7 Tips For Thinner Thighs!

Strategies No Comments »

If you want to have thinner thighs but those silly high-repetition soup-can workouts in today’s fitness magazines aren’t helping, I have good news for you.

Today I’m going to give you 7 tips that you can use immediately to start losing inches from your thighs…perhaps even an inch in a week.

Here are seven things you need to do right now:

1) Interval training

Research from Australia found that when women did short burst interval training, they lost most of the fat from their thighs and butt.

One of the best interval durations to use is 24 seconds of work followed by 36 seconds of recovery. That’s just one of the interval programs in the Booty for Wife program.

2) Take a before photo

In the last 3 weeks I’ve interviewed 3 fat loss experts, and they’ve all listed “taking before photos” as one of the main factors for success.

When you take that before photo, it triggers something in your mind that makes you more committed and more successful. I promise you taking a before photo really helps you get more results (and you don’t have to show it to anyone else, but please take it for YOUR results!).

3) Switching to more bodyweight exercises

Instead of doing heavy leg presses (like the trainers at lame gyms suggest to their female clients), switch to bodyweight exercises such as 1-leg lying hip extensions, 1-leg bench squats, and 1-leg deadlifts.

These moves work your butt more, and your thighs less. And that will put the curves in all the right spots while giving you thinner thighs.

For the best booty-weight exercises, get TT Booty for Wife here:

Booty For Wife

4) Cut out all added sugar from your diet.

Let’s be honest…diet is the key to fat loss and thinner thighs. So you must make sure you’re not sneaking in candy, cookies, or soda.

Every time I review the diet of a female client who is struggling, she ALWAYS – and I mean ALWAYS – is sneaking too many sugary snacks.

But if you want advanced results, you have to take advanced measures, and that means cutting out the sugar so that your diet is on track 90% of the time (and you can reward yourself 10% of the time – but NOT everyday).

5) Cut back to 1 set per weighted leg exercise

Getting big thighs is every bodybuilder’s dream. And how do they do that? By eating a lot and by doing many sets of heavy weights.

And while it is important to do some strength training, if you gain muscle quickly, you’ll still get the lean mass metabolism benefits of resistance training from just one set – not three – and that will cut out the thigh-building from your workouts (so you can spend that extra time on intervals).

6) Keep a food journal

This is another research proven method of improving your diet so you lose more thigh fat. It’s very simple…just write down what you eat everyday. You can use a notebook, an excel spreadsheet, or even one of those fancy Iphone apps.

But do this for a few weeks and I promise you’ll eat better and lose inches.

7) Take measurements

Listen, we’ll never really know if your thighs are getting smaller unless you wrap the tape measure around your thighs so that you know the truth.

(NOTE: Make sure you measure your thighs in the morning before a workout, not after a workout when they are filled with fluid)

By knowing the real numbers and by keeping a food journal and making these training changes, I promise your thighs will start to shrink overnight.

And to get the complete 12-week program that will thin your thighs while giving you glorious glutes and curves in ALL the right spots, go here to claim the NEW and improved “Booty for Wife” program:

=> Booty For Wife

Thin your thighs and curve that butt,

Craig Ballantyne, CSCS, MS
Author, TT Booty for Wife (& for all the single ladies!)

About Craig

Craig Ballantyne is a Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist and writes for Men’s Health, Men’s Fitness, Maximum Fitness, Muscle and Fitness Hers, and Oxygen magazines. His trademarked Turbulence Training fat loss workouts have been featured multiple times in Men’s Fitness and Maximum Fitness magazines, and have helped thousands of men and women around the world lose fat, gain muscle, and get lean in less than 45 minutes three times per week. For more information on the Turbulence Training workouts that will help you burn fat without long, slow cardio sessions or fancy equipment, visit: Booty For Wife

8 Ways To Beat Your Hangover On Nevada Day!

Health, Strategies 2 Comments »

A side effect of eating paleo-style is that you become a very cheap drunk.

Seriously, after 6 weeks of all paleolithic foods, a double vodka soda will have you positively REELING.

Tomorrow is my 3rd Nevada Day in Carson City, and I’m prepared for it.

If you don’t drink, that’s totally cool.  Your body and your health are much better off because of it.

But if you’re planning to cut loose this weekend, here are a few simple tips that will help you beat back a hangover!

Nevada Day Tip #1: Spend Big

According to Australian researchers cheap booze, especially whiskey, will make a hangover much worse.

This is because they have more congeners, which are chemicals produced during fermentation.

Besides, the good stuff just tastes better :)

Nevada Day Tip #2: Eggs For Breakfast

A lot of people swear by McDonald’s when they have a hangover, but it turns out that one of the best hangover busters is an amino acid called cysteine.

Cysteine helps you break down all the toxins that were in the alcohol.

