Body Beast Workout Review

A while back, I started a new workout program from Beachbody called the Body Beast.

This was an intense workout program with what I consider a cardio/weight lifting base platform.  In other words, the program has a lot of weight lifting moves (love it), but delivers each exercise with a general fast-paced circuit feel.  With the workouts, you move quickly through each exercise with little rest in-between, completing super sets, giant sets, progressive sets and combo sets.  At times, I find myself struggling to switch, add, or remove weights in time for the next move.  This program tends to really pace you through most of the exercises, keeping your heart rate up and cardiovascular system cranked up.

Depending on what your goals are, this may be a great workout plan for you.  Even if you are not interested in building more muscle, this plan will definitely strengthen you up and add more definition to your body.  The majority of the moves are basic enough for a beginner, but In my opinion this plan is better suited for someone that has been training for awhile and has a good base knowledge of body part-specific moves and weight training in general.

So far, here are some of the things I like about the program:

  1.  As I mentioned, the program has a lot of specific weight training moves, so it’s great for building strength and muscle mass.

  2.  The food plan is laid out in an easy to understand format.  I really liked that!  After years of training, I fully understand now that eating right according to your goals, with the appropriate amount of calories and macronutrients, is crucial for success.

  3.  Pop in a disk and follow along, it’s really that simple.  If you can get past some of the silly things the instructor (Sagi Kalev) says, like “your’re going to get huge” or “you’ll need to buy a bigger shirt” you can just move along through the program.  Sometimes It just makes me laugh….I personally think he’s pretty funny, but some people might think some of the things he says is really dumb.  I even mock his little sayings around the house after my workouts and the kids get a laugh out of it.  I guess you will have to get the plan to understand what I’m taking about!

  4.  The exercises really punish each body part that you workout.  This is a love/hate thing for me, but if you want results, this is what you need to do.  It’s really not about lifting heavy weights, it’s about using proper form and moving up in the weight range for each move.  If you do this, you will get stronger and add muscle (providing you are eating right).

I’ve been working out regularly for years. Although I am older now and my goals and priorities for my body have changed a lot, I believe this workout plan is best suited for someone who has been training at an intermediate level, just to take advantage of some of the more difficult moves.  I don’t want to discourage beginners from this plan either.  If you feel pretty comfortable with your body and are prepared for a good challenge, then give it a try, I don’t think you will be disappointed.

Here are some things I learned through with this program. First off, I unfortunately miscalculated my caloric intact and didn’t realize this until over half-way into the program.  I’m really disappointed in myself for this because I miscalculated about 500 calories in my daily food intake.  I believe this was a costly mistake and limited my progress.  In the plan, Sagi has a specific calculation that needs to be done according to your goal with the program. For some reason, I didn’t calculate the last part of the equation that accounted for the caloric intake to maintain your weight.

I actually did maintain my weight throughout the program, but through the first two stages of the program you advance from the “Build” stage to the “Bulk” stage.  During both of these stages you should be able to start putting on some weight, which in theory should mostly be muscle added.  My weight did go up almost 5 pounds at it’s peak, so I can assume my food intake was fairly close.  My body fat also moved upward a little too, but it wasn’t drastic.  I seemed to hold a + or – .5% so far to this point.  Now that I am in the last stage, I should be losing more body fat because you drastically cut the carbohydrates out, in comparison to the first two stages.

One thing to remember about this plan is that the workout schedule is on a 6 day on, one day off rotation.  Honestly, this has been hard for me to maintain.  This has also probably inhibited my progress, as I have been consistently only maintaining 4 to 5 days of training each week.  Also, I started this program in late November and hit all the Holiday’s along the way, so that really messed me up too.  Between eating outside of the plan and taking in alcohol occasionally, I set myself back.

 

Click on the picture below to purchase the Body Beast program:

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Motivational Tips to Achieve Weight Loss

missing-motivationYes, even I have trouble staying motivated at times. It’s very easy to just ‘fall off the wagon’ and get back into our bad habits. It’s always easier to do nothing but sit around watching TV or to order out or make a meal from a box. It’s just easier…and that’s why we go back to it.

So what can we do to make it worth it to stay motivated? Here are some ways to help you get started or get back on track. Remember, sometimes all you need to do is take baby steps…

1. Set a goal. Just one goal. Set a deadline for that goal and when you achieve it, set another…remember, I said baby steps. By setting a goal, you know in your head what it is that you want. You should put it down on paper and read it daily and maybe even a couple times a day. Eventually it will be a part of you and all you will be able to think about is achieving that goal!

