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Thursday, February 24, 2011

Free Custom Workouts & Exercises

Custom Workouts & Exercises - 3 Day Split Training Routines

Because I'm in a great mood today, here is a one month workout & exercise program comprised of four weekly three-day split routines which you can try out no matter what your fitness level. Two-three sets of 10-15 for beginners, three-four sets of 10-20 for intermediate or maintenance. Choose weight according to your sets and reps with higher weight at lower reps and lower weight at the higher reps. Those seeking growth will want to stay with the lower reps and higher weight meanwhile those seeking fat loss or muscular endurance and toning would go for a higher rep and lighter weight.
Keep your movements moderate in speed and well controlled. You can take a day off between each day and take your weekend off if you like.
Day Split Workout Routines - Week #1 (Upper/Lower/Both)

Day 1 (Upper)
Day 2 (Lower)
Day 3 (Upper/Lower)
Mid Back RowHamstring CurlsLunges
Shoulder PressCalve RaisesPec Dec
Bicep CurlsInner thighsHamstring curls
Tricep DipsOuter thighsFront Shoulder Raises
HyperextensionsHip ExtensionsCalve raises
Wrist curlsTib PullsV sits
Oblique CrunchesAb CrunchesHanging Oblique Raises
3 Day Split Workout Routines - Week #2
(Three muscles split)
Day 1 (Back/Biceps/Abs)
Day 2 (Chest/Triceps/Glutes)
Day 3 (Legs/Shoulders/Obliques)
DeadliftChest PressSquats
ChinsTricep DipsLegs Curls
T Bar RowsPulloverCalve Raises
Bar curlsKickbacksMilitary Press
Alternating DumbbellDumbbell FlySide Delt Raises
CurlsCable Tricep PushdownsRear Delt Raises
CrunchesHip ExtensionSide Crunch
Leg RaisesMulti Hip Heal PushHanging Obliques
3 Day Split Workout Routines - Week #3
Day 1 (Front)
Day 2 (Back)
Day 3 (All Body)
Chest PressDeadliftSquats
CrunchesMid Back RowPec Flys
Front Delt RaisesTricep DipsBarbell Bent Rows
Leg ExtensionsRear FlyTricep Dips
Bar CurlsHamstring CurlsSeated Dumbbell Curls
Tib PullsCalve RaisesShoulder Press
Wrist curlsHip ExtensionsCrunches
3 Day Split Workout Routines - Week #4 (Machines/Freeweights/Bodyweight)
Day 1 (Machines)
Day 2 (Freeweights)
Day 3 (Bodyweight)
Chest PressSquatsPullups
Shoulder PressDB Chest PressDips
Mid Back RowDeadliftsLunges
Leg ExtensionFront Bar RaisesCrunches
Leg CurlsGood MorningsTricep Dips
Seated CalvesDB Standing CalvesChins
Cable PushdownsRaisesSide Crunches
Cable CurlsTricep Kickbacks
DB Curls

Make sure you stretch the muscle used in between sets. Additionally I would suggest a minimum of 5-10 mins doing some type of warm up such as riding the stationary bike or jogging on the treadmill to get the blood flowing which prepare the body for the exercise to come. Once you have completed your workout you should stretch or cool down on the bike at a very very low pace.
Keep track of your daily training by logging what is done, sets, reps, weight used, cardio intensity and so on. This will show you improvements as they occur and will keep you accountable to complete each training day without missing.
Lastly I would suggest a pre-workout protein shake (protein only) and a protein carb combo shake or meal post workout to ensure proper fuel and energy stores are replenished. This will not hinder fat loss if you use the right foods!!
*Tib pulls - using cable or band, hook the band or cable to your toes, seated facing the weight stack or area the band is secured. Pull toes toward you.
*Good mornings – bar on shoulder, on rear delts, bend forward at waist, knees soft but not bent, work toward bending to 90 degrees.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Juice Diets - Juicing the Right Way for Weight Loss

