Tag Archives: Physical fitness

Ultimate Chest Workout – Machine Militia Meetup

Last Thursday morning, after sleeping about zero hours for two nights in a row, amidst an absurdly busy 70-hour work week, I “woke up” at 4:30 a.m. in order to travel down to Wheat Ridge, Colorado in order to meet an expert in the fitness industry. Marc “The Machine” Lobliner of Tigerfitness.com and iSatori (A Golden, CO based supplement company) was hosting a meet up at Armbrust Pro Gym.

Armbrust Pro Gym in Wheat Ridge is the home of Phil Heath and many other professional bodybuilders, including Alina Pope. Let me start by thanking Armbrust for letting us all work out that morning. It was the best weight lifting and strength training facility I have seen in Colorado and one of the best in the country. If you ever have the opportunity, stop by for a workout. I hope to return in the future. It isn’t too far from Boulder. It is clean, well-organized, well-run and the equipment is legitimately top of the line.

David Sandler, iSatori’s Director of Science and Education, was accompanied by some other iSatori representatives. I would like to thank him and the company as well for helping put this together. I left early so I’m not sure what happened at the end of the workout and I have not yet finished watching the YouTube videos of the event. David has put together some great natural products and I might even sell some of their products in the future. They stand apart from competition in the industry by offering more natural supplements. I think they could be extremely popular in Boulder, Santa Monica and other health-conscious cities. I will keep you all informed on my relationship with them.

The real reason I decided to wake up so early and train chest for a second time in 72 hours was because of Marc. Tigerfitness is one of my favorite online supplement and fitness equipment stores. They offer products you cannot find anywhere else, including Marc’s own “Machine” Whey and Drop Factor. Fit is currently using that same whey in her week long Spartacus challenge. Marc is the CMO of Tigerfitness, a pro heavyweight bodybuilder, the CEO of his own supplement company, and the vice president of the ANBF. Here are three of the reasons I dragged myself down there.

The protein I'm using

1. I wanted Marc to write Fit a motivating note in one of his books. He did it without a second thought and I appreciate that greatly. Whether it’s helping her or not, I think she was happy that I got it done so it had to have been beneficial in some way. It reads: “Alana, winning contests is not a game. ML

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2. I wanted to introduce Hungry & Fit to Marc and his 60,000 plus subscribers and fans online. I tried a cheap plug while they were filming me doing cable flyes and asked him jokingly if it would make it onto YouTube. He said of course. I thought it wouldn’t happen but Marc seems to be a brutally honest person and sure enough… it made it. Hopefully this will help spread the word about what we are doing here. Although we are not aspiring professional bodybuilders we are all in a similar industry.

3. Tying into the last point, I wanted to ask Marc about professional physique competitions. While I have no interest in becoming a professional bodybuilder, I am interested in earning a pro card in natural physique competitions. I asked him what organization I should involve myself with and as I expected he answered the ANBF. Unfortunately, the majority of their events are on the East Coast, but if I ever return home there will be plenty to do. I can always travel as well, if I feel I am ready to compete and win, of course.

Basically, we all met up and split into groups. You can see this all on his YouTube video by following the link below. I recommend subscribing to his channel for great information about anything related to fitness. He knows his stuff, obviously. He’s also a very honest family man and although the language isn’t always G-rated, I don’t mind. The substance is worth it and it’s entertaining.

Marc and I

Marc and I

Despite training chest on Tuesday and being extremely sore and in recovery mode, I pushed myself relatively hard. Although I wasn’t putting up 365 for reps like in 2010/2011 I was proud to push 245 on the incline, despite a spot from Marc that gave me a ton of help. Marc said that he got the workout from the great Dorian Yates while they trained in Australia. Once again, see the video for the workout. Otherwise here is a quick summary of what I did.

Incline Bench 3 sets working up, one main set to failure

Flat Chest Press Machine (looked like a transformer) – 2 sets to failure

Incline Dumbbell Flyes2 sets to failure

Cable Flyes – 2 sets to failure

Then I left to make it to work right on time. Not a minute early. I believe they threw in some biceps after. I hope I didn’t miss any free giveaways but I can always buy another blender bottle or t-shirt. Still would have loved to stay until the end but life is life and work is work. All in all I am very grateful to all the parties involved for the opportunity and remember, staying hungry and fit IS NOT A GAME!

The link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HZ8v0zfkquk&feature=c4-overview&list=UUzzYnZ8GIzfB1Vr3hk2Nj9Q

Oh, please ignore the comment section below the video. YouTube viewers are known to “talk” quite a bit and it doesn’t bother me one bit. I have seen that problem grow ever since I joined YouTube the year it was introduced. There is an unfortunate lack of support and positivity in that community.

