Posts Tagged ‘tips’

kristen

“Excellence is never an accident. It is always the result of high intention, sincere effort, and intelligent execution; it represents the wise choice of many alternatives – choice, not chance, determines your destiny.” ~ Aristotle

After 21 years in the Health and Fitness industry, I can finally say that I’ve found my niche. I am a strength and conditioning coach at 2 well known gyms located in downtown Toronto. I also work part-time as a physiotherapy assistant. I like the balance of helping individuals to attain their fitness and aesthetic goals; as well as aiding those who require a more therapeutic form of exercise; whose goals are more predetermined and specific ( ie, get up from a chair without knee pain).

I’ve always been an athlete, kind of the black sheep in my family in respect to that. I saw being active as pure enjoyment; the racing heartbeat, adrenaline and sweat was something I always enjoyed. I’m also very competitive by nature and I excelled in all sports related activities. My favorites are soccer, water polo and volleyball. I enjoyed these mostly because of the energy and synergy of the team environment.

As I got into my late teens, I had a shift in feeling about the team dynamic and felt like I wanted to try a sport where the competition was within one’s self. At 18 I began running long distance and by the time I was in my second year of university I had run 4 marathons. As much as I liked the cathartic feeling of a long distance run and the endorphins that followed, I was not built (bio-mechanically) to be a good runner. I experienced several injuries in my plantar fasciitis; knee and back discomfort, as well as a fateful left hamstring tear which occurred while running a marathon in Massey, Ontario.

After that injury I saw a chiropractor as a form of preventative treatment. My Doctor at that time recommended that I begin weight training to strengthen my hamstrings and offset the imbalance created by my strong quads. At the age of 21, I started on a path to bodybuilding and it has been my passion for almost 20 years. To me there is no better feeling than lifting heavy weights and pushing the body beyond its comfort zone. It’s not a natural state of mind; it can be extraordinarily painful; yet I continue to push forward to attain the desired goal. This thought process or state of being has transferred to other areas of my life. It has made me persevere, maintain focus, calm my mind and feel more confident. When I set my mind to something “I WILL” get it done. In other words I have attained a level of discipline that cannot be taught by book; classroom nor motivational speech.

The hardest obstacle that I’ve had to overcome as a female bodybuilder is twofold; the need to create balance between the gym and my personal life, as well as society’s misconception of women who have attained larger than average muscles. Unfortunately, it’s not as accepted as I’d hoped. Crossfit and various athletic (or fit) celebrities have helped somewhat, yet I can still occasionally feel the look of disapproval from people who don’t know me, yet judge me on what they see. It has nothing to do with masculine or feminine. In my eyes it has always been about building the perfect human form through weight training. I’ve always likened it to adding bits of clay to a sculpture bit by bit, until the results are perfect. I’ve discovered however that once attained there’s always a new goal on the horizon.

In the last 20 years, I have competed and won 5 times. I’ve also competed at Nationals and placed 4th. I’ve gone on to do discuss body building in the media, as well as trained other fitness athletes who themselves have attained great success. I now envision myself a mentor and teacher to other women with the same ideals.

My current workout routine, after trying several variations and muscle groupings, is 6 days a week, 1 body part a day, no more than one hour if possible, followed by 20 minutes HIIT cardio (high intensity interval training) or 1-2 x a week – spin class. My diet consists mainly of fish, sweet potatoes, Ezekiel bread, oatmeal, whey or casein protein, and several servings of fruit and vegetables as well nut butters and coconut oil for fats. My supplements have been basic for a while, as I try not to rely on them for my nutritional needs. I have a greens supplement drink first thing in the morning, followed by a pro-biotic and vitamin C. Post workout I have BCAA (branch chain amino-acid) as well as a shake. At night I take a multivitamin, vitamin D and magnesium.

My current fitness goals are trying to add more muscle to my legs and back; it’s the support system for the body and we can always benefit from getting stronger and more muscular.

One of the things that I try to convey to all of my clients is the fact that being inspired to train is good, but you must get to a point where you don’t need inspiration; only dedication. It all comes down to how badly you want to succeed. If the want is greater than the need, you’ll never be able to truly understand what it takes to get into the best shape of your life.

