There is no time limit on your health

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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

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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.

Really?

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 57fittrainer@gmail.com

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,

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”.

Finding your fitness

Hey folks,

Just wanted to share a quick point. I thank you all for signing up and subscribing to my website! While you are all on your journey of health and wellness I ask you to find your fitness(whatever that may be). Rather you like to bike, swim, skate, play basketball, go hiking, lift weights, run,meditate, yoga, walk, just find your fitness and what works for you.The key is to move and move often in whatever capacity you can.

We get so trapped in social media and what other individuals look like that we aspire to follow their plans. Your goals and outcomes will and should be different.

If someone is guaranteeing you the same results from 1 specific meal or workout plan, run! Let me mention there are workouts that burn more fat, or build more muscle, but it comes down to intensity and the work YOU put in. Find your fitness.

Be adventurous,try new activities, the body loves to learn new skills and its a great way to integrate a new form of fitness into your schedule.

So find your fitness and if you have health or fitness questions or would like something personalized for you, inbox me for inquiries.

In fitness,
Marcus “57” Fit

How to get visible abs and Core Strength

Welcome to the era of washboard abs, 6 minute ab videos, selfies of 6 packs right after a workout and numerous exercises to get those abs popping. Truth be told this is all a gimmick. A way to get people to fall into the façade that abs are made by crunching, leg raises, and side bends.

I’m not here to debate anyone’s workout because something is better than nothing but in reality it doesn’t work like this. Our abs or what we call the core also is vital to our everyday functioning. Our core’s job is to stabilize our spine and keep our posture upright, protect us from injuries, help us balance, and is the main factor for our daily activities. No where does it say the core’s main responsibility is to crunch and flex and such. Ab exercises are okay in my book and my clients will do circuits and rep ranges of certain ab movements but we should shoot to build a strong core which strengthens those underlying muscles.

Want to see visible abs? Nutrition. The lower our body fat, the more visible those abs will become.

Think about it this way. The core allows us to play our sports better as we use the core for everything we do. So lets build a strong core and if you feel the need to throw in some leg raises, bicycle crunches, and rope crunches go right ahead.

Here are 5 good core exercises to build strength in my opinion.

1.Planks and numerous variations of them
*side planks
*Stability ball planks
*Planks with alternating arm raise
2. Dead hangs
*hang from a pull-up bar legs together, glutes tight and just hang fully relaxed
3. Farmers carry
*This can be done with a trap bar, dumbbell in each hand, bar fully extended overhead and more. Pick a weight that’s challenging to walk with and just walk. Shoulders straight no slouching. Try to maintain an erect position.
4. Pallof Press
*Use a resistance band or free motion handle in one hand. Extend the band out in front of you until the resistance is tight. From here grasp the band or handle with both hands and push straight out. Keep a tight core and fight the urge to let the object make you rotate.
5. Bridge
*Lie flat on your back arms to your sides, bend your knees and lift your hips up, squeeze the glutes at the top and release to the starting position.

These are just a few movements to build a strong core. Inbox me with inquiries/health and fitness questions. I’m here to help!

Getting started

Working out or getting in better shape isn’t a 4, 8, or 12 week transformation challenge. It isnt a diet consisting of restricting certain foods 365 days a year. It’s a lifetime of keeping your body at an acceptable level of fitness/health so you can fight diseases and move pain free while being able to enjoy what you like to eat in moderation without gaining a lot of weight.

One day is better than none. 2 days are better than 1 and so forth. Make it your goal to be active more days than not. For example there are 7 days in a week, try to at least be active 4. I say at least because I prescribe at least 5 days of activity for my clients. This includes; 3-4 days of strength training and a certain amount of cardio based on goals. It is also a great idea to focus on mobility and flexibility with yoga, foam rollers, stretching and more.

When getting started with weight training focus on bodyweight movements like pushups, body rows, and squats as they lay the foundation to the chest, shoulders, back, glutes, and legs. Your technique and form will be vital in moving forward before stacking the weights. Try to do 3-4 sets of 12-15 reps while checking form. I tend to think after practice and repetition, movements become automatic. Now its time to add the weight! Any good program should be heavy enough to cause a struggle to get your selected number of reps. If its too light and you can crank out 15 reps and up, increase the weight. If its too heavy to get 6-8 reps, decrease the weight and try again. Starting out I would prescribe at least 10 reps with good form.

When heading to the gym dont focus on the amount of time spent working out. I have numerous people tell me they spend 2 hours in the gym daily. My only thought is how? If your intensity is high, your rest periods arent 3+ minutes, you aren’t snap chatting and taking selfies, then you can crank out a tough workout in 45 minutes. Add 30 minutes or so of cardio and you are good to go.

Another way to shorten the length of time is superset. Perform 2 exercises back to back, this cuts down on time and puts extra tension the muscles. With push/pull, front/back, upper/lower, agonist/antagonist, supersets can prove to be challenging and rewarding at the same time.