Didn’t know booze had toxins?  Why do you think they call it “intoxicated”?

Nevada Day Tip #3: Bubbles Are Trouble

Fizzy drinks get the alcohol into your system faster, making it more likely that you’ll drink more than you meant to.

Probably the best mixer for avoiding a hangover is water, but fruit juice works as well.

Mixer bonus: You’ll take bigger drinks if your drink has ice in it (counterintuitive, but true.  The cold tells your stomach you want more)

Nevada Day Tip#4: Glisten

A light workout – like a bike ride or easy walk – will help you clear out the toxins faster than staying in bed with the blankets over your head.

I’d stay away from anything bouncy or with up-and-down motion though: it will make you nauseous if you’re still hungover.

Nevada Day Tip#5: Grab A Goat

A glass of goat’s milk before bed will help keep you hydrated without waking you up to pee as often.

Amino acids in goat’s milk will also help you fall asleep – which is very important if you were slamming vodka and red bull all night.

Nevada Day Tip #6: Search For Tall And Slender

You’ll put less alcohol in a tall, skinny glass than you will in a short, wide one – even if they can hold the same amount of liquid.

Bonus tip: If you eat off of smaller plates you won’t eat as much

Nevada Day Tip #7: Sugar Slam

Stay away from sweet treats the morning after.

The sugar rush will just slam you back even lower than before, so you’ll have the double-whammy of a hangover AND a sugar crash.

Instead, eat some fruits and veggies to help replace some of the nutrients you flushed out the night before.

Nevada Day Tip#8: Super Soup

I’m not a soup fan, myself.

But a big bowl of veggie soup will help you  3 ways:

  • You’ll load up on nutrients
  • You’ll fill up your stomach
  • It will coat your stomach so the alcohol won’t kick you as hard

That’s it!

Have fun and play safe this Nevada Day!

5 Tricks To Look A Treat On Halloween

Strategies, Weight Loss 1 Comment »

Halloween is only six days away..

That’s enough time to lose a pound of fat or two. But I want to give you a few cool “tricks” to help you look even leaner.

My Halloween Costume Was: “God’s Gift To Women”

By getting rid of any bloating and with a few simple exercises to lock in your posture, you can look five to ten pounds lighter in just 6 days..

Look Leaner Tip Number One: Grub On The Broccoli

I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not a huge broccoli fan.  I’d rather eat spinach and bell peppers for my veggies.

The thing is, when it comes to cutting down nothing beats broccoli.

Here’s the prescription for the week (hey, it’s only 6 days!): 6 cups of broccoli a day.

Yep, 6 cups.

Have 2 cups each with breakfast, and dinner.  Have a cup with all 6 meals.  Whatever.  Just get in 6 cups a day.

You can bake it, grill it, steam it, or chop it up in your scrambled eggs.  Just get it in.

For extra points add in about ten spears of asparagus, too

Look Leaner Tip Number Two: Dunk It

Tea time!

Green tea is a natural diuretic (it will help your bod get rid of excess fluids).  So is Dandelion tea.

Peppermint tea is a natural peristaltic (it will help your gut get rid of solid waste).

The Halloween prescription (minimum): 6 cups of green tea, 3 cups of peppermint tea.

And for bonus points add in a few mugs of dandelion tea.

Now, I like to hit all of my green tea before lunch, since it does have some caffeine, and my peppermint tea before bed, but get it in however you have to.

Look Leaner Tip Number Three: Go Caveman!

Some of our modern foods cause inflammation, bloating, and swelling – if you cut these foods out, guess what?

You’ll have less inflammation, bloating, and swelling  :)

So for the next 6 days, eat all “paleo” foods: Meats, nuts, veggies, and berries.

Halloween prescription: For the next 6 days, cut out all dairy, grains, sugars, artificial sweeteners, and alcohol.

It’s amazing how fast you lean out when you eliminate these foods.

Look Leaner Tip Number Four: RAMROD!

A really cool trick I use when I’m teaching seminars about fitness is the “lose an inch off your waist in 60 seconds” method.

Basically, I bring up an audience member and wrap a measuring tape around their waist.

Then I have them stand up straight, with “shoulder blades in the pockets” and flatten out their pelvis.  Then… as they make each adjustment, the tape moves in!

It’s usually possible to cut an inch off of their waist measurement without any sucking in.

So, the Halloween prescription for posture is… 100 band pull aparts, 3 sets of 60 seconds each leg hip flexor stretch, and 3 sets of 60 second planks.

Here’s each of those exercises:

100 Band Pull Aparts

3x60sec each leg Hip Flexor Stretch

3x60sec Plank

Look Leaner Tip Number Five: Chug Chug Chug!

Most people don’t drink enough water.

