Monday, January 28, 2008

God provided and simplified

This is interesting info...

You are what you eat, so eat well. A stupendous insight of civilizations past has now been confirmed by today's investigative, nutritional sciences. They have shown that what was once called 'The Doctrine of Signatures' was astoundingly correct. It now contends that every whole food has a pattern that resembles a body organ or physiological function and that this pattern acts as a signal or sign as to the benefit the food provides the eater. Here is just a short list of examples of Whole Food Signatures.

A sliced Carrot looks like the human eye. The pupil, iris and radiating lines look just like the human eye...and science shows that carrots greatly enhance blood flow to and function of the eyes

A Tomato has four chambers and is red. The heart is red and has four chambers. All of the research shows tomatoes are indeed pure heart and blood food.

Grapes hang in a cluster t hat has the shape of the heart. Each grape looks like a blood cell and all of the research today shows that grapes are also profound heart and blood vitalizing food.

A Walnut looks like a little brain, a left and right hemisphere, upper cerebrums and lower cerebellums. Even the wrinkles or folds are on the nut just like the neo-cortex. We now know that walnuts help develop over 3 dozen neuron-transmitters for brain function.

Kidney Beans actually heal and help maintain kidney function and yes, they look exactly like the human kidneys.

Celery, Bok Choy, Rhubarb and more look just like bones. These foods specifically target bone strength. Bones are 23% sodium and these foods are 23% sodium. If you don't have enough sodium in your diet the body pulls it from the bones, making them weak. These foods replenish the skeletal needs of the body.

Eggplant, Avocadoes and Pears target the health and function of the womb and cervix of the female - they look just like these organs. Today's research shows that when a woman eats 1 avocado a week, it balances hormones, sheds unwanted birth weight and prevents cervical cancers. And how profound is this? .... It takes exactly 9 months to grow an avocado from blossom to ripened fruit. There are over 14,000 photolytic chemical constituents o f nutrition in each one of these foods (modern science has only studied and named about 141 of them).

Figs are full of seeds and hang in twos when they grow. Figs increase the motility of male sperm and increase the numbers of sperm as well to overcome male sterility.

Sweet Potatoes look like the pancreas and actually balance the glycemic index of diabetics.

Olives assist the health and function of the ovaries.

Grapefruits, Oranges, and other citrus fruits look just like the mammary glands of the female and actually assist the health of the breasts and the movement of lymph in and out of the breasts.

Onions look like body cells. Today's research shows that onions help clear waste materials from all of the body cells They even produce tears which wash the epithelial layers of the eyes.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Monday Morning Dieters

Monday mornings

In my world, it's the time when clients come stubbling into the gym from a long weekend, ready to 'pay for their sins' by having their fearless leader (that's me) take them through a brutual workout. The problem is, I see no benefit to making them hurt any more than they currently do. I mean, we all beat ourselves up. I want to motivate them and encourage them to keep a positive outlook.

Yes, you shouldn't have had that ninth donut this weekend! ;)

Yes, you should have eaten at least one salad instead of those french fries!

And yes, you can start brand new today.

Quitters never win, and winners NEVER quit!

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Five Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Personal Trainer
Jimi Varner

So you've decided to hire a personal trainer. That's great, but before you make your decision, there are a few questions you should ask your perspective trainer before giving them your hard-earned money:

1. Are you certified?
Many commercial gyms offer personal training services to their members. Each gym has different hiring practices and expectations for personal training staff. For instance, some gyms go the easy route and actually have in-house certifications (a manager takes them around the gym and makes sure they know how to use the machines) , while other facilities insist that their trainers have a nationally-recognized certification from a credible organization.

2. Do you have testimonials or references?
If experience is important to you, you want to ask the prospective trainer for a list of testimonials and or references. A good trainer should be able to give you a list of clients who are satisfied with their services. If the trainer cannot produce a list of testimonials and references, they may have left a trail of burned bridges and you should steer clear.

3. What's your training philosophy?
Every trainer, has his or her own unique philosophies on strength training, cardiovascular fitness, nutrition, supplements, and even recovery. Have this trainer clearly explain their training philosophy to make sure that you are comfortable with it.

4. Have you helped anybody reach the specific goals I have?
Expectations and goals are as unique as the individual who has them. You'll want to find the trainer who has experience helping persons with the goals you have set for yourself. You don't want to be the person that the trainer is 'learning' or 'experimenting' with. You want somebody who is tried and true. Somebody whose proven they can get you results.