Lastly make a commitment to the gym. If this is a resolution, dont stop. We arent working for a month or a year health, we are looking for a healthier lifestyle. Make fitness one of your biggest investments. We only have 1 body. Until next time.

In fitness,
Marcus “57FIT” Watson

Unique opportunity for an online workout

Hello All,

Please come join me in this opportunity to get a great workout online that’s sure to be interactive, fun and challenging. No equipment is needed and I finally get to see some of your faces while we work!
Follow the link provided for further details and I look forward to seeing you online. There is only room for 10 spots so get your tickets as soon as you can from the link below.

Please make sure to attach your email so I can send you the link to the google hangout.
In Fitness,
Marcus “57FIT Watson”

http://57fitflow.eventbrite.com

Accepting new clients

Hello All,

If you are in the Minnesota area (Minneapolis, Saint Louis Park, Plymouth, Brooklyn Park, New Hope, Crystal, Brooklyn Center, Hopkins and other surrounding areas) and are interested in personal training, please let me know. I would love to help you on your fitness journey.

I believe in accountability. If I train you 3 times a week, but you aren’t committed the remaining days, you will not reach your goals. Being fit is a journey which requires some sacrifice and working out and eating a certain way when we don’t want to.

I guarantee I can help you reach your goals but I need you on board. The results will come, just trust the process and enjoy the ride.

There will be soreness, hard work, and sweat, but that confidence of seeing your hard work pay off is all worth it. You got this!

In Fitness,
Marcus “57FIT”

How to improve your core

Do you wonder why you don’t have the abs you want? Even after countless crunches and sit-ups. Even after going to the gym 3 days a week and focusing on doing hanging leg raises and other exercises you took from the latest fitness magazine, website, or social media.

As a disclaimer, I will always try to simplify things without using the technical terms as I’m hoping you want the results and the work but not necessarily the jargon… Now back to the blog.

To be honest… It’s not as hard as It seems. It might not be easy but it’s simple. We have to work for anything we want so get ready to enjoy the process and reap the benefits of a stronger core and improvement on certain lifts.

Having a nice six pack is the what most seem to aspire to have. The abdominals (upper and lower) and obliques (sides) give the look of being lean and shredded with a nice body. For the people that are working to have these features, It doesn’t come overnight. Like any other muscle you have to train them.
So if you are in the percentage who wonder why there abs are not visible, Ill share my breakdown of what’s happening.
Factors:

BodyFat:
Bodyfat is your essential fats and storage fats.
To give you a broad range on ab visibility, I would say anything 13 and under for men and 19 and under for women. These categories are considered lean and going lower will get you into the shredded and ripped categories. Take this with a grain of salt as we store fat differently and fat comes off from different areas. Can’t really change that.

Nutrition:
What happens in the gym is directly affected by what happens in the kitchen. Nutrition makes up 70-80% of your results. You can’t have a flat stomach with visible abs while feeding your body fatty, sugary, and starchy foods on a continuous basis. At least aim to hit your macronutrients (fats, proteins, carbs). Avoid those high calorie foods with no nutritional value or you’ll keep wondering why your abs aren’t visible. Here are a few of my favorites foods:

Protein-chicken breast, beans, nuts, turkey breast, fish, greek yogurt
Carbs-quinoa, oats, rice, potatoes
fats- nuts, olive oil, nut butters, eggs, avocadoes, low fat cheese,
Veggies and fruits

Exercise:
A good program consists of lifting weights progressively and doing cardio, not one or the other. Cardio gets slammed as people say it burns the muscle away but it also has heart and fat burning benefits. Try these two variations.

High Intensity Interval Training:
This training will get your heart rate up fast and cause you to burn plenty of calories and carbs after the workout is over. This is why this form of training is popular and super effective.

How it works: Perform a specific movement for 30 seconds. Rest for 30 seconds. Repeat. This gives you time to catch your breath but not enough time to fully recover. Your body works extra hard to pump out successive rounds of these intervals. Mix it up with burpees, jumping jacks, jumping rope, mountain climbers,sprinting in place, or cycling fast to name a few.

Steady State
This training will burn more fat after 20-30 minutes.

How it works: Perform Jogging, cycling, skating, elliptical, stairmaster, at a steady pace where you can still hold a conversation with someone. Ideally you’re going to want 30 minutes or more of this form of cardio.

Get outside if you can. The outdoors should be your playground and who doesn’t enjoy getting some fresh air.


Ab work:

Your core is made up of your back, abs and more. It wraps around you like a belt. I do not and I repeat do not recommend going to the gym sitting on machines all day rather its an ab machine or another. We are sedentary enough outside of the gym so we should be standing while there.

