Whata is Tabata?

Whata is Tabata?

Well, Tabata is a super fun word to say (yep, I’m smiling like Will Ferrell in ELF).  Tabata. Tabata. Tabata.  Say it three times fast, click your heels together, and voila, YOU’VE GOT A SUPER BANGIN’ BOD!!!!!

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Did it work?

No?!?!?

Maybe you should try again…

Ok, ok, Tabata doesn’t work quite like that.

How does it work?

Tabata is just one, in a list of 5.895 BILLION, workout styles.   Tabata also falls under a popular style you may have heard of before, high intensity interval training (aka- HIIT).

Tabata gets its super fun name from Dr. Izumi Tabata, a Japanese scientist.  He and a team of researchers discovered the benefits of this style of workout at the National Fitness Institute in Tokyo.

Dr. Tabata found that:

  • 4 minutes of Tabata = 60 min jog (same # of calories burned)
  • High-intensity exercise is more effective than moderate-intensity exercise at improving BOTH aerobic & anaerobic capacity.
  • The body burns calories for up to 12 HOURS after a Tabata workout

Tabata, when done right, is INTENSE*!

*If you are new to this whole working out thing, don’t let that scare you away. You can still give Tabata a go…Just LISTEN to your body. 

How to Tabata…

To perform a true Tabata workout :

  • 10 minute warm-up
    • This is IMPORTANT! Warm up those muscles.  Get those juices flowing.  Don’t skip this step!
  • 20 sec of HIGH-INTENSITY movement
    • Seriously, HIGH-INTENSITY…SWEAT IT OUT!!! You got this!
  • Follow with 10 second rest
    • It will be the shortest 10 seconds of your life!  I promise!
  • Repeat for 8 rounds
    • As long as your body can handle it, just LISTEN to your body!! (I like to say that…have you noticed?)

Yep that’s it 4 minutes.  Just 4 minutes.  These should be the most intense 4 minutes of your life.  If not, go HARDER the next time!

Can’t make the 4 minutes?!?  Don’t sweat it…ok well, you aren’t going to be able to help the sweat, but it’s ok if you need to do 4 rounds, or 2 rounds for that matter. This workout style is TOUGH!!!!

How NOT to Tabata…

Although short, this workout is not meant to be easy. If it is easy, you are doing it WRONG!

Do NOT skip your warm up (For real, just DO IT….don’t get an injury b/c you are TOO TOUGH or TOO BUSY for a warm-up!).

True Tabata does NOT work with EVERY exercise.*   (Yes, you can do ANYTHING for 20 seconds…but you gotta make sure it’s INTENSE!  Depending on your ability, it may be hard to push certain exercises to the intensity you need to get true Tabata results.)

*Unless you’re that person I talked to earlier…the beginner, or the beginner-again (like me the 101st time I went back to working out after a loooong hiatus).  For you, my friend, I have good news and bad news.  Good news!  If you haven’t been active pretty much ANY movement is gonna be intense for you!  Bad News!  If you haven’t been active pretty much ANY movement is gonna be intense for you! 😉

Now you know, so…

Get on it!!  Seriously, quick and efficient, Tabata is an awesome workout style to add to your fitness arsenal.

Not sure where to start?

To get you going here’s a list of Tabata-friendly exercises.

tabata-exercise-list Pick one and get started on some SUPA INTENSE 4 minutes!!

Need more?  Check out my infographic, 10 Tabata Tips.

 

 

 

 

Food 101: Start a Food Journal

Food journals work!

When changing your eating habits you need stability, accountability, motivation, record of what works, etc.  Food journals give you all of that and more!

I personally use a food journal when I have a fitness/weight loss goal in mind.  When  my pants fit a little too snug, when my body feels “off” (and I’m feeling sick, or sluggish, or even depressed), when I OD on sugar…habitually… (I’m human…and I have a problem…first step is admitting right?), after one too many nights of dining out.  These are times that I reach for the trusty food journal.  My food journal hasn’t failed me yet!  (Although, I must admit I have failed my food journal…)

Q:What the heck is a food journal?

A:  Whatever you want it to be!

Do you keep a journal?  Have you ever?  Is your journal the same as it was when you were 12? Is your journal/diary the same as your siblings (come on, you know you have taken a peak at someone else’s diary…)?