I usually recommend drinking AT A MINIMUM (and not counting workout water) half your bodyweight in ounces of water.

So if you weigh 200 pounds, it’s a minimum of 100 ounces of water a day.

When you don’t drink enough water, your body holds on to every drop.

This stored up water looks just the same as fat under your skin.

Drinking more water tells your body that your water supply is abundant and to go ahead and flush out that stored fluid.

The net result is that you look leaner (you also get rid of toxins, feel better, raise your metabolism, etc).

The Halloween prescription is… Minimum of an ounce of water per pound of bodyweight.  For a gold star you can go up to an ounce and a half. (When I’m helping models get ready for a shoot, they sometimes hit 3 gallons a day.  That’s a lot of time in the bathroom!)

Example: 150 pounds – 150 to 225 ounces of water a day.

And here’s the bugger: You don’t get to count your green, peppermint, and dandelion tea in the total.

Wrap Up

I know it sounds extreme.  That’s because it is!

But you know, most of the fittest people I know live like this all the time.  They drink tea, fix their posture, cut out the crap, and drink enough water to float the Mayflower.

Just think of it as six days.  In less than 144 hours you’ll be chowing down on candy corn and mars bars – looking totally awesome!

And If you’re reading this right now, and you’re at that point in your life where you’ve turned an age that’s getting you down… or you’ve just seen a picture where you don’t look like you anymore… or something else has you feeling like you’re never going to be able to “get your groove back” when it comes to fitness, then LISTEN UP.

It does NOT have to be that way.

I honestly believe that you can lose weight and change your body DRAMATICALLY if you CHOOSE to do it… and you LEARN HOW to do it.

Stop sitting there wishing for things to change and hoping that your extra weight will just go aways and MAKE IT HAPPEN for yourself.

I’ve spent a lot of time now figuring out the things you need to do to increase your success with weight loss… and I honestly believe that anyone can do it, IF they TAKE ACTION: Click this link to get the best deal on bootcamp ever! Luke’s Birthday Celebration

See you on the other side…

5 Ways To Lose Cellulite

Strategies, Weight Loss No Comments »

Special guest post by fat loss expert John Alvino

“Cellulite” is one of the most feared words for any woman to hear. Cellulite is a specific type of fat that has found its home on the buttocks and upper thighs of millions of females. Unfortunately for the women who have it, cellulite is considered to be the most unsightly forms of body fat. Its appearance can best be described as resembling lumpy, cottage cheese.

But the worst thing about cellulite is that once it finds its way to your body, it is extremely difficult to get rid of. Even though it is essentially just body fat, it does not get burned with normal fat burning methods. Instead, staring in the face of a sound diet and exercise routine, it defiantly hangs on for dear life, refusing to give your butt and thighs the tight, smooth appearance you are working so hard to achieve.

There are many different theories about what causes cellulite. Some experts believe that estrogen may play a role in its formation. This would explain why women get cellulite much more commonly than men do. Others believe that toxins in the body affect the fat cells and cause cellulite to develop. Still others just attribute it to the simple fact that you are carrying too much body fat in the affected area.

In an attempt to get a definitive answer on the “real” cause of this problem, I recently interviewed a prominent plastic surgeon about his take on the topic. I respect his opinion since he has performed hundreds of liposuction procedures on women who suffer from this very problem.

He strongly believes that the appearance of cellulite is caused by a problem with the flexibility of the connective tissue. In other words, he believes that if your connective tissue flexibility is compromised, your fat cells can bulge upwards to the surface of the skin, giving the area the unattractive cottage cheese look.

Since there is such a wide variety of opinion on this topic, it is clear that the true cause of cellulite is not fully understood by the scientific community. Maybe one of the above theories is accurate. Perhaps it’s a combination of all of them.

The good news is that whatever the precise cause may be, I have developed a multi-faceted approach that will literally blowtorch the cellulite right off your butt and thighs! My system addresses all of the potential causes of this cosmetic hardship. Here it is in a simple, step-by-step format.

1. Improve the integrity of your connective tissue. This is best accomplished by eating foods that are rich in bioflavonoids and vitamin C. Some foods that are particularly loaded with these nutrients are: citrus fruits, cherries, peppers, all types of berries, oranges, grapefruits and green leafy vegetables.

2. Flush toxins out of your body. The easiest way to begin this process is to drink plenty of pure water. Be sure to drink at least half of your bodyweight in ounces everyday.

3. Minimize your bodies exposure to toxins. Being exposed to some level of environmental toxins are unavoidable. But there are many toxins that can be avoided without any trouble. This would include cigarette smoke (first or second hand), excessive alcohol consumption, unnecessary medications, etc.