5. Will you design a total program that I can impliment on my own?
A good trainer knows that you will not acheive success if you simply workout with them, but never by yourself. Hire a trainer who will design a total program that includes a routine to be done on non-training days, along with dietary guidelines, supplement recommendations, and anything else that you will need to reach your goal and is unique to your set of circumstances. The trainer who won't do these things is worried that you might not ALWAYS use them, and they are right, you probably won't. A good trainer is not a crutch to their clients, they are a valuable resource.

This small list is enough to keep you from getting burned initially and will assist you in making a wise, informed choice. Don't get stuck with a lousy trainer!

Jimi Varner is an Author and nationally certified Personal Trainer in Novi, Michigan who specializes in fat loss. To get your free video, "33 Home Jim Exercises", visit

The 5 Affordable MUST HAVES for your Home Gym
Jimi Varner

1. Adjustable Dumbbells - the best piece of home gym equipment that I know of. You can have the entire dumbbell set that only takes up the same space as a single pair dumbbells. And different weight options are available, so shop around. I also recommend purchasing the dumbbell stand. Although it's a little extra, your home gym will look much more inviting.
Price range: $150 - $300

2. Adjustable Bench - the addition of an adjustable bench to your home gym is the second most important purchase. Although a flat bench is less expensive, you will be able to train body parts at a variety of angles and if you choose one with adjustment options.
Price range: $50 - $300

3. Stability Ball - also known as the Swiss ball, the stability ball provides you with additional exercise options for both lower and upper body, but is most popular for abdominal, lower back, and stability work.
Price range: $20 - $40

4. Jump Rope - there is a reason boxers are ripped. It's been reported that jumping rope can burn up to 1,000 an hour. It improves your agility, balance, reflexes, posture, and coordination. Don't go cheap here. Sure, you can pick up a jump rope three dollars at Wal-Mart, but a good jump rope can last you a lifetime.
Price range: $7 - $30

5. Medicine Ball - while it's not the most essential, there are benefits to be had using a medicine ball in your home gym workout. The biggest mistake I see people make when purchasing is that they select a ball that is too light. In my opinion, you should select a ball that you can comfortably to touch the ground and then raise over your head for 10 repetitions, but not 20. If cost is a concern, you can always substitute a dumbbell or sand filled milk jug.
Price range: $20 - $50

Saturday, January 05, 2008

11 Biggest Mistakes New Personal Trainers Are Making!

11 Biggest Mistakes New Personal Trainers Are Making
by Jimi Varner

After almost a decade in the Fitness Industry, I've seen many trainers with potential come and go. Many of them start off optimistic, but quickly get discouraged when their dreams of making a good living as a trainer don't materialize.

I've heard Alwyn Cosgrove say that less than 5% of Personal Trainers are financially independent. Consider the fact that the median annual earnings of personal trainers and group exercise instructors was just $25,470 in 2004. The average Personal Trainer barely earns $30,000 a year and 50% don't even bother to renew their certifications! This doesn't have to be. Here are 11 of the biggest mistakes I see new personal trainers make when starting in the industry:

MISTAKE #1: They are not in shape - Before you expect anybody to take your advice, you've got to take it yourself! Lead by example. Back in the mid-1990's, I was approached by a gym manager and asked to train his members because I was in great shape and people liked me. In the eyes of the general public, that qualifies you to train them despite the certifications and letters after your name. Yes, I was hired on looks, not my certification. I'm not saying it's right, but it's true.

MISTAKE #2: They lack confidence - They don't practice what they preach, and it shows up as a lack of confidence. It's hard to convince someone of the benefits of healthy eating habits and exercise if you aren't experiencing them yourself. If you believe that what you are telling others is effective, why aren't YOU doing it? If you live the lifestyle, you will say it with confidence.

MISTAKE #3: They aren't consistent with their clients - Be consistent FOR them, don't expect consistency FROM them. By this, I mean: show up on time and be prepared with a program. Why do you think McDonald's is so successful? Because when you go to McDonald's, you know exactly what you're getting. There are so surprises, and people take comfort in that. They know what to expect. Now, they may not show up on time and might come in hung over from time to time, but remember, they are a paying customer. They aren't perfect, cut them some slack.

