Friday, March 18, 2011

Biggest Loser Final

Wow!  What a competition!  And most importantly, significant healthy fitness lifestyle changes!  For those of you who have been following my Biggest Loser Teams, I have the results for you.  Although it remained incredibly close from week to week, in the end "Booty Busters" prevailed.

I've included slides with the important statistics from the awards presentation we had today.  I've also included the video that was shown.  As you can see, there were some highly motivated individuals who made some remarkable changes.

It was a very emotional event as the winning team, individual team winners and the overall winner were announced.  Tears and cheers were shared by all in attendance.  Since it is not listed in the charts that follow, I have to give kudos to the winner.  As with the rest of the participants, he has asked not to be named, but I can tell you this.  He lost 29.2 pounds, 7.7% body fat and 5.5 inches from his waist!  Talk about dedication!

It was a blast working with both teams.  As I reinforced to them today, although the competition was a vehicle to create excitement and camaraderie, the real goal was for each to improve his/her own health and fitness.  And this they did.  Everyone of them made improvements.  Each one of them is truly a winner!

                                         Click on the video to go to YouTube for a larger, more detailed version.

                                                                    Click on the charts for a larger view.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Biggest Loser Progress Report Week 9

One week to go, and both teams are still incredibly close!  Unfortunately this week saw a couple of competitors from both teams out with illness or business trips, so I was not able to do new body composition readings on everyone.  Incredibly, the combined weight loss for both teams is now at 211.9 pounds!  Competitors - pick up the pace as you approach the finish line!  Who will be the biggest loser?

                 Click on the image for a larger view

Friday, March 4, 2011

Biggest Loser Progress Report Week 8

With only two more weeks remaining in the contest, both teams are still incredibly close.  The combined weight lost by both teams now totals 188.4 pounds.  And take a look at the inches lost from their's now at a combined 37.25!

Each team had two of their contestants unavailable for measurements this week, so I had to use their most recent measurements in calculating the averages.  For that reason I also hate to pinpoint either taking the lead...but as you can see by the numbers either team can win.  Keep up the great work and continue to lose!

                               Click on the image for a larger version

Friday, February 25, 2011

A Great "Healthy and Fit Lifestyle" Testimonial

I received this testimonial today from Bryna Reed, one of my 5 am "Body Blast" class participants, along with her permission to share it with others.  I will certainly be using excerpts of it on the Personal Best website, but I was so impressed with Bryna's accomplishments and dedication to a healthy and fit lifestyle that I wanted to share her letter in its entirety with my readers. Thanks Bryna!

Bryna Reed Testimonial:
I'm a 35 year old stay at home mom. I have two children, ages 5 and 18 months.  I look quite different than I did as a 34 year old stay at home mom.  I've lost about 63 pounds over the last year.  I am very proud of this weight loss but about 2 months ago I realized if I didn't do better about exercise I'd be turning 36 and back to where I was or worse before the weight loss.

I had done fairly well on my own regarding exercise.  I would work out in the evening at home using my vast collection of DVDs that I've gathered over the years.  The exercise community has done a great job producing every type of exercise DVD one could hope for. What they haven't done is create a DVD player that forces you to get off the couch and put the DVD in the player and actually do the work.

There were simply too many reasons to not exercise.  By the time I picked my daughter up from school, took her to whatever evening activity she was enrolled in, prepared dinner, put the kids to bed and finished out the day I hadn't seen too much of my husband. I felt guilty for saying, "now that I haven't seen you all day I need you to go upstairs to work or watch TV, I'm going to need this TV for at least an hour to get my exercise in.  I'll see you at bedtime." I'd be working out as late as 11pm sometimes.  When the self induced guilt and separation anxiety from my husband kicked in I just quit working out. Evening workouts just weren't going to work.

I didn't want to join a gym because again, there are some good ones out there, but they aren't really going to care if I show up or not. I needed accountability and I needed a time that would work for me.

