Saturday, March 19, 2011

Circuit Workouts: Burn Fat, Scupt & Boost the Metabolism

The circuit training workout has been around for ages. When I first read about it, it was called "the perpheral heart circuit". Or something close to that. Basically it meant, pump blood throughout the body with exercising different muscle groups in sequence with little rest.

Circuit workout basics:

Train all major muscle groups with little to no rest between exercises.

The benefits of Circuit Workouts:

Burn lots of calories

Tone/Strengthen while receiving cardiovascular benefits

Quick workouts

Fun & Challenging

With today's busy lifestyles the circuit is great way to get a quick workout. You can throw in a 20 minute circuit anywhere during the day. The exercises you choose for your circuit are dependent on your fitness goal and your other activities. The following are some guidelines to building a circuit plan.

Decide your goal.

What body areas do want to work? Is your goal to tone & strengthen, or do you want to burn lots of calories and get some aerobic benefits?

Choose the number of exercises, repetitions and number of sets of the circuit.

Go through each exercise with little to no rest between each. You might want to consider the order you placed each exercise.

Rest briefly after all your exercises are completed. Repeat the circuit for additional sets.

Never under estimate the intensity of a circuit. If you choose the right weight and repetitions it should be tough. Sets 2 and 3 should be really tough!

Circuit training systems can be more cardiovascular based workouts. In the example below you could perform each exercise for 2 minutes. Before you begin you would pick your intensity level each.

Cardio/Aerobic Circuit

Bike, Aerobic Step, Jump Rope, Elliptical, Trampoline Runs, Jumping Jacks, Treadmill, Bosu Foot Taps, Swing Kicks

You could add toning and strengthening exercises like pushups, crunches or lunges to the aerobic circuit inorder to make it a total body conditioning workout.

The days of sitting and resting between sets of exercise is over. Shorter workouts with less rest between sets is a great may to boost the metabolism and total fitness.

Weekly Workout Plan for Weight Loss

Monday: 20 minute upper & lower body circuit, 40 elliptical

Tuesday: 40-60 minutes Treadmill interval training 0r aerobics class such as Spin

Wednesday: 20 minute upper & lower body circuit, 40 minute elliptical

Thursday: 40-60 minutes treadmill interval training or aerobic class such as Step

Friday: 20 minute cardio circuit and pilates

Saturday & Sunday: 60-90 minute walk with children, husband or friends (Get outside and go moderate intensity.)

If you have questions or comments please post or contact me at .

In good health,

Brian Autry

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Successful Dieters Master The Art Of Food Preparation

Body For Life Challenger (Before & After) 12 Weeks!

I have previously mentioned consistency as an important element in success. This is especially true with weight loss. It's quite common to make a step forward with a week of positive habits and then take a step back (or two) by letting yourself slide for a few days. Many dieters never get to see the true potential of a consistent, healthy, whole foods diet for two main reasons.

1) They decide to give up because they have unrealistic expectations. Many dieters believe weight loss is perfect. They expect 1-2 pounds of weight loss every week. That means in four weeks they should have lost up to 8 pounds. And if they only have lost 2 pounds by week four, they give up altogether. Sounds reasonable, right? I've seen 5, 6 and even 7 pounds literally fall off individuals on week eight. If you're consistently doing the right things it will happen, just not always the way you expect it.

2) The second and probably the biggest detriment to successful weight loss is lack of meal preparation. In order for your body to decide hormonally to let go of stored body fat, it must have a consistent and adequate nutrient supply being delivered. That means small meals spaced throughout the day. Unfortunately, it takes a lot of work. Most of us have busy schedules with family and work obligations. The only way to be successful is to plan ahead. That means you will have to have some degree of preparation.

A Lesson From Body For Life

One of the most successful diet system I've experienced is the Body For Life program. Actually, Body For Life is a complete transformation system that completely changed those that took their "challenge". When you first viewed before and after photos of the participants your first thought was disbelief. I would show people the results that were possible and it was common to hear," that's not even the same person"or " that photos been altered". The transformations were that outstanding. After trying their system over 15 years ago for the first time I became convinced that steady nutrition is the foundation for how our body looks . The results from the consistency of diet and a progression exercise program were truly unbelievable.

The key component to the Body For Life program was a perfectly balanced diet. The system called for 6 evenly spaced meals throughout the day. Each meal consisted of a high quality protein and a high fiber carbohydrate. Every meal was between 300 - 500 calories and mainly consisted of whole foods such as lean/low fat meats, lots of vegetables and moderate amounts of starches as whole grains.

Those that took the BFL challenge were everyday people with families, jobs and personal lives. In order for them to stick with their diet, the program ask them to prepare all their weeks meals on Sundays. On Sunday they would cook Breakfast, Lunch, dinner and healthy snacks for the entire week. It was a lot of work that all those that were successful did. When it became time to eat they had their food ready. This meant they were less likely to grab fast food or equally worse not eat. These successful people didn't have super human will power to stick to their diet. They had preparation!

