A Simple Strategy To Reach Your Health Goals

A Simple Strategy To Reach Your Health Goals

At Revolution Training in Stamford, CT, we focus on helping you reach your health goals. That’s our total focus. There are no right or wrong goals, but there are goals that are unrealistic. If you’re five foot two and wanted to be six foot six, that’s unrealistic. In fact, it’s more of a wish than a goal. Barring some miracle or new type of surgery, it isn’t going to happen. You won’t lose 100 pounds in a month under normal circumstances, either. So the first step is to define your goal and make sure it’s realistic. Unrealistic goals set you up for disappointment.

Break your goal down into smaller steps.

If you’re completely out of shape and want to enter a 5K, starting by running that 5K immediately will definitely be a challenge that you probably won’t achieve or achieve without consequences. It’s better to start smaller and work your way toward that goal, perhaps starting with running just a half mile or less and then building. The same is true of weight loss. You can’t lose 50 pounds overnight. Break that goal down to smaller steps. Create a goal of losing one or two pounds a week for X number of weeks is the better way to go.

Create a plan, modify it if you must, but keep your goal in mind and never give up.

Success comes to the person who continues to try. Thomas Edison was once asked about the 10,000 failures before he found an incandescent bulb that worked said, “I have not failed 10,000 times. I have not failed once. I have succeeded in proving that those 10,000 ways will not work.” He failed, yet continued to try because he knew there was a way. Our trainers will help you create a plan. We monitor and record your progress, so we know if you’re making progress or whether we need to modify it. You can do the same for yourself, always keeping your goals in front of you. Never give up.

Change one thing at a time, even if that change seems minimal.

If you’re starting an exercise program and program of healthy eating, don’t try to quit smoking, quit drinking, get new friends, build a house and etc. Make one change at a time. If those changes complement each other, then two. For instance, if you’re quitting smoking and find that working out helps, workout, but don’t make a goal for your workout other than to help you quit smoking. After smoking is no longer a habit, which may take quite a long time, create those fitness goals.

  • You don’t have to change everything at once for a specific goal. Is weight loss your goal but you have an incredibly bad diet? Change one thing first, the hardest thing. You might give up sugar first for several weeks before you add another food to eliminate.
  • Don’t make achieving your goal feel like a punishment. Sure you could live a spartan life and accomplish that goal quicker, but is quicker better if you hate every minute? It’s not a sprint, it’s a marathon. Be kind to yourself, but still take steps to forge ahead.
  • Find fun things to help you achieve your goals. It’s one reason people trying to shed weight find boxing really helps. It is more than just the traditional workout, it’s fun, so they stick with it longer.
  • If you fall off the wagon to your goal, get back up and continue. Like with boxing, sometimes the goal sends you to the mat and you have to learn to get up and continue. One misstep does not define you.

For more information, contact us today at Revolution Training CT

How To Build Muscle Naturally

How To Build Muscle Naturally

There’s no reason for special supplements or dangerous substances. You can build muscle naturally with a healthy diet and the right type of exercises. While the right type of exercise is important, a great looking muscular body starts in the kitchen. What you eat makes a huge difference. You need adequate protein in your diet and the right amount of calories to get the look that’s lean and muscular. The right types of exercises, such as compound strength building ones, are also important.

Let’s start with diet.

Muscle growth requires protein. It’s the building block for muscles. Just like you need all the materials to build a house, you need all the materials to build muscles. The basics for muscle building include protein to repair and build new muscle tissue. It takes one gram of protein for every pound you weigh if you’re working on building muscle tissue. Healthy fat in your diet is also important. It helps metabolize fat soluble vitamins A, D, E and K, while also aiding in maintaining your testosterone levels. Testosterone is necessary for building muscle mass.

Include strength building in your workout.

You need strength building to build muscles and you need it at least two to three times a week, based on recovery time necessary. Doing it more than three times a week doesn’t give your muscles a rest so they can recover. That actually can stunt your potential growth. If the muscle doesn’t have time to repair, you end up weaker and can actually make you sick.

Make your workout work for you.

