Blog Archives

Refreshing Protein Drinks for Hot Days

isopure protein drinkIf you are like me, sometimes the thought of another frothy thick milky protein shake on a hot day is enough to make you want to gag. When you have a protein shake every day, they can get old. Of course, this isn’t always the case with everyone. I don’t think my husband EVER gets tired of them! However, I am very different. I don’t like super sweet drinks and I don’t crave sweets so I struggle to get a chocolatey milky shake down sometimes. So, when IsoPure asked if I would like to try some of their crystal clear protein drinks, I jumped on the opportunity!

Gulp Gulp!

isopure drinksThe first drink I tried was their Cocotein. OMG! That’s all I can say. OOOO MMMMM GGGGGGG! My eyes must have popped out of my head when I took my first taste. I had to read the label again to make sure I was seriously getting 20gms of protein in such a refreshing awesome tasting cold beverage!! I was FREAKING out!!! I was sad I only had one bottle. I chugged down a few sips after a hot run, enjoying every drop. Being the wonderful wife I am (lol), I saved a little for Steve so he could taste it too because that’s what you do when you taste something amazing. He doesn’t even like coconut water and it wowed him too!! So I am hooked! Now I have to do a GNC run and stock up!

Where to buy them:

GNC
Vitamin Shoppe
Bodybuilding.com
Amazon
Lucky Vitamin

Why would you want to get IsoPure (besides because it tastes ridiculously good)?

  1. Lactose Free – First, for all those lactose intolerant peeps, IsoPure Drinks are Lactose Free!
  2. Low-Carb/Low Fat – Most of their drinks are super low-carb and have little to no fat.
  3. Extra Oomph – IsoPure has potassium, sodium and to help replace electrolytes from sweating.  Their IsoPure Teas have caffeine, BCAAs and antioxidants too (SO COOL!)!
  4. Refreshing & Thirst-Quenching – The crystal clear drink is super refreshing, tasty and easy on the tummy!
  5. Yummy! – Out of all the flavors I tried, I have to say the Cocotein is definitely my favorite.

There you have it! There’s my review on IsoPure drinks! Now, go out and grab a bottle and see for yourself!! And don’t you leave without trying the Cocotein – and then tell me what you think!!!! YUMMMMMMM!!

Follow IsoPure

Check out IsoPure Protein at http://www.theisopurecompany.com/
Follow them on facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Isopure
Follow them on twitter: https://twitter.com/isopurecompany
Follow them on Instagram: http://instagram.com/isopurecompany

muscle motivation

Compete to Train or Train to Compete?

Train to Compete

runningEveryone knows someone who is training, or has trained, for something – whether it’s a 5K, half marathon, tri, bikini competition, bodybuilding show, crossfit games, power lifting meet or tournament – competing gives you purpose to train like you’ve never trained before.

I believe people who run marathons or do bodybuilding shows are often misunderstood. Some people may think they are just super competitive. Others may just think they are super vain. Ironically, most people who compete are just super normal. They are lazy, they struggle with their training and diet UNLESS they have something to train for. Often times, they HAVE to compete so they HAVE to train.

Another words, most people who compete don’t compete to win, they compete to train like a winner. It’s not about taking home a trophy or having the fastest time in their age group. Winning is showing up and doing their best. They compete because it pushes them further than they’d push themselves on their own. Setting a date to run a marathon without completely dying, or get in a teeny-weeny bikini in front of hundreds of people without shaming themselves motivates them to keep showing up – whether they feel like it or not. It’s added accountability.

Compete to Train

monica brandtWe just had a team of 11 compete this weekend in the Treasure Coast Classic bodybuilding, figure, physique and bikini show. Not one of our competitors competed because they think they will go pro or be the next Ronnie Coleman or Monica Brandt. They all competed to see how hard they could push their bodies, to give them a reason to train hard, and a reason to stick with it. They competed to force themselves out of their comfort zone and train and diet like they’ve never trained and dieted before.

You see, some people think that competitors are the most motivated people in the industry. I’d have to disagree. Sure, while there are people like Steve who are insanely motivated and disciplined (when they are actually training and dieting for a show). However, they are often times the people who lack the most discipline when they aren’t in training.

Team MaxCompeting keeps you in check. It holds up the STOP sign when you really want to go back for seconds …and thirds. It pushes you to go to the gym, when you really just want to skip. It keeps you sticking with your program beyond when you typically would quit or slack. It gives you purpose.

All competitors are not alike. Of course there are people who just love to train, but most people do it because they need to accountability and support. Some LOVE the stage, and some train to place first – but, for most, they love the results.

