Renton Results Boot Camp Transformation Contest Results

It took a little while to get the pictures all put together and organized but it was worth it!

First of I would like to congratulate everyone that finished the contest as they all busted their butt to get some incredible results during the 8 weeks. The atmosphere during the contest was great, the training was challenging and everyone supported each other, which is what made those tough days just a little easier to bear.

It was inspiring to see people start believing they can do anything they put their mind to and even though it was a physical transformation contest, there were just as many changes in mindset and confidence.

At the end we had such a tough time picking the top 3 as there were so many contestants with great results. We had to come to a decision and below are the top three contestants as well as a number of the other great before and after pictures and results.

1st Place:聽 Dawood Amedi

Dawood lost 30.8 lbs and 7.4% body fat during the 8 week contest. He started training in the boot camp a couple of weeks before the contest started and in that ten week time frame he lost more than 40 lbs! What a transformation鈥

Dawood Amedi

2nd Place: Mayra Sanchez

Mayra didn鈥檛 miss one workout and never forgot to bring in her journal throughout the whole contest which resulted in a second place with a 25.5 lb weight loss and a 5.4% fat loss. Since Mayra started in the Renton Results Boot Camp she has lost 45 lbs and is going string every time she steps foot in the door鈥

Mayra Sanchez

3rd Place: Tony Smith

Tony was another contestant that never missed and constantly pushed the intensity. He lost 30.2 lbs and 6.1% body fat. Since the contest finished Tony has lost another 6 lbs and is getting ready for his first sprint triathlon.

Tony Smith

Many of the other contestants also had some great results and they are definitely winners in my mind. Some of them were really close to being in the top 3!

Matt Meikle lost 23.2 lbs and 5.6% body fat and he was a close runner up to 3rd place.

Matt MeilkeJohn Calnan lost 15.8 lbs and 3.8% body fat, not to mention he is beasting the weights!

John CalnanLee Spencer lost exactly 15 lbs and 5.8% body fat and she had one of the best visual transformations. Can you say 鈥渟ix pack鈥?! Great job Lee!

Lee SpencerDoug Lawrenson initially lost over 20 lbs when he joined the Renton Results Boot Camp, during the contest he lost 6.5 lbs and 3% body fat getting him a six pack and Spartan like conditioning. He鈥檚 taking his training to the next level and working on his strength and muscle鈥

Doug LawrensonKasheen Brown started the contest 3 weeks late and definitely made it up with the intensity and positive attitude she brought to the class. She lost 12.8 lbs and 3.1% body fat and had a wow transformation considering she was in the contest for just 6 weeks…

Kasheen BrownRod Spencer lost 8.5 lbs and 2% body fat and even though he always had something 鈥渘ice鈥 to tell me, he put in work and got in great shape. He鈥檚 also taking his fitness levels further with personal training at Hocevar Performance and building strength and muscle鈥.

Rod Spencer

I will post up some of the other before and after pictures as they are getting finished.

I can鈥檛 say how proud I am of everyone for all the hard work and the support that they presented to each other. The contest was a success and we are working on holding a number of different contests throughout the year.

If you looking to make a step towards a sexier, healthier and fitter you, then contact us at (206) 372 9303 or email luka@hocevarperformance.com to ask about our up coming contest or our ongoing results driven boot camp program.

Check out www.RentonResultsBootcamp.com and www.HocevarPerformance.com for the most results driven fitness programs in Renton and South King County.

Renton Boot Camp Fat Loss Workout

Last Friday we had another great bootcamp session at the Renton Results Boot Camp. We split the class up into three groups, each one using a different tool in a 6 minute density circuit. If you have access to a set of dumbells, a medicine ball and your own body (I hope that you don’t have an issue with the last one) then you can do this same training session at home!

The goal is to do as much work in the 6 minute time frame while using great form on all the exercises. We would take a 2 minute break before moving on to the next density circuit with a different tool.

Circuit #1: Dumbells

DB Squats x 10 reps
DB Reverse Lunges x 5 reps/each leg
DB Bent Over Rows x 5 reps
DB Push Ups x 10 reps

Circuit #2: Medicine Ball

MB Squat Jumps x 10 reps
MB Woodchops (straight up and down) x 10 reps
MB Side Lunge = Reach x 5 reps/each leg
MB Simulated Chest Pass x 10 reps/each side

Circuit #3: Bodyweight

BW Squats x 20 reps
Reverse Lunges x 10 reps/each leg
Push Ups x 10 reps
V-Ups x 10 reps
Thrusters x 10 reps

We finished with a ab finisher that looked like this:

Push Up Walkout x 30 seconds
Knee To Elbow x 30 seconds
Plank x 30 seconds
Side Plank x 30 seconds/each

The effects of this training session were not only a ton of calories burnt during the training session but also a higher amount of calories being burnt for the next 48 hours because of EPOC (exercise post oxygen consumption). The training has elevated the metabollism to such an extent that our bodies will continue to burn caloies long after we’re done with training. Now that is called training efficiency!

Try this workout out for yourself and see a clip of how our campers did…..

On another note…….halfway through the transformation contest (4 weeks), we already have 3 contestants that are down more than 20 lbs with more than 10 down over 10 lbs!!!

If you would like to be a part of the premier boot camp in Renton and South King County that offers small group personal training then check out www.RentonResultsBootcamp.com.

What To Eat For Breakfast Before Boot Camp

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day!

Heard it all before? Well, it鈥檚 true and you can find out the hard way by skipping it or having a crappy breakfast meal, which will cause lack of energy, crashes, slower metabolism during the day as well as weight gain and the decline of health over time.

