Firestorm fitcamps! and Fitness Revolution: Simply The Best Fat Loss and Fitness Solution in San Antonio!

Affordable, Professional Personal Training In A Group Setting That Helps YOU Get Your Version Of Sexy Back!!

Firestorm fitcamps! and Fitness Revolution: Simply The Best Fat Loss and Fitness Solution in San Antonio! - Affordable, Professional Personal Training In A Group Setting That Helps YOU Get Your Version Of Sexy Back!!

Lean, Skinny, Overweight Or Fat

The other day one of my clients, we’ll call her Mary, made reference to another person from one of her training sessions, whom we’ll call Donna. She was lamenting her own figure and commented that she wished she could “be as skinny as Donna.”

I smiled and corrected her stating that “Donna is not skinny. She’s lean, and there is a difference.”

Words matter. Clarity and specificity is important in this matter because it allows us to hone in on that which we want, as well as stay away from that which we do not, or is less advantageous.

When you look in the mirror, whom do you see looking back at you?

Is that person lean, skinny, overweight or fat?

Who or what would you care to look like? Do you even know?

I’m a pretty black and white kind of guy. I look at people and can pretty quickly surmise, if even in my own mind, what their level of health and fitness is.

When I think of healthy and fit, I think of lean and muscular. Anything that deviates from this appearance means less fit and healthy.

Don’t agree? Please let me clarify.

When I see a male or female who exhibits an appreciable level of muscularity from head to toe, I pretty well know that they engage in some sort of resistance based training regimen. Because of this level of muscularity it tells me that they have a higher level of resistance to disease, better VO2 capability, more endurance and stamina, improved posture and better recovery capability than a non-exerciser.

When I see shapely and muscular arms, back, legs and a butt, I pretty well know that this individual eats a little better quality diet than the average person, is most likely not ill on a regular basis, handles the daily stressors of life pretty well and probably sleeps soundly at night.

Are there exceptions?

Of course. As with anything in life, there always are. But these criteria generally pretty well hold up under scrutiny.

You see, while someone who is “skinny” might look pretty good in clothes, they may actually have a higher level of body fat than someone who is just a little overweight.

I had a client tell me not long ago that she and her husband began a nutrition program with a registered dietician. She was worried about his health because, at nearly 60 years of age, he had developed an “old man gut.” At the start of their program the RD measured both of them for lean body mass and body fat levels. My client was shocked to learn that her husband had a lower body fat level than she did, even though he weighed 90 pounds more than her.

She was “skinny fat.”

She is now working toward becoming lean, instead.

Here’s the bottom line: if you have an excess of body fat on you, it isn’t really a sign of you over eating or under exercising. All it really means is that you’re living in an unhealthy body.

If you will stop chasing “skinny”, stop dieting and exercising to lose fat and change your mind set to just get more lean (muscular) and healthy, I can virtually guarantee your success.

Especially if you hire me as your coach…

Now you think about that.

Steve

The Biggest Difference Between You And I

“Uncle Steve, you know the biggest difference between you and I?”, one of my clients recently queried.

I replied, “What’s that?”

She said, “You’re fitness coach, so when people come to you with questions about this stuff you act like a hammer, and to you…everything looks like a nail. I’m your client and all I see is the big picture. I wish I had your focus.”

I smiled, shook my head signifying agreement, and said, “I guess you’ve got me totally figured out.”

I didn’t really feel like getting into a debate with her because, after all, she was partially correct.

You see when I get a new prospect for my services as a strength coach, fitness professional or fat loss expert, I have to consider what it is they really want.

Do they want to train with me 2 sessions per week? Or do they want 3 or 4?

And do they want those sessions to last for 30 minutes, 45 minutes or an hour?

Do they want strength training, interval training, to train with kettlebells, bands, medicine balls or dumbbells?

Do they want to focus on stability, mobility, agility or something else?

My educated guess and experience tells me that in 95% of the cases, folks don’t care about any of that. At least nothing they can put into those words.

Sure, being more agile, mobile and stabile are important, but they pale in comparison to the actual wants of the individual.

You see, the people with whom I work want to:

  • Look better.
  • Feel better.
  • Have more energy.
  • Have more stamina.
  • To lose weight.
  • Run faster.
  • Perform better.

The bottom line is this: They want an definitive, positive, measurable and guaranteed outcome.

Period.