The sacrifices are many, but the rewards are tenfold physically, mentally and spiritually.

Kristen McCarthy
twitter @thehulklady

Christinia

This is for anyone who doesn’t believe in themselves.

My childhood was complicated, but here’s the nutshell version; my parents were never together; my dad left early; and my biological mother was barley nineteen years old when she had me. I was adopted by my parents at the age of twelve. I recall a lot of runaway homes and finding myself in bad situations. Growing up with emptiness and the only form of love I knew was abandonment.

The only way I was able to express my feelings as a young person was through sports and I was good at everything I played. I did it all from running track, to volleyball, sports became my outlet. I was raised as a small farm girl but I was a wild child at heart. I remember training within the last year and a half thinking, if only I had all this knowledge when I was younger, weight rooms, healthy relationships. What I’ve learned is this, “what if’s” get you no where. I know now you can’t change the past nor change anyone other than yourself, unless they’re ready. I would not have been ready for this chapter of my story had it come any other time in my life. This is something that has taken me a very long time to understand.

At the end of January 2013 I tried to zip a XXL winter jacket up, and it wouldn’t zip. I was not upset of the fact it wouldn’t zip, I was upset at the thought of how expensive a new winter coat would be and said I refuse to spend the money on a new one. I remember getting on the scale at my heaviest, 285lbs, but I never weighed myself after that. I can tell you at one point even size 30 pants were tight!  The same day I tried to zip the coat, Dr. Oz was on and he had Dr. Ian Smith as a guest talking about his book “Shred”. I told my ex, at the time we already were sleeping separate and just roommates going through life for the sake of what I call trying to survive, “I’m going to do this, and go to the gym after work from now on”. He really wanted nothing to do with what I was doing.

In the 6 weeks I went through the book, I lost my first 22lbs! I’ll never forget, I could barely walk on the treadmill then one month later it was jogging. I started adding spin classes soon I was running and spinning every day. It was all I knew how to do. I learned slowly that eating is a significant part of the process. I never understood that until I read “Shred”.  I started coming home from the gym at 1 in the morning, and found that I was too jacked to sleep. I became obsessed with Instagram, discovered ways to eat better, and thought maybe; just maybe I could actually lift those things called weights!

I started interacting with people on Twitter. I met and saw some amazing women and men who were fit and strong.  I have never had any real support in my life and felt misplaced in the world so for me to hear strangers supporting me via social media was hard to accept. I just didn’t get it.

Just seven months into this process I had lost about 120lbs, left my ex-husband and took the kids to start a new and scary journey. There are two sides to every story, I left my husband because I was dying inside. I was always the girl with the laugh you could hear from outside, the smile that could light up the darkest room. My friend tried to help me leave many times.  It is much easier said than done and I get this. For years when my ex would drink, he became a different belligerent man.  As I became stronger and started believing in myself, I started feeling alive again. I could not stand living one more day the way we were living. With no idea, no money, no help only the faith I had in God to guide me, we started over.

I prep my food every week. Normally it’s a whole organic chicken with a head of garlic, brown rice and a veggie (my favorite is acorn squash). When I need a change it’s either shrimp, turkey or bison. I have crazy goals I never thought possible for myself but it’s what drives me to be better than I was the day before. I’d love to compete in a bikini and I have plans to step on stage this August here at home. If I am not ready, there’s always next time.

Shortly after my first year transformation, I was introduced to my coach, my rock, my angel as I call him Rob Renowned. He inspires me with his old school methods and has transformed my body completely with each week that goes by. #CoachRob to you I am grateful!

I have three amazing and beautiful children. They are my best cheerleaders, my heart and soul. My son who is the youngest will never remember mommy fat, and I am grateful. The two youngest are my healthy eaters. My eldest has a hard time with the change but that is my fault. I was told once I was being selfish for leaving my ex-husband and losing all of my weight.  I don’t believe that there is any truth to this. So don’t believe the outside world. (These people are just as unhappy in their life as I was in mine.)  What’s truly amazing is the fact that their father and I are friends and we communicate pretty well.