You think there鈥檚 a correlation between the fact that 4 out of 1 Americans skip breakfast and 31% of the people that do eat it, choose cereal as their main option (there were even worse foods on the list but the cereal was prevalent) and the fact that almost 70% of American are overweight or obese?

And please don鈥檛 ask why cereal isn鈥檛 a part of a healthy breakfast (hint: look at the nutritional content).

The reason I have brought this topic up is because I regularly get asked what are some options for a good breakfast in the morning before our a.m. Renton Boot Camp, when should they eat it etc.

My answer is that you should eat breakfast within 15-20 minutes up so that you get your body into optimal fat burning mode as soon as possible. By fueling your body with the right (healthy) foods as soon as you wake up you鈥檙e triggering your blood sugar into zone where your body will burn fat for fuel, have more energy and just feel damn good. That will start your day of on the right foot then just keep it going by eating every 2-3 hours. Here are some ideas for a great breakfast:

  • Eggs, Spinach, 1/2 grapefruit
  • Turkey Breast, sliced apples (I will grab some slices of turkey breast and just聽 eat it with my hands while eating apple slices to go with it)
  • Greek Yoghurt, almonds and blueberries
  • Hardboiled Eggs(always have some hardboiled eggs ready to go in the fridge),聽 Banana
  • Oatmeal with Protein Powder聽and聽walnuts and cinnamon
  • A shake- 2 scoops whey with聽 berries blended
  • Cottage Cheese and Strawberries and a little Pineapple
  • Ezekiel Bread or a Rice Cakes with Peanut聽 Butter or Almond Butter
  • String Cheese, Piece of Fruit
  • Turkey Burger or Buffalo Burger- Cook the Patty and have it in a Lettuce wrap with Avocado
  • Scramble- Eggs with ground turkey, beans, onions, mushrooms and salsa
  • Steamed broccoli, feta cheese, cranberries and chicken sausage

If you have trouble eating a real meal early in the morning before training then look to a meal replacement shake聽as it will give you the protein to boost the metabolism as well as a bunch of fiber.

To get more delicious breakfast ideas check out the Gourmet Nutrition cook book, which is my number one weapon for creating delicious, healthy and fast meals. Dr. John Berardi and his team really created a cookbook for the fit food lover!

Gourmet Nutrition

If You鈥檙e Serious About Fat Loss You Need To Do Cardio Strength Training

Are you still working on burning off the fat with traditional training and long steady state bout of cardio? I hope not!

This is really not new by now, but the majority of people working to reach their fitness goals are still using steady state cardio as their main tool for fat loss.聽 Unfortunately people don鈥檛 look at common sense examples to realize that steady state is far from being the most effective, for example:

Contrast the physique of a long distance runner and a sprinter. The former is usually skinny fat meaning he/she doesn鈥檛 have much muscle and even though they are not overweight they have a pretty high percentage of body fat considering their weight. The sprinter on the other hand has a good amount of muscle and is much, much leaner. Let鈥檚 look at the training difference between the two.

Long distance runner: a lot of long distance running at slow or moderate tempo鈥檚, very little or no weight training

Sprinter: little or no long distance running, a good amount of time spent in the weight room, sprints and other high intensity exercises

Cardio Strength Training

Who would you like to look like?

Even though we are not taking genetics into account as well as some other factors, research as well as real world application shows that even though the long distance runners do much, much more cardio (most if not all of it steady state), they still carry a higher body fat percentage and less muscle than sprinters and other high intensity athletes.

Just to throw a study at you that proves where I鈥檓 going with this. In 2001 East Tenessee State University looked at two groups of obese women. One group performed steady state aerobic work 3 times a week for 8 weeks while the other group performed high intensity interval training for the same amount of days and weeks. Both groups exercised each session until they reached 30o calories burned. The end result? Only the high intensity interval group improved body composition! Not only that, they revealed no increases in resting metabolic rate for the aerobic group while there were increases in the metabolic rates of the interval group for over 24 hours.


The groups exercised the same amount as far as caloric output, yet the interval group lost fat and raised post exercise metabolic rates while the steady state group saw no improvements.

So what are some examples of cardio strength training?

- Complexes: putting multiple exercises together, using one tool and going through them without stopping or putting down the implement (we can use barbells, kettlebells, dumbbells, bodyweight, medicine balls, sandbags, etc.)

Here is a barbell complex so you have a better idea:

- Timed Sets or Density Training: there聽are many ways to do density training but I like to pick an exercise from each movement pattern and take a certain amount of time in which you will work through the circuits non stop (for instance 20 minutes). Here is a list of the exercises we used with a personal training client at Renton Hocevar Performance gym.

  • Knee Dominant – front squat
  • Hip Dominant – KB swings
  • Upper Body Push – bridge DB press
  • Upper Body Pull – TRX bodyweight rows
  • Core – medicine ball Russian twist throws

You can exchange the above exercises with many other movements and even exchange the hip or knee dominant movement with an explosive exercise (DB snatches, cleans, squat jumps, etc.)

- Timed Intervals: these could be split up to almost any work/rest ratio. 30/30, 40/20, 20/10, etc. and they can also go on for a predetermined amount of time (5, 10, 20 minutes or more鈥.and everything in between). The possibilities are endless as are the exercises you can plug in! This is one of the tools we use at the www.RentonResultsBootcamp.com.

