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Fitness Is What?

fitness isn't exerciseWhat is fitness to you? I think when people think “fitness”, they think “exercise”. They think of running, lifting and sweating. They think of Fitness Magazine, with fit bodies and flat abs – but I think most people go down a LONG list of other things and activities before they get to diet, water and sleep.

Fitness isn’t an exercise. It’s a lifestyle. Fitness is truly a way of life, it’s not just what you do in the gym. This includes how you eat, how you sleep and how you move throughout the day. ACSM (American College of Sports Medicine) describes fitness as a 5-part package. In order to be fit, you should be able to check off all 5 elements of fitness:

  1. Cardiovascular Respiratory Fitness
  2. Muscular Strength
  3. Muscular Endurance
  4. Good Flexibility
  5. A Healthy Body Composition

How do you stand up to the ACSM guidelines of being fit? I’m 4 out of 5 (flexibility being my weakness – but I’m working on it!). 

wall sit challengeI’ve seen a lot of body builders who couldn’t run a 1/4 mile and runners who couldn’t lift a weight. I’ve seen fit looking people have heart attacks because their bench press was more important than their heart’s health (and their love for unhealthy food was untamed). I encourage you to LIVE fit to BE fit. 

As you work hard to get fit and stay fit, you purposefully do things to improve these 5 elements of fitness. This means you stop looking for the easy way to do things and look for ways to fit more healthy activity and fuel in your day. You go to bed earlier, you stay more active, you stretch, you drink a lot of water, you eat healthy, you manage your weight and you challenge your body’s strength, stamina and muscular endurance. You don’t just exercise – you LIVE IT! 

Read my article on Answers.com about the 5 elements of fitness and how to make sure your fitness program covers them all.

Take FitFluential’s Wall Sit Challenge, sponsored by Reebok! CLICK HERE for details and follow the hashtag: #FFWallSit 🙂

 

2 Biggest Fitness & Diet Mistakes

insanity#1 INSANITY – The first big mistake is doing what Albert Einstein defines as insanity – Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” As ridiculous as this may seem, people do it all the time. They workout for YEARS with absolutely no change. I understand this problem because many people simply don’t know what to do different – but the next mistake…oh my!

#2 STUPIDITY – (Please forgive me using the word “stupid” but I’m not pointing the finger – I’ve done it too). The second biggest mistake is (to me) the dumbest one of all. It’s when you get an amazing result with one formula – and then you try a new formula expecting the same result. This person KNOWS how to get success – but they keep searching for an easier way. Or, they keep trying to find someone who will tell them what they want to hear, ultimately wasting precious time they could be just doing what they know already works.

We are going to dig DEEP into this one because this one is the most unnecessary mistake of all.

Wash, Rinse & Repeat

best shape of your lifePeople often say  “I was in the best shape of my life when I __________”. They tell me they used to compete, they used to play sports, they used to do boot camp or they used to run… What I want to know is this: If you were in the best shape of your life when you “use to _________”, why aren’t you doing it now?

I often see this after boot camp. We get someone in the best shape of their life in our BCx Boot Camp program, and then they quit or start something new. I understand change is good, HOWEVER, if it’s not KEEPING you in the that state of being “the best shape of my life” maybe you need to rethink your fitness plan.

If It Ain’t Broke, Don’t Fix It?

Quit trying to fix something that wasn’t broken to begin with. You did something that worked, now do it again.

Sadly, people want to try to do as little as possible in hopes of getting the same result as doing as much as they have in the past. We do the same with eating. We see how much crap we can eat and get away with without gaining weight – and we normally fail.

You get OUT what you put IN. You can’t expect to gain muscle running. You can’t expect to burn serious calories lifting weights. You can’t expect amazing conditioning when you never tax your heart and lunges. And you can’t expect to easily pass up a donut if your workout was easy, because we all know the harder we work, the more protective over our calories we become.

BCx Boot Camp

Programs, like Boot Camps and sports conditioning (like CrossFit), combine different exercise methods to work strength, stamina and cardio all in one workout – as well as we make it tough enough that you think twice about blowing your hard work on crappy food choices. It’s all in the design of our programming – and the same goes with having a personal trainer, training for a show or doing other intense style training programs.

