The Most Useless Exercise Ever

The Most Useless Exercise Ever

The Most Useless Exercise Ever

Einstein is quoted as having said that the definition of insanity “is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results”.

This quote leads me to beg the question then, why do people still continue to do abdominal crunches and expect a 6-pak and a functional midsection in return?

If crunches were the answer to a toned tummy all of us would have them.

But alas we don’t, do we? Canada is currently sitting at a 54% overweight and obesity rate (Stats Can 2014) – with a lot of that fat around our bellies.

Something is clearly not working with all these crunches that we have been doing.

woman-with-belly-fat

Crunches – why they don’t work

First off, let’s review why abdominal crunches don’t work and are the most useless exercise ever.

Number one: you can’t spot train.

This simply means that you cannot take a certain section of your body, like your abs, and perform repetitions isolating that muscle group in hopes of decreasing the size of that body part.

You can try all you want.

Heck you can even stare at your belly while you are doing your crunches and yell at it – but it still won’t work.

Why?

Well, basic physiology tells us that fat is utilized as a fuel source, and when we need that fuel we start burning it from various locations throughout the body. Not from one certain location.

You cannot burn fat from one particular area.

Instead, you gotta keep working at training your whole body and slowly the fat in the area you want reduced will start to go away (that is, of course, if you are eating properly too).

Number two: flexing forward is kind of a dumb move.

One of the functions of the abdominals is to flex the spine forward. That flexing activity (which is essentially what we do when we perform a crunch or a curl-up) is not functional at all though.

Think about it. How often do you actually roll the spine while on your back, on a day-to-day basis?

I can think of one time and one time only – to get out of bed in the morning.

And, while the thought of perfecting that movement is great, it’s not really what I think a lot of us have in mind when we go to the gym.

The abdominals are actually used (during our waking hours) as stabilizers to the spine.

Now, please I understand that I am being very general here.

What the heck do our abs do?

The abs are also used throughout the day for twisting, bending, assistance on breathing as well as flexing.

But, if you were to break it down percentage wise what the abdominal muscles did during most of their waking hours the clear winner would be stabilizing and assisting our spine and our posture.

Taking that into consideration you can now see why an abdominal crunch will not help us out in daily living and provide even less help in sport.

More preferable exercises are ones that lengthen the body and then use the abdominals to hold that position, such as:

Planks

Push-ups

Boat pose

Mountain climbers

We also need exercises that ask the abdominals to assist in stabilizing the spine such as:

Squats

Deadlifts

Lunges

Pull-ups

Power cleans

And finally, we need exercises in our routine that also engage the rotational and twisting ability of our midsection. These include:

Reverse woodchops

Anti-rotational movements with tubing or the Rip Trainer

Russian twists with the medicine ball – careful with form though!

Med ball throw downs

Side plank tempo drills

wall-climber-2

If want to perform a crunch

If you want to perform the odd crunches in your routine then I recommend the following.

The following ab exercises were tested and rated by the American Council on Exercise (ACE).

They sponsored a study to see which ab exercise fired up the rectus abdominus (the long, flat muscle muscle extending the front of the body), and the obliques (our waist muscles) the best.

For strengthening the rectus abdominus, the 13 exercises were ranked most to least effective:

1. Bicycle maneuver
2. Captain’s chair
3. Crunches on exercise ball
4. Vertical leg crunch
5. Torso Track
6. Long arm crunch
7. Reverse crunch
8. Crunch with heel push
9. Ab Roller
10. Hover
11. Traditional crunch
12. Exercise tubing pull
13. Ab Rocker

For strengthening the obliques, the 13 exercises were ranked most to least effective:

1. Captain’s chair
2. Bicycle maneuver
3. Reverse crunch
4. Hover
5. Vertical leg crunch
6. Crunch on exercise ball
7. Torso Track
8. Crunch with heel push
9. Long arm crunch
10. Ab Roller
11. Traditional crunch
12. Exercise tubing pull
13. Ab Rocker

Why You Shouldn’t Do Abdominal Crunches:

  • Because you curl your upper body forward they reinforce the slumped sitting posture
  • They compress the (lower) lumbar segments
  • Crunches can actually weaken the pelvic floor
  • Because of the forward flexion movement they restrict the excursion of the diaphragm and hamper breathing
  • Can cause shearing strains across the high lumbar segments
  • Crunches, especially legs supported full sit-ups, over use the hip flexor muscles
  • Ab crunches tend to also over use the rectus abdominis muscle at the expense of the obliques and TA (your deep abdominal muscle)

Final thoughts

And last, but not least, if getting rid of that fat is what you really want, then you need to take a long hard look at what you are eating.

Great abs are actually cooked in the kitchen first and then trained hard in the gym second.

 

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PJ ox

How to Correctly Workout for Weight Loss

How to Correctly Workout for Weight Loss

How to Correctly Work Out for Weight Loss

Working out is good for us. This is an absolute fact that we know.

We also know that in order to lose weight we need to start working out too.

Yes, fine looking abs are first made in the kitchen (or more precisely visiting the kitchen less), it is also beneficial to exercise on a weekly basis to help burn the fat that is already on our bodies, increase our lean muscle mass, as well as work off the calories we eat through the day.

What are the best workouts for weight loss?

But, what should we do on a weekly basis to effectively burn the fat?

Should we perform cardio or weights, or both? And if so, does it matter which one we do first?

And what about yoga? That’s supposed to be good for us too, isn’t it?

To help you program the best workouts for your week (and help you look better naked), I have written out exactly what and when you should be doing for your workouts to effectively and correctly lose weight.

Before we dive into that, though, I need to explain a couple of the energy systems in the body that need to be hit for best results.

How to correctly workout for weight loss

First, the anaerobic system.

The anaerobic system depends on energy sources that are already stored in the muscles. This system is utilized when we perform short-lasting, yet high intensity, activities.

Some examples are: sprinting, running up stairs, or doing a hard set of weights.

Anaerobic training is the type of training that burns when you workout. This is because the active muscles are running without the use of oxygen and they are becoming increasingly acidic as the seconds tick.

Anaerobic exercise can only last a few seconds to about two minutes max.

If you are still able to keep going after the two-minute mark you have switched over to your aerobic energy system.

Now you are using oxygen to help break down the glycogen to fuel your muscles. This is why you are more breathless running, than say with weight training. The body is telling you to breath more to help fuel the working muscles.

Aerobic exercise is any workout that is longer in duration and medium in intensity.

Some examples are jogging and bike riding. Basically it’s any steady-state workout where you maintain about the same intensity throughout.

To effectively burn the greatest amount of calories (and therefore fat), you need to hit both of these energy systems.

However, if done in a specific order you can really maximize your fat burning capabilities.

How to maximize your fat-burning potential

For instance, if you perform your aerobic, or cardio, workout after your strength training workout you will burn a higher percentage of stored fat.

This is because you burned the already stored glycogen in the muscle cells first during your strength workout. Afterwards, once when you hit the treadmill, you will start hitting your stored fat cells faster.

Getting older sucks for weight loss

As well, the research pointing towards strength training as a better way to lose weight is astounding – and it could not be clearer for those of us over the age of 40.

You see after the age 30 we start to lose a percentage of our lean muscle mass with every passing year.

This lean muscle mass is what helps our metabolic furnace run smoothly and efficiently. We are better fat-burners with more lean muscle mass.

Take away this lean muscle mass and now you have people who have never had to watch their weight before look down at their waistlines at 50 years of age and think “Where the heck did that come from?”.

It came from a depressed metabolism due to a lower lean muscle mass, my friend. That’s where “that” came from.

There is also some great research on fasted cardio for weight loss (as well as some equally great research saying otherwise… haha).

The theory behind fasted cardio is that you start burning your stored fat faster as a fuel, as opposed to the carbs stored in the cells.

I, personally, have tested this theory and found it works for me and some of my clients. Try it yourself and see if you have success with it.