If you have a sound program of compound lifts like the squat, deadlift, lunge, overhead press, unilateral movmements, you are working the abs just fine. To isolate that muscle you can do abs in a circuit style or straight sets. Mix it up between weighted. Here are a few:

Circuit:
Rope Crunch
Bicycle Crunch
Side Planks
Front Plank
How it works: Perform all 4 or so exercises for 30 seconds without resting. After you have completed them all rest for 60 seconds and repeat. Do this 3-4 times for a great burn.

Straight Sets:
Hanging Leg Raises, Knees Ins, Jacknife, Ab rollouts, V-Sits, Reverse crunches, Pallof Presses, Planks, hanging knee raises, wood chops.

How it works:
Perform one of the aforementioned exercises above for 12-20 reps. Rest and repeat for a few sets. Choose 3-4 movements total.

In addition to these, make sure to build a strong back which is the foundation of a strong core. One of the most effective moves are loaded carries.

Visible abs take work. Give these few tricks a try and let me know what you think.

For more in-depth programs, contact me for training inquiries.

In fitness,
Marcus “57fit”

ABS
ABS

Diets and why they don’t always work

First off, I don’t like to use the word diet with my clients. It sounds a bit too restrictive and we know when you restrict something good people want it more.

These days it seems like a good number of people want the quick fix to a better body. Notice how you are seeing these 30 day challenges, new diet fads, and different options to “shed fat” and build “lean muscle”.

That’s all well but what happens after the 30 days, after the diet. Take a look a year later and tell me does that person still look the same as when they got off the challenge.

Sounds like we don’t have a weight loss problem we have a maintenance problem!

We can lose the weight but the work comes with keeping it off. Maintaining weight loss and muscle is hard. You have to constantly shock your body, find what tweaks you need to make (nutrition and exercise), and be consistent in staying active.

Think about it, could you actually stick with a specific paleo, low carb, low fat, diet for the rest of your life? Can you avoid the pastas, desserts, and drinks with friends when they get together on a nice summer day.

And more important should you even try to?

Speaking specifically to the quick turn around and diets, your body doesn’t want to work out and eat well for 60 days then go back to normal. The results you got during that time of meal planning and working out 6 days a week wont stick if you go back to 2 days of working out and eating off the plan.

My advice…
Enjoy yourself but be conscious of what you eat.

Feel free to have “cheat meals” but don’t overindulge if you’re looking to lose weight.

Workout consistently 3-5 times a week and work hard.

If you cant see yourself sticking with the diet, don’t do it.
You’ll crave those sugar, carbs, and fats, sooner or later.

For people with more weight who begin a program and nutrition plan, the weight comes off quicker than someone who is already lean. Stay focused and know nothing happens in 30 days that will stick with you forever.

Don’t go crazy with the challenges, challenge yourself. Reward yourself and the process will stick with you.

If you can eat well 80% of the time and like how your body responds to it, do it. If your workouts are great and you are seeing results, stick with it until its time to tweak. Don’t follow a plan you can not keep. You are the expert on yourself. Do what works for you and you will get the best results.

In Fitness,
Marcus 57FIT

Full body workouts vs full body exercises

By now I’m sure you’ve heard of the latest fads in training and whats effective versus not. I’m not opposed to trying some of these workouts/programs but some have no merit in my opinion.  If we look back to the history of muscle strengthening exercises not much has changed. The same workouts are just as effective, we just have more tools and gadgets at our disposal now.

There is no need to look far when we know what do to get the results for our own body. We are our own experts. Everyone’s body is different so unless you are a trainer and learning different methods for different people, find what works best for you and go to work!

One of the most effective ways to burn more calories, put on lean muscle, save time, and get a great workout, is full body work. I have clients ask what the difference in full body exercises/workouts are. Here is my breakdown.

Full body exercises are exercises that hit multiple muscles at the same time. This is optimal for muscle growth while revving up your cardiovascular system.

Examples are:

Chest: Incline press, flat bench press.

Back: Bent over row, pull ups.

Legs: Squats, dead lifts(back too).

Shoulders: Push Press, overhead press.

These can be worked into any workout you are doing. A chest/shoulder day, back day, legs day, or arms and core day.

Full body workouts is a workout comprised of all the muscle groups. You would finish the exercises for each body part before moving on to the next or do each body part in a circuit fashion.  Typically 3-5 sets on each body part will do the trick.

Examples are:

Legs: Squats and Straight Leg Deadlifts

Chest: Barbell Bench Press and Incline Dumbbell Press

Back: Bent over rows and pull ups.

Shoulders: Shoulder press and shoulder shrugs.

Core: Hanging Leg Raise, Plank variations

With this workout we can look at different reps and schemes but for muscle growth lets say 8-12 reps of each for 2 sets.

You should always implement some full body exercises into your routine. They give you the most bang for your buck and will save you some time in the gym. Give it a try if you haven’t and tell me what you think.

As always, contact me for training inquiries or health and fitness questions.

