7 Tips to Build Muscle

7 Tips To Boost Muscle Growth

A big thanks and shout out to Elise Morgan for this guest post!

Learn more about Elise on Twitter: @elisemthewriter

 

If you’re looking to build muscle fast, you’re probably a pretty driven person used to working hard and seeing results. If you’re not seeing significant progress with growing muscle from month to month, however, you may need to change your approach. Here are seven scientifically proven ways to boost muscle growth in no time.

 

Focus More on the Eccentric Phase

 

There are two phases in lifting weights: concentric (hard) and eccentric (easy).  For example, lowering into a squat is an eccentric action, while returning to standing is concentric. According to the European Journal of Applied Physiology, eccentric work is better for stimulating hypertrophy of muscle fibers – more humbly known as muscle growth. To achieve this, do one of two things: slow down eccentric movements or incorporate eccentric-only variations into your session. Using the squat as an example, lower into the squat, then end the exercise to make it eccentric-only. You’ll need to increase weight substantially since muscles are stronger when moving eccentrically.

 

Prioritize Sleep

 

All the proper nutrition and weight training in the world won’t counteract a persistent lack of sleep. Avoid burning the candle from both ends and prioritize getting enough sleep every night. During sleep, the release of human growth hormone in your body helps repair cells and build muscle, as well as keeping production of cortisol, a stress hormone, at a minimum. It’s also important not to time your daily workouts too close to bedtime. Instead, give yourself at least two hours after your workout to calm down before you try to head to sleep.

 

Increase Training Volume

 

Training volume is the number of reps multiplied by number of sets. This is a primary factor in muscle growth. The math is a little complicated after that, but the bottom line is that you need to use 50 to 75 percent of the maximum weight you can lift for three to six sets of 10 to 20 reps.

 

Eat More Protein

 

Weight training breaks down muscles and protein rebuilds them. Harder workouts increase your required intake of protein to grow muscle. Research has shown that you need to eat .25 to .30 grams of protein kg of body weight per meal. That’s the equivalent of three or four eggs or a cup of yogurt. To simplify your goal, go for a scoop of protein powder.

 

Decrease Rest Intervals

 

Rest no longer than 30 to 90 seconds between sets. This will provide rapid release of muscle-building hormones like the human growth hormone and testosterone while at the same time ensuring that you really tire out your muscles – a requirement for substantial muscle growth.

 

Focus on Calorie Surpluses

 

If you’re accustomed to counting calories to lose weight, this practice can be hard to get used to. However, to be effective in building muscle, you will need to consume more calories a day than you burn. If you consume less calories than you burn, your body sees this as a deficit and responds by downshifting its tendency to grow muscle. Shoot for 250-500 extra calories per day, mostly from protein, which is more likely to be stored as muscle.

 

Supplement with Creatine

 

Although creatine doesn’t have a direct connection to muscle growth, it boosts performance for high intensity lifting sessions. According to a research review in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, supplementing your workouts with creating may help you lift an estimated 14 percent more reps than without creatine.

 

If you want to build muscle fast, these research-based changes to your current approach should do the trick – and remember not to get ahead of yourself. Make sure you allow time to recover from your workouts and get plenty of sleep.

 

Image credit: pexels

How to Shake Off The Diet Mentality

Has this ever happened to you? 

You know, that moment when you realize it’s time to do something about your fitness.

Frustrated with your current fitness level?

It may happen when you’re looking in the mirror or standing on the scale.

Your first thought is to go on a ‘diet’ but as quickly as that enters your mind, the ghosts of a hundred diets past return…along with all the frustration.

Then you wonder, why bother?

The weight will come back, as it always has. Then you’ll be back in front of the mirror as discouraged as ever.

The answer is not to go on another diet.

The answer is to change your lifestyle.

Adopt a fitness lifestyle


How Do We Change Our Lifestyle?

We have to lose the ‘all or nothing’ mentality. We need to embrace simple, small changes that will add up to big improvements in  our health fitness over time.

