Sync Fitness Blog
Balancing cardio and weight training
There are vast resources of information on fitness training on the internet, at your local gym, countless books and DVD’s. With all this readily available info is a mix of good, bad, and ugly. Your time to workout is important and often a carefully guarded place in your calendar each week. No one wants to spend that time inefficiently or worse, losing optimum fitness as a result of “doing it wrong”. So it is important to sort through the good and bad info and come up with a plan that is balanced, time effective, and produce your fitness goals.
It is common to see people at gyms going at it endlessly on the treadmill or other cardio machine hour after hour, day after day. Months later, their body fitness level has not really changed despite these hour long sessions 3-4 times a week. This type of gym rat rarely hits the weight and often does cardio that does not promote fat loss.
This kind of training regimen is founded in myths and a misunderstanding of how to combine cardio and strength training to make the most of each workout (ie: getting in a full body strength and cardio session in 30 minutes or so.)
Traditional cardio is obviously important for good heart health, increases blood circulation, increases metabolism, improves your hormonal profile, relieves stress, and also burns calories. Once you stop, however, the bodies’ calorie burning mode slows down almost completely. On the other hand, High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT), is a more efficient type of cardio that keeps your heart rate up for up to 48 hours after your workout and greatly increases your EPOC – as explained below.
Regardless of what kind of cardio you choose to do, strength training needs to be an equally important part of your workout equation. Strength training not only builds muscle as a result of the challenge to the muscle groups, but it also produces an after-burn long after you are done working out, like HIIT cardio. This is known as the Excess Post-Oxygen Consumption (EPOC). Resistance training builds muscle, but that very muscle building process burns more fat and calories even while you are resting and sleeping. In other words, you body continues to burn calories after a workout.
For you ladies, strength training will NOT build bulky muscles unless that is your specific plan and your workout routine is designed for that. It typically takes months to years of training very specifically for bulking in order to build large muscle mass as a woman. Building bulk is not the result of simply starting a healthy resistance training program.
If you aren’t sure how to incorporate strength training and cardio into your workouts, our classes show you how to combine strength and HIIT cardio into short workouts that produce these amazing EPOC benefits for 24-48 hours after each workout. This is how our clients get steady and consistent results.
If you want to transform your body, improve your heart health, increase metabolism, burn fat, and gain tone and definition, it is critical to balance cardio and resistance training. Keep it balanced, keep it fun, and keep doing it!
Resolution and Goal Setting 101
“I can’t believe I. . . .”
“I’m totally disappointed in myself.”
“I thought I’d do better.”
I’ve heard these statements a few times in conversations with clients recently, and I’ve been quick to change the tone of the conversation. Here’s why…
We are two weeks into a new year and already I see people judging themselves for failing. My thoughts?? There are still 49 weeks, YES, 49 weeks to go. That’s really cool. That is a lot of time to make a ton of change in your life.
I’m not a big resolution kind of person for a few reasons – mostly because of how people tend to frame resolutions and set themselves up for failure. But when it comes to resolutions or goals, I think there needs to be a few rules:
Make them positive and desirable.
If you set goals that are not desirable – or that are punitive, you’ll never meet them. If you set a goal to go to the gym 5 days a week in 2014, but you hate your gym, then that’s a HORRIBLE goal. A more appropriate goal would be to try 3 new kinds of exercise in the new year. Chances are you’ll find something you enjoy and it will give you some great results.
Focus on what you can control.
Often, I see people make goals they have no control over. “I will lose 20 pounds”, is a perfect example. You can’t control the scale and the scale does not measure success in fitness or nutrition. Here are some goals you CAN control that would lead you to your desire of getting smaller and leaner:
- Work out 4 days a week
- Eat at least 3 servings of veggies a day
- Eat only 1 dessert a week
Make your goals public.
The more you share your goals, the more likely you are to hold yourself accountable. You will also quickly learn who in your life is going to be helpful and supportive. Spend more time with the helpful/supportive people in your life and less time with the others. You may even need a follow up goal of minimizing time with people who are not positive and supportive.
Create goals that are human and conducive to real life.
Goals like, “I’m not going to eat any sugar”, or “I’m going to exercise everyday” set you up to fail. A goal should not have that all-or-nothing mindset. Reducing sugar is a great goal. Exercising more is a great goal. It’s great to even put numbers with those kinds of goals, (“I’m going to exercise 5 days a week”). You want to avoid something that is unreasonable to maintain for the long haul. Consistent effort over time = huge change. Consistent means 80-90% of the time. Not everyday for the rest of your life.
