Wednesday, December 16, 2009

An Awesome Testimonial From a Client and Class Participant (contd.)

The cardiologist pesonally told me that the program you prescribed for me, a combination of cardio an weight resistance for muscle strengthening, had contributed to my heart improvement. An added benefit is that my entire muscle system has become stronger. Needless to say, it is exciting to know that the effort I put in each week is paying off, and I can thank you for helping me achieve these results.

Jo Anne Mead

An Awesome Testimonial From a Client and Class Participant

Hello all and Happy Holidays!

I am posting a testimonial from a client and class participant. Although Jo Anne is the oldest member of our group and we have to do some "alterations" of her exercise lists she is an extremely hard worker and devoted individual. She recently had some good news that, with her permission, I wanted to pass along:

I am a 78 year old female who has had a heart nurmur all of my life. Annually, I undergo a physical, including a heart echocardiogram. This year, the cardiologist's report read as follows:

"Patient is here in follow-up for a history of mitral valve prolapse. We saw her in consultation in January 2008. She had an echocardiogram the previous December demonstrating mild prolapse with mild regurgitation. Since that time she has joined a health club in Grants Pass. She is exercising three times per week for 90 minutes. Initially she could hardly use the elliptical machine, but now she can go 30 minutes at a stretch. She feels well. She has no palpitations. She is not having chest pain. ... Overall her quality of life is good.

"Recommendations: Patient is well. Her mitral valve prolapse is a non-issue. The amount of regurgitation seen today is actually less than it was two years ago. She will continue to exercise and we will see her back in two years."


Jo Anne Mead

Wow!! Through consistent exercise and regular diet Jo Anne was able to alleviate and rectify a chronic heart condition. Amazing! Congratulations, Jo Anne


Monday, October 26, 2009


Has anyone seen a 3-foot long foam roll in their gym and wonder what the heck it's for? Have you witnessed other men or women rolling around, grimacing and wincing in pain as they heave their bodies up and down the thing? It sometimes just doesn't look right, you know what I mean? I'm here to tell you that the 3-foot long foam roll (usually blue or white and 6 inches in diameter) can actually be your best friend if you exercise frequently or deal with a lot of injuries or stiffness in your joints and muscles.

The foam roller is part of a very useful fitness and exercise routine and is clinically called "Self-Myofascial Release (SMR)". Think of it like you're kneading bread: you put your flour in, your eggs, your milk, whatever, and at first it's clumpy and lumpy; you get it all mixed together and begin kneading to smooth it out and get ready for baking. Well, your muscles can get lumpy, too, particularly if you are active or have joint issues. Typically, muscles will knot up around tendon insertion points where stress hits hardest. These areas are typically the most tender when you first begin foam-rolling but, over time, should become less sensitive. If you don't properly stretch or relieve these stress-points your tissues and joints can break down over time (if they haven't already).

The foam roller, or SMR, can be used to reduce inflammation and injuries, increase flexibility and function, as well as simply stretch out strained and tired muscle fibers. I had one client recently tell me that she had experienced numbness and irritation in her left hip but through proper SMR and stretching she alleviated these issues and is now symptom-free. Other clients I've worked with and introduced the foam roller to have reported decreased back and shoulder pain as well as knee and ankle pain/swelling. Personally, I've utilized the foam roller for patellar tendonitis and it has helped tremendously with pain and performance. If you don't believe me than I recommend you go to your Chiropractor, Doctor or Physical Therapist and ask about SMR...or if you're at home you can simply type in Self-Myofascial Release into Google and you'll get a million+ hits. Also, check out this link to see a specific example or just go to for more ideas.

The foam roller can come in many shapes and sizes but typically you'll find 3-footers in your gym (I recommend that the firmer you can get the better). If you'd like to learn more about this training technique and how to use the foam roller please don't hesitate to e-mail me at or ask me in person.


Friday, October 16, 2009

6-Week Challenge Final Results

We are at the end of the RBS 6-Week Challenge and we have final results. Again, I want to re-iterate how proud I am of the hardest working group of people in the gym. We had a total of 32 participants in the challenge (those folks that weighed in more than once) and, as a group, lost a total of 42% BODY FAT and a cumulative 84 POUNDS OF FAT!!! That is a remarkable accomplishment in only 6 weeks. We have proven that a combination of diet, exercise, determination, and goal-setting truly can create change.

Finally, in reverse order, here are the top 5 finishers in the challenge, with lost body fat % next to their names:

Fifth-Place: Deeann Fackrell 2.8%

Fourth-Place: Deanne Sharp 2.9%

Third-Place: Julie Robertson 3.2%

Second-Place: Janice Van Horne 3.8%

First-Place: Alison Pazourek 4.3%

Again, remarkable transformations for everyone both physically and mentally. All-in-all I'd label the 6-Week Challenge as a monumental success. Look for similar challenges (maybe an 8-week contest??) in the future.
Thank you and take care!


Thursday, October 8, 2009

The BENEFITS of Self-Monitoring, Planning, and Logs

“How noble and good everyone could be if, at the end of each day, they were to review their own behavior and weigh up their rights and wrongs. They would automatically try to do better at the start of each new day and, after a while, would certainly accomplish a great deal.” — Anne Frank

Anne Frank wasn’t the only famous person to recognize the benefits of recording elements of her daily behavior. Benjamin Franklin set 13 personal goals for himself, and used detailed grids to measure his progress toward each (yes, that’s why the popular organizer is called a Franklin Planner). His conclusion: “I was surprised to find myself so much fuller of faults than I had imagined, but I had the satisfaction of seeing them diminish…” Ernest Hemingway recorded how many words he wrote each day on a piece of cardboard mounted under a stuffed gazelle head. He said it helped him to “not kid himself.” Elite athletes routinely keep logs of their performance and the factors that seem to contribute to peak performance.