These are your main avenues for change:

What You Eat

Let’s face it, some of the foods we eat aren’t the healthiest. Some are downright terrible (sugar-laden soda, for example). While others become bad for us due to the volume in which we consume them (the snacks you eat while watching TV, for example).

The solution to cleaning up your daily diet is NOT to go back on a ‘diet’. In fact, I never want you to go on a ‘diet’ again (Yes! you heard me right!). Instead I want you to make permanent healthy changes to your eating habits and stick with them 80% of the time.  You might not be able to sustain an 80% “clean eating” track record today, but you can work towards it with baby steps and get a little bit better every day.

Here are some practical examples:

Choose more veggies

✓  Choose salad over chips or fries
✓  Eat fresh produce with every meal (Yep.  Even breakfast)
✓  Limit desserts to one per week
✓  Cut out mindless snacking (get snack foods out of the house)
✓  Drink water, not soda (use sparkling water if plain water bores you)

At lifeSport Fitness, we don’t expect perfection from those we coach.  We all have slip ups, BUT — there’s no “diet” to go back on.  We just get back up on the “clean eating” wagon and move forward. We think the 80/20 lifestyle approach allows you to have some planned indulgences but still eat healthfully most of the time.

How You Move

Exercise is a huge component to a healthy lifestyle, and quite frankly many Silicon Valley residents are not getting enough of it. How often does an entire week go by without you ever lacing up your tennis shoes? Don’t disregard the importance and power of a good workout.

Your new healthy lifestyle means moving more or exercising on most days of the week. This may seem tough, but there are ways to sneak in extra movement in your day.

Here are simple ways to move more:

✓  Walk to talk with a friend at work instead of texting or emailing

✓  Do some squats or push ups on the kitchen counter while you have something in the microwave

✓  Play at the park with the kids

✓  Walk in the neighborhood after dinner

✓  Do some stretches every morning

While none of the above are meant as substitutes for a solid exercise routine, they are great ways to become more active and to improve your lifestyle.

Your lifestyle is the balance of all the choices that you make regarding your body. Swing the balance in your favor—make a majority of your choices health conscious.

Feeling stuck or overwhelmed? Need a little help figuring out how to implement the first few steps in changing your lifestyle?  Hit us up for a FREE 15 minute phone consultation.  We’d be happy to help get you pointed in the right direction with some lifestyle hacks you can try at home!

Fill out the form below and we’ll be in touch to get you scheduled for a 15-minute phone consultation.

 

 

Habits, Not Diets, for Lasting Weight Loss – Part 1 of 4


I’ve seen it time and again where a new client gets really excited about working on improving their nutrition, but they fall off the wagon after a few weeks (or days!). Intuitively, they understand what to do, but they have a hard time executing consistently.

I’ve been a personal trainer in San Jose for over 25 years. During that time, I’ve helped hundreds of people improve their nutrition for lasting weight loss. I’ve also seen some people really struggle to maintain or persevere with their weight loss plans.

Failure to execute consistently usually happens due to a few common themes:

1)    Changing too much too rapidly

2)   Failing to plan or think ahead

3)   Maintaining a non-supportive environment

4)   Being unaware of food triggers

If you’ve tried and failed at incorporating healthier eating into your life, I’m guessing you may have gotten hung up with one or more of these situations as well.

Walk with me here over the next few days while I offer you some solutions to each of these 4 habit change hold ups.

Let’s start with Habit Change Hang Up #1 — Changing too much too rapidly.

SOLUTION: Work on ONE change at a time

What I’ve seen from coaching hundreds of people over the years is that too much change all at once is just too stressful for most people. It’s that “diet mentality” where you decide that come next Monday, everything is going to change.  For most of us, all that change is unsustainable. Having to think about and focus on all those different things you need to change is downright stressful and fatiguing. 

