Archive for the ‘Articles’ Category

You Eat More Than You Think

Here is the latest fitness newsletter that was sent to my boot camp and personal training clients the other day.

The Top 5 Ways You Eat Too Much

Each day you make well over 200 decisions about food, according to Brian Wansink, PH.D. in his book, Mindless Eating. Your weight is the sum total of your past food decisions.

According to Wansink, overeating can be greatly reduced simply by removing the cues in your environment that cause you to overeat. He goes on to explain the top 5 Diet Danger Zones and the solutions for each:

Read more…

Categories: Articles, Nutrition Tags: ,

How do you see it?

Here is the latest version of my fitness newsletter that was just sent out to my boot camp and personal training clients.  Hope you enjoy it.

Mountain or Molehill?

So you have a weight problem.

Pounds have added up over the years, slowly accumulating on your hips, thighs and belly.

When you look in the mirror you don’t like what you see. Yet you feel stuck.

You’re stuck because…

  • You’ve gained too much weight to ever lose it all.
  • You’re too old to make a change.
  • You’d be lost in a gym.
  • You simply don’t know where to start.

Read more…

Categories: Articles, Nutrition Tags: ,

Sip Your Way to a Flat Belly!

A couple of weeks ago one of my boot campers was asking me about soda, tea, and other calorie containing beverages.  I stumbled across this article the other day and shared it with all of my boot campers, so I thought I would share it with you as well.

Sip Your Way to a Flat Belly!

By David Zinczenko

There is a potion that magically strips away pounds from your body, improves your overall health, lengthens your life, makes you more attractive to the opposite sex, and keeps you lean forever. Even better, you can have as much of this magic weight-loss potion as you want, for free, and start stripping away pounds—perhaps even several dozen pounds this year alone—without exercise, without dieting, without visiting the set of Nip/Tuck.Drink This, Not That! and begin your no diet weight-loss goals today. You’ll sip your way to a flat belly in record time–and keep it well beyond summer.What is this magical elixir? It’s water.

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Categories: Articles, Nutrition Tags: ,

What’s Your Reason?

Here is the latest edition of the fitness newsletter that gets sent to my bootcamp and personal training clients.

The Top 7 Reasons to Exercise

Summer has arrived and along with it the dreaded bathing suit season.

Whether you can’t wait to bare it all on the beach, or if you’re still working toward a weight loss goal, exercise is the key to looking and feeling great in summer months.

But why else should you exercise? Here are the top 7 reasons to exercise this summer:

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The Chocolate Milk Diet

The other day during one of my boot camps a couple of clients were asking me what they should be eating/drinking, before, during, and after a workout.  When I mentioned chocolate milk to them, no one seemed to believe me.  When I got home later on and went to check my email, a news feed popped up with this article about chocolate milk…

Imagine if everything you needed to know about weight loss, you learned in kindergarten. Well, if your teacher gave you chocolate milk as a lunchtime treat, she was (unknowingly) giving you one of the most powerful weight-loss tools in the nutritional universe. Turns out this childhood staple may be the ideal vehicle for your body’s most neglected nutritional needs. Each bottle delivers a package of micro- and macronutrients that can help you shake off body flab and replace it with firm muscle. And when you served it ice-cold, the creamy sweetness flows across your tongue with all the pleasure of a milk shake. Yum.

That’s the crux of what I’m calling “The Chocolate Milk Diet,” which isn’t a diet at all. It’s essentially three eight-ounce servings of chocolate milk consumed at key points throughout your day: one when you wake up, a second before you exercise, and a third directly after your workout. Or, if it’s your day off, just pattern them for morning, afternoon, and night. Sounds good, right? It is, and that’s why it’s so easy. But is this a free ticket to eat as much fried chicken as you want throughout the rest of the day? Unfortunately not, but alongside a healthy diet, it can help you drop lots of belly fat fast. Here are the four reasons why:

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Categories: Articles, Nutrition Tags: ,

Never Cheat Again

Here is the latest newsletter that was sent out to my personal training and bootcamp clients.