2. Set a Reward. How do you want to reward yourself when you reach that goal? A new dress? A new hairstyle or some new jewelry? Whatever it may be, make sure its something special, not something you do for yourself all the time.

3. Find a “workout buddy”. Do you have a friend that lacks motivation as well? Get together and plan times during the week to workout or help each other plan meals for the week ahead. Knowing that if you don’t meet your friend, you will let them down is a great way to stay motivated!

4. Don’t give up. If you feel your self slipping or you do slip, don’t have the ‘all or nothing’ attitude. Just because you had a piece of chocolate cake after you promised yourself you wouldn’t is no reason to eat the whole cake! Move on…promise yourself you will do better tomorrow.

5. Always be positive! If you didn’t reach your specific goal that you set, look at what other accomplishments you have made in that time period. There is always something that you can find that was positive about what you have done, so think about that and not about  what you didn’t do.

 Have some tips of your own that keep you motivated? Please share with us! 

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Extreme Running

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Mike Hartley, DVDRNR, runs the mountains, trails, and roadways of Divide, Colorado.  His passion for running and outdoor physical activity was sparked in the early 1990’s when he ran 10-milers in the military.  These initial races grew into a desire to go long with half marathons and then marathons.  In recent years, his passion for 50 milers and 100’s has gone wild.

The last eighteen years have afforded him finishes in thirty eight marathons, seven ultras and numerous other mountain trail races, including 20 Pikes Peak (3 doubles), 3 Collegiate Peaks, 2 Mount Evans, 3 Barr Trail races and four marathon finishes as a representative for the Colorado National Guard Marathon Team.

DVDRNR has a busy 2015 race schedule with a minimum of one marathon or ultra per month climaxing in September at Steamboat Springs for the Run Rabbit Run 100 mile.  But first, DVDRNR hits the trails March 14 in Salida at the Run Through Time Marathon. Check out this technical trail race at www.salidarec.com and stay tuned for training and race updates from DVDRNR.

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Are You Self-Sabotaging Your Fat Loss?

healthy eating wordleWe have all been there at some point in our lives, when just one small slip turns into another and another until we just don’t know how to stop!

We miss a meal or two and then are starving and eat anything and everything in sight! We don’t eat enough at each meal, so then we overeat at the end of the day to make up for it. We don’t properly prepare our meals for the day ahead and then eat whatever we can find, usually something quick and easy or processed.

So why do we do this? Myself, I do it when I skip meals, I am stressed or bored. There are some days that I get so caught up with my computer work that I just forget to eat. What happens then?  I get over hungry, over eat and eat junk, resulting in weight gain and body fat gain…. Not exactly what I want.

So how do we get ourselves out of this rut? By PLANNING! Planning is the key! In the past, when I have sat down for 20 minutes the night before and planned out my meals for the next day, not only do I know what and when I will be eating my meals, but I also know what calorie range I am in and if I need to adjust it a bit. Prepping your meals for the week ahead, so that there are healthy options for you to grab.

Easy enough, right? It can be, once you make it a habit. Make the decision that YOU and YOUR HEALTH will come first! That pile of laundry that needs to be folded can wait until tomorrow or that email you wanted to send out can wait. Find the time to plan ahead, make it a part of your day and you will no longer get in this self sabotaging rut!

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Training for Fat Loss

cardio-vs-strength-training

You have set your fitness goals and now need to decide which exercises you want to add to your fitness routine to help you burn away that unwanted fat. The best way is to add a combination of both strength training and cardiovascular.

Strength training is the most beneficial methods of fat loss. By building muscle, you are in turn increasing your metabolism and helping your body to burn even more calories. Also with strength training, your body begins to burn a large number of calories even after you have finished training.

With strength training you have many options. For beginners or someone who doesn’t have access to a gym or equipment, bodyweight exercises are a great option for fat loss. Another option is using the push/pull split. This is a great way to get in a total body workout that allows you to perform more exercises per workout and get more recovery time.

Some key points when doing strength training are make sure to warm up and stretch before your workout, lift the weights in slow, steady movements and don’t forget to breathe.

