Holiday time is here!

Holidays are here which mean its time to take a break from your fitness goals, correct? I read an article years ago that says we gain 5-10lbs on holidays due to a decrease in activity and an indulgence of foods we don’t have on the daily.

Those of you looking to lose weight and change your way of eating shouldn’t feel pressured. One day of eating wont make you overweight and one day of “clean” eating wont get you to your goals. Most importantly, the holidays are a time to reflect, spend time with loved ones, and enjoy what we makes us grateful. For some this is a time to reflect on our lost loved ones. I lost my mother at the age of 20 so it is not always easy to see numerous gatherings without a saddening feeling.

Take the time to relax. Social media will be here tomorrow. You’ll see numerous messages saying you should only eat a certain way or be seen as a “fat person”. You’ll see bodies that look as if they’ve never had a drink, dessert, or a bite of anything not macro friendly.

Don’t do it! Take the day to eat what you want. Use moderation over anything else. Use balance by knowing if you repeatedly eat the same foods daily you will gain unwanted weight. This is a lifestyle and not a challenge. You can eat without depriving yourself or feeling guilty. Simply get back on the ball the next day. If you feel the need to ramp up a workout or two that’s great.

We live in a time of body dysmorphia, low self esteem, continuous judgment, and an inundation of social media spreading what the prototypical shape looks like.

Relax, its the holidays. Don’t beat yourself up over food. You control what goes in your system and have the ability to say yes or no.

Eat up and use moderation. The gym or your course of exercise will be here tomorrow.


There is no time limit on your health



Here’s a little secret. Majority of what’s happening in the health and fitness industry(especially social media) is a money grab. I hate to use the word majority but in my opinion that’s what I see.

There are great trainers and coaches who do a phenomenal job of giving fans and clients researched advice and tips to sustain a healthy and active lifestyle.

On the other hand we’ve been inundated with fit teas, 10 day detoxes, 30 day challenges, booty builder challenges, and diets that leave you munching on plants and water, starving while exercising immensely all in the name of dropping pounds.

My take: If this is something you can’t sustain for the long run it’s not worth the hassle.

For instance we take a 30 day challenge which restricts carbs of any sort (except veggies).  No liquids other than water are allowed.  You’re exercising two times a day and losing weight. Trust me I’ve read a challenge like this!  The reviews are coming in people are losing weight. Your calories are low and most likely you’re lacking some energy. But hey, the weight is coming off. We revisit after 30 days, 60 days, 90 days what happens:slip-ups.
You vacation, travel, have a night out with the friends all while trying to remain “perfect”. You miss some gym sessions and you realize the weight is packing back on. What gives? Well for starters my friend this is life and we shouldn’t have to walk a straight line without enjoying some things. Of course the weight will fall off initially but that will come back and potentially more after the 30 days.

Another individual contacted me about a diet that wanted him to drink water with lemon and cayenne for 10 days with only one meal. Something about detoxing and thermal and the metabolic system. That’s all I cared to hear as  that was enough for me. He was starving and didn’t have energy to do his rigorous job let alone work out. I thought exercise and nutrition went hand in hand. My response was to drop it reduce/remove processed foods, sugar, alcohol for a set period. Don’t be afraid to cave in but get back on the ball. See how your body reacts then adjust accordingly.

To the media who believes that the world of social media full of big butts, flat abs, toned legs is reality, it’s just not true. I can’t speak for everyone but butts aren’t made from squat challenges. They’re not made from glute kicks or lunges, or thrusts. You can accentuate the area pack on muscle on the hamstrings, glutes, quads, but to charge hundreds for a challenge and #bootygainz while promising to build one like theirs isn’t right. I’ve met a few who have had the surgery and continue to cash in on these challenges.

Fitness and being active while eating balanced comes down to one thing:sustainability.

Here are a few tips that come to mind:
▪Exercise more days than not. 7 days a week so 6-1, 5-2, 4-3, just make it more.
▪Strength train to build muscle, keep body fat low, and be strong. Who doesn’t want to be strong when a moment calls for it.
▪Drink plenty of water. The more active you are the more water you’ll drink. It’s always been recommended the 8-8oz of water but you can drink more than that easily. It also keeps you full. Drink a glass before each meal to help the process.
▪Don’t restrict food groups unless it works for you or there is a dietary/medical reason. There are nutritional benefits in grains, dairy and such. Not because you’ve seen a model do it, do what works for you.
▪There are no gender specific lifts. A squat, press, row, deadlift, lunge, clean, works for anyone. Regress and progress as you must but don’t be afraid you’ll look manly or vice versa if you do certain movements.
▪If you fall off the wagon jump back on. Don’t start over, pick up where you left off and continue. It is NOT the end of the world. Try this: If you’re traveling make it your job to do some extra workouts and clean eating before you leave. On vacation stay as active as possible but don’t feel a need to workout everyday. When you return resume your exercise. This is called balance.
▪Lastly, don’t follow individuals blindly. We don’t know the supplements, lifestyle, enhancements, exercise, genetic makeup of these individuals.  We know they look good but you do too and you should be happy about that. If you don’t think so you can change it.

