Weight Loss

WORKOUT ANYWHERE WITH THE RIP TRAINER


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rip trainer

Me, on the beach in Miami, with the TRX Rip Trainer attached to a fence, getting an awesome workout.

There are so many fitness gadgets on the market, sometimes it’s really difficult to keep up.  I find many of them are silly or a waste of time but there are a few tried and true pieces of fitness equipment that won’t cost a fortune and have the ability to give you a full body workout.  In the case of TRX, they first came out with the Suspension Trainer and it has had incredible success because it was different than any other fitness equipment on the market at the time.  Years later, I still prefer the TRX over other suspension trainers that came after it; something about its design and the sheer number of exercise videos TRX puts out to show you how to use their equipment keeps me from switching to another brand or type of suspension trainer.  I use it for variety, as a replacement for chin ups, core strength, and really great flexibility training – not to mention, my clients love it as well.  One young client of mine remarked that she feels “like a badass” when she uses the TRX because “it’s just so cool!” I have to say, I totally get it.

When TRX came out with the Rip Trainer, it took a while until I purchased it, because I thought what could this do that other equipment I have can’t replicate? When I finally caved (if you read my blog, you know I can’t resist cool fitness equipment! winking ), I quickly discovered that not only is it a great exercise tool on it’s own that adds a unique type of training you really won’t find with anything else, but it can also be combined with the suspension trainer to get a full body workout in all planes of motion.  Simply by hanging one near the other, you can alternate between varying exercises for cardio, strength, martial arts type movements, core and flexibility training all in one!

Here are some details about the Rip Trainer from the TRX website: The Rip Trainer allows users to engage in unlimited movements which, when performed properly, enhance fluidity and range of motion and decrease the risk of injury. Whether used for high speed striking movements or slow speed strength and stability exercises, the Rip Trainer is the perfect training tool for elite level athletes, fitness enthusiasts and even people wanting to exercise for the first time.

Life and sport require that we be able to both control and produce rotational force. Rip Training utilizes the same asymmetrical loading we encounter every day. Whether you’re carrying groceries, picking up your child, throwing a ball, or performing athletic movements such as swimming, running, and biking, your body is always producing rotation or controlling externally-induced rotation.

What this means, is that you will get functionally stronger, the way our bodies were meant to work!

Check out this cool video that shows you many of the different ways to use the Rip Trainer:

To order your TRX Rip Trainer, click HERE. Want to purchase one but don’t know how to use it? Book a session with me (remote or in Boca Raton, Florida) and let me teach you the most effective ways to workout using your new equipment.  If you already own one, would love to hear your comments below!

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FIXATE COOKBOOK REVIEW

This cookbook was created and designed by Autumn Calebrese, best known for her Beachbody Programs, 21 Day Fix, 21 Day Fix Extreme and soon to be released The Master’s Hammer and Chisel.  The cookbook was created to be helpful to those doing the 21 Day Fix programs and has become very popular so I decided to go ahead and purchase it to see what all the fuss is about! Although I am a Beachbody coach, I don’t automatically endorse everything that comes from them (shocking, I know) so after making quite a few of the recipes from the book, I thought I’d write a review and share my opinion. Read on for the Good, the Bad and the Verdict:

FIXATE-book-cover

THE GOOD:

  • There are 101 recipes in the book with options for vegan, vegetarian, paleo-friendly and gluten free diets.  All are clearly labelled at the top of the page with either V, VG, PF, GF or a combination thereof.
  • The cookbook has a neat layout, nice design, and beautiful pictures of each completed recipe.
  • The recipes are easy to make and will appeal to anyone looking to eat healthy.  Recipes like Chicken Noodle Soup, Easy Pizza, Raspberry Filled Cookie Bites, and Mexican Taco Meat aren’t likely to scare away people who have never been “healthy” eaters.
  • Simple but extremely useful kitchen tips for those who are new to making healthier food choices.
  • Fantastic Sauces and Dressings Section.
  • Container measurements so you can easily incorporate the recipes into the 21 Day Fix program, as well as complete nutritional information if you are doing your own thing.
  • The beginning of the book has some interesting personal info about Autumn, and while normally I might find this annoying in a cookbook, I found it rather interesting and fun to read.  Autumn is a genuine and likable person, who is never condescending or holier than thou in her wording and approach to healthy eating.
  • Autumn quickly corrected any Nutritional information mistakes found in the book with this updated list in .pdf format.

