Tuesday, April 26, 2011


Today I finally got a break from the rain ans was able to get out to Hoff Woods park and do some barefoot running. Running barefoot is one of my favorite activities, and I am a big advocate of not wearing shoes to exercise, be it weights, running, or anything else! Training without shoes improves your proprioception, and furthermore, your balance. Since the number one lawsuit against personal training studios is slip and fall, trainers would do well to train improve their clients balance, and barefoot training is a great way to do it! "But, Jason," so say, "what if I drop weights on my toe? Aren't I more protected with shoes on?" Maybe, if you are wearing steel toe boots to train in. More often than not, people are wearing mesh top tennis shoes to train in,and if you think that 1mm of mesh is going to protect you from 45lbs falling 4 ft, you are sorely mistaken. Barefoot running is not everyone, but training barefoot should make up at least some part of every one's training.
For more info visit marksdailyapple.com or therunningbarefoot.com. These guys both know their stuff.

Monday, April 25, 2011


This next month, my training studio is holding a contest to see who can eat the most vegetables. You might be thinking to yourself, "Wait a tick, doesn't J always preach moderation?" You would be correct in everything except for veggies. Eat all you possibly can. Veggies are low cal, nutrient packed, fiber rich, and keep you full and on track with your diet. That said, not all veggies are created equal. Corn is a grain, not a vegetable as commonly thought. As such it is full of starchy carbohydrate and sugar. Potatoes are great if you're an athlete looking for potassium or complex carbs, but they can't be covered in butter and sour cream. If your goal is to lose weight, stay away from white potatoes. Lastly, believe it or not, peas are very starchy, and not a great vegetable option. I know they're green, but that's they're only redeeming quality. Some great options are peppers (packed with vitamin C), carrots, kale, and spinach. So eat you veggies this month and get a jump start on a healthier you!

P.S. if you have a good kale recipe, let me know! Its very nutrient dense, but has a bitter taste I can't get past.


Thursday, April 21, 2011

Another quick tip!

Another quick tip today. You've read on this blog to eat your grains and starchy carbs before lunch in an effort to have time during the day to burn them off. Still Stuck in a plateau? Try doing the same with fruit. Fruit is good for you but remember that it is mostly sugar and fiber. The earlier you eat the more time during the day you have to burn those nutrients. this leaves meat and veggies after lunch, with meal size tapering towards dinner time. Good Luck!!


Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Quick Tip

Just a quick tip today: Intersperse quick, intense cardio bouts throughout your work out. I.e. 1 min standing bike sprint. This will keep your heart rate fluctuating, and help burn more calories.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Diets and the multitude of opinions on them

I recently had a conversation with a client about someone they knew on a diet. The person in question was seeing good results, but excluding a certain fructose laden food group (fruit if you didn't catch on). This is a situation that as a trainer I have come across several times. Someone knows someone else who is seeing great results on one fad diet or another, and sometimes (not so in this case) they want to know if I think they should go on this diet. As a trainer, my feelings on this are mixed. On the one hand obesity is a gateway to all kinds of terminal and horrible diseases (cancer, diabetes, etc.), so getting people to lose weight, no matter how they come about it can increase their health (being devils advocate here, I don't believe this!). On the other hand, using dangerous techniques to lose weight at all costs can cause other problems, and hinder people from losing weight which was the goal in the first place. I am inclined to believe in the latter statement. Weight that comes off due to a complete lifestyle and dietary change has a greater chance of staying off. Why is this though? Why do weight loss systems or fad diets still flood our commercials? It's because they are easy. They take no effort on our part. All you need to do is what the product tells you to and you will lose weight. Honestly, you probably will lose weight if you follow their system. Here's the kicker though, it's not a sustainable practice. Lets take a so called "system of nutrients" (you know what I'm talking about). You have meals delivered to your door, and you eat them (along with some fresh fruits and veggies as I understand it) and you lose weight. Awesome! Now what happens when you run out of prepackaged health food? What happens when you can't afford to use the system any long? What happens when the company stops making that product? Odds are you're going to gain the weight back. Why? Because you never learned to cook nutritious food for yourself. You never learned to be disciplined and measure out food portions. You never learned what a proper portion of food really is. Now I know some will say, "Its a great jump start or starting point." To them I say why not do it right, right from the start? You'll feel healthier and benefit sooner and will win the war long term. Fad diets come and go, some work, some work at the expense of your health, but a healthy, well-rounded diet will work and will only improve your health.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Setting Goals

