shrugs

Standing dumbbell curls

Cable curls

Close grip chin ups

Incline dumbbell curls

Eat Sleep Gym Repeat!!!

Positive Quotes

Ego And Position

“Avoid having your ego so close to your position that when your position falls, your ego goes with it.” Colin Powell

“We’re proud when we’re successful at what we do. Executive, teacher, athlete, parent-we like telling people what we do. It tends to be how we define who we are-to ourselves and others.

But what happens when we retire or become empty-nesters? This can be a wrenching adjustment. We don’t quite know how to introduce ourselves without a job attached to our name. Worse, we aren’t even sure ourselves who we are. It’s good to be invested in our work, as long as we remember that we aren’t our work and our work isn’t us. It’s just something that we do.” Linda Picone

I love my work, but my life-and who I am-are more than my work. I will make sure that I have other sources of satisfaction.

Quote Of The Day

Time For Change

“Change before you have to.” Jack Welch

“When we have to change, we change. When we have no other choice, we do what we have to do. We may not like it-we may even resent it-but we do it anyway, and we find a way to deal with it.

But what if instead of simply reacting to change, we initiated change ourselves? What if we anticipated the need for change and actively planned for it in both our personal and professional lives? What if we acted before change was forced on us?” Linda Picone

If change is good-and it can be-maybe I should deliberately push myself to change once in a while.

Fitness Assessments

Hello again fitness family. I’m back again to talk to you about fitness assessment. Fitness assessment is a very important component of being a personal trainer. Without it, personal trainers run the risk of injuring their clients.

PAR-Q is also part of your fitness assessment. You need to find out about your potential clients medical history, if they have any past injuries, or if they are currently under a physician’s care. If under a physician’s care, they will need to get physician’s permission to workout with the trainer.

So to all my fellow personal trainers, please make sure you are following the trainers oath by having your potential clients fill out the PAR-Q questionnaire and performing your fitness assessment on them.

So make it a great day by helping 1 client at a time 1 day at a time

Philip A.K.A. “FitGuy46”

Quote About Strength

Strength

“What does not destroy me, makes me stronger.” Friedrich Wilhem Nietzsche

“Tough times can make us stronger and wiser. Knowing this doesn’t really make tough times any easier, though-at least not while we’re going through them. But it’s worthwhile to remind ourselves often of this truth.

Of course, we get stronger not simply because we go through tough times, but because we call upon our best selves to find our way through them. We draw on our humor, patience, courage, and other qualities and, in doing so, learn the power of our inner resources.” Linda Picone

I will survive the difficult periods in my life. And after each one, I will be a stronger, more resilient person.

Positive Quotations

Opportunity For Kindness

“You cannot do a kindness too soon, for you never know how soon it will be too late.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

“We shouldn’t wait for the perfect moment to give a compliment or do a favor. Moments come and go too quickly. If we wait for them, we’re likely to miss them altogether.

We should always indulge an urge to do something nice for others. When the impulse hits, go with it. Give the compliment. Do the favor. Say something that will cheer a friend.” Linda Picone

Good evening fitness family!!! Let’s be kind to each other. I don’t want to miss the chance to be kind to those around me. So I won’t.

Positive Quotes

Staying Angry

“Holding onto anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned.” Buddha

“People who hold grudges, who never stop talking about those who have wronged them, let their anger rule their lives. Those they’re angry at may not care or even be aware of the grudge.

But our anger is justified, we argue. Maybe, but does this justify the self damage inflicted by holding on to and nursing the hurt? How many times must we bore our friends with another recounting of the injustice we’ve suffered? How much longer must we let our anger sour our outlook on life?” Linda Picone

It’s normal to get angry sometimes. But I’ll do whatever I need to do to let my anger go and move on with my life.

This quote really hit home with me!!! How about y’all?

Quotes Of Positivity

Mistakes

“Mistakes are part of the dues one pays for a full life.” Sophia Loren

“We can’t have an interesting life without making a few mistakes here and there. We hope they won’t be dangerous mistakes or mistakes that hurt other people. But there will be mistakes.

We can see our mistakes as things we’d like to forget- or as our most interesting, challenging, and stimulating experiences. Not because of the mistakes themselves, but because of what we learned from them.” Linda Picone

I’m going to make mistakes. I will forgive myself and learn from them. How about y’all?

Strength Training

Shoulder & Bicep Workout

Today’s workout consisted of:

Upright barbell rows

Barbell shrugs (front & behind the back)

Face pulls with cable machine

Dumbbell lateral raises

Dumbbell arm curls

Cable arm curls

Chin ups

Incline dumbbell curls.

I had a great workout!!!

Quote Of Positivity

Being Somebody

“I always wondered why somebody doesn’t do something about that. Then I realized I was somebody.” By Lily Tomlin

“How many times have we walked past a piece of litter on the ground, cursing whoever was so thoughtless as to drop it and wondering when someone would come by to clean it up?

