Monday, September 29, 2014

You must lift to lose! No Skinny Fat!!!!!!

I originally wrote this back in 2011, but here we go again. Ladies you NEED to lift weights! Enough already..... aerobics has its' place ---yes it's Heart Healthy! The science behind this is everywhere now----If you want that lean sexy look and total body Transformation --please get a good program. Did you ever notice folks that just take certain classes or just run ---their bodies NEVER change --
Stop SKINNY FAT!! --------what is it? That lean appearance in clothes, but in reality the person has a high Bodyfat%---case in point --Nicole cut calories and just ran --so glad she picked up weights!

Just got back from the gym, place was packed. Well part of the gym, the weight room was almost empty besides two ladies doing curls. After they did their set a guy came in and did something. I don’t know what, it was hard to describe, but very interesting.

After my workout I decided to do some Intervals—but on a cardio machine. So I decided to join the masses, it must be great because everyone is here, all the cardio machines were taken, except 1 treadmill, so I jumped on -

During my warm-up and cool-down I did notice a few things around me. It looks like more people are exercising, which is great. Especially women, I think they know how important cardio is for losing weight and keeping it off. They’re cardio queens! But weights are a different story.

After I finished I decided to go to the stretching area, while I stretched out I happened to over-hear two ladies talking about weight loss. One of the ladies lost 40 + pounds. Yes I’m curious. I had to find out how she did it, so I asked. She explained that she ate super healthy and she ran and did some classes a few times a week. That’s great, but when I asked her if she did any resistance training, she said no. Her main reason was because she wasn’t trying to gain muscles. At this point I was already tired and the trainer in me couldn’t find the energy to explain how it doesn’t work that way –so I went on my merry way. (I’ll straighten her out at a later date!).

Unfortunately, her reasoning is not out of the norm. Many women have a similar mentality toward resistance training. The main flaw in believing that weight training is only for people who want to build muscle is that EVERYONE needs to build muscle for several reasons.

Do you want to look great? Do you want to lose body fat? Then lifting moderate weights with a good program will get you there. Remember skinny-fat? If you don’t, think of someone like a distance runner who was skinny but has loose skin? Without muscle tone, your skin sags and gives you that flabby look. Muscle is what gives women that tight, smooth appearance because it holds everything together. If someone lost a ton of weight, especially if it’s too fast, chances are you could have loose skin and appear shapeless, it’s because you need to implement resistance exercises into your routine. No one ever got six-pack abs or slim triceps by running alone.
Laurie Lifts heavy/moderate Weights!!
Muscle is also crucial to keep your weight from yo-yo-ing. The more lean muscle you have, the faster your metabolism is, and the more fat you burn at rest. The key is Fast Metabolism, not endless running or hour long sessions on the treadmill just to maintain. And as we age it becomes more important. Your metabolism slows down every year after 30, and it’s unrealistic to keep increasing your cardio time to maintain your weight. Muscle is what will keep your metabolism running and keeping fat from making itself comfortable on your backside.

For women, it’s essential to build muscle for bone strength as well. As we age our bones naturally get thinner. Why’s that bad? When your bones are thin, even a minor fall can result in you breaking a bone. I’m not even referring to the nursing home population either. Over 50% of women have osteopenia-the precursor to osteoporosis- starting at age 50! That’s not good!

Lastly, muscle tone look’s great. A strong athletic build is sexy. No one has ever come to me and asked for the “Marathon Look”. And I’m not talking about working out to become the next “Miss Olympia”. And please not the PINK DUMBELLS---(that’s another article).
No Pink DB's

Great shape --but not what I'm talking about

Lean Muscle

If you train the right way, you won’t get bulky. You’ll have a body shape people envy, shapely lean muscle that makes you look curvy in all the right places!

Thursday, August 28, 2014

*New* Class Format coming to InMotion Cycling in Westford

$30 for 30 days ---

School is Back! Can't get to that class you enjoy? Tougher with the new bus schedule? We have a solution -a flexible schedule in a circuit format! 4 Start times --You can make one of them! 

Here are the start times and end times if you complete 3 circuits.