In fitness,

Marcus 57FIT

10 Rules of Fitness

1. You are not at competition to be better than anyone, only yourself. Set your own goals, achieve them. Your own personal records, break them.

2. Getting fit is a mindset. If you are physically able to do it, the only think that can hold you back is your mind. Tell it you got this and go for it!

3. Don’t follow everyone else lead. There are numerous workouts and plans for you to do. Just because their body looks a certain way doesn’t mean you will get the same results. Do what works best for you.

4. Wreck some stuff up! When you are working out, just remember; there are people who would love the opportunity to move and do workouts. Find what  motivates you during a workout and go to work.

5. There is no such thing as a bad food reward after a good workout, sorry. You can burn 500 calories in an hour workout and ruin it all plus more in 15 minutes. Eat well to grow.

6. Don’t believe the hype of the magic pill. Results take time especially if you want them to last. Some supplementation is fine, but most of everything should come from whole foods.

7. Set goals. Write down where you want to be, why you want to get there, and how you plan to execute. Don’t let anything stop you. If you can find time for excuses, you can find time to train.

8. Find a partner if you can. Its great to be pushed and motivated by someone else. You’ll keep each other accountable and in my opinion, it ramps up the intensity of the workout.

9. Lift weights. Build muscle. Check. Makes you stronger. Check. Burns more calories with more muscle. Check. Keeps the fat off. Check. You’ll look better. Check.

10. Be who you want to be. If you want that body, work for it. If you want to run faster, work for it. Jump higher, work for it. The body does what you want it to do until it cant do it anymore. You set the rules and achieve the goals you want. Im not here to tell you how you should look. I’m here to tell you, its your life and whatever your definition of fitness is, shoot to achieve it. No ones stopping ya.

In Fitness,

Marcus “57FIT’

How to increase you arm size

People love nice looking arms. Men and women alike  seem to aspire to have strong arms. Its something about that tank top or button up with the arms flexed that gives people the impression of , “Yeah I workout” that makes people gravitate towards growing their own set of lean muscle.

If this is you and you have been working out but not seeing the gains, try these few tips:

  • Add more tricep work! The bicep makes up only 1/3 of your arm while the rest belongs to the triceps. Reduce some of that bicep work and focus on targeting the triceps through isolation and compound movements.
  • The more mass you have on your body, the bigger the arms. Yes, everything grows in proportion. A strong back equates to stronger biceps, a strong bench equates to stronger triceps. Get it!
  • Do more push and press movements and use isolation movements to finish the workout.
  • Focus on the main lifts; squats, dead lifts, presses, pulls, as they will help put some mass on those arms.
  • Do medium to high reps range (6-15) to give your arms a pump while allowing you to finish the movement without sacrificing your form.
  • Add drop sets, pyramids, tempo, and other variations to switch up the intensity and pump of the workout.

Below are two workouts for arm growth, which is more effective?

A Bicep curls (3 sets of 10-12)

B incline curls (3 sets of 10-12)

C skull crushers (3 sets of 12-15)

D Overhead tricep extension (3 sets of 12-15)

E1 Free motion cable curl (1 set of 12, 2 drop sets of 10)

E2 hammer curl (3 sets of 12)

F1 Free motion rope push down( 1 set of 12, 2 drop sets of 10)

F2 Tricep kickbacks (3 sets of 12-15)

Workout 2

Upper body

A1 Bench Press (3 sets of 8-10)

A2 Pull ups (weighted or non) (3 sets of 10)

B1 Shoulder press ( 3 sets of 10)

B2 Bent over row (3 sets of 10)

C1 Incline DB Press (3 sets of 10)

C2 Tricep Dips (weighted or non) (3 sets of 8-12)

D As many reps as possible Pushups x Pullups (2 sets)

While the 1st workout has more isolation, you would get more of an overall upper body from the latter, and as I mentioned earlier,  muscles grow in proportion. You can load more weight on the 2nd workout and with more weight comes hypertrophy(size).

Feel free to do arm workouts, but In my opinion I wouldn’t focus on them as much as the legs, chest, back, shoulders. If you’re implementing these compound movements, chances are you will see some growth.

Now get to the gym and make it happen!

In Fitness,

Marcus “57FIT” Watson

 

 

 

How to bring the glutes out

Shaping Butts has taken national attention and a lot of women (men too) are reaping the benefits. There’s nothing like women becoming strong and improving their posterior chain strength.

 

So how do you build strong glutes? I have clients who tell me they want a nice butt and nothing else. I’m not in the business of spot reducing and it would be impossible to work the butt and not engage any of the surrounding muscles.