It wouldn’t be hard for us to bend over and pick up that litter, then drop it in the nearest waste bin. Often, though, we don’t because we think it’s someone else’s responsibility. Maybe it is, in an official way, but if each of us picked up just one piece of litter, the streets would be clean in no time.” Linda Picone

When I can, I won’t wait for somebody else to be responsible for addressing a problem. I’ll take responsibility myself.

Training Concepts

There’s so many things that goes into putting together a training program. So now I introduce to you the acute variables of training, which are important components that specify how each exercise is to be performed.

1. First we have the repetitions which is a complete movement of a single exercise.

2. Then you have setswhich is a group of consecutive repetitions.

3. Training Intensity which is an individual’s effort, compared with their maximal effort, which is usually expressed as a percentage.

4. Repetition Tempo refers to the speed with which each repetition is performed.

5. Rest interval is the time taken to recover between sets.

6. Training volume is the amount of physical training performed within a specified period.

7. Training frequency is the number of training sessions performed during a specified period (usually 1 week).

8. Training duration is the time frame of a workout or the length of time spent in one phase of training.

9. Exercise selection is the process of choosing appropriate exercises for a client’s program.

Cardio Workout

My cardio workout.

A lot of gym goers stay away from cardio because they think that will lose muscle, but as long as you aren’t doing a marathon on the treadmill, you won’t lose any muscle gains. Cardio has actually helped me in my weight training by giving me muscle endurance. So be sure to get your cardio in fitness family!!!

Time Out

“Live with no time out.” By Simone De Beauvoir

“We can’t push the pause button on our lives. Every day counts, whether we’re doing our best or our worst.

But even if we could call a time out when life becomes tense and stressful, would we really want to? Our life’s clock keeps ticking no matter what. The only thing we truly have is time. Better to live every moment than to lose that time forever.” By Linda Picone

As much as I may want to call a time out in my life, I will live every moment as fully as I can.

Core Workout

Working the core.

Today’s core workout consisted of:

Wall supported hand stands

Burpees

Sit ups

Back extensions

Front and side planks

Working out the core will give you that solid foundation to reach your goals. Never neglect working out your core. It also helps in preventing injuries.

Certified Personal Trainer

Good evening fitness family. My name is Philip and I started my blog to get recognized as a fitness guru. I first started working out in May of 2015. I’m not going to lie, when I first started some days were difficult but I always found a way to push through it because of motivation and support! I got certified as a personal trainer so I can help people choose a better, healthier, and fitter lifestyle. In the process, hoping to create life long friendships.

Being fit has helped me in my personal development throughout life. It’s boosted my self esteem. It’s also helped me get out and socialize more. I has encouraged me to eat healthy and drink more water. I am passionate about helping others because I want to see their self esteem get that big boost when they loose that first pound, or get that feeling of having more energy. I truly know how that feels. It’s a great feeling!!!

Program Design

Exercise training programs are often based largely on past experiences of those designing them. Although experience is always an important quality to have in any field, including personal training, it is not the only nor, in some cases, even the most important qualification to have. Designing safe and effective exercise training programs requires a variety of skills, including knowledge gained through education, personal interest in exercise, the ability to communicate effectively with clients, and experience in working with other more experienced trainers, as well as past experiences.

Personal trainers need to develop the right blend of exercise training knowledge, experience, and skills to be competent at designing integrated training programs for a variety of clients. Program design means putting together a purposeful system or plan to achieve a specific goal. The purpose of a training program is to provide a pathway to help clients achieve their health and fitness goals.

This one of my projects that I am working on. I plan on being the fitness guru of Personal Training through practice, training experience, and through education.

Goals

“If you would hit the mark, you must aim a little above it.” By Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

“There’s no shame in not meeting all of our goals, as long as our goals make us stretch. If we want to run a marathon in under 3 hours, we’ll train differently than if we want to run it in 4 hours. Maybe we won’t finish in 3 hours, but we’ll likely do better than if we were striving for 4.

This doesn’t mean we should set goals that are impossible. If we do, there’s a good possibility that we will become frustrated and quit.

I will set realistic goals that challenge me and try hard to meet them. Maybe, just maybe, I will achieve these goals. If I don’t, I will still have done well.” Linda Picone

Flexibility Training

Flexibility training is a key component for all training programs. It is used for a variety of reasons, including:

It corrects muscle imbalances

It increases joint range of motion

Decreases the excessive tension of muscles

I relieves joint stress

It maintains the normal functional length of all muscles

It improves the neuromuscular efficiency

It also improves function

Always remember to stretch before working out!!!

Today

Good morning fitness family!!! Here’s today’s quote of positivity.