Research confirms the insights of these famous figures. Regularly recording aspects of your behavior and progress toward your goals—a process psychologists call self-monitoring—enhances success in making a variety of life changes. The National Weight Control Registry, which tracks those rare people who have kept off 30 pounds for at least a year, reports that one of the few predictors of lasting weight loss is keeping records of eating and exercise habits. Similarly, students who keep records of their studying perform better than those who don’t. In clinical situations, self-monitoring has been shown to be an effective tool that can aid in reducing alcohol consumption, smoking, disruptive classroom behavior, nail biting and even hallucinations! Of course, simply recording behavior itself tends to have modest effects that diminish over time. But it can be a powerful, performance-enhancing tool when combined with a clear sense of one’s ultimate ambitions, motivating near-term goals, and the other techniques for change that we’ve covered in this series of articles.


The first step to self-monitoring is to identify your goals. Your goals should be attainable and should be broken up in to Short, Intermediate, and Long Term. Simply stating "I want to lose weight" or "I want to get in shape" isn't sufficient--your goals should be easily identifiable, describable, and specific ("I want to lose 5 lbs. of fat in 2 months", for example).

The second step to self-monitoring would be to keep a log, or collect data. Keep it simple! Write down how much time you spend doing cardiovascular exercise, lifting weights, sets/reps/amount of weight lifted, stretching/flexibility, etc. Utilizing the workout lists I provide in my class is a great starting point. Check off what you did and how much weight, for example. I would also recommend keeping track of the progress you make utilizing a 1-10 scale, with 0 being no progress and 10 being outstanding progress. Each day, after doing a workout, write down how you felt about the workout and/or specific exercises.

You might also want to track such health-related measures such as weight, body-fat, hydration, medication needs, blood-pressure, measurements (such as hips/thighs), etc.


More powerful than the actual data is the analysis of the data. That is what I try to focus on. I am more concerned with overall trends than simple one-time data. I've worked with a lot of folks who become sad/angry when they weight themselves and have lost no weight from one time to the next; but, what is the trend? Is it downward? Is what you're doing overall working? Do changes need to be made?

Remember that self-monitoring is self-reward. Recording progress and seeing changes for the better encourages folks to celebrate success. On the flip-side, seeing results that aren't ideal can provide thought-provoking rebukes to current strategies. Self-Monitoring also will keep your eyes on the ultimate prize--those goals that you wrote down earlier. Most importantly, though, self-monitoring will provide accountability.

Having a trainer is one form of accountability. The most powerful form of accountability is, no doubt, self-accountability. You need to be honest with yourself. Even if you have a bad day or bad week it is better to address that, make corrections, and move on, no matter the short-term outcome. Keep your eyes on the prize!



* The Science of Self-Monitoring, Dr. Stephen Kraus, Ph.D.,
* Garfield C. Peak Performers: The New Heroes of American Business, New York, NY: Avon: 1986
* Watson DL, Tharp RG. Self-Directed Behavior: Self-Modification for Personal Adjustment. Pacific Grove, CA: Brooks/Cole

Monday, September 28, 2009

Protein -- What Should I Eat?

I get asked a lot by men and women about PROTEIN. More specifically, questions about type, importance, quantity and timing (as in: when should I eat). Before answering those questions, we should look at what protein is and why we need it.

What is Protein?
Generally speaking, the primary function of protein in the body is to build and repair body tissues and structures. It is also involved in the synthesis of hormones, enzymes and other regulatory bodies. Additionally, protein can be used for energy if fat calories or carbs are insufficient at the time.
Without going in to too much scientific detail, think of proteins asthe building blocks for the human body. Think of fat and carbohydrates as the fuel.

Why Protein?
When we run, lift weights, do stomach crunches, whatever it is, we are breaking down tissues in our body. Whether it's muscle, ligaments, tendons, or fascia, our body is under constant stress during periods of exercise. Via digestion the human body transforms the proteins we eat into the proteins we build upon. Keep in mind we don't store proteins in the body--if, at the time of ingestion, we don't require protein we will excrete it. But, it's better to have too much than not enough because without protein your body will eventually break down and you will get injured.

How Much Protein?
There is a lot of debate on this topic and has been for some time. Again, generally speaking, if you are an active individual (man or woman) you should be consuming roughly 1 gram of protein per kilogram of body weight. Remember, there is 2.2 lbs. in a kilogram; so, if you weighted 220 lbs. that would equal 100 lbs., or 100 grams of protein on a daily basis.

Where Do I Get Protein and What Type Should I Consume?
You can get protein from a variety of sources. I recommend lean animal proteins like chicken, tuna/fish, certain beef and pork products, and egg whites. To many people's surprise, green, leafy vegetables are also very high in protein (remember Popeye and his spinach???). Also certain grains and nuts like soy, peanuts, and almonds have protein.
Also available on the market are protein supplements. If you are utilizing a supplement I recommend a Non-Dairy-Whey product, hopefully "Pure-Isolate" (easier for the body to digest/absorb). When purchasing, look at the ingredients as many supplements have a lot of useless fillers that tack on extra calories. In general, you should be getting 15-20 grams of protein per scoop of protein out of your supplement. Some good brands include Myoplex, EAS, and GNC brand.

When Should I Eat?
I recommend protein throughout the day because of what I said earlier: if you don't need the protein at the time you eat it, you will excrete it. However, you would want to eat your heaviest-protein-based meals 40-60 minutes after a workout as that is when the damage was done to your body.