Like I said, I’m not much of a resolution person. But I do like goals. And I’m a million times more accountable if I share them. So, I’ll share some my 2014 goals here:
- Read 1 professional development book a month
- Run 2 half marathons
- Get in 250-260 workouts (about 5 days a week)
- Take a vacation without my child (Key West in Feb – BOOKED!)
- Start up Sync Fitness Free Family Boot Camps (starts Feb 1!)
- Create more charitable giving opps for Sync Fitness, esp related to families and kids
- Get more speaking gigs (just hired a speaking coach!)
- Work on book (as in writing one). GULP.
I hope this helps you feel better about goal setting for yourself for 2014. If you need support with your goals this year, please contact us to figure out which of our programs would best help you meet your goals.
7 Tips to Stay Healthy Through the Holidays
All the hustle, bustle, and celebrations of the holidays can do some serious damage to a healthy diet and solid workout routine. Success is on your side if you adapt some preventative strategies to stay ahead of temptation and keep your activity level high. Holiday scheduling reality may make it difficult for you to make it to the gym as with your regular schedule, but looking for other ways to sneak in activities and discourage complete abandonment of your routine will help. Here’s some tricks my Holiday Hotties are using to enjoy their holidays:
- Take advantage of wait time: While dinner is in the oven or baking those holiday cookies, do push ups, squats, lunges. Sneaking in squats while brushing your teeth or drying your hair, ab contractions while in the car, and going for just a 15 minute interval run or power walk will all go a long way in adding extra mini workouts to your days during the holidays.
- Consume protein in the morning: A study showed that people who consumed high protein breakfasts consumed fewer calories at dinner. This prevents secretion of the hunger hormone, ghrelin and also stimulates the satiety hormone, peptide YY.
- Be prepard for parties and events: Before you leave the house or the office for a party, have a healthy min-meal or snack. You are less likely to over-indulge if you do not show up having to face that inviting buffet table on an empty stomach.
- Go the distance: Take the stairs instead of the elevator, park as far away as you can while doing holiday shopping. Every little bit helps to expend more energy.
- CHEAT! Yep, that’s what you heard. But of course in moderation. You are less likely to go overboard if you give yourself permission to have a small treat.
- DON’T CHEAT…yourself out of your workout. Make sure to discipline yourself to get to bed early so you won’t be stacking up too many late nights, resulting in skipping your morning workout. Have your morning workout gear out and ready to go, as well as your work clothes and anything you need for the day. This helps you to have fewer reasons to not head out the door in the morning.
- Keep your sugar intake down while celebrating: Alcohol translates to sugar in your system, which in turn is converted to fat. Read here to understand the effects of alcohol calories and how to combat them during the holidays. You can still celebrate, but treat yourself to lower sugar options. White wine spritzers, dirty martinis, and avoiding all fruiting cocktails are some good strategies. The list is too exhaustive for this post, but check out this site for a complete listing of wines that are lower in alcohol and sugar level…
These are just a few good strategies to help you avoid those extra pounds during the holidays and start the new year already with success propelling you forward instead of regrets holding you back.
Why our Clients Don’t Use Treadmills and Ellipticals Anymore…
That was no typo; we always encourage you to work out and be active, but we want to be sure you are always working toward your GOALS. Many women think that more cardio will get them closer to their goals, right? WRONG! Here are some reasons our clients have traded their traditional cardio workouts (i.e. time on the treadmill and elliptical) for other, often shorter, workouts.
1. Steady state cardio doesn’t promote fat loss.
Cardio is excellent for heart health. So, if you love logging hours on a cardio machine, go for it. Just beware that if your goal is fat loss, high intensity intervals have been proven over and over again to promote much faster and more effective fat loss in women. If your exercise goals are related to fat loss, make sure you’re not wasting your time on cardio that will not deliver the results you’re looking for in a timely manner.
2. Longer cardio workouts increase the stress hormone cortisol.
Long, steady state workouts can result in increased cortisol levels, which lead to a suppressed immune system and tendency to break down muscle and more fat storage to the abdomen area. Simply put, prolonged cardio at the same pace can give you extra fat around your middle, instead of reducing it.
3. Prolonged cardio results in increased catabolic state.
When your body is in a catabolic state, the body begins to waste muscle, which is critical in losing/burning fat. Building and maintaining lean muscle mass is essential for long term weight loss. This is why our clients get such great results in our transformation programs – they get strong and that makes them lean.
4. Overdoing the same kind of workout increases your chance of injury.
When you do the same kind of exercise over and over and over, you dramatically increase your risk of overuse injuries. With cardio, these injuries are often in the form of knee, hip or back problems. In addition to your body wearing down from the repetitive motion, you are at risk for injury, particularly if you’re not doing strength training as well as cardio.
