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Sunday, June 30, 2013

July 4th, Lets Start The Holiday Week Right! Diet Tips and Free Workout Inside!

So as the holiday approaches, many of your will be traveling, eating, sitting, eating....more traveling...

AND MORE EATING!



As your training regimen takes a backside on your "to-do" list...lets dig into a couple diet tricks that might help your for your morning and evenings!

#1 - Time Your Protein Shake for Maximum Results

If you want to lose fat, have a protein shake and some fiber before a meal. This will fill you up and help you avoid overeating at dinner or late at night.
The best recipe would be BioTrust Vanilla Cream whey protein blended in water with spinach and a few blueberries. (You can't taste the spinach, trust me!) Sometimes I may add a little Almond Milk, Cinnamon, and ginger for its anti-inflammatory properties.
On the other hand, if you want to gain muscle, eat first and then have the protein shake (without fiber - use BioTrust Milk Chocolate mixed with milk and a tablespoon of almond butter). This gives you the extra calories you need for muscle building.


#2 - Replace Your Morning Juice with Protein
I'm shocked that so many gym go-ers still drink orange juice (and other sources of sugary liquid calories). The July issue of Men's Health magazine reported that orange juice dramatically spikes blood glucose. This increases insulin - a fat storing hormone. Boooo!
That one simple mistake is probably stopping your fat loss dead in its tracks.
Plus, the more sugar and carbohydrates you have at breakfast, the worse the rest of your daily meals will be. 
On the other hand, research shows that when you replace processed and sugary carbs at breakfast with more protein, you feel full longer all day. So you eat fewer calories and burn more belly fat.
Use the BioTrust whey-spinach-blueberry blender drink idea from above instead. Or blend up your favorite apple with the Vanilla Cream. Those are two brilliant and simple recipes for getting your protein and fiber fast.
#3 - Use This Secret Snack at Night
No, not peanut M&M's . LOL.
Instead, one of the best snacks that support fat burning is pistachios. There's just 3 calories in each one, plus you probably burn a calorie trying to get those little suckers out of the shell.
That means you can have 50 pistachios for about 150 calories. Pretty good snacking.
On the other hand, I stumbled across a terrible new so-called healthy snack food last week that you MUST avoid. 
They are called Blue Diamond Almond Chips and pack 140 calories in just 14 chips. Plus, most of those calories are from the #1 WORST ingredient you must avoid when eating at night.
Try Using these snacks and tips as you travel this week! Yo will be surprised with how quickly results can come with a little dedication!! 
IN ADDITION TO THE DIET FOR YOUR TRAVELING WEEK...
How about a workout!!?? I mean, most of you who train with me KNOW I can come up with one ANYWHERE, ANYTIME, WITH ANYTHING available right!!??
Well, since I posted a body workout earlier this week...lets go the route and say you are staying at a nice hotel with the usual hotel gym. Couple pieces of equipment.....Well, here you go.
Enjoy. It will be sure to BOOST your fat loss and leave you feeling great for your July 4th party!

Warm-up
Do the following circuit twice, resting for 1 minute between circuits. Each exercise is to be performed for 20 seconds
Seal Jacks
Alternating Reaching Lunge
Arm Crosses
Cross-Body Mountain Climbers
Leg Swings
Pushups

MRT Circuit
Do the following circuit 3 times, resting for 1 minute between circuits. Each exercise is to be performed for 30 seconds.

Inverted Row, DB Row or Band Row
Bulgarian Split Squats (1-1/2 rep style) (30 secs ea leg)
Spiderman Pushups

MCT Circuit
Do the following circuit 3 times, resting for 1 minute between circuits. Each exercise is to be performed for 30 seconds.

KB/DB Swings
Close-Grip Pushups
Goblet Squat
SB Stir-the-Pot
Alternating Reverse Lunge or Step-up
Body Saw

Finisher
Do the following circuit twice, resting for 30 secs between circuits. Each exercise is to be performed for 20 seconds.

Lunge Jumps or Box Jumps
Renegade Row (20 secs per side)
Total Body Extensions
Mountain Climbers

Cool-down, Stretching & Water Break - 10 minutes
There you have it!
Stay safe this week! And if you happen to be around...COME CHECK OUT OUR GROUP WORKOUTS AT HLW! 
Sign Up Today!
Mike Over
CPT/ PES
Strength & Conditioning Specialist 
(717)658-4299
www.mjofitness.com

Saturday, June 22, 2013

New Motivation--AND--Knowledge

So I know a lot of you like to read my blogs...not to be told what to do...but to learn some interesting ways to train and program workouts yourself!