One reason boxing is such a good muscle builder is that it’s a collection of compound exercises all rolled into one magnificent sport. Compound sports workout several different muscle groups, tendons and joints at the same time. Besides boxing moves, overhead presses, barbell rows, squats and deadlifts are examples of traditional exercises that are compound ones. If you want to boost how much you lift, use barbells. You can lift more weight with barbells than other types of gym equipment. Avoid those strength building machines and focus on free weights or body weight workouts.

  • Focus heavily on form when lifting and building muscles. One misstep or improper movement could cause injury that could keep you on the sidelines for months. Go for balanced growth.
  • Expect to see changes in three to six months. If you need to lose weight, it may take longer to see those changes. You could have the best six pack but if it’s hidden by a layer of fat, nobody will know.
  • Be consistent. Sticking with a program of healthy eating and the right type of workout can help you reach your goal, but only if you stick with the plan of action created to do that.
  • Don’t omit flexibility and endurance training. Working on building muscles without focusing on range of motion, too, is asking for injury. Consider sports like boxing or yoga to help with endurance and flexibility.

For more information, contact us today at Revolution Training CT

Is Sugar Really An Evil Villain In Our Diet?

Is Sugar Really An Evil Villain In Our Diet?

Eating healthy should be a top priority, but too often we’re tempted with food that doesn’t fit that description. What is the true villain of a healthy diet? You can’t just blame it on one type of food, there’s plenty of blame to go around, but indications are that sugar, is a top contender for that title. Sugar, whether it comes from beets, sugar cane, corn—as in high fructose corn syrup—or from a man-made alternative containing nothing from plants, seems to be in everything. It’s in that high priced pastry and those candy bars you have tempting you at the checkout counter.

Sugar may be the culprit in many cases of heart disease.

It’s common knowledge that fat is horrible for your health…but common knowledge isn’t always true. While a diet high in fat certainly isn’t healthy and trans fat is even worse, you need healthy fat and the real culprit it seems is sugar. Why does everyone blame fat then? We’ve been sold a misinformation campaign that was paid for by the sugar industry. It came from a flawed study by Harvard scientists. This mega study took multiple research papers and conveniently omitted any that blamed sugar, but prominently touted those that blamed fat. You can understand how that happens. Their paycheck depended on the deception. Since that study back in the 1950s, it’s been considered common knowledge.

If you consume a lot of sugar, you’ll set yourself up for insulin resistance, prediabetes and diabetes.

What is insulin resistance? It’s the first step toward diabetes. It comes from the body being overwhelmed by sugar over a long period of time and the cells not responding to insulin to open and use the glucose in the bloodstream. The body then makes more insulin to ensure the sugar gets to the cells and it becomes a vicious cycle, resulting in too much insulin and eventually diabetes. That can cause heart disease, visceral fat—abdominal fat—difficulty thinking and high blood pressure, too. Reversing the problem is possible with a healthy diet and exercise, unless it goes too far.

Watch your waistline grow when you eat a high sugar diet.

Sugar is addictive. It triggers the opioid centers of the brain and makes you want to eat more, rather than leaving you feeling full. It actually makes you feel hungrier in some cases. HFCS—high fructose corn syrup–a manufactured product that combines corn starch with enzymes to convert some of the sugar to fructose, is one of the biggest offenders. It’s a combination of glucose and fructose that interferes with the hormones and creates leptin resistance. Leptin is the hormone that makes you feel full, so no matter how much you eat, you’ll still want more. It’s a cheap form of sugar, so is in everything from junk food to ketchup and may be the leading cause in the rise of obesity.

  • Chronic inflammation can lead to serious conditions, like cancer. Sugar increases inflammation, so it is one of the culprits in a host of diseases.
  • If you’re trying to lower your blood pressure by eliminating salt from your diet, you’ll be slightly successful, but if you eliminate both sugar and salt, you’ll see more progress and watch your blood pressure drop faster.
  • If you’re trying to cut out sugar, check labels. It is disguised by many different names. Sometimes manufacturers use several types of sweeteners so no one of them appear at the top of the ingredient list.
  • Sugar negatively affects your immune system, accelerates aging, causes tooth decay, depression, gum disease, increases stress and effects cognitive thinking, particularly in children.