For more information or questions please don't hesitate to email me at


* Some information and details provided by National Association of Sports Medicine (NASM)

Tuesday, September 15, 2009


An interesting point was brought up to me today that I wanted to address in this blog:

A classmate was comparing the calories she burned after a given workout with the calories another classmate burned (they both had Polar watches that monitor calories burned and heart rate) and found that, although they did the same exact workout, she had burned a significantly less amount than her classmate.

How could this be? Other than the obvious fact that people are inherently different and will exercise differently and burn calories at a different rate, there was an interesting tidbit than must be touched upon. The classmate that burned more calories had performed a pre-class workout (of about 20 minutes) whereby her heart-rate was already elevated before she got to class. The classmate that burned less calories had arrived to class without a specific warm-up. By beginning her workout at an elevated heart rate she was either in her "fat-burn zone" or very near, thus making her entire class-time more efficient for fat-burning and calorie-burning.

There are a couple of points I want to make on this topic. I will be brief as I've addressed the "fat-burn zone" in earlier posts but I want to re-address because this is a salient issue, what with the RBS Challenge and all.

What is the "fat-burning zone"? Briefly put, the fat-burning zone is a specific heart rate range (different for each individual) where the human body will utilize fat as a fuel source before anything else (carbohydrates). The one thing to remember is that the human body wants to use fat as fuel--it is more efficient, yields more energy, and far more effective in low-to-moderate stress situations. That is why we store fat--we don't store carbs and proteins (specifically). The "better shape" a person is in the more efficiently they will be able to metabolize (use) fat over other fuel sources. When stress and exercise increase past a certain point (called the Anabolic Threshold) the body will "switch gears" and begin utilizing carbs and ultimately protein (muscle).

There are 2 basic ways to determine one's fat-burning zone. One is to do the METabolic Test (some of you have done this) where you undergo a Stress Test with a mask and a machine that monitors heart rate, oxygen inspiration, carbon dioxide expiration, etc. This test costs money but is much more specific and accurate.

A less accurate way (but still a decent guestimate) is to utilize a simple formula: 220 - your age = your max heart rate. Your fat burn zone will be about 70-80% of your max heart rate. So, if you are 40 years old, 220 - 40 = 180. 180 * .8 and .7 = 126-144 beats/minute heart rate for fat-burn zone.

I encourage 2 things with this information. Find your fat burn zone in one way, shape or form. If you can, warm-up prior to any exercise and get your heart rate to that zone. A phenomenon always occurs in that your body's heart-rate and temperature will remain elevated throughout the exercise, thus burning more calories and ultimately fat.

As always, medications, monthly cycles (i.e. menopause or ovulation), and other factors can construe this information one way or another. Please see for more information or with help to find your fat burn zone.


Thursday, September 10, 2009

Whay A Heart Rate Monitor ... by Guest Author Michele Mudrow

Why A Heart Rate Monitor?

If you have ever used a treadmill, elliptical, or stationary bike, you are familiar with silver “hand sensors” on the handles. When you begin using those machines, you can enter information such as your weight, etc., and (while you are touching those silver sensors) it will monitor your heart rate while you are working out.

A chest strap monitor is basically the same thing, except it is portable. The strap monitors your heart rate and transmits that information to the watch – providing you with INSTANT feedback. The strap will also transmit the information to the monitor on a cardio machine so you don’t have to hold on to the sensors. (And can be a great way to test it for accuracy!)

There is a wide range of monitors available for purchase from $30 to $300. They are usually available at Sporting Good stores, Internet based retailers, and even on Ebay. Name brands include Polar, Timex, and Sports Instruments among others. Some do not require a strap, and some even come preprogrammed, etc. I have found that (as with most things) the higher priced models usually have more “bells and whistles” to them. It just really depends on what your needs and preferences are. I use a basic model. I just want to know what my heart rate is, if I am in the right “zone”, and how many calories I am burning!

The reason for using one is visual feedback of how hard your body is working, and it ultimately maximizes the time you spend exercising. There is some satisfaction to looking at that watch and seeing how many calories you have burned, or seeing how hard you are working. For an idea of where your heart rate should be (and more info about the “fat burning zone”) check out Adam’s June 8th post on this blog titled “The Fat Burn Zone – does it exist?? Busting through a Plateau.

When I started training with Adam, I began each session getting my heart rate in the right zone, and then he promised if I got it there for 15 minutes, it would stay there for the next hour while we trained with weights. He was right…as usual. It was sort of a game for me to see if I could keep my heart rate in the right zone. Over time, I have seen that staying in the right zone is the “smarter, not harder” way to get results. It can also help you avoid working out BEYOND your zone.

An additional benefit to using a heart rate monitor is being able to see your overall progression. Today I am able to get my heart rate A LOT higher than I could 18 months ago, and my resting heart rate is lower than before as well. In short, my heart (and whole body for that matter) is healthier. Ironically, it also helped me to see that I could really push myself to limits I hadn’t previously tested!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009


WeekOne of our 6-Week Challenge is upon us...that means two things: first, summer's unofficially over--kids are back to school, naps are less likely, and structure returns (somewhat)...second, it means that there are roughly 42-odd days to start sculpting a new you!

For those of you participating in the challenge you've already completed your initial "weigh-in"'ve got your starting Body Fat % and you're asking yourself "what now?" Well, I'm here to answer "what now?" with some simple starting tips and points, in no particular order, outlined below.