- Outdoor Training: you can take your training outdoors with any tools that you want but there is no easier way than doing sprint training as well as bodyweight circuits outside as you do not need anything but your body. Sprints are highly metabolic and are incredible for fat burning.

I鈥檓 also a huge fan of strongman training so we like to put some strongman exercises into interval form. These exercises will be individualized for the level of trainee that is performing them. If you would like to find out your training success blueprint then schedule a free consult/assessment at Hocevar Performance.

There are many other ways to do cardio strength training but I hope this post gave you an idea of some of the possibilities.

You can use cardio strength training on the days you are not doing your regular strength training program or at the end of your regular strength training session. For a complete fat loss program that has been proven time and again (training and nutrition!), check out Warp Speed Fat Loss.

Click here to get Warp Speed Fat Loss

The Rapid Fat Loss Blueprint

Today, I am now going to share a tried and proven success blueprint to show you HOW to lose ugly, unwanted body fat as quickly and safely as possible to help you perform and look better. There is a ton of science and countless hours of real world trial and error behind this tried and proven program that I am about to outline for you. The true secret to its success is what I like to call THE METABOLIC 10. This describes the 10 scheduled metabolic boosts that occur each day to maximally stimulate total body fat burning and lean muscle gain from an integrated training and nutrition program (8 boosts from eating, 2 boosts from workouts).

Below is the outline of The Rapid Fat Loss Blueprint:

a.聽 Training

  • Strength Circuit Workouts:聽 Following 5-minute pre-workout routine perform 20-minute total bodystrength circuits three times per week on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday plus optional 10-20 minutes of steady state fat-burning cardio following a 5 minute rest
  • Cardio Interval Workouts:聽 Perform 20-minute cardio interval workouts book-ended by a 5-minute warm-up and cool-down three times per week on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday plus optional 10-20 minutes of steady state fat-burning cardio following a 5 minute rest
  • Recovery Workout:聽 Perform 30-60 minutes of low to moderate intensity cardio or recreational activity on Sunday (no high-intensity training)
  • Mini-Workouts: 5-minute Mini-Workout with at least 4-6 hours separation from main workout of the day on Monday through Saturday (e.g. Tabata workout)
  • Here is a 20/10 front squat tabata done with our athletes

  • Active Recovery Week Every 5th Week: Perform 10-minute strength circuit workouts on Tuesday and Thursday following every 4 weeks of intense training with lots of corrective stretching and foam rolling.

b.聽 Nutrition

  • Eat every 2-4 hours for a total of at 6-8 meals per day including workout nutrition
  • 3 meals per day for breakfast,lunch, and dinner (lean proteins like meats and seafood, healthy fats like olive oil, cheese, salmon, etc.), and of course unlimited green veggies
  • 3 snacks per day (half the size of aforementioned meals) between and after breakfast, lunch, and dinner (cheese, nuts, deli meat, protein and flax shake, etc.)
  • Workout Nutrition: Drink low carb protein drink before, during, and/or after your workouts (men-40 g of protein or 2 scoops mixed with cold water following ALL main workouts, cut in half for mini-workouts, women- 20 g of protein or 1 scoop mixed with cold water following ALL main workouts, cut in half for mini-workouts)

  • Carb Cycling: Repeating 5-week meal plan
  1. Weeks 1 & 2: Only carbs come from trace carbs in protein and fat foods and green veggies
  2. Weeks 3 & 4: Choose the following carb loading strategy based on your current fitness level (see below)
  3. Week 5: Diet Break- maintenance eating with some flexibility (e.g. 1-2 free meals/week)
  • Fitness Levels:
  1. Level I- You have more than 25 lbs of fat to lose – consume 1 Muscle Meal/week within 1-2 hours main workout on M
  2. Level II- You have 10-20 lbs of fat to lose – consume 2 Muscle Meals/week within 1-2 hours main workout on M and F
  3. Level III- You have less than 5 lbs of fat to lose – consume 3 Muscle Meals/week within 1-2 hours main workout on M, W, and F
  • Male Muscle Meal: 100 g of total impact carbs (50 g whole grain starches, beans/legumes, or sweet potatoes and 50 g fruits)
  • Female Muscle Meal: 50 g of total impact carbs (25 g whole grain starches beans/legumes, or sweet potatoes and 25 g fruits)

c.聽 Supplementation

  • Consume daily EFA/Fish Oil and Multi-Vitamin for your gender
  • Consume 1 Tbsp. of organic extra virgin coconut oil per day (Nutiva Brand is best)
  • Use protein powders as convenience option for snacks and also for workout nutrition

d.聽 Regeneration

  • Corrective Stretching and Self-Massage: Perform post-workout routine following all main and mini-workouts to dramatically accelerate recovery and to reduce exercise-induced soreness

    Poor man鈥檚 massage therapy is one of the best regeneration tools available鈥

  • Hydrotherapy: Perform Contrast Showers to dramatically accelerate recovery and reduce total body inflammation following all workouts by alternating between 2 minutes of hot water and 30 seconds of as cold of water as you can tolerate
  • Maintain 7-8+ Hour Sleep Schedule and Pre-Bed Routine

Quick, Challenging Mobility, Stretches and Workouts to Get Rid Of Stress

Today I was sitting at the computer for most of the day as I was setting up some training plans for the transformation contest that is going on at www.RentonResultsBootcamp.com.

Sitting at a desk and working on the computer is something a vast majority of you will be doing come Monday to Friday, which will make you stiff, tight and sluggish. To get rid of the stiffness and tightness it would be great to stretch every couple of hours (or even more frequently if you can) focusing especially on the hips. Here are some stretches/mobility drills that you should be focusing on that will loosen up your back and hips and make you feel a whole of a lot better鈥

But what are we going to do about getting our energy up, getting rid of the stress and working on burning some fat while maintain our muscle? Some metabolic strength training, that鈥檚 what!

