Squats are one of the most important exercises that you can do for your legs. If you are looking for maximal calorie burn while simultaneously trying to build your core then this is the key exercise to incorporate in your program.
Squats can be done multiple ways to emphasize different parts of your legs. For example, if you do your squats with your legs shoulder width apart and focus on keeping a majority of the weight on your heels then you will activate the hamstring and glute muscles (the back of your leg and your butt).
Or if you would like to emphasize your inner thigh and tighten and tone them up then I highly recommend that you do a wider stance squat with your toes pointed out slightly. This change in angle still works the legs out with an emphasis on the inner part of your legs. I like to use the wider stance squat in replacement to the inner thigh machine as I think the squat is much more effective in getting the results you want.
Another way to do the squat can be with your feet completely together (narrow stance). This can emphasize a little bit more on the outside part of your thighs. Replacing the outer thigh machine.
As always with any squat motion be sure to keep your core tight (belly button sucked in towards spine) to protect your back as well as making sure that you are always doing the correct form to get the maximal benefit of the squat.
There are different tools that you can use to do the squat such as the smith machine, barbell, dumbbell, squat machine, physioball, and bosu ball.
All of those tools can accomplish the same goal as long as you keep your form correct and you pay attention on every rep and movement to ensure you are working the targeted area.
The repetitions should always be varied every few weeks in my opinion so your body does not hit a plateau. To start I would do anywhere from 10-12 reps with a moderate weight and focus on your form before you add additional weight.
By adding weight to your squats it will not automatically bulk up your legs. In order for you to bulk your legs or your body for that matter, you need to intentionally do it by eating a high calorie diet. So if your goal is not to bulk up then you have complete control by paying close attention to your diet.
Here are a few more leg exercise ideas for you to incorporate
Leg Press http://youtu.be/oRflcUrFEH4
Stationary Lunge http://youtu.be/ZmzQz_BfyxA
Step Ups http://youtu.be/8QuSZXfjsX4
Please email or share with your social networks whoever you think can benefit from this advice.
You may be wondering, with all of the things that keep you busy throughout the day how can you still eat healthy and make it work for you? My advice for you is to first keep it simple and plan out in advance.
I want you to get a list of healthy foods such as healthy meats, vegetables, fruits, nuts etc. Next I want you to get a blank piece of paper out and then write down all of the foods that you enjoy or at least somewhat enjoy to eat,
From this list I want you to write down and plan one full day’s worth of healthy eating. I want you to plan it out so you can see what a good nutrition plan will look like so it can be your guide.
Next I want you to take this list and follow it for a minimum of 3 consecutive days. I want you to take notes and write down how you are feeling while eating this way. I want you to include things such as how your energy levels are, how hungry you feel throughout the day, how is your mood and things of that nature.
Next I want you to study what is going on during those 3 days and really pay attention to how your body feels. This is the exact way you can find your personalized nutrition that makes you feel your very best as well as look your best too!
I promise you, if you invest your time in studying yourself during these days that you are logging what you eat and how you feel, you can solve your problem of nutrition and know exactly what to eat.
This has been the exact way I have found my eating routine which works for me and allows me to eat the foods that I do enjoy while allowing me to have the results and energy I desire.
You are probably tired of hearing that you need to eat healthy, spike your metabolism, and eat 5-6 small meals throughout the day. You may be thinking where you are going to find all of this time to eat and cook all of this food in your exceptionally busy day.
Well my solution to your problem is to take this very seriously and invest your time for no more than a week and figure out what are the specific foods that nourish you to be your best you.
If you need a little help with your motivation then I created a video to help you out with that. Click the link to watch http://youtu.be/rDEWfaxDJc8
In order to get in the best shape of your life you need the best tools possible. You need to know what exercises to do and when and how. You need to have a structured plan of attack on how you will reach your goals and what you are going to do to get there.
One of the biggest problems you will face when trying to get into shape is answering your question on what you should do? Below I created a plan for you to do to help start your fitness program off on the right track.
I want you to do each exercise for 2-3 sets and do 10-15 reps in each set to get your muscles stimulated. Choose a weight that you can do that is challenging while simultaneously making sure you are doing and keeping good form.
