At-Home Work Out Equipment and Home Workout Video!

I love using my TRX® to get a quick workout in. You can do some intense versions of push ups, plank/crunch/pike, back rows, 1-leg squats and lunges…and this is just the start of it. The bundle I bought, which I think was the ‘pro’ bundle, came with a dvd to start me off which helped a lot. From there, I just used my creativity and YouTube to find out about more exercises. I posted a exercise video on this blog a while back, CLICK HERE FOR VIDEO. I jibber jabber in the beginning of the video for a while, but eventually get to the point lol!
Next, my Ultimate Dip Station. You can do way more than dips on this piece! I do hanging leg raises and oblique knee tucks, inverted rows, push ups, dips, use your imagination and have fun with it!

I have plenty of body weight and kettlebell videos on this blog for you to check out to get some good ideas for exercise routines, so make sure to watch some of those videos when you get a chance. BUT, I went ahead and made a NEW VIDEO for you all that includes some body weight exercises as well as exercises using my Dip Station, Sand Bag, Stability Ball, and Resistance Bands. The NEW VIDEO is at the end of this post:).

If you are aiming to get your heart rate up there in the ‘cardio’ zone and increase your metabolism and fat burning capability of your workout, then choose exercises that target large muscle groups and are compound exercises(squats, rows) that hit many muscle groups, those that involve 2 or more joints and large groups of muscle working together in a coordinated movement. Only do 2-3 compound exercises per workout, because they take a lot of energy and tire you out, also do them at the beginning of your workout. End with isolation exercises (involve the movement of a single joint), such as the bicep curl.

Also, you may count reps and sets or do the exercises in an interval format. For example, if you are doing squats, push ups, dips, and rows; you could do 3 sets of 10-15 reps of each exercise (enough resistance for each movement that you’re almost at point of total fatigue by 10-15th rep). Or, you could time yourself while you perform each movement, and try to get in as many reps as possible (with good form) of each exercise during your ‘effort interval’ and have a short period of rest in between, before moving onto the next exercise. You can do the exercises in a circuit format (in which you move from one exercise to the next) and perform a given number of rounds of the circuit. For example, perform each exercise for 45 seconds of effort with 15 seconds of rest & move to next exercise, do all exercises in circuit for 45 seconds of effort with 15 seconds of rest, back-to-back until finished 1 circuit. Rest for 1-2 minutes at the end of each circuit and perform as many circuits as desired for your goals. I usually pick 10 exercises and do 2-3 circuits.

For my routines, I do reps and sets when I’ll be doing a lower number of reps/exercise because I’m lifting heavier weight that day. On the days in which I’m aiming to get more of a ‘High Intensity Interval Training’ effect, I do timed intervals and use lighter weight in order to get a higher number of reps and obtain a ‘cardio aspect’ to my strength training routine. It is great to change up the format of your routines day-to-day and week-to-week, not only to accomplish muscle confusion, but also to avoid boredom!

Exercise video is below!

Multi-Taskin’…Healthy Diet & Exercise No Matter How Busy Your Day Is!

A day in the life of Natalie!

Don’t fret, I don’t really think that you care what my day is like, I’m not that vain! I wanted to give you an example of how I fit in healthy eating habits and consistent exercise into a very busy schedule.

I usually wake up at 5am and don’t finish work until 7:30pm. So as you can see, I have LONG days…don’t be misinformed though, I LOVE what I do for a living and I DO get breaks here and there throughout the day. I use those breaks to eat healthy and exercise and it makes getting through my day all the better and easier! Exercise gives me stress relief and stamina, healthy eating gives me a clear mind and energy!

I wake up early enough so that I have at least 1 hour to get ready and eat breakfast before I need to hit the road to train my first client. Right out of bed I down 1 scoop of fiber dissolved in a 16oz. glass of water. Then, I usually eat oatmeal & Shakeology (for protein/vitamins/energy/health). I have a cup of coffee with a splash of unflavored almond milk. I head out to train my clients usually until noon or 1pm. Then I have my afternoon ‘break’. I eat lunch, which is either a salad with chicken or a ‘green smoothie’ (pics below) and get to work in my ‘office’. This is when the multi-tasking comes into play!

