Monday, 19 September 2011

Muscle Confusion,,, are you confused?

There is nothing quite as frustrating as seeing your results fizzle out.

This is a common place to end up, usually after a few months on the same exercise routine. In the beginning your body responds to your routine with lost pounds and gained muscle tone, then one day all results screech to a stop.

Why does this happen? And, more importantly, how can you prevent it?

Your muscles adapt quickly to any repetitive routine. Remember that the definition of 'insanity' is to do the same thing over and over while expecting different results. This holds true for your workouts.

When your results stop, it's time to do something new.
  • The problem: Your muscles have adapted to your routine.
  • The Solution: It's time to apply the concept of muscle confusion.
Muscle confusion is a way to keep your body guessing by changing your routine.

I have good news - the following 4 strategies are guaranteed to crank your workouts up to the next level and to deliver better results.

Strategy #1: Use a Drop Set

Drop sets are often used to fight off exercise plateaus. This technique is great for increasing muscle strength, endurance and for adding to the cardiovascular benefit of your workout - which results in more fat burn.

This is how to do a drop set: When you perform an exercise to exhaustion, don't stop there. Drop the weight by 80% and do another set.

You could take it a step further by dropping the weight twice, making it a double drop. Or drop the weight three times for a descending drop set. Use this technique only once or twice per workout, on the final set of the exercise.

Strategy #2: Focus on Negatives

Each time that you do a weight lifting repetition you are using three types of strength.
  1. Positive strength: lifting the weight.
  2. Static strength: holding weight in a contracted position.     
  3. Negative strength: lowering the weight.
Most people completely miss the benefit of the negative in each repetition by allowing the weight to drop quickly with little control. It is understood that the negative portion of each repetition is just as important as the positive portion, possibly more important.

Focus on the negative portion of each repetition by lowering the weight very slowly. Concentrate on the negative contraction, and make each repetition count.

If you are advanced, then use a training partner to assist you in moving heavier-than-normal weight into a contracted position, then lower it very slowly.

Another way to utilize negative repetitions on a machine is to lift the weight using two limbs but then lower it with just one. For example, use both legs to lift the weight on a leg extension machine, but then lower it back down slowly using only one leg.

Strategy #3: Use Active Rest

Every minute of your workout is an opportunity to increase intensity and to burn more fat. Don't waste precious minutes with long rest periods. 
plyo jump squat
  • High Knees with Alternating Punches: Alternately bring each knee high to your chest in a quick jumping movement while alternating forward punches at shoulder level.
  • Burpees: Start in a sanding position and bend at the waist. Once your hands hit the floor, push your entire body back, extending your legs until they're straight and you're in the push-up position. Go down for a push-up, and when you push yourself up, jump slightly to bring your feet back near your hands. Finally, jump in the air with your arms fully extended over your head.
  • Side-to-Side Jumps on Bench: Stand on one side of an exercise bench. Place the foot closest up onto the bench, jump up and switch feet, then land on the opposite side of the bench.
  • Mountain Climbers: Place your hands wider than shoulder-width apart on the ground in a push-up position. Bring one knee to your chest and then back to the starting position, alternate each leg quickly.
  • Side-to-Side Ab Twists: With feet close together, jump and twist your legs left to right - holding your abs tight. Keep a bend in your knees and swing your upper arms with each twist.
  • Jump Lunges with Pop Squat: Start in a lunge position, lunge down then quickly jump up, switching your leg position in midair, land in an opposite leg lunge. Once you've done both legs, jump straight into a squat.
  • Medicine Ball Squat Jumps: With feet wider than shoulder-width apart hold a medicine ball at chest level. Squat down until your knees are at a 90 degree angle. Explosively jump up, raising the medicine ball straight over your head.
Strategy #4: Modify the Exercise There are certain exercises that are considered 'staples' in the gym.

The squat. The lunge. The chest press. The shoulder press. The bicep curl. You get the idea...

While you shouldn't throw these exercises out the window, find creative ways to modify the familiar motion in order to challenge your muscles. Try these exercise modifications:
  • Squat on a Bosu ball or balance board.
  • Place a weighted bar across your shoulders and do walking lunges.
  • Use an exercise ball for chest presses instead of the bench.
  • Do a full squat between each repetition of shoulder presses.
  • Do a shoulder press between each repetition of bicep curls.
If you'd like a sure-fire way to break through your fitness plateau and to melt away unwanted fat, then contact me for a fitness consultation.

Call or email today - I look forward to hearing from you. Point Grey Fitness  email PGF 

Saturday, 9 July 2011

Vancouver kids / family water parks >>>>>

Hi everyone,

Well, yesterday was incredible!  We finally had some sun here in Vancouver.  Those of you who live here were probably very excited to get outside!  I know we were.  

I have two kids ages 2 and 5, and they start going stir crazy after a few hours inside, let alone days and days on end of bad weather we get here in Vancouver. My family was extra excited with the fantastic weather day we had yesterday sans rain.  Insert WATER PARK!  

