Get Inspired

July 15

HBBS 10×3 @ 85% …
*Recommendations for week three:
Do not add 15-25 pounds onto your lift in addition to the 10-20 from week 2. Instead add on extra weight to get a total of 15-25 pounds. If last week’s squats were all easy, and you had zero problem with any reps, you may add between 10 & 20# this week. If they became difficult in the last few sets, and you experienced some legitimate soreness, you may add between 5 & 10#. If you could not complete all sets then do not add weight.
Deadlifts 225/155#

Sunday 26 – REST DAY

Enjoy your REST DAY!!!



For time:

Run 1 mile with a 20 pound medicine ball

60 Burpee pull-ups

Run 800 meters with a 20 pound medicine ball

30 Burpee pull-ups

Run 400 meters with a 20 pound medicine ball 15 Burpee pull-ups

*This will be done as a partner workout in teams of 2. Partner 1 will run the first 400m with the med-ball, partner 2 will run the second until the mile is complete. This will be the same for the 800m and 400m however the 400m will be split into 200m intervals. The burpee pull-ups can be broken up anyway but while partner 1 works partner 2 must hold there chin above the bar. If partner 2 falls off partner 1 must stop working. “

The purpose of Protien/Meal Replacement Shakes.

To Shake or Not To Shake?
Everything you MUST know about protein shakes!

Ever wonder if you should be drinking a protein shake before or after your workout? Is all that hype and just a way to sell supplements??? Well, let me let you decide.

First the pre-workout drink: Typically, a pre-workout drink should consist of carbohydrates to fuel your body rather than a heavy laden protein drink. Much of this depends on the length of time it has been since your last meal.

Example: If your last food was lunch and you are exercising after work around 5:30 pm you should consume some type of carbohydrate bar or shake about 30 minutes before your workout. This will fuel your workout and provide energy to allow you to get the most out of your workout. If your goal is weight loss, a pre-workout snack can enhance your calorie burn because you will simply be working out with more intensity.

How important is a post workout shake? Well, let me let you decide… There is something called the “Window of Opportunity”. This is the time immediately following your workout lasting for about 60 minutes when your body is screaming for protein or at least that is what all of the magazines have lead you to believe. Actually what is screaming the loudest is the area of your body that holds glycogen (sugar). What you just used for energy was glycogen… If you have a standard protein shake then your body will be forced to break that down into carbohydrates through a process called gluconeogenesis. In English, this is simply the body utilizing the protein you just ingested as an energy source to replace the depleted glycogen vs. it’s first choice carbohydrates. So you may ask, what is the problem with this? The problem is, you worked your tail off to try and build and or maintain muscle now you miss that “Window of Opportunity” because you failed to feed your body what it really needs.

Your post-workout shake should look more like this… 2-1 Carbohydrates  to protein. The shake may be fruit and whey protein or a “meal-replacement” powder such as what we have at the shake bar. This is about personal preference but the thing that is an absolute – YOU NEED A POST-WORKOUT SHAKE!

Here is a common question, “What can I do to reach my goal faster?”

Your goal could be weight loss, muscle gain or both. In my 20+ years in the fitness business, one thing is evident, most people are looking for that “magic pill” as a supplement to exercise. The bad news… THERE IS NO MAGIC SUPPLEMENT or EXERCISE!

There are things you can do to assist in reaching your fitness goals sooner rather than later. Over the next few blogs, I will discuss some of the core basics that can assist anyone regardless of goal. Let’s discuss, post-workout shakes or what I like to refer to as “recovery shakes”. I know most of you already purchase shakes, however I want you to realize there is a functional reason to drink a shake immediately after your workout (other than their outstanding taste!) For those of you who may not be drinking a recovery shake, I want to provide some info that will make you consider their importance the next time you workout.

Research suggests there is a “window of opportunity” which lasts up to 60 minutes*** after a workout where your body is in a state of needing two very important macronutrients, carbohydrates and protein. The misconception here is that the body needs only protein. This could not be farther from the truth. As a matter of fact, if you are a typical exerciser (workout less than 1.5 hours) then the ratio of carbohydrates to protein is 2:1, If you are working out longer than this or you are an endurance athlete than the ratio could be as high as 4:1.