To date I have lost 145lbs. I am losing about 2lbs a week and of course I am only getting leaner to compete. My coach has me on a workout routine, and I have worked my way up to 400-500 squats 3 days a week, and I love it! I am grateful for the manager Andy at my gym in New Berlin, the Princeton Club and almost every teacher (especially Zachary) I have taken a class with. These individuals have helped me every single day. I’ll never forget the day I was in Zachary’s spin class and I actually started to cry. The person that I have become through this entire journey is simply, crazy, amazing and beautiful.  Sometimes I don’t believe this is my life. I still don’t have much as far as material things, but let me just say this; a roof over my head, food on the table, my health and my babies are all that I need!

Today, if you listen close, you can hear me laughing and if we were to meet (I promise) if your room is dark, I will light it up with my smile and my energy!

Believe in yourself and great things will happen for you.

Love and blessings,

Christinia

Follow me on Twitter @determinedfiti
Instagram determinedfiti
Email me at determinedfiti@gmail.com

Micelle

Hello, my name is Michelle and I am excited to share my fitness journey as so much has changed since sharing my first story with Socially Fit. I’m from the beautiful islands of Trinidad and Tobago found in the far south of the Caribbean. I began exercising at age 11 and never stopped unless told to do so. I was forced to stop working out in 2003 when I had a surgery. The other time was more recent, in 2013 after the birth of my miracle baby. Yes I said miracle baby since I was told that I was not capable of having children due to my diagnosis of endometriosis in 2003. I’m a figure athlete and have represented my country in various international body fitness competitions. My last competition being the Arnold Classic held in Ohio in 2013 where I placed 5th in my class.

During my pregnancy I was able to exercise with some modifications as I went through each trimester. However I had an emergency C-section which slowed my return to exercising post pregnancy. It was recommended that I should not to work out for the first 6 weeks post pregnancy and that was the crucial time when my weight should be reduced. Instead I have only lost a minimal amount of weight and after two months began a training regimen.

With the new addition to my family life, exercising has to be strategic. Timing is key. We purchased a treadmill for our home so I can get more structured cardio done when the baby is asleep. Weight training normally lasts between 30 to 40 minutes and is done prior to or after training clients as I am currently a freelance Personal Trainer in north Indianapolis area.

I have set both short term and long term goals and they motivate me to everyday to wake up and accomplish the objective set out for the day, week or month ahead. For example I set out to complete a 30 minute cardio session at least 3 days a week as well as 4 to 5 days of weight training to build muscle. My nutrition has also become even more crucial thus food prep every Sunday has become the norm to allow me to ensure the proper meals are consumed daily.

Some of my fitness goals include me being my original weight before I became pregnant on or before my birthday which is in July. I would also like to challenge myself by preparing to compete in October 2014 either representing my country Trinidad and Tobago or taking part in an NPC Show.

My hubby and parents have always been and still are the best support system ever. Hearing my mom say, “I’m eating better and exercising to be healthier” is support and a great motivational tool for me.

My favorite body part to work out is back.  I have always loved the quick response my back muscles adapt to my exercise routines over the years and this time is no different.

Always motivate yourself from within. Make mental notes and write down your goals. Mark Twain said it best, “the secret of getting ahead is getting started.” My last competition pic has been a continued motivational piece for me. I would love to earn my professional status one day. “One day at a time I am getting close to my goal” has been my mantra. It’s what I tell myself with each workout and each meal I consume each day.

Follow me on Twitter @triniintownmich
Blogspot M.O.R.E. Wellness by Michelle
Email michelle@fcindy.com
Or Facebook Michelle Blessed

Ant

I’m very focused on building muscle while creating as little stress on my joints as possible. Always strict, controlled form. No bouncing. No swinging. Often (but not always): Slow reps (4sec down + 6 sec up) to shock the muscle and build up lactic acid releasing growth hormone. Drop sets, rest/pause and partial reps. Occasionally I will lift heavy weights, 3 sets of 5 reps or so.

In the mid-80s, I was a 115-pound teenager and I saw a picture of Robby Robinson posing. I remember thinking “Good grief is that his bicep?” He was fantastic and I was inspired. Seeing Robby Robinson, Frank Zane, Tom Platz and others, they blew me away.