Keep in mind that that stir crazy feeling doesn't go away when you hit 'age of majority' - we all go a little batty when our bodies are at rest for too long. Your body needs a little action too!! Don't think the water park is just for the kids...It's time to get your hair wet a bit and enjoy the summer that is finally here.  No one has to know that you are in there getting wet because you actually want to.

Here is a list of some Vancouver Kids water parks

1. The Variety Kids Water Park is Vancouver's largest outdoor spray facility and offers hours worth of summer fun especially for young children and families.  Located at Lumberman's Arch / Stanley Park. 

2.  Granville Island Water Park- has an awesome slide!!
3. Maple Grove Pool
6875 Yew St, Vancouver, BC
604-266-9512 Website
This neighbourhood outdoor pool is great for the kids and is just the spot to beat the heat and keep fit at the same time.
4. I can't remember the name,, but it's in the Dunbar area at King Edward and Crown.  This is a huge park with a fantastic water splash pad area and 2 jungle gyms plus swings for both big and little kids. 

If you are looking for more ideas on how to stay fit and eat healthy this summer see my newsletter

Thursday, 24 March 2011

Top Ten Cancer preventing Foods

soy sprouts filled with

Try something new!!

There are many incredible foods out there that can do wonderful things for our bodies. They can aid digestion, prevent cancer and help us get more excited in the bedroom. 

Nutrition is emerging  as the most important way to prevent breast cancer.  Plants are a great start. They have less fat, more fibre and more cancer- fighting nutrients so start looking in the direction of your garden.

  • Boost your antioxidants. Antioxidants are powerful vitamins that protect against cancer and help the cells in your body function optimally. Fruits and vegetables are the best sources of antioxidants such as beta-carotene, vitamin C, vitamin E, and selenium.
  • Eat a wide range of brightly colored fruits and vegetables. Colorful fruits and vegetables are rich in phytochemicals, a potent disease–fighting and immune–boosting nutrient. The greater the variety of colors that you include, the more you will benefit, since different colors are rich in different phytochemicals.
  • Flavor with immune-boosting spices and foods. Garlic, ginger, and curry powder not only add flavor, but they add a cancer-fighting punch of valuable nutrients. Other good choices include turmeric, basil, rosemary, and coriander. Use them in soups, salads, casseroles, or any other dish.
  • Drink plenty of water. Water is essentially to all bodily processes. It stimulates the immune system, removes waste and toxins, and transports nutrients to all of your organs. 
So, starting now, think about ADDING great foods to your regime.  We are so consumed with What NOT to eat that we forget we should really be thinking about what we CAN eat.  I challenge you to do some research, and choose 1 food this week that has some helping property that you will include in your diet.  

Berries - full of antioxidants
Top ten anti oxidant foods:

1. Berries
2. Broccoli
3. Tomato
4. Red Grapes
5. Garlic
6. Spinach
7. Tea
8. Carrots
9. Soy
10. Whole Граинс

Friday, 18 March 2011

BEST BREAKFAST for loosing weight?

The best breakfast for loosing weight is NOT always what it seems

How many calories in this breakfast?  Is this a good breakfast for you?

This in fact is  about  300 calories..  brutal!!  It from McDonalds.  No matter WHAT the fast food chains do, you need to realize their attempt at healthy is NOT really that healthy or low calories.  the add all sorts of stuff including SURGAR to the seemingly healthiest of choices.  So read the labels very carefully.  

And Tim HOrtons,,, those breakfasts?  closer to 500 plus calories.   quite a bit and full of all sorts of things even a PHd student might have trouble reading!!!

Order smarter: Watch for high-calorie toppings. Skip the brown sugar to shave off empty calories, and stick with filling fruits and nuts.
Or,  if you feel like i do about oatmeal, in my opinion here are the BEST GO TO breakfasts:
half a grapefruit, a slice of tallest with a thin thin thin layer of cream cheese and a huge glass of h2o.
Protein toast topped with tuna (no mayo) and avocado, cup of tea.

What's your go to breakfast?  Have you got a question about a fast food breakfast?  If you know of one that is actually health? We want to know about it. or leave a comment here.

Friday, 11 March 2011

What not to Wear.. Workout fashion do's and don'ts

Come on people.. use some common sense here.  Below are some do's and don'ts when working out in a public setting.  In the privacy of your own living room, feel free to go to town in whatever you wish.  Ok. Here's the list:

1. No one, not one person, really wants to see your CRACK!!!I'm talking about shorts too low, tops to high, tights so tight they slide down below where your bottom is able to hold them in place.  Go to a store where they can fit you properly, then do the following CRACK test.
                     Begin by marching in place several times gradually getting your knees higher and higher... Still in place?  Great. step 2, now that you are warmed up.. BEND OVER.  still in place? Do it again, and again and again.  If you look over your shoulder and see any crack at all ask the saleslady for either a different size or a different style.. sometimes it really just comes down to style.   I actually own a pair of lu lu lemon pants that I have to wear backwards because if I don't, then they just don't fit.  Weird, but that's my butt for you.   Try this test until you find one that fits,

2.  OPACITY LEVEL - Are your pants, or top see through?  Sometimes your pants  look just fine until you bend over.  This leads me to the awesomeness of partner shopping.. get someone to go with you and they can TELL you if you have achieved the first rule, and then, determine the the opacity lever for you.  Bend over slightly  - I'm sure your buddy will let you know. EVEN the black ones can be see through so don't be fooled by colour.