How likely would someone be to hire me to achieve such an outcome if all I were to focus on was selling them on the process?

I love the process!

I really enjoy the process.

I spend time, effort, money and energy studying the process so that I can learn to improve it.

And does my prospect (or current clientele, for that matter) care about any of that?

No…and quite frankly they shouldn’t. They’re glad that I do, because they know it makes me a better coach for them. But that’s about as far as it goes. And here’s why…

When you go to the doctor, do you care about the years of schooling under her belt, the processes she’s been through to earn the degree and the right be labeled “doctor”, or do you just want to feel better?

When you go to a restaurant, do you care about how the food got to the restaurant, the level of expertise of the chef and the process of getting your food to the table, or do you just want a great meal?

My guess is you’re after the outcome…the better feeling after seeing the doctor and the great meal.

You let the “expert” focus on the process, while you focus on the outcome.

As your coach, I have not just the responsibility to understand this and to make it such that you get the outcome you’re after, but I have the obligation to present it in such a way that you don’t have to worry about or question the process…just follow my instructions and guidance, and get what it is you’re after.

I guess you could say that if all of those things were nails, I’d need a couple of hammers in each hand…

And that’s the biggest difference between you and I.

Steve

“Hey Uncle Steve, why do you hate cardio so much?”

I find it humorous, and more than a little annoying, that people often hear what they want to hear when you’re discussing various topics and subjects, especially the ones related to health, fitness, performance and more specifically, fat loss.

It’s like the time many years ago when I said to my ex-wife, “Can I have some extra bacon for breakfast?”, but what she heard was, “You lousy witch, you’ve ruined my life!”

But I digress…

A couple of years ago I had a client who struggled with her weight. She stated that she wanted to slim down, swore she was eating properly and trained pretty hard when she was with us during sessions at my gym.

(**Please hang with me for a few moments. This story, while taking a little bit to lay out, will have a reason for telling…I promise)

She and I had several conversations related to effective fat loss approaches, and in them I discussed the importance of resistance training, nutrition and not placing an emphasis on steady state cardio for fat loss.

She quit coming to the gym, despite my efforts to get her to stay. After about a month I got to talk with her on the phone. She didn’t really like lifting weights, said she preferred doing cardio and that, since she had quit coming, she had dropped 15 pounds. I was told that the training she did with us at Firestorm fitcamps! was obviously making her get fatter and gain weight.

As an aside, I told her that what she was describing was a physiologic impossibility and that if it were the case, she should contact UNICEF and offer to have herself cloned because she had some magic genes whereby she could eat fewer calories than she expended and still gain fat. Starving children around the world needed to have that kind of hope. I also told her that her friends had informed me she quit eating sugar and processed starchy carbs and that this was, more than likely, the reason she had shrunk by 15 pounds.

Anyway…

About three weeks ago I got a text from a fitness professional friend of mine asking me for some information for this woman. In it this former client requested information whereby I had supposedly stated that “30 minute cardio had no benefit.”

For the record: I’ve never said this.

Ever.

Hence, my frustration about some people hearing what they want to hear.

“So Uncle Steve, are you going to clear this up once and for all?”

I’m sure going to try. But I’m also sure that somewhere down the road, I’ll be going over it all again…

I don’t hate cardio…well…much.

If your goal is a leaner physique, enhanced fat loss and general overall better health, there are some things that you’re just going to have to do to get them. And steady state cardio ain’t one of them.

I’ve covered why I state that most all aerobic, and more specifically steady state cardio, for fat loss is pretty ineffective in a number of articles here, here, here, here, and here. You can even see what others think about it here and in this video by a cardiologist here.

With the understanding that I have covered this topic at length, and you now have access to the knowledge you need to find out if cardio for fat loss is a good idea or not, I’m going to give you TWO more arguments in favor of a better way to achieve not only fat loss, but a stronger, leaner and athletically inclined (if you don’t like that term, think functional) physique.

Interval Based Cardio and Resistance Training For Fat Loss

It all boils down to one term: recruitment.

If you want to burn fat, you’ve simply got to recruit a maximal number of muscle fibers during your training in order to do so. There just isn’t any other way around it.

Let’s say you have two cars at the top of a hill on a very long stretch of roadway. Both cars have a full tank of gas.

Car A – We start Car A, so that the engine is idling, the driver puts it in neutral and lets it roll down to the bottom of the hill. The road is long enough that this takes 30 minutes to complete.