I drive past Rick's Personal Best studio 5 days a week at least twice a day as I take my daughter to her school each day.  I noticed the studio because I have a friend whose business used to occupy that space.  I didn't ever imagine I would start working with a trainer. So while I noticed the space it just wasn't registering with me that I needed to look up the website.

I finally bit the bullet and decided I needed to search out the accountability factor in my need for exercise.  I looked up his website and found that he does boot camps.  Even better he had offered them in the past for as early as 5 am.  Wait? Even better? Nah. 5am is out of the question. Or was it? I am anything BUT a morning person.  As most people know you are forced out of that if kids show up in the dynamic.  But as a parent you also relish any opportunity to sleep if you aren't tending to those children.  So the thought of willfully waking up when the children are actually sleeping seemed ridiculous.  Even more ridiculous was the thought of getting up at 4:30 when you may have only just gone to sleep 3 hours earlier after being up with a sick or fussy kid. After discussing it with another mom we determined it might actually be perfect.  We would be done by 6am before anyone in the house would have to be disturbed. My best theory was that this would be the ultimate in accountability.  If Rick agreed to do a 5am boot camp I sure as heck HAD to show up.    

I managed to recruit two people to join in with me and Rick was kind enough to agree to conduct the 5am workout for these three moms.  We all quickly learned that getting up early wasn't so bad. It is nice to have a great workout in before the sunrise so that you can continue on your day and not have to figure out when you will get that workout in.  I've found that the household runs much better when I'm up and at 'em.  Now that we've been doing this I've started getting up early on the off days to get a run on the treadmill in.  I'm left asking myself, "who is this person?" I'm also left without excuses.  There is nothing stopping me at 5am from working out.

Besides the benefits of an early morning workout discovering Personal Best has been phenomenal.  Rick is such a great trainer.  He creates the perfect circuit for us and knows how to challenge us but keep the workout achievable.  He is encouraging, patient, and knowledgeable. Rick knows how to push us to get results.  And we've definitely seen results.  I'm finally gaining confidence not just in my athletic abilities but my appearance.  I'm not sure I will ever look like the 115 pound teenager I was so many years ago.  However, that 16 year old never had the muscle definition I have in my arms after 6 weeks of training with Rick.  I feel stronger than I ever have. My stamina has improved so much which is important when you're chasing after a toddler.  I no longer feel like I need a nap in the middle of the day.  I'm now thrilled to get up when the sun is just beginning to think of rising.  I look forward to the workouts and feel great when we've accomplished a tough morning's workout.  Make no mistake, the workouts are tough but they are perfectly tailored to the abilities of the three of us.  Achieving my personal best is guaranteed as long as I'm working out at Personal Best Lexington with Rick Lewis.

Biggest Loser Progress Report Week 7

Talk about neck-and-neck in the homestretch!  Both teams remain incredibly close, with "Beefcakes and Bombshells" slightly edging out "Booty Busters" in total body fat reduction.  The combined weight loss for both teams is now at 168.6 pounds.

I have to say I am incredibly impressed with both teams' motivation.  The workouts have become incredibly intense, but all 20 contestants have been up to the task.  Their endurance and strength have reached new "personal bests" as they complete every exercise or task I throw at them.

Three more weeks to go in the race.  Is it going to be a photo finish?

                         Click on table to open larger version.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Biggest Loser Progress Report Week 6

So when does being a loser make you a winner?  Just ask the competitors in the Biggest Loser group I'm working with.  Both teams combined have lost a total of 153.4 pounds so far!  This past week "Booty Busters" slightly edged out "Beefcakes and Bombshells".  But both teams are very close...which will be the Biggest Loser???

                       Click on chart for larger vesion

Friday, February 11, 2011

Biggest Loser Progress Report Week 5

My Biggest Loser group just completed the halfway mark of their competition and continue to show steady progress!  Although the teams are extremely close, "Beefcakes and Bombshells" edged out "Booty Busters" this week with better stats.  Who will be the Biggest Loser?

Monday, February 7, 2011

Circuit Training: Efficiency in Achieving Your Personal Best!

Rick Lynch achieved his personal best in his 40's!!!

