Saturday, May 3, 2014

3 key areas that can alter your health

Motivation can make or break your fitness goals.  Everyday we make choices some are easy, some are difficult.  Some will make a huge impact on our lives others won’t make quite as much of a difference.  What it all comes down to is the decisions soon will form our habits.  Think about it how many times do you get home from work and think what should I have for dinner tonight?  Well if you say I don’t have anything at home I guess I will have to swing by the fast food restaurant again to pick up dinner.  If this is happening night after night you’re forming a new habit and not a healthy one at that.  I want to challenge you to think about these habits & decisions you’re making and how they are impacting your life.  Below are 3 key areas I want you to pay attention to this week and notice how by becoming more present in your decision making practice can really alter your health. 

3 things to make you healthier
3 key areas that can alter your health

1. What time should I go to bed tonight- Everyday we make this decision when should I go to bed?  Some people listen to their bodies and go to sleep when they are tired, others try and stay up just one more hour to watch that late night tv show that they could’ve taped and watched at a later date. Sleep will make or break your health.  Think about the last time you were tired and you had the choice at lunch to eat the salad or get the burger & fries, you probably went with the burger.  Then later in the day as you were driving home you drove right past the gym because you mentally couldn’t get yourself to workout.  My challenge to you is to get to bed 30 minutes earlier then you normally do this week, and let me know how you felt the next day. 

2. Should I get the fries or the veggies- The next decision we all make everyday is what to eat.  We are bombarded with food choices daily.  If you work at a large office people bring in birthday cake weekly that you most try and resist, then you go out to lunch and your co-workers say another salad this one time get the juicy steak.  Then you go home and your kids want mac and cheese so you decide what the heck I will indulge just this once.  Forgetting that you have indulged all day long.  Now over the course of time those little decisions add up to inches on your waistline.  If you give into the pushy co-workers, or the friend who just has to have the dessert but can’t eat it by herself you will start to form habits.  These are not the food habits you want to form.  My challenge to you this week with nutrition is to stick up for your healthy ways and don’t give into the temptations when you truly are not craving those items. 

3. I don’t really feel like going to the gym today- The last key area that affects your health is working out.  To many times I hear people saying I was just to tired, to busy, or didn’t feel like working out today.  Again if you start telling yourself it is okay to skip your workout you will accept that and now it is no longer a priority in your life.  If you have to skip a workout make it up.  You should have your workouts planned for the week and if you need to switch your rest day from a Tuesday to the Friday do so but just don’t let yourself off the hook by skipping gym appointments. My Challenge to you this week with your fitness is not to skip the gym.  Make it a mandatory appointment that cannot be missed. 

If you start to make those 3 changes in your life you will notice habits starting to form.  The more you notice how little decisions soon add up to bigger life changes the more motivated you will be to make good choices.  Now get out there are share this message with your friends if you found it helpful and start forming new habits together. 

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Sunday, April 27, 2014

How to workout like a trainer

Do trainers actually workout differently then the average person?  Yes and no is the answer.  Most trainers are in pretty good shape and can handle a more intense workout then most of our clients.  That doesn't mean that we don't have our off weeks as well.  When designing my own workout I know what works for me and what doesn't work for me which makes it easier to reach my goals.  I will share with you tips on how to workout like a trainer to help you get results.
 workout like a trainer
  1. Plan ahead: This is one of the best tips I can give to anyone looking to reach their fitness goals.  They need to plan their week ahead workouts on Sunday before the week starts.  They should know each day of the week what they are going to focus on.  Is it going to be a lifting week, more cardio this week, or maybe you need a few extra days of yoga.  You have to decide what is going to work best for you to do.
  2. Intensity is key: People are busy and need to make their workout fit into their day.  The best way to do this is working out hard and with high intensity.  This can be in the terms of weight lifting or cardio.  Either option you want to get your heart rate to get the most out of every workout.
  3. Schedule your rest days: When scheduling your workouts into your week you also want to plan your rest day or two.  Knowing ahead of time will help you get your workouts in that you had planned for the week.  This will help you stay motivated to not miss your scheduled gym time.
  4. Make time to workout daily: Trainers like to move daily.  They demonstrate exercises all day long then typically have their own workout either before or after training.  Even on days off trainers typically move in some way either by going to a light yoga class think restorative yoga, or maybe do an abs workout that day.  Something that is low maintenance and won't get the heart rate up to much.
  5. Lift weights at least 2-3x a week:  Lifting weights is key to building muscle and burning more fat.  The more muscle you have the more calories you burn at rest.  So don't shy away from the free weights area you want to build lean muscle which will help you burn calories not only that day, but the next few days.
  6. Set goals: If you don't set goals how do you know what you are training for?  It is as simple as that.
  7. Listen to your body: If you have a hard workout planned mid-week but you didn't get enough sleep the night before, forgot to eat breakfast that day and you are feeling run down.  Then swap workouts that week.  Don't push through a workout if you're extremely fatigued and tired.  Just switch to a lighter workout that day or take a rest day if your body is really worn down.
Those are my 7 tips on how you can start to workout like a trainer.  Don't feel like you need to incorporate all of those tips and tricks into your schedule but try and pick one tip that will help you immediately.
As always check out for more fitness tips & inspiration.  Like what you read, share it with a friend and don't forget to sign-up for our bi-weekly newsletter and receive our 6 free reports all about helping you get your ideal body.


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.
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
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,
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  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,
SaFire Training


Sunday, March 30, 2014

Steady state cardio is dead

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,
SaFire Training