Wednesday, January 22, 2014

How Can I Stay Motivated to Workout in the Winter?

How Can I Stay Motivated to Workout
in the Winter?

Justin Traft: Yes, winter is horrible for some and can be very depressing. I mean come on, we are lucky to see the sun once a week. Then you add trying to stay motivated in your workouts during winter…even tougher. Well here are some ideas and ways to help keep your goals and motivation going. First, make a spring fitness goal, sometimes an impending deadline is just the motivation you need to get going. Second, use a journal to hold yourself accountable. Nothing better then to have that in front of your face to keep you on track with workouts and nutrition. Three, write down reasons why you workout and use what you wrote as the "motivator." The very thing that fires your engine. Tape them to the fridge or in the bathroom so you can see it when you are getting ready everyday. Read them to yourself. Four, instead of maybe going three times a week, try going four to keep you going strong. Change the routine to break the daily robotic schedule. Maybe instead of going Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Try going back-to-back days using different muscle groups to double up on your fitness. Five, buy some new gym gear. Something about new gear makes getting out the door and hitting the gym a lot easier. Especially when all you can see is doom and gloom outside. For more tips and idea on staying motivated during winter, see your FT Trainer.  

Jenn Noggle: There are a number of ways I have found it easier to stay motivated during the winter. I suggest to begin with setting a S.M.A.R.T. goal(s) for each upcoming week or month. That means a goal that is Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely. Then, schedule your workouts into your day/write them on your calendar just as you would any other important appointment. If you plan to workout in the mornings, lay your clothes out or get your gym bag ready the night before so that you can wake up and be ready to go. Scheduling appointments in advance with your trainer will provide the accountability needed to make sure you get your workouts in. Additionally, on the days you are not with your trainer, you can find a buddy that you can plan to meet for your cardio sessions. When someone else is counting on you to show up, it is far less likely that you will hit the snooze button or make excuses not to show up.
Make sure to complete your re-assessments with your trainer every 6 weeks so that you can monitor your progress and continue to set new goals. Reward yourself with healthy incentives when you do accomplish each goal. Some examples might include new workout clothes, a massage, or a healthy pot-luck dinner with friends. Another suggestion would be keeping a small journal in which you can record your thoughts and feelings after your workouts or after accomplishing a goal that you set. The ability to go back and read your prior thoughts when you may not be feeling particularly motivated might just give you the reminder/nudge that you need to make time for your workout.
Most importantly, find what works for YOU. Try some of the suggestions made by your trainers and stick to those that work best for you! Summer will be here before you know it, so don't wait until then to get serious about your health and fitness!

Adam May: There is an old saying. "If it means that much to you, you will find a way, if not, you will find an excuse." Cold weather is an excuse, and it's that simple. There is this place called Fitness Together. It's great because it's indoors so it’s warmer than outside. No matter what the temperature is outside it’s always about the same temperature inside. Show up and work out. Don't use the weather as an excuse. There is your motivation.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Trainer Tuesdays

Trainer Tuesdays

Welcome back to the weekly edition on Trainer Tuesdays. Make sure to check in at our blog every Tuesday evening to learn the expertise of our great staff. Aside from being fantastic exercise coaches, they are also extremely knowledgeable in many aspects of health and fitness; so, it's time that you get to know them a little better! Each week, we will post a frequently asked, or sometimes just a fun fitness related question followed by the answers of each of the trainers at Fitness Together Brecksville.

How Often should I Workout?
Justin Traft: This will be different for everyone. Why is that you ask? Everyone has different goals in mind that they want to achieve. You'll get your best results with either 3 or 4 total weight training workouts per week. Doing different muscle groups if training on back-to-back days. Also, make sure to add cardio in at least 3 times per week. That also comes with sound nutritional choices when planning meals and snacks. Now, if you have the goal of doing something extreme like compete for a figure show or bodybuilding show; or training for something like a marathon or maybe you want to do a warrior dash, then obviously you want to be training as much as 5 days per week. Give your body a day of rest to recover and build muscle.***DONT OVER DO IT*** It’s really a matter of how much time are you committing to your workouts? Or, are you using work and a busy life as a excuse not to. Its important that you listen to your body as well when it comes to working out. Understand that you will be sore… it’s a part of working out. Just because you’re sore still two days later after a workout does mean you shouldn't get in the gym and workout. It means your working hard like you should to meet your goals and/or exceed them. Now, if there is discomfort in joints or muscles not usually felt, then you should lay off. Also, make sure to stretch before and after working out to keep limber and loose. As far as goals go, if you keep coming up short on your goals you need to reassess what you are doing in all three phases of your fitness. Keep in mind working out and being healthy is a lifestyle-- you just don't decide to workout whenever you want and expect to get result if you’re not doing your part to make sure you put your best foot forward. Always keep track of your results and keep a log to track which days you are doing each muscle group or cardio exercise and for how long. 