After you finish each weight training workout I want you to do anywhere from 10-15 minutes of cardio to start and then work your way up to 30 minutes. If you are looking into taking your fitness more seriously then this is a good plan for you.
I want you to forward this program to a friend that you think can benefit from getting some exercise advice. One of the best ways to get in shape is to get a workout partner. Watch this video I did on that subject for you http://youtu.be/p59_870-n38
Workout 1- Chest and Triceps
Incline Chest Press
Workout 2- Back and Biceps
Rear Delt Fly
EZ Curl Bar Bicep Curl
Workout 3- Legs
Workout 4- Shoulders
Workout 5 -Abs
Roman Chair Leg Lifts
Exercise Ball Crunch
So you may be thinking what you should be doing for cardio since cardio is supposed to be where you lose weight. Well here is a video http://youtu.be/DIO5jiCQ7FU you can watch on some fat loss strategies you can use.
If you are healthy enough and cleared by a doctor, I strongly recommend you use the strategy that I made a video about above and use the incline treadmill to get you the results you deserve.
Below are a few links of how it looks when you use the incline treadmill strategy
Now if you feel like you are too out of shape or embarrassed to go into the gym here is a video that I created to help you get a little more confidence http://youtu.be/Cz_BuALa7x4
The key thing that you must understand and be aware of is you just have to begin. Even if you have very little confidence use my blog posts and updates to help give you confidence. Nothing great will happen to you unless you just get started.
I don’t care if you just start with 1 exercise and you do it for 5 minutes. That is better for you than doing nothing at all. Find yourself a friend to help you out and support you mentally, which is what you will need in order to get to the fitness levels that you want.
You should first work on getting started and then selling yourself that this will be a lifestyle change instead of a quick fix. Be patient with yourself and work hard on staying consistent with making going to the gym your routine.
Now the next thing you may be thinking is what you should do about nutrition. You may also want some tips on how to eat healthy without spending a ton of money. Below are some tips that my friend Tamara Watt (who is a specialist in helping those lose weight with nutrition) has created.
Times can be challenging, and for some people, spending money on organic and specialty food items, is causing unnecessary stress on their Family Budgets. But, these people also don’t want to eat potato chips and hot dogs for dinner, and are looking for solutions to eat better without breaking the bank.
Here are our Top 9 Ways to Eat Healthy on a Budget and ensure your body stays healthy and fit!
1. Make your grocery list based off recipes/meals you plan to eat for the week.
Decide what you’re going to make for the week and then buy for those recipes or meals.
This is not only time-efficient, but prevents you from buying things you MIGHT make, but don’t get around to, and then end up throwing away.
Also, don’t hesitate to buy something that’s on sale for a very low price and modify your plan for the week so you can save some dough. You’ll eat well, and spend less while being resourceful!
2. Canned Fish and Beans = High Protein and Fiber
From Tuna to Salmon, to Black Beans to Kidney Beans, canned fish and beans can be one of your easiest and most inexpensive ways to get healthy omega-3 rich protein (the fish) and cholesterol-lowering fiber (the beans).
One can of light tuna (the least expensive kind and lowest mercury kind) is only 79 cents, while a can of black beans can be found for just $1 (containing at least 2 servings)!
Yes, both contain sodium which can be problematic for some people, but you can easily rinse off some of the salt when you open them using a strainer. If you mix them both together and top them with a touch of mustard or chopped tomatoes (also not too expensive when bought fresh), you’ve got yourself a great meal!
3. Frozen Veggies are Healthy!
Many people fret that fresh veggies are not affordable, and they don’t last long enough to make them worthwhile.
The solution: Buy frozen!
Avoid those microwave bags of veggies though (questionable safety…) and instead, purchase the less expensive ones that you cook on the stove or in a microwave-safe dish (not plastic!)
Frozen veggies are very healthy, as they are usually sodium-free and are sometimes fresher than fresh produce because they are frozen right at harvest (instead of sitting for days in the store or your home losing nutrients).
You can cook them anytime and not worry about them spoiling before you can eat them and being a waste of money.
4. Look for Produce or Other Grocery Items with a “Close to Expiry” Discount
When you do want to purchase fresh vegetables or fruits, you can sometimes find a great deal if they are close to being thrown out (but are still good; like brown bananas).