4. Keep estrogen levels in check. This can be accomplished by eating plenty of cruciferous vegetables daily. Cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, brussel sprouts, cauliflower, and cabbage contain a substance named indole-3-carbinol (I3C). This substance has been shown to have a positive effect on estrogen metabolism. In addition, these vegetables also assist in detoxifying the body.

5. Lose excess body fat. Although cellulite has some unique characteristics, it is still body fat. So if you were to lose body fat correctly, you would minimize or totally lose that cottage cheese appearance.

Let’s start by addressing your diet. You should use a diet that doesn’t allow your insulin levels to get chronically high. Chronically high insulin levels prevent cellulite from being burned, thus making your fat loss efforts futile. To keep insulin levels in the optimal range, you should eliminate sugar, dairy and processed foods from your diet. Now let’s address the exercise protocol.

To any woman who has tried, it’s no secret that traditional aerobic exercise does nothing to reduce cellulite. In a desperate attempt to lose cellulite, most people perform daily aerobic workouts. I’ve actually known aerobic instructors who teach 6-8 hours of aerobic classes each day and still have stubborn cellulite. This is obviously not an effective approach.

Instead, you should perform high-intensity sprint training. Sprinting works the hamstrings (back of the legs) and glutes effectively while elevating your metabolism significantly.

Combine this with resistance exercises that target the affected area while simultaneously stimulating lean muscle, and you have a potent exercise program that will enable you to lose cellulite quickly. Some of my favorite resistance exercises for losing cellulite are: Single Leg Romanian Deadlifts, KB Swings, and Band Good Mornings.

Cellulite doesn’t have to be a permanent part of your body. Start this plan today and lose your cellulite for life!

About The Author

John Alvino is a world renowned fitness expert who is known for his ability to help people lose body fat incredibly fast. He is the creator of the “How To Get Ripped Abs” program, which provides you with the blueprint for getting a great set of six pack abs and a lean body without having to endure long boring workouts, crash diets or expensive supplements. Learn how to get rid of that stubborn fat TODAY by visiting www.howtogetrippedabs.com

Raise Your Metabolism WITHOUT Diet Or Exercise

Health, Nutrition, Strategies, Weight Loss 8 Comments »

A high metabolism is cool.

You have more energy and lose lots of fat.

Plus, everyone will be really jealous of you :)

Today I want to share some cool strategies to raise you metabolism WITHOUT changing what you eat or exercising.

Sound crazy?  Good.  I like crazy people.

When it comes to making changes, it’s always easier to ADD something in than to TAKE something out.

For instance, it’s easier to add in two interval training workouts a week than it is to cut out your favorite food.

The first way to raise your metabolism is to EAT MORE OFTEN.

Studies have shown that eating six times a day will make you lose more fat than eating twice a day – even if you eat the same calories!

Another study showed you will lose more total and abdominal fat eating 6 times a day instead of only 3.

So instead of a big lunch and a big dinner, break your meals down and have a smaller breakfast, lunch, and dinner, plus 3 healthy snacks.  (Need snack ideas?  Check this out: 19 Primal Snacks)

So, eat more often.

The second way to raise your metabolism without diet or exercise is to EAT BY THE CLOCK.

Your body will burn more calories on a consistent schedule than it will when you eat randomly – even if you’re eating smaller meals.

To really get the benefit, eat about ever 2-3 hours, and stick with it.

A study showed that when you eat frequently and then BREAK that pattern, you will start gaining fat.  Look at the clock, don’t listen to your stomach.

So, eat smaller meals and eat them on schedule.

The third way to raise your metabolism without diet and exercise is to EAT A GOOD BREAKFAST.

People have commented on the huge veggie and egg scrambles I make for breakfast (Luke’s Hyper Veggie Scramble)

A study comparing 3 groups’ breakfast plans (no breakfast, occasional breakfast, and breakfast daily) showed that eating breakfast daily will lower your body fat levels.

Not eating breakfast makes you FOUR TIMES as likely to become obese!

Another study compared two groups: one ate a 300 Calorie breakfast daily and the other ate a 600 Calorie breakfast daily.  (Daily calories remained the same – the only difference was that the 2nd group had more of their calories at breakfast than spread out over the day)

After 8 months the 300 Calorie breakfast club had lost an average of 10 pounds.  Not bad for no exercise and not really being on a diet!

But here’s the kicker: the 600 Calorie breakfast club lost an average of 39 POUNDS!!! That’s almost four times as much weight gone, just from eating a good breakfast.

What’s the plan so far?

  • Eat more often
  • Eat by the clock
  • Eat a big breakfast

There’s nothing too hard here, is there?  Hell, I’m telling you to EAT, not to cut out calories or grab a kettlebell.

(If I was giving a seminar, this is the point I’d start talking about cutting out carbs, plus increasing proteins and good fats.  But since I promised to not talk about diet or exercise, I won’t even mention it.  But if you really want to have a killer metabolism you’ll want to cut out sugars, grains, alcohols, etc.  Last thing I’ll say about it :))

All right, the next thing to do is DRINK MORE WATER ALL DAY.