5. Cardio does not help you build lean muscle.
Resistance training is widely recognized as the best way to build muscle and tone. More muscle allows the body to more effectively burn fat. It also keeps your metabolic rate up so you burn more calories all day and all night – yes, even while you sleep. Women must consider strength training to be of equal or greater importance to cardio training if long term weight loss is your goal. A few minutes of strength training after a long cardio session is not going to help you get stronger and leaner. Resistance training and varied, cardio interval workouts like we do in our classes are key for long term, sustainable weight loss.
So, now what do you do with your valuable workout time? Assess your fitness goals. If you want to run a marathon because that has always been a dream of yours, that’s great! You should follow a program specific to that. If you want to lose 10-50 pounds, like most of our clients, then you should be focusing on these things to keep your workouts effective and goal specific:
- - Go with a circuit-training workout with high/low intensity intervals. These are the kinds of workouts you’ll find in all our classes.
- - Be sure strength training is a cornerstone of your workout program.
- - If you are doing cardio on a machine, such as the treadmill or ellipitcal, vary your intensity frequently. Utilize rest periods appropriately, so that you can also have intense work phases in each workout.
- - Find a group or environment that supports your goals and gives you some accountability. Our boot camps are well known for both of these components. We know how to make your workout fun and challenging at the same time, with your desired fitness goals in mind. We coach you through varied workouts specifically designed to help you gain lean muscle mass and burn body fat through improving your metabolic output around the clock. Our clients find that in addition to amazing results, they feel more confident and empowered than ever after learning how to workout so efficiently and effectively.
What is Circuit Training and How Does It Make Me Fit?
You don’t need a gym with fancy equipment to get fit. Circuit training offers a fantastic way to get into shape and lose weight – whether you’re working out in one of my bootcamp classes or doing exercises by yourself at home!
Let me start by explaining what the term ‘circuit training’ means. When you do short sets of exercise with weights or other forms of resistance, and frequent repetitions, followed by another set focused on a different muscle group, that’s circuit training! Circuit training doesn’t normally involve rest periods because you’re working different muscle groups in quick succession, so one muscle group can rest while you work on another group.
The benefits of circuit training to improve fitness or assist with weight loss are great because you are combining strength training and cardio into the SAME workout. Since you are not completely resting when you switch from exercising one muscle group to another, your heart rate remains high. Circuit training will help you burn fat and build muscle at the same time, so you can achieve your strength and weight loss goals!
Some common circuit training exercises include the following:
- Push Ups
- Jump Squats
- Pull Ups or Lat Pull Downs
- Step Ups (optional: with dumbbells)
- Bent Dumbbell Row
- Mountain Climbers
- Single Leg Dead Lifts
- Dumbbell Chest Press
Perform each exercise for 30 seconds. Move from one exercise to the next without rest. Perform 3-5 rounds. I promise, you will be in a full sweat.
You can learn how to do these and many other circuit training exercises in my bootcamp and fitness classes. Learn more about my boot camp on my website. I’m here to help you get fit and healthy with a circuit training and group exercise plan!
Weight Loss for Real Men and Women
At Sync Fitness, we’re not really the kind of people that put on makeup and come to bootcamp dressed in designer exercise attire … we’re here to get fit and sweat a lot. Most of us don’t look pretty doing it, but it’s for the end result – being healthier and feeling more confident about how we look in our clothes.
So, we don’t really subscribe to the images of women in sports bras and six-packs without a bead of sweat showing, or ripped out men. We’re real men and women.
Sync Fitness’ weight loss programs and bootcamps are here to help real men and women achieve their goals in fitness and weight. The following are some aspects to my program that support weight loss for real men and women:
Exercise: Exercise is essential when it comes to long term, sustainable weight loss for real people. The foundation of my weight loss programs is group exercise. We do plenty of cardio, plyometric exercises, weight training and more. These programs last 4-8 weeks, and include unlimited workouts with Sync Fitness. Workouts with Sync help you to learn how to exercise for fat loss and getting lean in short time frames – without injuring yourself. The consistency of our exercise program really helps you to drop the pounds!
- Nutrition: Following a crazy diet or consuming diet pills might help you drop some pounds – at the expense of putting some nasty (and DANGEROUS) chemicals and ingredients into your body), but it won’t keep the fat off for lasting results. During my fat loss programs, you’ll receive education on clean eating and nutrition so you are equipped to change your diet to a healthier one that will help you reach your weight loss goals. ‘Healthier’ doesn’t mean ‘tasteless’, either – we provide meal plans and recipes that are both delicious and good for you!