And hey, that's what I am here for! I am all for you taking my ideas and using them to better yourself as an individual! I also want what's best for you and your goals!

I feel like I am an open book to ALL of my clients! If you have trained with me, you are well aware of how I am feeling, what I do on a day in/day out basis, and how much I learned from this accident in the past year! It has honestly been a blessing in disguise for me!

You see, I was BIG into my own training before my accident....

Sure, I loved helping others, but it wasn't my focus at the time. I was on a mission to be the best athlete around and prove I was the best all around athlete in the area! Yup, I would be the guy doing sprints at 2am hoping to beat my previous times, or running up mountains and hills with 70lb weighted vests(sometimes carrying mom too LOL).  In college, if I had a bad game...I would be out on the practice field dribbling at midnight trying to prove I was worthy of being on that field.



Then, a big pick up truck got me to open my eyes up to a NEW venture!

At first, laying in the hospital, I remember thinking to myself, I'll never be at the level I was at again. Wondering how I will ever get myself back. Weeks of nightmares and painful nights had me more down than ever. My mom and dad had counselors and insane asylums ready on speed dial.

But what changed my view of the situation were a few of my close friends who came to visit me that second they found out! They put the Bible in my hands and the other was a book, Unbroken, which I HIGHLY recommend as it was my FIRST book i fully read!(I guess I had nothing better to do then read and play Sudoku and watch endless episodes of Two and a Half Men.)

But what they told me is to trust in God and let him create your future.

And EVERYONE kept telling me..."Mike, there is a reason for this...I promise!"

As I looked at them like I thought they were right....I was being crushed deep down. How could this be God's plan for me? To Take me away from what I love?

And boy did I learn! Looking back now, I see clearly!

Although I am nowhere near healthy....in fact....now fighting a new injury they found evolve from the accident...

I found light to the "night-mare" as so it seemed.

Let's look at what I accomplished!!

Not bad right?

That's not it though! It's the WONDERFUL friends and clients I have built up since November! I have made dramatic changes to friends that couldn't lift 10 lb dumbbells over their head and are now doing three times that!!  I've made skinny little runner's arms look like lean & muscular skinny little runner arms! ;)

I have developed the BEST relationships with ALL of my clients! They know me on a personable level! They know my shirts have holes in them from lifting weights too often, they know not to shake my hands because of my lovely calluses, they also know they need to count their reps sometimes....because I get overexcited and forget a few, or more HEHE.........BUT, MOST IMPORTANTLY, they know of my frustrations with my injuries and how determined I am to get back!

Now, some of you might be thinking...wow, so your clients do know you well....so maybe they don't respect you....

Just ask any one of them. I don't EVER like talking myself up...but when it comes to business...I will make an exception! You have to believe you are the best at what you do, and I STRONGLY believe I know my shit!(sorry for my language). If im not training, I am researching, I am studying, I am finding ways to train the most complicated individual!

WHY?

Because I LOVE IT! I am the best around! I will get you to reach your goals! I am committed to your success! 

Typical Trainer BS?

Nope! Don't believe me, come check me out and get to know me! I promise you that you will see my drive and energy for what I do! I don't hire kids off the street and call them "kettle-bell" certified and put them with MY paying clients! I give EVERY client the best of what I have to offer! 

Why?

Nobody likes feeling like they are getting the leftovers! You came to watch MJ sink that game winner over Byron Russel in the 1998 Game 6 Finals! NOT him overlooking his drowning Bobcats franchise!



You want the best, and that's what I have to offer!(In terms if training programs! Sorry our warehouse is nicknamed..."the sweatshop")

So back to my FANTASTIC year! Sure I had my ups and downs with my injuries! I even found out I have a  fully torn labrum on my right shoulder that was caused from the accident! Just a little shocker!! But, the friendships I have made and developed are irreplaceable! I continued my love and passion in helping others achieve their fitness goals, I learned the importance of patience, friendship, and commitment.