The 6am class starts off with a 6 minute warmup ---if you come in for the other 3 start times you will be responsible for a warmup in a designated area. (warm-up provided).
The circuit at this time is 10 stations ---1 minute per station -some stations have 2 exercises

To go thru an entire Circuit (10 stations) it takes 15 minutes ---1-2 minutes rest between and allowing new folks to start.

InMotion Cycling    7 Littleton Rd. Unit G1, Westford,      Tel: 978.319.9074     
Give us a try!!!

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Spring on the way!!!!!!

We're back!!!!!!
Classes start Monday April 14

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Biggest Loser --Unrealistic Weight Loss?

Well another season of Biggest Loser is over. And I have to admit I’ve seen every season. I’ve seen many transformations and been surprised and stunned by some of the final weigh-ins. But I have to be honest last night’s Finale with winner (Rachel Frederickson) totally blew me away. I was shocked and not in a good way. If you saw the look on both trainers faces (Bob and Jillian) you could tell they felt the same way. The sad part of all of this is if you’ve seen any of the reaction via social media. It hasn’t been kind. Taking shots at this woman is not the way to go. This woman showed nothing but class all season. She’s one of the most competitive and inspirational people I’ve seen on television. She worked so hard and decided she wasn’t going to be stopped. For that, she’s 250k richer, but more importantly she’s got her life back.

But here’s the thing. I can’t predict how her appearance will affect the show or more importantly women watching the show.  I will only state. She is now severely under-weight. I’ve been trying to verify her height –from what I read 5’4’ -5'7" and weighing 105 she is in a danger zone. We all have different builds. But in no way is 105 lbs healthy for someone that height. I don't care if you're a fitness model or walking a runway –IT’S NOT HEALTHY!

I’m thinking in a few weeks we’ll see an updated photo of Rachel and she’ll be at a healthy weight and show folks how to keep it off!

Unrealistic Weight Loss?  

The show overall is very unrealistic in terms of weight loss. It’s real, but the fact that these people are isolated for 5 or 6 months and workout close to eight hours a day is extreme and almost impossible to do in the real world. You do the math. There’s no way we’d survive. Another thing is the workouts, TOUGH. I don’t think I know anyone that could survive one of their “last chance workouts”. If anyone wants that workout, please let me know, I’ll supervise with a smile…………..

Then how the heck do these people do what we’re seeing, I wish I knew. We’re talking about 400lb people running, jumping and lifting unreal weights for hours. The trainers are Military type trainers, who needs it? Apparently these folks.

The message the show does convey is that anyone can change if you’re willing. It’s out there for you, if you want it! AND IT’S NEVER TOO LATE!

But the thing that bothers me the most is that the show has really hurt the average weight loss enthusiast. I’ve seen someone lose 31lbs in one week on the show. Yes 7 days. So my client works with me, loses 2lbs in one week. How’s that feel?  Hopefully fantastic…. But you get the picture. Ordinarily, 2 pounds would be an outstanding pace at which to lose weight each week, but with TV shows and infomercials advertising double-digit weekly weight loss results it’s hard to be that impressed with a couple of pounds here and another few there.

Think about weight loss realistically. In the real world 1% weight loss per week is great, and if it happens you should be proud of yourself. So if I weigh 170 pounds and I lose 1% that would equal a 1.7 pound weight loss. This is a realistic goal to shoot for each week and better yet, your results will be far more likely to be permanent.

So unless you plan on leaving your family, quitting your job and dedicating your life to losing weight, it’s a much better idea (and healthier) to aim for a 1% weight loss per week through both a balanced nutrition plan and following a sound program!

Now’s your chance to be part of a Biggest Loser Program HERE AT THE REGENCY! Check the front desk for details –sorry we can’t send you to California, but we’ll give you the tools needed to reach your weight loss goals!!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

New Group Fitness Class Schedule

Mon 6:15pm  & Fri 9:15am    Roudenbush

Wed 6:15pm  Nashoba Tech Westford  

Wed & Fri 7am     33 Providence rd

Westford Regency (members)   4 classes
Tues 6am    Thurs6:45am/6:35pm & Sat 9:30am

Friday, September 6, 2013

Mother's Day Make-over Final Results!