Wow! Amazing! Did he really do that in only six months? Did he take steroids? These are some of the most frequent comments and questions I hear when people see the before and after photos of my client Rick Lynch. Now what he accomplished in six months, completely naturally I must emphasize, is not typical of the results of most in that same time period. But Rick is not typical. He is an incredibly focused and goal oriented person. He trained incredibly hard in my studio, always giving 100% in every workout. He followed an incredibly healthy eating regimen and did not deviate from the meal plan I designed for him. And to get that lean ripped look, he trained exclusively in a circuit program for the last six weeks.

For most of my personal training clients, and all involved in the Body Blast and Intensity group programs, a well designed circuit is my fitness prescription of choice. A circuit is composed of a series of individual exercises. To execute the circuit, you move quickly from one to the other without any rest. The results come quickly and can be dramatic. I'll explain why.

  • First, you get a great cardiorespiratory workout. In fact, if executed properly without any rest between stations, the heart rate rises within minutes to a level that in a given duration burns the same amount of calories as jogging a 12 – minute mile! Pretty impressive, and as many of my clients have commented, potentially more exciting.
  • Second, when executing a resistance training exercise with the correct weight, you achieve improvements in both muscular strength and endurance. I like to make sure that the weight or resistance is such that it leads to fatigue within 16 -20 repetitions for the muscle(s) being worked. This leads to the development of lean body mass (muscle) while achieving a wonderful 'toned' effect.

The reason I love to use circuits is that in my observations I have always seen the best overall fitness results in the quickest time possible by combining the benefits of weight or resistance training along with cardio training. Not to say that I don't still use use the more traditional sets training approach – I do. For pure strength and muscle gains, they work well. But most of the clients I train are seeking weight loss, better endurance and good muscle tone. And circuits generally get them to their goal the fastest.

I have developed many different types of circuits over the years, dating back to my days in the army training soldiers and ROTC cadets. I use anywhere from three exercises, or 'tri-sets', which you you can watch an example of in the video below, to 10 or more exercises, which I commonly use in the Body Blast program. An approach I typically use as I set up a circuit is to have two weight training events back to back with antagonistic muscle groups (back and chest, biceps and triceps), followed by a core exercise (Crunch, Planks, Hyperextensions).

I think everyone can see improvements by including circuit training periodically in their fitness routine. Rick Lynch used them to help get his ripped and lean body. Even if you just add them for a little variety, as an old TV commercial said, “It does a body good!”

Friday, February 4, 2011

Biggest Loser Progress Week 4

We just finished week four of the Biggest Loser program.  Both teams continue to lose weight collectively, but 'Bombshells and Beefcakes' saw a slight elevation in their average body fat percentage.  This slight elevation could be due to the conversely slight decrease in that teams' hydration levels recorded with the Tanita BC-1000, or even just the deviation inherent in bioimpedance measurements.

Both teams trained hard this week by increasing their 10 station circuit rotations from two during the previous weeks to three this week.  And their motivation remains high!

Competitors, I encourage you to keep up the hard work in both your team and individual fitness programs, and to stick to your healthy eating plans.  Although I know Super Bowl weekend will be tough for some of you!

Here are the updated statistics: 
Stats              Booty Busters                       Bombshells and Beefcakes
Composition   Males: 1, Females: 9              Males: 2, Females: 8
Average Age             47                                           48.5
                       Weight    Body Fat                   Weight     Body Fat
Start               171.72     35.14                       190.48      38.67
Week 2          169.60      35.02                      187.56      37.84
Week 3          168.06      33.95                      186.82      36.85
Week 4          166.5        33.04                      185.52      37.16

Sunday, January 30, 2011

"A Goal is a Dream with a Deadline"

It's a beautiful Sunday morning here in Lexington, Kentucky...and I qualify that by saying a sunny, 45 degree day at the end of January in an already too long and cold winter is a welcomed relief!  I'm sipping on coffee as I write new monthly training programs for my personal training clients.  I'm thinking of new ways to challenge them and keep them headed in the right direction to achieving their goals.  And I glance at one of the framed quotes I keep on the wall of my training studio.