* Keep a running food log/diary...immediately start writing down what you eat...everything, and I mean everything, that goes in to your stomach should be catologued. Not only will you gain accountability of your diet you will gain knowledge of exactly what, when, and why you are eating...are you an emotional you eat late at night when TV's you skip breakfast...these are all questions you need to be asking and answering. If you need someone to help you analyze your food intake come see me or utilize one of the websites listed on earlier posts.

* Start drinking water! As an active individual you should be consuming 1 ounce of water per kilogram of body weight (2.2 lbs. = 1 kg). So, for example, if you weighted 220 lbs. you should be drinking 100 ounces of water. You can do the math for yourself from this simple equation

* Do something actively every day! Walk, run, skip, garden, mow the yard, take RBS class, take another class, anything, something, every day. The American Medical Association (AMA) recommends 30 minutes of cardiovascular activity for 30 minutes 7 days a week.

* Start eating breakfast! For that matter, start eating lunch, start snacking...all-in-all, you should probably be eating 4-6 meals a day (medical conditions not withstanding).

* Eat more fiber!! Eat more fruits, vegetables; take a fiber supplement (like flax or Metamucil) if you have to...the Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) for individuals is 25 grams of fiber a day. Active individuals should be consuming at least 35 grams of fiber a day. Fiber does a lot of things for the body, including increasing metabolism, motility, fat removal, increased protein and carbohydrate absorption and utilization, and providing satiety (feeling of being full) to the individual. Check out for more information of fruits and vegetables

* Cut back on Sodas, Juices, Alcohol, Coffee-Blends, Energy Drinks, etc. I'd recommend no more than 1-2 of any of the above a day.

* Seek SUPPORT!! We can't do this alone. It is a proven fact that people who exercise with someone are 300% more likely to succeed than in solitude. This same "buddy" system applies to eating. If you need help, get it. I am available. Others in my class are willing to help. Don't be afraid to ask for help. We all need it at some point--I am here to help!


Tuesday, September 1, 2009


We are getting closer and closer to our 6-Week Challenge. Next week, all week, we will be doing initial body composition tests on all those who are participating in the Challenge...after that, on a weekly basis, we will be doing updated body comp tests on the participants and recording percent change. I will post weekly results on this website and in paper form at our class right up until the final "weigh-ins" the week of October 12th (Friday, October 16th will be the last day for weigh-ins).

You'll want to stay tuned to this website because there will be posts for menu ideas, website ideas, shopping lists, exercise ideas, and encouraging other tidbits. This is an open forum for all classmates--look for future posts by Michele M. regarding her watch/chest strap system and how that's helped her track and maintain calories/exercise, as well as a post from Wendy B. on shopping and cooking ideas for the active person.

If anyone has any other ideas and would like to post themselves or have me do it, let me know @ or and we will get them out!

Happy September!


Tuesday, August 25, 2009


In this post I'm going to offer some brief tips on being successful not only for the upcoming 6-WEEK CHALLENGE but in your fitness life, as well. Changing seasons, chills in the air, new (or revised) motivations, and an empty house are all motivators for sculpting a new you...ultimately, though, I've found folks that embrace healthy and thoughtful reasons for change are the most successful. What I mean by that is simple: being fit is a lifestyle choice; it's not necessarily about looking the best in a bikini or speedo, it's about being the best you can be, physically and physiologically.

No 2 people are created equal, trust me. I grew up larger than your average child. I was big and bulky and I had 2 older brothers that reminded me of that constantly (did I mention they were both skinny, chiseled, b*st*rds???) But, you know, I embraced and accepted what I was and went with it. I didn't, don't, and will never have a 30" waist. Minus some serious reconstructive hip surgery I never will. That's okay. I'm stronger than you're average person...what I lack in quick-twitch muscle fiber I make up for in determination and work ethic. Turns out, my body responded--I have a simple strategy in place that's easy to follow and works...if you look at my 2-year old picture on this blog homepage and look at me now you will see that my strategies work for me. If you look at some of my clients "before-and-after" pictures you will see right away that it works for them. You have to embrace and acknowledge who you are and what you are before you can possible succeed. It's that simple!

In future posts I will discuss identifying your body type, different strategies in terms of eating, sleeping and exercising that might accomodate your goals. In the meantime, with our 6-WEEK CHALLENGE coming up, I wanted to post some brief, simple ideas you can employ. Good luck!


1. Keep a food journal. I know, I know, you've heard this a thousand times...every weight-loss program recommends this. You know why? Because it works! The power of the pen is remarkable--writing down what you eat, what time you ate, how much you ate, etc., is a powerful tool to recognize your shortcomings and successes. Check out earlier posts for websites and food journal ideas

2. Sleep! Don't deprive...your body needs to regenerate and recuperate and you can't do that without sleep. The average person needs at least 5-6 hours for healthy tissue function. The average athlete/exercisor needs at least 8-9 hours for proper regeneration of broken-down tissues and cells. The body is a machine and sleep is the service shop!

3. Don't over-exercise! You won't win the challenge, or be successful in your fitness endeavors by working out 5 hours a day. Scientists will argue that optimal cellular and physiological changes occur within 40-70 minutes of total exercise. Anything more or less is either harmful or worthless. Keep that in mind!

4. Try new know that saying (I've said it before on this blog) "the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results"? It's absolutely true. Your body will eventually stop responding to repeated stimuli, exercise included. This is why my training philosophy and classes are vastly different from one day to the next.

5. Consult with your friends, family, children, pets, whomever...people that have a support group or work out with some one are 300% more likely to succeed than those that work out alone. It's a proven fact! Having a support group in place is critical. That is why I've got a class set up, and a blog set up, is for folks to commingle and share ideas, thoughts, and stories. Please don't hesitate to share--you might just become someone's support group and not know it!