7 Day Workout Plan - Fitness with PJ

7-Day Workout Plan

Sunday – long, slow cardio. Perform an aerobic activity for 40-60 minutes. This can also be a family activity such as: hiking, or a long bike ride.

Monday – 45-minute total body strength workout, finished off with 15-minutes of intervals on the treadmill or StairMaster. Start with an easy 5-minute pace and then increase the pace and intensity for one minute, recovering for another minute. Alternate these high and low intensities for the remaining 10 minutes.

Tuesday – fasted cardio first thing in the morning for 20-30 minutes, yoga in the evening to help you sleep.

Wednesday – 40-minute total body strength workout, finished off with 20-minutes of intervals on the treadmill. Try jogging, or walking, and using a hill incline for your intervals. Example: warm up for 5-minutes, increase hill to 10% for one-minute, lower to 8% for one-minute, 6% for one-minute, 4% for one-minute and 2% for one-minute. That is one set, perform three.

Thursday – fasted cardio 20-30 minutes and yoga or stretching afterwards or in the evening.

Friday – 45-minute total body strength workout, finished off with 15-minutes of intervals on the treadmill or StairMaster.

Saturday – 20-30 minute fasted cardio, or day off.

How to correctly workout for weight loss - Workout schedule

 

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PJ ox

The Number Way to Make Your Trainer Angry

The Number Way to Make Your Trainer Angry

The Number One Way to Make Your Trainer Angry

Top 10 tips on how-to stay motivated to exercise all year-round.  

There are a few things that can frustrate me. Slow internet speed, no access to WiFi, sale items at grocery stores that are sold out, traffic, weeds (I hate gardening), and even Facebook frustrates me when they change their algorithms – yet again!

As I gotten older technology, and such, is frustrating me at faster pace than it used.

People, however, aren’t.

The number way to make your trainer angry

With age I am finding I actually have greater patience with clients and individuals than I ever have had before. That is until they do this:

They head out of town for a vacation, or a business trip, or because of family matters, and they leave their home and their runners behind.

They decide that because they are “away” they don’t need to maintain their fitness and health program.

I’m not quite sure why they do this.

I have heard a variety of excuses, though.

For instance: I didn’t have time, there wasn’t a gym, or my personal favourite, I never workout when I’m away.

It baffles me that people would consciously and purposely lose the strength, flexibility and aerobic capacity that they have just spent the last 9 to 10 months working so hard to get.

Fitness-with-PJ-Nikes-Quote

How fast you will lose your fitness?

Because you will lose it.

Your aerobic fitness will start to diminish in as quick as seven to fourteen days.

As for those muscles that you have been working so hard to build, in the most drastic scenario studies have shown that you can lose as much as 80% of your strength and tone in as little as two weeks.

80%!!! That’s a big loss.

For the more deconditioned individual, you will lose even more with any hiatus.

Studies have followed new exercisers as they began an exercise program and then stopped it and found that after two months of quitting their newfound fitness program they had lost all of their original gains!

They were back to square one again.

Fit people – your outcome is not as bad, but it is still worrisome.

After 2 months off of your program it is estimated that you will lose about 30% of your gains.

How quick can you get your fitness back?

The question then begs to be asked – how long will it take to get it all back then?

Researchers say that is hard to predict, but for athletes it could take as much as three months to regain your previous fitness level, and for new exercisers it might be as much as three to four months.

So, let’s do the math. Say you’re a new exerciser who started a regular fitness program in January with the rest of rush and you decide to stop exercising for the summer.

You then start up again, say after the kids go back to school in September. It will now take you until the beginning of December to gain back the fitness that you originally had in June when you stopped.

But, then guess what? It’s Christmas.

Now there are parties to go to, schedules that are busy, and the mentality of “I will start up again in January” sets in.

And then after Christmas comes winter holidays, because most people take off some time in the January to March months.

Then there is spring break and then guess what? It’s summer again.

It’s a vicious cycle, with no end in sight and absolutely no fitness gains to be seen.

That is, unless, you decide to break the habit of thinking that exercise is something that can be dropped from the schedule and put back in again when it suits you better.