The End of Food Temptation

You start each morning with the promise to be “good” today.

You’ll refuse the baked goods at the office. You’ll speed past that fast food place at lunch. You’ll turn a blind eye to the vending machine in the mid-afternoon. And you’ll pass on the ice cream after dinner.

But… you hadn’t counted on the fact that a box of your favorite donuts would be sitting in the break room. Or that co-workers would invite you to join them for fast food place at lunch. Or that Girl Scouts would come through the office after school with boxes of thin mints. Or that your special someone would come home with a pint of Coffee Heath Bar Crunch.

And as you get into bed each night you tell yourself that tomorrow will be different.

Tomorrow you will conquer temptation.

But tomorrow comes with its own set of special circumstances and temptation gets the best of you once again.

Read more…

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Will Vacation Make You Fat?

Here is the most recent newsletter that was sent out to my bootcamp and personal training clients.

6 Vacation Tips to Keep You Fit

With summer vacation quickly approaching, you’re probably planning your next getaway.

Whether you go on a cruise, an African safari or a low-key trip to the beach, warm summer days are the best time to get away from it all.

But wait – did you know that the average person gains almost a pound a day while on vacation?

Between missed workouts, extra large restaurant meals and indulgent snacks, lazy vacation days will quickly add inches to your waistline.

So before you pack your bags for your next adventure, read the following 6 Vacation Tips and come home fitter, not fatter.

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Stop Being Lazy

Here is the current newsletter that was just sent to my bootcamp and personal training clients.

Are you lazy?

I know a lot of lazy people.

People who would rather spend the day planted on their couch than anywhere else.

People who choose take-out over home cooked, every night of the week.

People who would rather have a root canal than go do a workout.

Sure, I know that we all have our occasional lazy day on the couch, but lately it seems that more and more people are turning laziness into a career.

What about you? Check if the following describe you:

  • You are habitually inactive.
  • You’d rather be a passive observer than an active participant.
  • You’re a master excuse-maker.
  • You find shortcuts in order to avoid the long haul.

If that’s you, don’t get down on yourself. There are many legitimate causes of laziness. Here are just a few…

  1. Sleep Deprivation: When you’re short on sleep it’s easy to become unmotivated, which quickly turns into laziness. Get a minimum of eight hours of sleep each night in order to maintain enough energy to get you through the day. Some experts even say that ten hours of sleep each night is what you need to function at your best.
  2. Caffeine Abuse: Starting your day with a jolt of java may help with your initial alertness, but the dip in energy that takes place a few hours later could be the reason that you become lazy later in the day. Avoid the rush and crash of caffeine and instead rely on your steady supply of natural energy.
  3. Bad Habit: At some point being lazy simply becomes a habit. If every night after work you head straight to the couch, it soon becomes automatic and not a conscious decision. Breaking the habit of laziness is actually quite easy. Simply take yourself off of autopilot and make the conscious decision to do something productive instead – like heading to the gym rather than the couch.
  4. Inactivity: If your job keeps you in a chair for hours at a time, and you don’t exercise when off the clock, then your body is just accustomed to inactivity. It’s time to wake up your under-used muscles and to reacquaint yourself with the joy of motion. A simple way to get back into the swing of things is to go on a 30 to 60 minute walk either before work or after you return home. Once you’ve broken yourself in with consistent walks, contact me to get started on a fitness program that will quickly get your body back into great shape.

Laziness begins when you ignore that little nagging voice in your head. You know, the one that reminds you when you should take action on something rather than sit by and let the opportunity slip away. 

Is today the day that you will kick laziness to the curb?

Is today the day that you will take action toward achieving your goals?

Is today the day that you will listen to that little voice of reason?

Call or email today to schedule your first workout. You’ll find my contact info in this newsletter.


Your Ideal You 


Take a moment and imagine your ‘ideal you’.