Until next time,


Monday, August 24, 2009


Here's some good websites you can look at and get more info...some you have to register for and some you don't...happy hunting (a new one that looks pretty interesting)

6-Week Challenge


A challenge put out by RBS classmates for RBS classmates

· Beginning September 7th, Rapid Body Sculpting members and classmates will be eligible to participate in a free and fun Fat-Loss challenge

· The contest will run from Monday, September 7th to October 12th and is based on the percentage of fat (using Infrared Scanning Technology) that the individual loses in the entire 6 weeks

· The winner will receive one free month of class (a $100 value) and a free, new RBS UnderArmour t-shirt ($21 value)…2nd place will receive the same free t-shirt

· Their will be weekly, yet-to-be-determined contests, too

· Beginning in the week of September 7th classmates will be tested for Body Composition and records will be kept by Adam…we will have weekly body-fat check-ups and at the end a final “weigh-in”…the winner of the contest will have lost the most amount of Body Fat, by percentage…2nd place will obviously be the 2nd most Body Fat lost

· Classmates are encouraged to offer each other support and Adam will put together, with the help of classmates, menus, shopping lists, workouts, and other fun ideas communicated via the RBS blog,

· This challenge is not sponsored by Club Northwest or any of its subsidiaries and no guarantees are made. This is supposed to be fun and challenging for RBS members ONLY!!

· Adam is taking sign-ups now until September 4th

Monday, June 8, 2009

The Fat Burn Zone -- Does it exist?? Busting through a Plateau

Hello there! I get a lot of questions about whether or not there is such a thing as the "fat-burn" zone...more specifically, is there a particular heart-rate range that an individual should exercise in to most efficiently burn fat? Science has proven that there is such a zone, through numerous studies, called the Aerobic Base (AB).

The Aerobic Base quite simply represents the body's ability to utilize fat during exercise--one thing to keep in mind is that the body wants to use, it needs to use fat, it has to use fat--that is why we store it! The first step to any exercise program is to find and then increase one's AB and to train muscles to burn fat. Working out above or below the AB will prove less then beneficial and will result in less-than-anticipated results.

As a trainer I see numerous amounts of people working out in the gym, sometimes for hours on end, without achieving results. Why is this? Are you having the same problem? Have you reached a plateau in your workouts? The thing I find most common amongst gym-goers is the repetitive nature of their workouts. Same amounts of cardiovascular exercise; same amounts of weights, sets, and repetitions; same boring exercises.

Have you ever heard the expression that "insanity is defined as doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results?" This statement is ultimately true with the human body. You see, there is a phenomenon within all bodily functions that is known as the "path of least resistance"; that is, the body will find ways to do things (subconsciously or without you knowing it) to get the job done. This holds especially true within exercise and fitness.

Again, from science, we know the body utilizes 3 main fuel sources (edible) including carbohydrates, fats, and proteins. Generally speaking, when you first get on a piece of exercise equipment (i.e. treadmill) you initially burn fat and carbohydrates (mostly). As you go along on your treadmill journey and your heart-rate increases you shift into a fat-burning mode (Aerobic Base). Once your heart rate gets too high your body goes into a state of survival and begins to burn proteins (and muscle, too). If your goal is to burn fat and tone up, wouldn't it make sense to find that specific Aerobic Base and work around it? It's about working smarter, not necessarily harder.

Two main things I mention to folks when I first start training them is: 1) find your fat-burning zone or Aerobic Base. You can do this one of two ways; you can go through a Metabolic testing system (kind of like a stress test at a doctor's office) to get specific numbers--your local gym should offer this service or you can go to to find more information/locations that offer this. This Metabolic test will yield exact numbers to shoot for and should be testing periodically as your Aerobic Base changes. The second way to find your Aerobic Base is to take your age and subtract it from 220. Multiply the result by .7 and .8 and that is a good "guess-timate" of your fat-burn zone. Again, the formula is:

220-age = x;
x multiplied by .7 is low end of fat-burn zone
x multiplied by .8 is high end of fat-burn zone

There! You now have a good starting point as to where your heart-rate should be during exercise to utilize and burn the most amount of fat efficiently. (On a side-note, your heart rate can be tracked utilizing a monitor, such as a watch, on the machine itself, or old-school taking your 10-second heart rate and multiplying by 6.

The second thing I recommend to folks when first training them is to implement training variables into there workout. Simply put, you want to alter intensity, tempo, repetition and type. Intensity is the workload (weight) you use; Tempo is the speed at which you perform the exercise, and repetition would refer to the sets and repetitions you perform each exercise. Generally speaking, when attempting to tone up and lose weight, you want to do more sets and reps and less weight. Type is also crucial--alter the way you do your exercises. Mix it up with standing vs. seated, one-leg vs. two-leg, etc.

I hope this gives you a basis for starting your exercise program. In the near future I will be posting more specifically ways to vary your workout and get started in your track to fitness. I will also be posting more specific ideas to bust through plateus that experienced exercisers might have reached.

Take care!


Monday, May 4, 2009


Today I am posting my 30-minute, at-home workout...I call this the "middle of the desert" workout because you don't need anything other than yourself. Going forward I will post workouts that you can do with bands, weights, stability balls and other "at-home" items but, for now, this will be a great start to get you off of that couch each and every day.

