Are you putting too much focus on cardio to reach your goals?

Are you putting too much focus on cardio to reach your goals?

Ask yourself:

What are my specific goals?

What am I doing to attain these goals?

Am I just doing cardio “to feel good?” i.e. ‘endorphins’

There are a TON more questions you should be asking yourself-but one thing I do talk a lot to my clients about is NOT overdoing your cardio. It truly does not matter how much weight you want to lose. Anything over 60 minutes a day is counter productive and will lead to overuse injuries, making you more susceptible to colds and upper respiratory infections because your immune system will be compromised from high levels of cortisol. If that sounded foreign to you: just think that when you do too much cardio your body gets stressed out (cortisol is released) and can make you weak in many ways. The repetitive nature of running, elliptical, etc can put pressure on your joints and ultimately cause an injury over time. You may get into the symptoms of over training, which is a legit illness that can last 3 months and it’s only cure is rest.

When you look at your body-think of it like a sculpture. Draw an outline of your body on a piece of paper if you must. Get out a pen and actually draw where you’d like to see improvements that make sense. I.E. narrower waist, rounder glutes, more defined shoulders, etc and add a weight loss goal if needed.

*Fun Fact:  I used to be a cardio addict. It also was the time when my body fat was very high and I had NO muscle definition.  Cardio truly can be an addiction: because we all know that runners “high” is legit. Fear not-you can break that addiction. Remind yourself that weight training does NOT make you bulky (unless you are male and train a certain way).  On the contrary-it shapes your body. Training with resistance makes you strong and injury proof.*

I will use one muscle group as an example here or else this will turn into a book. 🙂 Let’s say one of your goals is to have bigger and rounder glutes. Your plan of attack should include hip thrusts, squats, deadlifts, kickbacks, step ups, lunges, sprints….and about a dozen different varieties of all of these movements. (No matter what the goal-remember not to neglect other areas of your body of course in your training, just train your specific area of interest differently to attain your goal. This is why having a personal trainer is a bonus). Notice ‘sprints’ in bold. If you want bigger and rounder glutes, SPRINTING is your cardio. Along with sprinting on an incline, among MANY other variables. If you do too much steady state long cardio and your goal is bigger and stronger glutes, that cardio will eat that muscle that you are trying so hard to build for breakfast, lunch, and dinner and you will see minimum results.

 All this being said, EVERYONE is different, everyone has different goals, and everyone has different abilities.  Personal trainers that are capable streamline plans for each individual that they are training to make your goals a reality. Also-when you are trying to build any muscle, REST is critical for muscle recovery. If you are hitting that muscle every damn day with some sort of cardio-it will never get a chance to recover and get stronger (GROW), plus you MUST EAT EAT EAT the RIGHT way (usually more FOOD if you make the right choices: again this is why a personal trainer is a fantastic investment) if you want any muscle group to get strong and have some growth.

Now speaking of weight loss-this cardio principle still rings true! If you train INTENSE, add in some HIIT (high intensity interval training), and lift with absolute FERVOR, then your training session is pretty much all you need! In 30 minutes I can train a client and leave them dripping with sweat, which means their heart rate went up, which means THERE WAS A CARDIO ELEMENT to it, therefore they burned calories and will be burning calories long after the session is over (after burn effect) SO IN TURN …. they lose weight over time while getting strong. 🙂

THE MORAL OF THE STORY IS…actually THINK about your goals. Get specific! Do NOT chase skinny! Chase HEALTHY. Chase STRENGTH. Chase FUNCTIONAL FITNESS. You train hard in the gym so you can live with vitality outside of the gym and not injure yourself! Once you get in this MINDSET everything else “magically” falls into place. 😉

More questions? Feel free to contact me for anything. If you live in the Charleston area, I offer my first session at Exemplar Fitness for free. There are always corporate specials, hospital employee discounts, as well as veteran discounts to train with me personally.

I also offer a “Sweating for the Wedding” training package for Brides and/or their bridal party: 3 month and 6 month packages available.

In Health-Demi

Grocery Shopping for the health conscious athlete in the making

 Grocery Shopping for the health conscious athlete in the making

This is..without a doubt…the toughest ordeal one has to master in their health and fitness journey. If you are reading this, then I promise you it doesn’t have to be so hard. You got this! 😉 Lets get right to it.

I know you’ve heard it before-but you have to start with sticking to the perimeter of the grocery store. The reason being is that obviously that is where your perishable (i.e. FRESHEST) foods are. Start there. Obviously you do need to go in the middle for certain things such as coffee, oatmeal, tea, etc but start on the outside of the grocery store FIRST.

