Diets in Review - Find the Right Diet for You

Pamela Hernandez



Workout Splits are Key to Creating the Physique You Really Want

workout splits

If you’re new to the gym this spring you’re quickly figuring out that fitness has a language all its own. You have the bootcamp class going for AMRAP while the guy at the squat rack is bragging about his one rep max. As you rest before attempting the next set of dips, another woman asks to “work in” on the assisted dip machine. She asks you, “Is it chest and tri day for you, too?”.

You stare at her thinking, “Are my triceps supposed to have a special day?”.

Workout splits, or how often you work a particular muscle group, can be one of the most confusing parts of a new strength training regimen. With the emphasis on high intensity programs in gyms and online training programs most people are training every muscle, every workout. The idea of a workout dedicated to just upper body or a specific muscle group seems foreign, even outdated, but making sure a muscle has adequate rest and attention is key to creating the physique you really want. Whether you’re new to the weight room or thinking about your first figure competition, there is a split that is right for you!
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One Minute Workouts to Break Your All-Or-Nothing Mentality

1-minute-workout

We need 30 minutes a day of moderate intensity physical activity, according to the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans. It’s a great goal but it can feel unattainable for many people. If you’re new to exercise, jumping from zero to 30 minutes EVERY DAY can feel as daunting as being asked to run a marathon. This is especially true if you have no idea where to start or what to do for those 30 minutes.

Even for experienced exercisers there are days with back-to-back meetings or when the alarm doesn’t go off – again. Exercise can get pushed off the plate to balance out the daily demands on our time. With the holidays upon us, time for workouts becomes even more precious and scarce then usual. Rookie or pro, we can all fall into the “all or nothing” trap.

By the time I drive to the gym, I’ll just have to turn around and come right back. If I can’t get my whole workout in why even bother?

I can’t walk on the treadmill for FIVE minutes, how am I supposed to do 30? Where am I even going to find 30 minutes in my day?

New Book Preview: What You Can, When You Can

If the “all or nothing” mentality is holding you back from getting your daily workout, I’ve got good news for you. The latest research says our minimum dose of exercise may be lower than we once thought. A recent study in the journal Lancet looked at exercise patterns and life expectancy of over 400,000 men and women. They found that as little as 15 minutes a day provided health benefits and reduced all cause mortality.
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No Weight Loss with FitBit? 5 Reasons it’s Probably User Error

fitbit-tracker

Did anyone happen to see the Today Show story on FitBit users who claim the device made them gain weight? I missed it when it originally aired, but it was topic of discussion during an IDEA World Fitness session called Best Practices for Integrating Devices and Apps with Your Clients.

More and more people are using technology to assist them on their fitness journey. In fact, session facilitator Patrick Jak shared that 10% of U.S. adults wear some kind of activity tracker, and that estimates say by 2015, 500 million people will be using fitness apps on their smartphones. An activity tracker or food log app like MyFitnessPal can be a great help in getting more active or facilitating fat loss. The problem is, as with any fitness tool, they are only effective with consistent and correct usage.

If you’re one of the 10% with a FitBit, Fuelband, VivoFit, or a dedicated MyFitnessPal user, but you aren’t seeing results, take a look at these common operator errors:
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Clean Eating Breakfast: Vegan Southwest Chickpea Breakfast Scramble

vegan breakfast scramble

Have you ever used beans as an oil replacement or meat substitute in vegan cooking? As my diet has evolved from the vegetarian who didn’t eat vegetables to the clean eating personal trainer I am today, I’ve learned that beans are for more than just chili.

Black beans can add moisture to brownies, muffins and pancakes, or make a great burger. Chickpeas can be a great stand-in for chicken in a deli-style salad, or they can take the place of eggs in scrambles and breakfast tacos.
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5 Non-Crunch Ways to Build Your Core (and Not Kill Your Neck)

forearm plank

I don’t like crunches. They hurt my neck. No matter how hard I focus on keeping my eyes up and my chin off my chest, I still feel my neck is getting more of a workout than my abs.

That’s why crunches don’t appear often in my (or my clients’) workouts. I don’t ignore the core however. It is the foundation of our body and functional movement. I just choose to train it other ways.

There are plenty of non-crunch techniques to help you develop your core. If you have low back issues or simply don’t want a pain in the neck, try one of these ways to build a strong and stable core.

1. Planks: I love ab holds and high planks, but they can get boring after awhile. Once a client can maintain an ab hold for 60 seconds, I move on to more challenging plank variations. To take your plank to the next level, try one of these.

  • Stability ball plank: Place your forearms on a stability ball and toes on the ground. Hold for up to 90 seconds.
  • Plank slides: I love Valslides for core work! Place one Valslide under each hand while in high plank position. Alternating pushing arms forward and back, about 6 inches away from your body, for 12 reps per side.
  • Body Saw: Take your plank to a new level by keeping your forearms on the ground but place your feet in suspension trainers that are hanging about 10 – 12 inches from the ground. Move forward and back for 10-15 repetitions.
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