My training session today consisted of metabolic circuits of 30 seconds of work followed by 30 seconds of rest for 20 minutes non stop. The exercises I used where pretty demanding and kicked my butt:

  • Prowler Push with 180 lbs.
  • Hurdle Hops
  • 30 lb. D-ball Slams
  • Band Sprint Outs

My whole mood changed after that, I had energy and a focused mind and I was able to get more work done after that feeling like I accomplished something. Now this workout was not part of my regular program, it was just something that I used to de-stress me and get my mind off work.

This is great for fat loss but you have to have the tools for it鈥︹

If you don鈥檛 have the above equipment available to you then don鈥檛 worry as I have a challenging bodyweight workout that you can knock out anywhere. It will be short, challenging and鈥︹eleasing (wooosssaaa)!

The great thing about the workout is that you can track the time it takes you to do it and work on continuously trying to improve it. This will help you burn more fat, get you more conditioned and make you leaner. The only way to change your body is to keep challenging your body so it changes (get out of your comfort zone remember). Here is the workout:

  • Prisoner Squats (30 reps)
  • Push Ups (30 reps)
  • Squat Jumps (30 reps)
  • Glute (Butt) Bridges (30 reps)
  • V-ups (10 reps)
  • Step Ups (20 reps)
  • Tucked Elbow Push Ups (20 reps)
  • Forward Lunges (30 reps)
  • Chin Ups (5 reps) or Inverted Rows (15 reps)
  • Prisoner Squats (15 reps)
  • Burpees (10 reps)

Complete all the reps on one exercise before you move on to the next one. Go through the circuit as fast as you can so you can record your time. Every time you need to de-stress do this workout and see how you are constantly improving.

Let me know your time and how you felt after you got done. Ok, maybe not right after you got done but 20 minutes later.

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Renton Boot Camp 2010 8 Week Transformation Challenge

New Year. New Body. New Life!

Every once in a while it鈥檚 great to get a group of highly motivated people together to make some big changes happen. By entering this contest you have put yourself in a position to succeed like never before. There will be tons of social support and accountability to keep you focused and on track.

To top it off, you will also be eligible to win some HUGE prizes! Really, everyone will win because they will have met their fitness goals quicker than ever before. But, nothing beats a little extra incentive to keep your eyes on the prize.

So, here鈥檚 how it works:

- Everybody in the contest MUST submit before pictures by Jan 11th, 2010 and must have completed a transformation phone consult with Luka before January 9th to be eligible for this contest

- There will be a GETTING STARTED meeting on Saturday, January 9th at the Hocevar Performance Gym with time TBA (please tentatively mark your calendars ASAP). This meeting is MANDATORY to be able to participate in this contest! At this meeting all key programs and handouts will be provided and explained and everyone鈥檚 goals will be shared with the group

- There will be bi-weekly 30-60 minute support meetings and/or nutritional seminars with times and dates TBA to best ensure success for everyone. Attendance will be taken throughout this contest. We will all share our progress to date at the support meetings and phone calls and this will help all of us stay accountable to one another.

- At 7 weeks in, Renton Results Boot Camp Trainers will select and announce the 3 finalists for the transformation contest prizes. At the end of 8 weeks, the remaining contestants and blog readers will vote anonymously for whom they think is the ONE person that most deserves the title of “WINNER” of the transformation contest among the 3 finalists.

- On Saturday, March 13th or 20th at NOON (Details TBA) we will have a special end of contest brunch at the Bristol at Southport Apartments Cabana for the whole group to recognize EVERYONE鈥檚 accomplishments and to announce the winners of the special prizes below:


- Apart from being a part of the most results driven boot camp in the South King County and the only boot camp in Renton that offers guaranteed results or your money back, and having the chance to be one of this years “Transformers”, we’re throwing in some incentive for the contest (that never hurts):

1st Place Winner: $2419+ in prizes!

  • - $300 Cash ($300 value)
  • - 6 Months FREE Boot Camps for YOU ($1200+ value)
  • - 3 One-Month FREE Boot Camps Passes for NEW Friends or Family ($600+ value)
  • - Cloud 9 Living Experience Gift Card ($250+ value)
  • - ART and Chiropractic session with Brett Petrili ($69 Value)
  • - + More鈥

2nd Place Winner: $1469 in prizes!

  • - iPod Touch 8 GB ($200+ value)
  • - 4 Months FREE Boot Camps for YOU ($800+ value)
  • - 2 One-Month FREE Boot Camps Passes for NEW Friends or Family ($400+ value)
  • - ART and Chiropractic session with Brett Petrili ($69 Value)
  • - + More鈥.

3rd Place Winner: $819 in prizes!

  • - IPod Mini ($150 value)
  • - 2 Months FREE Boot Camps for YOU ($400+ value)
  • - 1 One-Month FREE Boot Camps Pass for a NEW Friend or Family Member ($200+ value)
  • - ART and Chiropractic session with Brett Petrili ($69 Value)
  • - + More鈥.

This is gonna be a total blast and a life-changing experience for all. We cannot wait to get started ;)

Crank it!