- Support: Successful weight loss for real men and women depends on education, accountability and support. It’s not easy to reach these kinds of goals alone, and we want to support you and help challenge you to make your mark! We will give you unlimited phone and email support through the fat loss program, to answer any questions or give you that extra push you need to burn that fat off and be on your way to a healthier, happier person!
Participants lose anywhere from 5-22 pounds and up to 13 inches in my fat loss program! I know it works, and we want to help you – as a real person with real bumps and curves – to become a healthier and slimmer you!
Our next Fat Loss Program will be at the end of September. Contact me today if you’d like to receive early registration information! You can also call me at 206-354-7480.
The Beauty of Bootcamp: 3 Reasons Why You Should Sign Up
Bootcamps were trending as the most popular fitness groups a couple of years ago. While they’re not quite as buzzed-about as they were when they first began gaining momentum, they have stuck as an effective, fun way to get fit.
Why is that, and why should you sign up for a boot camp near you? There are several benefits to the energetic group fitness classes, and I’d like to outline a few of those:
They are fun: Sure, the ‘boot camp’ name was inspired by those insane training camps for military personnel, but fitness bootcamps are not placed to get a screaming session from your trainer. It’s a lot of hard work, but you’re doing it with other people who have similar goals, as well as being friendly and encouraging. Our trainers really care about your fitness and want to help you achieve your aspirations – whether that is a smaller waistline or a faster mile time.
They’re far from lonely: When you’re trapped on a treadmill with the headphones in, you’re not going to push yourself as hard and – let’s face it – you’re lonely. When you work out in a group, you will challenge yourself against the other boot campers, and you’ll naturally want to do better. The interaction in the bootcamp classes helps bring a level of connection to other human beings that you isolate yourself from all day long at work. We make jokes and encourage each other to meet our individual and group goals.
They work: In a matter of just four weeks or so, bootcampers drop significant percentages of body fat, lose 10 pounds or more, and noticeably increase their endurance. You will challenge all areas of your body for a stronger, healthier you. With muscle growth, cardiovascular strengthening, and improved energy, your bootcamp training will make a noticeable difference in your physical and mental wellbeing.
Bootcamps are a beautiful thing for men and women of all shapes, sizes, fitness, and skill levels. If these reasons have given you that extra kick to get healthy or get into shape with a bootcamp, we hope you’ll give Sync Fitness a try! Click here to contact me for more information!
Five Delicious Foods to Help You Lose Weight
Weight loss – the effective kind with lasting results – is best achieved through a combination of exercise and a healthy diet. Eating protein and produce and cutting back on the processed carbs, processed foods, and sugar are nutritional habits that will help with weight loss. There are also several foods that can help you meet weight loss goals by making them a staple of your diet.
These five delicious foods can improve your health AND help you lose weight:
1. Olive Oil: Before the high fat content in olive oil worries you, you should know that it can actually help you lose weight because monounsaturated fats (which olive oil contains) can help you eat less. Monounsaturated fats help your body break down fats, which is why olive oil can help you lose weight.
Suggestions: Use olive oil for sautéing veggies or as a base in your salad dressing.
2. Eggs: Eggs are a great source of protein and a bit of healthy fat. They will fill you up and keep you feeling full and satisfied much longer than a standard breakfast of toast or cereal. They are also fast and easy to make.
Suggestions: scramble with a bunch of pre-cut veggies and a bit of Parmesan cheese for a quick and filling breakfast. Hard boil a dozen and eat them throughout the week as a grab ‘n go snack.
3. Berries: Not only are these tasty berries packed with antioxidants and fiber, they actually help lower your risk for diabetes and heart disease because they change the way your body stores sugars. Enjoy about ½ cup of berries each day. Studies show blueberries reduce the fat around your tummy. Berries are great for a sweet tooth attack and an easy grab ‘n go treat.
Suggestions: Add berries to smoothies. You can use frozen berries in place of ice cubes. Add berries to plain Greek yogurt as a sweetener. Mix a handful of berries with ¼ cup of nuts for a perfect protein/carb ratio afternoon snack.
4. Plain Greek Yogurt: Greek yogurt has been trending lately as an excellent snack or breakfast item. Go for the low-fat yogurt, which is high in protein and probiotics (always look for “live and active cultures” on the label). The protein and calcium in Greek yogurt will help your body speed up its ability to break down fat, as well as speeding up your metabolism. The high protein content of Greek yogurt will also help protect your lean muscle mass – even better for a high metabolism. Plain Greek yogurt is much lower in sugar than regular yogurts, making it a much better option for your waistline.
Suggestions: Add honey or a few drops of liquid Stevia to plain Greek yogurt to sweeten it a bit. You can also add berries and sliced almonds for some sweetness and crunch. Also, sub plain Greek yogurt in recipes calling for sour cream.