Having a strong backside coincides with strength. Strong hips, strong hamstrings, strong legs. This makes you faster, more explosive, and you look bad ass! So what are some of these exercises I do with my clients:

Squats-variations

Romanian and Straight leg Deadlifts

Good Mornings

Hip Thrusts

Glute bridge

Sprints

Lunges front and reverse

Cable Kick Back

Step up variations

Back extension

Kettlebell Swing

Band work(My phrase for lateral band walk, crossovers, kickbacks, thrusts, and essentially anything you can do to engage the glutes using bands)

 

These movements listed above have numerous variations from angles, one or two legged, weighted or none, and bands or none.

I also like to switch up the intensity by doing higher reps(15-20) timed 30-60 seconds,  and circuits. The idea here is to really get the pump and aim for a decent amount of reps.

I hope this helps when planning your next leg-hip day at the gym.

As always, Inbox me for health and fitness related questions or to inquire about training.

 

In fitness,

Marcus 57FIT Watson

 

 

 

  Here is a list of exercises

You asked me what? Top questions from my clients

fit3

Being a trainer has it’s pros and cons. I get to learn about the human body and the exceptional abilities we possess. I’m also able to use movements to develop strength, endurance, lean muscle,  and stretch our capacity in terms of our capabilities. Lastly, I get to empower people and have them do the unexpected by breaking personal records, completing a workout, and getting their desired results.

DID I MENTION I GET TO BE THE BOSS????

On the other hand there are times where I have to wonder If I’m doing my job correct. Did I notice that injury? Why is my client so tired? How can I manipulate this exercise? Did they enjoy the workout? What next?

As a trainer I’m in a constant struggle of staying on top of my game. My clients continuously ask me questions as they see and hear so much through music, magazines, and media. It’s my job to debunk those myths and shed light into the truth. Here are a list of questions I’ve compiled from my clients and my honest answers: Client is (C) and Me is (M)

M: So tell me, what do you hope to get out of these trainings? What are your goals?

C(She): I want to lose fat off my stomach and arms. But I don’t want to lose my butt. What needs to happen?

M: Spot reducing says that you cant lose body fat from any area you choose by doing direct work on that area. For example: 1000 crunches wont make your stomach flat, it could build muscle though. Your body decides where it wants to drop the fat: could be the breast, glutes, stomach, hips, or other areas with fat. In order to lose fat you need to monitor your nutrition(eat better), be in a caloric deficit(more calories coming out then going in), and perform cardio (intervals, steady state).

C: If I lift heavy weights I’ll look like a man and I don’t want that.

M: This is one of the big myths. Men have over 10 times the testosterone of women so you aren’t able to build muscle like men without the use of added substances ie (hormones, steroids). What lifting heavy will do is create lean muscle, not big bulky muscles.

C: Can you guarantee me results in 30 days?

M: I don’t guarantee results in short periods of time. This is my opinion is a setup. If you look at people who do these quick challenges in 30 days and their bodies have changed, what do you notice? Check back after 2 years and what do you notice then? We are in the age of quick fixes, diets, and supplements. Nothing beats out hard work, dedication, and commitment.

I want you to be committed to the process and not a quick turnaround. My job is to empower you so you can continue to to get fit on your own with confidence. Now will I get you results? Certainly, but my results are in correlation with your commitment. When you sign up with me we commit to the process in and outside of my training. If you have an event or something with a quick turnaround, I will definitely get you in the best shape possible. Lets not stop there though!

C: Whats the best diet I should take? I heard the liquid diet works(example).

M: I don’t believe in diets, this screams restrictive and also something that doesn’t last long. I do believe in meal plans. I believe in working out 3-5 times a week. I believe in eating food you like in moderation. I believe in smaller portions. I believe in quality food and eating breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I believe in quality protein, good carbs and fat.  That should get you where you need to be without going too in-depth on a nutrition lesson. Diets will sometime leave you lacking in nutrition by forcing you to cut out important foods.

C: If I just do cardio will I lose alot of weight and be fit?

M: The two main types of cardio are steady state(long bouts of continuous movements) and intervals(short bouts of fast movements followed by rest and repeated).

In order to burn fat you must do cardio. This should be in addition to a resistance training program though, there should be a healthy balance. Long repeated bouts of cardio (usually after 1 hour) can put your body into catabolic state where it feeds off of your muscle. In trying to lose weight, you should aim to gain muscle.

To burn fat I like clients to stick in the 75-80% of their maximum heart rate. This number can be tapered down based on levels of exertion. The weight is going to come off with the cardio, resistance training, and nutrition. Nothing happens overnight, but I can guarantee a strong committed person will be rewarded with the health benefits they desire.

C: What should I do in the gym on my own?

M: I always like to start the workout with a warm-up. If you are working legs, take 5-10 minutes to do cardio at about 50% of your maximum heart rate, or just be honest with yourself and go until you feel loosened up.

For upper body, whatever lift you are doing I would do 1-2 warm up sets to wake those muscles up before loading the weight on.