Food journals are like any other kind of journal or diary = Unique to the individual using them.  They can be uber detailed, or scribbled onto a legal pad.  No matter the level of detail, a food journal is serves as a record of everything that your put in your mouth.  Scary thought? Maybe…but…

Are you a facts & figures type of person?  My husband is.  When he keeps a food journal he figures everything out…all the way down to percentages of food groups consumed each day!

Or are you like me?  You like the idea of organization but ALL those numbers are just TOO much to keep up with!

Doesn’t matter!  Either way you CAN BE SUCCESSFUL with a food journal!

Q:  What information should I include?

A.  Record of EVERY food item that crosses those beautiful lips of yours!

The most detailed food journal is USELESS, unless you are TRUTHFUL!  Be truthful with yourself.  There is a reason you are thinking about starting a food journal right?  Always remember your goals.

Do you want to lose weight?  Eat more protein?  Drink more water?  Stick to a vegan or vegetarian menu?  Do you need balance in your eating habits?

Don’t lose sight of why you are doing this.  With those goals in mind be sure that you include these facts for every entry:

  • Time of meal
  • Number of Portions
  • Food Item
  • Beverage

Those are the basics.   You can begin that simply.  You can also become more detailed, like my husband, by adding these facts to your entry:

  • Number of calories
  • Grams of proteins
  • Grams of carbohydrates
  • Grams of fat
  • Grams of sugar
  • Ounces of water

Q:  How will a food journal benefit me?

A: Three words:  Accountability, Reality Check, Motivation*

*(ok, so that was 4 words…three ideas?!? You get the point!)

Accountability:

As a personal trainer, I have seen the importance of accountability.  I know you’ve done it…we all have…

You get ready for the gym.  Suddenly the phone rings.  You get tied up on a phone call.  Well, it was a nice thought, but since my routine was interrupted by that phone call I will just skip the gym today….I will get back into the swing of things tomorrow…

If you are anything like me, tomorrow may come.  Or it may come a couple months from now.  Or it may never come.  Who cares?

Now take that same scenario and add accountability…

You get ready to meet your workout partner at the gym for your 8:30am, regularly scheduled, workout.  Suddenly the phone rings.  You explain to the person on the line that you are on your way to an appointment and you will have to return their call in an hour when you finish up…You head out the door, make it to the gym on time, hit the gym hard and leave feeling accomplished.

Accountability can make all the difference. Food journals are like workout partners.  Not only are you putting that food in your mouth, you are now responsible to write it down.  This simple act can make a huge difference in the way that we perceive food.

Reality Check:

My reality is….I eat bad shit.  Not all the time, not tons of it, but I still eat bad…on the reg.  Keeping a food journal is like someone standing beside me saying, “You really gonna eat that piece of chocolate cake?  Did you see how crappy you ate yesterday??”

“Knowing” what we have eaten, and seeing it written down in black and white are TWO totally different things!!!

There’s power in documenting your diet!  Power and control, but first there’s reality… IN YO FACE…saying THIS is what you are putting in your body.  This is the fuel that you have chosen.

Motivation:

One good choice leads to another.  If you make your workout, chances are you will eat healthier that day.  If you eat healthier, chances are you will make your workout.  When I make it to my yoga mat, I find time to meditate.  When I meditate, I find time for yoga.  Good things….good vibes…good foods…good brings more good….makes sense right?

Food journals can keep you motivated.  Along with my food journal entries I keep track of my progress.  What progress am I making towards my goal?  (Always keep those goals in sight…there is a reason you picked up your food journal) If my goal is weight loss, I record my daily weights.  If my goal is water consumption I record my intake with each entry as well as each day.  If my goal is balance, I go all in…I will then keep up with all the details and numbers that my husband utilizes on his food journal worksheet.  Use your goals to help you decide what information you will keep record of.

Questions? Comments?  I want to hear from you!  

Here’s a FREE (detailed) FOOD JOURNAL TEMPLATE for Excel:

nutrition-log

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

50 Reasons Exercise = Magic

I’m constantly saying, “Don’t you wish there were a magic pill you could take that would immediately make you healthy, happy, and HOT?” You may be laughing but I bet you’ve said the exact same thing!