I told you I was going to make this simple, and I am!

Before you go to the grocery store, think of all your favorite proteins, vegatables, fruits, nuts, carbs, etc. Keep that in mind and write that all down if needed.

We are going to break this down into groups.

  1. PROTEINS
  2. COMPLEX CARBS
  3. HEALTHY FATS
  4. FRUITS
  5. VEGETABLES

Acceptable and preferable PROTEINS are the following:

  • 1. Greek Yogurt
  • 2. Cottage Cheese
  • 3. Swiss Cheese
  • 4. Eggs
  • 5. Milk, 2% (I’m not a huge fan of drinking straight up milk, I prefer Almond milk for a variety of reasons, but that’s for another blog post. 🙂
  • 6. Whey Protein
  • 7. Steak (Top Or Bottom Round)
  • 8. Ground Beef (95% Lean)
  • 9. Pork Chops (Boneless)
  • 10. Chicken Breast (Boneless And Skinless)
  • 11. Turkey Breast
  • 12. Yellowfin Tuna
  • 13. Halibut
  • 14. Octopus
  • 15. Sockeye Salmon
  • 16. Tilapia
  • 17. Anchovies
  • 18. Corned Beef
  • 19. Tuna
  • 20. Chicken
  • 21. Sardines
  • 22. Navy Beans
  • 23. Dried Lentils
  • 24. Roast Beef
  • 25. Canadian Bacon
  • 26. Chorizo
  • 27. Pepperoni
  • 28. Roasted Turkey Breast
  • 29. Jerky
  • 30. Peanut Butter
  • 31. Mixed Nuts
  • 32. Bean Chips
  • 34. Tofu
  • 35. Edamame
  • 36. Green Peas
  • 38. Wheat Germ
  • 39. Soba Noodles
  • 40. Quinoa

COMPLEX CARBS

  1. Oatmeal (old fashioned or Steel Cut)
  2. Yams (almost same as sweet potatoes)
  3. Brown rice (love basmati, a long grain rice)
  4. Sweet potatoes
  5. Multi grain hot cereal (mix or barley, oats, rye, and a few others)
  6. White potatoes with skin (glycemic index be damned!)
  7. 100% whole wheat bread
  8. 100% whole wheat pasta
  9. Beans and lentils (great for healthy chili recipes)
  10. Cream of rice hot cereal
  11. Quinoa
  12. Couscous
  13. Pumpkin
  14. Butternut squash
  15. Fresh beets

**I’m well aware of the gluten free and lactose free needs of certain individuals-if this applies to you, make those selections of the same food, or choose another food altogether.**

HEALTHY FATS

  • Avocados
  • Cheese
  • Super dark chocolate
  • Whole eggs
  • Fatty fish
  • Raw nuts
  • Chia seeds
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Coconut oil
  • Full fat yogurt

FRUITS

  • Short list: every variation of a fruit is allowed. 🙂

VEGETABLES

  • Kale
  • Spinach
  • Broccoli
  • Brussel Sprouts
  • Peas
  • Tomatoes
  • Asparagus
  • Bell Peppers
  • Okra
  • Scallions
  • Zucchini
  • Green Beans
  • Cauliflower
  • Beets
  • Cucumbers
  • Mushrooms
  • Eggplant
  • Radishes
  • Onions

THAT’S A LOT OF FOOD!

Alright, so as you go through this list-pick your favorites before you go food shopping and think about the meals you want to create. There are tons of meals you can put together with what is above. You do NOT have to purchase all of that food for one week! But these are your preferred options to eat healthfully.

To create a PERFECT meal, this is what you need (as stated above)…

Protein, Healthy fat, Complex Carb, Vegetable, and an optional fruit. 

As far as how to meal prep and put it all together, that is for another blog post. But start here! Now you have the tools to get a feel for what top athletes eat. Remember: you are fueling a Ferrari, not a Pinto. 😉

Also, SHAKEOLOGY is a great way to add in a high protein superfood shake that can be used as a meal replacement and/or snack. Check it out! Vegan options are available.

EAT TO PERFORM!

In Health-Demi

Best Of Charleston Reflection/Results

Best Of Charleston Reflection/Results

The Best Of Charleston has come and gone for 2017-and I am happy to tell you I came in as the 1st Runner up for Best Trainer in Charleston!

Of course I would have loved to win, but I am exceptionally pleased with where I placed! The competition was strong and fearless, and I was among some of the best trainers that Charleston has to offer.