5. Avocado: This delicious food is technically a fruit, with the seed on the inside. It’s fabulous for helping you lose weight, too, since it’s packed with fiber and healthy monounsaturated fats. Research suggests that a quarter or half of an avocado per day will improve your weight loss results. The fat in avocado will regulate your blood sugar and help you feel satiated, keeping your nutrition in check all day.
Suggestions: Make quick guacamole by combining half of a diced avocado, a bit of chopped sweet onion and a ¼ teaspoon of fresh squeezed lemon juice. Dip freshly cut veggies or roll up a slice of avocado in nitrate-free sliced turkey for a high protein/low sugar snack.
If you’re looking for more tips toward healthy eating that’s weight-loss-friendly, make sure you check out our blog post on “Volume Eating For Female Fat Loss” from our sister site, Fit Healthy Moms. There are some tasty recipes included!
Five Weight Loss Myths
It’s a personalized balance of healthy dieting, exercise, and determination. Weight loss – particularly for those of us who are ‘real’ women and men with busy lives – is not an easy thing to achieve or maintain. There’s no ‘silver bullet’ or ‘quick fix’ to help you lose weight (at least not if you’re going to keep the weight off).
But while we’re all working to avoid carbs and sweets, it’s important to recognize a weight loss myth when you hear one – it could be hindering your goal for a smaller dress or pant size, rather than helping it. Check out these five weight loss myths:
- “Low Fat” & “Fat Free” Means 0 Calories: Fat free and low-fat products may have fewer calories than standard versions of the same food, however, fat free and low-fat products may also contain more flour, sugar, salt, or starch to keep the flavor of the food item after they have removed the fat. All of those items increase calorie count. I never recommend “Fat Free” versions of food. Low Fat is fine and often Full Fat is too! Fat is your friend. It fills you up, keeps you satisfied and it helps your brain understand that you have actually eaten. Recent research is actually showing great weight loss and maintenance results in diets HIGH in fat, when the fat is from good sources.
- Snacking Will Prevent Weight Loss: It’s a myth that eating between meals is detrimental to weight loss. Actually, small healthy snacks between meals – such as plain Greek yogurt, fruits, vegetables, and nuts – can help you eat less at breakfast, lunch, and dinner. These snacks can also help you get nutrients you might not get at meals.
- All Carbs Are Evil: Not all carbs are created equal, and there is such a thing as good carbs and not-so-good carbs. Avoid carbohydrates with lots of sugar or white flour. Fruits, vegetables, beans (legumes) and sprouted whole grains are all good carbs to consume. Don’t forget that your body uses carbohydrates as fuel for exercise, so you need some good carbs on hand to burn each time you work out!
- Fast Food = The Worst Food to Eat: Okay, you probably shouldn’t chomp down on a double cheeseburger with fries and a milkshake, but in a crunch, you can usually make a reasonable choice. Some healthier fast food options to try: order a salad. Choose grilled chicken or fish instead of fried. And get a side of fruit. Minimize sauces – mayonnaise and dressings are weight loss nightmares.
- Consistent Exercise & Diet Means No Weight Gain: Your metabolism will change as you age, meaning that exercising the same way and eating the same things – even if you workout every day – may not prevent muscle loss and weight gain. The good news is, there are a few dietary and exercise tweaks you can make to combat an aging body, in order to keep the extra weight off.
I hope that by debunking these myths, you’ll be on your way to a healthier method of weight loss. If you need some help with your own weight loss goals, I’m always happy to help! Just contact me for a free consultation.
Wow. What a year for Sync Fitness. I am in awe.
This year has been successful in ways I could not anticipate last January. It has been the single best year for Sync Fitness for many reasons. I wish I could individually highlight each client I had the pleasure of working with this year. I want each of you to know how much I truly LOVE and APPRECIATE every bit of energy and sweat you share with me. Sync Fitness is nothing without YOU.
Read the rest of this page »
Read the rest of this page »
We'd Love to Hear From You
Jump, run, take the first step and set up your complimentary consultation today:Subscribe to RSS Feed
- Fun Tips
- General Fitness
- Sync Fitness Current Events
- Weight Loss Program
Seattle personal training
Seattle 6 Week Total Body Transformation
Sync Fitness Recipes
Fremont Boot Camp
seattle group exercise classes
Sync Fitness Recipe
Seattle Indoor Boot Camp
Seattle Weight Loss Program
the fitness lab
wallingford boot camp
sync fitness boot camp
Weight Loss Seattle
Seattle Weight Loss
seattle boot camp
seattle personal trainer