The important thing is that you get moving...a simple mantra is doing at least one thing, fitness-wise, every day. Whether it's walking your dogs, walking your spouse, walking your child, it doesn't matter. I can't stress the importance of activity for making a person feel better about themselves and their daily lives. There is a certain sense of accomplishment within fitness and exercise that provides the mind and body with increasing degrees of satisfaction and contentedness. In other words, doing something and accomplishing what you set out to do can do wonders for you!

I've put together this simple, easy-to-follow exercise list (with descriptions) that can immediately get you up-and-going. Whether you're at home, on vacation, in a hotel room, or in a vacant lot, you CAN do this! Have fun!


· 10:00 Cardio (walking, jogging, running) – get that heart rate up!

· 2 x 25 Squats (full squat as low as you’re comfortable)

· 2 x 15 Push-Ups (hands shoulder width, modified okay)

· 2 x 12 Alternating Lunges (big strides, alternating legs, make sure knee doesn’t go over the toe)

· 2 x 30 Touch-Toes (lay on back, legs up in air, reach up & down for your toes)

· 2 x 30 Seconds High-Knees (running in place, get knees up high)

· 2 x 30 Pulsing Planks (lay on your forearms and toes, pulse pelvis up & down)

· 2 x 15 (each side) Side Pulsing Planks (lay on side, legs straight, pulse up & down on elbow)

· 2 x 30 Seconds Butt-Kickers (running in place, big back-kicks while running)

· 2 x 15 Dips (can be done on couch, chair, any elevated surface…put your back to elevation, palms flat on surface, legs straight or bent, push up & down from position)

· 2 x 30 Seconds Jumping Jacks

· 2 x 10-10-10 Calf Raises (do 10 reps of calf raises with three different foot positions: straight, open, and closed/pigeon-toed)

· 2 x 30 Bridges (lay on back, bend knees, feet flat on ground…lift butt & hips up & down)

· 2 x 20 (each leg) Lateral Leg Lift (lay on side, legs straight, flex toe, lift leg up & down)

· 2 x 20 Supermans (lay on stomach, legs & arms straight…lift legs and arms @ same time back & forth)

Monday, April 27, 2009

One More Addition About Food

One more quick addition about food...I'm getting a few questions about what to eat before and after a workout. I'm going to answer this question assuming that the person asking it has no major medical issues (i.e. heart conditions, diabetes, epilepsy, high blood pressure) and that the person asking it is geared for weight loss, toning, and burning of fat ("getting in shape").

When we say "before" a workout we mean 1-2 hours have to give your body a chance to digest the meal before putting the workload of strenuous exercise on your system, otherwise you might experience cramping, stomach pains, constipation and/or incontinuity, other gastro-intestinal issues, and dehydration. The National Association of Sports Medicine (NASM) recommends that your pre-workout meal be a blend of carbohydrates, protein, fat, and fiber...more specifically, 50-60% of the meal carbs, 20-25% protein, 20-25% fat, and 5-10% fiber. Common pre-workout meals that I recommend include:

  • apple with cheese (2-3 small slices)
  • celery with peanut butter (about a tablespoon)
  • yogurt with granola (about a tablespoon)
  • 1/2 cup uncooked or cooked oatmeal
  • small (6-8 oz.) fruit smoothie (milk, yogurt, fruit, protein supplement)
  • granola bar with milk

There are several other combinations and types so please feel free to add or remove others as long as you stick to the basic breakdown. These pre-workout meals should be relatively light (200-300 calories) and should provide the body a good blend of nutrients your body will need prior to workout. I would also recommend all meals accompany 8-16 oz. of water.

Your post-workout meal should be eaten 40-60 minutes after the workout and should be a higher blend of protein (50%), lower blend of carbs (20-25%), fat (10-15%), and fiber (5-10%). The post workout-meal should be a bit higher in calories (400-600)...some common examples include:

  • egg white omelete with ham and cheese
  • turkey and swiss sandwich with lettuce, tomato, mustard, light mayo
  • cottage cheese and apple sauce (organic) with banana
  • large (12-16 oz.) fruit smoothie w/protein supplement
  • cheese, apples, and crackers (low-fat)
  • bran muffin with string cheese

Again, these are just ideas and intended for those trying to burn fat and lose weight. Consult with your medical professional. Feel free to post more ideas or email me questions.


Quick Additions

Two quick things I wanted to clarify after my last post as I've had some questions about it...first, I mentioned in my "DON'T" section "count calories, but watch what you eat"; in other words, I'm suggesting an overall mental shift in the way we look at ourselves other than just calories in and weight (the number on the scale) out.

As any of my clients will tell you, I'm a huge proponent of body composition testing (scientifically known as bioelectrical impedance, caliper testing, or hydro-static weighing) as opposed to weighing oneself to gauge one's health. I suggest getting yourself a body composition test immediately before embarking on a nutrition or exercise plan (any doctor, nurse, or local gym can do this test). You will gather much more important information than just weight--you'll garner your lean body mass (i.e. muscle, bone, tissue) and your fat mass (usually as a %), as well as your hydration levels (very important!).

When I work with clients I focus on "re-distribution" of fat to lean mass as well as increase in hydration levels (we should be 60-65% hydrated) as opposed to strict weight-loss. My feeling has always been simple: would you rather weight 130 lbs. with 35% fat or 125 lbs. with 20% fat? Which way do you think you'd feel better? Sleep better? Live better? I've seen too many crash diets and cleansing diets that deplete the body of important nutrients and energy just to lose 5 or 10 lbs. You have to remember that the body is most efficient in slow and sustained manners...quick gains or losses are unhealthy and usually lead to future issues.

So, short-story-long, don't just "count calories". Eat balanced, portion meals (several of them, in fact) each day...drink plenty of water...focus more on what goes INTO your body as opposed to just the AMOUNT that goes into your body.