For example, if you are a spinach lover, you can find containers of organic spinach with a $2 discount because they are close to their due date. You may have to toss a few slimy leaves, but the rest will be gone before it’s a waste of your money.
There are great deals on other grocery items like low-sodium organic canned soups and healthy fruit and nut bars that you may not be able to afford otherwise, but will still taste great! Look for tables of reduced-priced items the next time you’re out shopping, and you may be surprised!
5. Buy Fruits and Vegetables in Season
purchasing fresh berries in the winter is just silly.
Not only will you spend an arm and a leg to get them, you won’t be getting the freshest options because they were shipped to you from hundreds (or thousands) of miles away.
Instead, look for produce in season, like apples and squash in the fall, or berries in the SUMMER. Not only will you pay less, but it will taste better too!
In the winter, when most produce is not in season, choose frozen, untainted fruits and vegetables (no butter, sugar, etc.) for the best options.
6. Avoid Pre-Cut Items, like cut Apples or Pre-cut Green Beans
yes, these items may be convenient, but they’ll cost you at least double the unprepared versions.
It’s not that hard to cut your own apples, or slice your own squash, and you avoid any preservatives that are added to these vegetables and fruits to prevent browning.
7. Use the Shelf Stickers that List the Price of the Item per Weight
it’s amazing how many people don’t realize that many stores list the price of an item per weight so you can accurately compare between different brands or different sizes of the same product.
For example, a 16 oz. container of rolled oats from one company is $0.17 per oz. and $2.69. But, a 42 oz. container of oats from another company is only $0.11 per oz. and $3.79.
So, even though you may pay more for the large canister, you get more food for your money! Use these labels at the store to help you choose the best option.
8. Visit Discount Grocery Stores for the Best Deals
There are many discount stores and bulk stores that give you the best deals for your buck. These stores sometimes require a membership, but now some do not. They sell the products at a lower price because they avoid the fancy store decorations, the overpaid dietitians giving nutrition advice, and ask you to bag your own groceries (not really a big issue).
In some cases you can save up to $20 for the same cart of groceries as a higher end grocery store! Some examples of these stores are Sam’s Clubs, BJs, Costco, and ALDI – look for them next time you head out shopping.
9. Finally - Get a Tasty Whey Protein Powder
many people think supplements are too expensive if your wallet is tight, but think about this:
One serving of High Quality Protein Powder – something that keeps you satisfied and actually improves your health – only costs about $2 to $3 each!
That’s at least 25 grams of complete protein for only $2.50 that supplies you with all the essential amino acids for proper muscle recovery and tummy-filling protein to help you stay full for hours!
Compare this to a breast of chicken which will cost you at least 2-3 dollars for the same amount of protein and has to be cooked, seasoned, and properly stored. Also, if you purchase chicken at a restaurant, you’re looking at spending at least $4 (Unless you go to McDonalds and also worry about the health consequences).
I want you to share and forward this message with your friends via email, your social networks, text message, and any other way that you communicate with your friends so they too can have this program.
This is a program that I designed for you as a personal trainer which is designed to help you to start building the body and lifestyle that you want TODAY.
Thank you for reading my blog and enjoy your workout :)
Medicine Ball Ab Crunch
This is one of my favorite exercises to do for abdominals as I feel it challenges you to keep your core tight and adds resistance to your workout.
I typically like to use a 10 pound medicine ball while I suck my belly button in toward my spine so that my abs are doing all of the work. I like to do anywhere from 15-25 reps with very minimal rest in between.
I also enjoy doing a more advanced medicine ball ab crunch on the bosu ball as I feel it is one of the best exercises to challenge your lower abs.
I want you to incorporate this exercise into your routine especially if your goal is to strengthen up your core and have a better set of abs for the new year and the new you.
First I would like to start this post with a HUGE thank you to all of you who are following my blog and progress. This blog has been able to help some people reach their fitness goals and hopefully has motivated a few more to want to change their life for the better.
Ok so now for the tip that you are waiting for. The most important thing that I have found while not only training myself but training my clients as well, is if you want your ab training to be the most successful then I highly recommend you pay close attention to the form you are doing your ab exercises with.