Have fun with the process and do what makes you happy and healthy!

Finding the right fit for your fitness


We don’t need to be them, we need to be real with ourselves.

We all see it: 6 pack abs, chiseled arms, nice butt which some refer to as the squat booty. Legs that look like tree trunks with veins that look like roads to places we never knew existed.

How did we get here?

We then click on their social media and it starts. This is what they eat. They recommend this product. If you do this specific exercise for a set amount of reps this many times a week  you’ll look like them.


What backing does this person have? Are they a personal trainer? Registered Dietitian? Nutritionist? Do they have hours upon hours of hands on experience working with clients?

They look great and I applaud their body and all the hard work that comes with looking a certain way.

Here a few things to take into account:

  • Do they take supplements/drugs
  • Have they been enhanced(this is big)
  • How long have they followed an exercise/nutrition plan
  • Is this Photoshop or some sort of photo editing that makes them look that way

Following someone blindly can be haphazard especially when you don’t get the same results as them. They tout these amazing results and how they do it, Basically you need to be a clone of them.

Think about it this way. Your age, gender, BMR, macros, micros, water intake, body fat and muscle mass, bone density, current level of fitness and body type can all play into this.

Now are you really going to think about this before buying this persons exercise and food program and following everything they do, no. But hopefully you’ll take some things into consideration.

My one tip. If you’re looking for help find a credentialed trainer with reviews and a body of work. Someone who will individualize a program for you and your needs. Otherwise, experiment, experiment, experiment. There is more than enough info around to find what works for you. When you do your body will follow.

Inquiries can be sent to

In fitness,

Marcus 57FIT

Protein bars vs. Candy bars

Happy Monday everyone! One of the biggest misconceptions I hear is about protein bars. They are lauded as being healthy(which some are) but their are alot of bars that are just as bad as candy bars. Look out!Protein bar comparison


The top is a protein bar the bottom is a snicker.

Protein bars are considered healthy because of their high protein content. When looking closely some protein bars contain more sugar, fats and calories than candy bars.

The protein bar pictured is only 50g while the snicker bar is 59g. This means the totals would be even higher if they were the same size.

When picking protein bars look for single digit sugar, single digit fat, and a high protein content.

Otherwise there’s no big difference (besides protein and some fiber) with choosing a candy bar over over the protein bar.

Better yet just make a protein shake!

Just a little food for thought(pun intended).

In fitness,

Marcus 57FIT

4 lifts to improve back strength

A strong back isn’t synonymous with men. A strong back isn’t gender specific. Our back plays an integral part in our flexibility and movement from our glutes, spine, head, shoulders. Its important to build a strong back and take care of this large muscle.

When I read articles majority of the time their is a picture of a man in reference to the back. Its time we say, everyone should build a strong back. Period.

But on to the show. The following are 4 compound lifts to a stronger, more stable back. In addition all of  the movements recruit other muscles giving you an even bigger benefit than an isolation exercise (bicep curl). If you haven’t heard of these its time to add them to your workouts.

1. Farmers/Loaded Carries– We carry things all the time. This exercise is best performed with your chest up, shoulders straight, eyes forward, and walking in a smooth controlled manner. You can use a trap bar, kettlebell, or something else equally heavy. This video uses dumbbells.

2. One arm DB Row– This exercise is great to unilaterally work the arms, lats, traps, rhomboids, and more. If you every have to save someone or pick them up off the ground, you can thank this movement!

3. Pullup– Performed with numerous variations the pullup is great for developing overall back,  core, and bicep strength. Pullups are hard especially for individuals whom weigh more or lack upper body strength. The two aforementioned exercises will help strengthen your back and core which essentially can help with this movement. You can peform these assisted with a resistance band or pullup machine.

4. Deadlifts- The “chosen one”. This exercise is great for full posterior muscle development. From the glutes, hamstring, core, back, shoulders, arms, this movement is great. You can do this exercise with a straight bar or a trap bar to distribute some of the stress it puts on the body. The trap bar is safer also! Find what works for you.