Adam Teplitz: Your training frequency ( how many times you workout during the week) all depends on your fitness goals. In general, the maximum amount would be 6 days. You always want to leave at least one day for complete rest and recovery.
If your main goal is fat loss and cutting, focus on working out 3 to 4 times per week. Fat loss workout programs involve total body training, large movements, and a lot of energy expenditure to kick start the metabolism. You should include a day of rest or light cardio in between each workout.
If your goal is to increase muscle and size, there are a couple different ways you can go. Your muscles need to receive a sufficient amount of training and stimulus to promote growth. You can do a split by training each muscle   group once per week, or the more optimal route would be training each muscle group twice per week. An example of this would be upper body on Monday, lower on Tuesday, rest on Wednesday, upper body again on Thursday, lower on Friday, and rest on Saturday and Sunday.
The general population and beginners should aim for 3 total body weight training workouts per week. An example would be total body on Monday, rest on Tuesday, total body on Wednesday, rest on Thursday, total body on Friday and then rest on Saturdayand Sunday.
It is important to not go overboard by over training. Rest is just as important to your results as time spent in the gym.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Diet or Exercise: What's More Important For Losing Weight?
Diet versus exercise is like the chicken or the egg debate in the fitness world. While eating right and exercising are both important components of hatching a fit and active lifestyle, of the two a proper diet is the king of the coop when the ultimate goal is to lose weight. In fact, Billy Beyer, personal trainer and studio owner at Fitness Together Basking Ridge, says that when you break it down numerically diet is responsible for 80 percent of accomplishing your weight loss goals while exercise comprises only 20 percent.

“Exercise will increase your energy, give you an overall feeling of well-being and help you get stronger and fitter, but without adding proper nutrition and diet, you won’t visibly see any difference in how you look,” says Beyer. “When you add in proper eating, that’s when you’ll start seeing changes in the mirror and how your clothes fit.”

Changing Your Attitude About Food

One of the biggest challenges to losing weight is managing the emotions and attitudes attached to the foods you eat. Whether you turn to food when you’re stressed out or you use your favorite treat as a reward to accomplishing a goal, what you put in your mouth can weigh you down both mentally and physically.

“I feel like most people know how to eat healthy, but they use food as a way to make themselves feel better,” reflects Beyer. “Whether you face depression, anxiety or are overworking yourself, many people turn to food. I also see a lot of people working out so they can eat whatever they want. Sure, you’ll get stronger and you’ll feel better.  But you won’t visibly see a difference.”

Beyer and the other personal trainers at his FT studio help their clients approach food in a healthier way by changing their outlook and approach toward connecting their emotions with what they eat. Instead of opening the refrigerator door when you’re stressed out, open the gym door so you can redirect your emotions into working out when you aren’t feeling well.

Getting a Grasp on Counting Calories

When you set out on the journey of losing weight, figuring out the proper number and type of calories to consume daily is paramount. To keep the calorie equation simple, Beyer suggests calculating proper calorie guidelines based on your activity level, the number of calories you burn at rest and your ultimate weight loss goals.

The key is to keep your calorie intake below the amount of calories you burn on a daily basis during rest and exercise. But, it’s also important to make sure you are consuming enough good calories – high in protein, low in fat, sugar and sodium – to fuel your daily activities and workouts. Everyone’s calorie range is different, so it’s important to consult a fitness and nutritional professional before starting your weight loss plan so you can hit the ground running shedding pounds and increasing your fitness level.

“If your objective is weight loss, you should expect to lose two to five pounds per week by staying within a certain calorie range and eating a diet based around good calories,” advises Beyer. “The best approach is to slowly take it off so it stays off.”

Integrating Fitness to Fit Your Goals

The final part of the weight loss equation includes setting up a fitness routine that will help you accomplish your goals. When your sole goal is to lose weight, Beyer suggests doing a moderation of everything – cardio, resistance training and eating properly. If your weight loss goals include losing 50 to 100 pounds, Beyer says that it’s important to start off doing a lot of cardio by using ropes, boxing, bicycling, etc. to start the process of burning the weight off. Once you lose a reasonable amount of weight, then he advises moving into a mix of resistance training with cardio to begin building lean muscle mass.

If you are looking to shed the 10-20 pounds you packed on over the holidays, Beyer advises mixing a full-body resistance program with an alternating interval-based cardio program.

“We focus on high intensity in a minimal amount of time for an average overweight person,” explains Beyer. “We do 20-25 minutes of alternating sprints with jogging two to three times per week and then add in resistance training on opposite days for 40-45 minutes two times per week. This helps to gradually take weight off and develop lean muscle.”

Where Do You Start?

If you are like many people this time of year who are coming off the holidays a few pounds heavier and are embarking on a weight loss journey to start off the New Year, you might not have time to focus on both proper diet and nutrition all at once. Beyer advises that you start with getting into an efficient and effective fitness routine first, and then adding in proper nutrition shortly after you establish a consistent fitness regimen. Because of the emotional ties often associated with food, it can be more difficult to start out with eating healthy first.

“At FT, we help you come up with strategies for how you can eat well because everyone is so different,” explains Beyer. “It takes getting to know each of our clients and discovering what their challenges and struggles are in terms of food. We then figure out ways to help combat those challenges. We try to ease our clients into it and try not to overwhelm them at first.”

At the end of the day, the best approach to increasing your fitness level and decreasing your waistline is by tag teaming your efforts with a healthy diet and exercise program. But, make sure to own your diet and be aware of the amount and types calories that you put into your body. You are what you eat and what you put into your mouth will make a big difference on the success of your weight loss efforts.