For more information, contact us today at Revolution Training

How To Meal Prep In Just An Hour

How To Meal Prep In Just An Hour

I have clients at Revolution Training in Stamford, CT, that say meal planning and preparation is just too hard and takes too long. Besides working out, eating healthy should be a top priority. It’s hard to eat healthy if you’re trying to fix a meal after a long day at work and way too easy to stop for carryout or grab an unhealthy snack. But if you had a meal waiting for you that you just needed to heat and serve, that would help you stick with the program. Creating meals for a week doesn’t have to take a long time or be hard, you can do meal prep in just an hour.

Planning ahead can cut the amount of time in half.

It takes more than just planning the meal ahead, it takes planning how you’re going to prepare it. Luckily, it’s mostly a no-brainer. If you have something that needs to start immediately, do it. Use time that you’re waiting for the oven to preheat or water to boil to do other tasks, like chopping and dicing. If you’re roasting, boiling or baking chicken or other meat, do a lot extra for later to save time down the road and freeze it for later meals. Make sure you first freeze it on trays, so the meat/poultry doesn’t stick together. Then all you have to do is take it out of the freezer the night before and put it in the refrigerator to thaw.

You can cook several stove top items at once.

You don’t have to have a rice maker, but if you do, it’s a plus. As long as you have four burners on your stove, you can cook several items at once, whether it’s boiled chicken, eggs, brown rice, quinoa or bulger. Those are often the basis for power bowls or side dishes for the week. While it will take longer to roast a chicken, don’t forget to roast vegetables at the same time.

Use the same pans several times.

Are you sautéing onions? No need for another pan for the kale, just wipe it out and congratulate yourself on the extra flavor. That keeps clean up at a minimum. You can use the main selection, like a spicy chicken, in several ways. Shred it for a salad, as a main dish or in a bowl. If you’re making an all in one dish, make a lot and freeze it for another or several nights in the coming month.

  • Don’t feel like you have to make everything from garden fresh. Frozen vegetables are just as nutritious as fresh, easier to make and often less expensive.
  • One pot meals can be cooked while you do other things in a slow cooker or speed up the process in an Instapot.
  • Cutting up fresh vegetables and fruit for the week for meals and snacks takes time and can be done while the food is cooking on stove top, crockpot, Instapot or in the oven.
  • If you’re boiling meat for a meal, don’t forget to save the broth for soup. You can even use any of the vegetables leftover from the previous week, saving money in the process.

For more information, contact us today at Revolution Training

How To Stay Motivated As A Beginner

How To Stay Motivated As A Beginner

I see people come into Revolution Training in Stamford, CT, all pumped up and ready to start their new fitness lifestyle. I know that I have to help them stay motivated as a beginner. It’s one of the toughest times during anyone’s fitness renewal and the reason many people quit within weeks of their first workout. What makes it so hard? There are several reasons. If you’re just starting a workout program, let’s address each and ways to handle each.

When you first workout, it hurts.

You’re going to feel a few sore muscles when you first start a workout program. You haven’t used these muscles as often or in the ways you do when you’re exercising. You can help lessen the pain by ensuring you warm up properly and do cool down exercises at the end of each workout. Don’t forget to stay hydrated, either. Your workout program should be tough, but still safely within your abilities. That’s where a trainer helps. If you’re working out on your own, take it slow and focus on form. Improper form can cause painful injury. Finally, get rest between workouts, especially if you’re doing strength training. Your body needs time to mend.

It takes a while to see results.

I’ve seen people workout once and then run to the scales to see if they lost weight or take a tape measure to their waist. Working out won’t get results on the first session that you’ll be able to see. You probably will feel the difference in a few weeks. Your workout will feel like it’s going faster, since your muscles have adapted and it became easier for you to do. Don’t expect to see physical changes for two to four weeks. The only exception to that is weight loss. If you’re following a healthy diet and working out, you could potentially see a difference on the scales within a week.

People put fitness to the side when their life gets busy.

Some people start a workout program because they had time, but life has a way of changing quickly and the time they had previously no longer exists. You’ll be surprised to find that it doesn’t have to work that way. In most cases, if you schedule your workout and make it an important appointment on your calendar, you’ll find a way to fit it and everything else into your schedule. It might involve working out in the morning, before your work day starts or doing your workout over the lunch hour.