 

THE BAD:

  • I wasn’t too happy to see recipes that had dairy and soy as part of the ingredient list.  That being said, there weren’t a lot of them and dairy ingredients can always be substituted with non-dairy ones.  On page 22, Autumn explains why she included these ingredients in her cookbook.
  • Several recipes in the book include her grandmas homemade tomato sauce (page 81) to be made from scratch.  The truth is, any organic tomato sauce brand will do and be less of a hassle.  The recipe itself was fine, but not so extraordinary that it needed to be included as part of a few recipes.
  • Some recipes are too simple, to the point of being ridiculous.  Tuna salad scooped into a tomato, Poached egg on a slice of toast with a layer of steamed asparagus or Spreading hummus on a sliced cucumber and rolling it up with sliced red peppers …… Do we really need instructions on how to make any of that?  I suppose if you’ve never stepped foot into a kitchen or really can’t think outside the box, those recipes will be helpful but I felt it was completely unnecessary.

 

THE VERDICT:

Fixate is not a cookbook with recipes that will make you “ooh” and “aah” over all the amazing food but what it does have is healthy, doable and tasty recipes with a clear indication of portions per recipe using Autumn’s 21 Day Fix Food Containers.  Incidentally, if you don’t want to do the fitness program, but are interested in the cookbook, you can purchase the containers separately HERE.

Overall, I would say for the $20 it’s a worthwhile purchase, especially if you are following the program and need new ideas.  On the other hand, if you are an experienced healthy eater it might not be worth it for you.

Recipes I particularly enjoy and make often are the: Quinoa and bean salad (page 63), Toasted kale salad (page 69), Banana oat pancakes (page 95), Vegetable egg cups (page 119), Italian meatballs (page 153), Turkey sloppy joes (page 171), Zuchinni chips (page 203) and Chocolate chip cookies (page 211).  I haven’t made nearly all the recipes, so I am sure there will more to add to the list at a later date.  Share below what you like or dislike about the cookbook; I would love to read your comments and opinions. happy

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LEBERT EQUALIZER BARS

I’ll admit, I love getting new fitness equipment – to use personally or with my Personal Training clients – the way some women love buying shoes.  Maybe it’s weird, but new and innovative ways to exercise are very exciting to me!  That being said, some fitness equipment designed for home use are downright ridiculous – I won’t list them, but let’s just say *cough* Shopping Channel *cough* has some products that make me laugh; I sometimes watch the sales pitches late at night for pure amusement.

The good news is, my latest addition, the Lebert Equalizer Bars is a serious piece of fitness equipment that can get you real results. Actually, it’s 2 peices, as the product comes with 2 bars that you can work in a variety of  ways. I put off purchasing this particular item for a while because I thought, really, what can this do that free weights/TRX Suspension/Rip Trainer/Resistance Bands, etc., can’t?

I was pleasantly surprised that you can do an entire body workout using this product.  Depending on the positioning of the bars and/or your body placement, you can make the exercises easy if you’re a beginner or more advanced if you are looking for a real challenge. But what I really love about them is they weigh about 8 lb. each and can easily be taken to the park for a fun outdoor workout, or stored out of sight when you are done using them.  The weight of the bars also makes them useful for some traditional weight training exercises – initially I thought it was a little strange to be using them for bicep curls or shoulder press, but I realized it worked the muscles in a unique way that I think people will find enjoyable

Check out this cool video showing several different ways you can use the bars:

Some of the exercises shown in the video can obviously only be done if you have more than one set of bars or in a group setting, but even when working out alone there is a tremendous variety in the movements you can do.  If you’ve been looking for a simple, inexpensive piece of home fitness equipment that won’t take up a lot of space, then this one is definitely for you.

Here are the Product Specifications:

As I mentioned Each Equalizer bar weighs about 8 pounds.  The bars come in 3 colors – yellow, pink or lime.  While I have a hard time using fitness equipment that is pink (shiny silver or black are my go-to fitness equipment colors), the yellow was the least girly of the 3 so I went with that.  But hey, if you want to go pink and matchy-matchy with your workout outfit, please be my guest – if you feel good, you will use it, right?

The dimensions are 28-1/2 inches high by 25 inches wide, although you can purchase the “Lebert Big Boy T-Legs” separately to make the bars a few inches taller if you are over 6 feet tall.  I am 5’10 and do not have an issue with them as is, but I can see if I was any taller I’d want that extra height.  It has been tested to support up to 400 pounds of body weight so this isn’t some flimsy piece of garbage that will break, even if you have a lot of weight to lose!  The Equalizers can easily be stacked together, taking up little storage space.