This video uses the trap bar.

These are not the only exercises to improve back strength. This list is a starters point with numerous variations/ways to perform these movements. Good luck on your way to a stronger back!

Marcus “57FIT”

5 tips to avoid injury in the gym

Kudos to you for  starting or thinking of beginning your fitness journey. This can be an overwhelming time but know the process is well worth it. As your health improves so will your body. Take a moment to think safety before starting! Here a five quick tips to get you started:

  1. Warm up and cool down -Give yourself adequate time to warm up before each workout. If you’re doing legs, focus more on the legs and if you are doing upper focus more on the upper. The main focus should be on getting the body temperature elevated and muscles loose in preparation for the workout. Dynamic warm-ups work well before workouts and stretches will loosen the muscles afterwards.  Starting an exercise cold without prep can add extra stress to the muscle especially if they are tight. Give yourself 8-10 minutes.
  2. Use a spotter– When performing certain lifts like the bench press, squat, or movements where you are putting yourself in an uncompromising position ask for a spot if you cant lift the weight comfortably. The last thing you  want is the weight crushing you.
  3. Form over weight-Its ideal to stay in that 60-85% max range for lifts some would say, but first lets practice form. Make sure the lift is being performed properly and you can manage the set before going heavy and risking the weight falling on you.
  4. Know your limits-Know when to stop. Know when your body is tired and in pain. Know when you are past the point of exertion. Yes Its fine to push yourself hard in a workout but if your muscles are fatigued to the limit, one more set could cause a muscle to give out. Picture yourself squatting and as you’re coming back up with the weight on your back, you fail. This could injure your back, knees, and more. Save the hospital bill!
  5. Seek Help-If you are new to training, haven’t used cardio equipment, or just need someone there to help, seek out a certified personal trainer. In some bigger gyms they provide trainers help and a free session upon request. Otherwise, look for a trainer who is credentialed, gets results, and has great reviews. The most important thing to learn is how to exercise and push yourself without needing assistance. You should feel empowered to do it on your own and know you are in safe hands.

Take these five tips into consideration. I wish you well on your journey!


In fitness,


What are you eating: Underestimating calories

Hello and happy New Year to you all!

I hope 2017 brings continued growth and happiness in everything you do. Just wanted to drop a quick post on something I’ve seen way too often. The other day I was talking with this young man about his nutrition. He was frustrated and asked what I thought he was doing wrong as he couldn’t seem to shake the weight. He exercises regularly and from the sound of it his eating was great. He consumes lean protein, healthy fats, a few starchy carbs, and 5-6 servings of veggies and fruit daily. Not to mention his water intake was up around a gallon day.

After a few minutes I gave my opinion on what it was and he was ecstatic but saddened he didn’t catch it before. I told him I think he is underestimating what he consumes and doesn’t even think about it. There are:

4 calories in 1 gram carb

4 calories in 1 gram protein

9 calories in 1 gram fat

And there you have it! Although healthy fats are good for the body, the calories come quick. He said he uses olive oil and coconut oil as his two sources.

Breakfast 1-2 tablespoons

lunch 1-2 tablespoons

Dinner 1-2 tablespoons

We will use 2 tablespoons to paint the picture. There are about 120 calories and 14 grams of fat in 1 tablespoon oil. If he is consuming 6 tablespoons daily that’s 720 calories and  84 grams fat. A typical hard workout might burn around 400-500 in an hour. While calorie can be asinine at times especially if you have mastered your body, 700 calories daily adds up to 4900 calories in a week extra! This wasn’t taking into account the other fats he consumes throughout the day which seemed to put him well over 150.

After a few minutes we talked more about steaming and baking foods and looking at moderation with oils for cooking. It’s not about the oils, we tend to underestimate our consumption of foods in general. We at times think we are eating on the right track but didnt account for the large cappuccino, the sweet tooth snacking, and the small indulgences we have throughout the day. These are all fine but if our weight starts going in the right direction reevaluate those little things.

Calories matter in the grand scheme of things. Whether you are looking to lose or gain, calories paint the picture.

In fitness,



Calorie dense vs. nutrient dense, the world we live in!

Hey everybody,

Decided to post about an observation I made that worries and baffles me at the same time. As I was driving yesterday, I noticed the  Doughnut shop( wont say name) parking lot was flooded down the busy street and around the corner. Mind you it is freezing outside and I wanted to get home.