Luka, Pam and Albert

Renton Results Boot Camp Rules For Successful Fat Loss

Rule #1: Act as if you are already as fit as you would like to be

Don鈥檛 wait to get in shape, start acting “as if” today. You must start to act like a fit person now in order to become one. What I mean by that is act like one, eat like one, talk like one, dress like one鈥.live that lifestyle. When you take those action steps you will realize that progress comes much faster than anticipated and you will be fit before you know it. Whether this sounds crazy or not, I know it works because I have used this with my clients and all our Renton Results Boot Camp members.
The mind-body connection is stronger than you think. I鈥檝e seen both sides of the coin, people losing weight only to gain it back just as fast if not faster. On the other hand I have seen people change their lifestyles, their bodies, and become empowered for life. The only difference was the mindset!
The people that never really saw themselves as fit (even when they became fit) are the one鈥檚 that put the weight back on. The first step is changing your mindset and acting “as if”.

Rule #2: Get out of your comfort zone!
If you want to see some serious changes in your body then you have to do what your body is not used to. In most cases this means taking your body out of your comfort zone. Your comfort zone is where things are easy, it just doesn鈥檛 feel like you鈥檙e giving it much effort (or you may be giving it some effort but it鈥檚 not enough). If what you are doing with training, nutrition or anything else to do with changing your body, and it feels easy and comfortable, then I have news for you 鈥 you鈥檙e not going to transform your body!

When you are training you have to push yourself and challenge your body beyond what you鈥檙e used to. For most people a good example would be getting of the treadmills where the pace is nowhere close to challenging, and start doing training with weights and high intensity cardio intervals. Try going outside of your comfort zone on a daily basis whether it is with training or nutrition (such things as preparing healthy meals the day before and doing some sprints or bodyweight intervals).

Think of the habits that are keeping you from reaching your goals and start stepping out of your comfort zone.

Rule #3: Fuel your body the right way!
Get out of the mindset of starving yourself to get in shape! Eat more often, not less. The goal is to get your metabolism revved up and to do that you need to eat healthy food throughout the day. Start learning to fuel your body with unprocessed whole foods every couple of hours. That will really get your metabolism burning.
You bust your butt in the gym to change your body, so you also have to fuel the body to get the nutrients to where it needs them while continuing to keep an elevated metabolism. Starving yourself and not giving the body enough nutrients will create catabolism (muscle breakdown) which will slow the metabolism down and make you put on body fat.

Rule #4: Train hard or don鈥檛 train at all!
Someone that is looking to get fit and change their body shouldn鈥檛 be scared of lifting challenging weights and working at higher intensities. The only way to get out of your comfort zone is pushing yourself while you are training. The lean, defined and toned person you are trying to become looks the way they do because they have muscle, the very thing some of you are afraid of building.

In recent studies they compared weightlifting to aerobics. Both groups lost a 26 lbs of weight on the scale, but the group that did strength training lost only fat, while the aerobics group lost 8 lbs of their weight from muscle (not good!). When you lose muscle your metabolism slows down and that鈥檚 something that is a big no no for you.

The priority of the workout is to boost your metabolism, burn calories, build muscle, burn fat and create and afterburn effect (where you are burning calories long after your training session). The best way to accomplish this is some form of strength training, like the cardio strength training we do at Renton Results Boot Camp.

Push the intensity and don鈥檛 be afraid to lift heavier weights. If you want to be fit and confident then forget pink dumbbells, machines, aerobics and endless cardio.

Rule #5: Forget the number on the scale and get hooked on feeling fit!
Being fit is not only motivating but it can become addicting (what a great addiction to have). If you can tap into the sensation of being confident, fit, empowered and sexy and really tune in to how that feels, you鈥檒l do anything to get that. Forget the scale for once and get hooked on experiencing the feeling.

If you ever had your ideal body in the past, think back to how great you felt. Visualize this feeling right when you start your challenge. No dessert or salty treat tastes as good as lean and sexy feels. It鈥檚 a high and its addicting. A truly fit person focuses on how they look in their clothes and how they feel. This is what should inspire you and motivate you to keep going and stay on track.

Rule #6: Obstacles will arise, anticipate them and keep it moving!

As in any journey, you will undoubtedly have obstacles along the way. Just make sure they do not throw you too far off track. Successful people see obstacles as opportunities to be challenged and to learn about themselves. You should feel the same way, keep yourself focused and get right back on track.
You may get injured, sick or have an emergency in the family. It happens鈥.to everyone. If you have a purpose and a focus that will pull you through your obstacles like a magnet and get you back on track to reaching your goals. If you anticipate them and know they are coming then they won鈥檛 be as much of a surprise. Take them on as a challenge and remember that the journey is just as important as the destination.
The biggest obstacle most of us might encounter is getting a bug or getting sick. You may be motivated and want to train right through the sickness but that is in most cases the wrong choice. When you are sick your body鈥檚 main objective is to fight the virus so it cannot repair muscle and replenish energy stores. A better choice is to take a break and rest up so you can come back sooner and feel good enough to hit the workouts hard. You鈥檒l be back in no time and better than ever!
Rule #7: Keep a journal or blog.

Keep a journal you like to write in and fill it with motivational sayings, pictures, goals, or anything else that will help you stay focused. You could also start a blog and write about your experiences, workouts, how you feel. This can be helpful as people will comment on it and support you as well as keep you accountable.