Package includes 2 Elebert equalizer barsqualizer Bars, a Beginner/Intermediate Workout DVD with Marc Lebert (the creator of the Lebert Bars, among other useful fitness products) and a laminated poster depicting proper form for some of the more popular exercises.

Click HERE to purchase or if you just want to learn more about what the Lebert Equalizer Bars can do for you.

 

Please note:

  • The links above, as many on this site, are affiliate links of which I receive a small commission from sales of certain items, but the price is the same for you.
  • If I post an affiliate link to a product, it is something that I personally use, support and would recommend without an affiliate link.
  • I have not been compensated in any way for review of this or any other product recommended on this site.
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10 SUPPLEMENTS TO HELP BUILD LEAN MUSCLE

Lean muscleSome people can literally look at a free weight and get beautifully sculped and defined muscles.  Others, like myself, can lift a lot heavier weight than we seem on first glance and yet the muscle growth and definition takes a longer time and a lot more hard work.  Mind you, I’m not talking about the muscle-bound women found in bodybuilding magazines, (sorry, but ew), rather the lean and defined muscular look like the girl shown at right.

So, how does one put on lean muscle?  Well, with commitment to the right exercise program  you CAN change the shape of your body but there are also a number of supplements that can help get you there. These supplements can be used to boost energy levels. That being said, if you aren’t eating a clean, healthy diet (no chemicals, additives, preservatives, artificial sweeteners, refined sugars, GMOs, etc), then don’t waste your money ordering a truckload of supplements because all it will do is add further stress to an already exhausted liver.  Once you are committed to these lifestyle changes, then adding some of the following supplements is the next logical step.  While these are not the only beneficial supplements for weight training by any means, they are simply the ones I either personally use and/or have recommended to my clients with good results (in no particular order):

1. BCAAs: Branched Chain Amino Acids are 3 amino acids (isoleucine, leucine and valine) that may help you have increased energy during your workouts.  They are also involved in creating new muscle tissue and can help protect your muscles from the catabolic (muscle breakdown) effect of dieting.

Preferred brand: The powder form from AOR, which has no other ingredients; It tastes a little bitter on it’s own though, so I recommend adding a tsp of TruviaDosage: 1 scoop with water before and/or after your workout.

2. CLA: An omega 6 fatty acid, Conjugated Linoleic Acid is different than other omega-6 fats in that it supports fat loss while promoting muscle growth and strength.

Preferred brand:  Genestra  Dosage: Take 1 cap  3x/day with meals.

3. B-Complex: B-vitamins help your body derive energy from the food you eat and helps get oxygen to muscle tissue.  Certain B vitamins also help the body use the protein you’re eating to help build muscle properly.

Preferred brand: While many professional brands make good quality B-complex formulas, I like Orti B from Genestra  Dosage: 1 capsule/day with a meal, but there are plenty of other protein products that you can get yourself.

4. Magnesium: Without Magnesium the body cannot produce adenosine tri-phosphate (ATP). ATP transports chemical energy within cells for metabolism and is critically important in building lean muscle.  If you have muscle or joint pain or spasms, magnesium may help to relax your muscles and ease the aches. Additionally, magnesium helps to block excess calcium from depositing in your muscles.  I recommend Magnesium Bisglycinate since it’s readily absorbable and easier on the digestive system than other forms.

Preferred Brand: CanPrev.  Dosage: 1 – 2 capsules/day.

5. Matcha Tea: While you can take Green Tea Extract in supplement form, I prefer to drink it in my tea! Green tea extract contains EGCG – epigallocatechen gallate – which helps muscle recovery after intense workouts, and increases metabolic rate and fat burning.  To learn more about matcha tea and how to make the perfect latte to replace your morning coffee, click HERE.

Preferred Brand: DoMatcha  Dosage: 2 cups/day

6. Bovine Colostrum:  Yep, that’s exactly what it sounds like but it’s not as weird as you might think! Colostrum is the initial type of breast milk mothers produce during pregnancy and for several days after giving birth.  It has high levels of protein, fat-soluble vitamins, minerals and antibodies called immunoglobulins. (The molecular structure of colostrum from cows is identical to human colostrum).  Several studies suggest that colostrum supplements may improve exercise performance and increase lean body mass, especially during periods of high-intensity training and recovery from high-intensity training.

Preferred brand: SurThrival, which is not de-fatted like other brands, is verified 6 Hour Colostrum, tested to be free from herbicides, antibiotics and hormones, and taken only after baby calves have had their share.  You can purchase SurThrival Colostrum HEREDosage: 3 capsules, 2x/day on an empty stomach.