As an added bonus I was invited to the official “Best of Party” held by the City Paper at the BEAUTIFUL Gaillard Center and it definitely did not disappoint! My boyfriend Chris AKA DJ Rehab provided amazing music as always, and multiple vendors provided delicious drinks and fantastic food. The theme was “Fairytales” as you can see in the picture. 🙂 As a sweet bonus; Chris also took home 1st Runner up for Best Club DJ.

I was also able to network with other incredible business owners in Charleston and it truly inspired me to just keep doing my best in everything I do.

My passion is truly helping others live healthier lives and just to show anyone that YES, you can be the best version of yourself in every way possible. I feel extremely honored and humbled that the Charleston community saw that and supported me in this journey!

From the bottom of my heart-THANK YOU.

Demi

Supplement or nah?

Supplement or nah?

Definition of supplement

  1. 1a:something that completes or makes an addition

    Some Synonyms: additive, addendum, addition, appendix, compliment, extra, option

Now that the definition is out of the way, I think you have a pretty good idea what a SUPPLEMENT IS. In what I’m specifically talking about today is naturally; dietary supplements to enhance your performance and/or natural well being and overall  health.

These include but are not limited to:

Protein bars, shakes, etc

Fish oil

Amino Acids

BCAAS

Pre-workout

Fat burners

The list goes on and on…

There is a REASON why I prefaced all of this with the definition of what a SUPPLEMENT is, which is what all of the above fall under. This is why:

TO ADD SUPPLEMENTS TO YOUR LIFESTYLE MEANS THAT YOU HAVE VERY SPECIFIC GOALS AND YOU HAVE A PLAN. TO ADD SUPPLEMENTS TO YOUR PLAN MEANS THAT YOU ARE ALREADY ON A HEALTH AND FITNESS PLAN AND LIVE THIS LIFESTYLE OR YOU ARE BUILDING NEW HABITS, AND AGAIN YOU HAVE A PLAN.

If it sounds like I’m yelling, I am.

Supplements are NOT for anyone who thinks they can take a pill, patch, shake etc *NO MATTER WHAT IS PROMISED TO YOU THROUGH FAKE MARKETING* and just continue on with your sedentary lifestyle eating whatever and thinking you will have any positive results!!!

If any supplements tells you, “All you have to do is drink this every day and you will lose weight without changing your lifestyle! or All you do is take this pill in the morning, and wear this patch and BAM a bikini ready bod is on the way!”

RUN FAR FAR AWAY WHEN YOU HEAR OR SEE THESE CLAIMS! Because that is all complete BS and they are just stealing your money. #FACTS

Now! On the flipside: there are some GREAT supplements out there, and I recommend certain ones to my clients all the time. There is even a shake I recommend to my clients and it’s the ONLY one I endorse because it helped me feel super healthy and supplemented my own weight loss journey where I  lost 60 lbs 3 times in my life.  Again: this shake didn’t make me lose the weight. It HELPED me and made me feel good in my fitness journey. Check it out here or not; it’s all good. Remember; supplements are to ADD and enhance your healthy lifestyle. Think of them like the cherry on top of your icecream (probably not the best analogy for a health and fitness blog but you get my point), supplements just make everything a little bit better and more enjoyable for you when used the right way.

I do recommend Shakeology to everyone if they are looking for a protein and super food drink to SUPPLEMENT their healthy lifestyle. Depending on the client in front of me, I will also recommend other products depending on their specific goals. It’s all very subjective and all of this is another reason why having a  personal trainer is so important.  It’s not just about your workout, but everything else you consume during the day that can make or break your results. All of this being said-there are a ton of clients who choose no supplements whatsoever-and that is completely ok as well.

**Remember-supplements are to ENHANCE your journey to a healthier and fitter you…they are NOT a quick fix, they are NOT just a pill you can pop and magically lose weight.  No weight loss patch will curb your appetite and therefore help you lose weight. It’s NOT going to happen. If there was a quick fix that worked-wouldn’t everyone on planet earth be fit and healthy?**

Truth is: you gotta work. You have to put in the TIME, blood, sweat, and tears. You have to be PATIENT, you have to be CONSISTENT. There will be ups and downs. You have to roll with it. That’s why it is called a JOURNEY. You will have set backs. You will mess up. It’s in these moments that define your character and how bad you want to live a healthier lifestyle. You simply just have to keep going. There is no magic ANYTHING…stay hungry, stay focused, do the work and you will see the results that you’ve always wanted.

As always, I am always here for your questions or concerns-if you’d like to meet up for a free consult in the Charleston area-just send me a msg via my contact tab.

In  Health-Demi