What does the ‘ideal you’ look like? How does the ‘ideal you’ spend their time? Who would the ‘ideal you’ spend time with? What would the ‘ideal you’ accomplish? The distance between you and your ‘ideal you’ is created by laziness.

When faced with decisions, big or small, do what your ‘ideal you’ would do, rather than taking the easy way out.

(I’m pretty sure that your ‘ideal you’ is a client of mine…:)


Guiltless Zucchini Pasta with Turkey

Here is a guiltless way to prepare spaghetti that the whole family will love. To create angel hair noodles out of zucchini you simply need a small kitchen gadget called a spiral slicer. This ingenious tool is well worth the small investment – with it you’ll quickly and easily make delicious, fiber-filled noodles.

Yield: 4 servings


Here’s what you need:

  • 4 zucchini, ends trimmed and run through a spiral slicer
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 (20oz) package lean ground turkey
  • 2 cups spaghetti sauce
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  1. Place the spiral-sliced zucchini in a large bowl and set aside.
  2. In a medium sized skillet heat the oil. Add the onion and garlic and sauté until soft.
  3. Add the turkey to the skillet and cook until fully browned. Add the spaghetti sauce and mix until fully incorporated. Remove from heat.
  4. Mix the sauce with the zucchini noodles in the large bowl and serve.

Nutritional Analysis: One serving equals: 292 calories, 8g fat, 26g carbohydrate, 5g fiber, and 27g protein.

Roger Ernst II, CSCS

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Categories: Articles Tags: ,

Accomplish the, As Yet, Unaccomplished

Guest blog by Suzie Tuffey Riewald.

Accomplish the, As Yet, Unaccomplished


“I’m going for a Personal Record in the bench today. I just don’t know if I can do it – it seems like so much weight.”


“6’2”! Are you kidding me? I’ve never cleared that height in a competition.”


“Curses. I drew Frank in the first round. I’ve yet to beat him in the 5 times we’ve faced each other. He must have my number. I’m not 0-5 against anyone else.”


Facing a potential Personal Record (PR), or going against an opponent you have yet to defeat. Have you experienced a similar situation? How did you respond? Such scenarios (or similar ones) present tough physical and mental challenges. You are asking yourself to accomplish something you have never done before and, on top of it, you are trying to find the confidence in your ability to do so.


When faced with surpassing a PR, some athletes are able to perform up to their abilities whereas others are not able to do so and are, thus, unable to accomplish the unaccomplished. There is a huge mental component to breaking through performance barriers. Think about the 4-minute mile. It was once seen as one of those mythical barriers.  For years, athletes had been approaching 4:00 but could not break through that wall. Yet, within one year of Roger Bannister running sub-4:00, multiple other runners broke through that time barrier as well. It was not that the athletes were physically unable to run a mile under four minutes, it was that a mental barrier had been created, setting this up as a near impossible task. Once the mental barrier was removed from the mind, the body was “freed” to accomplish the physical task.


You want to be one of those athletes that reached the “impossible goal,” right? Of course you do. Let us review some strategies that you can implement to help you surpass these barriers (physical and mental) and have a successful performance. [Note: you don’t need to implement all of the strategies. Rather, practice and implement the one or two strategies that make most sense to you.]


Focus on the process. In such challenging situations as described previously, what tends to be your predominant thought? What is your focus? For many, the focus is on the challenge or the outcome of performance, i.e., the victory, PR, pinning an opponent. It is important to get your thoughts away from the outcome and, instead, place your mental energy on what you need to do to accomplish the task. Focus on what you control—your performance—not the end result. For example, when approaching the bar, focus on the various elements of your pre-lift routine, critical aspects of your technique or your breathing (as opposed to the weight on the bar).


Do it then do it. No, it is not a typo. You read it right — do it, then do it. That is, first mentally perform—see, feel, mentally experience successfully executing the lift, clearing the height or beating an opponent. Then, physically perform the skill just as you did in your imagery. In using imagery, you are mentally accomplishing the challenge which can help you prepare for the task and enhance your confidence in your ability to physically accomplish the task.


