Thursday, July 25, 2013

Top 10 Fitness Time Wasters (guest post by jason heilpern)

OK y'all. If you missed my first guest post the other day by Sarah Roseberry, you must go back and read it. Two amazing guest posts in one week! And this is a great one too. I advise you to sit down, grab a healthy snack and read this one – right from a true fitness expert (#10 is my favorite). As I embark on my first-ever "mud run" in just over one week, I decided to enlist the help of this guest blogger below for some hardcore, inspiring fitness tips!

Jason Heilpern is certified Personal Trainer and Owner of Geek & Gamer Fitness (based in WA). Jason also teaches group fitness classes, nutrition seminars and coaches clients online. He also happens to be a friend of mine from high school, a social media/tech guru and I'm thrilled he was willing to write a post on fitness for my blog! Read more about his inspiring story here. And also check out his blog here
10 Fitness Tips
“One day you will tell a story about your life. Every decision you make today will determine the story you tell tomorrow. Live a story that’s worth telling.” 

by jason heilpern
  1.  Doing too much to fast – As a trainer I see people come into the gym all the time who are anxious, and excited to lose weight, and meet their fitness goals.  The first, and often the biggest mistake most people make, is doing too much. I have had clients who did an hour of cardio and an hour of weight training 6 days a week.  For athletes, that’s fine, but for your average person it’s too much too soon.  Focus on training 30-60 minutes 3-5 times a week, and make those workouts intense.
  2.  No Intensity – In 2009, I was overweight and out of shape.  I really had no idea what I was doing in the gym, so I bought a copy of P90X.  The workouts were amazing, and by the end of each one I was dripping with sweat, and wanted nothing more than to collapse on the floor.  That should be how you feel after every workout.  The key to a good workout is not how long you worked out, it’s how much intensity you brought to your workout.  I have clients who get more results from a 35 minute workout than clients who work out an hour every day. How? Intensity!
  3.  Diet, Diet, Diet – Over the last two years I have had a lot of clients tell me that they want to get rid of belly fat.  They will look at me and ask what kinds of workouts or exercises they can do to get rid of their pooch.  I tell every single one of them the same thing: If you want to lose belly fat you have to change your diet.  Most people are not aware that your diet plays a bigger role in weight loss than exercise, the numbers are around 70% diet and 30% workouts.  So I encourage all my clients to start a MyFitnessPal account (it’s free) and begin tracking your calories.  Most people have no idea just how many calories they consume.  The average America is around 3000-4000 calories, and trust me that is A LOT of food.  When you start tracking your calories don’t change anything about your diet except restricting your calories to between 1800 and 2000.  Once you have done that for 6 weeks straight, start replacing the foods you eat with fruits, nuts, vegetables, and lean healthy meats.
  4. Plan Ahead – One of the biggest reasons people fail at fitness is that they forget to plan ahead.  Make your fitness part of your lifestyle by scheduling all your workouts ahead of time.  Put them into your calendar, set up reminders on your phone, and make your workout just as important as you would a business meeting.  When it comes to your food and diet, pack all your food in a bag the night before.  Have everything cooked and ready to grab and go.  If you wait until morning something will come up, you won’t have time, and you will end up walking out of the house without any food to eat, which will lead to either not eating, or grabbing a quick hamburger at the corner McDonalds.  If you plan every aspect of your fitness ahead of time, you won’t fail.
  5.  Not Having a Plan – Have you ever seen someone at the gym who seems to drift from one machine to the next, wandering through the gym with no sense of purpose?  Don’t be that person.  Find a program and stick to it.  Today it’s so easy to find good programs that have been created by expert professionals and trainers.  Check out my D&D Fitness Series for the latest programs for Geek and Gamer Fitness.  I also recommend for some amazing programs for people of all fitness levels and abilities! 
  6.  Using Horrible Form – Listen to me carefully! You DO NOT want to get injured!  The FASTEST way to getting injured is by working out with bad form.  When you decide on a program there might be moves, and exercises in it that you have never done before, and its crucial that you perform the movement’s the right way.  Go to YouTube and do a search for the movement, and study the video carefully before attempting it.  Also start with light weight, and as you get comfortable with the different movement’s gradually start increasing weight, and reps.
  7. Stop Talking – This was a VERY hard lesson for me to learn.  Personally I am a very social and active person.  I enjoy discussion and debate, and love talking with people.  When I first started working out, and meeting new people I talked to them like I would in any other type of environment.  My new friends were polite and patient, but one day a friend pulled me aside and said “Do you realize that you spend more time talking and less time working out when you are here?”  This was a wake up call.  So now I socialize before and after my workouts, but during I keep talking to a minimum, and focus on what I came to the gym to do, workout!
  8. Resting – Working out is hard, and it has the ability to get your heart up to race car like speeds.  I understand that sometimes you need a break to catch your breath.  That’s fine, but don’t take too long.  The rule in my gym is this, if you can speak a full sentence, then you are rested enough.  If you can’t speak a full sentence keep resting.
  9. Getting Stuck in a Loop – We have already talked about finding a program and following it.  Now the question is what do you do when you finish the program?  Get a new program.  So many people find a program they like and they never change.  They will continue to do the same exercises over and over.  The problem with this is the body, eventually, becomes used to the activities you are doing, and will stop burning fat, and gaining muscle.  By switching up your program every 6-12 weeks you keep your body from adapting.  This allows for continuous fat burn and muscle growth.
  10. Not Having Fun – OK – if you have read through this whole article and have chosen to only remember one thing remember this: Find something you enjoy!  The biggest mistake I see from people is they start a fitness program, hate it and quit.  Not everyone will enjoy running.  I don’t!  I HATE running!  But my wife LOVES running.  It does not matter if you are going to a Zumba class or a Crossfit class.  They kind of fitness is not important.  What is important is that it is fun, challenging, and exciting for YOU!  This may take some time.  You may have to try out a couple different kinds of classes before you find your place, but keep with it.  Once you find it you will never regret the time you spent looking for it.


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  3. I know for years, I thought that getting enough exercise meant trudging along on the treadmill at the gym for at least an hour a day. But that’s really not the case. Interval training is all the rage these days. With interval training, I do a combination of exercises that are designed to work specific muscle groups for short periods of time. For example, I might do a minute of squats, a minute of pushups, a minute of stomach crunches, and a minute of running in place. Repeated three times, this is an intense workout that will burn lots of calories in only 12 minutes. If my baby only napped for half an hour, I could still get a workout and a shower. The best part is that interval training can be adjusted to fit all kinds of fitness levels. I built up intensity as my strength and endurance increased.

  4. Hi Elina! Thanks so much for the comment. I so agree with you. Interval training is important for sure. I will have to try this workout you mention above. Sounds great! And hope that baby goes to sleep for you soon. :)

  5. Very well said I was also going too fast in the first week
    and then my strength was giving up and my routine was totally lost and the
    point I liked the most is we do not have a good plan.

  6. I began doing more of this sort of training when I started crossfit and I began to see results quicker than ever before...good post here, solid advice for anyone looking to stepup their game and build muscle


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