In my ‘office’ (which I’ve moved outdoors since the weather is beautiful right now in MD) I do admin, marketing, blog, emails, and anything else it takes to make my personal training business run! During this ‘office work’ I fit in intermittent workouts. I use my body weight, dip station, TRX, stability ball, kettlebells, resistance bands and sandbag. I will do a post tomorrow on exercises I do using these different pieces of equipment.

I also have a gym membership. I go there daily as time permits and do cardio on the arc trainer, step mill, treadmill, and spin classes. I also use the bench, barbells, smith machine, cable machine, kick boxing bags, dumbbells, and other equipment that I do not have at home. While I’m working in my ‘office’, I do exercises for the muscle group I’m focusing on that day that I can do using my home workout equipment so when I hit the gym, I can get in and out of there faster. For example, I do push ups/chin ups/dips/core work at home while working on my upper body days so that when I hit the gym I only have to do the remaining exercises on the equipment that I don’t have at my house, such as bench presses and cable rows and the step mill!

When I need a power packed lunch but will be working out within an hour or so and don’t want to feel ‘full’ or ‘heavy’ from undigested food, I eat a green smoothie! I throw 8 oz of water, a few dashes of cinnamon, a handful of spinach salad leaves, a scoop of my chocolate Whey protein supplement and 1/2 scoop of my Shakeology, a couple frozen organic strawberries, ice cubes in my Bullet Blender cup and blend. I LOVE the ‘Bullet’ because it has single portion cups that you throw all your ingredients into and blend and drink out of the same cup, then throw the cup in the dishwasher and go!

Finally, after my last personal training client, I come home to eat a light dinner. I won’t be doing anything quite physical after dinner so there is no need for a huge dinner, you just don’t need the fuel because you’ll be sleeping soon! Today, I trained a client outside at a park that overlooks downtown Baltimore City…it was BEAUTIFUL today! I came home and threw a salmon filet in my skillet and cooked it in 8 minutes on my stove top, I also threw together a quick side salad.

So that’s my day! Jam packed yet I get in my workout and healthy nutritious meals to fuel my body and help me achieve my goals!

If you find that your schedule is busy and it is hard to get a workout in or eat healthy food while on the go, YOU’VE GOT TO PLAN AHEAD. I prep meals the day in advance if I know the following day will not allow me time to cook or I won’t be home for lunch. I ‘schedule’ my workouts in my calendar so I know exactly when I am scheduled for my daily workout and don’t end up at the end of the day, out of time and no energy to exercise.

Hope this helps! Health & Happiness,

Nat

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3 Key Tips to Shed the LBS

Hi All!
Watch the video to find out 3 great tips to help you customize your exercise and diet plan to help you lose the weight and keep it off!

#1: CARDIO! Do cardio on non-weight training days (30-45 minutes) and weight training days (20-30 minutes).

#2: DO CARDIO AFTER WEIGHT TRAINING. Do 20-30 minutes cardio (intervals) after weight training.

#3: WATCH WHAT & HOW MUCH YOU EAT. 3 meals/day with 2 snacks if needed. At least 60-70 ounces water/day. No processed food. 1 Meal replacement protein/health shake every day.

Incorporate these 3 rules into your lifestyle and you’ll be sure to see improvements in your energy levels, body fat%, lean muscle mass, and advancement toward your fitness goals!

Health & Happiness,

Nat:)

Fears – Roadblocks to Achieving Your Weight Loss Goals

Read this if you…overeat, binge eat, for anorexia, hate exercise, can’t keep from eating sweets or salty snacks/treats, ‘live to eat vs. eat to live’…..
Fear’s, we all have them. Some people are afraid of spiders, some of public speaking, and some…of the dark! I’m not here to talk about arachnophobia today though. I’m here to talk about “limiting beliefs” that lead to “limiting behaviors”.

Fear’s and limiting beliefs are similar in that they’re created by imagining some negative outcome in the future. You may be afraid of public speaking because you imagine that you will forget your lines, sound/look silly or uneducated, or be laughed at. Well it’s time to face these fears, feel the fear and do it! Don’t let these limiting beliefs and fears stop you from taking the necessary steps to achieve your dreams.

Usually, when trying to overcome a fear, you will have to TAKE THE RISK OF THE UNCOMFORTABLE…remember, ‘nothing ventured, nothing gained’.