Exercise is a necessity at maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

It is our only proven fountain of youth, disease-fighter and “I-feel-awesome” medicine all rolled into one.

So I ask you, why would you purposely give all of that up?

Fitness with PJ quote

10 Tips to stay motivated all year-round

1/ YouTube.

There are a plethora of awesome fitness YouTube channels that will warm you up, work you out and cool you down. If you haven’t already subscribe to my channel and you will have access to workouts that you can easily do in your home, with some of them under 20-minutes.

Fitness with PJ YouTube channel

2/ Never allow more than two days without exercise.

I live by this rule. Why two days? Because once two days has gone by it’s way to easy for that to turn into three days, then four days and before you know days become weeks and months.

3/ Always pack your runners.

Where ever you are in the world if you have your runners you can get a workout in. Whether it’s a quick jog, or a series of bodyweight exercises you can maintain your fitness.

4/ Google.

Before you head out of town Google the area and see what there is available. Try a fitness class there to keep you motivated and to try something fun. I have done STEP in Hong Kong, yoga in Mexico, spinning in New York and Zumba in Hawaii.

5/ Wear a tracker.

Wear a fitness tracker and aim for the same step count and calorie expenditure as you would at home.

6/ Wake up earlier.

If your family is not keen on exercising while on vacation then set your alarm 30 minutes earlier and get your workout in before they get up.

7/ Pack it.

If you know you won’t have access to any equipment pack some exercise tubing, your iPod, a timer and a skipping rope.

8/ Track it.

Use an app, or write your workouts down, but track what you are doing. When it’s on paper it makes it more real and real will help keep you accountable.

9/ Penalize yourself.

Studies have shown that people who have to pay others when they don’t stick with their goals tend to achieve their goals. You see we hate giving away hard earned cash, so make a deal with yourself for every day you don’t exercise you owe your favourite charity $5.

10/ Make food and sleep a priority.

Eat the best you can and get a good night’s sleep and you will make it a lot easier on yourself to stay motivated with your fitness all-year around.

When I travel I eat the same way I would at home for breakfast and lunch and do my best for dinner. I still enjoy my travels, while my body continues to appreciate good healthy food.

21 DAY FITNESS PROGRAM

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PJ ox

10 Awesome Hacks That Will Make You Healthier

10 Awesome Hacks That Will Make You Healthier

 

10 Awesome Hacks that will make You Healthier

I don’t know of a single soul who has not wished for a pill that they could take for better fitness.

It would be so much easier, wouldn’t it?

Easier than all that time, that commitment and sweat you have to deposit for a better-looking body that will stay above ground for the longest period of time.

However, we don’t have that… yet.

Currently there are no secrets, no pills and no magic formulas (no matter what Dr. Oz says) that will get us healthy.

What I can share with you, though, are some life hacks that you can add into your day. Easy hacks that will improve your health, your fitness and your waistline.

10 [awesome] hacks that will make you healthier

1/ Have protein for breakfast.

Specifically over 30 grams. A study by the Biofortis Clinical Research team at the University of Missouri showed that protein in the morning can help you consume fewer calories throughout the day, as well as burn more fat over time.

The likely reason is due to an improved glycemic control protein has on the body. In other words, your blood sugar levels will be more stable, which in turn will lead to the desire to eat less, while that in turn will lead to a slimmer and trimmer you.

Some examples of a high-protein breakfast are:

  • 1 egg + 1 cup of egg whites (33 grams) scrambled with veggies
  • Egg, black bean and cheese burrito. Try this recipe – it rocks!
  • ¾ cup of plain Greek yogurt and mix in 10-15 grams of protein powder to both up the protein count as well as change the flavour (I love strawberry protein powder in my plain yogurt)
  • A quinoa parfait mixed with Greek yogurt is another great high-protein non-egg option
  • High-protein overnight oats, with added tablespoon of chia seed to add another 4 grams of protein
  • Protein Pancake
  • Slow Cooker Frittata
>> Never Eat This for Breakfast

2/ Ditch the car.