Compete for Results

karrie spooner

Karrie is a great example of someone who chose to compete to take her training up a notch. She had already lost a good bit of weight, but she was ready to train harder, diet harder and get even better results. Competing was exactly what she needed to blow her goals out of the water. So proud of you Karrie!!

Here is a group pic of our competitors, which competed in various divisions and were all ages – from their twenties to their sixties. Click Here to learn more about Team Max.

team max

Today’s mantra:

Train with Purpose

Bikini and Figure: What the Judges Want

bikini posing don'tsWhether you’ve competed before, or you are just thinking about competing, the one question everyone wants to know is “what do the judges want?”

Recently, I went to a seminar led by judges from our region in hopes of finding the answer. Here is what I learned – and what I didn’t.

10 Things A Competitor Should Know

bikini walk1. Make your first few steps count. First impressions are EVERYTHING. One of the first things the judges said is they can tell if you are winner as soon as you step on stage. So, as soon as you are in view, the judging begins. Your first step should be just as strong and confident as your final one. Your smile should already be on, your posture should already be rocking, and your attitude should already be in play. Many competitors practice all their moves for center stage, but neglect practicing their walk and transitions (moving around in comparisons, etc) – and it shows. Don’t wait to nail your favorite pose, win them over in your first few steps.

2. Pose to look good from 5 feet below. Judges reminded competitors and coaches they are normally 4-5 feet below the stage. What may look symmetrical in front of a mirror, may not look the same from the bottom of the stage. This means, when you face away from the judges and bend over to stretch out your butt crease, you may giving the judges more than they want to see. The judges suggest trainers sit on the floor while coaching their athletes, or competitors practice on a platform to get the most accurate view of each pose.

bikini posing dos3. Stand naturally. Judges prefer competitors look natural. They don’t want a bodybuilder lat spread, and stiff hands that look like you are pointing a fake gun at everyone. They want competitors to stand tall and proud, maintaining a tight core while having relaxed arms and soft hands. I admit, it does look a lot better – unless you have a flaw that needs hiding. In that case, I suggest you do what you think makes your body look its best. Some of the most common mistakes were winged arms, flared lats, poor posture, forward shoulders, downward chin (showing insecurity), severe bent-over glute pose, torqued waistlines and awkward stances.

I picked out a few pictures online, from both bikini and figure competitions, to help clarify what they are not wanting – as well as show you what they want, which is demonstrated beautifully above by this woman in the blue suit. Refer to the very first photo in this blog to see how to make corrections.

bikini posing don'ts

bikini posing

4. Don’t resort to poses made popular by people who were trying to hide flaws.  Some competitors will twist more at the waist to hide width, or bend more at the hips when showing their rear pose to get rid of lose skin. However, if you don’t need to do these poses, then don’t do them. The judges prefer you stand normal with arms down to the side and only lifted slightly. In many ways, posing is smoke and mirrors trickery. But, it is always best to stand and walk as naturally as possible, while posing in a way that flatters you most. This is just my opinion, but based on what the judges said, I’d venture to say the girl with the legs crossed is fit enough to stand normal, as well as the girl with her legs awkwardly spread out wide. Of course, if you need to cross your legs, go for it – but if you’ve got the total package, stand comfortably in it and leave the awkward poses for the people who need it.

Since presentation is everything, a person who well-hides their flaws still have a great chance to beat out a hot body who lacks confidence and is missing other elements, so don’t be discouraged if you have to use the alternative poses. I think their whole point is not to do them if they aren’t necessary.

bikini dos and don'ts5. Be original. Just because someone else does something, doesn’t mean you have to. Choose your walk, suit, hair, style, poses and sign-offs that fit your own personality – not someone else’s. The judges love it when a person’s unique personality comes through. Some girls are girlie, some are sassy, some are classy, some are a bit sexy (but be careful on this one), and some are bouncy and fun. The key to your success is choosing what looks best on you,  going with your own personal style, and going with it 110%. Remember, they see competitors alllll the time – so give them something fresh and new to look at!

figure side pose6. Avoid the awkward side glide. No one really enjoys walking away from someone while in a bathing suit, knowing your butt is bouncing all over the place – but what looks even more ridiculous is someone obviously trying to walk away from you while forcing their body to face forward. The same goes with people walking out on stage. Side-gliding across the stage looks funny. It’s natural to point your body in the direction it is going. I only wish I could have found a photo to demonstrate this ridiculous looking walk, but I came up empty handed – so you just get this crazy quarter turn side pose (which I’m sure the judges would hammer by the way).