All decisions we make are based on our associations to what actions will produce, PAIN or PLEASURE.
PAIN – linked to a negative outcome, situation, fear, or negative loss.
PLEASURE – linked to a positive outcome, experience, or positive gain.
We link some ideas, images, sounds, and situations to ‘PAIN’ and some to ‘PLEASURE’.
People have differences and similiarities in their linkages to PAIN and PLEASURE.
The MAIN POINT here is this. The FEAR of PAIN and OUR BELIEFS that an action will LEAD TO PLEASURE are driven by our PERCEPTIONS OF REALITY, NOT REALITY!

These ‘Perceptions of Reality’ are created based on past experiences/life events. Over time you’ve developed associations and beliefs based on past experiences. The problem here?…some of these past experiences created ‘limiting beliefs’ within you that now affect your behavior to future situations you deem are similar to this past experience and in turn, this leads to limiting behaviors.

Limiting Behaviors
are those that are holding you back or are ‘disempowering’ you.
Example: An association to public speaking – ‘you will fail, people will laugh’ – leads to limiting behavior…you don’t share your opinion/voice, don’t excel at job or don’t get promoted as a result.
Example: An association to eating sweets – developed as a child, ‘you feel satisfied/happy when indulging in sweets’ – leads to limiting behavior…now when you’re unhappy/stressed, you eat sweets to feel happy, but it keeps you from losing weight and achieving your fitness goals!

So What Do I Do????
1. FACE YOUR FEARS AND QUESTION THEM! Write down a list of all of your fears, disempowering beliefs, and things you associate with pain. Questions their validity. How rediculous is this belief?
2. ASSOCIATE EACH DISEMPOWERING BELIEF TO PAIN. For each disempowering belief say, ‘If I allow this belief to negatively impact me it will cost me or keep me from __________.’
3. For each disempowering belief write down, ‘I want to _______, but I scare myself by imagining ______.’
4. REPLACE THIS ‘IMAGINATION’ or ‘FEARFUL FEELING’ with feelings you associate with positive outcomes.

Example: Indulging in sweets or Overeating – ‘Living to Eat instead of Eating to Live’
=> You Say: “If I don’t eat/snack on this donut, I’ll miss out on the feeling of satisfaction/fullness.'(False!)
=> Rather Realize: “If I keep believing this and eating sweets too much, eating when unnecessary, and ‘living to eat’; I will gain weight, suffer from health problems, and undo all my hard work at the gym!
=> State the Truth: “I want to eat healthy/avoid sweets, BUT I scare myself by imagining that I’ll be missing out on something good, the feeling of satisfaction, and filling of some void.”
=> The Reality & New Associations: “If I stick to a healthy diet, avoid unnecessary sweets and unhealthy foods, and learn to ONLY ‘Eat to Live’; I WILL lose weight, improve my health, feel proud and confident, and see the results materialize from my workouts.”

YOU CAN overcome the roadblocks, YOU CAN face your fears, it may be uncomfortable and challenging, you may experience setbacks, but be determined to achieve your goals and push through day-by-day! You can apply these methods in all aspects of your life. Get out there, achieve the unexpected, be strong, and FACE YOUR FEARS!!

5 Steps to Shed Those Extra Pounds Fast! Oh, and Facebook….

TWO TOPICS TO HELP YOU ACHIEVE PERMANENT WEIGHT LOSS!
Topic#1: 5 Steps to Shed Those Extra Pounds
Make ALL of these changes to your daily lifestyle and habits and drop dress sizes fast!