  • Set goals. This is one of the most important ways to stay on track. If you’re working with a trainer, it’s automatic, but for those working on their own, it’s also imperative. Once you set a goal, break it down to smaller ones you can achieve in a week or two.
  • Always schedule your workout for the same time. It follows the same advice as putting it on your schedule. When you get into the habit of working out in the morning, you’ll actually miss it if you don’t do it that day.
  • Don’t over train. One of the biggest mistakes I see new people make is working out for hours initially. You won’t do yourself any favors if you don’t give your body time to rest. You need a recovery phase to get results.
  • Never compare your progress to another person’s progress. Each person is different and starts at a different place. Men build muscle faster than women, but women have more endurance.

For more information, contact us today at Revolution Training

Are Diet And Exercise Equally Important?

Are Diet And Exercise Equally Important?

If you’re trying to lose weight by simply adding exercise, you might not get the results you want. The same is true for building muscle and increasing your endurance. To be your healthiest and lose weight, you need a program that addresses both diet and exercise. Both of these affect how quickly you’ll get fit and whether you’ll shed those pounds. Which one is more important? There’s a debate about that, but most personal trainers will tell you that you can’t out-exercise a bad diet.

You may be burning calories in the gym, but your actions when you’re not in the gym make a difference.

If you give your workout your all and burn tons of calories, it may not be enough to offset a stop at a burger quickie for a large burger, fries and shake. Some people think that they can eat all they want and gorge themselves on junk food when they start working out. They gain weight and it’s not from bulking up but from adding fat. It’s not the workout that caused that, it’s the excess calories. In order to lose one pound, you have to consume 3500 fewer calories than you burn. Working out can burn calories faster, but what you eat makes the real difference in whether you gain weight, lose weight or see no difference.

When you’re building muscle tissue, you need the raw materials.

No matter what workout you’re doing or how long you spend at the gym, if you’re trying to build muscle tissue, but don’t supply your body with the protein and other nutrients you need, your success will be limited. While the type of workout does matter, with strength training rather than cardio being the focus, you also need help from the dinner table to be successful.

Your diet is the top priority in weight loss, but working out is a close second.

It’s simple, as noted previously, you need to eat 3500 fewer calories than you burn to lose weight. That means moving more and eating less. While eating a healthy diet becomes a top priority, exercise needs to be high on your list. Exercise is important and not just for burning calories while you’re doing it. Exercise builds muscle tissue. Muscle tissue requires more calories than fat tissue does, so the more you have, the more calories you’ll burn 24/7.

  • When you workout, all types of exercises are important, but if you’re trying to lose weight, strength training is your friend. Studies show that running burns tons of calories, but it takes lose calories from both fat and muscle tissue. The less muscle tissue you have, the harder it is to lose weight.
  • A healthy diet isn’t dieting. It’s making smarter choices when it comes to the food you eat. You can boost your nutrition and reduce your calories by focusing on whole foods and eliminating added sugar.
  • Replacing processed food with more vegetables, fruit and lean protein helps with all types of fitness goals. It will be tough at first, but the longer you do it, the more you’ll realize how good whole food tastes.
  • When you eat is also important. Try to eat a meal high in protein and carbs, but low in fat a few hours before you workout to give you energy and improve your performance. Eat a source of protein for your muscle repair and carbs, like a banana, for glycogen stores within 15 to 30 minutes after a workout.

For more information, contact us today at Revolution Training

Is It Better To Workout In The Morning Or At Night

Is It Better To Workout In The Morning Or At Night

If you come to the gym at Stamford, CT, early in the morning, you probably think that a morning workout is best. However, I get a lot of people that love to burn off stress after a long day at work, so they came later. Which is the best time? Whether you workout in the morning or at night, the most important fact is that you do it consistently and schedule it for a time that allows you to do that. If you’re a night owl who barely makes it up for work, getting up even earlier is not an incentive to stick with a workout schedule. The biggest factor is you, your body’s rhythms and schedule.

Working out in the morning kick starts your system.

You’re well rested in the morning and your body is just waking up and getting processes started. If you tend to be an early morning riser, morning is probably the best time. It eliminates the possibility that other demands will deter you and lets you focus on you before the demands of your job or your family take over. You’ll boost your energy level throughout the day.

A morning workout helps fat burning.