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Hiking for Fitness

Chris often says that hiking is a tougher workout than running. Master Kim, our old Tae Kwan Do teacher, said that hiking is the best form of exercise besides Tae Kwon Do itself. If you believe anyone about fitness and life, it’s that guy.  I like to go hiking sometimes when I’m planning not to run that day. And almost always, I am passed out on the couch afterwards, zapped of energy. Which is a good thing! I know we are lucky enough to be in Colorado and thus have a seemingly-infinite amount of hiking trails, but there are hiking trails everywhere. Yes, even in Iowa. You just need to go find them.

A dam

A dam

This post is encouraging people to hike for fitness and not just spend all of their time in the gym. And there will be pictures from my most recent hike in Lyons, Colorado at Button Rock. Now, as you all know, I have nothing against gyms–nothing at all! In fact, we spend 2 hours there per day, usually. But we must never forget the beauty of nature and what we can enjoy outdoors. We must always find a balance between the indoors and the out.

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Hiking is a great form of exercise. It (usually) costs nothing, spare the gas or parking fees, and it is almost enjoyable. Some people detest gyms and if you are one of those people, take a hike! Hiking has an extraordinary amount of benefits including cardiovascular endurance training or as we like to shorten it to “cardio.” Not all hikes are uphill, but I know that ours definitely was. Hiking is walking on steroids. As you continue going upwards, the air gets thinner, and your body has to work harder to gain its homeostasis (basically, the “normal” state of our body at rest). And even if you’re not necessarily going straight uphill, the terrain of hiking is often unsteady, thus your body fights to maintain balance and recruit muscles to stabilize yourself.

My friend and her dog

My friend and her dog

There are incredibly cardio benefits to this (in fact, it is almost just as powerful in this way as running is, as your body has to try to regulate your breathing just as it does while you run or jog), but there are also just as many muscular benefits as well. After I’ve hiked, I feel that I ran a 5k and did a heavy leg workout. It of course has these effects, because of the strain you put on your “cardio” system (as we spoke of earlier) and the amount of work your poor muscles have to do!

Her dog loves to be thrown sticks and retrieve them in the water

Her dog loves to be thrown sticks and retrieve them in the water

After a hike, I can almost certainly not do a heavy leg workout. I remember one time I did this hike and it was a planned leg workout that night. As soon as I got home, I passed out on the couch for an hour and then I dragged myself to the floor to do some leg work without weights. Just when your body is trying to balance upon the unsteady terrain, your legs (all the way from your feet to your glutes and even core) recruit all the muscles they can to maintain that stability. Your glutes help you power up the steep hills and rocks, your quads help slow your descent downhill, your calves help to delicately step up a pile of boulders, and your hamstrings keep you going. It is a fully functional total leg workout. And the legs almost never get a break the whole time!

photo 1 (4)Even with just the slight amount of benefits I’ve already told you, why aren’t you lacing up your hiking boots already! Take a day off from the gym, or even combine the two, and go for a hike! My traps even feel sore afterwards too. If the workout benefits haven’t convinced you, then maybe the rest of these pictures will! Or you could just decide to take it to another level, kick up the intensity, and run the trail instead. For more information on the best trail running shoes, check out Gear We Are! Go hiking to stay hungry and fit!

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20 Minute Core Blast

If you’re interested in shredding your abs and developing a strong core, this non-stop core ripper workout is the one for you. This requires no equipment (except a stopwatch or phone), all you need is a ground of some kind. It can really be done anywhere. This is to be done with no rest in between. That means it’s going to be really tough. If you need to break in betweeen, you can. 20 minutes is a long time to do things non-stop. That’s what’s so great about circuit-style: burn fat and calories while building your physique. Every exercise is to be performed for 30 seconds, unless otherwise noted. Let’s do it, here’s the list (with some amateur pictures, too):

Planking--keep it tight!

Planking–keep it tight!

  • Crunches
Mid-crunch

Mid-crunch

Reach!

Reach!

Mid-bicycle, keep it slow and extend

Mid-bicycle, keep it slow and extend

Mid-row, push legs out and in

Mid-row, push legs out and in

Just hold it!

Just hold it!

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Hips up and down

Turn in and then extend arm straight up

Turn in and then extend arm straight up

  • Side touches

It’s a long list.  And amateur pictures with a messy apartment in the background (oops). Repeat as many times as it takes to get to 20 minutes (if you have the time).  Do your best, try with no rest in between. Remember, each exercise is to be performed for 30 seconds unless otherwise noted. This is a great way to get that six-pack ready for summer! Use this quick workout to stay hungry and fit! 

Priorities: Putting Your Health First

Sometimes it feels as though we live in a sad world. A world where money and material wealth comes first. A world where personal relations get shoved aside. A world where should-be-top-priorities such as health gets ignored in the dust. Working as a personal trainer, this last one can bother me the most. Here’s why:

People whine and complain about prices of the gym, personal training, or exercise equipment. They complain that the money could be elsewhere spent and that the time working out could be used doing something else more important. I’m certainly not saying that you need a gym or personal training to be healthy (although it does help), but instead towards the overall sentiment about the importance of getting into shape and maintaining your fitness.