7. Vitamin C:  Vitamin C fights free radicals created by weight training, reduces cortisol production (cortisol breaks down muscle tissue and tends to promote extra abdominal fat storage), and helps decrease muscle soreness.

Preferred brand: AOR – Vitamin C with Bioflavanoids  Dosage: 1 capsule/day with a meal.

8. L- Glutamine: An amino acid, L-glutamine has many benefits including improved muscular recovery, lower levels of muscular pain, and reduced risk of muscle breakdown.  Additionally, it’s very beneficial for intestinal health, so you will be able to utilize all the nutrients you eat in your diet, which in turn helps build lean muscle.

Preferred brand: AOR  Dosage: 1 capsule, 2x/day.

9. Coconut Oil:  Coconut oil improves endurance and athletic performance, promotes fat burning, and maintains muscle mass.  What this means is that it is one of the best ways to get lean AND ripped.  Many people are afraid of the fat content in coconut oil but I assure you it’s very different than other types of fat.  Learn more about the benefits of coconut oil HERE.

Preferred brand:  Spectrum Naturals – Coconut Oil Unrefined  Dosage:  1 teaspoon, 1 – 3 times per day, preferably before and after your workout.

10. Whey protein: Due to its complete protein content, Whey protein, derived from cow’s milk, helps increase muscle mass while decreasing body fat.  It also helps enhance exercise performance and protect against free radicals.  While there are many brands and types of whey protein, one thing is certain: steer clear of brands made with artificial sweeteners such as aspartame and Aculfame K.  There is also some debate as to whether it is better to use Whey protein in concentrate or isolate form – each have pros and cons.  For example, whey concentrates contain high amounts of lactose, which many people are sensitive to, however they contain more health promoting compounds.  Isolates, on the other hand, are more rapidly absorbed and contain higher amounts of protein.

Preferred brand:  (Kosher-certified)  Integrated Supplements; For those who do not require Kosher certification, I prefer the comprehensive combination of healthy ingredients in Shakeology (they have 2 vegan options as well which contain plant-based proteins instead of whey if you are sensitive/allergic to whey protein and want to help build lean muscle).  Dosage: 1 serving per day.

[Note: unless indicated otherwise with a website or Amazon affiliate link, items discussed above are available for purchase in our Online Dispensary.  If you sign up for our monthly newsletters, you will receive 15% off all available supplements.]

Have you tried any of the above items? I’d love to hear your feedback on the supplements that worked for you and the ones you felt were a waste of time or money.

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MY REVIEW OF 21 DAY FIX

I completed the 21-Day-Fix in March, along with 9 members of my Online Fitness Challenge Group (for more about our Online Fitness Challenge groups and how you can join one, please CLICK HERE).

Before I tell you about our experience with the program, take a look at this quick intro video:

Seems too good to be true, right? Well, here is the lowdown on this program as well as my overall opinion.  The weight loss in my group over the 3 weeks varied from 2 lbs. up to 9 lbs.  So I think it’s fair to say that unless you are extremely overweight or never ever cheat during this program, 15 lb. of weight loss is a little high.  That being said, from a Nutritionist/Personal Trainer standpoint, 1 – 2 lb. a week (or 6 lbs. over the 3 week period) is very reasonable and very attainable with this program.

There are no gimmicks with this program.  Autumn Calebrese is a serious, no nonsense trainer who doesn’t crack a lot of jokes and has a tendency to say “Yeah?” a lot.  She also says “You give me 21 days and I’ll give you the body you always wanted!” which is kind of irritating, because if I was 30 lbs. overweight and wanted to have the body of a supermodel, that isn’t going to happen in 21 days, I don’t care how good the program is! tongue  That being said, looking at her amazing body is motivating enough, and she does come across as being encouraging and caring, without being annoying or condescending.  She is a stickler for proper form which, as a trainer, I really appreciate since some trainers are “go go go” without taking the time and attention to make sure you are doing the exercises properly in order to prevent injury.

The program outlines the exact workouts to do each day and the exercise sessions, at 30 minutes each, were very varied and more challenging than I expected considering it is marketed to all fitness levels.  There is a modifier (Katie)  in every workout though so technically anyone CAN do it;   just don’t be discouraged if you are only following Katie all the time because eventually you will get better and be able to follow Autumn.  I found Upper Fix, Lower Fix and Pilates to be moderately challenging, while Cardio Fix and Total Body Cardio Fix were killer workouts with a lot of cursing going on (mine, not Autumn’s).  Yoga Fix was really easy, but considering it’s for the 7th day of the week, or the “rest” day, that’s to be expected.  The 10 min. Ab Fix bonus workout was pretty good but a little too much concentration on the upper abs and not much for the lower.  All the “choreography” is simple so it’s also perfect for those who have, shall we say, co-ordination challenges.