Cardiovascular exercise is the 2nd part of your fat loss fitness routine. Cardio can be done following your strength training or as separate training on the opposite day of strength training. Cardio is not only a great aid to fat loss, but also to help you to maintain a healthy heart. The best form of cardio is HIIT or High Intensity Interval Training. HIIT involves intervals of varying intensities, some very high. Interval training can be as simple as doing an all-out sprint, jogging to lower your heart rate, and then sprinting once again. This should be done anywhere from 15-30 minutes. The advantage to HIIT is that you are burning more calories in a shorter period of time. You can perform HIIT on almost anything, such as bike, treadmill, elliptical, or even bodyweight circuits.

It is best to perform strength training workouts at least 3 times per week and also perform HIIT 3 times per week. Make sure to change up your workouts every 6-8 weeks to avoid a fat loss plateau. Changing your workouts also keeps your workouts fresh and new and makes you less likely to stop doing them and gives you a better chance of reaching your fitness goals!

Using Super Sets to Burn Fat

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A superset is when you perform two or more exercises in a row with no rest. You can superset any body parts together but its best to use opposing body parts, such as chest and back, biceps and triceps. Supersets also help to build more muscle, which helps you to burn more calories and burn fat.

One of the main benefits of a weight-training routine that includes supersets is that it raises your metabolic rate in the hours after exercise. Studies also show a shift in substrate oxidation, which means that you’re also burning more fat.

Putting together a superset workout is as easy as choosing body parts that work opposing muscles so that you will be able to work those muscles with greater intensity. Here is example of how to put together a superset workout:

Do 3-4 sets of 8-12 repetitions of each exercise.  You should perform the A set of exercises, all 3-4 sets through, rest for one minute and then move on the B sets. This is a total body workout that can be done in 20-30 minutes!

A1. Bench Press

A2. Bent Over Rows

B1. Dumbbell curls

B2. Dumbbell tricep kickbacks

C1. Leg Extension

C2. Leg Curls

If you find yourself short on time, but would like to get in a great butt kicking workout, a superset is the way to go! Add some interval training after your superset workout and you have the best fat burning workout all done within 45 minutes to a hour!

 

Circuits for Fast and Effective Fat Loss

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Are you lacking the time to exercise?  Are you short on money and can’t afford a gym membership? Do you lack workout equipment?

Then bodyweight circuits are the answer to all your exercise excuses!

When using body weight circuits, you are getting in a total body cardio workout. All you need to do is pick 2-3 lower body exercises and 2-3 upper body exercises that you do using only your body weight. Alternate the upper and lower body exercises, doing 10-15 repetitions per exercise, with no rest until you have completed all the exercises one time through. Rest for 30 seconds and repeat the circuit up to 6 times. There you have a perfect fat burning circuit in less than 25 minutes!

Not only do body weight circuits burn fat, but they help to boost your metabolism. By using  bodyweight training, you are incorporating both interval and strength training all in one workout and your body will not only burn calories while you are doing your circuits, but long after you are done!

Bodyweight exercises also help build muscle, which helps not only to increase your metabolism, but also makes you look sexy.

Beginners can start out with this bodyweight circuit, going through each exercise, resting at the end and then repeating 4-6 sets

  • Wall Ball Squat – 15 reps
  • Kneeling pushups – 10 reps
  • Hip Extension – 15 reps
  • Plank on Hands – 20 seconds
  • Bird Dog – 5 reps per side hold for count of 5 seconds

Intermediates can start out with this circuit, going through each exercise, resting at the end and then repeating 4-6 sets.

  • T-Squat – 15 reps
  • Forward Lunges – 12 reps each leg
  • Decline Pushup – 15 reps
  • Mt Climber – 15 reps
  • Close grip Pushups – 15 reps
  • Side plank – 30 seconds each side

You can use the bodyweight circuits in place of your interval training or added to your regular training. Add 1 or 2 cardio based exercises, such as jumping jacks or burpees and start blasting that fat!

10 Changes to Make to Your Diet Better

10 Changes To Your Diet That Will Instantly Make it 90% Better

The Small Change Diet_2Most individuals do not eat like they are supposed to. Out of those individuals 95% of them don’t realize that by making 10 simple changes to their eating lifestyle they can improve their diet by 90% along with improving their health and overall well-being.

Apply these changes to your diet today and you too will be experiencing an increased benefit to your health, probable weight loss, a leaner body, and likely improvements to your blood profile. This all equals a longer healthier life.