I want you to visualize that you are sucking your belly button in towards your spine and keep them flexed so your core is completely engaged and on every rep you do, your abs are doing all of the work.
This will not only help you to develop the attractive abs or slim waist that you may want but it also strengthens up your core so you can prevent injury not only while you are exercising but also when you are not exercising as well.
That is a quick tip for you to use when you are training your abs. If you find this advice useful please share my blog address with someone you know and have them enter their email address to join our community.
Happy Holidays and like always if you ever have questions, do not hesitate to ask.
With your busy schedule and having more responsibilites than ever you may wonder how could you possibly have enough time to work out in the gym and still have a healthy body that looks great.
Maybe your goal is not to be the next Mr or Mrs Universe but you probably want to feel more comfortable in your clothes, have more energy, and overall just feel good about yourself.
You may think that you need to spend two to three hours per day in the gym to achieve all of those goals. Well, the good news is you can have more energy, fit better in your clothes, and feel better about yourself with workouts that are less than sixty minutes per day.
If you want to really maximize your calorie burn when you go to the gym, then I want you to focus on working your larger muscle groups. What I mean by this is, working out your legs, chest, and back.
You do not have to work all three of those in a workout, unless you really want to challenge yourself. But choose one of those muscle groups in a day such as legs and focus on doing compound movements.
Compound movements for your legs would be exercises such as squats, step ups, lunges, and leg press. If you are trying to burn the most calories in less time then I would avoid doing isolation exercises and focus more on the compound movements.
The next question you may have is where does cardio come into play with this? My response to you is you should do cardio after you do your weights and then if you are going for maximum calorie burn do interval training.
Interval training would be doing something with high intensity for a specified amount of time followed by rest. For example, if you were to sprint on the treadmill for thirty seconds and then walk on the treadmill for thirty seconds and repeat for twenty minutes.
You could easily get away with working out in forty five minutes (20 minutes weights/25 minutes cardio) and still get great results. Try it out and let me know how it works for you.
Those are some quick tips to follow when you are trying to burn more calories in less time. Hope those tips helped and feel free to check out my you tube channel for more advice at http://www.youtube.com/gregmarshall17
1) Abdominal exercises are only part of the equation when looking to tone up your abdominal muscles. Be sure to do exercises that incorporate all of your ab muscles such as abdominal crunches, bicycle crunches, and planks. When doing each of the exercises, I like to do them for time such as sets of thirty seconds to a minute. The purpose of the timed set is to be able to focus on the form while keeping the intensity levels higher. In between your sets rest for thirty seconds or less. The goal is to not rest in between your sets in order to increase intensity and stimulate the ab muscles.
2) Eat a clean diet. The saying is true, abs are made in the kitchen. Your nutrition should consist of high protein foods such as chicken, fish, egg whites, and turkey. Keep your carbohydrates to a minimum especially the high sugar low nutrient carbohydrates such as white flour products, fast food, candy, and anything else that is high in sugar. Consume slow burning carbohydrates such as green vegetables, oats, and whole grain foods. Eat several small meals a day with your goal being four to six meals. Do not forget to drink a gallon of water per day to help increase your metabolism.
3) Incorporate resistance training to help build lean muscle tissue, which will help you to increase your metabolism. The higher your metabolism is, the more calories you burn, the greater your opportunity to burn fat. Great exercises to do in the gym would be squats, lunges, shoulder presses, bench press, and back rows. If you do not have access to a gym then you can of course substitute those exercises with jump squats, body weight squats, lunges, push-ups, and resistance band back rows.
4) Cardio exercise is not the only way to get those summer abs, but it is important. If you have access to a gym, incorporate the stair climber, treadmill, elliptical, stationary bike, and sports of your liking. If you do not have access to a gym then take a walk outside, go hiking up hill, ride your bike around town, or go swimming at a local pool. When doing cardio training intensity is the name of the game in my opinion. Focus on how you feel and if you feel like you are pushing your personal limits. Your body will be the best judge of your intensity so listen to it.