While fitness is important for better health, you cannot ignore the other 23 hours of the day. In fact the science is showing us that it is what we do throughout the day that will better health.

These incremental movements we do throughout the day are called non-exercise activity thermogenesis (NEAT). This is the energy (calories) the body expends for everything we do that is not sleeping, eating or sports-like exercise.

The more NEAT we have in our lives the better off our body weight is, as well as our blood pressure, blood sugar levels and stress levels.

Control these and we also ward off a host of diseases.

Some examples of adding NEAT into your life are:

  • Walk whenever you are on the phone
  • Have a walking meeting at work, or instead of coffee out with your friends enjoy your java while walking
  • Take the long way to the bathroom at work
  • Go for walk and do some stretches at lunchtime
  • Get a pedometer to encourage you to walk more
  • Always use the stairs
  • Get up and move around every 30 minutes when on the computer
  • Park your car in the farthest stall away from your destination’s door
  • Stretch while watching television (I am always stretching when watching a movie at home – now if only the movie theatre would be so accommodating!)
  • Do some squats at every commercial break, or before you park your butt on the toilet
  • Perform 10-minutes of yoga before bed. Try this stretch routine.
  • Wake up with 10-minutes stretches or yoga. Try this workout.
  • Walk to the store
  • Make it a point to never go from the dinner table to the living room couch! Spend at least 30-minutes, following dinner, on your feet and moving around.

3/ Get some sleep.

The science on sleep and its importance to our health is abundant. The consequences of lack of shut eye range from higher disease risk, lower mortality, increased waistlines, lowered immune system, depression, memory problems and even accidental death.

>>> How to Improve Your Sleep

Sleep is just as important to our bodies as the air that we breathe and the food that we eat. You see it’s during sleep that our body is tending to our physical and mental health and getting us ready for another day.

>>> Try my Stretches for a Better Night’s Sleep tonight!

Some sleep hacks that you can add into your life for better quality shut eye:

  • Turn off all electronics at least one hour before bed
  • Maintain the same time you go to bed and get up all week
  • Keep your bedroom clutter-free, dark and on the cooler side
  • Try meditation and/or yoga before bed to help calm the mind and central nervous system
  • There are also natural sleep aids such as: melatonin, valerian, chamomile, magnesium and calcium. Talk to a health practitioner, however, before adding any natural herb or supplement to your diet as they can interact with certain medications.
>>> Click here for more awesome sleep tips.

4/ Have your workout clothes ready.

Whether you workout in the morning, or after work, have your gear ready and waiting for you. This one tip has even helped me!

I have started performing fasted cardio 2-3 mornings a week and knowing my gear is out and ready for me gets me out of bed.

I have everything set up. My water with BCAAs is sitting by the sink and my workout gear, my runners and my iPod are in the spare bedroom (so I don’t wake loving husband).

On the flip side, if you want to workout in the evening have your gear in your car and do not go home until you workout.

In my experience most people see more success with sticking to their workouts if they get them done in the morning, or before they go home from work – because once you get home chaos usually ensures, or the couch starts to beacon.

Follow my 1-month training program for fast results.

1 Month FREE Workout Plan - Fitness with PJ

5/ Eat off of smaller plates.

Smaller plates, as well as taller thinner glasses, gives us the illusion that we are eating and drinking more than we really are.

Yes, as ridiculous as it sounds we are actually able to fool ourselves from ourselves.

Here’s a good example. Take a look at the picture below.

Each dot is the exact same in diameter, but doesn’t the one on the left look bigger?

So, if this were a plate or bowl of food it would also seem bigger to your brain, and in turn your brain would mentally “think” that it’s eating more food than it really is therefore telling our stomach to shut up and be satisfied.

Yep, like I said it’s that easy to trick ourselves!

5/ Drink water.

Our body cannot distinguish whether it is thirsty or hungry. Rather it has one signal that it releases when it craves either, and in my experience people are usually dehydrated before they are actually hungry.