I don’t have as many pains or some of the health problems that others my age have. I like to attribute this to staying healthy. Mentally, I love preparing for a workout, testing techniques and seeing how my body responds. It keeps me sharp. I love getting questions from others because then I usually have to do research before answering. I end up learning a lot that way.

Looking at how others progress and transform themselves, I also want to be inspirational to others my age or even younger. If I’m doing it, they can too! I love encouraging others and watching them take the bull by the horns.

My wife is fantastic! She’s my biggest supporter. She helps me eat healthy by eating healthy herself. She knows I’m not a fan of vegetables and she creatively adds them to the things she cooks. She is always encouraging me and telling me that I make her proud. She’s a wonderful woman and a blessing to my life!

I also get much enjoyment out of the younger crowd. We’re fortunate enough to have a great group of young people at our gym and they’re always encouraging and inspiring! I like having a good time at the gym and we all get along great.

Putting on weight has been one of my biggest obstacles. I was proud that I put on 18lbs. last year before cutting. That was the most I’ve ever weighed (178). I was also fortunate enough to have been interviewed by Bodybuilding.com. I was one of their Over 40 Amateurs of the week.

My routines change all the time. I’m cutting at the moment, the techniques are the same basically, I might add a few additional exercises if I think a specific body part needs more attention. I’m doing a lot of isolation type exercises right now to bring out the small details as I cut. I am very big on the MIND/MUSCLE connection (Kai Greene talks about this a lot). It really works!

I have a few goals I wish to achieve and there are many ways that I can go. Maybe personal training. Maybe a contest. But definitely to look at myself in the mirror and see improvement. My daily food plan consists of various combinations of the following: egg whites, 1 egg, oatmeal, tilapia, chicken breast, brown rice, tuna, broccoli, spinach, orange, apple and cottage cheese (casein protein). I also mix in supplements such as: Whey, BCAA’s, Creatine HCL, Yohimbe, Green Tea Extract, Fish Oil and Beta-Alanine.

I’m a HUGE fan of positive reinforcement. It’s just a great tool! EVERYONE has something they can be proud of and you should find people that will recognize those things in you. Social media is a great avenue for that. Find positive people who are not just blowing smoke or trying to sell something and they WILL help you. Remember, if you don’t fail occasionally, you’re not pushing hard enough. Don’t be afraid to fail! Just get started, one step at a time. Set small goals leading to ONE big goal.

Be proud, but don’t be satisfied. Take time to be pleased with the results of your hard work, but don’t be finished. Always look for something to improve. If you’re serious about progressing, you won’t have to look hard to find them.

Twitter: @TheOnlyAnt

15 health benefits of eating apples

Many of us forget that sometimes, the simplest answers are the best. Better health could be as easy as reaching for the fruit bowl for some apples next time you need a snack.

apples1

What makes apples so great?

In 2004, USDA scientists investigated over 100 foods to measure their antioxidant concentration per serving size. Two apples—Red Delicious and Granny Smith—ranked 12th and 13th respectively. Antioxidants are disease-fighting compounds. Scientists believe these compounds help prevent and repair oxidation damage that happens during normal cell activity. Apples are also full of a fibre called pectin—a medium-sized apple contains about 4 grams of fibre. Pectin is classed as a soluble, fermentable and viscous fibre, a combination that gives it a huge list of health benefits.

1. Get whiter, healthier teeth

An apple won’t replace your toothbrush, but biting and chewing an apple stimulates the production of saliva in your mouth, reducing tooth decay by lowering the levels of bacteria.

2. Avoid Alzheimer’s

A new study performed on mice shows that drinking apple juice could keep Alzheimer’s away and fight the effects of aging on the brain. Mice in the study that were fed an apple-enhanced diet showed higher levels of the neurotransmitter acetyl choline and did better in maze tests than those on a regular diet.

3. Protect against Parkinson’s

Research has shown that people who eat fruits and other high-fiber foods gain a certain amount of protection against Parkinson’s, a disease characterized by a breakdown of the brain’s dopamine-producing nerve cells. Scientists have linked this to the free radical-fighting power of the antioxidants contained therein.