With a huge rise in health conscious diet choices such as raw food diets, vegan and organics; juice diets have become an art with juicing machines ranging up to 700 dollars per unit. Wheat grass juicing uses a specialty juicer which has started popularity in slow juicing in order to not destroy the properties of the product. Centrifugal juicers are more of the mainstream in cost and popularity but are still said to be less favorable than wheat grass style juicing.
sweet wheat grass
I have been using juicing options in my clients’ diets including competitors in Fitness and Figure. One of my Figure clients had developed a preference in raw foods and juicing, opting for vegan choices save maybe some goat cheese and eggs and had requested I focus her diets on seeds, produce and lower protein intakes.
Contrary to beliefs that only higher protein intakes will produce lean muscle gains, she was a multiple first time winner in her Figure divisions as an over 40 competitor competing with women half her age. Her muscle is dense and well formed showing a 1st place Figure physique. What really stands out to me is how she never seems to age, looking much younger than she actually is, and she attributes this to her diet.
If you are not on a raw diet you can then utilize whatever bulk is left and use them in muffins and various other meals. On a raw diet plan you can make use of certain fruit and veggie bulk left from juicing in order to get some of the fiber in by way of raw soup blends. I always lean toward more veggies in the day than fruits and that would go for the juicers as well.
Some of the great choices for juicing options would be:
  • Parsley
  • Kale
  • Carrots
  • Beets
  • Bananas
  • Tomato
  • Pineapple
  • Ginger
  • Blueberries
  • Grapefruit
  • Wheatgrass
Additionally some other popular choices are oranges, apples, romaine lettuce, celery, coconut, strawberries and pomegranate.
Parsley has a slight diuretic effect but if you add some dandelion leaves you increase it. Fruits are always a great choice for added natural sweetness, citrus fruits being the flavor du jour for those seeking a hint of tart.
Juicing should be done right before you drink it because the juice looses its nutrients as time goes by especially when it is not kept cold. If you must pre juice then do keep it very cold and sealed well.
Fresh organics are the best route to take with juicing especially because you can use the skins which retain many precious vitamins, mineral and phytochemicals yet using non organics mean you must omit the skins which are loaded with pesticides.
Juicer Light Experiment
I would not suggest juicing all your meals unless you are on a fast or cleanse suggested by religion or your doctor. Juicing is a great substitute for your mid morning and mid day snacks between your main meals especially for those seeking fat loss.
An addition to your juicing for those seeking higher protein in a vegan source would be hemp protein. A meal in a glass made to blast your body with efficiency.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Feature Client Erin (a.k.a Lizzyb)

Interview with a superstar!


Why do I call her a superstar? After a few years of programming her training and meal plans I have had the honor of watching her take exceptional hold of her fitness and health through all the obstacles and events life throws at her both positive and negative!
As you read through this interview you will see how well Erin has done in taking my ideas and making it a lifestyle. She is not dependent but independent. She is a regular human being with all the similar trials and joys we all live on various levels yet she has honed her ability to ‘go with the flow’ into a science!
Her ability to weave and bob with clean eating and consistent exercise is flawless. She works around those indulgent events and days of being unable to follow fitness just right. She balances when it’s okay to have her cake…..and times when she needs to keep on track. Make sure you check out her fast sandwich recipe at the end of this article.