They key to looking natural is practice, practice, practice! When you are walking on stage, you can still face your head toward the audience, while looking natural walking across the stage. If you want to avoid bouncing your bottom across the stages in front of the judges, you can still limit the time your body may have it’s back to the crowd while walking, but you need to do it in a way where know one notices. So practice how you would get on and off stage, how you would change places in comparisons, and how you will return to the back if asked to step to the side.

bikini pro attitude7. Bring your attitude – and if you don’t have one, act like you do. Have you ever wondered why the guy or girl that looks like they have enough attitude to go around (even if they appear a little TOO confident) always wins? Well, after this seminar, it was clear the judges want confident competitors. So, while the cockiness may be a complete turn off to me, the judges will take a confident cocky competitor over a pretty, but bashful, one. And, if you lack confidence, they suggest you fake it. This is when acting skills become very valuable. 99% of the crowd has no idea who you are, or what your real personality is, so bring your alter ego to the show and leave Little Miss Shy at home.

 nathalia melo8. Your posing suit won’t win the show for you. If you thought you needed to spend $500 on a suit to win, think again. The judges said there is no reason to spend a bunch of money on blinging out your million dollar suit – especially if you aren’t blinging out your body. I’d suggest spending the money on the things that matter most – like good training and a professional tan (the judges highly recommend getting sprayed at the show). As for the suit, its primary purpose is to have the right shape that flatters your physique. All the extra bling is just that – extra. This doesn’t mean you go pick up a bathing suit at Kmart, but it does mean that you shouldn’t let a pricey suit get in the way of competing. While overall presentation is super important, no one will notice that you have 100 less rhinestones than the next person – especially if you have the most rocking body! 2012 Bikini Olympia Champion, Nathalia Melo, (pictured here) proves a simple suit can still look like a million dollars.

 doutzen-kroes-2009-victorias-secret-fashion-show-019. You’re a bikini athlete, not a victoria secret model. One of the judges actually made a comment in the seminar that they wish they could just pop the heads off and judge their bodies. While I do understand the point they are trying to make (and realize the focus is on the body) the way you style your hair, wear your make-up, and express yourself through facial expressions is also a big part of your appearance and attitude. Although we can’t pop off your heads (sorry, you are stuck with it), what you choose to do with it still matters in my opinion.

What I believe the judges meant was this. When choosing your hair style, you shouldn’t be constantly trying to flip and rearrange your hair, or allow it to cover your body. They same way you don’t want your hair to be a distraction, your makeup should not be distracting either. Your make-up should enhance your natural beauty – not take over your face like a rhinestoned leaper. Most importantly, don’t spend a ton of money and energy on the extras. The judges aren’t judging how natural your extensions look or noticing the stones on your false eyelashes.

bikini competition tips10. Be YOUR best. The judges explained that they never know ahead of time what will win a show. What they meant was, if a bunch of hard girls show up, the winner will most likely be hard. If a bunch of soft girls show up, the winner will be most likely soft. This was super frustrating to me. Since I have seen how much judging can fluctuate from show to show, this is what we’ve always told our competitors. Choose ahead of time what YOU want to look like. Personally, I’d rather a competitor lose because they are too lean, than too soft. At least, even if you don’t win, you didn’t lose because you were too fat and deconditioned.

Before you compete, you need to decide WHY you are competing. Are you doing it to force yourself to diet and train hard? Are you doing it as a science experiment, to see what you can do with your physique? Are you doing it to win a trophy or get “discovered”? I would venture to say most competitors are doing it to look their best – and all the rest is the icing on the fat-free high-protein cake. Of course we would all like to look THE best, but that is a bit relative – so I suggest you just focus on looking YOUR best, and if the judges agree…BONUS!

CLICK HERE to read the Bikini Division Rules

CLICK HERE to read the Figure Division Rules

MY THOUGHTS

What I didn’t learn

I didn’t learn what judges want a competitor to look like in the ideal world. Their answer to that question was “it depends who shows up”. Ughhh!

What I took home from the seminar

Although the judges did say what they don’t like to see when it comes to poses, suits, etc – the fact of the matter is you WILL see people win who still do this stuff, so I don’t really think they necessarily count against these things, I just think they don’t prefer them. I still think it’s valuable to consider them and try to give the judges what they want as much as you can, while doing what you can to look your best.

What I wish the judges WOULD do (a girl can dream right?)

I wish they’d decide on what they want each division to look like and judge accordingly no matter who shows up. Another words. If a bunch of hard girls show up, but they want a softer look, give the trophy to the softest conditioned girl – or vice versa. Eventually competitors will “get it” and move into the right division and begin to show up prepared. But, right now, there are soft out of shape girls winning some shows and shredded girls winning other shows – all judged by the same judges. Although I totally understand the dilema, I feel judges have the power to guide the sport more by who they give the trophy too. Bodybuilding seems most consistent (which to me is much easier to judge), but it gets squarely with the women it seems. That’s just my opinion, but the fluctuation drives competitors bonkers and that can do a number on you mentally.