Ok, so if your reading this, you have some goal you are trying to obtain fitness wise, whether it is to run faster, jump higher, or lose weight. To reach these bigger goals, you'll want to set smaller goals each day, week, and month. However, the type of goals you set can make or break your training program and determine whether or not you reach your goals. Goals like losing weight or jumping higher are more results than goals. They may be your final objective, but you actually have very little control over the results (hang with me). What you do have control over is the effort you put into task that can help you reach or maximize said result. These are termed Process Goals. Process goals are tasks that you have control over and you will succeed in given you put in the effort. For example, wanting to lose 20 lbs is a outcome, or result and you have little control over this. However, process goals for this outcome include jogging 30 min each day. Can you see the difference? You can jog 30 min every day. The only thing keeping you from jogging is your motivation. You can't will yourself to lose 20 lbs, it takes exercise and proper nutrition. Basically to reach the goal you have to focus not on the goal but on the things that get you there. Think of a set of stairs. If your goal is to reach the top, but you focus only on getting there you won't. You have to focus on HOW to get there, so you take one step after another until you reach the top. By setting Process Goals, you can achieve success every day, theoretically increasing your motivation. If you focus only on the result, and not how to get there you will stall and lose motivation.

In conclusion, set day by day, even meal by meal or session by session goals that require only effort for success. In doing this, you need only to put forth the effort and you will experience success daily.


Monday, April 11, 2011

Meal Arrangement

Are your weight loss goals stalled even though you've been eating a strict diet? Have you considered the order of your meals as the culprit? I was once told that in a slump, look at when you ate what to help break out of it. Think of when you eat your big meals, chances are they are probably toward dinner time. However this is opposite of what we should be doing. Bigger meals should be at breakfast. Why? Well think about it logically, your morning meal is the first meal you have eaten after a long (hopefully 8 hrs) fast, aka break-fast. Furthermore, you have a whole day of calorie burning ahead of you. In contrast, dinner should be light. You've already done most of your calorie burning by this point in the day and will in all likelihood be sedentary until bed time.
Arranging your meals in this fashion could alone be enough to knock you out of your slump, however I like to add another facet to this for improved weight loss. That is I tell my clients to eat all starchy and grain based carbohydrates prior to 2 pm. So eat all rice, bread, and potatoes before 2pm. Why? Because these are higher to medium glycemic foods that break down relatively easily in our bodies. This means they are a quick source of energy. If they energy is not burned off, it gets stored either as glycogen, or fat. And if your glycogen stores are already full, guess where it goes? Keep these tips in mind and you'll be well on your way to the body you want. Happy Eating


Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Protein or no Protein

So today, I want to talk about protein supplements. Protein supplements come in all kinds of forms, but the most common is the whey powder. This supplement is made from the whey protein in milk. It is a fast digesting protein and as such enters you system quickly. This makes it the post workout drink of choice for many athletes. However, are they necessary for the general fit person? The answer is not really black and white. The quick answer is no, and you should meet all your daily protein needs through whole real foods. The real answer is maybe. Protein shakes are great for quick on the go nutrition as the powder can be stored anywhere. Throw a protein shake, some berries and a few veggies and you got your self a meal with no time. They also make great smoothies. These supplements are generally safe for general population, but keep a few considerations in mind. These supplements are almost pure protein, so they do not constitute a meal on there own. They also are not meal replacements (some are, but are labeled as such), and using them to replace x amount of meals is not healthy or safe. They also can be expensive and taste bad, but again this cost is what you pay for convenience. So, in summary, whether you take them or not doesn't matter as long as you meet your daily protein needs. People, (mostly athletes) with elevated protein needs will find them usful to help meet those needs, and the general population may turn to them for convenience.


Monday, April 4, 2011

What do you guys want to see?

So before I continue writing down anything and everything I have an opinion about fitness wise, (and maybe some other stuff worms its way in too), I want to ask you guys what you think. I am not sure who all, or if anybody, reads this. That said I definitely want to cater to my target demographic, so tell me what you want to see on this blog. Post questions and interests to Facebook, or in the comments section and I will answer them! I'll do the research, and you benefit!

Hope to hear from ya,