Lose some more body fat!

Get excited–I’m ahead of schedule with my boot camp homework this week :-).

 I have another another high intensity interval workout for you.  You’ll definitely burn some serious calories with this one.  You can  scale it to your current fitness level. Newbies, take it easy and go for one round or two.  Folks who have been exercising for awhile–crank out 3 or 4 rounds. As always, please do a 3-5 minute warm up before you start any of my high intensity workouts.

This is homework for Almaden bootcamp participants, participants in both Campbell boot camps AND my in-home personal training clients.  I should have customers in Campbell, San Jose, Cupertino, Los Altos and Saratoga doing my workouts this week without me there (gee, I feel so powerful).  
 It’s a little scary how I sometimes get rather excited about workouts, isn’t it?  The reason:  combined with supportive nutrition, they make you look better and feel better.  When you look and feel better, life is just a little more fun (and you’re a nicer person to be around).
I had SO much fun in the last few weeks measuring body fat on leaner people–I want the next round of tests to show more results.  So without further ado, here is your workout:
After a 3-5 minute warm-up, do each of the following exercises for 45 seconds straight (or repetitions to fatigue), and then take 15 seconds to rest and transition to the next exercise.  Complete as many rounds as you wish.  As always, stretch afterwards.
Here you go:
Lunges in place
“The plank”
Jump squat (or a regular body weight squat for non-jumpers)
Push ups 
Jumping jacks
Horizontal row w/exercise tubing (see Perform Better catalog if you need a band)
Feel free to post a comment after you’ve done the workout (just trying to instill a little accountability!).  
Hey, we could have a contest to see which boot camp scores the most “homework completed” posts!
In-home personal training clients, I’ll be waiting to hear your homework report at our next workout!
Have a great week!
Committed to your success,

Honey, I’ve shrunk the boot campers!

Yes! lifeSport bootcampers are shrinking! I’ve done body fat tests on a handful of boot campers and body fat numbers are decreasing! I’ve been measuring some 3% and 4% body fat losses. Yeah! Scale weight hasn’t necessarily changed in everyone. Just goes to show ya that muscle weighs more than fat :-).

Now, I can’t take all the credit, because I do believe that solid nutrition must back up a good workout plan, and since we only meet twice a week, I needle everybody to work out another 2-3 times per week. Apparently some of you are listening. Well done!

Now, for those of you who are still struggling to strip off some body fat, I’ve got homework for you. Not the homework you’re used to, though. This homework involves math. Sorry. If you want to lose body fat, you need to get to boot camp, do your workout homework AND eat fewer calories than you expend. It’s also important to spread your calories out throughout your waking hours (roughly three small meals and 2-3 snacks per day).

So, your homework is to figure out approximately how many calories you should be eating to lose weight, and then log your calories for a few days. There are a lot of fancy calculations to figure out your metabolic rate. I’m going to give you a very simplified one. It’s not exact, but it will be a decent ballpark. Your metabolic rate can be influenced by genetics, gender, hormones, and muscle mass. We’re all a little different.

If you’re trying to lose weight, multiply your current weight by the following numbers based on your activity level:

Sedentary: Body weight x 10-12
Moderaly active: Body weight x 12-14
Extremely active: Body weight x 14-16

For example, a 140 lb. sedentary woman would multiply her weight by 10 and again by 12 and get this calorie range: 1,400-1,680. This is a ballpark calorie range for this person to lose weight.

The next step is to write down everything you eat. I suggest you log on to FitDay.com (see sidebar for link), create a free account, and let the FitDay software do all the calculations for you. You’ll learn how many grams of carbs, protein, and fat you’re eating. Cool stuff. By doing this, you’ll see if you’re close to the range in which you should be for weight loss.

Now, you probably thought I’d stop at the math homework. Nope.

Here’s something to work on over the weekend:

Take a break from interval training this weekend and do a steady state cardio workout (yes, I said it, “steady state”–hey, you have to mix it up once in awhile!). Whether you choose a run, a power walk, or a cardio routine on a machine at the gym, get out there and get to a “7” on our scale of 1-10 and stay there for a solid 45 minutes.

Have a great weekend,


How many calories ARE you eating, anyway??

You might be surprised.  Research has shown that most people underestimate their food consumption by about 30%.  I’d have to say I see lots of “portion distortion” and “food amnesia” in some of the logs of my clients when I press them for details.  I don’t think people are deliberately lying. Sometimes it’s just hard to  remember everything, let alone put calorie values to everything.  

Enter FitDay!  It’s a free program that lets you log your food and exercise, set goals, and log body measurements.  I’ve been playing around with it for several weeks and think it’s a great resource.  And, did I mention it’s FREE!? They also offer some very inexpensive PC software if you’d rather have the program at  your disposal on your computer (FitDay Software).