Why do you need these carbs? Great question! During exercise your body is utilizing glycogen (sugar) as fuel. After your workout, the body is screaming to have those fuel sources replaced. Now, if you read too many fitness magazines the assumption is you will need a protein shake. Here is the problem – Yes, your body is primed and wanting protein (typically 20-30 grams) to help build and repair the muscle tissue. However, what your body must have before it will ever use the protein for muscle repair are carbohydrates to replace the glycogen used during the exercise.

Here is why, when given the option of building lean muscle or supplying your body with energy, your body will ALWAYS chose supplying your body with energy. Why? Simple, because your body is more concerned with you being able to run from a lion than it is you gaining muscle. This is a defensive mechanism God put in your body to insure your survival. If you have a standard protein shake then your body will be forced to break that down into carbohydrates through a process called gluconeogenesis (gluco neo genesis). In English, this is simply the body utilizing protein you just ingested as an energy source to replace the depleted glycogen vs. it’s first choice carbohydrates. So why is this a problem? If the body is forced to utilize protein as an energy source then guess what is missing in this equation? PROTEIN, to hit that window of opportunity you created during your workout. Think of it this way… you spent all that blood, sweat and maybe even some tears to build your fat burning machinery, muscle only to squander the opportunity by having a protein only shake.

So what should your post-workout shake look like? Here are a couple of choices:

1. If you like whey protein then have us make you a shake but add fruit to the shake. This will supply your much needed carbohydrate fix after your workout.

2. You can also ask for “Meal Replacement” which has a mix of carbohydrates and protein in the proper 2:1 ratio.

I know some of you out there reading this are saying, “Ok, make sense but I am not trying to get big and bulky muscle so does this even apply?” YES!!!! Regardless of what your long term goal is, weight loss, muscle gain etc. EVERYONE can benefit from gaining some lean muscle tissue. Here are a couple of analogies to make my point.

Stand in the mirror after your next bath or shower and jump up and down naked! That’s right naked! Just do it… Now, everything moving on your body is not un-toned muscle… It’sFAT! You can lose 40 pounds and still have this same jiggle problem. Fact is, you need less body fat and more lean muscle tissue. Muscle does not JIGGLE!!! If you gain a few pounds of muscle and lose that same 40 pounds you now look entirely different… more athletic and not soft and squishy… Yes, soft and squishy is a scientific term.

Think of muscle as fat burning machinery… the more muscle you have the more calories you burn per day!

WOW… gain muscle and I burn more calories, count me in!!!

Post-workout nutrition is one of those easy things you can do to improve the effectiveness of your training session. You destroyed your body during bootcamp, group training, TRX etc. now it’s time to rebuild and get ready for the next workout… DRINK YOUR RECOVERY SHAKE!

 ***There is growing evidence that this “Window of Opportunity” actually begins to close imminently after your workout. Think of it as you slowing closing a window or turning a faucet off ever so slowly. The more the window is closes the fewer nutrients the body can shuttle into the window. Moral of the story, drink you shake immediately following your workout.


Dedication and Responsibility


As we begin this New Year, I have been reflecting on this business I have decided to dedicate my life to. With this dedication comes a huge responsibility to each and every person who walks into the doors here at Three Rivers Athletic Club. Not only in the club, but through the internet, I now have a responsibility to the readers who may never walk through our door.

My first responsibility is to be 100% honest with you. It would be ridiculous for me to ever say that I know everything about the human body and fitness as a whole. As a matter of fact, the one thing I can assure you is the more I learn, the more I know I don’t know! This is all part of that never-ending learning cycle. I would also go as far as saying if you ever meet anyone in this business who claims to have all the answers, don’t walk away, RUNAWAY!

To prove my point that our business is ever changing, I point to some information that maybe you may have heard from the past. Only 15 years ago, the recommendation for cardiovascular training for the average American was 3 days 20 minutes. Now, if you simply don’t want to gain weight and have no desire to make significant changes to your diet, the recommendation is 60 minutes of moderate to intense physical activity per day! Things change, new research dictates that what we once thought to be true may not be or is simply incorrect.