A study showed that increasing the amount of water you drink will lower body fat, regardless of diet and exercise.

Lots of people bring in their nutrition journals and they had 2 cups of coffee for breakfast, another in the morning, a diet coke at lunch, nothing in the afternoon, and a glass of wine with dinner.  No wonder they feel like poopy.

Studies have shown metabolic increases after drinking 500ml of water.  The amount of increase varies with the study, but it is between 20 and 30%.

Drinking a half liter of water will raise your metabolism at least 20%?  Do it!  And do it every hour.

Still isn’t too bad, is it?  Eat more often, eat by the clock, eat a big breakfast, and drink lots of water and you’ll raise your metabolism?  Sweet deal!

Next thing to do is DRINK WATER BEFORE EVERY MEAL.

One study compared a group drinking 16 ounces water before each meal with a group that didn’t drink water before each meal.

The water group lost 44% more weight over the course of the 12 week study!

I thought that maybe the water made people feel fuller so they didn’t eat as much, but the study made both groups eat the same calories.

Why does drinking water before each meal make you lose more weight?

I don’t know.

We can spend a lot of time trying to figure out WHY or we can go ahead and lose some fat.

If you’re keeping score at home, here’s our non-diet, non-exercise metabolism-raising plan so far:

  • Eat more often
  • Eat according to the clock
  • Eat a bigger breakfast
  • Drink lots of water
  • Drink water before every meal

(In a speech right here is where I’d talk about pre- and post-workout nutrition, then the problems with aerobics.  But you’re off the hook for today!)

Now, your next step is to go ahead and TAKE FISH OIL SUPPLEMENTS.

Researchers compared 2 groups who ate EXACTLY the same thing, with the exception of 6 grams of fish oil daily.  It was so exact that they took 6 grams of unsaturated fat out of the fish oil group’s food so that the calories were dead-on even in both groups.

After 3 weeks the fish oil group had much great fat oxidation (burning) and had lost 2 pounds of fat.

That’s 2 pounds of fat WITHOUT dieting or exercising!!

Another study showed that adding fish oil to your diet will reduce your body fat INDEPENDENT of exercise.

How much to take?  I usually recommend starting with 1 gram per 15 pounds of bodyweight, and not going below 10 grams per day.

If you haven’t been taking any fish oil lately, start ramping it up by taking one or two with each larger meal.

Fish burps?  No problem.  Two simple fixes: Either freeze the capsules or else get higher quality supplements.

Now, check the box score: Eat more often, eat on a schedule, eat a bigger breakfast, drink more water, drink water before each meal, take a bunch of fish oil.

Nothing so far is too hard, is it?

The last thing we are adding to our metabolism-booster list is EAT ALMONDS.

A study compared 2 groups (sound familiar yet?): group one ate 84 grams of almonds a day and the other got to choose a carb source.  Everything else in their diets was the same.

After 24 weeks, the almond group lost 62% MORE weight, lost 50% MORE off their waists, and lost 56% MORE fat.

Hmm, lighter, smaller, and leaner, just from eating almonds instead of carbs?  Cool.

Here is your action plan to raise your metabolism:

  1. Eat More Often
  2. Eat On A Schedule
  3. Eat A Bigger Breakfast
  4. Drink Lots Of Water
  5. Drink Water Before Every Meal
  6. Take Fish Oil Supplements
  7. Eat Almonds

This may be the easiest plan in the world….

Fixing Knee Pain With Hip Exercises

Exercise, Health, Strategies 2 Comments »

Knee pain is one of the most common problems people have when they start a training program.

I do lots of things to help fix it – strengthening leg muscles, prescribing low-inflammation diets, and most importantly: fixing exercise technique.

But you might not know that the Wold Fitness Functional Movement Warmup is also designed to eliminate knee pain.

(Our warmup is a series of physical therapy exercises strung together to mobilize your joints and activate your muscles.  This approach is far superior to the traditional “jog on the treadmill and stretch” warmup used by the aerobics instructor chunky thighs crowd)

Your knees are most affected by the joints immediately above and below them: your ankles and hips.

The best way to loosen your ankles is to do your warm-up in your bare feet.

Your hips are a little bit tougher.

A study at Purdue University (Knee Pain Reduced, Eliminated By Hip Exercises) found that hip exercise twice a week for 30 minutes almost totally eliminated knee pain in runners.

In my bootcamps we do variations on these exercises daily, but if you want to play along at home, here are 3 simple hip exercises that will help you get rid of knee pain:

1. Lateral Band Walks

If you get a stretch band to use at home, try doing 3 timed sets of one minute each, with 30 seconds of rest in between.