Car B – We start Car B, the driver places it in drive, guns the engine and races down the hill at top speed. This takes 10 minutes to complete.

Which car, upon examination at the bottom of the hill, is going to have burned more fuel?

We’ll come back to that…

Interval Based Cardio – If you’ve just got to do some cardio for fat loss, this is the kind to do for maximum results in minimum time.

Period.

Why minimum time?

timeBecause time is precious, and non-renewable, and you have better things to do with your life than hang out in a gym or pound the pavement for hours on end.

These workouts can be done after your resistance training workouts, later the same day or on separate days. What I don’t want you to do is to perform these routines BEFORE resistance training. This will reduce the effectiveness of your program.

“So Uncle Steve, just how do I do this stuff?”

Tactic #1 – Walk Back Sprints

Go to a track or field that is at least 100 yards in length and is safe to run on. Place a cone or some other type of marker down as your starting point, and another 100 yards away.

Warm up well.

Sprint for 100 yards at 85 to 90% of your maximum. This will take about 15 seconds.

“How do I know what 85 to 90% of maximum means, Uncle Steve?”

If a Grizzly bear was chasing you, how fast would you run?

Run at 85-90% of that…

Walk back to your starting point. This will take about 45 seconds. Upon reaching your starting point, immediately sprint the 100 yards and walk back.

Do this 5 times.

Aim to perform this routine 2 to 3 times each week you do it. Add one extra 100 yard sprint each week until you are able to do 20 such sprints per session.

This can also be performed on a bike (I personally prefer the Schwinn Airdyne) or a step climber. I do not recommend using an eliptical piece as it is too easy…as in whimpy.

I also do not recommend using a treadmill for this particular tactic as it is too hard to change speeds effectively and safely.

Tactic #2 – Sucky Cardio Training

Why do I call it “sucky cardio”? Because while it works extremely well, it just sucks while you’re doing it. Which is why most people won’t do it…

The Routine:

Warm up for five minutes.

Round:  On a scale of 1-100%, perform 1 minute at 80-90% of intensity.

Recover at a moderate pace for two minutes (50-70% of intensity).

That’s one “round” – and it lasts three minutes.

Cool down for five minutes.

How to do it:

Weeks One to Four: Perform three rounds, three times per week.

The total cardio time will be 19 mins per workout including warm up and cool down.

Weeks Five to Eight: Perform four rounds, four times per week.

The total cardio time will be 22 mins per workout including warm up and cool down.

Weeks Nine to Twelve: Perform five rounds, four times per week.

The total cardio time will be 25 mins per workout including warm up and cool down.

Weeks Thirteen to Sixteen: Perform six rounds, five times per week.

The total cardio time will be 28 mins per workout including warm up and cool down.

This is a routine you could do on a bike, treadmill, stair climber or track.

This type of cardio training, when performed as prescribed, typically results in a 1-2lb fat loss per week. So over a sixteen week period, depending on your dedication to nutrition, supplementation and your weight training routine, you can expect a possible loss of at least 16-30 plus lbs of fat.

Resistance Training

If you want to burn fat, you’ve got to have more muscle on your body.

End of story…

Muscle is metabolism.

More muscle = higher metabolism.

Higher metabolism = greater energy demand.

Greater energy demand = more fat burned as fuel.

Muscle is active tissue. It’s like that idling engine I talked about earlier.

Sure, the car that was just idling as it rolled down the hill would have consumed SOME fuel, but not a lot. After all, the idling engine needs fuel to keep idling.

However, the engine that powered its way down the hill with the engine racing was recruiting more of the engines capability, therefore demanding more fuel for that power.

This is why it burned more fuel in a shorter amount of time?

Is this starting to make sense to you?

When you lift heavy weights, or perform tough resistance based exercises, you recruit more muscle fibers. And if you’re lifting a heavy enough amount of weight (which you should be to build more muscle) you will be recruiting more muscle.

That effort of recruitment has both an immediate AND long term energy demand which, bottom line, results in greater fat loss potential, a leaner physique, as well as more strength, bone density and performance capability.

So get to the gym and pick up some heavy stuff!

I hope I’ve adequately demonstrated why steady state, boring and long term cardio are fruitless endeavors with respect to fat loss and why interval based cardio and resistance training will benefit you in so many more ways.

If I haven’t, please feel free to write me and I’ll go over it…one more time…

Yer Uncle Steve