My trainer shirt ... and Sajah

My trainer shirt … and Sajah

So let’s say you suggest you could be doing something else with your time rather than exercising. Alrighty, let’s look at the building blocks of life. Health…hmmm…if you take away health, it is seeming to my eyes that everything falls apart with it. Take away health, and what do you have? Seriously. Sit on that question. Don’t just brush it off, I want you to think about it. Think about all the other bills or activities you pay for and balance it with the necessity of life: being healthy. If you aren’t healthy, you aren’t going to live the quality life you could.

And then we meddle over to the topic of money. It’s often the biggest excuse I hear. Not enough money for a gym membership? Hmmm, okay, let’s examine that. I want you to take a look at all your entertainment bills–television, cable, internet, etc. I am confounded to think that television (which is equal or more to gym membership cost per month) could weasel its way to be more important than the building block of life–HEALTH. Re-examine what you spend your money on. It could be that you know (deep down), the only way you will get into a continual exercise routine is if you subscribe to a gym. Step up, cancel unneeded entertainment services, put your health first, and sign up.

Health

Health (Photo credit: Tax Credits)

Now, say you’re borderline obese or diabetic, and have a strong dislike for working out. In fact, the only way you workout is if you are held accountable by someone else. Or, say you’re a person open to working out and exercising, but unsure about how to start. In both situations, a personal trainer would be dandy. I have one client who will not exercise unless she knows she’s coming to see me. She knows I’m waiting for her and despite how tough the workouts may be, she shows up each day. And she has gone from borderline obese down to overweight.

Often you find, “Personal training? There’s no way I could afford that.” Don’t be so quick to write it off. Many gyms have discount deals and some even have scholarship forms you can fill out to get a discount. They want you to sign up, so give them the chance to make it easier for you. Let’s take a look at the other side of the situation. Why do you think you can’t afford that? Perhaps because you spend your money on other things. I find so often, it is–ironically–that people go out to eat too much, causing them to be more unhealthy, racking up the restaurant bills and stopping them from hiring a personal trainer to change their life. Because that is what normally happens.

Personal Training Overlooking Melbourne Catego...

Personal Training Overlooking Melbourne (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This may sound like a lecture, but it is a plea. A plea for you and/or your loved ones to realize the importance of health and make it a priority over other things like entertainment or dining. So look at your account book and balance the budget to fit getting healthy and active in this year.

5 Baby Steps to Starting the “New You”

So you’ve made your resolutions–well done! So how do you even start them. It can be quite daunting to look at a page of things you say you are going to do…which is why it’s so important to start with baby steps. Let’s try just a few…

 

1. Take the stairs every time. I know you’ve heard this one before, but I want you to actually follow it. Every time. Even if you’re tired. You work on the third floor, go ahead and do yourself a favor and take those few flights. It will be worth it in the long run, especially if you don’t have time to workout.

 

stairs

stairs (Photo credit: moyogo)

 

2. Move more. Just move! That’s it! You have an office job? Print things out to the farthest printer, or the one upstairs. Use a stability ball instead of a chair. Stand up and walk around when you are drinking your coffee. Say hi to that coworker in the other department you haven’t seen in awhile. I know you’re busy, but you can make time for a few minutes each hour to just move around. This will keep your metabolism up and running.

 

Twit Fan Photo

Using stability balls (Photo credit: mediaguy4)

 

3. Eat frequently. This isn’t a myth, folks, the more times you consume food, the faster your metabolism has to work. This doesn’t mean go out and have steak and eggs for every meal. Small meals folks–egg on toast, fruit, trail mix, peanut butter on celery. Divide up those foods and you have something to graze on all day, keeping your body alert and your metabolism working.

 

Tasty Food Abundance in Healthy Europe

Tasty Food Abundance in Healthy Europe (Photo credit: epSos.de)

 

4. Change your daily activities. What do you do when you come home from work? Plonk yourself down with a frozen dinner and watch the tube? Well, you know some habits are going to have to change and that is certainly one of them. I know you’re tired when you come home from work, and there’s nothing wrong for putting your feet up for thirty minutes or an hour…but not the whole night. Find something active to do, play with your kids, your dog, cook up a meal, clean the bathroom. Go shoot some hoops. There are plenty of ways to stay active even at night.

 

Fritz & Laban watching TV

Not our cats (Photo credit: Per Ola Wiberg ~ powi)

 

5. Decide on a workout time. Everyone’s different. That goes without saying. But I am saying it because you need to experiment and know yourself when it comes it workouts. For example, I typically workout best in the mornings, I feel I have the most energy. But that doesn’t mean I won’t workout at night, because  I often do. But if you’re just starting a workout routine, find the time where you feel most energized, refreshed, and motivated. It will make all the difference. Try working out in the morning, in the afternoon, and in the evening. Note when you have the best workouts.

 

Workout at the Beach

Workout at the Beach (Photo credit: shyb)

 

There you have it, folks, 5 easy ways to start the “new you.” Let us know if you have any questions–we love to see people get healthy! Good luck!