Rather than change everything all at once, I coach my clients to work on one change at a time.  It’s not nearly as fatiguing.  Now, you’re not going to lose 20 pounds in two weeks doing it this way.  However, focusing on one change at a time, you’re likely to end up with a sustainable new lifestyle habit down the road instead of one more failed diet.

I work with my clients to choose one habit change that will likely net the best outcome for the client as well as choose the habit that the client is most likely to stick with.  Once we’ve made significant progress on making that habit part of their lifestyle, we move on to another habit to improve.

Here’s what I suggest you to do so that you don’t fall into the “too much too soon” trap: Choose one thing you can do to improve your overall nutrition starting tomorrow. Work on that and only that for the next month.  That one thing will be your only focus.  You don’t have to be perfect at it in order to be successful, but I want you to be mindful of it every day.  Focus on implementing that one habit daily. Be really, really consistent at that one thing.

This one habit change may be subtracting something from your lifestyle or adding something to your lifestyle.  An example of subtraction would be taking out your daily soda or decreasing the amount of fast food you eat.  An example of addition would be adding in additional water every day, or perhaps making sure to eat 3 more servings of vegetables every day.

Once it’s become easier to maintain that habit and you’re confident you can, challenge yourself to work on implementing another new habit.

Like I said earlier, this won’t net you massive weight loss in a week, but it might just net you permanent weight loss down the road because you will have changed the choices that you make on a daily basis.

If you’re struggling to change your nutrition, try my “one habit at a time” suggestion and let me know how it goes!

Stay tuned for Part 2 next week where I’ll go over the solution to Habit Change Hang Up #2 – Failing to plan or think ahead. I’ve got some ideas I think you’ll like!


Achieve Your Weight Loss Goals Through a Mindset Shift

Mindset Matters in Weight Loss

Could your mindset be hindering your weight loss goals?

Here we are at the end of the first month of the year.

How are you doing with those New Year’s Resolutions?

Every year, at the beginning of a new year, I hear about people wanting to lose weight, get in better shape, exercise more, etc.  As a San Jose personal trainer, I love to hear that people are making efforts to improve their health and fitness!

However, right about now, in the 4th or 5th week of the new year………I start to see things unravel for some well-intentioned people.

What happened to all those good intentions?

I think the reasons for people “falling off the fitness wagon” are as numerous as the people who have those good intentions :-).

Today I’d like to address one reason that I see a lot.

Mindset.

In her book, “Mindset” , author Dr. Carol Dweck describes the “growth mindset” and the “fixed mindset”.

Bottom line on mindsets according to Dr. Dweck’s research:  The view you adopt for yourself profoundly affects the way you lead your life.

Now– back to those resolutions and why they sometimes go by the wayside:

  • We tell ourselves change is too hard
  • We tell ourselves we’re a “Carb Junkie” and can’t stop
  • We tell ourselves change is too hard, that we’re not wired for this fitness stuff and we give in

I’m no expert at mindset psychology, but I’d venture to guess that some people who falter on their fitness goals do so because of a fixed mindset. The self-talk they throw at themselves and the language they use when trying to adopt a healthier lifestyle (example: “I can’t eat that”) hinders them from seeing the process of habit/lifestyle change as a process they’ll learn and grow from.

If you think your mindset or self-talk might be getting in your way with regard to your health and fitness goals, I made a short (6 minute) video for you with a couple of simple things you can try to shift from a fixed mindset to a growth mindset .

Watch it here:

Any kind of change or improvement we wish to make within ourselves takes learning new skills and perseverence.

Think of your goals of improved health and fitness more as a journey than a destination.

Enjoy and learn from the journey!

Consider set backs as times to learn  and improve.

If you’re here in San Jose, please reach out if I can help you on your journey!

 

Committed to your success,

 

Coach Becky

_____

Photo credit:

www.dialysistechniciansalary.org

Fast and Easy Weight Loss in San Jose?

Happy New Year!

So, here we are at a the beginning of a new year.  I hear LOTS of talk of weight loss, “getting in shape”, and dieting.

Yikes.