Write down your goals and keep them in front of you whether it is in your journal or on your fridge (you will definitely see them there). The least you should be doing is tracking what you eat, your workouts and how you feel. You wouldn鈥檛 believe how much that will help you in the long run with changing your lifestyle.
Rule #8: Surround yourself with supportive people, and keep the crabs out of your life!
If you have ever went crabbing (since I live in Seattle I know a little bit about this) you may notice that once you catch the crab and put them in the bucket, you can leave them there all night long and none of them will get out. The reason is that if one crab tried to climb out the others would pull him back down. If he kept trying then the other crabs would pull his legs off to keep him in the bucket. You would think that they would let the crab get out and then realize they too could get out themselves. This is not the case and in essence it reflects human nature. When someone is doing things to become successful or better themselves, whether it is to start an exercise program or eat more healthy (I have found this to be the single most problematic issue with my past clients as they have significant others, family and friends that do not want to be helpful on the nutritional front), other people will try to drag that person back down to their level and keep them from being successful. The thought process is that if that person succeeds they will make everyone else look bad. INSTEAD they could join in and make the same positive changes.

So the next time you are out and your friends are asking you to “just have one drink”, or persuading you to stay up late because “you can miss one workout”, remember that it is an aspect of human nature and you will continue to experience it鈥︹ut think about those people as just a bunch of crabs.

Don鈥檛 let the negativity get to you as it can be poison to your success.

Surround yourself with supportive people that are uplifting and motivating. Surround yourself with people that have been there and done that, from whom you can take advice that will help you in your challenges. Ask yourself who is in your inner circle and out of those people who is supportive and who is a crab? Start being conscious about who you are spending time with. If they are feeding you negative thoughts it will be extremely hard (hint: impossible) to undo them.

A great support group is the


where everyone is motivated to reach their own goals and conquer their challenge while uplifting each other. No crabs allowed!
I spent a little extra time on that rule because it is so important!

Rule #9: Attitude is everything!聽聽聽

Attitude is a choice and you can choose to have a new one at anytime. Your attitude towards fitness will determine whether this will be a lifestyle change, so make that choice! If your attitude towards fitness is that it鈥檚 too hard, time consuming, and not worth it, you鈥檒l never make it a priority, and it will never become a lifestyle.

Rule #10: Willpower is overrated, have strategies in place.
One of my colleagues, celebrity trainer Valerie Waters says “strategy trumps willpower”. I agree with her 100%. “Even studies show that willpower is in limited supply 鈥 meaning, resist the cookie now but it might be hard to resist later. It is way more important to build in good strategies.”

Having strategies is one of the important factors of being fit. For instance, I tell all my clients and boot campers to eliminate anything from their house that is trigger food (ice cream, cookies, chocolate, etc鈥..whatever it may be for you). Have healthy snacks in the house and don鈥檛 even test your willpower.

Find strategies that will keep you from relying on willpower. If you tend to get of track at a certain time of day then make sure you have some nuts or a protein shake ready so that you don鈥檛 eat food that doesn鈥檛 match your goals. If you know you can鈥檛 control yourself when going out to dinner then limit dinner to once a week (or even better every two weeks).

Rule #11: Stop rationalizing and making excuses!

Excuses, excuses, spare me your excuses! I have heard just about every excuse imaginable from my clients (honestly there are too many to list). Everyone has an excuse or their own rationalization for why they can鈥檛 lift more weight, do another rep, eat healthier or push a little harder. You鈥檒l always be able to find one 鈥 always! Stop putting the blame on someone or something else and take ownership of your body. There can always be an excuse why not to start today.
There鈥檚 another thing there is no room for “kinda, sorta, maybe.” If I ask you if you鈥檙e sticking to your training and nutrition program, there is only a yes and no answer. “Kinda”, “somewhat” or “I am but鈥” means NO. Try really means “I鈥檓 giving myself an out because I鈥檓 planning to fail.” Don鈥檛 expect to get the body you want with a maybe.
If some of these sound familiar to you then stop making excuses (I鈥檓 only listing a couple because this could really go on forever).

“I don鈥檛 have enough time!”
Really? This one drives me crazy and may be the most common excuse. Here鈥檚 the secret: You don鈥檛 find time – you make time! You will never suddenly have all this extra time to train and prepare your meals. The good news is it takes less time than you think. But you do have to want this, you only get one shot at life and it flies by.

You should think of time as being equal to life (this is a great tip that I got from Alwyn and Rachel Cosgrove). Replace the word time with the word life from now on. When you don鈥檛 have enough time you don鈥檛 have enough life to get in shape and reach your potential physically and mentally. Time = life.

What do you want in your life? Is it to be fit confident and empowered, then take time. Or decide that your life is not worth it.

“Work is hectic. I have too much to do at work.”
This goes back to excuse number one. You have to make time. Life is passing you by while you鈥檙e busy working. Take time for yourself every day and realize that exercise will give you more energy at work and help make you more productive. If you have to wake up earlier to exercise then do it. No excuses…

Ok I鈥檓 tired from just writing these excuses but you see where I鈥檓 going with this.

I hope these rules were helpful at making you take the next step in your fitness goals. Remember the best time to start was last year, the next best time is TODAY.

Revv Up Your Metabolism

Today we have a guest article from one of the people I really look up to in the industry and I can honestly say he is one of the top guys when it comes to nutrition. Not only does Dr. Berardi get it, he can convey all the information in a very simple and entertaining way which means you don鈥檛 have to read tons of boring journals on nutrition. To top it all of he walks the talk and really practices what he preaches.

This article is for all of you have ever given me the “I鈥檓 older so my metabolism isn鈥檛 what it used to be and that鈥檚 why I鈥檓 out of shape” excuses. After this you will, either have to give me another excuse, or stop rationalizing and take action on changing your body.