Body Transformation: Laurie Merrill Lost 26 Pounds, 18 Inches, 3 sizes and 9% Bodyfat in 10 weeks!
Let’s go back to Early May 2013. Westford Regency Health Club was going to be running a “Mother’s Day Make-Over” for its’ female Members. All our ladies were eligible and a “winner” would be selected based on their written essay and why they should be selected. We did get a great response and selecting the candidate was more difficult than I anticipated. The winner would receive a training program, 1on1 training sessions and a food plan to help them reach their goals. The program would be 10 weeks and you were required to workout 5-6 times a week with several on your own. We had many worthy candidates and after going back and forth on our final 3 we decided on Laurie Merrill and she turned out to be a great choice!
Laurie is a 33 year old mother of 2 young children. In her essay she explained she had been battling with losing the last twenty pounds that would get her back to her pre-baby weight.  Prior to the contest Laurie had taken that first Major step, joining a Health Club and then working out. After several months of working out 5-6 days a week she wasn’t really losing any weight and really needed the help. And I love when she wrote, “Not only do I want to lose the weight for myself, but I want to be healthy for my family”.

Lesson #1 ---Laurie was definitely getting in better shape by working out on her own.  But did she have a plan? Not really. I love this saying –“If you fail to plan, plan to fail”. Now don’t get me wrong. I think it’s great that folks get to the gym and move. That’s what it’s all about. But if you have a specific goal (and you should) it’s important you have a plan in place. I see too many times people just come to the gym and randomly do exercises and or do JUST CARDIO. If Body-transformation is your goal –this is NOT the way to go!
First Change –You’re going to lift weights and NOT the pink dumbbells. Yes you’re going to lift heavier weights and you’re NOT going to bulk-up ----(ladies it takes a lot to pack on muscle). I wouldn’t have called Laurie a “Cardio Queen” but if anything she may have been doing more “aerobic” activities than resistance training. Again, the science supports this –the best way to change your body and lose bodyfat is resistance training. This means lifting moderate weights and training large muscles like your legs, chest and back and not sitting on a cardio machine reading a magazine!

Laurie’s workout Plan.
The training plan was progressive, so we started out slow and built up off each week’s workouts. I wanted and she wanted to look and feel like an athlete. So we continuously monitored the response to her body and made appropriate changes to the plan to stay on track.  We changed up her routine all the time. It changed continuously as her strength and endurance improved. We started out with 3 full-body workouts a week and 2 steady state cardio sessions (30 min). She also did several Classes we have here at the Regency instead of a cardio session. After a solid month of training we introduced Metabolic circuit training and intervals to the mix.

A week could look like this:
Monday - Fullbody Workout

Tuesday - Cardio 40 minutes

Wednesday - Fullbody Workout

Thursday - Cardio 40 minutes
Friday - Fullbody Workout

Saturday - OFF

Sunday - OFF
 Sample workout:
Circuit #1    Squat & Press 15 reps   DB Row 12 reps   Mt Climber 30sesc    3 sets
Circuit # 2    Rev Lunge 15 reps  Chest Press 12 reps   Squat Jumps 15 reps  3 sets
Circuit #3     Deadlift 10 reps     Triceps Extensions 15 reps    3 sets
Circuit # 4    Jumping Jacks/Good Morning/ Skaters/Burpee  30sec/10sec rest ea.  

Food Plan
Most important change ---FOOD------ Another great quote: “You cannot out-train  a poor diet”. NEVER –(unless you’re 18)………..
Laurie was typical of many mothers. Skipping breakfast and eating off her children’s plates. So we changed all of this –Eating Clean. Laurie already had an understanding of what healthy eating was. She may have been inconsistent with her food plan and wasn’t getting enough protein but she was aware of all this and was willing to make the necessary adjustments. Once we made the change to eating clean I think Laurie was surprised at how much food you can eat with this plan and the pounds were just coming off. As we got closer to the end of the program we cut back on starchy carbs towards the end of the day and increased her vegetable intake –this helped to burn off those last 5 pounds.
  1. Weight training is what really makes a difference. No amount of cardio can do what weights do to your body.
  2. You don’t become big and bulky by lifting weights and you can really sculpt your body with weights.
  3. Eating clean is a lifestyle. It is not a diet. And you can exercise all you want but if you don’t watch your portions, even if what you are eating is totally healthy it eventually gets stored as extra fat.
More from Laurie
Were there any unique challenges or circumstances that made your transformation particularly difficult? The biggest challenge I faced was myself. Being a mom of 2 young boys I had to work around school/playroom schedules and sick children. If I wasn't able to make it to the gym one day, I was sure to work out at home.
How are you currently training, and has your training changed since the completion of your transformation?    I am still working out and using the training program. As well as following the nutrition plan.