As a personal trainer here in San Jose, I kind of cringe inside when I hear people say they’re….

-starting a diet tomorrow

-totally eliminating 17 things from their diet and never eating them again

or

– that they’re going to go the gym every single day of the week.

 

Wow.  Those kinds of activities are hard to maintain over the long haul!

Will this lead to fast weight loss?  Yeah, perhaps.

Will it be easy?  Probably not.  Might be downright miserable.

Here’s my take:  You can do it fast.  Or you can do it easy.  You can’t have both at the same time.

I’d like to suggest a different approach because I don’t think that the “all or nothing” approach works for most people over the long haul.

And lasting results are what we truly want, right?

Sure, there will be temporary results from “dieting”.  But the “diet” stops at some point.  After the diet stops, well, eventually you’ll be back where you started.

Or worse off.

I suggest you push the “easy” button.  Now, what I’m about to suggest might not be easy every day, but it will be something that won’t turn your life upside down.  It will be something you can live with.  It will likely create lasting change for you.

I’ve recorded a short (less than 4 minutes!) video to give you my tips for how to approach your health and fitness goals for 2018.  Whether your goal is weight loss, to be in less pain, to improve your overall health or even to complete a road race (5k, 10k, etc.) , my suggestion will help you get there.

I suggest you take what we at lifeSport Fitness call the lifestyle approach.

Listen in here……

 

 

Let’s make 2018 your best year yet with regard to your health and fitness!

One. Step. At.A.Time  😉

Small Business Saturday: Local recommendations from lifeSport Fitness

Today is “Small Business Saturday“, so I’d like to veer off from our normal blog topics that deal with fitness, nutrition and health and give a little shout out to some small businesses here in San Jose.  It’s holiday time and all of us will be scurrying around in the next few weeks making lots of purchases for friends and family.

When you’re out and about looking for nifty gifts for people, why not give these small businesses a try?  You’ll find wonderful, unique items for the people on your list at these stores.  An added bonus:  NONE of these stores are located in a huge shopping mall—so you’ll avoid crowds and find a place to park :-). I also feel confident that you’ll receive excellent customer service at these establishments.

Here are my suggestions for “shopping small business” in San Jose:

Curvy Girl LingerieSexy Shoes image

1535 Meridian Ave., #30 San Jose,  CA  95125

Proprietress Chrystal Bougon recently opened this beautiful boutique catering to women size 12 and up.  She not only stocks a selection of beautiful, classy lingerie, but also carries sexy shoes and fun stuff that would be perfect for stocking stuffers.

Chrystal has a wonderful way of working with her customers (as well as the men who shop for them).  She’ll help you find just the right item for yourself or the person for whom you are purchasing a gift.

Athletic Performance

1115 Lincoln Ave., San Jose CA  95125

Colorful tenniesThis is our “go-to” place when we have a personal training or boot camp customers that needs help finding the right athletic shoe for them.  Brad and Lisa are two of the owners and they know their shoes!  They also figure out your feet really fast—so they’re able to get you into a shoe that is right for your foot and right for the activity you’ll be doing.  They aren’t just a shoe store though–they’ve got a nice selection of athletic wear as well.

Sonya Paz Art Gallery

195 E. Campbell Ave., Campbell CA  95008

Sonya is a local artist with a fabulous showroom right in Downtown Campbell.  She has everything from large original works of art to small items that make great stocking stuffers (think keychains, trivets, magnets) . She uses vibrant colors in her works of art that I just love.                                                Sonya Paz art gallery

Sonya will not be renewing her Campbell lease in 2013, so I suspect you can find a few items on sale there right now.  If you’re an animal lover, you should check out some of Sonya’s animal art. I love it! I have a print of one of her doggie paintings in my office.

It’s A Girl Thing

860 Willow Street, San Jose  CA  95125

Designer purse imageProprietress Cindy Sanders has filled a small space with loads of fine jewelery, handbags and some gently used consignment items (high-end shoes, jewelry and handbags).  One of her Yelp reviewers describes the shop as “The closet that Carrie from ‘Sex in the City’ would have”.   You’re sure to find some great items here–or maybe a stocking stuffer for yourself!