Sure, I am currently unable to move by the end of the day! Sometimes I really want mom to call that infomercial to get me my hover-round a little early! I get up feeling okay and by 9:00....I can barley move and it usually takes me 5 painful minutes just to get up my stairs to get to bed. It certainly is not an easy road for me. And I know I have the mentality to keep on fighting but sometimes I wonder if I get get through a lot of the pain I am in.(And if some of you don't know, it's not my ACL that is hurting...I rehabbed it so well and could have been cutting by 6 months if it wasn't for my patella tendon which was damaged in the accident....AND then they took a piece of my patella to use as a graft for my ACL in my surgery, so it took a DOUBLE hit. That is why I am having this awful pain in my knees.)  But I will keep on fighting. This week I made it my mission to start back on a program for myself.


Monday I got 8 400s in on the track, and 4 were done with 60 seconds rest while the rest had a 400m recovery run. Did them all under 80 seconds so I was pretty happy.

Enough about me, lets talk about why you read my posts...for knowledge...right? Inspiration maybe?

Well, how about a little of both...

You will never succeed in life if you don't take risk! Risk is what drives our country. It's what make the USA better than every other country! Don't be timid, and make changes today!

You only live once....and I will be dammed if I let this injury keep me from doing what I love! Same for you!

Is work keeping you from exercise? Kids? Activities? MAKE time for yourself!

As my old coach said:

PLAN
PREPARE
SUCCEED

It's that simple. Plan times to make exercise a priority. Prepare for any set backs and have a way to get around them, and the rest is magic!

BUT remember,


Attitude is everything. You can have the best training program in the world, but if you don’t have attitude, you’ll never come even close to your potential.





Now how about some KNOWLEDGE:

As many of you know, I am all for trying our new things in the weight room. Mainly, I love making things harder! Ask a few of my runners and they will abide by that!


So how about some ways to make exercises more difficult!!?




1.) Go Heavier!

Yes, pretty simple, yet the most overlooked part of making something more difficult. There is no need to be doing bicep curls and presses while standing on a Bosu...If I see it, I sometimes want to question the "professional" instructing their clients to do so.

2.) Increase Your Range Of Motion

Elevating your feet in certain movements(my favorites are split squats and lunges) makes the exercise much more difficult.  It increases your range of motion while activating more of your core and stabilizing muscles. Just be careful, because doing these exercises can be dangerous without proper instruction.



3.) Make the Base of the Support Narrower

 Now, "stability," is a state based on the position of your center of gravity, while "balance" is a trained ability.

So, when you have a WIDER base of support, the exercise will become much easier! Consider Wide Bilateral squats with Single-Leg Squats or the all so loved, skater squats!

4.) Raise the Center Of Mass

Perfect example would be comparing the dumbbell lunge to the barbell lunge! Holding the dumbbells at the side make the exercise much easier because the center of gravity is much lower when the weights are at your sides as compared to your shoulders!

5.) Make the surface of contact dynamic or changing!

Try adding jumps to your squats! Make your push-ups, clapping push-ups! Split Squats can be Lunge Jumps! Many options here! Just be careful and make sure you use correct form because any plyometric can be taxing on your body!

So there you have it! A new post filled with hopefully both motivation and knowledge for your beautiful weekend!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

5 Exercises To Stop Doing NOW

After having a few clients ask me of exercises that I hate....it got me thinking...MAYBE....just maybe...if I go out of my way to let you guys know the exercises to stop doing, it can have a chain reaction to stop the THOUSANDS of gym go-ers I see on a day in and day out basis still grinding away at them.

Now, as a fitness professional, it is my job to study and research the correct and proper ways to strengthen the body! This doesn't mean that every exercise I dislike is automatically labeled as BAD but I have my reasons for everything!

So, to my 5 most hated exercises:

1.) Sit-Ups or Crunches



Yes, even with the increasing amount of information and research popping up daily about how bad these are for your back, I still see people everyday crunching away, hoping to see their stomach melt into the flat 8 pack they see in their magazine!

Why exactly are these so bad?

These are terrible for the low back/spine, as shown by
research from Dr. Stuart McGill. These exercises compress
the discs in your spine and can cause serious low back injuries.

Enough Said.

So, if your trainer is having you do crunches, I suggest its time to find someone else!