I remember the day I got the bad news. I was 20 years old and I was in the middle of a nearly impossible squat session. Between sets, while trying to catch my breath, an “older” personal trainer (he was probably in his thirties) came over and offered some “advice”鈥攗nsolicited, of course.

Getting Lean by Revving Up Your Metabolism
聽Dr John M Berardi, CSCS

“Ya know,” he said, “I used to look like you. But just you wait. After 25, the metabolism slows down, and it鈥檚 all downhill from there, buddy. You鈥檇 better enjoy it while it lasts.”

Then he turned and walked away.

I wasn鈥檛 sure what to make of this guy. After all, he didn鈥檛 look that great. Sure, he was a trainer and he did look better than most folks his age; but just barely. And he had a lot less muscle and a lot more fat than I did.

But the critical question was this – was he right? Did the metabolism come to a grinding halt after age 25? Was I doomed to lose my prized physique? Worse yet, was I destined to look like him? I had to find out. After all, if middle age spread was an inevitable consequence of aging, why bother?

So I asked around. I spoke with personal trainers, gym owners, and nutritionists, who all confirmed what I had heard. I spoke with some instructors at my local community college. They said the same, although with less certainty since at that time not much research had been done about the matter.

I looked around, studying the physiques of people I ran into at the gym, grocery store, mall, and elsewhere. The evidence was all around me. Younger people were leaner and seemingly in possession of faster metabolic rates than older individuals.

So, in my 20-year-old mind, the message seemed clear: I鈥檇 better make the most of my youthful body and metabolism because I was destined to lose it.

Fortunately, I was dead wrong!

Deceiving Father Time Since that day, I鈥檝e accomplished quite a bit in the exercise, nutrition, and fitness realm. In the late 90鈥檚 I won the NABBA Jr USA Bodybuilding Championships. I鈥檝e also spent 10 years studying at University 鈥 eventually earning a PhD in Kinesiology with a specialization in the area of exercise and nutritional biochemistry. Finally, I鈥檝e developed an exercise and nutrition consulting company called Science Link, with the mission of taking advanced exercise and nutrition research and translating it into meaningful, usable information for people who are not quite as sciency as I am.

聽Yet throughout, I鈥檝e always come back to that question 鈥 is it inevitable 鈥 must we lost large amounts of muscle and gain large amounts of fats once we hit our late 20s? Well, I, for one haven鈥檛 suffered this fate. Firmly entrenched in my 30s, I鈥檓 just as active as ever and, interestingly, just as strong and just as lean as I was during my twenties. But my story aside, I鈥檓 also happy to report that the metabolism does not have to slow down with age 鈥 for any of us (assuming we鈥檙e healthy).

Yes, it鈥檚 true that when you鈥檙e young, your body finds a way to balance energy expenditure and energy intake. It鈥檚 true that, as you age, you鈥檒l have a much more difficult time maintaining what you鈥檝e got. It鈥檚 true that studies have shown that 1/3 of all North American adults are at least 20 percent over their “ideal weights.”

These truths, however, don鈥檛 seal your fate. Just because some folks spend their lives engaged in a frustrating battle of eating less only to gain more, that doesn鈥檛 mean you have to. I鈥檝e skirted around those so-called truths. I eat just as much food鈥攊f not more鈥攖han I did in my twenties, yet I have no more body fat to show for it.

I鈥檓 no anomaly. Over the years, I鈥檝e trained countless clients, ranging in age from 25 to 65. It didn鈥檛 matter how high their body fat percentages, how slow their metabolisms, or how scrawny their muscle mass when they met me鈥攖hey were all able to turn things around 鈥 without drugs. Consider the following impressive stats:

鈥 Robert, age 41: Lost 18 pounds of fat and gained 8 pounds of lean mass (lean mass is made up of muscle, bone, and other non-fat tissue) over 3 months

鈥 Kenneth, age 31: Lost 27 pounds of fat and gained 2 pounds of lean mass over 6 months

鈥 Lynn, age 57: Lost 24 pounds of fat and gained 8 pounds of lean mass over 7 months

鈥 Danielle, age 32: Lost 14 pounds of fat and gained 17 pounds of lean mass over 5 months

鈥 Ben, age 21: Lost 14 pounds of fat and gained 29 pounds of lean mass over 10 months

鈥 Gail, age 26: Lost 9 pounds of fat and gained 6 pounds of lean mass over 2 months

鈥 Jason, age 45: Lost 11 pounds of fat and gained 3 pounds of lean mass over 3 months

鈥 Kelly, age 38: Lost 22 pounds of fat and gained 15 pounds of lean mass over 6 months

鈥 Mike, age 26: Lost 12 pounds of fat and gained 11 pounds of lean mass over 2 months

鈥 Rachel, age 24: Lost 23 pounds of fat and gained 3 pounds of lean mass over 7 months

鈥 Vivian, age 38: Lost 15 pounds of fat and gained 8 pounds of lean mass over 5 months

鈥 Amy, age 38: Lost 29 pounds of fat and gained 10 pounds of lean mass over 9 months

鈥 Joseph, age 42: Lost 4 pounds of fat and gained 38 pounds of lean mass over 13 months

As you can see, it doesn鈥檛 matter how old people were when they decided to get serious and turn things around. Whether they were 25 or 45, their results were the same: They changed their body composition, replacing their flab with lean, metabolism boosting muscle. You鈥檙e never too old to boost your metabolism.

