Why You Should Dominate Fitness First

In the book, 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey, the first chapter discusses at length why it is important to focus on your circle of control.

The circle of control are the few things in life you have complete and full control over: your actions.

You can’t control the weather.
You can’t control the news.
You can’t control other people.
You can’t control your boss.

The only thing you can control is you and your actions.

This is why anyone who wants to change their lives should focus on health first. You have full control over what you eat as well as when you work out.

Exerting yourself each day toward a healthier life gives you back control of your life.

Every day we wake up with new decisions to make. Every day we have the choice to choose better. If you feel crushing doubt or worry, that’s because you feel like life is happening to you instead of you happening to life.

Psychologists agree that the number one contributing factor to happiness is, “The feeling that your life – its activities and habits – are self-chosen and self-endorsed.”

When you have control over your life, you feel happier. Everyone wants to claim that fitness and making healthier choices is hard, but it’s not. What’s hard is worrying about things you can’t control and can’t do a damn thing to change. That will wear your soul in ways that simply working out never will.

While you can’t wake up one day and have control over your entire life, if you start with the easiest areas to control, you might find that every other area of your life falls together as well.

Here are some ideas to start:

  • Remove all soda from your diet
  • Commit to eating another cup of vegetables with dinner
  • Start riding a bike to work instead of driving
  • Eat eggs instead of sugary muffins for breakfast
  • Bring a protein shake to work
  • Start a muscle building program
  • Stretch every evening before you go to bed

Simple, small actions can mean all the difference in your day to day life.

Want to get in the best shape of your life? Sign up and get my best secret tips most trainers won’t tell you: CLICK HERE.

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New, Easy Snacks I’ve Been Loving

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This one is really simple:

Ingredients:
Cantaloupe slice
Yogurt of your choice
Fruit on top

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Ingredients:
1 hardboiled egg
Fresh parsley
Mayo
Wasabi mayo
Mustard
Salt + pepper

I know, nothing too groundbreaking or revolutionary, but DANG are they good and only take about a minute to make.

Shortcut to Size: Week 3

Week 3 was definitely an interesting time!

This week began the drop sets on the last sets of each exercise. Well, RIP muscles is really all I have to say about that.

This was was my first slip week where I didn’t track my food as closely and I think I was under the calorie mark some days. Eating 1,800+ calories is no joke for sure. I literally had to buy bacon (turkey bacon!) to try and get as much protein and as many calories that I need.

But, I sat down and realized that by not keeping my food diary out in the open, I just simply haven’t formed the habit of doing it all the time yet. So, it is now safely out on my desk ready to fill in at any given moment!

Also, this week I took body measurements so by the end of this week, I can talk about any gains that happen.

I’m really pumped for week 4 because it’s serious heavy lifting (3-5 reps) which I just love… except for the next day when I’m too sore to even blink. Ha!

I had to actually add in forearm exercises throughout the week because my grip strength can’t keep up with how much weight I’m lifting. On many of my muscle groups I am up 20+ lbs in my sets… seriously, this program is that good.

I’m hoping to actually do a video update soon and bring some pictures into the mix to show you the results so far.

For all of my friends out there still doing Shortcut to Size, how is it going for you and what phase are you in?

Shortcut to Size: Week 2

Week 2 of Shortcut to Size has been absolutely no joke.

Let’s just say this week I have been limping around my house like a grandma… but I won’t lie that I’d do it all again to get the results that I have seen this week!

This one is going to be a short update compared to my update about Week 1 which you can read here.

What I learned from this week was that on the days I didn’t eat my full total number of calories, I was so much more sore than I was on the days that I did hit my goal.

Plus, thanks to Jim Stoppani, the creator of the program, my lower crossed syndrome (a forward hip tilt), is starting to come back to normal for the first time in years due to the strengthening of my abs and my hamstrings. Simply incredible. My lower back pain is starting to fade and I can’t begin to explain how much of a gift this is.

I’m hoping at the end of week three to take some pictures because I really want to document this process since the results are absolutely insane.

Not to mention, this week I had a blast lifting stronger weights than half of the boys in the gym.

Like I said, the results are no joke! If you want a real program with real results, this is the program to try.

Shortcut to Size: Week 1

Starting Jim Stoppani’s program, Shortcut to Size, has been the absolute best fitness program I have ever been on.

For those of you who don’t know who Jim Stoppani is, let me give you the short summary: He has his doctorate in exercise physiology, and when you finally realize that all the workout ideas you get from Pinterest don’t work, you follow his proven system to get the results you want.

The Program:

The best part about this program, is that it is free to download (See: Here). There are absolutely zero tricks or gimmicks to this plan, and you can sign up for his free weekly newsletter, but only if you actually choose to. I would recommend signing up for the free newsletter from Jim only because: 1. It’s not spammy, you actually only get the e-mail once a week. 2. The videos in the newsletter help you understand what he’s asking you to do.

I won’t go into too much detail about the program, he can explain it better than I can.

My Personal Considerations:

For myself, I have upper crossed syndrome and lower crossed syndrome which is from years and years of writing and studying to get my college degree while sitting at a desk. Basically, my neck leans forward, which created a rounding out in my upper back and for my chest muscles to be shortened and tighter, and my lower back has an arch in it from my hips tilting forward.

Thankfully, this is all reversible, it’s just a matter of tightening and loosening some muscles.

So, I had to take this all into account with this program. I was determined to start this program, since I had seen on Jim Stoppani’s Twitter  how many people were seeing results, but I went through to make small tweaks here and there to get the program to work with my weak muscles. Essentially, for me it was important to not do as many chest exercises as the program has and include some mid-trapezious work along with lots and lots and lots of stretching for those tight muscles.

What works:

The biggest problem for so many females I meet when it comes to gaining muscle is simply this: They don’t eat enough.

I’ll be honest that for myself when I was younger (and ever before working as a trainer) I had the mindset of: If I only eat once, I will lose weight. At the time, I had no idea this would get me all of the exact opposite results I was looking for. It’s such a shame this is the biggest message that goes out to young girls (and boys) everywhere.

For my weight and height, my daily goal range of calories is between 1,800 and 2,000. If you’re a female new to building muscle, I know the first thought you have is that you’ll gain a ton of weight, but let me tell you, you won’t. All of the calories have gone right into my muscles and I have seen tremendous growth after just the first week alone. It’s also fun to be able to eat huge meals and not feel that sinking guilt that so many females have issues with.

The best part about this program is that when it’s shoulders day, Dr. Stoppani has you work every muscle in your shoulders. There are no major muscles that get away with being passed over, let me tell you.

The Results After Week 1:

I don’t know any other words besides: holy crap. I have never gained so many results in such a short amount of time.

Between eating enough calories and the rest-pause on the last set of each exercise, it has been amazing. My quads are starting to pop out (which is a huge deal for me because I have the tiniest upper legs compared to my calves… Thank you all those years of lacrosse), my triceps are definitely showing, my biceps are getting some little definition, and overall I just feel strong and healthy.

I’ve only wrapped up Week 1 and I can’t wait to see what next week will bring!

(Updated! I included a video!)