Start your workout before breakfast and you’ll burn fat more efficiently. It gives your metabolism a jumpstart and keeps it at high throughout the day. If you workout in the evening, it also boosts your metabolism, but it isn’t long before you go to bed, lowering it. Working out too late at night can also affect your quality of sleep by increasing your energy level, making it harder to sleep at night.

Your body functions at its best later in the day.

You’re warmed up and ready to go in the evening with muscles and joints as much as 20% more flexible. That lowers the potential of injury. In most cases, your metabolism is higher and lungs are functioning better, giving you more endurance and strength. Most of all, working out in the evening can clear away all the stress of the day and make sleep both easier and welcoming.

  • When you workout in the morning, you haven’t had time to limber your joints, so they’re stiffer. It’s important to do warm up exercises no matter when you workout, but particularly important in the morning.
  • If you workout immediately upon rising, you’re running on empty, which can affect your performance. Grab a quick carb and protein combo and make sure you’re well hydrated before you start.
  • For those that aren’t night owls, you’ll be tired at the end of the day and too willing to find an excuse to call off the workout.
  • The best time to workout is when you feel the most motivated. If you hate facing the morning and find your energy level continues to rise after lunch, a workout later in the day is meant for you. For others, a morning workout may fit their lifestyle and preference.

For more information, contact us today at Revolution Training

Tips To Slim And Tone Arms

Tips To Slim And Tone Arms

Just doing bicep curls with weights isn’t enough to slim and tone arms, although they help. You’re better off using compound exercises, ones that work more muscles and joints at one time. One example is an overhead press. Since nobody has all the time in the world, you want to do the exercise routines that get the most benefit for the time you spent doing them.

If you have dumbbells, they’ll come in handy for shaping your arms.

Having weights can help you get your arms slim and trim quicker. It makes the moves tougher. However, with a little moderation of the exercise, resistance bands will work, too. You can also use plastic detergent bottles and fill them to a weight that works for you. Stand with your feet hip-width apart, lean forward, bending at the hip with your chest parallel to the floor and arms straight down to the ground. Pull the weights toward you as you squeeze your shoulder blades. Lower the weights back down and repeat.

No equipment necessary push-ups and planks can tone your arms and other parts of your body.

Doing a plank not only helps build your triceps, it also builds your shoulders and core muscles, too. Plank position starts by laying on your stomach and then raising up on your toes and forearms with the elbows right under the shoulders. Just straighten both arms and hold tight, then slowly lower, bending at the elbow turning it into a push up.

One of the best exercises for upper arms involves dumbbells.

Side raises are great for toning arms. Have a dumbbell in each hand, with your arms by your sides and palms facing toward your body. Stand with knees bent slightly. Lift your arms straight up, keeping your elbows slightly bent. Stop when your arms are level with your shoulders, then lower your arms. An overhead extension will also help tone arms quickly. Grip the dumbbell in both hands as your feet are aligned with your hips. Grasp the dumbbell in both hands and raise it over your head, holding it vertically. Lower it behind your back until your elbows point upward, then straighten and repeat.

  • If you want to focus on your forearm and biceps, doing bicep curls work well. Have the weight in your hand with palm facing upward and bend your arm at the elbow, lifting the weight toward your shoulder.
  • If you have access to a rowing machine, or even a boat with oars, rowing is an excellent way to tone your arms.
  • If you aren’t ready for the gym and want to start at home, try a wall push up. Just lean against the wall and straighten your arms then slowly lower yourself toward the wall again.
  • If you want to tone your arms, there’s nothing better than our gym, where you can learn to box. Boxing is one of the best ways to tone your arms. You’ll not only lose weight and tone your body, you’ll have fun in the process.

For more information, contact us today at Revolution Training

Does Counting Calories Really Work

Does Counting Calories Really Work

Calorie counting has been the benchmark for most weight loss programs for ages. But if you think that counting calories is the only way to shed pounds, you have a lot to learn. There are other ways to track your food intake besides just calories. For instance, counting carbs has become popular more recently. There are benefits to both, but also drawbacks.

A big benefit to counting calories is that you track your food intake.