If you come to me asking a question, the thing I have on my side is experience. Being in this business most of my adult life and going through countless hours of classes, certifications and daily interactions with members and clients, I have a plethora of experience to bring to your life. My job is to stay up with the latest trends, research and information so when you do ask that question you never have to worry if the information is correct or if I have some hidden agenda behind my answer.

Here is my goal for every one of our clients/members and even those who decide our club may not be for you: SUCCESS! Success in whatever that means to you. It could be weight loss, improved health, better time on your next ½ marathon etc. If I believe you should be searching out other professionals: doctors, physical therapist, (dare I say) physiologists or even another trainer I will never let my ego get in the way of your ultimate destination to your goal. There are too many people who have simply given up on their goal because they have been unsuccessful in the past. Remember, the past does not dictate the future, however, if you try and try more times than you can count to reach that fitness goal and continually keep getting knocked down, it’s hard to continue to march ahead.

This fitness industry is rampant with myths and misconceptions. Here are just a few you may have heard:

* Don’t eat after _____ or you will get fat

* Do cardio first thing in the morning to burn only fat

* High fructose corn syrup is a major contributor to obesity

* You must do abdominal work (crunches, side bends, seated twists etc.) to have great ab’s

* Work in your “target heart zone” to burn only fat

* Take this pill and you will lose weight

Just to name a few and I could go on, and on, and on! Part of my job is to address these myths when the opportunity presents itself. These myths have been thrown around for years and it amazes me how many people buy into these things. If you ask me about a diet, pill, exercise program etc. I will not only provide you with the details as to why or why not but also give you resources so you can check out the information as well. We will do everything to prove we are right, know what I mean? Know that anything I tell you is not a personal attack on your beliefs, it is simply looking at the facts and what the actual science tells us.

Years ago someone told me this and it stuck… Prior to 1492, the most intellectual minds in the World new the Earth was flat. There was one man by the name of Columbus who would set out to prove the intellectuals wrong and guess what, HE DID! The point to this story; What if your beliefs are only your beliefs based on biased information? Do you ever question why you believe carbohydrates are bad and the reason you battle your weight? Or, do you simply buy into the media hype that it’s your genetics, carbs, fat, the dog, the cat, etc. that are preventing you from losing weight? There are two types of people, those who realize they have personal biases and those who do not… Guess which one is dangerous?

Take your fitness goal in 2012 and make it yours! Search out experts who truly have a teaching spirit to help you and are only concerned with your desire to reach that goal. These people will not be enablers!!! They will provide tough love and direction to make this THE year to reach your goal. We look forward to helping each and every person achieve what you may think as unattainable… You must take the first step and ask for our help.


Motivation to Lose!!

Why NOW? Part 2 

Now that you have had some time to think about where you are with the preverbal, “Battle of the Bulge” let’s discuss the why now aspect.

How many times have you said, “Ok, this is it… It’s the New Year and I am going to lose weight!” Here is a simple question: What makes this New Year different from the other 25 (more or less) which you made the exact same resolution? This can be the year, what will make this the final year, you will make that resolution final because you actually reach your goal in 2012!

Initially, when I began writing this blog, my thought process was for you to consider first and foremost your family when thinking about the importance of weight management/loss. Simply saying family is just not enough to make many people do anything unless we break that down.

Without being overly dramatic, I had a conversation a few years ago with a potential client about personal training I want to share. A little background about him, his doctor had told him he needed to lose weight because of many issues related to his obesity: High blood pressure, Type 2 Diabetes, Heart issues among countless others. As we began discussing goals and what he was looking to get out of the gym, he began telling me about his 3 children, 2 boys and 1 girl. The boys were in several different sports and his daughter was involved in dance and soccer. You could see the love he had for his kids with every word he spoke about each of them.  As he talked, there were many “reasons” he could not commit to personal training and the gym as a whole. Everything from, “I’m just so busy” to the old faithful, “I don’t have the money with all that we spend on the children”.