Give yourself reasons to believe. When you stop to think about it, it makes sense that you might have doubts as you are asking yourself to accomplish a task you have yet to accomplish. Don’t accept the doubts, instead, battle them.  That is, convince yourself with “the facts” as to why you should be and why you will be successful. Identify the reasons you will be successful and use these to battle the lingering doubts. These reasons can come from things you have done in training, past competitions, comments from coaches or teammates, or your work ethic.


Downplay it. There is a tendency to make a task or obstacle a monumental challenge because it has yet to be accomplished and there may have been many failed attempts along the way. This can make the obstacle grow to mythical proportions. Knock it down, mentally, to what it really is. Instead of thinking about the weight on the bench as something you have failed at twice, remind yourself that it is only two kilograms more that you lifted last week.  Similarly, the opponent you are facing should not be viewed as someone “I just can’t beat.” Rather, the opponent is someone you match up well against and to perform well you need to attack their backhand, for example.


Try, try again. You could not complete the rep without a little help, you missed the height, you lost the match. How you react to this failure is going to, in part, influence future attempts at similar challenges. Are you telling yourself, “I’ll never be able to do this?” Or, are you already analyzing what you need to do differently and what you need to work on to improve your performance?  Learn the lessons from your failures and apply them to future endeavors when you try, try again.


Suzie Tuffey Riewald, PhD, NSCA-CPT


Visualizing can be a key element in landing that next trick that you always seem so close to landing.  Instead of thinking about how you can’t quite grab the handle on that last 180 deg. rotation, picture yourself grabbing the handle and sticking the landing.  Instead of worrying about under/over-rotating on your front roll, imagine yourself rotating perfectly, landing smoothly and riding out in the flats.

I’m going to work on visualizing landing a backroll.  Be sure to leave a comment and let me know what trick you are going to visualize landing perfectly.

Roger Ernst II, CSCS

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Turning Weakness into Strengths in the Off-Season

Guest blog by Kyle Brown, CSCS

Turning Weakness into Strengths in the Off-Season

Some athletes feel that the off-season is a time to let their bodies rest, fall completely off their diets, and spend this time partying the night away with little sleep or regard for their health and fitness. Typically, they use the pre-season as a time to rebound and acclimate to the demands of their sport. Yet, even as a weekend warrior, intramural or club athlete, having a year-round game plan will keep you a cut above the competition and ready to hit the ground running in the pre-season. Moreover, focusing on your weaknesses in the off-season will bring a new and improved you to the field next season.

Off-season training is not only the best time to recover from your sport physically and mentally, but it is also the perfect time to train to counteract all of the muscle imbalances inherent in playing nearly any sport. The off-season varies depending on the particular sport, but in general terms, off-season refers to the weeks after the in-season and before the pre-season (1).

There is a fine line between resting too much and too little in the off-season. Ideally, an athlete should take the time off their sport to mentally rest as well as not put their primary focus on training the main muscles utilized for their sport. Instead, after a short period of rest (referred to as an unloading week), an athlete should focus on cross training or working on their muscular weaknesses and imbalances to get refreshed without lowering their current fitness level. For example, some sports require one arm or leg to be utilized more or their opposing muscle groups are neglected (i.e., the quadriceps are working but the hamstrings are not utilized).

Some of the benefits of working on muscular imbalances during the off-season include: preventing chronic injuries, creating symmetry in strength and coordination, recovery of primary movers, strengthening of stabilizer muscles, and prevention of detraining or overtraining. During the off-season phase, a combination of resistance training and flexibility work will create stronger, less inhibited muscles.


1. Bompa TO, Periodization training for sports. 1999. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics

Kyle Brown, CSCS

Be sure to post any questions that you might have about off-season workouts as well as what you do in the off-season to stay in wakeboarding shape.

Roger Ernst II, CSCS

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