1. 98% of diet is whole-foods, avoid processed foods at all costs. This means bread, pastries, energy bars, soda, pasta, food with artificial sweeteners/coloring/preservatives. Eat only food as it comes from nature.
2. Consume the correct amount of calories/day for weight loss. Take your goal weight and multiply it by 10. This is your goal for daily caloric intake. Should never be any less than 1100-1200/day though!!! Remember, if you put your body into starvation mode it will hold onto the fat, so make sure you aren’t starving yourself! Also, on workout days make sure to eat a little bit more in the form of proteins and vegetable sources to make sure you have enough energy to push hard during your workouts!
3. Drink at the least (10) 8-12 ounce glasses/bottles water/day. Carry around a huge water bottle or jug so you can measure how much water you’ve had. Put 10 rubber bands on your wrist and everytime you drink 1 8-12 ounce glass of water, remove a rubberband.
4. Eat for what you’re about to do. Eat according to your expected activity level for the following 3 hours. If you will be sitting at a desk for the next 3 hours, then you won’t need much energy, so have a light meal. If you’ll be working out in 2 hours, eat the most nutritious filled meal of the day. Also, using a meal replacement drink can work wonders, especially for those times when you’re on the go or will be sedentary for the next few hours, but it must NOT be ‘Slim Fast’ or something ‘unnatural’ like GNC brands that have all that horrible crap in them that actually hurt not help you. I recommend Shakeology(R), if you have questions about it let me know!
5. Exercise for 30 – 60 minutes, 5 times per week. If you’re just starting out and haven’t been working out, then ease your way up to 5 workouts/wk by starting with 3x/wk, then 4x/wk the 2nd week, then 5x/wk by the 3rd or 4th week. 2-3 of the workouts/wk should be strength training of large muscle groups. And, at least 2 of your workouts/wk should be interval training ‘cardio’ style; meaning running, fast-paced walking, incline treadmill walk/run, elliptical, swimming, spinning/biking, plyometrics. To find some good programs/videos for your exercise needs go to Beachbody and click ‘Shop’ to view the fitness programs, they’re the only videos that I give my approval of as a personal trainer because they are designed and proven to get you the results you want and they come with complete nutritional plans! I do them everyday!

Topic #2: Nat’s Facebook 90 Day Beachbody Challenge
Need support and motivation from me, your friends, and others doing this awesome 90 Day Challenge? Well, guess what? This Challenge is FREE!! So to keep you on track with the above 5 Keys to Shed Those Extra Pounds and keep you motivated and supply you with the tools you need for success with your fitness goals, sign up for this 90 Day Challenge on Facebook and check out the details NOW!

Any and all questions, send ’em my way by commenting on this post or emailing me at nmeconi@customizedpt.com
XO, Nat

Get Better Results, UP your Training Intensity!

Hi Everyone!
Today I want to talk about ‘Intensity’.Intensity is a very important key in your exercise routine, and it will help you get the results you want. It is not the ‘Percieved Exertion’, rather it is the ‘load’ or weight lifted that we are talking about here. So what do you need to do then? You need to increase the weight you lift for every exercise you do in your workouts! The heavier you lift, the more ‘intense’ your workouts will be. The more ‘intense’ your workouts, the better results you will see.

Before and during your workout, commit to giving every rep, set and exercise 100%. Fully challenge yourself with each rep, set and exercise. You should be giving it your all so at the end of each set you have hit the point of absolute failure! Increase the weight your are lifting, and when you can’t increase the weight any higher than do one more rep, one more set, etc. Just remember, each time you come back and do a workout/exercise over again, try and increase the weight lifted.

Just because you are working out, does NOT mean that you are giving it your all! You may be lifting some dumbbells or swinging that kettlebell, but are you pushing yourself to the max with each rep, set and exercise? Is that weight heavy enough to challenge you during each rep and set? It better be! Remember, you have taken the time to workout, now give it your all and make it worth your while so you can see the results!

Increase the weight lifted instead of the # of reps/sets you do. In order to lift heavier for a specific exercise, you will have to decrease the # of reps/sets you do for that exercise. Lifting heavier is good for you! Don’t be afraid of getting bulky ladies! We do not have the hormones men do that make them bulky. Lifting heavier means you are increasing that intensity and will get you the results you want! The best part about lifting heavier, your weight training sessions won’t take as long! You shouldn’t be weight training for more than 40 min – 1 hour max.

Always jot down your performance. Record the weight/reps/sets you did for each exercise so that next time you know what you should aim to beat!

“In life, we acquire what we desire, we don’t receive what we ignore.”

Figure out your 1 Rep Max for large muscle group exercises. Bench press, squat, deadlift, rows are all large, multi-joint/muscle group exercises. To find your 1 Rep Max, find the weight for bench press that you will max out at about 10 reps. Multiply that weight X 100, than divide that # by 75 and this is the estimate of your 1 Rep Max. For example if I maxed out at 10 reps on bench press at 80 LBS, I would–> 80LBS X 100 = 8000, 8000/75= 106.6LBS is my 1 Rep Max.

For Intensity, I would focus on doing 80%-85% of your 1 Rep Max. And every week or so doing 90% of your 1 Rep Max. Remember as you get stronger you will need to recalculate your 1 Rep Max!

Best of luck in your Intesity Training!! Keep up the awesome work
Health & Happiness,

Nat