"A Goal is a Dream with a Deadline."  This simple quote by American author Napoleon Hill (1883 - 1970) conveys a message which is so overlooked in our lives.  It is at the heart of the service I provide to my clients and the main ingredient for success I try to instill in each one of them.  We all have dreams of who we want to become and in the case of my clients, the body image and healthy lifestyle they want to attain.  But until we turn those dreams into realistic, achievable goals by establishing a deadline for when we'll arrive there, they remain nothing more than something intangible.

I ask every client what they want to accomplish before I prescribe their first workout.  It may be to get to a certain weight or body fat percentage.  It may be to get back into a specific clothing size.  Their desired results are varied.  It becomes my duty to help them establish a deadline for when they will get there, and to set quantifiable milestones along the way to ensure we are headed in the right direction, with the least number of obstacles, to arriving on time.

So now I return my attention to the client's program setting before me.  Am I keeping them on track?  Is this plan going to get them to that next milestone and more importantly, that current goal?  Alright then...another sip of coffee and back to work!

Friday, January 28, 2011

Biggest Loser Progress Report

I mentioned the Biggest Loser Group I'm working with in my post concerning visceral fat.  Well, they just completed their third week of a 10 week program and their progress is amazing! 

A little background on this group...there are a total of 20 competitors who are placed into two teams of ten.  They have named themselves the "Booty Busters" and "Bombshells and Beefcakes".  As you can probably tell by the names, these teams have a great sense of humor, but more importantly they are individually and collectively committed to making some serious changes to their body composition and overall health.

I conduct a one-hour fitness session twice a week with each of these teams.  Each session is a combined cardio and resistance training circuit geared to maximize burning calories and increasing muscular endurance, strength and flexibility.  In addition each team is encouraged to do some form of fitness training another three days per week, either alone or with their team.  I have also provided each member with a nutrition road map uniquely designed for each member to maximize their body fat loss while eating healthy.  Look for an upcoming post on these concepts with my "three-legged stool" approach to achieving a healthy lifestyle.

Following are the results so far, along with some other details about the teams.  For my readers, check in weekly to see their progress.  For the competitors, keep up the great work!!!
  • Booty Busters.
    • One male, 9 females
    • Average Age: 47
    • Start average team weight:  171.72 lbs; average body fat:  35.14 %
    • End of week 2 average team weight:  169.6 lbs; average body fat:  35.02 %
    • End of week 3 average team weight:  168.06 lbs; average body fat:  33.95 %
  • Bombshells and Beefcakes.
    • Two males, 8 females
    • Average Age: 48.5
    • Start average team weight:  190.48 lbs; average body fat:  38.67%
    • End of week 2 average team weight:  187.56 lbs; average body fat:  37.84%
    • End of week 3 average team weight:  186.82 lbs; average body fat:  36.85%

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

The New Personal Best WKYT Ad

The new WKYT ad spot for Personal Best.  It was a blast filming this short segment with the WKYT crew and our new "fitness models" - Callie, Matt and Randy.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Does Drinking Iced or Chilled Water Help with Weight Loss?

One question I'm commonly asked by clients is whether drinking iced or chilled water can aid in weight loss.  The short answer to the question is yes, but let's take a look at how this all works.

Let me begin by saying that I'm a big advocate of nutritional guidelines that suggest eight servings of eight ounces of water per day is best for most individuals.  Our bodies' metabolic and physiological processes are dependant on adequate water intake to be at their peak of efficiency.  And all the clients I've worked with who follow the guidelines for a total of 64 ounces per day do better at reducing and keeping their body fat levels lower.

Now lets look at how that cold water comes into play in weight loss.  I'll spare you the mathematics involved in determining how many extra calories are involved, but I'll summarize by saying that one eight ounce glass of iced water utilizes about 8.75 extra calories to bring it up to your body temperature.  If you are curious and want to see how this is determined, I suggest you check out this site.