Tracking your food and keeping a food diary is actually one of the benefits and drawbacks of calorie counting. Studies show that people who counted calories lost an average of seven pounds more than those who didn’t. The process of counting those calories makes the dieter more aware of every bite they take, which often makes that person eat less. On the negative side, counting calories is a hassle, so it can cause people to quit their diet because of that.

While you pay closer attention to the calories in your food, you often neglect food value.

If you’re busy counting calories, you don’t always get the most well rounded meals. For instance, if you’re dedicated to staying under 1500 calories, but have a hankering for a Big Mac, fries and shake, you might follow your craving. That would mean you’d eat 1300 calories in just one meal and leave only 200 calories for the rest of the day with very few calories to provide all the nutrients you require for the day. How healthy you eat is as important as the number of calories it has.

The best way to shed pounds isn’t calorie counting or dieting, but eating healthy.

Healthy eating means never having to diet again. The problem with any diet, whether it’s calorie counting, carb counting or some internet magical diet that’s supposed shed pounds fast, is that a diet always ends. That’s when you go back to unhealthy eating habits that put on weight in the first place. Instead of dieting, learning how to make smarter choices when it comes to food means never having to count calories or carbs again. It’s a lifestyle change that keeps weight off permanently.

  • Calorie counting can suck the joy out of eating. You should enjoy your food. Choosing healthier options makes food an adventure in flavor again.
  • Calorie counting isn’t precise, unless you carry a scale, measuring cup and measuring spoons with you continuously. If you find that measuring each morsel is a real drag, you’re not alone.
  • Counting calories makes going to a restaurant more difficult, since the ingredients and calorie count aren’t listed on the menu.
  • At Revolution Training, we can help you get on the path of a healthy lifestyle. You’ll look and feel great, but best of all, you’ll never have to worry about counting calories again.

For more information, contact us today at Revolution Training

What Is Your BMI---Body Mass Index

What Is Your BMI—Body Mass Index

We track the progress of clients in many ways at Revolution Training in Stamford, CT. BMI—body mass index—is one of those ways. Exactly what is BMI? It’s another way to measure the person’s overall fitness and provides more information on how much they should weigh. It uses the individual’s height and weight to make that determination and provide a numerical value.

Using height as part of the equation makes a difference and so does the gender of the individual.

If a person weighs 140-pounds, how tall that person is makes a huge difference whether the individual is overweight, perfect or underweight. You can calculate the BMI in both metric measures and imperial (pounds and inches). The easiest way is to use a chart. The formula used in America is the amount you weigh times 703, then divide that by height in inches squared. The number you arrive at indicates whether you’re underweight, at your right weight, overweight or obese.

What are the various classifications.

The number you arrive at when you calculate your BMI is a universal measure. People with a BMI of 18.5 or lower are considered underweight, whether they weigh 90-pounds or 130-pounds, since height is already part of the calculation. A BMI between 18.5 and 24.9 are considered healthy. Those who have a BMI of 25.0 to 29.9 are overweight and obesity is anyone with a BMI of 30.0 and above.

BMI is used to identify health issues, but it has flaws.

Normally, the higher your BMI, the more potential you have for high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, gallstones, certain types of cancer and breathing problems. That makes it a good way for doctors to use it as a quick way to identify overweight and underweight individuals. There are factors that aren’t considered, however. Bone structure plays a role, age, sex and how fat is distributed. If a person is muscular, they can be perfectly healthy and fit, but have a high BMI, which indicates being overweight or obese. That’s because muscle mass weighs more than fat per cubic inch.

  • We continue to use BMI because it’s a quick technique that identifies people who have weight problems 80 percent of the time. Physicians understand it and know its a good place to start.
  • BMI is also used because it’s easy compared to other alternatives. MRI scans or underwater weighing to calculate body volume, density and body fat give a clearer picture, but simply aren’t practical for everyone.
  • A technique that can be used with BMI to get a better picture is measuring abdominal obesity, which involves the waist circumference to hip ratio.Skinfold thickness is another method that can be used in the field and easily in a physician’s office.
  • Recently, relative fat mass index—RFM—that uses waist measurement to height has been found more accurate and just as easy. For women, the formula is 76 – (20 x height/waist circumference) and for men it’s 64- (20 x height/waist circumference).

For more information, contact us today at Revolution Training