As one of my bootcampers describes it, you should feel like “bunny rabbits are gnawing on the sides of you hips.”

2. Fire Hydrants, In Hip Circles, Out Hip Circles

Do 30 seconds each position:

  • 30 seconds Fire Hydrants
  • 30 seconds In Hip Circles
  • 30 seconds Out Hip Circles

The most common mistake on these drills is to lean to the side.  If your side butt muscles are weak and your hips are tight, you won’t get much movement at first.  Stick with it and your range will improve.

3. Glute Bridges

This exercise will both strengthen your butt muscles and get them “firing.”

Once your glutes are activated, they will work the way they are supposed to and keep your knees and low back in alignment.

Do three sets of ten reps each leg.

This hip circuit is perfect to do on your breaks or at lunchtime.  It will take less than 5 minutes and you won’t break a sweat, but the dividends to your knees will be enormous.

And, after a few weeks, you’ll have happy knees!

Pooped-Out-Itis: Stop Being So Tired!

Health, Strategies 2 Comments »

Want more pep, energy, and vitality?

Watch this classic video of the great jack Lalanne:

Jack is awesome!

What do you think, should I change the name of my bodyweight exercise program from “Body Flow” to “Trimnastics”? :)

Here are some other tips to help you stop feeling tired:

  1. Avoid alcohol before bed.
  2. Don’t drink any coffee after dinner.
  3. No TV or computer for an hour before bed (the blue light from the screen stops melatonin production)
  4. Have your bedroom completely dark (I even cover my alarm clock so the number glow won’t bother me)
  5. Get more recovery time: easy walks, massage, foam roller, stretching, naps, aromatherapy
  6. Get sunshine early in the day
  7. “Forest Bathe” at least once a week (Forest bathing is time in a natural green setting.  Here are some links to benefits: Helps ADD, Lowers Stress Hormones, Helps Prevent Cancer, Fights Cancer, Boosts Immune Function, Smells Good and Fights Cancer, Feel Good All Month)
  8. Get enough fats in your diet
  9. Lose some fat off your belly
  10. Enforce a strict bedtime rule

Eclectic Fitness? Choose Principles Over Methods

Exercise, Strategies 1 Comment »

“Accept what is useful, reject what is useless” – Bruce Lee

To most people, the fitness world is like a palace with a thousand doors.

If they choose to go through one, the rest are closed to them.

That’s how people have fallen into armed camps, each touting THEIR training tool as the best.

“Are you a kettlebell guy?” “Do you use the TRX?”  “Sandbags and tires are the ONLY things that build functional strength”


You hear garbage like the above at fitness seminars.  A long time ago I learned a quote from Alwyn Cosgrove that has pretty much shaped my approach to training:

Methods are many,

Principles are few.

Methods often change,

Principles never do.

Ever since I learned this idea, I’ve been focused on finding health, fitness, and fat loss PRINCIPLES.

Most of mine are based on understanding the components of metabolism.  (Here’s a primer on metabolism for you: The Four Components Of Metabolism)

If you want to make the biggest changes to your health, fitness level, and fat loss goals, you should focus on metabolic strength training.  This gives you the biggest bang for your buck.

The PRINCIPLE behind metabolic strength training is to activate as much lean muscle as possible, to get it burning extra calories long after your workout.

The METHOD you choose is almost irrelevant.  You could do your metabolic strength training by:

  • Lifting barbells
  • Lifting dumbells
  • Swinging kettlebells
  • Dragging tires
  • Using your own bodyweight as resistance
  • Using the TRX
  • Whipping battling ropes
  • Heaving sandbags
  • Throwing medicine balls
  • Carrying rocks
  • Grappling with a partner
  • And on and on and on

I want to take a quote from Mark Sisson’s The Primal Blueprint: Reprogram your genes for effortless weight loss, vibrant health, and boundless energy:

“The particulars of your strength-training routine are less important than your strategic approach (intermittent, fluctuating, intuitive, and balancing effort with energy levels).  Remember that you are striving to achieve a high power-to-weight ratio and balanced, functional, total-body strength.  You want to be lean, well muscles, and fit enough to perform reasonably well at any physical challenge that comes along.  Consequently, your routine should be focused on exercises that engage a variety of muscles with sweeping, real-life movements (squats, pull-ups, push-ups, etc.) instead of a series of isolated body part exercises (this includes those ever popular, narrow-range-of-motion abs machines!).”

The bottom line (and what I wanted to say today), is that HOW you train is more important than WHAT you train with.

Here are some principles to take home with you today:

  • Work HARD
  • Take short rests
  • Pair two or three exercises instead of doing “Straight Sets”
  • Use BIG movements (think V-Up instead of crunch)

Shopping For Fruit

Health, Nutrition, Strategies No Comments »

Fruits are great sources of fiber, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, natural phenols, and other micronutrients that support your health.

