Weekend Workout

Weekend Workouts work for both the “busy family man,” and the regular “gym rat!”

For the “Busy Family Man:”
It’s almost funny how many times I hear friends say how busy they are during the week that they can’t workout.  They’ve got work, then they must rush home to cook dinner, then they have to take their kids to Boy Scouts or Girl Scouts.  A friend even told me they can’t workout because their favorite TV Show was on.  For those of you that have such busy schedules, try finding just 1 hour late Friday night, anytime Saturday, AND anytime on Sunday.  Workout at home or get out and hit the gym.  Here are some quick tips on how you can fit in a great workout in just an hour!

Start with 30 minutes of cardio.  Jump on an elliptical for just 30 minutes.  If you’re at home and don’t have one, try 15 minutes of jumping jacks, and 15 minutes of running in place.  The goal:  Get that heart rate up!!

Then finish with 30 minutes of strength training.  Grab some dumbbells and a bar.  Start with dumbbell curls, do some squats with the bar, then hit the chest press machine.  Finish with Reverse Sit Ups!  Reduce your rest period and try to squeeze in some lats too!  The goal is to try to workout your entire body, since you don’t have the time to workout during the week.

Push your limits, and you’ll be done before you know it!

For the “Gym Regular:”
To the folks that do workout regularly, try adding a “Weekend Workout” every other weekend.  These weekends, I eat like a rabbit, I workout for 2 hours each day (Friday Night, Saturday, and Sunday), and I don’t drink alcohol.  I designed these “Weekend Workouts” to get me over walls and off plateaus.  They work!

While I regularly hit the gym and do 40 minutes of Cardio, followed with 30 minutes of strength, on workout weekends, I push my body to new limits.  I spend 2 to 3 hours in the gym to focus on pushing my limits by adding a set of reps, a new exercise, or completing 3 full sets with heavier weights.  Find what works best for you, and do it!!

Weekends are filled with dead time, and I know you all can find a plan that works best for you!  Think twice before opening that beer and parking on the couch!  Think twice before taking a Sunday nap!  Use your time wisely and push your limits.

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The 40 Minute Life Changer

What can happen in just 40 minutes?  A lot really!  You can watch a full hour of recorded TV (if you fast forward through commercials).  You can write a post on your blog (hahaha).  And, in most areas, you can even hop in your car and drive to the next town.  There are probably about 4,000,000 other activities you can complete that only take 40 minutes.  But what good are those 4,000,000 tasks doing for you?  More importantly, how many of those tasks do you HAVE to do, and how many of those tasks are you doing just to avoid something else?  Remember my post just a few days ago?  I was running around town shopping and spending money and completely avoiding the gym.  My wallet and my waistline were the only things suffering.

The same 40 minutes a day can change your life if you spend it correctly.  Go for a jog and burn 584 calories.  Jump on an elliptical and burn 525.  40 minutes of jumping jacks will burn 484 calories.  While swimming, rowing, or cycling will burn 409 calories!

Not into 40 minutes of monotonous activity?  That’s okay!!  Break it up into four short activities.  10 minutes of walking, 10 minutes of running, 10 minutes on the elliptical, and 10 minutes on the bike will burn a total of 539 calories!!

Regardless of how you do it, or where you do it, push your limits and add 40 minutes of exercise to your daily routine and your body will thank you!  Do this along with your circuit training and you’ll have a beach body in no time!  My only big reminder. . . DON’T FORGET TO STRETCH!!  Stretch in (before you start) and stretch out (once you’re done)!  A little stretching goes a long way when it comes to cardio!

Next week, watch for additional workout routines, new recipes, and more helpful tips from an average guy!

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Back Workout

New to the gym?  Not sure what to do?

Here are 8 simple exercises to work your Back!

Back Workout
Photo courtesy of:  https://www.facebook.com/Bodybuilding.Inspiration

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Kebabs – Meat and Veggies on a Stick

Kebabs

Are Kebabs the ultimate man food?  It’s said that the dish was invented by medieval Persian soldiers who used their swords to grill meat over open-field fires.  And why not!  It’s a blast of protein, low calories, low sodium, low fat, and most importantly, EASY to cook!  PERFECT for a warrior!

If you’re clueless to cooking, try the simple recipes above.  Hint: it’s meat and veggies on a stick.  If you’re good at cooking (even at the most basic level), grab your favorite veggies and your favorite meat, stick it on your sword, and put it on the grill!

Health-nut beware!  Kebabs may not be the healthiest dish when dining out!  It’s the same concept; meat and veggies on a stick, but restaurants commonly coat their Kebabs in seasonings and preservatives that add tons of fat, calories, and sodium!  Not to mention the piece of Pita Bread, Hummus, pasta, or other less healthy side items that accompany your kebabs!