MISTAKE #4: They aren't sensitive to the client's needs - Remember, it's not about you, it's about them. When a client comes to see you, you must meet them where THEY are emotionally. That means you must become a Thermometer, meaning, you reflect their mood, you adjust to them. Once you're on the same page, you can adjust the temperature in the environment by becoming a thermostat. It's a process. So become a thermometer, THEN a thermostat.

MISTAKE #5: They talk too much, about themselves - As a trainer, you must learn to listen before you speak. By actively listening to your prospective client, you will understand exactly what they want, which is everything you need to sell them what they already want to buy. Don't sell something they aren't buying. People hate to be misunderstood.

MISTAKE #6: They fail to specialize - Initially, you should do a little of everything, until you find your niche. It will take some time, but with enough experience, you will realize what type of client you attract, and most importantly, what client base you enjoy working with. Once you identify your niche, focus all of your efforts in that direction. People want to work with the best, don't be average. I've heard it said that average is the worst of the best, and the best of the worst.

MISTAKE #7: They fail to document successes - Each client is going to have unique needs and will respond differently to your exercise and eating recommendations. It is important to discover what's working and what isn't. Without documentation, it will be a guessing game over and over again. With time, you will be able to take more educated 'guesses', which will bring faster results to clients, creating happier, more satisfied customers.

MISTAKE #8: They don't know why people hire them - The simplest way to find out why a client hires you is to ask them. People hire trainers to solve problems. Do you know what their problems are? Why do they think YOU can solve them? You need to listen to your clients AND those around them for clues.

MISTAKE #9: They try to sell sessions instead of themselves - Customers aren't buying personal training sessions, they are buying an experience with you! If your prospect doesn't believe that you've got what it takes to get them to their promised land, they won't put their hard-earned money down. Learn to sell yourself, not your service. We instinctively resist sales pitches, we tune them out. But when you simply treat others with respect and don't come off as high-pressure or fake, you'll close the deal much more often.

MISTAKE #10: They act like they know it all - One of the biggest mistakes I see new trainers making day in and day out is thinking that they need to know everything about training to impress or keep clients. Nothing could be further from the truth. People admire honesty. Believe me, they don't know EVERYTHING there is to know about their profession, and they won't expect you to either.

MISTAKE #11: Fail to set boundaries - The best way you can show respect to your client is by setting boundaries early. This is essential to keeping the lines of communication open. Setting clear boundaries with potential clients and other gym members is also important if you want to be taken seriously as a professional. There is a difference between giving tips and giving advice.

For more information on deadly mistakes personal trainers make, check out Jimi's new book, "A Trainer's Dozen" available @

10 Things you MUST consider before starting your fat loss program

10 Things you MUST consider before starting your fat loss program
Jimi Varner

1. Find someone who's already accomplished that goal.
Whether at your gym, work, or school, we all know somebody who's lost weight. Make it your mission to seek these people out, buy them a cup of coffee, and ask them what they did to achieve success. This should be easy, people love to talk about themselves, especially when they are the hero.

2. Hire a pro
Seek out a fitness coach. Whether it's a personal trainer, registered dietitian, or other qualified consultant. While these services may seem expensive, they will save you both time and money in the long run. It's an investment in YOU, and you're worth it.

3. Identify trigger foods
A trigger food is anything that causes you to overeat. For some, it's sugar, for others, it's salt. Once you identify your triggers, you can eliminate them till you reach your goals or simply choose to live without them all together.

4. Eliminate excuses

It doesn't take much for any of us to come up with a long list of excuses of why we can't accomplish something. You don't have to look very far to find someone who has got a list of goals and a longer list of reasons why he can't accomplish them. Sure, there are certain times in one's life when serious issues arise, and the challenges that those issues present make achieving a goal literally impossible. But how many of your excuses are true life challenges?

5. Set small attainable and measurable goals
Many small victories over the course of time will lead to the attainment of your goals. You may set long-term goals that may take a long period of time to reach, but don't despise small beginnings. Setting some short, attainable goals will build self-confidence and provide momentum in the direction of your larger goals.

6. Find an accountability partner
Whether it's a personal trainer, or simply a friend waiting at the gym, there are many benefits of having an accountability partner. Let's face it, you don't want to let that person down, so you get out of bed to make good on your promise. Not only can an accountability partner guilt you into success, but they can also provide a little friendly competition and a fresh perspective to the training process.