This led me to think about what I do for a living and how nutrition plays a major role in our daily functioning. Those doughnuts and whatever sugary drink or fattening food that could be purchased play a major part in our prevalence of obesity. Not too mention for those who don’t have a desire to voluntarily exercise, are sedentary, or have desk jobs in which their mobility suffers due to lack of movement. The added calories from these treats will wreak havoc if consumed on a daily. AND you’ll still be hungry as these foods lack so much nutrition.

There is a such thing as calorie dense foods (doughnut) and nutrient dense food (broccoli). Calorie dense food are typically foods with little to no nutritional value but pack a big amount of calories in small doses. These are the foods that can lead to weight  gain if not consumed in moderation. They are usually “processed or junk” foods. There is a place and time for healthy calorie dense foods (nuts, avocados, fruit smoothies) especially if you are looking to gain weight and can’t seem to put on those extra pounds. These calorie dense food pack a good amount of healthy nutrients like avocados and their monosaturated fat.

Nutrient dense foods on the other hand are foods that pack huge nutritional value with little calories (broccoli). These foods due to their high nutritional content will leave you satiated and feeling full without the urge to indulge when done correct.

Here are a few examples:

Calorie dense

Candy bar- over 250 calories

doughnut- over 180 calories

orange juice-(8 oz) over 110 calories

vanilla ice cream- (5 oz) over 290 calories

Nutrient dense

Apple (9 oz) 120 calories

broccoli (8 oz) 77 calories

kale (8 oz) 113 calories’

tomato (8 oz) 41 calories

These numbers were pulled from a food database so i’m sure they are skewed. Needless to say calorie dense foods contain sugar, high carbs, low protein, and pack a large amount of fat.

Nutrient dense food allows you to eat more while having nutrients like potassium, fiber, protein, iron, and a host of other vitamins and minerals.

This is not to say I don’t like sweets. I enjoy chips, the occasional candy, and chai tea. I do this sparingly but am also active and exercise 5-6 days a week. Its not the carbs or the fat that is making us gain weight. It’s our consumption at a huge rate, little to no exercise, long periods of sitting, and the role all of this plays on our metabolism.

Eat well balanced with whole foods and protein and drink plenty water. Enjoy the treats but remember to exercise!






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In Fitness,



6 lifts for a strong upper body

By now we all know that resistance training is one of the key components to a stronger muscular body. Increasing muscle (hypertrophy) requires muscle damage and tension for the muscles to grow. My clients will tell you I’m not a huge fan of the isolation arm exercises like the bicep curl and triceps push down. They have their place in workout programs, they can create growth but they don’t focus on the upper body wholly. Those isolation/concentration movements serve well at the end of a workout, as a finisher or as part of a super-set. There is nothing wrong with an arm day, but in my opinion I wouldn’t make it a staple to upper body growth

I’ve comprised a list of 6 effective upper body exercises that integrate more than one muscle and are taxing to the body. If you are ready to work here we go:

  1. Farmers Carry- The father of them all. The farmers carry works the back, shoulders, core, grip strength, posterior, is great for conditioning, and can be used to build a strong muscular upper body. Keep that body upright, chest and shoulder high and carry some heavy weight!
  2. Bench press variations- Flat bench, incline, floor press, barbell and dumbbell, resistance bands, all can be implemented as a variation of the bench press to work the shoulders, triceps, and chest.
  3. Row variations- Seated row, resistance bands, bent over rows, one arm dumbbell row, the possibilities are endless to develop a strong back and arms.
  4. Chin up variations- Developing a strong body requires you to be able to move your body and move it effortlessly. With practice this can be done. Chin ups, pull ups, and their variations will work the back, shoulders, core, biceps like no other.
  5. Push up variations- Another calisthenics exercise using just your body.  You can add a plate to your back, use resistance bands, bosu balls, or try them from a decline or incline. They are all great variations for the chest, triceps, shoulders, and core.
  6. Shoulder Press variations- One arm dumbbell press, military press, resistance bands, landmine press are just a few variations to use when looking to grow your shoulders and triceps. Tip: When seated and your back is supported you will be able to use more weight but will rely less on your core. We sit enough throughout the day, my tip is to  stand when performing this press! You’ll integrate your core more while keeping your body upright without using the back for compensation.

Take my word. These six exercises have hundreds of different variations you can apply to your program to develop a strong upper body. More muscle equals less fat.  Less body fat equals the “lean and toned” look so many aspire to have. See how that works?  Other exercises such as a band pull-apart, rear fly’s, lateral raises, shrugs, iso-holds,  and dips should be included in your routine at some point too. Don’t neglect the smaller muscles.

This list isn’t exhaustive but will produce great results. Want to know how to put it all together? Contact 57FIT for your more info.

In Fitness