4. Curb all sorts of cancers

Scientists from the American Association for Cancer Research, among others, agree that the consumption of flavonol-rich apples could help reduce your risk of developing pancreatic cancer by up to 23 per cent. Researchers at Cornell University have identified several compounds—triterpenoids—in apple peel that have potent anti-growth activities against cancer cells in the liver, colon and breast. Their earlier research found that extracts from whole apples can reduce the number and size of mammary tumors in rats. Meanwhile, the National Cancer Institute in the U.S. has recommended a high fiber intake to reduce the risk of colorectal cancer.

5. Decrease your risk of diabetes

Women who eat at least one apple a day are 28 percent less likely to develop type 2 diabetes than those who don’t eat apples. Apples are loaded with soluble fibre, the key to blunting blood sugar swings.

6. Reduce cholesterol

The soluble fibre found in apples binds with fats in the intestine, which translates into lower cholesterol levels and a healthier you.

7. Get a healthier heart

An extensive body of research has linked high soluble fibre intake with a slower buildup of cholesterol-rich plaque in your arteries. The phenolic compound found in apple skins also prevents the cholesterol that gets into your system from solidifying on your artery walls. When plaque builds inside your arteries, it reduces blood flow to your heart, leading to coronary artery disease.

8. Prevent gallstones

Gallstones form when there’s too much cholesterol in your bile for it to remain as a liquid, so it solidifies. They are particularly prevalent in the obese. To prevent gallstones, doctors recommend a diet high in fibre to help you control your weight and cholesterol levels.

9. Beat diarrhea and constipation

Whether you can’t go to the bathroom or you just can’t stop, fibre found in apples can help. Fibre can either pull water out of your colon to keep things moving along when you’re backed up, or absorb excess water from your stool to slow your bowels down.

10. Neutralize irritable bowel syndrome

Irritable bowel syndrome is characterized by constipation, diarrhea, and abdominal pain and bloating. To control these symptoms doctors recommend staying away from dairy and fatty foods while including a high intake of fibre in your diet.

11. Avert hemorrhoids

Hemorrhoids are a swollen vein in the anal canal and while not life threatening, these veins can be very painful. They are caused by too much pressure in the pelvic and rectal areas. Part and parcel with controlling constipation, fibre can prevent you from straining too much when going to the bathroom and thereby help alleviate hemorrhoids.

12. Control your weight

Many health problems are associated with being overweight, among them heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes and sleep apnea. To manage your weight and improve your overall health, doctors recommend a diet rich in fibre. Foods high in fibre will fill you up without costing you too many calories.

13. Detoxify your liver

We’re constantly consuming toxins, whether it is from drinks or food, and your liver is responsible for clearing these toxins out of your body. Many doctors are skeptical of fad detox diets, saying they have the potential to do more harm than good. Luckily, one of the best—and easiest—things you can eat to help detoxify your liver is fruits—like apples.

14. Boost your immune system

Red apples contain an antioxidant called quercetin. Recent studies have found that quercetin can help boost and fortify your immune system, especially when you’re stressed out.

15. Prevent cataracts

Though past studies have been divided on the issue, recent long-term studies suggest that people who have a diet rich in fruits that contain antioxidants—like apples—are 10 to 15 per cent less likely to develop cataracts.

green-apples_0

http://www.besthealthmag.ca

Sammit Fitness

Dan Sammit

Sammit Fitness is committed to providing health, fitness and performance training and education. 

I am currently involved with 2 successful small businesses. I am the co-founder of Pin High Performance and the owner of Sammit Fitness.

Pin High Performance develops custom fitness programs for golfers of all levels. Sammit Fitness is committed to providing health, fitness and performance training and education.

Over the past several months, Sammit Fitness has been working with health care providers and a holistic health program (sponsored and funded by SunLife Insurance) through a local hospital to help people with various health conditions. It has been a great opportunity to give back and help transform people’s lives through exercise and education.

Today, I enjoy being physically active on a daily basis but it has not always been the case.