Now let’s get started so you can benefit from these 10 simple changes that everyone can make immediately.

1. Hydration: Is there a difference
Consume Green Tea or Water instead of calorie filled drinks such as soft drinks. Green Tea has many health benefits and is a powerful antioxidant. You should be drinking 1ml of non-caffeinated fluid for every calorie that you consume. This works out between (8-12) 8oz glasses of Green Tea or Water a day.

2. Benefits of Fiber
Recommend consuming 25-35 grams of fiber per day. Since the average diet contains only 14 grams we could all use more fiber. Fiber will help satisfy hunger pangs as well as control insulin and blood sugar levels which tend to promote fat storage when they are elevated. By simply eating at least 1 serving of fruit and vegetables at every meal should get you to the goal of 25-35 grams of fiber per day.

3. The Importance of Protein
Eat lean protein sources which include; lean beef, chicken breasts, turkey breasts, salmon, low-fat cottage cheese and other low-fat dairy products, and whey protein powders, at every meal. This will also help control insulin levels and satisfy hunger pangs which tend to promote fat storage. You will find yourself naturally eating less food throughout the day if you eat some type of lean protein at every meal.

4. Frequent Meals: Why?
Eat 4-6 small meals day a day instead of the usual 2-3 large meals. Eating frequently will help regulate and boost your metabolism to burn more calories. By also including your protein and vegetables at these meals you will tend to eat less overall thereby reducing your calorie intake.

5. What are Whole Foods?
Consume whole foods that are high in fiber and low in sugar such as lean protein (lean beef, chicken, fish, and whey protein), fruits & vegetables (oranges, apples, strawberries, blueberries, broccoli, peppers, asparagus, carrots, nuts (almonds, cashews, & walnuts), and whole grains.
Try to minimize processed foods that come in a box or a bag. Instead choose whole grain choices such as whole wheat foods, oatmeals, and vegetables.

6. Healthy Fats: Yes, there are healthy fats
Consume adequate amounts of healthy fat foods such as olive oil, walnuts, almonds, or other Omega-3 products. Healthy fats are great antioxidants as well as help with brain function and many other essentials processes that take place in the body on a daily basis. Essential Fatty acids also help prevent certain diseases.

7. Superfoods
Include what I call “Superfoods” into your meal plan on a daily basis. These include but not entirely lean meat, salmon, low fat plain yogurt, tomatoes, spinach, mixed berries, whole oats, mixed nuts, olive oil, flax seeds(or flax meal), green tea, and various beans. These are just some of the “Superfoods” you should be incorporating into your daily meal plans.

8. Fat
Keep total fat intake under 30% for the day. This can be accomplished by not adding too many extra fats such as butter, sour cream, mayonnaise, etc. This doesn’t mean you have to completely eliminate these items, but do not eat them as a regular food item every day.

9. Food Log: Yes, this is the most important step
Record what you eat and drink. You will be amazed at what you consume and not even realize you did it until you right it down and reflect back on the day. Keeping a food log is critical to your success because if modifications need to be made you need something to be able to evaluate and analyze. If changes aren’t happening like you had hoped the answer can usually be found in your food and or exercise journal.

10. Food Labels
Review food labels. Avoid foods packed with excess sugar, calories, or foods that contain any trans-fats. You should be looking for more natural foods and not overly-processed foods. Ingredients to look for and avoid or minimize if they are one of the top ingredients listed in the ingredients list: Sugar, High Fructose Corn Syrup and Hydrogenated or Partially Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil.

If you see these ingredients listed at the top then that means the product is made up of that ingredient as it’s largest source.

Now I don’t expect you to make every change in one day. What I do expect is that if you are serious about living a better life and a healthier life then you need to make these changes over the next 4 weeks. The best way to accomplish this task is to map out your plan. Create meal plans and have a plan of attack in place in regards to what you are eating and when.

You will start to see just how easy it is to live a healthier life and achieve the goals that you desire.

About the Author:

Jayson Hunter, RD, CSCS, is a registered dietitian and fitness professional with more than 10 years of experience. He has worked with 1000’s of individuals in achieving their ideal body and has been published in numerous magazines. He is also co-creator of Meal Plans 101 nutrition software. For more information on how you can utilize Jayson’s expertise go to www.mealplans101.com