If that鈥檚 not enough to convince you that you have what it takes to rev up your metabolism, shed fat, and build muscle, then consider the research. When I was in my twenties, few scientists had tried to answer the questions that were nagging me. At that time, no one really knew for sure whether metabolism slowed down with age and, if it did, whether anything could be done about it. Now a group of applied scientists have looked at those questions and uncovered some surprising facts.

These scientists had noticed that the metabolism does seem to slow with age, but they refused to believe that there was nothing anyone could do about it. Today, as a result of their efforts, we鈥檝e got plenty of evidence demonstrating that your metabolism slows with age only if you do nothing about it. If you eat properly, exercise, and take the right supplements, you can maintain your metabolic rate over your life span! Even if you鈥檙e 40 or older and things have already slowed down, you can reverse the trend and regain the metabolism of your youth. In fact, you can create a metabolism that鈥檚 even faster than the one of your twenties!

Is it easy? No. Does it take hard work and dedication? Yes. But it can be done. I鈥檓 living proof. So are my clients, and so are the thousands of people who have participated in hundreds of studies conducted in the United States and around the world.

Of Age and Metabolism So why does maintaining a healthy weight get tougher as we age? Well, although most people eat less as they age鈥攖o compensate for moving less at their desk jobs鈥攖heir activity levels generally decrease even more than their energy intakes, resulting in fat gain.

These decreasing activity levels result in yet another problem: muscle loss. Researchers have determined that, starting between the ages of 25 and 30, most people lose roughly 5 to 10 pounds of lean body mass during each decade of life. As muscle is a metabolically active tissue. That means that in addition to burning calories to move your skeleton through space, it also burns calories to maintain itself. So age-related muscle loss can cripple your metabolism. The average person who becomes less active and, consequently, loses muscle experiences a 20 to 25 percent reduction in 24-hour metabolism (measured as the amount of energy your body burns in 24 hours) by age 65. This adds up to a daily metabolic drop of more than 500 calories.

It鈥檚 tough to cut 500 calories off your daily menu to compensate for that metabolic drop, so most people end up packing on the fat.

Of course, this scenario holds true only if you do nothing to prevent it. Why do most people lose muscle as they age? Because they don鈥檛 use it. When it comes to the human body, what you don鈥檛 use, you lose, and muscle is no exception.

Studies of people older than age 60 show that you can鈥攁t any age鈥攔everse muscle loss and regain the metabolism of your youth. In fact, according to research, individuals who鈥攖hrough exercise and smart eating鈥攎aintain their lean mass (muscle, bone, and other non-fat tissue) as they age experience only a 0.36 percent drop in metabolism per decade compared to the 5 to 7 percent per decade drop that most adults experience. Add a few key supplements to the mix and you can even prevent that 0.36 percent drop, and possibly even rev your metabolism higher than it was during your youth!

So metabolic slowdown is not inevitable. You can prevent it. And you can reverse it using a three-pronged approach including eating, exercising, and supplementing the right way to get a series of all-natural “metabolic advantages.”

With these metabolic advantages, you can expect to:

gain of 5 to 10 pounds of lean mass muscle will rev up your resting metabolism鈥攖he number of calories your body burns to maintain life鈥攂y roughly 100 calories 鈥 each and every day.

hrough targeted strength training and energy system training, you can increase the number of calories you burn during your workouts (about 300 to 600 calories per day depending on your body size and workout duration). However, assuming you integrate high intensity efforts, you can also blow through another 100 to 200 calories per day 鈥 a post-exercise energy burst that eats up calories even when you鈥檙e sitting on your butt.

rioritizing metabolically costly proteins, metabolism-boosting fats, antioxidant-rich fruits and veggies, and the right carbs at the right times (nutrient timing), can boost your metabolic rate by another 100 to 200 calories per day.

he right combination of food choices and supplements can turn you in to a much less efficient calorie burner. Much like a car in need of a tune up, your body will consume more fuel than it needs to operate, wasting away the excess as heat. Unlike with your car, however, when it comes to your metabolism, inefficiency is a good thing. It will coax your body into burning more calories 鈥 and more fat 鈥 for fuel.

hanks to that desk job, family commitments, and great lineup of must-see TV, most of us move less at ages 30, 40, and beyond than we did during our teens and twenties. By training at least 5 hours each week, you can increase your calorie burning by about 300 to 600 calories per day.

All told, with the right combination of training, nutrition, and supplementation, you can expect to increase your daily calorie burn by between 40 and 60 percent within just 8 weeks. In other words, a guy who currently burns 2,500 calories a day would rev up his metabolism to a 3,400 to 4,000 daily calorie burn! That鈥檚 enough of a boost for you to see a 10-to-15-pound drop in body fat during those 8 weeks above. And for those at a beginner/intermediate level of training, you can expect muscle gain too.

Muscle gain and fat loss simultaneously? Yep, it happens all the time. Time to revisit my examples above.

Even more important, when you get these things right, you will simultaneously improve your health. In addition to speeding your metabolism, building muscle, and shedding fat, you can also expect to lower your blood cholesterol, blood pressure, and blood sugar. So not only can you live look better, you can live longer. So, in the end, I鈥檓 here to tell you that a large-scale metabolic decline isn鈥檛 inevitable as we age.

If you鈥檙e young and haven鈥檛 seen the affects of father time, that鈥檚 excellent. But that doesn鈥檛 mean you wont! Make sure that you use a combination of smart eating, training and supplementation to keep that metabolism reving for life.

And if you鈥檙e older and your current lifestyle has negatively impacted your body, know that it鈥檚 not too late. Turn things around now and you can reverse the damage that鈥檚 been done. I鈥檝e seen it happen time and time again.

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