As we talked, I realized I was looking at a man at almost 40 years old who would likely not see 50 unless he changed his life, DRASTICALLY! Once he finished his litany of reasons he could not commit to losing weight I told him a story. I said, “Bill, you know, I may have simply let you walk out of these doors a few months ago but let me tell you a story. A close friend of mine recently lost his mother. Now, there relationship was extremely special. As a matter of fact, he often said if he had written a request to God for the perfect Mother, he would have given him his Mother. It would be hard to imagine a Mother and Son could be closer than these two. His Mother was diagnosed with lung cancer, (she had been a smoker all of her life) in November and she passed away 3 months after the diagnoses. She was only 63. Not only did she leave her Son behind but also a 7 year old granddaughter who would never know what an amazing Grandmother she had.  My question to you is, don’t you think we have responsibilities to our children not only to provide for them but to be here and watch them grow up? Don’t you think your daughter will want nothing more than for her Daddy to walk her down the aisle on her wedding day? How about your Son’s … They need a Father in their life, not just today but in 10 years when they are graduating college and they can look at you for that nod of approval that they finally did it. Part of your responsibility is to take care of YOU so you will be here for not only your kids but your wife.” With tears in his eyes, he said “I never thought about it that way”.

It’s all prospective… I am happy to say he lost over 80 pounds and completely turned his health around. No more medications…  Insulin- gone, high-blood pressure meds gone!  

Maybe this is not your motivating factor, this is an absolute… You must find something that makes you want to reach that goal, regardless of what it is. In our case, we are talking about weight loss but the same goal setting logic applies to anything. Once you discover the why now, all you need is guidance getting there. Three Rivers Athletic Club is the perfect place you can go for that guidance! Often, it’s small things we can help you with that you may not have even thought about.  If it were easy, you would already be at your ideal weight.

Where there is no guidance, the people fall, but in abundance of counselors there is victory. (Proverbs 11:14)

Dig deep… Find that one thing in your life that is motivating you to want to make that commitment and lose that weight. If you need help discovering that motivating factor, think of the people in your life who bring you joy and love. That may just be the missing piece of the puzzle to make this the best New Year… EVER!

Until next time…

Weight Gain in 2012

Why now? Here we are facing another New Year. How many times have you made that famous resolution to lose weight and get in “better shape”?

While doing some research, I discovered that over the last 30 years weight loss or “improving health” has been in the top 5 New Year’s Resolutions among Americans.

Something to consider. Never in the history of the United States have we had more access to information, especially when it comes to weight loss. Just for fun I did a Google search for diets. In .37 seconds there were 79,900,000 hits! SERIOUSLY?!?!?!?!

Here is something you can count on, when people are given too many options more times than not they pick option D. “NONE OF THE ABOVE”.  It is easier to stay where you are than to attempt something and fail, again and again. Eventually, you simply decided to avoid the pain of continually failing at this diet thing.

If you are not depressed yet let me provide more horrible statistics. The average adult American will gain 1 – 2 pounds per year. Not bad,  especially considering the average male consumes almost 1,000,000 calories per year and the average woman consumes about 650,000 per year. Honestly, if you gain 1-2 pounds you will probably not even realize the weight gain. Keep in mind, it takes 3,500 calories to make 1 pound of fat so if you gain 2 pounds this year you only over ate by 20 calories per day! That’s all, not much you say but if you continue to do this for 20 years you are now 40 pounds heavier than you are this year. You will be 40 pounds heavier by having an extra ONE of the following:

  • Hershey Kiss
  • Jolly Rancher
  • Packet of Sugar

Crazy to think such seemingly innocent choices can make you 40 pounds heavier over 20 years.  Oh, and don’t think I am letting you slide on those days you eat everything in sight!!! I am attempting to break this down to bite size (pardon the pun) digestible pieces. You and I both know there are nights we go to Applebee’s have an appetizer, dinner, dessert and possibly a few adult beverages. THEN have the audacity to show up to the gym and say, “I just don’t know why I am not losing any weight?!”

This is a proven truth, if you simply give up and choose not to deal with your weight I can guarantee you will weigh more next year than you do this year.