TRY THIS: When you get the “signal” from your stomach have a large glass of water and wait 10 minutes. Stomach still grumbling? Have another glass and wait another 10 minutes.

In addition, do not want you to drink too many of your calories either.

Recent studies have found that the calories we consume in liquid form don’t “register” as food in the brain’s satiety centres.

Water is the only liquid that will “fill us up” – anything else is simply extra calories to our waistline.

6/ Keep your workout short and sweet.

Perform a higher intensity workout, like a HIIT or a Tabata, so you can reap the benefits without having to spend a lot of time working out.

This is key for those days you do not want to workout because simply the act of knowing your workout is only 15-20 minutes makes it that much easier to get your runners on.

Need some workout ideas? Try these workouts:

7/ Listen to a podcast or audiobook to get you through your cardio.

Keep your brain busy and learn something new – all while performing your cardio.

Need some podcast ideas? Here are a few top the rated health and fitness podcasts that can be found on iTunes:

Fitness

Nutrition

Health

Self-Improvement

8/ Prep!

Prepare for the week ahead by menu planning and prepping your breakfasts, at least four lunches and a large salad (I call them BAS – big ass salads) to carry you through for dinner side dishes.

This one act alone can help you drop inches and fat, as well as save a lot of time for you during the hectic work week AND you will also get the bulk of your dishes done in one go. Awesome, eh?

9/ Pay yourself.

Start a “tip jar” and tip yourself a dollar (or a loonie for my Canadian peeps) every time you workout and meal plan and prep.

At the end of the month you should have yourself enough coin to buy a new workout top, or a treatment at the spa, or flowers to brighten your kitchen.

10/ Join.

Accountability will hold you true to your health and fitness goals, and nothing breeds accountability than registering and paying for a fitness class, program or a trainer.

This is one of the reasons my 30-Day Diet Bootcamp has quickly become one of my most popular programs.

Each week for four weeks my client meets me one-on-one or on Skype. This personal meeting encourages them to stay on point for the week because they are now answering to more than just themselves.

Got some fitness hacks that you use and work? Share below!
WAIT, BEFORE YOU GO

Want a full month’s workout plan? I’ve put together a one-month plan using my workouts from my YouTube channel.

Follow my 1-month training program for fast results.

1 Month FREE Workout Plan - Fitness with PJ

 

21 DAY FITNESS PROGRAM

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PJ ox

10 Truths You Wish You Knew When You Were Younger

10 Truths You Wish You Knew When You Were Younger

10 Truths You Wish You Knew When You Were Younger

 

What if you could write a letter to your younger self?

 

What would you say? What life lessons would you share?

 

Would your letter go a little like the letter I would write to my 24-year old self?

 

Dear 24-year old PJ,

 

Hey PJ! So, we just celebrated our 46th birthday a few days ago (spoiler alert: we were in Mexico), and it got me thinking about some life lessons I wished we learned earlier.

 

But, before we get into that, how are you?

 

I know! That was a ridiculous question to ask. Since you are me and I know I was doing pretty good 22 years ago, even if I didn’t think I was at the time.

 

But, 22 years ago is when we married loving husband and launched our personal training business.

 

It was a big year girlfriend.

 

In fact, our 20’s were pretty good. But, unfortunately we were pretty busy being 20-something, and taking everything for granted like 20-somethings do, that we didn’t really appreciate what the hell we had.

 

Hence this letter.

 

10 Truths I Wish I Knew When I Was Younger

 

First, learn to forgive the a**holes in life.

 

It’s not easy, but you need to learn this important step.

 

You see, even if they were a jerk to you it doesn’t mean that it’s all about you. Yes, thinking that they are being an a-hole to just you means you believe life revolves only around you.

 

Huge life lesson here, it does not.

 

This a-hole could just be having a bad day. Or, someone may have been an a-hole to them earlier (which then put them in a bad mood). You just don’t know their story.

 

So please, forgive, turn the other cheek, smile and be nice (Yes, you may curse at them inside your head. We aren’t saints for crying out loud.).

 

Second, learn to love the journey as much as the destination.