Are you a competitor? Do you want to be?
What are YOUR Thoughts, Questions, Concerns?

 

 

Tough Women: 4 Ways to Build Power, Strength & Confidence

Strong Enough for Men, but Made for Women Too

one-arm push upI always liked the the Secret deodorant slogan “strong enough for men, but made for a woman” but I think it also exposes another secret – the belief that strength is normally only made for men.

Of course we know there are strong chicks too, but I think a lot of women just think they were born that way. Some of the toughest chicks aren’t tough because they LOOK tough – they are tough because they ARE tough. Just like Demi More in G.I. Jane, tough comes with a price. She had to train hard to do the stuff she had to do in that movie – from doing intense workouts, obstacle training and even prepping mentally to shave her head. People aren’t just born that way, they are made that way through enduring tough tasks. The tougher the task, the tougher you become.

Watch this short video clip, and tell me that doesn’t make you want to learn how to do a one-armed push up!

Do You Know Your Own Strength?

scared of the gymWhile I believe, if most women were honest, there is a side to them that would love to be tough and powerful. But, many women struggle with the self-confidence to grow in this area. This is even more of a problem when a woman is overweight or not in good shape. Ironically, one of the best places to fix that (the gym) makes many women even MORE insecure so they avoid it at all cost, or they save it as a last resort. Well, NO MORE! It’s time for you to become the POWERFUL, STRONG and CONFIDENT woman you desire to be!  And I’ve got news for you, it doesn’t include pink rubber weights!

If you want to discover power, strength and confidence, it requires training that requires you to be powerful, strong and confident. If your training doesn’t CHALLENGE these areas, don’t expect to CHANGE those areas. Sadly, many women “ease” into their workouts because they simply don’t know how powerful and strong they really are. Why? Because they just don’t know their own strength –  because they’ve never really tested it.

4 ways to toughen up & gain more confidence:

  1. Women Can Lift Heavy TooUp your weight. I can’t tell you how many women are not even touching the surface of their own strength. They literally don’t know their own strength. However, if they were to up the weight, they’d be surprised to find they can do the same number of reps with the heavier weight. Would it be more difficult? Sure! Would it be possible? Sure! You’ll never know how strong you are until you try. Don’t worry about bulking up. Most women don’t have enough testosterone to gain manly muscles. 
  2. Test your strength. Once a week, choose an exercise to test your 1 rep max, which is the maximum weight you can lift in one exercise. Normally, we are doing multiple reps of a weight, so the weight has to be light enough for us to repeat the exercise 12-15 times. But what if all we have to do is one repetition? That’s the idea of the 1 Rep max. Some of the best exercises, according to Bodybuilding.com, to use to test this are bench press, squats, deadlifts, clean and press, military (shoulder press) and bicep curls. Use Bodybuilding.com’s 1-Rep Max (1RM) Calculator to find out what your 1-rep max should be. There is nothing more empowering that lifting a heavy weight – even if it’s just one time.
  3. female boxer mmaTry something new. If you are constantly staying in your comfort zone, using the same equipment or practicing the same training style, you will likely stay the same too. Venture out and try new things. Even if you discover you don’t like something, you will gain power from the knowledge you gained from trying it. Sure, you may feel a little dorky or awkward while you are learning it, but you will walk away feeling amazing.
  4. Do what the boys do. If you are constantly gravitating to aerobics classes and the women’s section at the gym, you are missing out! There is a reason guys are tough. They do though things – and so can you! For instance, flipping tractor tires is tough. Your hands get dirty and it’s hard work, but it’s an amazing workout and you’ll feel great when it’s done. The same goes with exercises like bench press, dips or pull ups. These are often exercises that never make it on a woman’s workout schedule. Sadly, it’s not because the women can’t do it. It’s because they never even try to do it. Make it a regular practice to incorporate tough exercises into your program.

20 Tough Activities & Exercises

  1. handstand chickTry a handstand (and practice it)
  2. Test your 1RM for bench press
  3. Take boxing or martial arts lessons
  4. Do a mud run
  5. Do something untraditional like flipping a tractor tire or doing wall-ups
  6. Take a intense boot camp program
  7. Practice olympic lifting
  8. Take a gymnastics class
  9. Do a 5K, half marathon, full marathon or triathlon
  10. Climb a rock-climbing wall
  11. Take a grappling (wrestling) lesson
  12. Test your speed in a quarter mile (sprinting, not driving!)
  13. Practice push ups, pull ups and dips
  14. Train with kettlebells
  15. Take a power yoga class
  16. Practice batting at the batting cages
  17. Do a tabata workout (20 seconds on, 10 seconds off)
  18. Try a new sport – like surfing, skiing, cycling, mountain biking or swimming
  19. Play catch – football, softball or even frisbee (and GO ALL OUT to catch it!)
  20. Play with the boys. Play a coed ball game, workout with the guys, go to a car show and do something guys do. And don’t just show up – take that time to learn more about what you are doing. Whether it’s a drifting race or skin-boarding, knowledge is powerful.