Planning meals, preparing meals and being ready for the days nutrition is the number one skill/habit to practice for weight loss. Once you develop a consistent dietary regimen, your weight will drop dramatically. Unfortunately for many, they start but never finish. Three or four days of proper nutrition will never bring permanent changes. Like exercise, you must dedicate yourself everyday. Never the less, no body's perfect. There will always be bad meals and missed workouts, but it should be infrequent. Maybe once every few weeks, not every few days.

Remember, your physical self is a picture of your lifestyle. Heavy smokers and drinkers will look like heavy smokers and drinkers. Marathon runners will look like marathon runners. Mother Nature can't be fooled. You must work at changing your lifestyle to change your body. Extraordinary accomplishments can take place in a short period of time when you dig in and give it all your focus. The excitement you feel when you see the dramatic results and reach your goal will stay with you forever. You will feed off that great feeling and never look back.

In good health,

Brian Autry

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Progression: Everything Is Changing. Are You?

Getting results is exciting. Getting life changing, dramatic, turn every one's head results in 90 days is REALLY exciting!

It happens everyday. Go online, watch Saturday morning paid programming. You can see dramatic results on every supplement, exercise gadget, diet and workout video. And for the most part, the results are true. Although, the way they got the results may be deceptive. But the results did happen. And quickly.

If you follow the right diet and exercise program results happen. So what is the "right" program and why doesn't everyone do it? Before I tell you what program, you must know the foundation to the results you want. Faith. Consistency. Desire. Focus. These are the four biggest characteristics that bring dramatic change and big time results. There must be an overwhelming desire to change. When that happens you really focus on the desired outcome. You will become consistent. Every waking moment will center on creating the result. And you must believe that you will have what is rightfully yours to have. That's faith.

Now back to the "right" program. All result producing programs are basic systems that include progression. Progression = Advancement. Some way of doing something a little better and improving. Small steps forward that over time show big improvements. For example, if you can now ride an exercise bike for 10 minutes straight. You progress to 11 minutes, 12 minutes...etc. It's easy to understand progression in regards to cardiovascular exercise. Conceptionally, it makes perfect sense that if you can run a marathon you will be in better shape than when you could only run a few miles. The body has to let go of extra weight to endure all those miles.

Typically, at some point in a person's fitness regimen they reach a plateau where they continue to stay with the same workouts. They change nothing. And if they change exercises, it's basically the same intensity and doesn't challenge the body to improve. For example, let's say you were using lunges to work the legs and were doing 3 sets of 12 reps. Each set you stop because your legs are tired and burning. Now you switch to squats and do 3 sets of 12 reps and stop when your legs are tired and burning. Even though, you may get sore from the new exercise it doesn't necessarily mean your legs are going to be in better shape. The reality is that your muscles are working at the same intensity. Muscles that are ask to produce more work (output) must adapt to the increase stress upon them. If you had stayed with the lunges and started holding a pair of dumbbells for extra resistance and completed the same sets and reps, that would have increased the workload on the leg muscles. Early, when you first began to exercise, you naturally put higher demands on your muscles and your body adapted. There are a whole host of ways your body adapts to increased stressed. Hormones that burn fat and build muscles are released, muscles need repairing and energy substrates need to be replenished. Overall, your body will require extra energy to adapt. That means your body will hopefully devour body fat for the required energy. In addition, your body will be able to efficiently manage the calories you ingest.

If you want to break results down into a simple equation you could imagine it like this:

RESULTS= Increased Intensity (stress) = Fitter Body = Body able to work harder = Increased Intensity = Fitter body etc..

You can see that it is a cycle. You work harder to achieve better fitness, better fitness allows you to work even harder to burn more calories and build more muscle. The saying, " the rich get richer and the poor get poorer" , can be applied to our health and fitness. The trick is to keep the cycle in motion. It can get tough. Our motivation and dedication are always at risk. That's why many people are constantly seeking new routines, workout programs and equipment. And that's OK. Any program or routine that gets you to work harder than you previously had will get the job done. You must be able to track your progress.

Progression is equal to applying higher and higher intensity upon yourself. Don't let the word "INTENSITY" scare you either. You should only apply small changes over time that allow yourself to adapt without injury. Our initial enthusiasm toward losing weight is both a good but potentially dangerous emotion. Pushing beyond our bodies ability to recover may lead to over training or injury.

In conclusion, a new workout video, personal trainer or routine may or may not give you the result you desire. In the end it comes down to progression. If you build small goals to work toward and keep yourself accountable for these goals you will progress. Long term weight loss and head turning body transformations always includes an exercise regimen that is based upon building fitness through better cardiovascular output, increased muscular strength and endurance. As your body gets stronger, your body will transform!

In Good Health,

Brian Auty