Many of us were introduced to fitness through sport. My childhood was no different. In the warmer months, track (sprinting), soccer, baseball, bike riding, hiking and street hockey were the norm. In the colder months, downhill skiing was the major source of physical activity.

As I got into my teens, physical activity became an afterthought. I made poor food choices which lead me to become overweight for several years. I became very self-conscious of my body and my height or lack thereof. Going into high school, I was 5’2” and a very out of shape 140lbs. This caused a lot of anxiety for a few years.

It was not until I was at the end of grade 10 that things started to change. Over the summer I grew about 8 inches and gained about 20 pounds. When school started in the fall, I was much taller than many of the kids that used to pick on me. I gained a new confidence. Since I would not be the smallest, slowest guy on the field, I decided it was time to go back and try sports again. I signed up for baseball, and got back to regular activity.

I kept up with my exercise and sports into my early 20’s. That is when I was introduced to weight training. I also stumbled into a part time job at a nutrition/health food store at that time.

While working at the store, I became quite familiar with vitamins, herbs and supplements. This was extremely helpful with my weight training regimen and getting me healthy.

At this point, I was still unsure about my career path. I had the opportunity to manage several stores so I decided that I wanted that challenge. While I was running the stores and interacting with clients, I realized that I really enjoyed helping people with their health. It was gratifying to know I was empowering them and helped them feel better. That is when I knew I wanted to make my career in the health and fitness field.

Today, I enjoy being physically active on a daily basis but it has not always been the case.

Today, I enjoy being physically active on a daily basis but it has not always been the case.

With the support of my family and friends, I enrolled in the Fitness and Lifestyle Management Program (FLMP) at George Brown College. I had been out of school for several years and this program was a real challenge. After 3 years, I graduated and have not looked back since. My pursuit of knowledge did not end at school. I constantly read and study under some of the best fitness and health professionals in the world. My passion for helping people get healthy and reach their fitness goals keeps me going every day.

I enjoyed weight training but needed an additional challenge after school was complete. Enter Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ). A friend of mine took me out to a class and I was hooked. It was hard to understand how these small guys and girls were able to handle larger opponents with ease. Talk about motivation! I knew that I had to learn this martial art. The sport has taught me some valuable lessons in dedication, perseverance, confidence and respect. It has been a great addition to my regular exercise routine. I am currently an active competitor.

Due to the varied sports and activities, my training and workout schedule have evolved over the past few years. I periodize my training based on various goals to maximize my results. Here is a snap shot of my current workouts:

1. Jiu Jitsu 2-3 times per week (1.5 hr per session)

2. Weight Training or HIIT 2 times per week (using free weights, kettlebells, sandbags, clubs, body weight) 20-30 min

3. Joint mobility is done daily (active recovery)

Daily meals can vary but here is an average day:

Breakfast: 2-3 eggs with ezekiel toast or fresh pressed juice (mainly from greens) with plant based protein and essential fatty acids

Lunch: 1 of chicken, fish or meat with mixed green salad, olive oil and balsamic vinegar

Supper: 1 of chicken, fish or meat with steamed vegetables (several types) or salad

*as many organic, non GMO ingredients as possible

Other important factors for daily health and fitness I follow are:

*3 liters of water spread throughout the day.

* Sleep from 10:30pm- 6am

Supplements are limited because I try to get as many nutrients from food as possible. That said, I use coconut oil (daily), BCAA’s (daily) and plant based protein on occasion.

Eat well, move daily, set goals, keep a positive attitude, and enjoy every second of life!

Eat well, move daily, set goals, keep a positive attitude, and enjoy every second of life! ~ Dan Sammit

Current GoaIs: Training to compete in several BJJ tournaments (3-5 more this year)

Start training for an athletic model/bodybuilding contest in 2014 or 2015

Continue to study and mentor with the best people in the industry

For those of you looking to start your fitness journey remember that physical activity can be done anywhere. Don’t get hung up on going to the gym to get fit. Choose activities you enjoy doing. Eat well, move daily, set goals, keep a positive attitude, and enjoy every second of life!

 

Follow me on twitter @SammitFitness and @GtaMMACoach
For golf fitness: dan@pinhighperformance.com
For health, fitness and performance: dan@sammitfitness.com