My top leg exercises are:

Squats, Deadlifts, Thrusts, Prowler, Sprints, One legged squats, cable pull throughs, good mornings, leg press, leg curl, box jumps, step ups

My top upper body exercises are:

Bench press (flat and incline) Dumbbell press (flat and incline) Chest flyes (free motion and dumbbell) Barbell bent-over row, seated row, one armed barbell row, face pulls, shoulder and military press, lat raises, pushups and pullups, skull crushers, and dumbbell pullovers

Whatever you do in the gym best of luck to you on your journey. Hope this helped!

In fitness,

Marcus “57FIT” Watson

Why you should workout…

MW_57Fit43

I’m completely biased if you asked me why you should workout. Along with it being the #1 form of preventative care here are a list of benefits:

Reduce stress and mood

Create a more functional body

Release happy vibes(endorphin)

Improve Confidence

Prevent or delay diseases

Keeps the weight off

Makes you stronger

combats depression

Prolongs lifespan

Brain Booster

And this list goes on and on and on. The main thing is to get in the gym. If not use the outdoors, use your basement, anywhere you can bust out some exercise.

Some exercise is still better than none. Just remember weight bearing exercises will build the muscle you desire. Dont let that deter you though; pushups, pullups, burpees, jumping jacks, mountain climbers, headstand pushups, squats, lunges, can all be done without weights.

I recommend weights for the added muscle tension and challenge. You’ll build strength, size, leanness, and challenge your body.

But the #1 suggestion from me is: JUST MOVE AND BE ACTIVE! Regardless of the numerous amounts of trainers, fitness enthusiasts, nutritionists, and coaches, we are still obese as a nation and statistics are still rising.

So eat better, sleep more, exercise more, stress less, and smile. I can guarantee you it will do wonders for the body, if you don’t believe me ask your doctor!

In fitness,

Marcus “57FIT”

Waist trainer for a flat stomach and curves? Not so fast….

The waist trainer

The dreaded waist trainer! How could these things be good? They’re the latest trend of quick fixes for looking slim by strapping this concoction around your waist, but what are the adverse effects??

1. They could damage your internal organs by squeezing and restricting your air flow (research proven)

2. Could disrupt digestion(hence why you feel less hungry)

3. Bothers the internal organs

4. They are pushed too tightly around you making it hard to bend and do normal activities.

5. Don’t even try to work out in them as you need to breathe and sweat more and guess what they restrict the breathing.

6. They are a temporary fix which wont help the permanent problem(weight) by giving you the facade of a small waist.

We all are different shapes and sizes as we were created. We should cherish what we have and be proud of our bodies. If we are not, then we should change this through hard work and dedication.

Understand that the body needs to be nurtured and loved and any quick fix like the waist trainer can disrupt this process.

Working out and improving our lifestyle is a tough task but is well worth the process. You will feel happier, healthier, stronger, and more confident.

My solutions:
1. Don’t wear them(lol)
2. Work out 3-5times a week
3. Aim for mixture of rep ranges and don’t get stuck in one program forever. Do whatever feels comfortable, but make sure you are putting in work!
4. Eat better. Get your carbs, fats, proteins
5. Do compound movements(Dead lifts,squats, presses, pullups, pushups) and isolation movements (lat raises, pec flyes, one legged squats, leg curls, calf raises)
6. Don’t do all cardio, strength train too.
7. Believe in yourself and enjoy the journey!

In fitness,

Marcus “57 FIT”

Losing Fat is where it’s at! My top tips

fat

 

Now that I have your attention, I wanted to talk about fat. Yes, the areas on your body that has that unwanted fluff that doesn’t seem to disappear. You can do 1000 crunches and situps a day (I don’t recommend) but it’s still there hanging on  your body with no plans to leave.

We’ve been made to believe there are millions of ways to lose fat.  There are numerous pills and supplements that  have been marketed showing images of people who have lost a tons of weight and you want in on the action too.

Well….. Besides from the cost, is it really worth it? I’m going to break this down for you simply and if you choose to follow it, great, if not, that’s great also.

Fat is a component that makes up the structure of your body. You  have essential and storage fat. You need essential to operate and storage fat…. not so much, but it does play a part in covering organs and such.

If you ask me, anything over 24% body fat for men is pushing into the overweight realm

AND

For women, anything over 30% is the same.

We have different body types so you’ll notice people carry weight more in their hips, stomach, legs, back etc. The real concern is when the weight is around the stomach and gives that protruding look. There are health concerns associated with this and we should all strive to be as healthy for as long as possible.

So without diving deep, what how can we lose weight….

Nutrition:

Well first, nutrition makes up roughly 75-80% of the results of how our body will look. We should have a well balanced meal plan that spans throughout the day. In this we should have breakfast, lunch, and dinner. If we can squeeze a snack or two in the middle throughout the day, that’s even better, if not, lets make those 3 meals count. We are parents, workers, friends, family members, so I know the hustle of trying to have enough time to eat all this, plus who wants to eat all day!