Q: What motivated you to take your training in the direction of using an online trainer?
A: I used to use a commercial gym regularly before I settled down and had kids.
After having two babies via c-section, 15months apart I managed to gain roughly about 40lbs, all of which I lost on my own.
When I got down to my goal weight, I saw that my body composition was not at all what it was before having my children. I felt a little despair since I was (still am btw) a very busy mom and wife how on earth was I going to find the time to sit and plan out my diet, my training, my husband’s meals not to mention the kids, the dog the cat....well, you get what I mean right?
I knew I needed help, but I really didn't want the investment of a gym membership either as my husband works 12hr days and I had limited resources for child care.
I was afraid I'd spend the money and not even get to go to the gym often enough to even make the changes I so wanted to see. I was also concerned that even if I used a gym that had a play care system, I couldn't guarantee that my kids would be happy and again would affect how or if I'd get my training done.
That is when I decided to do some research on-line. I knew form well enough as I had already a few years gym experience prior to having my children, so I knew I didn't necessarily need help with that aspect....what I really needed help with was diet and training program design. The rest I could handle on my own.
Q: Many people feel online training will not work, why does it work for you and how do you make it work for you?
A: Good question! I love when people say "That won't work for me", especially without trying it out first, lol! My philosophy on most things applied is that the only reason it wouldn't work is if you DON'T DO THE WORK!
It's like saying I tried therapy and it didn't work.....Much like therapy, training is only as good as the person DOING the training......your trainer can be the best in the business, but if you aren't going to do what your prescribed to do as it was prescribed or reasonably so, of course it will not work for you, or anyone else for that matter.
It works for me, because I do the work, plain and simple.
Q: Many moms have a hard time - job or not, keeping on a regular exercise program and proper diet what makes you successful in this endeavor?
A: It is hard, I won't lie, but I think the trick is to not sweat the small stuff...making my diet and training part of my day to day really helps. I feed my husband mostly all of what I eat on my diets but do make extras or additional side dishes as well. Such as my husband getting extra helpings of starches and for my children I make separate meals from what my husband and I are eating, so they eat a lot of what most kids their age prefer, hot dogs, pasta, grilled cheese sandwiches (I use turkey wieners, whole wheat pastas, real cheddar and whole grain breads for my children).
They do eat some veggies but are still too young to appreciate the green veggies. As for training I fit it in when it fits easily into my day.....Some days it could early in the morning before anyone wakes, other days it could end up being broken into smaller training segments, and others I may just have time to do a workout DVD.....main thing is, is I get something anything done and don't beat myself up if I didn't get it done just right either.
Life happens on a daily basis around my house and I have learned to just roll with it.
Q: Do you think it’s ‘ladylike’ to lift weights and why?
A: Absolutely!!!! I don't know about 'ladylike', lol!! Definitely feel that a woman who trains hard and lifts weights pushing her own limits is much more of a woman than a 'lady' who fears the iron so to speak.
It's not just physical strength, but with it comes strength of character and a closer relationship with our bodies as women, as we begin to learn what we truly can accomplish......the options truly can seem limitless!
Q: You have been working out steady and strong for a few years now, what is your favorite exercise and why?
A: Plyometrics because it is a test of one's strength and stamina.....awesome for shaping and hardening legs while getting a good cardio workout too, means more fat burning potential. I also love training abs, I love the feel when I fatigue my abdominal wall.
Q: Eating clean can be difficult; do you have a favorite clean meal?
A: I have many actually. It's amazing what you can do with boneless skinless chicken breast, ground turkey breast.....again the options are limitless, but I am a foodie.
I love to cook and play with foods in the kitchen......I think one of my faves for clean comfort foods would be chili made with ground turkey.....I get creative with what type of beans I use, I'll add spinach and ground flax as well.
Q: What tips can you give other moms with young children at home, which can help them stay meal organized and keep up a training schedule?
A: Best advice I could give moms at home, is to take charge of your groceries. You are the one who is feeding the family or directing how the family should be fed.....Lead by example. Kids will eat whatever you eat according to their tastes, if you let them. My daughter eats whole grain breads all the time and orders dry brown with her breakfasts out when asking for a grilled cheese.
Don't force anything on anyone, but DO force yourself to stick to your plan. It's not them who will derail your efforts.
Same goes for your training.....set time aside; plan a time of day when you know is a quiet time around the house. Let that time be YOURS to train, invite the kids to be near if they need to be, but make sure they understand that you are exercising at the moment and unless it is an emergency you have no intentions of stopping. Now emergencies in my household are needing to put in or remove a DVD, stop a fight, change a pull-up...and of course personal injury, lol!
If I haven't got my training in by 5pm I know my day is I plan ahead.
As for husbands, they get a little funny at first but believe me when they see the results coming in, they soon will be keeping the kids busy for you so you can get your training in, lol!!
Q: Once you have accomplished so many of your fitness goals, what happens then?
A: Reread my response to the 4th question!! I really feel the options are limitless, and I sincerely intend to be the fittest, firmest little blue haired momma in the retirement residence many years from now........maybe then I will find time to compete, lol!!

1 med ww pita
3-4oz chicken breast (roasted and marinated in evoo and lemon and garlic)
1tbs feta (fat reduced)
1c spinach or arugula
1tbs chopped red peppers
1tbs sweet onion
1tbs of chopped black olives or can use avocado but reduce evoo splash to just vinegar and spices
Sprinkle with oregano and splash with evoo, apple cider vinegar....Yumm!!
Cals: 432
44% fat
23% Carbs
33% Protein
Erin's Note: I use flat bread, but fit day doesn't have any values for it.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Curvy Body Workouts - Exercises to Add Curves to Your Physique

Rake thin is definitely not in, ladies, but curves are, so do not be afraid to lift some weight and cut back on the cardio. Here are some workout tips to help add curves to your body while building your muscles.
Round shoulders and hips are the goal and being that the hips part is not usually a problem, focus on some shoulder work and tightening the tush to help bring out firm curves. Rounding out the calves and thighs on the outside while working for some lats will really enhance a fit yet curvy shape with a nice lean waist. This is the shape for the 22nd Century. Be encouraged to show a healthy figure and forget the days of thin tapered legs. Women are PAYING for butt implants!? Why not spend a few weeks rather than a few (or more than a few!) dollars and train toward your new booty instead?
The best way to achieve the curves is to work with your natural assets by enhancing them with the right workouts.
Choose exercises such as side shoulder raises using dumbbells and overhead rounding shoulder press exercises. Apply these 1-2 times per week for 3-4 sets of 10 using a moderate weight in the 75% max range. By adding the rounding range of motion to the shoulder press you will have to go slow, watch form very carefully and make sure to use a weight a little lighter than when you do regular overhead shoulder work.
Outer thigh, glute targeting exercises will help with the hips and firm booty. Cables are an excellent tool for abduction but only if you apply the form correctly, otherwise use a machine which does outer thigh training so that you have the help with form by apparatus. Choose 3-4 exercises for this area working on a pyramid for higher and lower reps while varying the weight from light to heavy and back to light.
Single Leg Sumo Smith Squat

Turning your toes in for leg press and leg extension exercises will help bring out your outer quads. Some gals have this naturally while others do not and the factors which are dependant on this are length of limb as well as length of muscle belly on the limb.
This same idea of toe angle training applies to calves for bringing out the round shape on the outer lower limb. I would vary heavy and lower rep with moderate and higher rep to really shock the calves. They carry you all day so they do have a higher endurance capacity. To really show a good symmetry you have to pay attention to all these areas.
Lats are not hard to develop with assisted pullup machines, or if you have the strength then do regular pullups. Lat pulls are also helpful but to really draw down the lat accent you should also do standing lat pushdowns or supine wide pullovers with straight arms, not a good choice though if you are straight waisted then stick with upper lat work only.
Rear TRX Fly

These are just a few exercise tips. When these hints are applied along with moderate cardio and a balanced diet you will see yourself shape into a hot curvy babe in no time. If you're looking for a more detailed plan, I do offer a Curvy Girl workout & diet program. You can find more tips and exercises in my social media and website.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Milk Does a Body Good - Calcium Candidates

A lack of nutrients in our foods of today, including the fresh foods, can be blamed due to the soils depletion of nutrients of the last 60 years as per Senate Document No. 264, 1936.
"Laboratory test prove that the fruits, the vegetables, the grains, the eggs, and even the milk and the meats of today are not what they were a few generations ago (which doubtless explains why our forefathers thrived on a selection of foods that would starve us!)
No man today can eat enough fruits and vegetables to supply his stomach with the mineral salts he requires for perfect health, because his stomach isn't big enough to hold them!" Other factors such as poor diet habits and rise of fast foods relate to the lack of nutrients we miss through diet alone so many of us supplement.
The problem with supplements is that many are not fully absorbed by the body so even though you may think you are getting your 1000mg as stated on the bottle; you are actually absorbing less than half.
There are some supplement companies such as Usana which have had some studies done proving that their products are pharmaceutical grade and better absorbed at a cellular level but the cost for these supplements are higher and some of the studies were paid for by the company itself making it hard to distinguish how NON biased it really is.
There are still foods you can eat which do have higher levels of calcium but many people don't even realize these foods are rich in calcium so they may not include the in the diet at all or if they do they may not eat these vegetables frequently enough.
Many of us are raised to believe we will get all the calcium we need from milk and cheese but research done by several studies show that this may not actually be the case. Cheeses are mainly fats. Eggshells, Oyster Shells and such have been used for supplement base for their calcium qualities but these are not really palatable as a whole food itself. I question the process these items undergo during their manufacturing which would affect the end products quality as a whole.
My suggestion for those who need or want to increase their calcium intake is to try taking in more produce such as listed below. Vitamin D helps the body absorb Calcium so this is also a consideration which is easily done by 15 mins in the sun. Many of the items below are also great sources of Vitamins including D.
Calcium Candidates: Cooked turnip greens, dandelion greens, mustard greens, bok choy, collards, spinach, and kale as well as fresh parsley, romaine and head lettuce.
These items are not difficult to find in your grocery stores and need very little preparation. Washing is always suggested whether you buy organic or not. Adding one if these daily to your diet would take minimal effort yet would help you achieve a step toward increased Calcium in your diet. I still suggest a supplement on top but consciousness needs to be directed toward the diet as well because we should not solely depend on one or the other. A combination of both will give you a good balance.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Home Workouts: Exercises at Home

Home Workouts - Portable Exercises At Home
It's freezing up here and in most of Canada and the United States I think at this point. Sometimes the cold makes us too lazy to leave the house and if you have snow, forget it, sometimes it's not worth the risk of going to the gym to workout. You should never let this prevent you from working out though - there are always plenty of home exercises you can do from home.
Basics should never be forgotten and you can always get in a simple workout at home with absolutely no workout equipment at all, you just need to be creative!
Even small spaces can work if you are patient and willing. Chairs, beds, pillows and your simplest of surroundings can aid in a great workout.
Chest can be targeted by doing pushups on toes or knees but if you are too weak to do that then begin by doing them against a wall with feet only as far back as you can tolerate, slowly progressing them farther back until you then move onto the knee pushups.
Those of you with balcony can use the rail for the pushups similar to wall pushups.
For an isolated chest exercise use water bottles to perform chest flys, by stacking a pillow or 2 along your back to give you some height and allow a deeper fly range of motion.
Legs give you tons of variety from different types of lunges, squats, deadlifts, step ups, and calve raises. The step ups, calve raises and lunges can be enhanced when done using a step from a set of stairs in your home.
Isolated exercises like inner and outer thigh or prone butt exercises can be done lying on your side or face down (prone).
Horizontal pullups, horizontal chin ups and good old good mornings are all great choices for the targeting upper, lower and mid back as well as the biceps. The horizontal choices are done by anchoring a sturdy bar or wooden pole on chairs in a manner which will not roll around. In the gym I see people use the smith machine by anchoring the bar low or using a squat rack and anchoring the bar low on there.
Tricep Dips are an excellent and maybe only choice other than using water bottles for dumbbell traditional tri exercises. You can use chair, bed, bathtub and low counter edges to do these with a chair to mount your feet up on if you are at that advanced level.
Front Delt Raises and over head presses can be done using a chair as your weight tool or water bottles which will also allow for side delt raises.
Water bottles are also great for condition work such as rotator cuff internal and external rotation, rhomboid squeezes and thumb raises done prone and much more.
A few simple Pilates based exercises such as the planks and hundreds are excellent to end your session and cool down. Of course there is the lower back prone extension, crunches, cross crunches and superman exercises for core which can be done anywhere at anytime!
Here are a few exercises that you can try out at home:

Whatever you choose from the above just make sure you don’t miss your workout even if you have to perform a selection of these at home. This will keep you on track to your goals and help you get your next day’s workout in to keep up the flow. You can also throw this workout into the mix to change things up once in a while. Finish up with a nice stretch for all the muscles worked on that day.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Avoid the Hunchback with Back Training Exercises

Back Problems - Avoiding the Hunchback With Back Training Exercises
Nobody wants to have a rounded upper back and we all are told at a young age to 'sit up straight' but the problem is most of us who tend to have a slouching posture are guilty only of having lack of strength. Many of us need conditioning to the muscles that help you 'sit up straight'. This lack of strength can be painful and cause all sorts of neck and back pains including headaches!
Regular chest stretching done daily is one simple and cost free way of adjusting your poor posture. The pectoral or chest muscle attachments which go to the shoulder area, have a tendency to get tight, in turn pulling the shoulders forward, weakening and overstretching the mid back and rotator cuff muscles which are your mainstay foundation to better posture. The domino effect here is a sore upper back, alignment issues from hips to neck, tension and migraine headaches. Hold this stretch for up to 60 seconds per side and pull only to comfort, never stretch to pain.
In order to alleviate this issue you need to regularly condition those postural muscles which is quick and simple, no heavy weights or bodybuilding involved.The rotator cuff or 'SITS' muscles are located under your shoulder blade, to put it simple. When weak, you can very often see these blades 'wing out'. By doing 2-3 sets of 15-20 reps of simple rotator cuff exercises such as internal and external rotation done with a band. Keep a towel between your elbow and hip and hold it there throughout the exercise to ensure proper form, also ensure you are sitting or standing aligned with your abs engaged (pull belly button into lower back)

Rhomboid squeezes or reverse flies will help strengthen the rhomboids which sit between the left and right shoulder blade. It's a small and controlled movement but very effective.

Perform a 'plank' on your elbows and toes face down, side to a mirror so you can align your body straight. Watch the hips, belly, chest and neck areas for drooping or being too elevated in compensation for being weak. Increase the time you hold this pose as you get better at it and master the form which alone can take months! Having a person spot you can help with form and they can use a stick placed along the back to help you see the areas you need to adjust in order to become level.
It helps to train your core in general since this affects the whole body including and especially posture. When you stand up you use your core to align the body above and below it by pulling the belly button into the lower back. Simple exercises like pelvic tucks and low back extensions will take little effort yet do a world of good.

Start with 10-20 reps and increase into the hundreds if you like since these are done with little or no weight bearing.
A combination of these exercises can take as little as 15 minutes twice per week and help you with your every day life and job so it is worth the effort with a result back tenfold. For more exercise tips and diet plans, visit Linda Cusmano's website and browse her workout plans, some of which can be customized just for your body and your goals.