I’m happy to inform you today that there IS a MAGIC PILL!!!  One that cures just about anything that might ail ya!  One that EVERYONE has access to!  One that has NO nasty side effects!  One that is FREE, even if you don’t have awesome insurance!  One that begins working IMMEDIATELY!

Yep, you guessed it…EXERCISE = MAGIC PILL!

Look, I know this is not rocket science.  I know that most everyone on the planet has heard the benefits of exercise over and over.

My question is, WHY AREN’T WE LISTENING?

I  read an article in TIME magazine discussing the science behind exercise.  Exercise is scientifically proven to alleviate and aide in numerous body functions.  Exercise can regenerate neurons in the brain…holding off nasty disease processes like dementia and Alzheimer’s.  Exercise boosts your brain power!!

Exercise is really the FOUNTAIN OF YOUTH!  Who doesn’t want to stumble into that and come out with shiny hair, glowing skin and a toned, firm body??  I do! I do! Exercise reverses aging on a cellular level!

This information has my mind going in a million directions…

Why do we run to chemical medications to heal our body, instead of doing our best to prevent the illnesses in the first place?

Why do we fill our bodies full of junk and then expect them to function normally?

Why do insurance companies pay for preventative medicine, but not gym memberships?

If we know how to prevent sickness, if we know that exercise changes a person all the way down to their cells, why are the masses not taking advantage of this miracle cure?

The excuses are always hanging around.  Not enough time.  Too hard.  Not fun.

It’s time to kick those excuses to the curb.  Exercise doesn’t have to be a marathon. You don’t have to take on CrossFit or American Ninja Warrior workouts.  If you are new to the world of movement, start small.  Take a thirty minute stroll through your neighborhood.  If you are pinched for time, make it snappy.  Doing a 10 minute high intensity interval workout is just as effective as a longer, lower intensity, workout.  Do anything that makes you feel good, the only requirement = MOVE YOUR BODY!!

You are now my witnesses.  I am going to do my best to educate every person that I know about the miracles of exercise (even though that sounds super cheesy).  I am going to sing it from the rafters (ok, maybe not the rafters because I’m scared of heights)!  A magic, miracle drug is out there!  Waiting for you to take advantage of it!!!

Who’s with me?  Let’s dive into the fountain of youth!!!

If you aren’t convinced already here are 50 more reasons to get that body moving!!

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Common Weight Loss Mistakes

Being in the fitness industry for over ten years has definitely opened my eyes to LOTS of mistakes people make when they begin a new routine.  Weight loss seems to be super easy for some and then for the rest of the world it is a GIANT mystery!  Why does this work?  Why doesn’t this work?  Is this healthy?  Can I eat that?  Etc.  Etc.  I am in the process of putting together some SIMPLE tip sheets for my personal training clients.  I thought I would share a few with you guys as well!! Here is the first one!  Let me know what you think!!!  Comments? Questions?  Suggestions for my next Tip Sheet?? I want to hear from you! 🙂

common-weight-loss

My Fitness Journey: Part Two

I’ve been a personal trainer for 10 years now…whoa…. it’s been a minute!

Thanks to personal training I’ve had the pleasure of working with some pretty cool folks! I landed my very first personal training job working for two professional bodybuilders John DeFendis and the late Mat DuVall (…talk about an intimidating interview! These guys are HUGE!). I owe my start in the business, and a lot of knowledge about training/nutrition, to them.  They gave me a foundation that to this day remains timeless.  In a world of fitness fads, they taught me that new isn’t always better.

Many trainers and individuals have served as inspiration for my fitness journey.  Each and every one of them pushed me to break past intimidation and reach for what I wanted out of life.  There is one trainer that does happen to stand out from the rest…

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Love this guy!

I met my handsome husband, Brent, at the gym.  He was a fellow trainer, just some crazy guy that tended to loiter in my office a little too long.   He and I began working out together and to be honest I stole a LOT of training ideas from him (shhhh it will be our secret).

Fact is, no one has been more inspiring/encouraging to me than my hubs, Brent (note: no one has ever driven me more crazy either!).  He has taught me tons in our crazy life together. He helped, still helps me, face my fears. My fears of not being good enough.  My fears of being left behind.  My fears of other’s opinions.  He taught me it was ok to fail (in & out of the gym).  He held my hand and led me to accept myself for who I was.