Alternatives:

Stability Ball or Power Wheel Rollout, TRX
Mountain Climbers, Plank or Bodysaw/Rocking Plank, or Stability
Ball Plank (30% harder on your abs than a regular plank)


2.) Broomstick Twists


Yes, sorry buddy, but you won't be smiling after your discs dislocate and are pinched from twisting like a table topper! 

Why?

Useless. Just useless. Unless you like compressing and twisting your lumbar spine....

Alternatives:

 Cross body mountain climbers, spiderman climbs,
side plank (with TRX)

3.) Leg Press

Why?

Possibly dangerous for low back due to the rounding of the
spine in the bottom position.

Alternatives:

Split Squats, Forward lunges, Narrow-Stance
Barbell Squat, Goblet Squat

4.) Behind the Neck Pulldown or Presses


Why? 

Likely dangerous for rotator cuff and also leads to terrible
form where people strain neck forward and contort themselves
just to do the movement.

Just NOT worth it, and can increase your risk for shoulder impingement syndrome—a painful condition in which the muscles or tendons of your rotator cuff become entrapped in your shoulder joint.

Alternatives:
Pullup, TRX row, V-grip pull down to chest, db row


5.) "Bodybuilder bench press" - with elbows out and bringing
bar down close to neck

Why? 

Terrible for the shoulder joint and rotator cuff.

Alternatives: 
Barbell bench brought to bottom of pecs with
elbows tucked into sides, DB chest presses (all varieties),
TRX or Ring Pushups



PLUS...as an added BONUS....lets dig into why Push Ups are better for body composition than Bench Press! Yes, I said it! Many of you head straight for the bench on meat-head Monday, but I'll be found beginning my workout with single arm pushups and have a much more effective result!

      So lets look at the Bench Press first...

When you're lying flat on your back for the bench press,   
your body remains stable and you move the weights through   
the air.
 
Your body subconsciously senses its core stability and it   
feels "safe".
 
     But now let's look at the push-up...
 
With the push-up, the only contact your body has with the   
ground is your hands and your toes and you're moving your   
entire body through the air.
 
While the movement may look the same as a bench press, your   
body actually senses this as "mildly dangerous" due to a   
lack of stability, and now has to focus not only on pushing   
up your body's weight... but also keeping you balanced at   
the same time.
 
In order to do that it must stimulate your central nervous   
system to a much higher degree just to call in those other   
stabilizer muscles to help keep you balanced.
 
And that's where you trigger a chain-reaction for real   
results...
 
You see, the more muscle fiber stimulation you can achieve,   
the more you rev up your metabolism.
 
And the more your metabolism is cranked up, the more bodyfat   
you'll burn all day (and all night), 24/7!

AND ADDING ONE!
** Long SLOW boring cardio on machines! Just stick to Intervals if your not an endurance athlete and looking for fat loss! If you are an elliptical person, I will be sure to see you reading this post a year from now with the same frustration in fat loss and toning!

There you have it! Please stop doing these exercises if you haven't yet!

In the meantime, check out one of my workouts and be shocked at what you can accomplish! If you are looking for results, and a fun yet challenging atmosphere....visit:

www.mjofitness.com

and sign up for a workout today!!

Until Next Time,

NEVER NEVER give up on whats important to you!

Mike Over
CPT / Strength & Conditioning Specialist
www.mjofitness.com
 

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Why Your Not Getting Stronger

As many athletes and clients begin ramping up their training for the summer, I would like to add this post to help anyone else not training with me and looking to get STRONGER.

Too many times, I see trainers and coaches place their athletes in situations that will never allow them to adapt and grow stronger. For example, I found out a client of mine had a program will at school made by their strength coach that work around MACHINE based exercises with rep ranges always in the 12-20 range! I heard about this and wanted to ban the use of machines for life!

How is a seated bicep curl machine going to help a soccer player gain speed, quickness, agility, and lower body strength?(All what is needed to play at a high level!).

Why are there NO exercises emphasizing the use of proper functional fitness that relate to his everyday demands from the sport? Some things I just won't understand!

Which it is very important you find a trainer/coach you trust and knows what they are talking about! I may be young, but I sure do have knowledge and research along with my own experience of playing sports at a high level.

So, without further due, lets get to a few reasons why YOU may not be getting stronger when training on your own!