**Nutritional Information courtesy of http://www.myfitnesspal.com.  Recipes courtesy of http://www.cookinglight.com

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2013: A New Year and A New Outlook

2013 really started off with a bang.  An attitude of financial gain really resulted in promoting a healthier me, and a different approach to the way I was doing things.  In just 3.5 months, I’m 15 lbs lighter, about 1.5 belt loops down, and I can definitely see improved definition in certain areas.  So the big questions; How did I do it?  What did I learn?  Where did I learn it?

Let’s start from the beginning.  Like I mentioned earlier, the attitude into 2013 was really about financial gain (I’d like to buy a new car in mid-late Summer).  I thought about the financial gain from reducing the amount of “dinners out” and “fast food.”  Then I thought about the amount of time I was taking running around town shopping.  I even thought about the amount of time that I spent sitting on my couch watching Netflix or other rented movies.  So let’s put this into a quick calculation; $5 for breakfast, $10 for lunch, $20 for dinner (and yes, there were days that I did all three meals out).  Then we’ll add a “Target run” and a “stop at HomeGoods” since I’m out and about.  That adds about $35 worth of stuff I didn’t need a week, not to mention the extra $3 in gas I just blew.  So worst case scenario, I was spending up to $41 per day on extra calories and crap I didn’t need.  That’s almost $15,000 a year!  Even at it’s bare minimum, averaging just $11 a day on dining out, that’s still about $5500 a year!  YIKES!  And the worst part, I know that I fell closer to the HIGH SIDE of this basic calculation.

So what did I do?  I trimmed the fat.  I reduced dining out and fast food by 95%, allowing only one (yes one) meal out per week.  I took the time I spent on the couch and running around buying useless crap and replaced it with something healthier; the gym. . . . the gym I was already paying for.  Now, instead of spending up to $15,000 a year on running around, useless crap, and extra calories, I am spending $299.88 a year on my gym membership.  Of course, I still have to get to the gym, so there are added costs for fuel and car costs, but my company reimburses me $150 a year for my gym membership, so in the end my annual costs really are about $500.  That’s 3% of what I could be spending.  It’s funny when you put something so casual and simple (like eating out and running around) into perspective like this.  It’s even crazier, how something so simple turned into a “silver-lined path” to healthy eating and immediate weight loss.

I challenge all of my readers to evaluate, re-evaluate, and push yourselves to change just one unhealthy habit.  Then share it with everyone.  I’m 100% sure we can all learn from your experience!

Until next time, live a happy, healthy lifestyle.  Push your limits and share your results!

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Gobble Gobble!

I hope everyone had a FABULOUS Thanksgiving!

I’m not going to lie, I didn’t hit the gym Wednesday through Sunday!  But finally got back in on Monday night!  It feels GREAT too!

Holidays, vacations, and special occasions are all times when we “can’t” spare an hour in the gym.  Why is that?  Do we skip television?  eating?  shopping?  So maybe the real truth is that we skip the gym and use the holiday or vacation or special occasion as an excuse!  Last year I remember being so upset because 24 Hour Fitness was closed on Thanksgiving.  This year, it seems I was the one out of commission!  *sigh*

Did you skip the gym over the holiday weekend?  If so, what are your plans to get back in?  Or have you already?!?

 

Picking the Ball Back Up

I won’t lie to you. . . I didn’t start on Friday the 18th like I had expected!  I was lazy and selfish.  I wanted to go have pizza with some friends.  Can you blame me?  It’s the start of the holiday season!  Having fun with friends is a must!  But the truth is, I could have squeezed in an hour each day at the gym (even Friday after work before pizza and TV time)!

I dropped the ball on Friday and on Saturday, but I picked it up and ran with it on Sunday!

Accidents happen, people get busy, we’ve all been known to be lazy, and procrastination is just a part of being human.  It’s the motivation to get healthy, to care for your body, to look good, or whatever other reason you might have to hit the gym that convinces us to pick the ball back up and run with it!

What did I do to get back in the gym?
1) I ensured I got a GREAT night’s rest the night before.
2) I got a new supplement at GNC (pre-workout supplements are great)
3) I planned a trip to the grocery store with a list to turn make my “gym time” into a Healthy Day!

 Welcome back workout:
1) Stretch – legs, arms, back, you name it!
2) Curls 3 sets of 11
3) Shoulder Press 3 sets of 11
4) Bench Press 3 sets of 11
5) Shoulder lift 3 sets of 11
6)  Tricep Pushdowns 3 sets of 11
7) Dumbbell Flyes 3 sets of 10
8) Pull downs – 3 sets of 10
9) 40 reverse crunches (2 sets of 20)
10) 40 regular crunches (2 sets of 20)
11) Stretch – legs, arms, back, you name it!