7. Schedule, schedule, schedule!
Those who fail to plan, plan to fail. Initially, you should write down your entire day before it even begins. Everything from what you're going to buy at the grocery store, to what meals you're going to eat for the rest of the week. Most people fail because they lack structure and a plan of action. Don't leave your results to chance, schedule and document everything. Your program should forecast at least the next three to six weeks of your training and nutrition. A personal trainer can help you design an effective program, but before hiring one, be sure to ask for references and testimonials.

8. Reward yourself
We all have different motivators. For some, it's a trip to the mall, for others, it might be a weekend away. Whatever motivates you, consider making it an incentive to follow through on your new training program.

9. Stipulations
Just as rewards are motivator, stipulations can be equally as motivating. A stipulation can give negative consequences for the lack of follow through. When Ben and Jerry are calling you at midnight, knowing that there is pain associated with eating that ice cream will cause you to reconsider your actions.

10. Plan your work, but work your plan!
The bridge between your plan and success is work. You can purchase all of the right food, supplements, and have the best training program, but without daily, consistent action, success will not be had. Just remember, yesterdays tomorrow is today!

Friday, January 04, 2008

8 Signs you NEED a new training program

8 Signs you need a new training program
Jimi Varner

1. You've been doing the same program for more than 4 weeks
The law of adaptation says that if you continue to apply the same stress to a muscle, it will eventually adapt. Most gym members don't change their workouts every four months, let alone every four weeks. And believe it or not, I've even seen people who have done the exact same routine for four years (or more)!

2. You haven't made progress
Depending on your goals and how you choose to measure them, you should see measurable progress every couple of weeks. If you aren't making progress, consider hiring a personal trainer to evaluate your current program and make suggestions.

3. You feel burned out
There is no such thing as a perfect program. As the old saying goes, all sunshine makes a desert, meaning that eventually, everything gets old. Burnout can result for a multitude of reasons. Perhaps you are overtrained, under nourished, or overstressed.

4. You aren't motivated to train
Everybody has an off day at the gym. Either your numbers were down, or you just had a hard time getting jacked enough to hit it hard. If you've gone two or more training days in a row without feeling motivated, a new program can rekindle the fire.

5. You can do your program without looking at a chart or sheet
It's as if you can do your program in your sleep. If that's the case, you probably aren't getting your heart rate much higher than when your sleeping any way :-). A well-designed program should have you looking down between sets to ensure that your repetitions, sets, and rest periods are on track.

6. You feel pain
Pain is often the result of an overuse injury. This is one of the unfortunate pitfalls of staying on any training program to long. However, pain can also be the result of poor form. Again, a qualified personal trainer or physical therapist should be consulted at this point.

7. Nobody notices progress or comments
Whether you'll admit it or not, most of us enjoy when their hard efforts in the gym go noticed by others. It doesn't matter what our personal trainer or close friends say, we figure they have a vested interest and quickly dismiss their complements.

8. It doesn't challenge you to think
I know this one might seem odd, but I continue to find that when my clients are challenged in the gym mentally, they perform better physically. There is a fine line between challenging yourself to think through a program and over thinking process altogether.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Snow Shoveling Tips

Oh NO! There's too much SNOW!

I just finished shoveling my never-ending driveway....

...and my back won't hurt tomorrow. Will yours?

It won't if you take a few simple precautions before braving the elements.

Step 1: Warm Up properly

A few simple mobility drills will do. Don't know what mobility drills are? Eric Cressey and Mike Robertson have put together a fantastic DVD that features everything you'll need to know to properly warm up like the pros. You will DRAMATICALLY reduce your chance of injury if you'll invest 2 - 3 minutes warming up your hips, lower back, and shoulders.

Step 2: Have a plan

I personally used Charles Staley's EDT system for shoveling. It works like a charm. You can read all about Escalating Density Training at the following link:

Step 3: Have the right attitude

Sure, it sucks that you've got to shovel your way out of the driveway so you can start your New Year's Day in the McDonald's drive-thru (kidding), but the key is to simply see the task for what it is, another way to burn calories. Consider it 'function fitness', if you dare;)

Happy New Year,
Jimi Varner

Happy New Year 2008!

Wishing you and your families a very happy and wonderful New Year!

God Bless,

Jimi Varner

Real before and after shot!

Real before and after shot!
Over 50lbs of fat....GONE!