Small businesses depend on us to help them stay in business.  When you’re out and about this holiday season (and beyond!), consider giving your business to a local small business owner.

 

Image credits

Sexy shoes

Sonya Paz Gallery

Purse image

Success Seminar for Women

As a local San Jose personal trainer and boot camp instructor, most of my blog posts have to do with fitness, exercise and nutrition, but I wanted to divert from fitness today to let you know about an exciting seminar for women coming up in Campbell this weekend.

It may not have anything to do with fitness, but it has everything to do with empowering women to be the best that they can be in life and in business—and I’m all for that!  I’d classify this as “mental fitness”.

If you’re a woman who is looking to take your personal or business life to the next level with more clarity and conviction, please read on!

You are invited to:

Purpose, Peace and Purchasing Power

Saturday, December 4, 2010

10AM – 4PM  in Downtown Campbell

267 East Campbell Avenue

Suite 200 (above Starbucks)

This will be a one of a kind experience for women of all ages. You will come together to laugh, learn, grow and plan for your future success.

At this seminar, you will:

  • Identify your limiting beliefs
  • Identify your deepest desires
  • Learn to love yourself
  • Learn to forgive yourself and others
  • Create a vision for your future
  • Create a roadmap to your success

This seminar is taught by Patty Purpur of TimeOut Services.

A little over a month ago, I had the pleasure of meeting Patty who pioneered the “fitness bootcamp” concept in the Bay Area over 15 years ago.  Her company, TimeOut Services, not only created The Community BootCamp but also implemented and ran fitness programs for companies such as Yahoo, Google and  Cisco, to name a few.

Patty has since sold her business and one of her new focuses is helping women find their passion, get focused and live the life of their dreams.

If you’d like to learn how to create personal and/or business success from a businesswoman who built a multi-million dollar company, here is your chance!

Sometimes when we need to make a change or figure out a path to move forward, all we need is a little direction and a little push.

Whether you know what you want in life or are still seeking inspiration, Patty will give you the tools to create a life of passion and joy.

To register for this event, please go to:  www.thesoftsideofsuccess.com

For more information contact: patty@timeoutservices.com

Committed to your success,

Becky

Introducing Sarah King-Downtown San Jose Boot Camp Instructor

I’m excited to introduce one of the newest members of the lifeSport Fitness team, Sarah King.

Sarah is the Head Coach of our Downtown San Jose boot camp  location.   It’s a great location that is not only close to downtown, but very convenient for residents who live in the Rosegarden, Shasta/Hanchett Park or Naglee Park neighborhoods.  It’s also just 1 mile from the Santa Clara University campus.

Sarah King- Dowtown San Jose Boot Camp Instructor Sarah has been a fitness professional for 4 years and has experience in a variety of fitness class formats including Spinning, Body Flow, Body Pump, and Pilates. Sarah is also a certified personal trainer at a local health club in San Jose.

Sarah’s electric smile and warm personality will draw you to get yourself up and out to those very early morning workouts—-but don’t let that smile fool you—Sarah will firmly challenge you to push past what you think is possible to get results you’ve never seen before!

When she’s not teaching our early morning boot camp in San Jose or other fitness classes around town, Sarah can be found at West Valley College where she is working on her degree in Nutrition.

Fun facts about Sarah

Favorite personal workout:  I love working as many muscles at one time as I can.  So I’ll do lunges with a biceps curl or a triceps press, clean and presses, squat presses, and anything that is high intensity!

Favorite “healthy” food: 6-egg white omelette with loads of veggies, whole wheat toast and half an avocado. YUM!

Favorite “occasional indulgence” food: Fresh baked bread with butter

Hobbies: I love to be active.  I like to ride my bike (road and mountain), go hiking, running, and do triathlons. I also love to do NOTHING! I don’t have a lot of time to do that, but when I get the chance, I totally enjoy myself. I love to cook and try new recipes and EAT what I make! Trying new things definitely keeps life interesting!

