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,

57FIT

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,

57FIT

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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!

57FIT

 

 

 

 

I’m looking for 5 women looking to adapt a healthier lifestyle… Please read

I’m looking for 5 women age 30-40 with no serious injuries wanting to shed 10 lbs or more. Priority given to women in MN.

I am looking for {women} who want to:

-{Lose 10 or more pounds}
-{Have more energy for daily activities}
-{Adapt a healthier lifestyle}

Spots are extremely limited. Only looking for 5. Please apply at the link below and we will be in contact if you meet the requirements.

https://goo.gl/forms/fxNvlUHRp5N7A10k1

In Fitness,

57FIT

 

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

 

57FIT Boot Camp Craze! Join now

Hello all,

For those of you gearing up for the feast, I wish you eat all the good foods you want. Keep in mind that this is a day where we pack on numerous calories in the form of fats and carbs. This can take a toll on your weekly caloric balance but hey, we all need to eat and some(who celebrate) indulge more than others.

I have been asked a lot about boot camps and when I will launch an opportunity to join. Being that this is the holiday season some want to stay on the wagon and some want to jump on the wagon for the first time.

I decided this is a perfect time to launch a string of camps to give a glimpse into 57FIT and the training methods. I would love to see some new faces and have the opportunity to give you a great workout with hopes you return for more.

It all starts with starting. Follow the link to register. Lets #57fitfindyourfitness

https://57fitbootcampcraze.eventbrite.com

Best,

57FIT

12 week sponsored lifestyle journey

I was taught that as you receive blessings never forget how you got there or where you came from. Being a fitness coach and educator I have came into contact with thousands of individuals all expressing needs in a different way.
The health and fitness realm has opened my eyes to some of the problems we face as a culture. Obesity, being overweight and underweight, unhealthy, sick, all are concerning health risks that haven’t went away and rears its ugly head generation to generation.

I am not saying I have all the answers, but I have been able to produce great results from my clients of all different ages and body types.

As fitness and health is an investment, I have a challenge.

I will be sponsoring one person for 12 weeks of working out with me, 57FIT. These 12 weeks will include:
Nutritional guidance
2 semi private sessions a week(2-4 people)
Constant communication
Support throughout this journey
Resistance training, cardio

Ill provide the guidance and support you’ll work hard as ever and be accountable for your results in and out of our sessions. This means you’re responsible for the additional exercise outside of us.

I ask of you to document your journey through social media and other platforms, have a flexible schedule of availability, be on time for sessions, have reliable transportation, have a good attitude, and be ready to work. Not everyone is ready to make that change, but if you are, this is for you.

This is for someone who needs a life change. Someone who is going to put in the work and not take this for granted as I am doing this for free. Candidates who cannot take this seriously will be moved on from and replaced.

I will be selecting one person on August 10th. To qualify you must be someone new who I havent worked with in the past or currently. Inbox me your story of why this challenge is for you and your level of commitment and I will be reading and dissecting stories as they come.

I look forward to this opportunity!
SERIOUS INQUIRIES ONLY

Travelers Guide to fitness

We all know it happens we travel. We fly or drive to numerous destinations around the world, and hopefully quite often. If you’re new to kicking your fitness into gear or are worried about your progress being derailed by travel, look no further. I want to give you a few tips that have been helpful for me and hopefully you can find/use something you like.

When traveling pack equipment you can use for a quick workout.

Jump rope-Cardio, core
Resistance bands of different sizes and resistance levels-Numerous exercises such as: squats, pushes, presses
Ab Wheel-Core
Foam Roller-Self Care
Your Body-Push ups, Planks, Mountain Climbers etc
Pull-up Bar (Can Attach to door frame)- Variations of pull ups and core movements

This equipment is portable and allows you to get a sweat going no matter where you are. All can provide a great workout, is affordable and convenient.

Nutrition

Pack high protein foods that aren’t perishable.
Nuts/ nut butters
Tuna Can/Pouches
Protein Shakes
Jerky (reduced sodium)
Fruit
Veggies
Whole wheat crackers

This list isn’t exhaustive. Its just a starters guide to get you going!

When traveling you’ll be in the car or plane for an extended amount of time. When possible, get up and move around go on a walk and do some stretching!

In fitness,

Marcus “57FIT” Watson

Effective workouts for Fat Loss and Strength Gain

Hello 57FIT Community,

I’ve been away for some time working on expanding my brand and growing a larger clientele. I am happy to say things have picked up and I couldn’t be more pleased with the process.

I decided to give you all a little insight on two different routines you can do in the gym if you have stalled your progress or are looking for some more variety. The following list of 2 are sure to integrate more than one muscle at once making them super effective at burning fat, building strength, and giving you an all out killer workout.

1. Compounds- A compound is a list of movements which flow seamlessly into the next. I would recommend starting with a lighter weight at first until you have a good grasp on how the movements are performed. Each movement should be designed to tax the body but also allow you to flow and explode into the next movement. Compounds are performed best with maximum reps in a set time and sets of a certain number of reps. Due to the difficulty of this exercise, I wouldn’t recommend more than 2-4 sets for beginners. You can build up on movements added and reduce reps with this, there is so much variety!

Workout:
Deadlift
Clean
Front Squat
Overhead Press
Front Squat
Bent Over Row
Repeat
That’s 6 movements which flow one into the next. Tough stuff!

2. Complexes- A list of movements performed for a certain number of reps before moving to the next movement. Once again I would recommend starting with a lighter weight at first until you have a good grasp on how the movements are performed. The format for the complex can be the same as the compound but feel free to reduce number of exercises and play around with the reps.
Workout:
5 reps of each before moving to the next
Deadlift
Clean
Front Squat
Overhead Press
Front Squat
Bent Over Row
Repeat for 2-4 sets

I am in no way the inventor of compounds or complexes, just another fitness coach who loves this exercise how it works with the body. Feel free to switch the exercises, reps, bar to dumbbell to kettle bell, whatever works for you just get to moving!

Contact me for fitness and health inquiries or to find out how I can help you on your journey.

In fitness,
Marcus “57 FIT”.