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Rachel Cosgrove: Out with the old, in with the new

Results Fitness

Posted: December 29, 2010 9:38 p.m.
Updated: December 31, 2010 4:30 a.m.

Results Fitness member Martha Jones demonstrates a rope workout at the Newhall gym. Ropes are recommended by Rachel Cosgrove as an effective new way to exercise in 2011.

 

“This will be the year I get in the best shape of my life!” Sound familiar?

As the calendar gets flipped to a new year, you have a clean slate to start over and a new set of goals to accomplish.

Many people will hit the treadmill or the streets, pounding the pavement to once again set resolutions to make this year the year that they reach their physical potential. Most will set themselves the same fitness resolutions they set out to accomplish last New Year, using the exact same approach, only to have their motivation fizzled by February.

The definition of insanity is to do the same thing over and over and expect a different result.  Quoting Jack Canfield, author of Chicken Soup for the Soul, “If what you were doing now was enough to get what you want, you’d already have it.”

So, let me ask you something- what was your weight/clothing size at the start of 2010? What weight/clothing size did you finish 2010 at?

If you do not have the body you want, the energy you want, the confidence you want and/or the health you want then you must do something different than what you are currently doing. If you are not where you want to be physically, it is most likely because your approach to nutrition and/or needs an overhaul. This article will give you brand new strategies to make sure 2011 is the year you achieve your fitness goals.

Nutrition
Old: Depriving your self with a strict diet

A strict diet will work to lose weight…temporarily. You can cut out a food group or only drink shakes or count your carbohydrate grams or drop your calories to 1,000 per day or whatever you’ve done before and yes, you will lose weight. But it will be short-term. Plus, every time you do one of these strict, crash diets, you also drop your metabolism, making it harder and harder to keep the weight off. If you choose to go down that road again, don’t come crying to me that your pants don’t fit again next January.

New: Fuel your body
Notice I said “fueling” your body. Not “starving” your body. You need to start thinking differently about food, to think of it as fuel. Instead of depriving yourself to lose weight, think about fueling your body with foods that are high in nutrients.

Start by following these ideas:
1. Eat breakfast within 15 minutes of waking and then eat a meal every 3-4 hours to fuel your body. Eat more often rather than less.

2. Have a serving of high quality protein at each meal. Eat foods high in Vitamin D or take a Vitamin D supplement. Vitamin D is the new super vitamin and has been shown to decrease body fat. Vitamin D-rich foods include milk, salmon, eggs, cheese, tuna, sardines, beef, shrimp, and cod.

3. Eat a fruit or vegetable at each meal. Add add some new varieties to your diet this year, especially ones high in carotenoids, beta carotene, alpha carotene and lycopene, which have been shown in the research to equal smaller waistlines. These foods includes kale, spinach, turnip greens, winter squash, strawberries, tomatoes, carrots, sweet potatoes, collard greens, cilantro, thyme, cantaloupe, romaine lettuce, broccoli, watermelon, and apricots.

4. Drink half your body weight in ounces of water everyday. Try something new like slicing up oranges, lemons or limes in your water and use it to replace any caloric beverages you usually drink (even diet sodas).

5. Use good fats throughout the day. Use coconut oil when you sauté meat or vegetables. Coconut oil, along with olive oil, has good fats that have been shown in the research to decrease waist circumference.

These monounsaturated fats are also found in avocados, nuts, and seeds, even almond milk.

Exercise
Old: Lacing up your running shoes and hitting the treadmill or pounding the pavement with long, steady-state cardio.

New: An effective exercise plan has been shown in the research to include high intensity, metabolic interval training using full body, calorie-burning exercises. What does this look like? Either performing 20-60 seconds of harder work spaced with 20-60 seconds of recovery for no more than a total of 45-60 minutes. This could be a routine made up of cardiovascular exercise or full body strength training movements or a mixture of both.

As Jennifer Parker, a fitness professional in Northern California and one of Results Fitness’s recommended trainers, said, “OLD=40 minutes of steady state cardio and NEW= two rounds of Tabata intervals.”

Tabata is a method studied in the research shown to elevate metabolism for the next 24-48 hours by doing 20 seconds of high intensity work, with 20 seconds of recovery.  “Think about setting new priorities this year with your exercise. Old = three days of cardio a week and New = three days of total body strength circuits a week,” Parker said.

Old: Heading to the gym to do a random circuit of machines that you sit down on.

New: Get off your butt at the gym! Make it a rule this year- not to sit when you are exercising. As Alwyn Cosgrove, one of the owners of Results Fitness, stated, “You don’t go to the gym to sit on your butt!”

At Results Fitness, one of the “different” things you’ll notice is that there is not a single machine that you sit on.

Everything is standing or kneeling, using your body weight and your core to get what we call the most “bang for your buck exercises,” those that burn the most calories and boost the metabolism.

Isolating a muscle group is old news because most people are not after huge biceps but instead want to be fit, healthy, have energy and be able to function better in life. This year, hire a coach to help you design a plan that will use your time effectively and get the most results in the least amount of time when it comes to your exercise.

Old: Using equipment such as a treadmill or fixed machines

New: It is time to introduce some new tools to your exercise routine instead of sitting on a machine isolating a muscle group or doing the treadmill shuffle, going nowhere. For maximum effect, hire a coach to teach you how to use these properly:

Ropes — Heavy ropes that you lift up and down, performing a number of different movements, will give you a cardio workout by getting your heart rate going plus you’ll get a full body workout. These ropes should be done for a short interval with rest in between before going again. Use them as your cardio workout- much better than the treadmill and like nothing you have ever done before.

Kettle bells — These are basically weights with handles but, because of their shape,  allow you to do a number of strengthening and metabolism-boosting exercises that you can’t do as well with a regular dumbbell.

The fluid movement of the kettle bell is something people who use them love. Learn the proper form, then add these to your workout as an excellent way to boost your metabolism and get your heart rate up.

TRX — Use your body as the load, which is much more effective than sitting on any machine. A TRX gives you a number of exercises to add to your plan using your body weight. The great thing about a TRX is that you can do it at home or take it with you traveling, so you’ll never miss a workout again.

Sled — Depending on the gym you are a member of, you may or may not have access to this piece of equipment, but there is nothing like it when it comes to getting your heart rate up and working your butt and legs. You need to have enough space to run with it back and forth. It’s the ultimate in full body training and calorie burning.

To encourage the Santa Clarita Valley to make 2011 its best year ever, Results Fitness is doing their annual “New Year, New You” contest with a grand prize of $5000 to the winning team! You do not have to be a member to participate.

For more information, visit www.results-fitness.com or call (661) 799-7900.

Rachel Cosgrove is the author of “The Female Body Breakthrough” and co-owner of Results Fitness.

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