3. Leg warmers and high cut underwear in lycra over the tights has been banned  since the late 80's and is NO LONGER  approved by most gyms.  Best to leave that stuff to dance class.

This is all in fun of course but it wouldn't hurt to abide by it as having your bottoms ride up while working out is just a plain old nuisance.   For some real 'what not to wear' tips check out Stacey and Clinton here:

And for some great workout gear,,, check
lululemon a fantastic Vancouver based fitness/yoga and active wear company  Here is another fitness wear company that is little known-.. fashion fitness wear it can be cheesy, but also great.

And here is me just hanging out in some workout gear.     I'm wearing my pants backwards to avoid any impending ass crack.
I'm wearing my lulu lemon pants BACKWARDS. you can see the shiny insignia in the front.   Do you have any super comfortable workout clothes you can send us the link to?  I'm always on the hunt for some great workout clothes and if the price is right, even better.  Send us your top picks for active wear.

A hilarious YOU TUBE video of a real crack disaster- guy on a treadmill

Saturday, 5 March 2011

Fitness Motivation - How hard is it- the Biggest LOSER challenge!

Is it really that difficult to put one foot in front of the other?  Is it that hard to decide to workout?

If the only goal you had today was to put ONE foot in Front of the other, just ONE time.. could you do it?  Most likely you would say 'yes', drag your ass out of bed at some point, and do it.

Now, once you are up and just about to sit down,,, what if I said,, "come on,, how about one more step? " You may give me this look like,, 'really?' and maybe ok, you would do it,,, just as you are about to turn back i say,,, '"STOP!!, I'll give you a million bucks if you walk to the door."  No brainer right?(assuming you think i have a million to give).   This is how they get people on THE BIGGEST LOSER to start moving their asses.  These people have tried every single motivational thing they could prior to getting on the show.., that million bucks just seems to get the ball rolling, and once they are there, they learn that there are OTHER motivations beyond the million bucks.  But it takes, walking the walk to learn it, and really there is no other way. Dieting, or exercising a few times and giving up will never get you past the hump,  You have to workout, exercise and get off your ass when you don't want to, day after day after day after day,..  You need to do it even when you don't want to and eventually, at some point, you will feel strangely unsatisfied if you don't.  You will realize that the benefits of moving you ass, far out way the cons because there are NONE.  So regardless of whether you actually feel like working out or not, you need to realize that you have no choice.  To actually LIVE LIFE you have to move your body if it is capable of moving.  It wants to move!!!    So please, for the love of g-d people, if you are reading this, and want to feel better, or get in shape, be happier, and feel better about yourself, and you have not 'moved your body ' today,, get off your ass, and move it around a bit!!!

Do you think this is too harsh, or do you agree?  If you are an unhealthy person as a result of your weight, how do you feel?  If I actually gave you a million bucks, or half a million for every two workouts that you did,, would you try to work out, or would you stay at home like you have been doing?


Friday, 4 March 2011

Should I exercise when I'm feeling sick?

Do you wake up sometimes and wonder. "Should I workout today?"  The other day I had a client come in for a workout who didn't want to be there, but had already paid and didn't want to be out of pocket.  She dragged herself into the gym.  I ended up changing what I had planned for her that day and shifting to a Pilates style workout,  minimal cardio and a lot of stretching.  She left thanking me, saying how happy she was to have come and that she felt better.

In reality, we should move our bodies every day in order to maintain a healthy life.   Try rephrasing the question to "What type of workout should I have today?".  If you are truly ill, then by all means take a day off, but the general rule of thumb is if it's below the neck, take a break, if it's a regular old cold above the neck, lace up your shoes and get to work.  These days, workout facilities are offering more variety then ever.  Even smaller niche facilities like Point Grey Fitness are offering pilots, small group workouts yoga and more.  

The latest study to find benefit from daily exercise was published a few months ago in  the British Journal of Sports Medicine. Researchers recruited about 1,000 volunteers between age 18 and 85 to complete a daily log of symptoms throughout cold and flu season
"Everything from runny nose, sore throat, coughing, fever, headaches," says researcher David Nieman of Appalachian State University.
At the end of the three-month study, the researchers found that the more the participants exercised, the less they reported getting sick. Those who exercised five days a week for 20 minutes or more experienced about 40 percent fewer days of illness compared with those putting in less than one day a week of activity.

So the next time you feel just a little unsure of your workout, keep in mind that you can always change the type of workout to suit how you are feeling that day. Down some oregano and hit the gym.  What do you think? Do you workout when you feel mildly sick? 

Thursday, 3 March 2011

Welcome - my first blog

Hungry after dinner?  Go brush and floss your teeth!! You'll soon forget about that chocolate craving and likely be more excited about a cup of water before you tuck yourself into bed!