There was some mention of a specific calorie number that should be eaten based on findings from a website. In no way am I going to knock that particular website or any of the other websites that track calories, foods, etc. I think these websites serve a purpose and are very useful. As a matter of fact, I strongly recommend the use of the government's website as a way to track meals and eating.

However, it should be noted that the amount of calories a person can eat to maintain, lose, or gain weight (the basal metabolic rate, or BMR, for short) is dependent on the individual person. More specifically, the BMR depends on age, gender, height, weight, and other medical issues (i.e. diabetes, glandular issues). One can only obtain a true BMR by doing a Resting Metabolic Test (again, put on by your doctor, nurse, or local gym)...everything else is just educated guessing.

Next, I'm going to post a quick 30-minute workout to get you off that couch and into life! Be ready!


Friday, April 24, 2009


I wanted to post some quick do's and don'ts when putting together a meal-plan for your health and fitness regiment. As always, these are only suggestions and you should consult with your medical professional before undertaking any plan. I've found that keeping your meal plan very simple will allow an individual to achieve their goals easier. So, in light of my last post, here are some quick do's and don'ts:


* Drink plenty of water throughout the ounce per kilogram of bodyweight (1 kg = 2.2 lbs.)
* eat food that is raw or organic (i.e. fruits and vegetables)
* eat 4-5 meals per day...don't "snake" it...this will increase your metabolism
* drink 8 ounces of water 30 minutes before you eat a large meal (like breakfast or dinner) and drink 16 ounces of water IMMEDIATELY when waking up
* PLAN AHEAD! VERY IMPORTANT! Pack fruit, trail mix, yogurt, and other portable foods ahead of time in your purse, backpack, or bag...this will keep your from relying on veding machines, convenience stores, and fast food
* Snack consciously...mindless or emotional nibblind can lead to overeating...try to eat a snack without doing anything else. Don't watch TV or study at the same time, especially if you are under stress
* Choose nutried-rich foods such as whole grain muffins and crackers, baby carrots, popcorn, fresh fruit, yogurt, low-fat cheese, peanut butter, and nusts and seeds
* Be aware of hidden calories, fat, and sugar, especially if you are less active...generally, foods that have more than 3 grams of fat/100 calories are considered a high-fat food...when reading food labels, if more than half of the carbohydrates are sugar, consider this a high-sugar food item (beware of cereal bars, sports drinks and fruit drinks)
* Look at the label for what is a serving of a particular item. You might consider an entire granola bar to be a serving but, on the label, one half of the bar might be called a serving. You would then need to double the calories, fat, protien, etc. when calculating calories
* Eat about an hour to an hour-and-a-half before a workout--this meal should be relatively high carbs (i.e. 50%) with balanced portion of fat (25%) and protein (25%)...ideal pre-workout snacks are yogurt, apples, celery w/peanut butter, oatmeal (1 serving)
* Eat about 30-40 minutes post-workout...this meal should be higher in protein (50%) and equal parts protein and carbs (25% each)
* FIBER-FIBER-FIBER!! The Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) for fiber is about 25 grams per individual--this is too low! Fiber has a multitude of uses within the body, such as providing satiety (feeling "full"), intestinal fortitude and motility, retain health and tone of intestines and stomach, reduc risks of several types of cancer, reduce cholesterol and strengthens heart, regulates body's absorption of glucose (diabetics included)...I recommend my clients eat 50-70 grams of fiber a day, whether via food, supplement, or grains


* Count calories, but watch what you eat
* Starve your body
* put extra salt, butter, msg, or other garbage on your food
* drink more than a cup of coffee, soda, juic (non-organic, from concentrate), wine, beer, per day
* drink Gatorade, juice, or alchohol instead of water...water is separate and should be treated as such
* exercise and not eat...eating is critical to feeding the body and replenishing/regenerating with proper nutrients
* Starve your body

Notice I put starvation in's that important. Losing weight is not the same as not eating. In future posts I will talk more about nutrition and exercise specifically but, for now, I think this will give you a good start to taking proper steps for your meal plan. Also, look for recipes and specific meal ideas in the future.

Thank you!


Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Power of the Food Log (continued)

The written word can be a powerful thing, particularly with exercise and fitness. I find that the clients I work with that have written, attainable goals are far more likely to succeed than those that simply verbalize or "think" about things. Think about this for a second--do you think you'd get more accomplished in a day with a written list or simply thinking about the "to-do" list?

It's no different than when I have my clients write down food and nutrient consumption. Not only am I, as his or her trainer, getting a better understanding of what's happening when I don't see them, he or she is getting a clearer picture of their habits and where their pitfalls are. Not only that, it gives them ideas of when they eat, what they eat, and even WHY they eat.

Now, notice I'm not specifically mentioning "counting calories". Granted, with food-log analysis I am addressing calories and specific dietary needs and metabolism based on the individual, but I'm not asking my clients to do that. I abhore the word diet--I think the negativity it breeds is extremely counter-productive and only leads to perpetual vicious cycles of eating. I'm specifically referring to and addressing "habits" of an individual.