I’m not saying our BCx Boot Camp program is the only program to deliver results. (Here’s a sample of what someone can do in 6 weeks of Boot Camp.) What I’m saying is, unless you continue that same intensity of training with the same type of dieting that once delivered you amazing results, you can’t try something totally different, or cut back, and expect the same result.

It doesn’t mean you have to workout 6 days a week and beat your body up the way you might have to lose weight and get in shape, but once you hit maintenance, you shouldn’t just quit – and unfortunately, that’s exactly what people do. They join a gym and do a program for 4-6 weeks and then you never see them again.

You should be in “get fit mode” or “stay fit mode” – never just “off”. 

If you have been missing the fitter version of you, I encourage you to think back to what you were doing when you felt your best – and just simply repeat it. There’s no need to try something new. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!

Do BCx

Don’t have access to a program like BCx? Get the same workbook our Boot Campers follow online, and follow our killer 4-week online training program.  For those of you who aren’t local, or haven’t done our BCx Boot Camp programs online yet, here’s video footage of our program here in Vero Beach, Florida.

Learn more about BCx at www.DoBCx.com

NEW! >>> Join LiveExercise.com and workout with Steve and I on X Fit – powered by  BCx!

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

Fit Fajita Breakfast

If you have followed me for any length of time, you probably know how much I love Mexican food – and breakfast is no exception. Since I love fajitas, I decided to trade flour tortillas for egg whites and it was a hit!

Grilled Filling:
Steak fajita meat
Fajita Seasoning
1/2 Onion
1 Green Pepper
1 Cup Corn 
Lime Juice (2-3 limes)
Salt

Trade the Tortilla for Eggs!
Egg Whites
Low Fat Shredded Cheese

Cold Topping #1:
Fresh Diced Tomatoes 
Diced Onion
Diced Small Sweet Peppers
Diced Pickled Jalapeno Peppers
Fresh Minced Garlic
Tablespoon of Apple Cidar Vinegar
Lime Juice (one lime)
Salt

Cold Topping #2
1 Avocado

Low Fat Sour Cream 
Sour Cream 

Pour egg whites in frying pan, prepared with Pam. Add Fajita mix with a small sprinkle of low-fat Cheddar Cheese and fold. Top with Cold Topping and serve with a few sliced Avocado and a dollop of sour cream.

Have a favorite breakfast recipe? Share it with us below!

FAT TO FAB: Get Your Abs Ready for the Beach!

Bikini season is here and, if you’re like me, you’re more aware of your midsection than ever. It’s time to trim up and get rid of some of the winter fluff!. You’re abdominals are already there, we just need to shed the layer of fat hiding them and tone them up.

Six Pack or Just Plain Flat?
Abs come in different shapes and sizes. Some of you may want those ice cube abs “Marky Mark” Wahlberg showed in his old Calvin Klein ads. Most people just want a nice flat smooth surface, free of lumps and bumps. Although the training may be slightly different depending on your goal, one thing remains the same – diet and cardio is a must.

Uncover Your Abs
Everyone has abs – you just might not be showing yours. Sorry pFIT pFANS, although I’ll be giving you ab exercises today, let me first point you to some cardio to burn off that extra layer of fat that’s hiding your abs, no matter what shape they are in. Whether you have a 2 pack or a six pack, you still have lines under that fat and the only thing that will reveal it, is burning more calories than you eat. So it’s time to decrease your caloric intake and increase your calorie burn. Don’t have a treadmill or elliptical? No worries!! I’ve got ways for you to scorch and torch that fat on your living room floor!

Fight the Fat

Perform each exercise as quickly as you can for one minute! Get your timer out! My favorite ones are the Gymboss & the Interval Timer for the iPhone.

Keep your abs tight throughout this entire kickboxing inspired cardio workout.