But fruits have changed from what we ate in the past.  Check out this big, bright, sweet banana:

And compare it to this little, tough, starchy banana:

Guess which kind we originally ate?

Modern farming methods and chemical treatments have made our fruits larger, sweeter, brighter, and more uniform in shape – with much less of the micronutrients that play keys roles in our bodies.

Essentially, modern fruits are just bright containers of sugar and water.

Compare this to the fruits that we ate through our evolution (when we could get them): paleo fruits were small, varied, very fibrous, deeply colored, less sweet, and less insulin-surging than modern fruits.

So, how can you get the healthiest fruits possible if old-school fruits aren’t available?

Well, researchers have found that organic fruits have at least 10 times the amount of key micronutrients (think antioxidants!) than the same fruit from a conventional orchard (“normal” fruits are sprayed with pesticides and herbicides that prevent the fruit from producing those micronutrients).

Organic isn’t your only solution though – many organic fruits are raised half a world away and are picked prematurely, so they will ripen during transit.  These premature fruits are less nutritious because they didn’t finish their growth on a vine or branch.

Here are some tips to help you when you’re shopping for fruit:

Shopping For Fruit: Pesticides?

Fruits with a higher pesticide risk are those with a soft and edible skin

  • Apples
  • Apricots
  • Cherries
  • Dates
  • Grapes
  • Nectarines
  • Peaches
  • Pears
  • Plums
  • Prunes
  • Raisins
  • Raspberries
  • Strawberries
  • Tomatoes

Fruits with a lower risk for pesticides have a tough and inedible skin:

  • Avocados
  • Bananas
  • Oranges
  • Melons
  • Tangerines
  • Mandarins (“Cuties”)
  • Kiwi
  • Pineapples
  • Mangoes
  • Papayas

Shopping For Fruit: Nutrition?

High nutritional value fruits are high in antioxidants and low-glycemic:

  • All berries
  • Stone Fruits

Fruits with good nutritional value have less antioxidants and are higher-glycemic:

  • Apples
  • Cherries
  • Bananas
  • Kiwi
  • Pomegranates

Fruits that are a “sometime treat” are low in antioxidants and higher in sugars:

  • Dates
  • All dried fruits
  • Grapes
  • Mangoes
  • Melons
  • Nectarines
  • Oranges
  • Mandarins
  • Papayas
  • Pineapples
  • Plums
  • Tangerines

Shopping For Fruit: Farming Method?

The growing method that created your fruit may be the most important key to your health.  A berry that is supposed to have high antioxidants but was grown on a huge farm with pesticides and herbicides, then picked early and shipped 2,000 miles in a shipper filled with ethylene gas probably isn’t as healthy for you as an apple from a tree in your neighbor’s backyard.

Growing methods, from best to worst, are:

Wild: Hard to find, but your best choice (go berry picking this fall!  Just watch out for bears…)

Local and Organic: High in nutrition, great taste, very safe

Local: Better than remote and organic because of freshness and being picked when ripe

Remote and Organic: Not so good due to premature picking and long transport

Remote: This is what is available at most grocery stores.  Avoid this as much as possible – there’s lower nutritional value and higher pesticide risk.

Genetically Modified Fruit: Yeah, not a good idea

Now, I totally get that eating better fruits is more expensive, but who would you rather pay: Your farmer or your doctor?  Check out this video for a great viewpoint on choosing local foods: Local Food Rocks!

Procrastination Sucks

Strategies No Comments »

Have you been putting off something you need to do?

Why?


If you’ve ever procrastinated on anything, you need to read this…

Today’s special guest post is by the late, great Jim Rohn.

I listen to Mr. Rohn’s CDs in the morning and while I’m driving, they act like “vitamins for the mind” and help keep me positive in an increasingly negative world.

Ending Procrastination

by Jim Rohn

Perseverance is about as important to achievement as gasoline is to driving a car. Sure, there will be times when you feel like you’re spinning your wheels, but you’ll always get out of the rut with genuine perseverance. Without it, you won’t even be able to start your engine.

The opposite of perseverance is procrastination. Perseverance means you never quit. Procrastination usually means you never get started, although the inability to finish something is also a form of procrastination.

Ask people why they procrastinate, and you’ll often hear something like this: “I’m a perfectionist. Everything has to be just right before I can get down to work. No distractions, not too much noise, no telephone calls interrupting me and, of course, I have to be feeling well physically, too. I can’t work when I have a headache.” The other end of procrastination—being unable to finish—also has a perfectionist explanation: “I’m just never satisfied. I’m my own harshest critic. If all the I’s aren’t dotted and all the T’s aren’t crossed, I just can’t consider that I’m done. That’s just the way I am, and I’ll probably never change.”