For me, the best part about it was getting a sense of the balance of fats, carbs and proteins I was eating.  I’m pretty aware of my calorie intake most days, but not always sure of the balance of nutrients.  FitDay really helped me out here. For instance, a couple of days my fat intake looked kind of high. The FitDay program breaks  fat intake into different types of fats and I was able to see that the greatest percentage of my fat intake came from monounsaturated fats (good fats) like olive oil and almonds.
I also liked how I could take a few measurements (e.g., weight, waist circumference) and set goals as to what I’d like to achieve with these numbers and by what date.  The software keeps track of where you are as long as you keep entering in your updates.  Nice to have some accountability as well as a place to track progress!  
The only negative I found was that some of the estimations for the calorie cost of exercise were rather low in my opinion.  This will affect your energy balance for the day in that it will underestimate how many calories you expended in a given day. However, having my nutrition profile displayed for me with everything down to how much fiber and potassium I’m getting made the calorie stuff a minor issue for me.
FitDay is a great resource for anyone wishing to put their current eating plan to the test and see how it stacks up nutrition-wise.  Give it a try!
Yours in health,

About those New Year’s resolutions….

Remember way back in January when you vowed that this year would be different?  You’d eat better, exercise more, get a better job or a raise, maybe find your soul mate, perhaps start a new business?  How’s it going?  If  you’re finding that your resolutions have yet to materialize, I have great news!  Check out this website:

This is an amazing opportunity to re-ignite those resolutions and really make them happen between now and the end of the year.  Two fitness colleagues of mine, Jeremy and Alissa Nelms, have brought together over 20 experts in the fields of fitness, nutrition, finance and relationships.  Over the next week, Jeremy will be interviewing these experts on how you can successfully lose weight, improve your nutrition, develop deeper and more meaningful relationships and even how to make more money every month!
Jeremy and Alissa really outdid themselves in getting some very top talent in each category. I’ve already signed up to hear the calls, because they’ll be interviewing one of the contributors to the best selling book, “The Secret”,  and two of my favorite Registered Dieticians, Jayson Hunter and Dr. John Berardi. I know those interviews will be jam packed with usable and motivating information.  
The best part is:  all these audio interviews are FREE!  And, you can listen to them at your convenience.  Pick and choose which interviews suit your Mid Year Resolution needs and then watch your email for notification when the experts you want to listen to will be broadcast.
This is an amazing opportunity I hope you won’t pass up!  This could be just what you need to re-focus and re-energize yourself to really get what you want this year, whether it be permanent weight loss, better relationships or more income each and every month.
Log on now to reserve your FREE spot for this one of a kind event!
Yours in health,

Have your checked your waist/hip ratio lately?

You should. It can tell you a lot about your risk for cardiovascular disease. Many of us are slaves to the scale. Be a slave to your measuring tape instead. It holds more valuable information for you. Now, full disclosure: I own a scale, and yes, I hop on it from time to time. So I get why you weight yourself, I really do. Instant feedback. Problem is, sometimes that feedback doesn’t tell you the whole story. Waist/hip ratio (WHR) adds another dimension to the story.

I’m challenging you to pull out your measuring tape and check your waist and hips. I ask all my Bay Area personal training clients and bootcampers to do this when they start with me. Here’s why:

There is a direct correlation between your waist/hip ratio and your risk for Type 2 diabetes, insulin resistance, cardiovascular disease and hypertension. It’s been shown in many research studies that “gut” fat is much more dangerous to our health and longevity than stored fat in the thighs or butt. If you’re an “apple” with narrow hips and a bigger belly, you’re at much greater risk for cardiovascular disease than a person who is a “pear” with heavier hips and thighs.
Where our stored fat goes on our body is largely genetic. How much fat is there is largely up to YOU.

So, here’s what you do: Grab a flexible measuring tape and measure your waist at it’s smallest part (or about 1/2 inch above your navel if you can’t find a smallest part!), and your hips at their widest part. Divide the waist measurement by the hip measurement.

Women’s WHR should be .75 or below (some references will say .80). Men’s should be .90 or below.

You can’t change your genetic predisposition as to where your body deposits excess calories (read: body fat), but you CAN change your girth measurements. If you’re an “apple”, you’ll always be an apple, but if your WHR is too high for your gender, do something about it to become a smaller apple. You’ll decrease your risk for a heart attack–at you’re gonna look better, too.

Research shows that exercise (especially strength training) can help mobilize fat from the abdominal region. So get out there and start lifting some weights and compliment it with high intensity interval training.

Yours in fitness,