 

We are very good at making goals. We have laser-like focus and will quite often narrow our vision to the finish line only.

 

What you need to start doing is paying attention to the journey as well.

 

This is where you will meet some pretty cool people (if you pay attention), as well as learn about yourself and create all the awesome memories that we can reflect on as we get older.

 

The destination is really secondary to the journey.

 

Third, learn to breathe for crying out loud.

 

Everyday take a few moments to just sit still and breathe.

 

These few moments I am asking you to take are what you are going to term “slow and useless”. They really aren’t and are quite the opposite.

 

The stillness will make us happier, rev us up and help get those creative juices running.

 

Trust me on this one*.

 

* Well, you kinda have to since I am you, and not trusting me would actually be not trusting yourself.

 

Fourth, flat abs and an inner thigh gap is not better health.

 

We were pretty overweight as kids, so I get why you are so concerned about your body image.

 

Flash forward 22 years later though, and with the loss of friends and loved ones from diseases, you will recognize that good health is actually vitality and vigour for life.

 

It is an inner glow and energy that one exudes when you are enjoying good food, a good life and doing those squats you love so much.

 

Fifth, appreciate loving husband (and those around you) more.

 

It is friends and family that will help you through some tough times ahead. You will need their support and their love, so give lots to them right now.

 

Yes, loving husband will still be eating junk food and hiding the wrappers in the garbage can when we are middle-aged. However, he puts up with a lot from us so you will learn to ignore these culinary indiscretions of his.

 

Sixth, use sunscreen.

 

This will save us both a lot of money in the future in laser treatments, exfoliates, anti-aging moisturizers and high-def make-up.

 

Seventh, quit buying the latest and greatest.

 

It is, in the end, just crap. You can live without that sweater and I promise you that owning matching dinnerware, cutlery and placements will not bring you inner peace.

 

Save our money and use it for trips and experiences. That’s the sort of thing that we will be remembering, and yearning for more of, in our middle years.

 

Eighth, be kind to yourself.

 

Love yourself and the skin that you are in. You are perfectly imperfect and embrace that.

 

Ninth, be kind to others.

 

The world runs at a really fast-pace nowadays. So fast that we can lose a bit of our humanity just because we are too damn busy to care.

 

Don’t let that happen. Don’t be an a**hole (refer back to tip #1). Care for others and be kind – however, don’t lose your attitude. That’s what makes us all unique.

 

And tenth, rely on your instincts.

 

Instincts can serve a girl well so start paying attention to yours.

 

When making the tough decisions that we have to make in life have a clear-head and trust your gut.

 

Your intuition, and that gut instinct you feel, will provide you with a very useful first step in any decision-making process.

 

However, there is one occasion that I strongly urge you NOT to trust your gut.

 

When we turn 40 we will think it’s a great idea to die our hair platinum blonde. It is not a great idea. In fact, it is an epically bad one. Blonde is not the way to go for us.

 

Trust me. We will regret that one.

PJ-blonde 

Love Me

 ps – being middle-aged is actually pretty cool.

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Top 4 Trainer Tips to Getting Toned and Fit Over 40

Top 4 Trainer Tips to Getting Toned and Fit Over 40

Top 4 Trainer Tips to Getting Toned and Fit Over 40

I saw a quote on the Internet the other day that made me giggle. It was a picture of a guy standing around a group of overweight seniors with the caption reading, “If you want to look young and thin, hang out around old fat people.”.

Now, that’s one way to do it, isn’t?

But if you live where I live you will be hard-pressed to find some out-of-shape seniors to hang with to make you feel better. All the seniors I know kick some serious butt and make a lot of twenty-year-olds look bad.

So, our next step is turning to fitness to help get us get fitter and feel younger.

Over 40? How to Get Toned and Fit

Whether your goal is to:

  • Lose weight
  • Build muscle tone
  • Prevent diseases
  • Or simply stay above ground for the longest you can

These four tips will help get you there far more effectively than other training technique.

1/ Consistency.

One of the first rules of achieving better fitness is frequency.

