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