Certifications:

YMCA Certified Strength and Conditioning Coach

Schwinn Indoor Cycling

YMCA and AFFA Group Exercise Instructor

In Progress: ACE Personal Trainer

If you’d like to experience a fun, fast paced workout on Wednesday and Friday mornings with Sarah King, please go to our San Jose boot camp webpage and sign up for a FREE trial week at her class!

Committed to your success,

Becky

Help Fight Leukemia at Ladies Nite Out!

In honor of my friend Skip who was recently diagnosed with leukemia, I’m taking a break from blogging about fitness, nutrition, and my boot camps in San Jose in order to tell you about a really fun event coming up in Campbell next week.

Julie Adiutori and Jen Jaciw, two women who belong to The Sassy Networking group to which I also belong, will soon be walking a 1/2 marathon with Team in Training to raise money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Team in Training is a wonderful organization that raises money to fund research to find a cure for leukemia and lymphoma.

Julie and Jen have put together an amazing fundraiser for their walk and I wanted to make sure to give you all the details.

Next week YOU can have a boatload of fun, AND help raise money for a worthy cause, and we’ll all be  doing something positive for folks who are battling leukemia or lymphoma right now or may battle them in the future.

Please, please tweet about this event, post it to your Facebook page, tell your friends, and, of course, make an effort to attend.

Here are the details!

Hot August Ladies Night!

Wednesday, August 18th, 2010

5:30-8:30 pm

Sonya Paz Fine Art Gallery

195 E. Campbell Ave, Campbell 95008

What’s happening at the event:

Sexy Boudoir Dance lesson

Wine Tasting

Entertainment by comedian and cancer survivor Leslie Lang

TONS of raffle prizes (yep, I’m giving away two weeks FREE at one of my boot camps!)

Suggested entry fee for all this FUN:  $5.00 —-but I KNOW you’ll be more generous 🙂

If you can’t attend, but would like to make a tax deductible donation to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, please click on the link below

http://pages.teamintraining.org/sj/rnrsjha10/jadiutori

If you are healthy, be thankful.  If you are in a position to help a cause that is looking for a cure for leukemia, please give what you can.

If you are a prayerful or spiritual person, please say a prayer for my friend Skip.  He’s an amazing person and businessman, a loving father of two sons, and a wonderful husband to one of my lifelong best friends.  He deserves a long and productive life.  Your donation will help find the cure.

Yours in health,

Becky

A Fat Blasting Workout for San Jose and Los Gatos boot campers!

This is a special blog post for customers in my fitness boot camps in San Jose and Los Gatos (as well as my private training clients). I’m always trying to encourage you to get a good workout in over the weekend.  So,  I decided to not only create a “no equipment needed” workout for you, but to also give you a little bribe to get it done!

You’ll have to watch the video to learn what the “prize” is for getting your workout in.

As usual, my furry sidekick, Noah, makes a cameo appearance (several, actually) in the video.  It’s amazing how he always manages to get right in line with the camera when it’s rolling.  In fact, this time, I think he’s trying to show you some version of our “core rotation” exercise we often do with exercise bands.  Maybe we could call it a “canine core rotation”?

So, if you’re game to get a quick, cardio interval workout in over the weekend, I’ve created one for you.  You don’t need to think about what to do.  I’ve thought it out for you.

Below the video, you’ll find a written version of the  workout in the event you want to print it out for reference.

Here’s the workout in case you want a written version:

Jumping jacks  (45-90 seconds)

Push ups (15 repetitions)

Jump rope (45-90 seconds)

Back extensions (15 repetitions)

Jump squats  (45-90 seconds)

Dips  (45-90 seconds)

Please watch the video for instructions on how to increase or decrease the intensity of each exercise.

I’m looking forward to your comments :-).

Committed to your success,

Becky