Welcome back dinner:
Squishy Veggies & Pork
1/4 lb chopped up lean pork
sliced carrots, squash, zucchini
Chopped Broccoli, Cauliflower
Mrs Dash’s
Pepper (lots of it)
Lemon
Brown Rice

I’m excited about tonight’s work out and today’s healthy eating!  I look forward to hearing your stories about what you did to get back in the gym!

Man’s Best Friend

In loving memory of “Kiah”

It’s a fact; People that own dogs get more exercise!   Yes, even those that don’t live in apartments and have backyards!  Playing tug of war, throwing a ball, and even bending down/up (to give them that plate they’re gonna lick) burns a few extra calories!

I live on a 2nd floor that’s really a 3rd floor (garage) with a 75 lb dog.  Every morning at about 6:45, I walk down the stairs, down the block with Blu, and then back up the stairs again!  In the evening at 5:00 pm, I’m at it again.  Then, I do it one last time at night before bed!  Knowing what we’ve learned from calories burned in every stair step and every foot step, I burn an extra 73 calories every day!!

Additionally, interacting with a pet decreases your blood pressure and will increase “feel-good” hormones in your body! And, best of all, research suggests that people that exercise with their pets, are more likely to stick to a fitness routine!

Just like Man, Man’s best friend is facing the battle of obesity!  Up to 40% of dogs in the US are over weight!  Grab your dog, get off the couch and go have some fun!  Remember; keep yourself and your K-9 hydrated, avoid overkill, keep an eye on your best friend’s feet (buy doggy shoes, if desired), and perform exercises that are appropriate to age (you wouldn’t have your 60 year old grandmother sprint a half marathon, would you?)  

HAVE FUN!  Your pooch (belly) and pooch (dog) will love you for it!  

Ideas:
Hike
Walk
Jog
Swim
Frisbee
Dance (yes, I’m for real)
Agility Training (obstacle courses)
Doga (Yoga with your dog. . . and again, I am for real!)
Soccer/Fetch
Rollerblade

http://pets.webmd.com/dogs/ss/slideshow-exercising-with-your-dog

Dont forget…

Even though you can choose which days to go to the gym, it is recommended that you leave at least one day of rest between each workout session.
 
When you lift weights, you cause tiny microscoptic tears in the muscle fibers, and that is how your muscles grow. Without rest you don’t allow for repair and growth of the muscle fibers. What to do? Well, do one day of weight training, and then one day of cardiovascular training [such as an hour on the elliptical, treadmill, swimming laps, or anything that you can do in intervals for strengthening your heart and endurance]. Always Practice good breathing techniques, keep pace, and stay hydrated at all times!!

Every little bit helps…

So recently i have lost about 14 pounds in a relatively short time. Yes, there was some working out involved, but the main thing was the food and a bit of own motivation and positive thinking.

I have a membership to a gym in which i use from time to time, but what i really found out was that your listening to your gut instinct is not always the best idea. What i mean by that is that instead of saying, “oh i am hungry! i think i should stop at [insert fastfood spot] and get a number one”, i say “i am a bit hungry, but is there not a better option?”. And to be honest, sometimes there isnt a better option due to being in a rush or short on cash. Thus getting some “cheap” fastfood is the best option at the time. Typically when we get to these infamous drive-thru lanes, we are overwhelmed by the vast vareity of meals placed before us and we go ahead and indulge. Try this next time you have to get a meal on the go: Instead of getting that loaded #1, try to get the junior meal.  It sounds crazy because we are so hungry and for $1.25 more you can get almost double the food….but that is exactly how they plan their menus.

Take in to consideration that at Whataburger, one of my past favorites, a kids meal with no cheese and a sprite contains about 770 calories. a KIDS meal. then you can add about 90 calories from ONE slice of cheese and you are at about 860 calories from that ONE “KIDS SIZE” meal. Now factor in the normal coke or root beer loaded with sugars and syrups, plus the larger size of everything in the meal…and well yea you can see that you are well on your way to consuming your daily calories within ONE meal.

What i started doing is ordering the jr meals. It fills you up just as much as you need to be without having that feeling of being “full”, it keeps extra cash in your bank account, and omits unneeded calories. Your stomach cannot communicate to your mind that you are full fast enough so by the time you are done done, you were really done at the halfway mark of the meal. So take smaller portions, less red meats, less processed foods and fit in a good THIRTY minutes of daily excercise. You can do it! I work full time, go to school part time, take care of homework and fit in a few minutes daily. Dont tell yourself you can’t. While you watch your favorite TV show, do some situps/pushups during the commercial breaks. during a 30 minute show you can do enough activity to feel better at the end of the day.