Tuesday, December 30, 2008

How diet and cardio hurts your weight loss without you knowing it

With 2009 right around the corner, many of you will be starting a diet and exercise plan. Like years past, your efforts will be in vain if you don't change your approach.

#1: Severe restriction of calories - each of us has this wonderous built-in mechanism that kicks in during a famine. Whenever there is severe caloric restriction, our metabolism slows to meet our reduced calorie intake. This brings weight loss to a hault! To avoid this crash, start by lowering your intake by a mere 250 calories a day, if you lose 2lbs in 2 weeks, great! If not, reduce your calories by another 250 and repeat.

#2: Too much 'same pace' cardio - study after study shows that 'steady-state' cardio (the pace remains the same) will do next to nothing for fat loss. Interval training, where you alternate fast and slower paces, does a lot more for weight loss. Just compare your average sprinter to your average marathon runner. One is lean and muscular and the other is generally soft and flabby.

#3: Lift to lose & eat frequently - to lose weight in 2009, you much lift weights. Studies continue to show a dramatic rise in metabolism that comes as a result of lifting weights. The process breaks down muscle tissue, which has a greater 'metabolic cost', hence, more calories burned. Frequent meals were once thought to keep your metabolism going, but the latest research shows that might not be true. Instead, experts speculate that frequent feedings may instead reduce your desire to overeating at your next sitting.

Apply these simple rules in 2009 and finally claim that hot, lean body that you deserve!

Monday, December 29, 2008

5 mistakes people make when trying to get ABS!

Let's face it, we are only hours away from the beginning of a new year. Many of you are thinking about a new program, new diet, and making resolutions to get there. If you are reading this blog, chances are, you will be training for abs!

From what I can see in the gym and the questions I get, most people are going about it all wrong. Here are 5 common mistakes people make when trying to get abs!

Mistake # 1:
Doing 1,000s of crunches - it's not enough to do traditional mat crunches. Now, you can turn your knees to either side, hold a weight behind your head, medicine ball, everything but the kitchen sink. Do any of these variations help? Not quite. Flexion and extension are but one way you can train your midsection. It takes a variety of movement patterns and strategies to sculpt a six-pack!

Mistake # 2:
Going on a low-fat diet - sure, reducing calories is important. But not to the point of starvation. You should be going slightly below maintenance. Shoot for 250 calories LESS than what you are currently doing. You should see results within two weeks, if not, shave off another 250 calories and repeat the process. Don't crash diet, slow and steady will win the 'abs' race.

Mistake # 3:
Having a 'Core' day - midsection training should be a part of an overall balanced program, not the entire focus. You can insert midsection training ANYWHERE in your program. It doesn't have to go at the beginning, middle, or end. In fact, mixing it up can bring better results.

Mistake # 4:
Too many isolation exercises - be careful not to include too many 'small bodypart' movements like, arm curls, triceps kickbacks, side raises, etc.. at the expense of chin ups, presses, rows, squats, etc... Big body part movements are going to burn more overall calories and help you to lose fat faster. Faster fat loss leads to better looking abs.

Mistake # 5:
Inconsistency with good nutrition - sure, you can take a cheat day, just make sure it's not more frequent than once a week. Most people would do best to eliminate it all together, but some of you can control yourself and enjoy a small spike in calories without blowing your diet all together.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Jimi appears on Fox 2 Weekend 12/28/08

This morning, I joined Jay Towers in studio for a quick workout and fitness tips. You can watch the video by clicking here.

Friday, December 26, 2008

How to SAVE & LOSE WEIGHT after the holidays!

#1: SAVE MONEY: Don't throw out the leftovers - wasting food makes you feel guilty for good reason, a lot of people are hurting financially. Join the 'clean your plate' club, but use SMALLER PLATES. Whatever holiday foods you have left, simply eat them in portion-controlled amounts until they're gone! This saves you MONEY on your next trip to the grocery store.

#2: SAVE TIME: Train with weights using big bodypart movements - don't do arm curls, triceps kickbacks, etc.. they are a waste of time. Instead, perform 'big bodypart' movements like push ups, squats, and chin ups. They burn more calories and you won't have to spend as much time in the gym to get a fat burning workout.

#3: SAVE FACE: Don't tell anyone about your weight loss efforts. By eating what you have leftover from the holidays and spending less time in the gym, you will be flying 'under the radar' and will lose weight without having to give explanations to your friends and family.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Congrats on an awesome season Tom Smith!