The program came with a bonus Plyo Fix workout, which is a decent workout but I just didn’t love it as much as the other workouts.  The Ultimate Kit includes 2 additional bonus DVDs, the 30 minute Flat Abs Fix and the Barre Legs, both of which are excellent and definitely worth the extra money.  They can also be purchased separately HERE if you already have the Base Kit or if you don’t need the additional extras from the Ultimate Kit (a tote bag, large to-go container and resistance band).

Now let’s talk about food, but more specifically, the infamous 21-Day-Fix containers: most of the members in my group completely freaked out when they first saw the containers that are included with the program.  They seem much smaller in person than they do in pictures and I think everyone’s first thought was “Holy crap, I’m going to starve!” but I assure you that’s not the case at all.  Not only do you get a few servings of each container per day, depending on your start weight (there’s a very easy to follow math equation that leads you to the specific calorie and container chart you will be following) but when you actually empty the contents of the containers into a normal plate, the portions are very reasonable.  The lowest calorie level for the program is 1200-1499 calories, which is very reasonable for weight loss according to Health & Nutrition experts.  I would never recommend eating less than 1200/calories per day and neither do the smart folks over at Beachbody, creators of this (and many other) programs. Personally, I found it much more difficult to be in the 1200-1499 calories range than my group did since I am used to eating close to 2000 calories a day (a necessity when exercising an hour a day and training people as well).  I ended up bumping up to the 1500-1799 calories/day and still managed to lose the 2 lbs. I gained during the previous month when stress led me to eat one to many bowls of coconut ice cream, so I was very pleased. winking

There are no weird or crazy foods to consume, no difficult recipes to follow, and you can print the super easy to follow program tracker sheets HERE.

Overall, I really enjoyed this program a lot and recommend it to anyone motivated enough to do daily workouts (it’s only 21 days!) and to lose weight in a short amount of time.  The program is definitely more geared towards women but I see no reason why men wouldn’t enjoy this program as well – just don’t expect to put on muscle as this is strictly a weight loss regimen. You can repeat the program as many times as you want if you have a significant amount of weight to lose, but I recommend to take a few days break in between each round and bump up the calories a level so your metabolism doesn’t slow down as it gets used to the calorie deficit.

Let me know in the comments if you have done this program and what you thought of it, or if you are planning to do it – I would love to help you reach your goals!

Below you will find details of what comes with the program (you can click any of the links to order):

Product Kit & Equipment Details (Base & Deluxe)

21 Day Fix Essentials (Base) Kit 30-day money back guarantee

Free Gifts Start Here Guide with Workout Calendar 3-Day Quick Fix** Eating Plan**24/7 Online Support** g

Work Outs 7 workouts on 2 DVDs (VHS not available)Dirty 30 workout** Total Body Cardio Fix Upper Fix Lower Fix Pilates Fix Cardio Fix Yoga Fix

Ultimate Workouts No

Equipment No

Nutrition Samples No

Containers 7 color-coded portion-control containers Shakeology shaker cup

**Free Gifts with purchase to keep

21 Day Fix Ultimate Kit 30-day money back guarantee

Free Gifts Start Here Guide with Workout Calendar 3-Day Quick Fix** Eating Plan**24/7 Online Support** Insulated Tote Bag

Work Outs 7 workouts on 2 DVDs (VHS not available)Dirty 30 workout** Total Body Cardio Fix Upper Fix Lower Fix Pilates Fix Cardio Fix Yoga Fix

Ultimate Workouts Flat Abs Fix Barre Legs

Equipment 1 Pro-Grade Resistance Band (Pink=15lbs)

Nutrition Samples No

Containers 7 color-coded portion-control containers Shakeology shaker cup Large on-the-go container

Recommended Equipment: Yoga Mat or Beachbody miniMAT are helpful but not required.

Required Equipment: Dumbbells or a resistance band are used in some of the workouts.

PRICES:

Base Kit: 59.85 US or 53.87 US if you are a Club Member

Ultimate Kit: 119.70 US or 107.73 if you are a Club Member

Challenge Pack is also available which includes 30 days of Shakeology (For my orthodox Jewish followers, please note: Shakeology has 2 vegan options – the others are made with whey protein – but it is NOT certified Kosher) and 30 days of Club Membership: 160.00 US

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