Think: Chicken breast, lean meat, fish, eggs, nuts, olive oil, chia and flax seeds, lowfat milk, almond milk,  greek yogurt, lots of veggies, brown rice, oats, lots of fruit,  eggs, sweet potatoes, and quinoa. These are just a few healthy options but there are plenty.

 

Hydration:

We’ve all heard the strive for 8-80z of water a day. In this day and age people are drinking more water in my opinion and I’m seeing people walk around with gallon jugs filled with H20. That’s great and all but at least get those 64 ounces. Anything after that is great too.

Water too bland? Try infusing any combination of: strawberries, oranges, mint, cucumbers, blueberries, lemon,  and lime. Let it marinate in the fridge for a few hours and voila! A healthy, nutritious drink.  Tea without all the added sugars, and sweeteners is great also because it supplies antioxidants.

Exercise:

In terms of working out, gym or no gym, we should strive for 3-5 times a week. That sounds like a lot but what you do there is going to make all the difference. Here’s an example:

Workout plan:

Monday-Chest, Shoulders+ 20 minutes cardio

Tuesday- 30 minutes cardio or hiit (intervals are advanced)

Wednesday-Legs, glutes, core

Thursday-Rest

Friday-Back, core

Saturday- Active rest or light cardio

Sunday- Rest or yoga Pilates etc.

Notice how I didn’t add arms, you can add this in to your upper body days, but you are hitting them indirectly. throughout the week.

Sleep:

Try to get 6-8 hours a night to help recover from tough workouts. The body needs to rest.

Stretch and foam roll!

Be active:

Park your car further away from the door and walk. Take the steps. Walk the dog. Play tag with the kids. Be a kid and watch how much they move. Stay off the couch for extended periods at a time. Eat less, exercise less. Eat more, exercise more. Whatever you do, just move!

In fitness,

Marcus “57FIT”

 

 

My Chipotle review…

chipotle

Chipotle: a dietary disaster or a nutritional nugget? Although I love the taste of this scrumptious meal, whats the catch?

When we see chipotle we think of meat, veggies, rice, beans, cheese, lettuce, salsa, sour cream, how could this be unhealthy? I mean aren’t I hitting all the food groups? Dairy, meats, grains, veggies, maybe even a juice to wash it down.

Chipotle has been coined as a “healthy fast food” and that’s exactly what it is. It can be your worst nightmare or a guilty pleasure that you don’t consume too often.

Packing in over 1200 calories for the burrito, this meal almost completes a whole day of total calories. The bread itself gives you around 300 and the chips around 500.

Sour cream over 100 calories by the spoonful(not to mention the fat) Same for cheese.

If you are going to eat chipotle, here are a few tips:

Go bowl. This cuts back the added carbs and calories you would get from the tortillas.

If you want tacos, go hard shell.

Chicken, steak, or sofritas. The meats are already in undesirable oils so stick with these proteins.

Veggies. Either a veggie bowl or just load up on veggies. They’ll give you the added fiber and nutrients.

Brown rice over white rice. White rice is stripped of it’s nutrients while brown still packs more nutritional value(fiber,whole grain, promotes weight loss).

Beans beans the magical fruit! Fiber, protein, low fat.

No to sour cream, yes to salsa.

Add more lettuce, please!

No cheese but if you do, go light.

Guacamole. Yes it’s high in fat but also nutritious. If you’ve saved on everything else, go ahead.

And last but not least, Water! Grab a cup and put some of those lemons they keep stocked to use. Squeeze 1 or 2 and there you have it.

A disaster or a nugget. Consumed infrequently and you’re good to do.

Just getting started at the gym

Gym

 

Hello you,

Yes you, the person who just signed up for a membership at a nearby gym. I applaud you. I know how hard it can be to eat bad, never exercise, gain unwanted pounds, and feel energy deprived.

By signing up for the gym you’ve conquered a big piece of the journey: getting there! Now it’s all about what you do in the gym.

In this age of technology you can go on the internet and search for anything. Whether you want a workout plan, meal ideas, supplement suggestions, and anything else, you can find it on the internet. The only problem with that is picking the credible sources from the broscience( google that term).

Here is my rundown on what you should know:

Cardio equipment-Its great for building endurance, hearth health, and fat loss, but don’t get sucked into the mundane habit of cardio everyday. It’s great to do cardio but mix it up with hitting the weights!

Machines- They are everywhere in the gym and unless you are working a specific muscle and only that muscle, I suggest you move around and grab the free weights and get to standing. You’ll burn more calories, improve your balance, and sweat more.

 

Free weights- Dumbbells, barbells, kettlebells, are your best friend. There are unlimited exercises out there, and using free weights causes you to use your stabilizer muscles.  The stabilizer muscles keep you balanced and guess what, machines are pre-set so you aren’t using the stabilizers enough. Use free weights!