8 Tough Workouts

Tractor Tire Training 

10 Tire Exercises – If you’ve ever wondered what you can do with a tractor tire, here’s your answer!

Conditioning Tractor Tire Workout – Be ready for your heart to be POUNDING!

Tractor Abs – Learn 5 ab exercises you can do with a tractor tire.

Improve Your Push Up &/or Pull Up

Even if you can’t do a pull up or push up, THIS will get you stronger.

Savage Training

Try an untraditional workout, designed for mud runs and people who don’t have gym equipment.

BCx Wallup Workout

Climbed walls lately? Today’s your day! Try this crazy fun workout to boost strength and stamina.

Try a Kettlebell Workout

Learn some kettlebell basics.

Grueling Get Ups

Try this awesomely intense Turkish Getup inspired workout and get your sweat on!

Gym Motivation for Women

Subscribe today to get more motivation tomorrow!

CLICK HERE to see more motivational mantras!

 

Goal Achieved: Now What?

goal achievedI see a lot of people work SERIOUSLY hard to reach a goal. Then when they reach it, they stop all the good habits they made and revert back to their old ways. I see this in boot camp a lot. People take a 6-week boot camp program, lose body fat, gain muscle, workout on a regular basis and then when it’s over, they never step foot back in a gym ….until the next boot camp. 

That’s not the way fitness works. That’s more like going to the doctor when you get sick. Fitness should not just be about improving your health, but maintaining it. There are goals, and then there should be a new set of goals. Here are Steve’s thoughts this week on what to do after the goal is met so you don’t sabotage your hard work.

Stev Pfiester, Light Heav Weight

Rebound: Return, bounce back, setback, backfire, move backward. 

“I recently took 18 competitors from my gym, Max Fitness, to compete in the NPC Southeast Classic (picture of some of the competitors below). The goal was hitting the stage. Not winning a trophy, but using the stage to make us push harder and be our best.

The goal was made, and the goal was met!  What we do now defines what we learned on our journey to accomplish our goal.  In the “realm” of goal acquisition, focusing solely on the goal can be a tragedy.  What I mean is, the goal is just that: “a goal” – a means to an end.  How we develop, the wisdom we gain, and the way we develop along the way is the real reward for meeting our goal.  Goals are not the …READ MORE

Team max

What’s Greater? Your Excuses or Your Dreams?

Excuses FitnessI’m too old
My stomach will never look like that
I bet she never had kids
I don’t have that kind of time
I have a full time job, plus 2 kids to raise
I don’t know what to do.
She was probably always fit
She’s probably a lot younger than me
She just has good genetics
I don’t have the discipline
I wouldn’t know what to eat
My body could never get that lean
I’ve never done anything like that before
I wouldn’t even know where to start…

These are all common excuses and comments I hear when people see a bikini or figure competitor. People almost talk themselves out of even wanting that kind of body – just because they don’t think it’s even achievable for them. However, Ursula Kepferer, knew what she wanted and she made the decision she was GOING to compete, no questions asked. No excuses.

ursula kepferer

Ursula, a 42 year old working mom, came to my husband Steve late last year and told him she wanted to do a competition in the spring. She had never done anything like that before, but she knew she needed to lose weight – and she knew a competition would force her to follow through. 30 pounds heavier than she is today, Ursula did everything Steve asked. Many times I would see her training with Steve in the gym, and I’d see the look on her face that said “I hate him right now”. No matter how tough the workout was, she never stopped and she never gave up. It wasn’t easy, but she always left proud (and little more fit) each day.

“Although most people realize what fitness can do for someone’s physique, I don’t think most people truly realize what training can do for their OWN body.”

Ursula KepfererShe DSC_0113 copyhad a lot of fears and a lot of doubts I’m sure. Could she really do this? Would she be able to lose that much weight in 90 days. What would her skin look like? Could she get lean enough? What was hiding under that fat? Much of it was sort of a mystery.

When someone commits to being on stage in the smallest bikini they’ve ever worn, even thin people get nervous. You notice every little bit of cheese you still have no matter how fit you are getting. And when you are just starting out, you wonder if your butt will ever look OK in that teeny bikini bottom that you have to wear AND turn your back to the judges so they can examine it. THAT’s a frightening thought all by itself.

