Sunday, March 29, 2009

Stay Fit #6 - Dynamic Warmup

A dynamic warmup is one of the best ways to prepare your muscles and nervous system for exercise or competition.

Don't Let Your Fitness Turn to Fatness!

It’s important to make time for regular exercise in your weekly routine. But what I want talk about today is directed at those who may be doing too much of a good thing. A woman came in for her free initial consultation with me this week to review her current routine and get set up on a new program. One of her main concerns was that although she was doing cardio several times a week and following a healthy diet, she was still carrying extra body fat and felt “soft”.

I see this a lot. The problem was that she was performing too much cardio and little to no resistance training. If your goal is fat loss, your primary mission is to increase your metabolism. A well designed resistance training program will develop more lean (muscle) tissue, which will not only make you appear more fit and toned but it will significantly boost your metabolism. This will help you burn more calories and fat all day long, even at rest!

However, performing excessive cardiovascular activity (ie-jogging, cycling, elyptical trainer) can rob your muscles of needed nutrients, and may even break down your lean tissue. Therefore, you need to make resistance training a priority, and avoid doing too much cardio.

So what should your workouts look like? Well, a great type resistance workout is called circuit training, and it involves training several exercises back to back with minimal rest in between. Usually you will want to train different muscle groups, so that you aren't fatiguing the same area with each successive exercise (such as upper body then lower body, alternating). Focus on the big calorie burning movements in a range of about 8 to 12 repetitions. A sample program could look like 2 circuits of:

  • Pulldowns or Chinups

  • Back Squats

  • Pushups

  • Lunges or Step Ups

  • Rows

  • Deadlifts

  • Overhead Press

You could also use fewer exercises and perform a third circuit if you choose.

You can still perform cardiovascular exercise, after your circuit training or on a seperate day, but you would want to use a technique called interval training. This involves performing your cardiovascular activity with alternating periods of low intensity and high intensity, but for a shorter duration. This type of training not only burns more calories but it helps preserve lean tissue and boosts fat burning hormones. You end up burning off more fat in a shorter workout!

Check my newsletter for more fat burning tips or feel free to contact me with any questions.

Stay Fit,


Monday, March 23, 2009

Mastermind Group

This weekend I met with a few other trainers for our third Mastermind group meeting. I organized this group a few months ago in order to help take my business to the next level and provide my readers and my clients with better service and information. So far it's been great, and we're almost finished our first project: a fat loss report for busy people. I'll post when it's ready... it's looking great!

What is a Mastermind Group?
There is synergy of energy, commitment, and ambition that participants bring to a Mastermind Group. The great thing about Mastermind Groups is that participants raise the bar by challenging each other to create and implement goals, brainstorm ideas, and support each other with the goal of personal or business development. Mastermind participants act as catalysts for growth and as a support network for each other.

The concept of the Mastermind Group was formally introduced by Napoleon Hill in the early 1900's. In his highly recommended book, "Think And Grow Rich" he wrote about the Mastermind principle as:"The coordination of knowledge and effort of two or more people, who work toward a definite purpose, in the spirit of harmony." He continues ..."No two minds ever come together without thereby creating a third, invisible intangible force, which may be likened to a third mind."

In this type of group, a collective agenda and goal is formed and each person’s participation is key. Members give each other feedback, help brainstorm new ideas, and set up accountability structures to aid in accomplishing the goals. Essentially, it's creating a community of supportive colleagues who will brainstorm together to move the group to new heights.

Anyone can benefit from forming a Mastermind group, but certain guidelines should be used to make it effective.

Participants should:
  • have a similar interest or be in the same organization or industry
  • have a similar skill and/or success level
  • have the desire and motivation to succeed or exceed their goals
  • want a supportive team of Mastermind partners and are committed to the group
  • ready to make positive advances in life and overcome their fear of change
  • have a personal or business mission or vision statement

It's important to screen new members before agreeing to let them into your Mastermind, to make sure they’ll fit into the existing group. Decide in advance how many people should be in your group (5-8 is recommended), and get the approval of all members before inviting anyone.

Even then there will be people who say that they’re committed but then don’t participate, or aren't in a position to contribute to the group. But if you can ensure that all members are on a similar level this will really raise the energy and fun level for the entire group!

I'm still learning alot about this as we develop the group dynamic, but thankfully I am networking with some excellent professionals in the industry and expect some big things for the future!

Until next time, Stay Fit!


Monday, March 2, 2009

Stay Fit Minute #5- Soccer Training

In this episode of my Stay Fit Minute videos I discuss athletic conditioning for soccer, because despite the sport's popularity the sport specific training programs for soccer are often out-dated.

I've produced an excellent training resource for soccer players, together with elite level soccer coach Clayton Rosario.

The DVD, Building the Complete Soccer Athlete: Train Like a Pro, covers a wide variety of technical drills with the ball to improve touch, speed, and moves to beat an opponent on any part of the field, as well as equally important, yet often neglected, speed, strength and conditioning exercises. The basics of sport psychology and nutrition are introduced as well.

Go to for more information.

Stay Fit!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Man Loses 50 Pounds of Fat!

My goal is to help my clients set and reach their fitness and performance goals with effective exercise and nutrition programs. I want to share a success story with you as an illustration of how simple (I didn't say EASY... I just mean it's not complicated!) it is to achieve great results at any age.

One of my clients, John Garbel, has recently lost over 50 pounds and 11% bodyfat and it took him around 6 months. Check out my site to see more info about his transformation. (John's Testimonial).

John is in his 40's and last year had decided to reclaim his health and fitness after finding himself weighing almost 300lbs, with bad knees and back problems. Now weighing under 250lbs he is half way to his goal of 200 lbs at under 20% bodyfat!

Here's EXACTLY what John does:
He works out with weights 3-4 days per week following my Top Form Fitness system, which is planned and structured well in advance, progressing incrementally with varied training stimulus to prevent plateauing.

He follows these workouts with 15-30 minutes ofcardiovascular exercise, performing intervals by alternating brief periods of high intensity with lower intensity periods of recovery.

He eats 5-6 meals or snacks per day, always trying to include visually equal portions of lean protein (e.g. fish, chicken, eggs), starchy carbs (e.g. oatmeal, brown rice, yams), and fibrous carbs (e.g. fruits and vegetables) in each meal. He uses protein shakes post workout for recovery or when he is not able to get acomplete meal. He allows himself one cheat day each week. He keeps a daily nutrition log, to maintain awareness of what he eats and how much he eats, to help stick to his nutrition plan.

He may not follow this program perfectly all of the time, but he is always striving to get better, which is how he lost 50 lbs in 6 months.

I don't think I could make it much clearer than that.

But if you ask John what the real "secret" to his success is (if there is one), it's the coaching. The experience, support, and accountability a good coach provides is irreplaceable. Nothing can help you get results faster, and maintain them.

Congratulations John!

Keep Fit,
Josh Hewett