Free motion cables- Although they are on a machine, you can move them up or down stretch them forward or backwards and do numerous exercises with them. They keep constant tension on the muscle so be sure to implement these.
Warm up- This should be done before every workout. Use 5-8 minutes on the bike, treadmill, stairclimber, elliptical, or cardio machine of your choice to get your body ready for the workout. Too long or boring for you, try a few rounds of explosive movements like: pushups, jumping jacks, mountain climbers, high knees and so forth. Rest for 30 seconds and repeat 2-3 times. That will get you warm! This is for beginners so the machines might be the best starting off.

Warming up for weights- Before you start a specific exercise(bench press for example) do 1-2 warm up sets before you start piling the weights on. Use light to moderate weight to get your muscles ready for the lift.

Cool down- After the workout is over, make sure to stretch. This helps with the soreness.

Pre-gym- Don’t come to the gym on a full stomach, it will hinder your workout. If you have 2-3 hours before you are working out then you can eat a full meal. If you are short on time and heading to the gym, grab a banana, apple, crackers with peanut butter or something small and light with some carbs.

Post-gym- Eat your good carbs, lean protein, and low fat. Simple and plain.

 

Now here is my top exercises:
Any compound movements- This works numerous muscles at once, meaning more of a workout, meaning more results. Try:
Squats
Deadlifts
Pushups
Pullups
Presses (bench press, shoulder press etc)
Rows (bent row, one arm dumbbell row etc)
Sprints
Prowler Sled
Lunges

These are just my top exercises but do what works for you. Switch it up and keep that heart rate up. Don’t rest too long between sets(45-60 seconds)  and get it done. The soreness is natural. Once your body adjusts you’ll be fine. Keep working at it, you got this!

Marcus “57FIT”

Whats your passion…..

57fitlogo

As I lay here, daughter by my side dozing off after another long day, I reflect on why I do this.

Why do I get up? Why do I personal train? Why do I like to help people? Why do I feel obligated to make a difference? And why do I like to work out?

I was once told do something you love. If it’s not engaging to you, you won’t do well. Turn your passion into your career, and run with it. No one can place limitations on you without your permission.

I was passionate about finishing college and working with youth.  I was passionate about fitness and everything it entailed from the anatomy, to the kinesiology to the workouts, to seeing results and people reach their goals. I was passionate about improving my craft so I can train whoever was interested.

There are numerous fitness experts out there who know way more than me, but I read constantly, do a lot of training, and work hard to improve. At the end of the day I want to be sought after when it comes to improving your lifestyle in terms of fitness.

I say all this to say, go out there and pursue your passion and make a living off of it. If not, let it guide you in the way you carry yourself.

SO what are you passionate about? What will you do to get there? There is nothing that is unattainable if you just try. Sure, you might not do it on the first time, but as the saying goes, “slow progress is better than no progress”. Let your passion be that driving force that gets you where you know you deserve to be. If you’re not satisfied, keep doing it.
We all know there is something we would rather be doing unless you are already completely satisfied. If you are, I commend you for your work, if not, keep working for it.

At the end of the day we should all be able to look back and feel validated knowing that we did exactly what we wanted to do. There is no one who can stop that train. If you want it, get it. Be passionate and let that passion become your fuel.

I’m passionate about training and if you can commit, I can get results. That’s a guarantee I like to give on my end. So eat well, lift hard, sleep well, recover, and do it all again!

In fitness,

Marcus Watson “57 FIT”

Is This Healthy? The Ubiquitous Iceberg Side Salad…

Basic Side Salad

Restaurants love the Iceberg Side Salad simply because it’s cost effective and they can squeeze by offering this starter as a “healthy” alternative.

But is this a healthy alternative for you?

The answer is NO.

Here’s why:

  1. Iceberg lettuce is void of nutritious value.
  2. Croutons are high in calories and carbohydrates.
  3. Ranch dressing is typically over 70 calories and consist of 8 grams of fat per serving.

If you’re dining out, ask for these alternatives below:

  1. Dark leafy greens such as Romaine, Spinach and/or Kale.
  2. More colorful vegetables like: bell peppers, cucumbers, avocado, broccoli, red cabbage, and etc…
  3. Add protein like tofu, macadamia nuts, white fish, chicken, and/or turkey breast.
  4. Oil based dressings or simply skip the dressing altogether.

This is where you can play with your food and add flavor to the leafy texture of salad greens.

Protein is a macronutrient that assists with the growth and repair of your muscles. Macadamia nuts and avocados are both rich in minerals and are a nutritious source of fiber.

Simply replace the 4 tablespoons of Ranch dressing for chopped macadamia nuts. You’ll feel more energized and less bloated from the 300+ calories derived from the cream based Ranched dressing.

Lastly, be contentious about the options restaurants provide.

You have choices.

Ask your server for alternatives, it’s your money and you deserve the finest quality and the best tasting food.

Food is fun so enjoy your eating experience.