5) Reduce the stress in your life. Yes I said stress. Stress increases your body’s cortisol levels. Cortisol is a hormone that you want to stay away from, as it is a muscle wasting and fat gaining hormone (a summer abs nightmare). Work on budgeting out some “me time” every day to help you unwind. During this time do not feel guilty, instead look at it as an investment. This will be the best investment you will make because it will improve not only your summer abs but other aspects of your life as well such as being a better parent, spouse, and friend.
6) Stay consistent and most importantly have fun when going after your pair of summer abs. Choose the exercises and foods that you enjoy and create a routine for yourself where you can get into a “groove”. For more help on the exercises that I recommended, do a google search on them and get a few picture and video demonstrations. Also do a google search for high protein and low carb recipes to supplement your plan. I wish you the best of luck!
When you are trying to get the best results possible you must always be open to trying new and different exercises. By switching it up, it will significantly increase your results as well as your motivation and interest. Here is a challenge that I suggest you try for a GREAT workout.
Bosu Ball Crunch
Stationary Bike (20 Minutes)
Do all of those exercises 3 sets of 10 choosing a moderate to heavy weight and the challenge yourself. The goal of this workout is to not rest any longer than 15 seconds between each set. This workout should be done in 45 minutes or less. I would love to hear your workout feedback and how it felt. Good Luck :)
Some of my favorite abdominal exercises that I like to personally use with not only my clients but myself are the cable ab crunch, medicine ball ab twist and the decline crunch.
What I have found to be most beneficial with using these exercises are they are different exercises that stimulate the ab muscles in a different way as well as they give you an opportunity to add resistance to your ab work.
Abs have incredible endurance because they work all day with stabilizing our bodies and so these are some of the best ways I have found to really shock them into change.
I recommend that you do each exercise 3 to 4 sets with minimal rest in between sets. I personally like to take no rest in between the sets to make sure that I am challenging my abs as much as possible.
If you need any help on how to perform these exercises send me an email or message and I will send you some instructions on how to do them.
How to get rid of muscle soreness
This is the time of year where everyone starts to set their new year’s resolution. Usually the new year’s resolution has something to do with getting in the best shape of their lives. I want to give you a couple of tips that can help you prepare to succeed for the year 2013.
One tip is to write the exact goal down of what you want to accomplish. Be extremely specific such as ” I want to lose 30 pounds this year” or “I want exercise 5 days per week”. The more specific you are the better. Once you write down your goal then come up with a weekly and daily plan of what action steps you will take and how you will measure it.
Another tip is to start researching and planning your shopping list of what you will be eating. Prepare a list of foods that you enjoy eating and start researching the best recipes that fit you. You want to have at least 3 different options of foods you can eat for breakfast, snack, lunch, and dinner. The more prepared you are the more likely it is you will succeed. (If you would like a list message me your email address and I will send you one.)
Give yourself a buffer on “cheat meals”. Don’t get so strict with your diet that you never get to have any fun and eat foods you enjoy. We all enjoy eating that pizza or dessert or thing that we know is unhealthy for us. And it is ok, I know in my life my cheat meals tend to be chicken wings or candy and I plan around them. I don’t apologize for liking them or feel like a bad person when I eat them because in the grand scheme of things it is about what your daily habits are and cheat meals for the most part will not make or break you, so just know that you will eat them and plan around the meals.
Start putting together a workout routine that is tailored to your goals. If you are a beginner I would highly suggest hiring a personal trainer to help you. It will be money well spent as it can save you tremendous amounts of time and frustration and get you to your goals quicker. (If you would like a jump start program message me your email)
Write down all of the benefits that you will receive by exercising and getting into better shape and these will be put on your wall or somewhere you can see them everyday so that you can stay motivated. I personally do this!
Create and plan your reward systems so you can positively reinforce yourself everytime you achieve a goal. I will tell you what I use that works tremendously for me. Everytime I hit a milestone or goal that I want to achieve I buy a piece of clothing that I can wear and it serves as a constant reminder of me being successful. It is a way to show myself respect for the hard work that I put in and psychologically it programs in my mind that I am successful.
For christmas I would like to mail you guys a sticker for you and/or your friends to post on your workout wall or somewhere that will remind you to keep striving to be your best. Below is the picture of what it looks like.
If you would like one just message me on here your name, email, and shipping address and I will send it to you for FREE. Or email me your info at (email@example.com)
If you are looking for a great set of lean abs and you are confused on how to reach them, then I am going to give you a brief explanation on how to get the abs you want.