Did you allow yourself cheat meals?                                                                                                                 There were a couple instances where I fell off of the nutrition plan when in public situations and had to get creative with what I chose to eat. Because Laurie was losing the 1-2 pounds each week we allowed the once a week higher carb meal ---the Eat Clean Plan encourages a once a week “cheat” meal if it doesn’t trigger a cheat weekend.

What supplements did you use during your transformation?   I took a multivitamin and protein powder for shakes. 

What are your best tips for someone looking to make their own transformation?    Make sure that you are starting this program at a time when you are able to give 100% to it. The more hard work and dedication you put into it the better the results. I thoroughly enjoyed working out and challenging myself.

How do you stay motivated? What advice would you give to someone who’s having trouble staying on track?  It was easy for me to stay motivated. I was not happy and knew I wanted a change. The more I worked out, the more results I saw and it kept me going. My advice to someone else is when you are losing your motivation or are thinking of quitting, just remember what it was that got you to start the program in the first place. For me, it was my kids and wanting to be healthy for them.
What is your life like now that you’ve made a transformation? AMAZING! I have my self-confidence back. I'm fitting into clothes that have been sitting in the back if my closet for years. Not only am I thinner but I'm stronger too! When I started the program I couldn't even do a push up, now I'm in the best shape of my life.
You seem to be motivating a lot of women at the gym lately. I just get really excited and happy when people approach me and tell me that I am motivating to them! I never thought that I would motivate and inspire other people and it’s such a great feeling when people in my gym come up to me and tell me that I do inspire them! It’s fabulous!
Here are some things to remember if you’re ready to take a similar journey:
  • You need to be mentally prepared with how you will handle your accomplished goals, challenges and negativity.  
  • Keep healthy foods around and something with you in the car.  Be prepared and try to keep junk foods out of your home. Especially at the beginning of this process. I know it’s tough with kids. This way you create a no fail situation
  •  Have a small support group, even if it’s just one person.  But that person is someone you can vent to, cry to and share your accomplishments with.  Not everyone will understand why and that is ok.  Just make sure someone does so you can share your joy! Laurie’s husband was fantastic and super-supportive. Without that help it would have been a more difficult journey.
  •  You aren’t in competition with anyone else but yourself. Focus on becoming the best YOU and being happy in your own skin first and foremost! Master that, and everything else will fall into place naturally. That competition with yourself could mean a better time, 1 more pushup……..
  •  Never underestimate the power of eating ENOUGH. Make sure you’re getting enough calories. Never going below 1200. Make sure you get enough food during the day to fuel your body in order to lose that weight!
  •  Set those goals. Give yourself a deadline. Laurie set her goals and I gave her a deadline. It wasn’t done to add pressure. It’s always best mentally to have something you’re striving for.
  •  Consistency is the Key!
 Okay there it is in a nutshell. 10 weeks for a total transformation, both mind and body. Laurie did a fantastic job. She came in with many questions and maybe a lack of confidence. By the end of this she had that confidence back and got in the best shape of her life. As a trainer these are things that make it all worth it. I saw a young woman come to us looking for a change and not knowing the best way to get it done. She got it done in a big way. She is a joy to train and never quit or made any excuses. She followed the plan and never complained when the workouts got tougher. Two young children and working around that schedule. Through sickness, a vacation smack through the middle of summer. There was NO stopping her!  She killed it! Pictures speak for themselves. Laurie you made me proud. Thanks for your hard work and dedication. There’s no stopping you!