Although most people realize what fitness can do for someone’s physiques, I don’t think most people truly realize what training can do for their OWN body. I believe many people actually think their body is just built a certain way and they are stuck with it. That is SO untrue. Although you may be prone to easily build muscle or not, have a smaller waist or bigger hips, etc you CAN greatly improve your body no matter how it looks now. Fitness works for everyone.

On April 6th, Ursula found out just what her body was capable of. She hit the stage, admittedly shaken and nervous, but also excited. She did it. She crossed the finish line! All those cardios – were worth it. All the dieting – was worth it. Trusting her coach – was worth it. Following through – was worth it.

Ursula finished 1st in her class. But she says she’s wearing her real trophy, and that is so true. Your best reward is your new and improved body! Congrats Ursula!!

Ursula Kepferer

Ursula Kepferer

Sculpt Your Body With What You Eat

You have the power to sculpt your body with the foods you eat, as well as the type of exercises you do. Before I address how to sculpt your body with how you eat, let’s talk about how you train.

Sculpt Muscle by How You Train

“The more muscle your workout requires, the more muscle you will gain…”

Training for muscleWhile protein is very important for sculpting a fit body, supplementing without the proper training will not get you the results you want. How you train greatly determines what you store for energy and what you use for energy. With intense movements, your body will likely store more energy as muscle. Your body is smart. The more muscle your workout requires, the more muscle you will gain, or keep.  – And don’t worry ladies, you won’t be a beef-cake bodybuilder, you will just look super fit. It takes a LOT of work to look like a man! 😉

On the contrary, if you are a marathon runner, you are more prone to burn both muscle and fat as energy, and store fat, because muscle is not needed as much for low to moderate intensity workouts. While running a marathon is quite grueling, it doesn’t require a lot of explosive power, it requires endurance. Of matter of fact, a runner’s body considers muscle as unnecessary added weight. However, fat is a good source of energy for long runs, so that is why your body is prone to storing fat. If a runner wants to maintain muscle, they need to pump up their muscles in the gym (and pump up protein) in addition to their running program to encourage their body to keep muscle.

Sculpt Muscle by How You Eat

Eating for MuscleNow that you understand the importance of how you train, let’s dive into your eating. As you’ve heard before, “you are what you eat”. Fat and carbs makes fat bodies. Protein make fit muscular bodies. That is why it is so important to get enough protein if you want to maintain, or add, more muscle mass. Your body is always burning calories from a combination of fats, carbs and protein. If you eat carbs and fats, but are low on protein, your body doesn’t just stop burning protein. It still burns protein, but it burns stored protein (muscle). The same goes for fat stores. If you are short on fat or carbs, your body will burn stored fat to turn it into the fuel it’s missing.

If you are like me, and don’t want your body to burn muscle, then you want to keep a steady stream of protein in your diet so your body can feed off that – and not feed off your precious hard-earned muscle. If you want to GAIN muscle, then you need to give your body more protein than it needs so it stores more protein (muscle).  *Use the protein calculator, below, to learn how much protein you should get a day.

Just the same way our body stores fat and carbs as body fat when you eat too much of it, your body can store excess protein as well. However, you still have to watch overall calories if you don’t want to gain weight, because too many calories is still too many calories – and it can cause you to gain weight, whether it’s coming from muscle or fat. Understand, if you eat more calories than you burn, you WILL gain weight – whether it’s muscle weight or fat weight.

So, the trick to a lean muscular physique is to eat a low-calorie, low-fat, moderate-carb, high-protein diet. This will encourage your body to burn fat stores to reduce body fat, while storing (or maintaining) protein to sculpt muscle. 🙂

Calories IN vs Calories OUT

What’s Your Number?

Click HERE to use GNC’s Protein Calculator to help you decide how much protein should be in your diet.

What's Your Number?

Bikini, Figure, Physique & Bodybuilding Competitor Motivation

figure bikini competitersWe have 2o members competing in the upcoming NPC Southeast Bikini, Figure, Physique and Bodybuilding competition in Hollywood, Florida. Since most of our competitors are first-timers, I wanted the memory to last as long as possible and have been taking a lot of photos and video.

I taped our team training in our “Power Hour” after hours workout and practice Saturday to create this motivational video to keep them training hard and getting excited about the final 4 weeks of their training. I have to admit, I had a hard time staying still just editing this video so I hope it gets you going too!!

iPhone Lock Screen Wallpaper

Here are some iPhone Lock Screen wallpaper graphics we made for our competitors phones to keep everyone focused and motivated. Feel free to use them too!