The first thing I suggest you pay very close attention to is your diet. I know you have heard many times before that it is all about the “diet” but it is true. The only problem with what a majority of the advice that is given is they always tell you to watch your diet but they rarely give you action steps.
Keep your sugars low if you want to have a leaner midsection. What I have found that works extremely well with my clients is telling them to keep their sugar to a minimum. This includes fruit juices, sodas, and desserts. Sugar is the quickest way to add size to your midsection.
Another quick tip is to make sure you pay attention to how much bread and pasta you eat. Not only do you want to minimize the amount of bread and pasta that you eat but when you do eat it never eat it alone.
Always combine a carbohydrate with a protein to avoid blood sugar spikes which typically cause your body to store fat. What I mean is make sure that you are not eating just potatoes and gravy or other meals that are all carbohydrates and no protein or fat.
Make sure you are eating some form of protein in the meal or healthy fat. That is the best way I have found to keep my clients lean and getting the results that they want.
Another quick tip is to make sure you are lifting weights to add additional lean muscle tissue. Muscle in my experience has helped people significantly burn fat more effectively and help tone up their midsections.
Lift different muscle groups each lifting session and mix up your workouts often. The more often you mix up your workouts the better results you will get and the more fun you will have in your fitness lifestyle.
If you would like to get a FREE workout go to my blog address and click on the link “workout tips” and find the 6 week jump start program.
Also be sure that you are subscribed to my newsletter by going to blog address fiture.co and click on “free gift”. Share with your friends if you feel they can benefit from the fitness advice I am giving.
Thank you for reading :)
Today I wanted to share with you the importance of resting. Most people believe that the more you workout the better. This can be one of the main reasons why you are not getting the results that you want.
There are times where you want to increase how often you workout to get your body going and get yourself from the inertia of not exercising, but once you are in the routine of things you will want to make sure you are proactively setting up days where you rest.
Rest can be any form of sleeping or not working out and replenishing your body with the nutrients you need in order to recover. Results comes from the rest and recover stage as opposed to the actual workouts.
When you workout you are breaking your body down so that it can build up into something stronger and better. Do not overlook the importance of resting and sleeping if you are serious about getting the best results you possibly can, this can be the one thing that is holding you back.
Key tips are pay attention to how much sleep you are getting, how much water you are drinking, and what nutrients you put in your body.
You want to sleep anywhere from 7 to 9 hours based on your personal preference and how you feel. Use how you feel as the best way to figure out strategies that work for you. Do not worry about copying someone else’s routine.
As far as nutrients, make sure you are eating quality proteins and carbohydrates with every meal and drink a minimum of 64 ounces of water per day. These changes can make bigger impacts than you think.
Roman Chair Abs
This is personally my favorite abdominal exercise to do because it emphasizes on the lower ab area that is a trouble area for most, while still building up strength in the core.
I suggest that you work up to sets of 15-20 reps and rest very minimally(30 seconds or less) in between sets to get the best results.
What are your fitness goals? Be specific (lose 10 lbs, run a mile, increase your energy)
What do those specific goals look and feel like to you?
When would you like to reach your goal by? Set a realistic timeline here
In what ways will your life change when you reach these goals? (Will your life be better and more fulfilling, will you feel more confident, will relationships with yourself and others improve?)
In what ways have you held yourself back from reaching these goals?
What are some of your limiting beliefs? (examples are you are too old, too young, you are not pretty enough, your not worthy etc)
What will be your new beliefs about yourself and your life?
What will you accomplish in the next year? 5 years? 10 years?
What is your plan for reaching these goals?
Are you currently living someone else’s life or have you designed your life?
Who is or will be a part of your support group?
Who are the people in your life who may not be supporting you and your dreams?
What is your strategy to reduce or eliminate these people from your environment?
What are some of your specific educational goals? ( read one book per month on a new subject, go to a seminar, have a friend teach you a new skill)
What is something that you have always wanted to do but have always postponed? ( graduate college, learn how to cook, take karate lessons, play an instrument)
What is the reason why you have never pursued this goal? What is your plan to ensure you achieve this goal?