Single Best Piece Of Advice...

Over the years of being a personal trainer and nutritional consultant, I must've sat down with well over a thousand people and done an assessment on their fitness and health.  Some of these folks were new to fitness and had no idea where to begin.  Some of these folks had been dedicated to their gym for years with little progress.  In both cases, nutrition was typically an area least explored by them.  Countless times I've heard "I already eat well! I eat (between 1,200-1,500) calories per day, I usually have a salad at lunch, a smoothie/yogurt for snack, and turkey/chicken with greens for dinner".

I'm not really sure how everyone (particularly female) has gotten on this meal plan or some variation of it.  The best piece of advice I can give someone when it comes to fitness (given that you've already cut out most/all of your junk food) is EAT MORE PROTEIN.  I'm not saying drink a protein shake, which isn't necessary but can be helpful if you have a busy schedule (don't we all?) because it's convenient.  But there seems to be a lack of protein in most people's diets.  Most don't realize that exercising is a catabolic process (makes you lose muscle), so if you don't put back the necessary amount of protein to repair the muscle you may be working against yourself.

This applies to the weight loss/tone folks out there, "tone" is short for "muscle tone" so you need to preserve that muscle.  It also applies to people looking to gain muscle. And as a bonus piece of advice, next time you're in the gym, bypass the elliptical and pick up some weights. You can thank me later!

Spot Reduction

"Hey, what kind of exercises can I do to get rid of the fat on my... "<--- (insert Jeopardy theme music here).  As a personal trainer, if I had a nickel for every time... Let's just say I probably wouldn't be a PT.  I'd be blogging to you from a mansion... made of nickels.

Anyway, there seems to be this indestructible myth out there that we can somehow target fat loss in one specific area.  We all have our stubborn areas; for men it's typically the lower belly and lower back.  For women it's typically the lower belly, hips, and thighs.  So the question still stands, what can we do about it? TYPICALLY speaking, your body is going to pull fat from all over when you're in a calorie deficit. You cannot make it burn more fat on the bottom half of your butt and less on the top. Are you starting to see how cartoonish that idea is now?  However, there is usually a method to the madness. The general rule of thumb is the last place you gained fat is the first place to lose it and then the fat loss tends to proceed in that order.  Stay consistent with your fitness program and you'll get there eventually.

So the next time anyone asks me what they can do get rid of their bat wings before spaghetti strap season... I'll be happy to tell them... for a nickel.

Getting rid of your belly fat

It's May 2010 and i've been working out for a whole 3 months getting ready for Memorial day at Miami Beach. After 6 days a week in the gym with my buddy Chase and I doing abs at least 4 days a week I thought I was ready. Well, to make a long story short, we get there and the people of South Beach made me feel like i've never seen a gym a day in my life. I couldn't help but think they all were using some drug to help them look like that...

Like soooo many other gym goers my workout plan was severely flawed... I damn near killed myself every time I went to the gym but I didn't pay enough attention to what was on my plate. There's no secret to having killer abs, you can do all the crunches you want but if you do not create a calorie deficit to reduce your body fat,  it's not going to work.  In fact, it may make you look worse as your ab muscles grow (from all the crunches) under a thick layer of fat. I'm sure you know someone like this... Remember #AbsAreMadeInTheKitchen & #NotInTheGym!