Girl in Training MAX    Today I will make myself proud MAX Yes, I am hungry MAX I AM A WINNER

Nothing MAX fat will surrender

The Rise of the Fitness Cult

Snob Alert

Fitness SnobThey may not say these exact words, but some people’s actions say….

I’m better than you.
My training is harder than yours.
My gym is cooler than yours.
I have more trophies than you.
I run faster than you.
My class is the more popular than yours.
I’m stronger, faster, better…

hans & franzI’m seeing a nasty trend in the fitness industry. It’s this new elitist mentality. I know professional athletes that are more humble than some of these people. Their puffed up heads (and bodies) make them a very easy target for office jokes. While we can all laugh at Hanz & Franz, this growing issue is no laughing matter at all. It’s serious business that deserves a serious warning.

While I might not be able to help the people who have joined whatever fitness cult they are a member of, and are in so deep they don’t even realize it, I sure as heck can help prevent new potential cult followers by warning you to not fall in this yucky trap.

Welcome! (or Not)

fitness cultWhen it comes to fitness, most of you know I often compare gyms to churches. There is a really good reason for that. Church and gym members have a very similar characteristics. Both are there to help people. Each one provides education, support, guidance and an opportunity to socialize with likeminded people. Because of this, you see a lot of changed lives, which is very powerful.

However, since both churches and gyms are made up of a bunch of humans – none of them are going to be perfect, and people will make mistakes. All it takes is a few bad apples to ruin the happy pie. These people can either INFECT the entire group (and the entire group can take on those bad traits or beliefs), or the group can AFFECT them (in a positive way) and they can remain solid and grounded.

I’s all about how the people interact with each other. Are they welcoming, do they make you feel comfortable? Do they act better than “non-members”? Do they make you want to come back? Since both churches and gyms can be very intimidating places for a newbie, it’s super important to be aware of how we may come across to the “unbeliever”.

Clueless

fitness intimidationUnfortunately, many people are under the impression they are super friendly, welcoming and comfortable to be around, but that’s because they are too comfortable in their own environment to notice how anyone is feeling or acting. My Great Dane was the same way. He had no idea how big he was so, when he wanted to visit our neighbor’s chiwawa, Nikki, he had no idea why she would freak out at the site of him. He just wanted to play, but she was scared to death of him.

With my personality, I am constantly looking at how people react after they walk in the gym. I watch how they look at our staff, at the equipment, at our trainers and even our members.  Do they look scared? Are they overweight? Do they appear uncomfortable? Is there anyone in the gym that might scare them like my Dane scared Nikki? How can I set them at ease and let them know we won’t bite?

It doesn’t matter how great your workouts are if you if you can’t make people feel comfortable. People HAVE to feel comfortable, confident, proud and successful (no matter how big or small the success) or they will never come back.

Why Can’t We All Get Along?

fitness variety

Think of various types of fitness activity as different denominations. You have powerlifting, bodybuilding, figure & physique competition training, boot camp, CrossFit, spinning, yoga, Zumba, pilates, step class, running, circuit training, TRX training, Bodylastics band training, kettlebell training, triathlon training…the list goes on and on. For some reason, people will find something they love SO much, they treat everybody else like total morons if they aren’t doing what they are doing. I guess it’s their way of trying to convince them to join their groupies, by bashing everyone else so they eventually will try it “their way”. This is where the snob-like mentality comes in. In the church, we’d say someone was acting “Holier than though” – and I’m seeing this in the fitness industry way too much.

one size fits allIf your foundational beliefs (like being active and living healthy) are the same, you are all the same team. Realize, there has to be different strokes for different folks. We are all very different, our needs are different, we are motivated by different things, we have different strengths and we need different workouts to fit our different personalities and goals.That’s why there is a church on every corner, and that’s why there are ton of gyms. Fitness is not one-size fits all.

We’re All Winners

Motivation: I am a winnerShouldn’t we be excited someone just works out? Shouldn’t we be happy that someone found something they like? The answer is YES! And the honest truth is, people should never be so narrow-minded. Thinking “your way” is the only way is legalism – and we need to break free from that. Fitness is supposed to be a healthy lifestyle – not prison. Gyms are not a country clubs for the rich, strong, fast and best. They are a place for people to make improvements and get positive support and reinforcement, not judgement.

I honestly believe this type of mentallity happens accidentally. When something changes someone’s life, they want EVERYONE to try it. Like a born-again Christian can go overboard and come across judgmental or pushy, so can a new fitness fanatic. Their heart might be in the right place, but they totally lose sight of life outside of their little world. They come across judgmental, preachy and obsessed. Then it gives the whole group, or brand they are promoting, a bad name.

Are You A Turn-Off or Turn-On?