Enough of the sappiness…he also taught me proper form, weight-lifting technique, how to use hand wraps, the importance of having a decent spotter and a TON about eating to be lean. Brent is an old-schooler when it comes to fitness.  If you wanna know how to get the best physique quickly and efficiently he’s your man! He is responsible for the fact that I am, and forever will be, a lifter at heart. I mean for real, I like the movie Pumping Iron.  I blame him completely.

I have lazy days (ok, weeks).  I am a real person (with real shit to deal with). I work a full time job. I am no longer able to spend hours and hours at the gym.  But…

I still love all things fitness! While Brent is an old-school iron pumper.  I am random.  Especially in fitness!  I get bored with the same ol’ routines, same ol’ classes, same ol’ results.  I am constantly switching things up.  I am a lover of Crossfit, Yoga, Zumba, Kickboxing, Boot Camp, Bodybuilding, Tabata, Cycling, Hiking, etc.

I have recently been slacking off in my eating and exercise routine!  What a difference in how I feel.  I am dragging!!  I am logging off now, I have a hot date with my stairs…Look for a full body stair workout post soon!!!

I hope that by sharing my story I can inspire someone else to push past the fear! Take charge of your life! If I can do it, YOU CAN DO IT!!!!

Give me a shout out! Tell me about your fitness routines!

 

 

Fitness Journey: Part One

Once upon a time, in a land far, far away (ok maybe just one state over from where I am right now) lived a chick who NEVER had ANY weight issues.  She had never given THOUGHT to working out at a gym.  Then the UNTHINKABLE HAPPENED!!!!  The girl had kids!  Her body turned into a stranger!  She was overweight, unhappy, unhealthy and was clueless as to how to deal!!!

Yep, you guessed it…I’m the chick.  After the birth of my third kid (I have 5 total! They all ROCK!) I got tired of being tired.  You feel me?? I hated to look in the mirror.  I felt worn down all the time.  I had to do something, but what?!?  I tried a million workout videos and just as many quick weight loss schemes.  I would lose a few pounds but then put it back on.  Depression, a presence I have dealt with since the age of 18, began to tighten its grip.

I was either going to fight back or give in to the darkness.  I chose to fight.

I was going to DO THIS!  I was going to lose the weight and be a hot mama!  I headed to the local YMCA.  I joined, did a short cardio session.  Then I went home and didn’t return for another month!  I had three young children at home to deal with.  I had more important things to think of.  I had places to be. I had a plethora of excuses and let me tell you, I used them!

The truth is, I was terrified of the gym.  Saying I was intimidated would be an understatement!  I had never even SEEN most of those machines so of course I had NO IDEA how to use them!!! There were days I put on my gym clothes, got in the car, drove to the gym. Only to sit in the parking lot for 10 minutes before deciding to turn around and go home.  It took multiple times to actually step my foot in the door, but I DID IT.

I found a comfortable elliptical in the corner out of the way.  That became my go-to spot at the gym.  It was there that I became a cardio queen!!  I was killing it on that thing!!  I starting losing a little weight & I was digging the weight loss but it was not a quick process.  I was growing increasingly bored in my corner spot.  Lucky for me, I caught the eye of a couple trainers.  These two took me under their wing & let me join in on their personal workouts.  They poured knowledge out and I soaked up as much as I could!

Those two changed my life.  That small act of kindness, allowing me to join their workouts, was pivotal in my life.  Kindness has a tendency to produce some pretty awesome shit!

I began to LOVE the gym. It became my refuge.  I could take my frustrations and fears there & leave them!!  I felt great, like I could conquer anything.  For the first time in my life I felt comfortable going to the gym!! GO ME!

I lost the weight I wanted to lose and then some.  I went from being overweight, unhappy, defeated to being healthy weight, energetic and happy! From a size 14-16 to a size 4-6.  I didn’t have to dread getting dressed!!! Wooo hoooo!!!!  I wanted to pass along that kindness I had been shown, so I became a trainer myself.

Hope sharing this helps someone else!  If I can do it YOU CAN DO IT!!!!!!

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Tell me about your own successes/failures.  What are some of the fears you are in need of conquering??