Tom Smith is one of my clients and good friends. He has an incredible work ethic and always gives it everything he has in the gym. In the 2008-2009 "Over - 40" Hockey League, Tom tied for 1st place with 30 goals, 8 assists, and 1.58 average points per game. (Tom is in the middle row, 2nd from the right.)

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Hip Hop Abs Review

Video #3 - Hip Hop Abs!
Video #2 - The WAIST Loss Challenge

Friday, December 19, 2008

Women want LEAN, not BULK! But how?

No, this isn't a relationship article, but it's my advice to women, husbands, boyfriends, and fitness trainers of women around the globe. If you have trained or spent time around women who want to change their body, you know that one of their biggest fears is 'bulk'. It's true that most women won't gain muscle from lifting weights, but many times there is a perception of size or girth increase. However, there are exceptions to the rule. (bodybuilders, powerlifters, etc..)

What's the solution? Women love to do cardio, there is a perception that to lose fat, one must do a lot of cardio. This is a long held belief that is very difficult to break. Current research shows us that strength training does more to promote fat loss than cardio, but how do you convince women of this?

You don't.

Instead, you give them a best of both worlds approach as an alternative.

Earlier this year, I developed a system of training that involved alternating every 60 seconds between a 'cardio' exercise (treadmill, jumping rope, etc..) and a strength training exercise (dumbbell, medicine ball, etc...) for a 20 minute workout (10 minutes of cardio/10 minutes of strength training). The results were astounding. Not only did my female clients get stronger, but they lost weight, bulk, and felt great after just 20 minutes. MetaCardio was born!

These were NOT teenagers or 20-something Paris Hilton look-a-likes. Actually, these ladies were their moms! I'm talking women in their late 40's and early 50's. One of my clients worked 3 days a week for 3 months and lost 16lbs of fat. She was turning the heads of men of ALL ages by her birthday!

This system of training began getting so popular in our training facility that I knew I had to write the book explaining the methods and develop several different workout plans to meet the diverse needs of the masses.

Briefly, here is what 'MetaCardio' is all about!

MetaCardio is a rapid fire, metabolism-raising workout that combines both cardio and weights in one time efficient workout. It is my contribution to the well-researched and effective training technique known as High Intensity Interval Training or H.I.I.T.

This is the next generation of H.I.I.T workouts and is designed to burn a lot of calories by simultaneously challenging both the aerobic (cardio) and anaerobic (strength) systems.

It provides a wide variety of workout options and intensity levels to keep you motivated and prevent boredom. Includes 50 new workouts using 100 innovative movements with pictures & descriptions.

Here is what Chuck Gaidica of Local 4 News Detroit has to say about MetaCardio:

MetaCardio was the missing piece of the puzzle for me in my training. After working out hard, three times per week for several months, I knew that my metabolism needed an extra boost. I was toning and losing inches and likely gaining muscle mass, but I wasn't really losing weight; and that was indeed one of my goals. Jimi suggested that we keep the same workout; just "kick it up a notch" with MetaCardio. He added a mere 15-minutes of MetaCardio to my routine and the inches kept coming off, but finally the pounds did too. I lost 20 pounds in about 2 months. It was like a switch had been flipped and it still is working to this day.

- Chuck Gaidica, Local 4 News Detroit

Metacardio was also featured on the evening news in 4 segments, just check out the video!

Below is an outline of the workouts

The book includes 50 different MetaCardio workouts with the following themes:

Beginner Workouts – new to training? Start here

Bodyweight Workouts – no equipment needed

Core Workouts – abs, oblique, and low back movements

Dumbbell Workouts – using dumbbells

Medicine Ball Workouts – using medicine ball

Dumbbell & medicine ball Workouts – DBs and Med Ball

Lower Body Workouts – focus on lower body exercises

Upper Body Workouts – focus on upper body exercises

30 Second Intervals – more intense, faster transitions

Athlete Workouts – Muscle Integration

Bodybuilder Workouts – Muscle Isolation

Track Workouts – to be done on a track or field

Hotel Workouts – take your workouts on the road

Home Workouts – workouts to be done at home

Mobility Workouts – range of motion and active recovery

The MetaCardio workout includes illustrations on EVERY workout sheet

To order or read more, click here!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Results and Reader Question

OK, Jimi V, here's a six-week report and a question or two:

Feeling GREAT!!!! Body is reshaping itself, clothes fitting much better etc.......