I know, super boring, right? However, you cannot expect to see any change in your body or fitness with an inconsistent workout plan, or by training just once or twice a week.

How often should you be training then, for results?

Three times a week strength work, twice a week aerobic, or interval work, and everyday stretching.

Seems like a lot?

Well, for the bulk of those days (the strength and cardio workouts) you would be training for less than an hour. Take 45 minutes against the rest of your 24 hours, and you have less than 4%.

Meaning that less than 4% of your total day is used exercising.

If you can’t invest in a measly 4% towards your health, then you need to be careful because you just may become that old fat person others go hang out with to look and feel better.

Make Time For What Matters - Fitness with PJ


2/ Strength.

As we get older we naturally lose our lean muscle mass. Women, between the ages of 20 and 40, will lose on average 3.6 kg of muscle while gaining 10 kg of fat. Men, between the ages of 20 and 80, will lose one quarter of their muscle mass (Dr. Michael Colgan).

And guess what? Running, cycling or other aerobic sports will not prevent this loss.

Researchers at McMaster University compared a ten-week program of weight training plus aerobic exercise against aerobic exercise alone. The aerobic group showed only a 2% increase in cardiovascular capacity and an 11% increase in endurance.

The weight training plus aerobics group showed a 15% increase in cardiovascular capacity and a massive 109% increase in endurance!

For strength the results favoured weight training even more. The aerobics group showed no increase in arm or leg strength while the weight training group showed a 43% increase in arm strength and a 22% increase in leg strength.

Building your strength and lean muscle mass will:

  • Boost your ability to burn fat
  • Grow bone density
  • Improve immunity
  • Combat diabetes
  • Reduce joint pain found with osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis
  • Strengthen your heart
  • Yield better coronary artery flow in the heart
  • Produce greater sub-maximal endurance and less fatigue.

3/ Intensity.

Exercise intensity matters far more than duration when working out.

In a study called the Copenhagen City Heart Study, the researchers there followed a random sample of about 12,000 people in Copenhagen for 21 years.

These 12,000 all cycled and what the researchers found were that the individuals who typically rode fast on a regular basis (so biking at a higher intensity) lived 5.3 years longer than those cycled slow.

A study found in the American Journal of Health Promotion showed that women who engaged in shorter bouts of more intense exercise had a lower body mass index than those who stayed at a steady state when exercising.

This particular study found that for every extra minute of high-intensity exertion a woman did each day was linked to a .07 decrease in body mass index. And that’s only one minute.

Imagine if you did five to ten minutes a few times a week?

i'm-the-personal-trainer-your-mother-warned-you-about-fitness-with-pj

Try these high-intensity workouts (suitable for all levels):

35-Minute Bodyweight HIIT

24-Minute Ab HIIT

TRX Tabata – Part 2

TRX Tabata – Part 1

30-Minute Dumbbell Tabata

STEP or BOSU Ball HIIT

4/ Attitude.

If you have an attitude and demeanour that you are going to try, that you are going to allow yourself to get uncomfortable, and that you are going to take it one day at a time and not get frustrated with the process then you will get amazingly fit and toned.

I have trained thousands of people in my 20+ years and the ones with a positive attitude always achieve their goals.

However, if you constantly say to yourself:

  • There’s no way I will ever be able to run for that long.
  • I won’t be able to hold a plank that long.
  • I can’t find the time to workout.
  • I’m too old.
  • I”ll never be able to squat, lunge or perform a push up.

Or, if you play the victim and claim “How did this happen to me? I used to be able to…” then all hell will break loose in your brain and you will never successfully reach your goal.

Tapping into the power of the mind is used with athletes all the time.

They are taught to visualize their course, their upcoming match or event. They are coached to visualize themselves doing it, step-by-step, and then winning it.

They know that negative self talk will manifest into their grey matter, then into their muscles until it finally becomes their new reality.

So, stop being a victim and start taking control. Stop talking to yourself poorly and in a way that you would never talk to anyone else like.

Treat yourself with the respect you deserve and you will not only be fit and toned, but you will also be happy and content.

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