Obviously calories are important but they are not the "end-all-be-all" of a nutrition program. Also, everyone is unique and each individual need is different for everyone. Caloric consumption and weight-loss or maintenance is purely based on the age, gender, physical condition, medical condition, and lifestyle of each individual. No two people are alike. You might be the person who looks at food and gains 5 lbs. while your brother or sister eat 4 cheeseburgers a day and doesn't gain a thing. (btw these "quick metabolism" individuals are often at a health disadvantage which we'll discuss in a later post)

So, I recommend writing down your consumption in this way:

1. What is it that you are eating? Serving size is critical
2. When are you eating this?
3. Water? Supplementation?
4. Fruits and vegetables (very important!!)
5. Are you eating before or after a workout?
6. What's your fiber intake like?
7. Why are you eating like you're eating? Is it habitual (i.e. "I always have a big dinner with the family" or "I always drink 4 cups of coffee to start the day") or is it for need? Do you "live to eat" or "eat to live"?

I emplore you to keep a 3-day food journal. Post it or e-mail it to me and I can take a look and see where you're at. Going forward, I will be posting specific ideas and recommendations for general use and, if you like, for you specifically. Please remember that I'm not a doctor, nor did I stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night, so any recommendation must be considered as an opinion of the author--please check with your medical professional before accepting any advice.

Talk to you soon!


The Power of the Food Log

Before addressing goals specifically in my next post I want to touch briefly on a topic that I find very powerful when addressed: The 3-Day Food Log. When I begin working with a client I ask them to write down a food log of everything that goes into their mouths for 3 days straight. Water, food, fruit, vegetables, supplements, SWEETS, and all the other good, bad, and ugly things that might have been eaten during that span.

Write it'll find out a lot about yourself...I'll touch on the pros and cons next post.


Thursday, April 16, 2009


Hello! In my first post I discussed 5 areas that are essential to the success of any health and fitness plan. Simply put, they are nutrition, sleep, resistance and flexibility training, cardiovascular training, and psychology (is it fun?).

Today, I'm going to touch on the latter factor which I feel is the most critical, psychology. More specifically, is it fun? Now, by "fun", I don't mean going to the carnival and getting wet on one of those "splash" rides "fun". When I say "fun" I'm alluding to more of an emotional component that goes into every endeavor we undertake, whether it be exercise, work, school, or getting out of bed in the morning. What is the reason? What, specifically, elicits us to do what we do? Is it money? Is it fame? Is it power? Why do we do the thing we do?

When I'm working with clients we always address goals. I know in an instant if a potential client is going to succeed simply by the goals they list. I also ask the client to write them down (or I write them down for them)--the power of the pen can not be underestimated! As an individual beginning or thinking of beginning an exercise program I emplore you to write down at least 5 goals for yourself. They can be anything from losing weight, lowering blood pressure, battling fibromyalgia, or getting stronger.

When attempting to help clients achieve more I am helping them first by identifying their personal goals. I use a simple approach that can be broken down by the word SCAMPI--and, no, it's not a meal at Skippers--more than 100 published studies have shown that specific goals encourage specific results. So, when writing down your goals, utilize SCAMPI, as listed below:

S -- Specific -- make your goals specific; don't write "I want to lose weight." Write "I want to lose x lbs."
C -- Challenging -- people who make challenging goals tend to accomplish more than those setting more modest goals...imagine what you could accomplish if you knew you couldn't fail?
A -- Approach -- goals should focus on desired ends to move towards, rather than negative states to avoid; avoidance goals conjure up memories of accidents or failures, and people with avoidance goals are less happy, healthy, and motivated than others
M -- Measurable -- your goals and progression must be monitored and measurable; measurable goals encourage steady progress by minimizing the tendency to conceptualize success in all-or-none-terms; this is VERY important to avoid major relapse and total collapse (the "snowball" effect")
P -- Proximal -- supplementing a long-term vision with a near-term goal...if you plan on losing 20 lbs. you must first lose 1, right?
I -- Inspirational -- goals should be inspirational in the sense that they are consistent with a client's own ideals and ambitions...people strive toward inspirational goals with greater interest and confidence

Try this simple acronym of goal-creation before even going to the'll find out a lot about yourself immediately and the things you need/want to do become evident! If you need help creating goals or ideas than please let me know. Next time I'll talk about how to translate written goals into your fitness and exercise program!

Take care!


Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Welcome to Rapid Body Sculpting

Welcome! This is my first endeavor unto the world of the internet and, with the help of Michele Mudrow, I am attempting to "spread the word" and help those in need regarding health, fitness, and exercise. As a Certified Personal Trainer, I've worked with a lot of different folks from all walks of life and the one thing I hear often is that "I can't do it" or the "exercise isn't for me". Well, I'm here to tell you that is wrong!

Health and fitness IS for everyone! Is there a better feeling than being healthy? Is there a better feeling than being with your friends or family on a walk, a hike, a bike ride, at the park or in the backyard, running around, playing, and having fun? Is there a better feeling than the sense of accomplishment you get when you walk a little farther, run a little faster, or play a little harder than you did before? Ultimately, there is no better feeling than setting a goal, whether it's in fitness or in life, and then achieving that goal.

I am here to help. Now, I don't profess to be a guru or a messiah...but I do profess to know a little bit about how the mind and body works, how exercise and fitness, when correctly undertaken, can lead to new worlds and feelings for the better. Simply ask Michele, one my friends and greatest success stories. Do we want to live in a world where computers and Wii video games and TV's run us, or do we want to live in a world where we can get out and enjoy the things we love to do without running out of breath or being hurt?

Rapid Body Sculpting is more a mindset than a fitness regime. In this blog I will attempt to relay the 5 most important factors of being fit and healthy: cardiovascular training; resistance and flexibility training; sleep; nutrition and diet; and, the psychology of it (i.e. is it fun?). Please don't hesitate to post and questions or ideas you have. In the future, look for exercise ideas and programs, meal planning solutions, and other tidbits that have helped my clients and I achieve fitness success!

Thank you!