“Yesterday is ashes; tomorrow wood. Only today does the fire burn brightly.” By Eskimo Proverb

“We are here, right now, in the middle of today. We have many wonderful memories of the past, and we have hopes for what will happen in the future. But it’s today we are living.” By Linda Picone

So don’t let today go by without living your life to the fullest!!!

Fitness Assessments

I believe fitness assessments is the most important tool in a personal trainers tool belt, because without a fitness assessment on a new client could result in injury. A comprehensive fitness assessment involves a series of measurements that help to determine the current health and fitness level of clients. Once a client’s baseline health and fitness level has been determined, personal trainers can recommend the most appropriate exercises for that client. Trainers should never put a client in a exercise program before completing a fitness assessment on a client.

My name is Philip and I am an up and coming Certified Personal Trainer. I am looking for clients who want to get back in shape and lose weight.

Strength Tips

When beginning a new fitness program, staying committed is not an easy task. Hard work and dedication are needed to power through the distractions and focus on your health goals. Follow these tips.

Take it slow in the beginning:

When you begin working out you may encounter exercises that you are not familiar with. Take the time to understand how to do the exercise and what weight you are most comfortable with. With proper technique and gradual improvement you will find that doing these workouts becomes second nature to you. Don’t worry about what the person next to you is lifting, because they may have been working out for years to get to where they are at.

Bring a friend:

Some people benefit from having a workout partner. Find someone who has the same goals as you and hit the gym together! You may find that having someone there for support and encouragement makes you perform better during your exercises. It’s also great to have a spotter around for weight lifting to ensure that the other person can perform each workout safely.

Track your progress:

Part of staying on track is seeing what you have accomplished and your overall improvement since the beginning. Keep track of your workouts and you will begin to see how much your body has changed since you started your journey to a healthier lifestyle.

Focus on what you are striving for:

One of the biggest issues when you are on a workout plan is simply willing yourself to start the exercise or go to the gym. It can be easy to think short term in these instances with thoughts like “I will just skip a day” or “I will just put it off for some other time”. It is at these times that you need to remind yourself what you want to accomplish at the end of your fitness journey, whether it be shedding weight, increasing muscle, or just feeling better overall. Focus on what your long term goals are and you will find that heading to the gym or starting that run gets easier each day.

Nutrition

Nutrition Is An Important Part Of A Healthy Lifestyle. A healthy lifestyle requires exercising regularly and fueling your body with high quality nutrients. It’s important to understand what nutrients will benefit you and the best, most efficient ways you can get them.

Nutrition is a big part of getting the body that you want. Nutrition plus an exercise program will get you better results vs. just exercise alone. So let’s add nutrition to your daily lifestyle along with exercising regularly and you will start see those results in no time!!!

Taking Action

“All you have to do is look straight and see the road, and when you see it, don’t sit looking at it, start walking.” By Ayn Rand

“We’ve done our research. We’ve talked with friends and family. We’ve made lists and created plans. Now we have to double check everything so that we can be certain everything is right before we move ahead.

But sometimes we can plan ourselves right out an opportunity by trying to make everything too perfect. Sooner or later, we have to stop planning and get moving.” By Linda Picone

It may be more important for me to take action than it is to make sure my plan is perfect.

Good day fitness community!!! This the positive quote for today. Hope everyone is enjoying their day!!!

Laughter

“The most wasted of all days is one without laughter.” By E. E. Cummings

“Luckily, laughter is easy to come by. It doesn’t cost anything. It’s available to everyone, regardless of race, creed, or religion. It’s contagious and spreads easily. If we can’t find something to laugh at, we can always laugh at ourselves.” By Linda Picone

So join in with me! I’m ready to laugh now!!! #laughing

A Great Wind

“A great wind is blowing, and that gives you either imagination or a headache.” By Catherine The Great

“There are two ways we can approach times of turmoil and upheaval: as opportunities for new ideas and new actions or as excuses for withdrawing from life and avoiding risk.

People with creativity and imagination often thrive in times of great change. People who don’t consider themselves creative or imaginative tend to be concerned only with hunkering down and protecting themselves.” By Linda Picone

So always remember to never let troubled times get the best of you. Remember to treat them as a challenge to come up with new ideas.

Certified Personal Trainer

Hi I’m a recent grad from NASM. I am a Certified Personal Trainer. I specialize in fitness assessment, program design and weight training.

I want to help people who have had difficulties in the past incorporating fitness as a lifetime goal.

My desire is to help potential clients see fitness as a lifetime endeavor. My philosophy is that fitness should be sustainable and a lifelong goal.

My plan as a fitness coach is to teach my clients to make in incorporate fitness as a permanent part of their lives to be engaging, and for the outcome to continuously be revolving into a better physical shape. Make it a GREAT DAY!!!