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The Biggest Loser

The Biggest Loser has been one of the best television shows for close to five years now. I have to admit that I am a fan of the show. I have watched it from the beginning. To see people lose literally hundreds of pounds in the few months they have can be inspiring. However, it is important to know a few behind the scene items about the show. Number one keep in mind that the contestants don’t have to get up and go to work. They are able to spend as much as 6 hours a day working out. I don’t know about you but that isn’t possible in my day to day life. Many of the contestants have put some weight on after they have left the show simply because they cannot keep up that workout pace. I have a lot of respect for the trainers on the show. I follow Bob Harper and Jillian on Twitter. I like both of their individual styles. However, if I had access to my clients for six hours at time I could get a lot done as well.
The second thing about the show is the unrealistic diet restrictions. On one of the episodes a few weeks ago they had a dry erase board with the contestants menu for the day written on it. It listed them as consuming 1300 calories for the day. This is an extremely low amount. My belief is that a person who is moderately active can lose weight with taking in as much 2000 calories a day. While this method may not bring about 15 pound weight loss weeks it is a more possible long term solution. I just feel like at 1300 calories eventually this will lead to a major breakdown. The body needs food to help the metabolism stay active. Smaller and more frequent meals will help achieve this goal. A general rule of thumb is two pounds per week is a good pace except for extreme cases. Keep track of your diet on a web site like www.fatsecret.com.
One of the most important things you can do if you are just getting started on the weight loss path is find a local trainer. Yes The “celebrity” trainers who charge upwards of 500 dollars an hour sounds great and they have impressive resumes. However, at the end of the day most trainer’s have the same set of tools at their disposal. Just make sure that they have up to date certifications and you can get a reference. Any good trainer will be able get you going in the right direction. If you have never stepped foot in a gym and just need a little guidance I would highly recommend that you find a trainer. After a few months you can cut down on your sessions with the trainer and use your new found knowledge on your own. A good trainer should not only take you through a workout but give you the tools to eventually succeed on your own. Hopefully one day you can become the Biggest Loser.

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Everything works…

but nothing works forever.  For those of us who are regular gym goers how often do we see someone do the same thing day after day, year after year.  These people will plateau mentally and physically.  In order to keep your body guessing you have to change-up your workout routines.  I recommend at least once a month to change your workout in some way.  This could mean that you go from high reps to low reps and heavier weight.  It could mean you leave the gym and take your workouts outside.  We all need rest and recovery.  When you lift weights your muscle fibers tear and this leads to growth.  Every now and then a new routine can help give those muscles time to fully recover.  Think of the options this gives you.

One of my favorite things to do on a recovery week is yoga.  When I say yoga a lot of people assume some sort of easy-going hippie workout with no real benefit.   While yoga does offer a mental clarity that lifting weights cannot, it is a serious workout.  Your muscles will burn and strengthen while they are being stretched.  Your body is designed to move in certain ways but our every day lives cause them to become tight.

Another way I like to get out of the gym and change-up my workout is by running.  I enjoy hitting the roads and going on a nice long run.  When I was heavier I did lift weights.  In fact, I could lift a lot more than I can now.  I used to be able to bench press 345 pounds.  Now I can’t even come near that but I am much more well-rounded and fit than I was before.  There is an expression “jack of all trades.  master of none”.  When it comes to working out this is completely not true.   You have to be a jack of all trades in order to continue your fitness growth.  If you try new things I promise you will always feel mentally challenged and physically challenged.   Work smarter not harder and your body will thank you for it.