Butt-kicks
Air Squats
Jumping Jacks
Squat Cross (One arm only per round round)
Squat Cross Knee (One knee only per round)
Repeat 2 Times

Cardio & Core

Planks, Pushups and mountain climbers require you to hold your core tight. Add in a few cardiovascular exercises and you get to tone the midsection and burn fat too.
10 Rotational Push-ups
20 Steam Engine
10 5 Second Football Stomp With Sprawl
20 Plank Jax
10 Plyometric Double Knee Jump
20 Mountain Climber
10 Seconds Rest
Repeat 2 Times

8-Pack

The following 8 exercises will hit your abs in every direction, upper abs, lower abs and obliques. Remember to keep your tummy tight throughout each exercise, keep your butt and shoulders off the floor through the crunches for the best possible ab-crunching action. This workout can be done often. However, if you want to work on those “ice-cube” abs, you’ll need to add in more weighted abdominal exercises, and those will require at least a day of rest between workouts just like regular weight routines.

10 Sit-up
25 Weighted Crunch
10 Sit-up
25 Bicycle Kick
10 Sit-up
25 Snowboarder Crunch (one side per round)
10 Sit-up
25 Snow Angel
Repeat 2 Times

You CAN be Fat AND Fit, but why?

Yes, you heard right! I said you can be FAT and FIT. Seems like an oxymoron, but the reality is you don’t have to be 10% body fat to be “fit”. Truth be told, there are some super unhealthy fit “looking” people. Many doctors would even consider many people very healthy that the fitness industry would label “fat”.

I remember when my sister (right) did her body composition on our InBody machine. It said she didn’tneed to lose any fat. She was like, “clearly, I’m fat. I don’t understand.” I explained that the machine was saying she was a healthy teenager, not a fitness competitor. She wanted to be leaner but the machine said she was perfect when it came to her health. We sometimes focus so much on how we look, we really forget about all the rest.

When most people join a gym or start working out, they normally are wanting to lose weight. Honestly, most people are more upset about how their jeans fit than what their blood pressure is. America is so focused on looks, other life-saving benefits end up taking a backseat to what you see in the mirror. However, you don’t have to be skinny to be fit – and when people start working out, they start getting fit even if they don’t see it in the mirror or on a scale yet.

Look at UFC Fighter “Big Country” Roy Nelson (left).
He looks like he sits on the couch and drinks beer all day, but that boy has some serious power and endurance – and could outlast me any day. Of course, he’d probably benefit from losing a few pounds himself, but I bet he has an athlete’s heart and would surprise you in the gym.

Sure, carrying body fat around isn’t good for you, but if you are working out every day, you are likely pretty healthy. We have plenty of members who workout like crazy people and could outrun me any day, but they just eat too many calories. They may even eat healthy, but they just aren’t focused on weight loss or they aren’t ready to make that next step.

BUT WHY?
Here’s my big BUT (not my big BUTT!): If you are going to put all that time and energy into working out and sculpting awesome muscle under that layer of body fat, WHY hide it?!

Carrying around that layer of body fat is like detailing your HOT and SEXY exotic sports car and putting a cover on it! What a waste! If you’ve been working out, but you still are carrying too much fat, you probably have some amazing lines underneath that bumpy frumpy fat. Don’t you want all that hard work to show?

Of course Big Country’s goals are not to be a fitness model, and his focus is TOTally different than most of America’s, but for the average person – we want to BE fit and LOOK as fit as we feel. I don’t think Big Country has all that much to prove. And if you don’t like it, he’ll kick your butt anyway. haha 🙂

OK, so if you say no, I don’t care about how I look – I understand. Not EVERYone is as vain as me. Not everyone works out for the same reason, BUT if you’ve been training hard and complaining about your love handles, you probably know in your heart you should be working on your diet as hard as you’ve been working on your training.

It’s TIME for CHANGE!
Let’s turn it up! Hit the grocery store this weekend and get all the yummy healthy foods you need to take your diet to the next level. Try cutting back your calories for  just 4-6 weeks and see what your body will do! I bet you surprise yourself!!

Look at Julie! This was her before and after from boot camp. Look what your body can do in just 6 weeks. It’s a small commitment for a HUGE reward! GET-R-DONE!

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