Fitness-FreakWe need to be careful how we live fitness in our life. We may be the only fitness representative of our gym, or workout program, someone sees. It’s best to lead by example rather than with our mouth. If we live it right, people will be dying to try what we’re doing – but if we don’t, we might be a complete turn off, and people will never want to step foot near our gym.

There are SO many great fitness facilities and programs out there. Although I may personally like some more others,that doesn’t mean any of them are better – they are just different. Remember, they have one awesome thing in common; they are ALL getting people healthy and making a difference.

Quick Test:

If you are curious how you, your trainer or your gym is doing, don’t ask the members or staff – ask an outsider. If you get a lot of guests, but they don’t return – there is something wrong. OR, if members don’t bring guests, there is something wrong. It could be they know their guest won’t be comfortable. If you can make guests happy, you can make everyone happy – and really make a positive impact on your community!

Check Yourself?

Is your training a turn off or turn on?
Are your peers attracting people to fitness, or steering people away?
Do you speak a different language? Using words only “your peeps” understand?
Do wear different clothing to fit your “fitness lifestyle”, as if you live in a different country?
Do you like to show off your strength/size/flexibility/abilities, etc? If so, how do you think others respond?
Is your gym welcoming? Are your friends encouraging to newbies?
Can you remember what it was like the first day you walked in your first gym, or class?

These are just a few questions that I encourage you to ask yourself. The world of fitness is already intimidating enough, so let’s work hard to make fitness as warm and friendly as possible so we can keep making a difference!

FITNESS MOTIVATION: Finish What You Started

EXCUSE (k-sky"z) Relieve, rationalize, explain, pardon, condone, exempt, rationalise, apologize, justify…

Training for a body building show can be pretty intense. The training, additional cardios, extreme dieting, and keeping up with all the supplements (listed below) can all be pretty overwhelming even when things are going smoothly. Then add an injury to the mix and you’ve got new beast to battle.

Steve Pfiester is not the only one to suffer a devastating injury prior to fitness event. Most athletes face some kind of injury at some point in their career. For Steve, it’s was a torn MCL and medial meniscus just 10 days prior to his bodybuilding show in Daytona. When something like this happens, it can throw you into depression fast if you let it. Key word: “Let“.

You can let an injury take control of you, or you can take control of it. The choice is yours. For Steve, he decided to go forward and do the contest despite his knee. As part of the preparation, I had to mix his music for his night performance and I wanted it to reflect his circumstance. In search for a motivational sound bite, I had a feeling Eric Thomas “The Hip Hop Preacher“, known for encouraging athletes, would have something cool that would fit Steve’s situation- and I found one of the most profound statements I’d heard in a long time.

It’s not about making excuses, it’s about making adjustments”.

Wow, is all we could say. We replayed it over and over and over again. It was the theme for our entire weekend, because making adjustments was exactly what was required.

In addition to all Steve’s normal training and dieting, now he had to go to Dr. Stepanek’s office to get cold laser therapy twice a day, which he felt was really helping. In addition to therapy, he had to ice his knee as many times a day as possible – all between clients, training, eating, teaching boot camps and running a gym.

He also had to adjust his workout routine around exercises that didn’t hurt. Hamstring curls and squats were impossible, but leg extensions and straight leg dead lifts were okay.  He had to keep up his cardio, so he traded running outside for melting fat on the elliptical in the gym. And, he had to do it all on less sleep because his knee pain kept him up at night.

His knee required him to adjust the way he walked and performed even simple tasks, like getting in and out of bed or putting his pants on. He even had adjust his clothing around wearing a brace, and he added compression socks to his daily wardrobe. Adjustment was his middle name.

Making adjustments can be a pain (sometimes literally), but necessary when you want something bad enough. However, most of us use the tiniest excuse to stop us dead in our tracks. Instead of listing all the things you CAN do, we use that one thing to convince of the things we CAN’T do.

It wasn’t that Steve wanted to win a bodybuilding show that bad. He didn’t need another trophy or the notoriety. He needed to follow through with what he had planned. He needed to reach his goal, which was to do his very best – not necessarily to BE the very best.

Steve showed up, knee brace and all, and won both his weight classes. But, even if he didn’t win, he knew in his heart he did his very best with his circumstance – and that’s what fitness is all about. It’s not about perfection, it’s about dedication.

Got Excuses?

What excuse are you allowing to paralyze you right now? For every excuse you are using, someone else is overcoming. Just because you have a good excuse doesn’t mean you have to use it. Finish what you started.

Steve’s Pre-Contest Supplements:
Designer Whey Protein
GNC Rampant
GNC MegaMen 
GNC Repower
GNC Reforge
Zinc
Magnesium and Potassium
Vitamin C
EFX Kre-Alkaline
Chromium Picolinate

%d bloggers like this: