Sunday, April 13, 2014

10 things I tell women who are trying to lose weight

Don't let the number get you down



1. Don’t get discouraged- A lot of the time when women want to lose weight they want to have lost it yesterday.  With that being said it is very easy for people to get discouraged and quickly.  If you don’t see results that first week a lot of people throw in the towel.  Resist the urge to do so.  Remember the weight your trying to lose didn’t come on in a week and it will take longer then a week to lose it.
2.  Don’t compare yourself to others- When you try and lose weight with another person that might sound like a great idea you have someone to go on this “journey” with you.  But if that person is your spouse they will likely lose weight faster then you which is fine you just have to keep that nugget of information in the back of your head while working out.  If you have a gal pal working out with you and she is doing well and you’re not don’t think that what you are doing is wrong or not working.  You might need to alter your food intake if she is taller then you she can usually get away with eating more then you.  So as a general rule of thumb its best not to compare.
3. Consider your past- When looking to get fit for the future look at your past.  What has caused you to gain weight?  How many diets have you tried over the course of the last few years?  After you answer the tough questions you can gain clarity on the future and help set your goals for your weight loss.
4. Nutrition plays a vital role- If you workout every day and then come home & binge on wine & potato chips, & dark chocolate you probably will be undoing everything you just set out to accomplish.  Make sure you are mindfully watching what you’re eating and not just eating the first food you see after you get home from the gym.
effort&attitude
5. High intensity training is the way to go- When you’re at the gym the best thing you can do is perform high intensity interval training which means you are not taking a ton of breaks in between sets, you are lifting heavy weights, getting your heart rate going while lifting.  When doing cardio you are doing the same thing going as fast as you can then resting alternating between that for your workout. For more information on HITT training check out http://safiretraining.com/try-a-little-tabata-in-your-life/
6. Figure out your whys- Why do you want to lose weight?  Have you put on pounds over the course of the last decade or do you always want to lose 10 pounds?  Once you figure out the exact why to weight loss you will have a better understanding of what your true goals & intentions can be.
7. Crunches alone won’t get you that 6 pack- Crunches won’t get you that flat stomach alone.  You will have to do more then just crunches, abs are made in the kitchen.  Plus when looking to get your abs in tip top shape planks are your best bet.
8. Hard work does pay off- Persistence pays off and sticking to a plan will help you lose weight.  The problem with most of us in todays society is we constantly want to change and can’t stick to a plan.  Those who do well with their fitness plans stick to them.  They realize fitness is a lifestyle and its not something that you can do in January then forget about it the rest of the year.
9. There is no magic pill-  Forget about the idea of taking a pill to help you drop 50 pounds, it doesn’t exist.  This is the lazy way out and you have no idea of what those pills do to your heart.  Don’t give in to the propaganda by the companies trying to sell you the magic pill.
10. Find an accountability partner-  Find someone that will help you with your goals, motivate you to workout, and help hold you accountable if you don’t make it to the gym, if you want to eat the heaping plate of fries instead of the broccoli as a side dish. This person can be a friend, trainer, or spouse.

Next time you hear someone say they want to lose 10 pounds give them a few tips and send them over to SaFire Training to sign-up for our bi-weekly newsletters to receive even more fitness tips & inspiration.
In good health,
Andrea
SaFire Training

 

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Pre-Post Natal Fitness Tips

Congrats on your new pregnancy or baby!!  If you are thinking of becoming pregnant this is a great post for you to read or pass onto a friend who is pregnant or just had a baby.  Make sure you listen to your doctors order if you have to alter or stop workouts all together.  Below are basic tips for both pre-post natal fitness tips.
A few of the many benefits of Pre-natal Exercise 
  • Increase circulation
  • Increase self-esteem
  • Improved recovery time
  • Decreased fatigue
  • Decreased pelvic & rectal pressure
  • Decreased depression
  • Decreased back pain
  • Decreased leg cramps
  • Decreased varicose veins
  • Decreased swelling of extremities
 Pre-post natal fitness
Pre-Natal Fitness Tips
  1. Work your core: The core is one area that gets stretched out during pregnancy and needs to be paid attention to the very first trimester.  Two of the best exercises you can do for your core are planks & kegels.  You will want to start those in the first trimester and do those all throughout your pregnancy.  You can do the planks on your knees as you get farther into your 3rd trimester.  The only time you will have to stop is if you develop diastasis recti.  To see if you develop that place two fingers in the middle of your abdomen if you feel a gap or a separation you will need to stop doing core work.  This can also develop post pregnancy.
  2. Averages: According to ACE Fitness Pre & Post-Natal Fitness the average weight gain during pregnancy is 27.5 pounds.  The metabolic demands of pregnancy require an average of 300 additional calories a day.  Also according to ACE pre-post-natal fitness the metabolic demands of exercise may add 150-250 calories per day to a women's energy expenditure.  One more benefit of pregnancy usually results in a permanent increase in shoe size.
  3. Muscles to be strengthened & stretched: Muscles of the upper back become elongated & weakened, while the chest muscles and shoulders become increasingly tight.  Any form of rows, and back of shoulder exercises should be preformed  throughout your pregnancy.  You will also want to stretch your chest muscles by clasping your arms behind your back, or opening your chest by placing one arm in a doorway and opening chest towards wall.  One of the best stretches for your lower back is to bend over at the waist & place your hands on a couch in front of you and release lower back.
  4. Stop lying in the supine position after 2nd trimester: You don’t want to lay on your back during your 2nd & 3rd trimester as the weight of the enlarged uterus can cut off blood supply to the heart.  Side lying exercises are great during the later trimesters.
  5. Workout 3-5x a week: You will want to workout 3-5 times a week just like the general population.
Post-Natal Fitness Tips
  1. Start doing kegels immediately after giving birth: This is great to help your pelvic floor recover.  After giving birth within the first 24 hours start doing your kegels to help improve & gain back that strength in your pelvis.
  2. Wait until you get doctors approval: Make sure your doctor gives you the okay which usually is around the 6 week mark.  You will want to start with core exercises and work your way back to your pre-natal routine.  Don’t expect to be back to your old self instantly it will take time.  While those first 6 weeks after giving birth you can go for a slow gentle walk of 5-10 minutes.
  3. Start with your core: Begin where you left off and start with planks, kegels, bird/dogs, & high plank exercises.
  4. Invest in a good sports bra: You will be more sensitive at this time and comfort & support is key during postpartum.  Wearing 2 sports bras is also a good idea if you one is not cutting it.
  5. Breastfeeding & calories: Breastfeeding requires an intake of an additional 300-500 calories per day.
  6. Workout with baby: Now that you have your little one start using your baby as a weight and do your exercises, such as squats, crunches, chest press, lunges, wall sits.
Hopefully the tips will help you have a basic understanding of what you can & can’t do while training during & after pregnancy.  Again if you liked what you read feel free to share it with your friends.  If you want even more fitness tips & inspirations check out www.safiretraining.com.  If you want more information sign-up for our weekly newsletter below in which you will learn even more fitness tips  & inspiration. 
In good health,
Andrea
SaFire Training

 

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Steady state cardio is dead

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We have been trained over the last few years that cardio is king if we want to lose weight and reduce fat.  The last few years we have really been looking at this in the fitness industry and realized this is not the truth. The majority of people do not like working out and when they think of working out they think of logging miles and miles on the treadmill, elliptical or bike.  We have now found the benefits of HITT training in the last decade or so.  For those of you who don't know what HITT training is it is a interval training technique in which you will run/walk at an intense pace for an allotted time and then will take your pace to a slower more leisure pace.  You will do this for a total of 30-40 minutes typically.  With the new research of the benefits of HITT training we also have 4 minute tabata training.  Which is a more intense method of high intensity interval training.
With all the benefits of interval training vs. steady state the clear winner as of late is interval training.  Even those who train for marathons and triathlons take advantage of interval training.  Professional athletes do interval training in their respected sport.  When given an interval workout most people find it more enjoyable, yes harder but they are not as bored doing the workout.  They are constantly changing their speeds and or incline levels which makes one focus more on the task at hand.  The treadmill is not the only place you can perform HITT training lifting weights is also a strategy used by most trainers.
When doing cardio you can utilize HITT training not only on the basic treadmill but also in the weight room.  There is a huge trend right now on weight training as your cardio.  That might sound a little odd to some but this is very popular amongst most trainers.  I will let you in on a little secret most trainers hate doing cardio.  I personally do 1-2 cardio days a week (usually one) and lift intensely the other days to really keep my heart rate up.  The best way to get cardio benefits when lifting weights are taking minimal breaks in between sets.  You can do this with both lifting exercises and body weight activities.  CrossFit has been using this method to build cardio stamina and are seeing results.
Read on if you want free cardio workouts you can do to ramp up your cardio without logging 6 miles on the treadmill at the same pace the entire hour your on there.

steady state cardio

Cardio Workouts

1. Interval Training on the treadmill: 
5 Minute warm-up (walking or slow jog pace)
2 Minute Fast Jog Pace - 4.5-6.5 mph (depending on your level of fitness)
1 Minute Run Pace- 6-9 mph (depending on your level of fitness)
30 Sec. Spring- 7-12 mph (depending on your level of fitness)
1-2 Minute Recover pace
**Repeat the above workout starting from the fast jog pace 4-6 times depending on how long you have to workout for.
2. Hill Training on the treadmill: 
5 Minute warm-up pace (walk or slow jog) Incline at 2%
2 Minutes- Incline at 3% - Fast Jog Pace
1 Minute- Incline at 5%- Slow Jog Pace
1 Minute- Incline at 7%- Run
2 Minutes- Incline at 9%- Walk Pace
2 Minutes- Incline at 11%- Slow Jog
2 Minutes- Incline at 9%- Walk Pace
1 Minute- Incline at 7% Run
1 Minute- Incline at 5%- Slow Jog Pace
2 Minutes- Incline at 3%- Fast Jog Pace
1 Minute- Incline at 1%- Sprint
*Repeat 2x from start (Minus the warm-up) for a 30 minute workout

3. Lifting Cardio Workout
Circuit 1
  1. Goblet Squats 3 x 10
  2. Jump Squats 3 x 15
Circuit 2
  1. Pushups 3 x 10
  2. Up/Down Planks 3 x 10
Circuit 3
  1. Walking Lunges w/shoulder Press 3 x 10
  2. Split Jump Lunges 3 x 10
Circuit 4
  1. Curtsey Lunges w/bicep curls 3 x 10
  2. Side lunge to single leg jump 3 x 10
5 Minute Finisher 
Perform as many times as you can in 5 minutes below exercises
  • Burpees - 10 reps
  • Skater Lunges- 10 reps (each side)
  • Lateral Mountain Climbers- 15 reps
  • Ski Jumps- 20 reps
4. Tabata Workout 
You will perform 20 seconds of an exercise then rest 10 seconds & repeat each exercise 4 times.
  • Air Jacks (You perform a jumping jack as you jump into the air then land & jump back up to another jumping jack)  Modifications: Regular jumping jack   Low Impact: Jumping jack arms as you step your foot out to side, alt. sides
  • Mountain Climbers 
If you enjoyed the above workouts share this with your friends.  If you want even more fitness tips & workout ideas signup for our bi-weekly newsletter below! 

 
In good health,
Andrea
SaFire Training

Friday, March 21, 2014

5 ways to get back in shape

It happens from time to time to all of us we get out of shape.  Okay maybe not all of us, but if you find yourself feeling a little sluggish these tips are for you.  It has been a rough long winter which makes it tough to go outside right now for the majority of the country.  So if you find yourself on the couch on a Friday night looking down and not loving what you see here are 5 easy steps to help you start back into your journey into a fitness lifestyle.



Don't let the number get you down
  1. Start Small: Set a reasonable goal.  Such as moving 10 minutes every day this week.  Don't set out to workout for 1 hour 6 days this week.  That is just no reasonable if you haven't been working out.  You will get burnt out in week one and not want to do anything going into week 2.  Plus if you miss one of your workouts you will most likely get frustrated with yourself and call it quits before you even gave yourself a chance. 
  2. Switch up your diet:  If you are eating a candy bar every night that is the first switch you can make.  Start with one area in your diet.  If sweets are not your vice maybe it is changing from 1% milk to skim milk, sugar laden coffee to tea, or chips to veggies.  
  3. Move with a friend or partner: Make a play date with a close friend to try a new yoga class together, or barre class.  Maybe you and your spouse want to work out together, google gym workouts with your spouse and you will see lots of fun workouts to help break you out of a slump.  Having someone who you have a set date with at the gym will make you less likely to skip your workout session.
  4. Workout while watching tv: I was initially going to write workout while watching commercials but with netflix, and tivo, lets be honest we don't watch commercials anymore.  So while watching a           ho-hum show start moving- a few pushups here, squats there, holding a plank, then maybe finishing with some lunges.  Do that for 5 minutes at a time throughout the 60 minute show and you will have a nice little workout completed.
  5. Buy a fitness magazine:  There is nothing like a little inspiration.  If you look through the aisles at a local grocery store you will see a ton of fitness magazines as you're checking out.  Next time grab one that looks appealing and dig in.  If you don't know what workout to do or where to start Women's Health, Health, or Shape have some great beginner workouts.  Oxygen & Strong magazines are for the intermediate to advanced fitness levels.  So that is a great place for you to start when looking to motivate yourself. 
Let me know what tips are your favorite to help you get back in shape or if you have other tips that you would recommend, comment below.  As always if you want more fitness inspiration sign-up for our bi-weekly newsletter below.


 
In good health,
Andrea

Sunday, March 16, 2014

How to recharge your fitness goals for spring

This winter has been long for most of the country.  With a long winter comes resolutions going kaput and peoples bodies not being as strong or tight as they would have wanted.  With spring in the air comes shorts season, tank tops and dresses.  Spring break is also right around the corner if not already happened for people and swimsuits are usually inevitable.  So if you need to revamp and recharge below are wonderful tips to get you on the right track.  Remember there are no quick fixes but you can get yourself on the right track for summer.
myaprilpromise.jpg

Recharging for springtime

1. Start planning for summer: What do you want this summer?  Is it tight abs, toned legs, or maybe a new routine outside.  Try and figure out exactly what you want out of your workouts this summer.  Yes it might seem early but the earlier you plan the better prepared you will be to reach your goals. 
2. What do you want to accomplish: Now that you have decided what you want for summer, what do you want to accomplish?  Do you want to try swimming lessons, take a vacation to a yoga retreat, run a half marathon?  All of those things should be planned ahead of time.  So mark those dates on your calendar so you will be able to organize your goals around those dates.  You will want to invest or create the right program to make those goals happen.  
3. What haven't you tried: Is there something on your bucket list that you didn't get to over the winter.  Did you want to try a yoga class but didn't get the chance, what about a dance class, or pilates?  Make a list of 5 classes, new workouts, or fitness trends you want to try this spring.  I am a huge fan of scheduling things so make sure you put it in your calendar so you know you won't miss it.
4. Take yourself outside: With the outdoors starting to warm up taking yourself outside will help rejuvenate yourself and help you reach your fitness goals.  Take your run outside, not a runner then hit up the walking trails.  Maybe you just want to play a game of golf, or tennis instead.  Do something to get a little fresh air and natural light, that always puts people in a good mood.    
5. Sign-up for an event: There is nothing to help you get back into the routine of things then to start training for something.  It can be a 5k, 10k, triathlon, swimming event, tennis or golf tournament, or any other sporting event that will motivate you to keep up with your fitness routine.
Those are just some tips to help you jump back into your fitness goals.  This time of the year gets tough for many people to stick with their routine so trying something different, or setting new goals will help you reach your fitness goals for the upcoming season.  If you're looking to receive even more fitness inspiration and tips sign-up for our newsletter below.


 
In good health,
Andrea