A few statistics:

  •  95% of “diets” fail (You have a better success rate of surviving terminal cancer!)
  •  There are over 10,000 diets registered with the FDA (If one of those worked don’t you think everyone would be following it?)
  •  At any given time of the year almost 50% of Americans are on a “diet”.

So now that I have you completely frustrated and on the verge of completely giving up… one word- DON’T!  Stay tuned for part 2 of Why Now?

Can You Burn 400 Calories in 5min?

Can you burn 400 calories 5 minutes? Ok, so here we go again… What is it about fitness myths people spread which have absolutely NO proof behind them?

Myths such as:

  • Fat makes you fat
  • Eating after 8 p.m. makes you fat
  • Sugar makes you fat
  • Take this pill and lose 10 lbs.

Now here is one I simply can’t let go of…  This week, one of our gym members was told if she did a particular workout, she would burn as many calories in 5 minutes as she would an hour of any other class or cardio program!  WHAT THE….. ??????

Let’s look at some basic science…

If a 145 lb female works out for one hour, not just work out but KILL IT for 60 minutes doing anything… Intense Cardio, Intense BootCamp Class, Intense Functional Training Class, etc… She will likely burn around 400 calories (+ or – 75 calories).  This is simply due to the weight she is vs. the amount of time she is moving in relation to the physical strain on her body during the workout.  Or another way to look at: weight + intensity of workout + time = total calorie burn.

Breaking this down even further… 400 calorie burn in 60 minutes means you were burning approximately 7 calories per minute (400 cal ÷ 60 min = 6.66 cal per min).  Please explain to me how it is possible for that same 145lb. female to burn 80 calories per minute?  (400 ÷ 5 min = 80 cal per min)  Simply put… IT IS NOT POSSIBLE! PERIOD!!!!!

Here are the factors you personally can do to increase the total number of calories you burn per minute.

Intensity – This is the easiest to manipulate yet also the most challenging. Reason? As a human,  typically, you take the path of least resistance and generally do not push yourself to the level that would completely tap this option. Another reason a class like bootcamp is awesome because they force you to get out of your comfort zone and go beyond what your mind tells your body it can accomplish. Your mind will always give out before your body does. Proper training not only challenges your body but equally if not more so forces you to push through those self imposed mental barriers all of us have.

GAIN WEIGHT! Yep… I said it… Want to burn double, triple or even quadruple the number of calories you burn per minute now? Easy, double, triple etc. your current weight and you will be increasing your total burn per minute. Somewhat a ridiculous statement right??? Of course, studies tell us almost 90% of people walking in to gyms today are trying to lose weight… DUH!

Recently, I heard this scenario and I think it makes a fantastic point. How would you like to burn 1000 calories in an hour? WOW! How awesome would that be… Well, let’s see what it would take.

If you weighed 185 lbs. and ran an 8 minute mile for 1 hour, this would yield you a 1000 calorie burn. Can you imagine running an 8 minute mile for 1 hour??? You are talking about a very conditioned person to even be able to hit those numbers and oh by the way, you are likely not overweight if you can do that anyway! If  a female weighing 135 lbs., ran the same 8 minute mile, she would only burn 700 calories! See how much a lighter weight moving through space makes a difference?

Ladies and gents… Please be cautious, especially this time of year. Repeat after me…


If you truly want to reach your fitness goal here is the absolute truth as to how to get there:

  • Keep a daily food log
  • Move EVERY DAY! Log a minimum of 1 hour of movement per day. Yes, you may be doing bootcamp twice per week or simply coming to the gym 3 days per week… How about the other days?
  • When you are at the gym, KILL IT! Work harder than you did the last time you were there. NEVER HOLD BACK!
  • You must have an accountable partner… That could be your trainer, instructor(s) and or fellow fitness people in search of the same goal but you need someone! You will have bad days, count on it. You need someone to talk you off the ledge before you dive head first into that plate of chocolate chip cookies.
  • Remember the old adage, “If it sounds too good to be true, it likely is”? Always use this when those people are offering up information related to fitness and your goals… Think, “Does this really make sense?” and better yet… “Can they prove it”?

You can reach your fitness goal regardless of what that is… With that being said I can guarantee two things:

  • It will not be easy
  • It will ABSOLUTELY be worth it!