If you are drinking the suggested 64 ounces per day of water, and and you choose to drink it iced, you will expend approximately 70 calories daily to bring it to core temperature.  That may not sound like a lot, but let's take a look over the long haul.  That's 350 more calories per week, or 3,500 calories in 10 weeks, or 18,200 calories per year!  I purposely mentioned 10 weeks since the 3,500 calories is equivalent to one pound of body fat.  And carrying that further, that would equate to 5.2 pounds of body fat in a year!

So, in answer to the question, I highly recommend following the nutritional guidelines for daily water intake as part of your healthy and fit lifestyle.  And consider chilling or icing it to maximize your fat-fighting efforts.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

The Risks Associated with Visceral Fat and What To Do About It

I recently began working with a group who decided to participate in a "Biggest Loser Contest" as a venue to get themselves in shape and lose some unwanted body fat.  To capture their progress, I am monitoring their body composition using the Tanita BC-1000 on a weekly basis.  One of the most interesting and critical pieces of data I'm collecting from the BC-1000 is the approximate visceral fat levels of each participant.  Visceral fat is that "deep belly" fat that surrounds the internal organs inside the abdominal cavity and has been associated with many adverse health conditions.

As I researched articles online to help educate these clients and counsel those with risky levels of visceral fat, I came upon a well-written summary on the topic at this link on WebMD I wanted to share with my readers.  In addition to defining it, the article demonstrates how essential and effective exercise is in regards to getting rid of unhealthy belly fat, and references a study that appears in The Journal of Physiology.  It took place at Duke University under the supervision of exercise physiologist Cris Slentz, PhD, and colleagues.

In this study Slentz recommends a 'mind shift' for society that focuses on prevention of belly fat vs. weight loss.  If Slentz had it his way, people would quit thinking weight loss and start thinking health gain.  "Until we are able to prevent the weight that many dieters regain following short-term success, we should place a greater national emphasis towards prevention," says Slentz in a news release.

I fully agree with his recommendations and encourage everyone to adopt a healthy lifestyle which involves eating right and exercising.  Our bodies are similar to an automobile in that the costs associated with properly maintaining it might seem high, but pale in comparison to the costs for repairs!  And if you already are in a situation where you have that unwanted and dangerous visceral fat, get started now and change your life!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Healthy Eating Habits

Well, it's another New Year that brings along with it new resolutions for most of us.  One of the most common of these is the desire to eat better in order to lose or maintain weight.  Over the past decade working with my clients I have accumulated tips that I wanted to share in this blog which can help in getting off the "diet" syndrome and putting you on the path to adopting a healthy eating lifestyle.

Eating Habits:
  • Eat five times per day (three meals and two healthy snacks between meals). Be consistent everyday. Example (1500 Calorie Plan): Breakfast: 500 calories; snack: 100 calories; lunch: 400 calories; snack: 100 calories; supper: 400 calories.
  • Eat something every three to four hours.
  • Try to eat more early in the day to prevent overeating in the evening.
  • Always eat breakfast!
  • Sit down when eating, and put all foods, even snacks, on a plate.
  • Try not to eat when watching TV or when at the computer.
  • Get junk foods out of the house! Vegetables and fruits are very healthy snacks.
  • Drink plenty of water. Six 12 oz servings per day are recommended.
  • Limit “empty calorie” drinks (regular and diet pops) to one or none per day.
  • Make a nutritional lifestyle change. Your successes won’t endure if you’re always “on a diet”.
Cutting Calories:
  • Portion control is essential. Keep meat, poultry and fish portions to 4 - 6 ounces. Pastas and rice should total no more than two cups prepared. Limit breads to one – two slices each day.
  • Be aware of calories in condiments.
  • Even fat-free and sugar-free foods have calories. Use portion control.
  • When eating out, order half-size portions, or order a healthy appetizer and salad, or soup and half a sandwich.
  • Follow the serving sizes on packages of foods to keep the portions in check.
Happy New Year to all and my best to you in maintaining a healthy and fit lifestyle!