Do you see what’s going on here? A fault is being turned into a virtue. The perfectionist is saying that his standards are just too high for this world. This fault-into-virtue syndrome is a common defense when people are called upon to discuss their weaknesses, but, in the end, it’s just a very pious kind of excuse-making. It certainly doesn’t have anything to do with what’s really behind procrastination.

Remember, the basis of procrastination could be fear of failure. That’s what perfectionism really is, once you take a hard look at it. What’s the difference whether you’re afraid of being less than perfect or afraid of anything else? You’re still paralyzed by fear. What’s the difference whether you never start or never finish? You’re still stuck. You’re still going nowhere. You’re still overwhelmed by whatever task is before you. You’re still allowing yourself to be dominated by a negative vision of the future in which you see yourself being criticized, laughed at, punished or ridden out of town on a rail. Of course, this negative vision of the future is really a mechanism that allows you to do nothing. It’s a very convenient mental tool.

I’m going to tell you how to overcome procrastination. I’m going to show you how to turn procrastination into perseverance, and if you do what I suggest, the process will be virtually painless. It involves using two very powerful principles that foster productivity and perseverance instead of passivity and procrastination.

The first principle is: Break it down.

No matter what you’re trying to accomplish, whether it’s writing a book, climbing a mountain or painting a house, the key to achievement is your ability to break down the task into manageable pieces and knock them off one at one time. Focus on accomplishing what’s right in front of you at this moment. Ignore what’s off in the distance someplace. Substitute real-time positive thinking for negative future visualization. That’s the first all-important technique for bringing an end to procrastination.

Suppose I were to ask you if you could write a 400-page novel. If you’re like most people, that would sound like an impossible task. But suppose I ask you a different question. Suppose I ask if you can write a page and a quarter a day for one year. Do you think you could do it? Now the task is starting to seem more manageable. We’re breaking down the 400-page book into bite-size pieces. Even so, I suspect many people would still find the prospect intimidating. Do you know why? Writing a page and a quarter may not seem so bad, but you’re being asked to look ahead one whole year. When people start to look that far ahead, many of them automatically go into a negative mode. So let me formulate the idea of writing a book in yet another way. Let me break it down even more.

Suppose I were to ask you: Can you fill up a page and a quarter with words, not for a year, not for a month, not even for a week, but just today? Don’t look any further ahead than that. I believe most people would confidently declare that they could accomplish that. Of course, these would be the same people who feel totally incapable of writing a whole book.

If I said the same thing to those people tomorrow—if I told them, “I don’t want you to look back, and I don’t want you to look ahead, I just want you to fill up a page and a quarter this very day”—do you think they could do it?

One day at a time. We’ve all heard that phrase. That’s what we’re doing here. We’re breaking down the time required for a major task into one-day segments, and we’re breaking down the work involved in writing a 400-page book into page-and-a-quarter increments.

Keep this up for one year, and you’ll write the book. Discipline yourself to look neither forward nor backward, and you can accomplish things you never thought you could possibly do. And it all begins with those three words: Break it down.

My second technique for defeating procrastination is also only three words long. The three words are: Write it down. We know how important writing is to goal-setting. The writing you’ll do for beating procrastination is very similar. Instead of focusing on the future, however, you’re now going to be writing about the present just as you experience it every day. Instead of describing the things you want to do or the places you want to go, you’re going to describe what you actually do with your time, and you’re going to keep a written record of the places you actually go.

In other words, you’re going to keep a diary of your activities. And you’re going to be amazed by the distractions, detours and downright wastes of time you engage in during the course of a day. All of these get in the way of achieving your goals. For many people, it’s almost like they planned it that way, and maybe at some unconscious level they did. The great thing about keeping a time diary is that it brings all this out in the open. It forces you to see what you’re actually doing—and what you’re not doing.

The time diary doesn’t have to be anything elaborate. Just buy a little spiral notebook that you can easily carry in your pocket. When you go to lunch, when you drive across town, when you go to the dry cleaners, when you spend some time shooting the breeze at the copying machine, make a quick note of the time you began the activity and the time it ends. Try to make this notation as soon as possible. If it’s inconvenient to do it immediately, you can do it later. But you should make an entry in your time diary at least once every 30 minutes, and you should keep this up for at least a week.

Break it down. Write it down. These two techniques are very straightforward. But don’t let that fool you: These are powerful and effective productivity techniques that allow you put an end to procrastination and help you get started achieving your goals.

As a world-renowned author and success expert, Jim Rohn touched millions of lives during his 46-year career as a motivational speaker and messenger of positive life change.

For more information on Jim and his popular personal achievement resources or to subscribe to the weekly Jim Rohn Newsletter, visit www.JimRohn.com.