Lost about 5-8 lbs in first few weeks then put about 3.5 back on....Some of it due to a slow switchover to a really consistent diet (I'm doing excellent on calorie intake, just need to get to Phase II where I'm eating the right things a bit more consistently....not bad right now, just know I haven't tamed some intermittent weak spots......

So here are some observations and questions:

I've been trying to do a full circuit training and MetaCardio workout as one workout......So far, only been able to do this a few times. I've only split them up one or twice and this seems to allow me to have better technique, strength and I still feel pretty darn great after the meta cardio (only) workout (plus I'm able to get the whole cycle in.

So, I'm wondering about the splitting them up thing.........I guess if one could get in nearly every day, it would not matter. This week, for instance, I will be able to be in almost daily....but on a three day week is it better to shoot for something specific? Or am I over thinking this?

Great question. No, I don't believe you are over thinking it.

First off, congrats on your achievements so far. I am very proud of you, and, let's keep the ball rolling buddy.

Second, I understand your concern about being able to get both workouts (Circuit training and MetaCardio) in one shot. It's tough, and yes, I believe that form and intensity suffer due to the workload.

The best option, if possible, would be to get in the gym everyday (5 - 6 days per week) and hit a Circuit 3 times (M - W - F) and MetaCardio 2 or 3 times (T - Th - SaORSun) as this will allow you to train harder. What I've noticed is this, most people are getting better results showing up MOST days of the week. The best results seem to be the 6 - 7 days a week crowd. You must listen to your body and know your limits (recovery between workouts). Right now, it seems like you are on the right track buddy!

When the going gets tough....

It's December 14th, the holiday preparation season is in full swing. Most of you have been out shopping, wrapping, cleaning, baking, storing, calling, and of course, eating! There are a lot of stessors and distractions this time of year. Perhaps that's why the gym is so dead lately!?!

Nobody here but this freak!

I must admit, my clients have been extremely consistent. And since my paycheck depends on them working out, a big THANK YOU goes out to them. But since my clients make up only a certain percentage of the total gym membership, I must ask, "Where is everyone?" If you are one of those gym members who is distracted by the never-ending holiday activities, I've got some advice for you: Get in the gym while you can! When January hits, you know who shows up!

Don't let this happen to you!

So as the holidays become increasingly demanding, get proactive and fight for your right to party! uh, I mean, workout. You'll have to forgive me, I am a total gym rat and meat head, I love training, reading about training, and (obviously) writing about it as well. And so, unless you are a gym rat, consider yourself warned. Fat Bastard will be visiting the gym before you know it. Get on the Ad/Abductor machines while you can;)

Friday, December 05, 2008

Too much information?

While training a client today, a member approached me and asked if I knew anything about that "PX and 90 workout", which when I looked up I noticed that the large television in our weight room had it on a channel that was showing the infommercial of P90X and the trainer Tony Horton. While I haven't used the system myself, I will say that it is the most well-marketed training program I have ever seen. All that being said, many of my fellow trainers have taken it upon themselves to tear down Tony's principle of 'muscle confusion', which is basically a simplified explanation for 'changing it up' meaning the exercises, sets, and reps. My personal feeling about the fitness industry is that there is so much conflicting information out there that it's no wonder so many potential fitness consumers are left scratching their heads and wondering where to turn and who to trust with their hard earned cash. Is there too much information? Do a google search with the terms "how do I lose fat?" and you will find no less that 1,860,000 web pages with the 'answer' to that question. Yes, there is way too much information (how much is valid? how much is hype? how much is total B.S?) and too many voices....

What to do? As Alwyn Cosgrove says, we need information filters, basically, people and resources we trust to give us timely, valid, and useful information. In 2009, I commit to becoming a better source for fitness information. If you find that I am not living up to this claim in 09, call me out on it!

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

New beginnings

We've all had times in our life when we needed a fresh start; a new beginning. Some just talk about it, others take action. Some think that moving to a new city will help. For others, it's a new job, or a new relationship, etc.. I'm one of those people who finds a new training program or eating strategy. How about you? How would you define a fresh start? What do you need to change in your life? What did you do in 2008 that you said you would NEVER do again? I'm not saying that a New Year's Resolution is the way to go, for some of us, it is. Whatever holiday you celebrate between Thanksgiving and New Years, take some time, whether it be a few minutes, hours, or days, and consider the past year. Think about what you wanted to accomplish, or the decisions you didn't make (paralysis analysis) and get ready to act firm, step up and own your outcome in 2009!

Real before and after shot!

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