1.) Failure to Use Progressive Overload



Yes, many of you are guilty of this. It is a basic principle here: Simply stated: The body will adapt to any stress placed upon it, and in order to get stronger, you need to make certain that you force the body to do so.

This is KEY to developing strength in any program!

There are lots of ways to add this concept to your training. Add more sets, less rest, increasing range of motion....but the big one would be to just increase the weight you are lifting and have your body adapt!

It could be easy as adding 5 pounds to your deadlift or squat! Nothing crazy, but it will go a long way in actually getting stronger!

2.) Too Much Volume

Yes, I know....We live in a society that loves to do things in excess. Even I am guilty of this. Depending on your goals(which in this case is strength), doing too much activity will hinder your ability to get stronger.

Many people tell me...."Mike, right now I am doing 3 days a week so 7 would be better right!"

Now, this is where "depending on your goals" comes into play. If your not sure if your plan is right for your goal...simply ask me.

But I am talking about strength gains.....so 7 days would NOT be ideal.  Fatigue will mask an individuals true fitness level. You can't work out everyday with hopes of building strength.

While playing in college, I would always make my workouts a priority even during the season.  My first year, however, I was a perfect example of this theory. I would deadlift  close to a 3RM and then go out and run/practice/practice/run....and run some more!

Now, if I were to go back in the gym after that and try lifting that same 3RM....well....I guess you could say I would have a better chance at hitting the lottery! Just won't happen!

So, in season, your programs have to be adapted to fit your needs. Lifting a 3RM during a season of a soccer player will not work out in the long run due to the excess stress that is placed on the body on a daily basis!

So, with all that being said, it is very IMPORTANT to even add structured "de-loading" weeks where sets, reps, and duration is all decreased. Don't be at the gym so much. Go out and hike, golf, or try a new alternative to the gym.  It will keep you from getting bored and help with your strength gains!

3.) Forgetting about The Basic Exercises




Sure, a good trainer will find and create new and challenging exercises....but when it comes down to their program, implementing the basics lifts will ultimately provide the best strength gains(which is why they are the most common).

If your coach or trainer is giving you crazy exercises on Bosu balls, and always challenging you with unilateral lifts while controlling stability....you wont see progress.

Plain and simple. You MUST have:
  • SQUATS
  • DEADLIFTS
  • SINGLE-LEG TRAINING
  • PULL-UPS
  • PUSH-UPS
  • ROWS
 You would be amazed how many times I see guys in the gym knocking out 18 sets of bicep curls or spending their whole workout on a Bosu Ball.  Little do they know, that realistically, they are wasting their time. Using these lifts as a staple to your program will promote STRENGTH GAINS in every area of your body. Making you more functionally sound and better adapted to your goals.

So, if your after strength, start your sessions with one of the big three: Squat, Pressing, or Deadlift Variations!

4.) Not Lifting Heavy Enough

This kind of goes with number one, but to add more insight....FORGET the 3x10 and higher range! Your not training for an endurance event if looking to but on muscle! Sure, if your new to exercise, you can get strong with 3x10, but the vast majority of you will adapt fairly quickly add your progress will take a sudden halt!

So, personally, I like using lower rep ranges for strength! The possibilities are endless!

5x5
4x6
8x3
4x3
4x4

And the list goes on!!



5.) You don't Eat Enough

Yes, sorry but I had to add this! Many people don't realize how different resistance training is on your body compared to cardiovascular exercise. When you run or bike, you can certainly get away with replenishing with electrolyte drinks and water! Your not breaking down muscle tissue as much as you would be if you are training with weights!

Weight lifting requires food sources as replenishment because of the breakdown of muscle tissue! They need to be repaired and fueled so they can grow!

So, if you are lifting and just drinking water afterward, you can forget about building lean muscle.  In addition, you will be VERY sore and noticing a long recovery period due to the lack of nutrients available to repair the muscle!

There you have it! A few reasons that maybe your strength gains have plateaued or reached a sudden pause! Just remember, to get strong, you need to lift strong!

Until Next Time,

Stay Strong! Reach For Your Dreams! Anyone In the Way Needs to Be Forgotten!

It's Your Life! Live It The Best You Can!

Mike Over

CPT / Strength & Conditioning Specialist
www.mjofitness.com
mjover09@gmail.com