Common Fitness Fails

It’s day one, and you’re ready to start (again.) Before you head to the gym to re-start your program. Make sure you avoid these classic fitness fails.

 1. Don’t exercise too hard.

We’ve all seen that person doing every exercise they’ve ever known. Don’t be that guy.

 

2. Don’t exercise for more than one hour.
An hour is the maximum time for your first time back. Heck that’s more than some people do in a month.

 

3. Don’t think you’ll get in shape in one day.

You won’t. No one has… ever.

 

4. Don’t starve yourself.

Cleanses, juicing, fasting never works. You’ll end up hungry, mad, pissed… and still fat.

 

5. Don’t do celebrity workouts.

Celebrities are people, not fitness experts. And some aren’t too bright.

 

6. Don’t set crazy goals.

Lose ten pounds in ten days? Doesn’t happen. Won’t happen. Can’t happen. And your friend that “did” is probably still fat.

 

7. Don’t do “two-a-days.”

You won’t go double tomorrow. You barely went single today. Fitness Fail.

 

8. Don’t buy new equipment.

You won’t use it. Build habits first, and then buy equipment.

 

9. Don’t forget your towel.

Nobody likes wiping others sweat. Nasty.

 

10. Don’t stare at people at the gym.

It’s creepy. You know who you are.

 

11. Don’t stop to take the perfect selfie.

Please don’t… It’s awkward for everyone.

 

12. Don’t hog the equipment.

The equipment isn’t not yours, you don’t own it. Sharing is caring.

 

13. Don’t weigh yourself after every workout.

You can’t lose fat after a workout. You can lose water, but that’s not the same. Fat loss takes time.

 

14. Don’t workout when you’re sore.

If it hurts too move, you’re doing it wrong. Rest.

 

15. Don’t wait.

Start now, start small, and start making progress.

 

These classic fitness fails can ruin your 1st, 2nd or 23th “Day One.” With a little common sense and patience, you can beat the fitness fails and succeed in fitness.

 

Related:

For more help with fat loss check out our Ultimate Fat Loss Guide

Test your fitness fail knowledge with your Fat Loss Quiz.

 

Tony Arreola

Best Selling Author, “Get Me Skinny”

Avoiding Holiday Pounds

“Hay mijo, you have to relax, it’s Christmas.”

My mom looked at me with a sly grin.  Mind you, I offered to buy my Mom a new car when she reaches her fitness goals (*offer not valid for everyone*)

Her goal was to lose 30 pounds. She’s lost 10 so far, but when the Holiday season comes, she runs out of steam.

 

Why?

How can we avoid the Holiday pounds?

I don’t know about you, but I hate throwing away my results. And I’m sure my mom hates wasting another year taking the bus. Okay, I don’t make her take the bus, Uber works well.

When it comes to Winter, our bodies default to our cold, harsh, winter caveman days. This was a time, when we as a human species needed to hunker down, needed to eat as much as possible (when food was available) to survive. Without this mentality, I would not be typing this blog. We would not have survived the first harsh winter.

Great for survival, bad for our bellies.

It’s been a while since I hunted for a meal. Sometimes, I can just send a text to my girlfriend or push a button for Postmates to get fed.

But, the primal instinct remains inside of us. It requires effort to get outside when it’s cold. Big effort is needed to stop eating. Winter effort is harder than in the spring.

Through extensive trials with our clients we’ve found 6 proven ways to fight those fattening Holiday pounds.

 

Tip #1: WHEN YOU’RE FULL… STOP EATING

How many times have you been satisfied at a meal? Let me guess, always. When you’re full, take a deep breath, smile and stop eating.

Pro Tip: Tip: Ask yourself, “Am I still hungry, bored, or just eating to eat.”

Tip #2: DRINK WATER

Contrary to popular belief, the stomach isn’t an endless garbage disposal. It’s an organ with a fixed size. When you fill it with water, you’ll eat less. This is a good thing, for you and your waistline. Drink as much water as you can.

Pro Tip: Urine color is a great indicator of proper hydration. “Clear pee means a healthy me.”

 

Tip #3: EAT A LIGHT SNACK BEFORE THE MAIN EVENT

Don’t arrive “starving” to a special event. If you have nothing in your system, you’re much more likely to overeat.

Pro Tip: Eat a light snack, like an apple or an orange 15-30 minutes prior.

 

Tip #4: EATING IN HERDS

Did you know when you eat alone, you’re less likely to overeat?  Add one person, you eat up to 35% more. If the group exceeds 7, you’ll eat 96% more. This is an alarming stat, perfect for the Holidays. Be aware, and always be mindful.

Pro Tip: Farmers feed chickens together to create this overeating herd affect.  Don’t let the environment trick you into overeating.

 

Tip #5: STAY AWAY FROM CALORIC LANDMINES

Watch out for high-caloric foods. High calorie foods like guacamole, cheeses can wreak havoc on your goals. Imagine shopping on Rodeo Drive with a limited budget. You would check every price tag before you buy. Same for food. Check the calories of any new foods. Better safe than sad.

Pro Tip: Use our favorite calorie app My Fitness Pal, to find caloric landmines BEFORE you blow up (literally.)

 

Tip #6: STAY AWAY FROM THE FOOD-PUSHERS

You know exactly who I’m talking about. Your Tia with the tamales. Uncle Juan’s can’t miss casserole. Eggnog downing cousin Fidel. Stay away, learn to say no, or if they get really annoying, resort to name calling. Totally kidding about the last one, kinda.

Pro Tip: When facing food pressure, look them in the eye and say, “No thanks, I’m stuffed.”

We’ve shared these tips with our clients, and they have experienced a happy and healthy Holiday Season. Remember the goal is to celebrate life, to enjoy each other. And like I told my Mom, I enjoy our lives more when she’s healthy.

 

Special Bonus: Survival Guide Checklist

Remember nutrition is only one side of the equation.

If you want to eat more, you need to move more.

Read our cardio guide to find out which movement burns more calories.

 

Tony Arreola

NASM Master Trainer CPT, WLS, CES, SFS, WFS, BCS

Best Selling Author, Get Me Skinny.

Have you ever thought about biking from Canada to Mexico?

bicycling the Pacific Coast

No?

Me neither.

So how did I end up bicycling from Canada to Mexico?

Eric’s “Biking Canada to Mexico” Plan

Back in 2012, Eric and I we’re completing a personal training session. He hired me to overcome some serious back issues. No, he didn’t have a bulged disk, he had something far worse: 2 shattered discs. Eric experienced chronic back pain for over 20 years. Fortunately, I knew a proven plan to remove his back pain. After assessing his body, I discovered three critical issues. Three troubling issues that would surely stop any attempt of bicycling the Pacific Coast.

Three Critical Back Issues:

  1. Little to No Flexibility
  2. Weak Core
  3. No Glute Activation

 

Critical Issue #1: Little to No Flexibility

Solution: Proper daily stretching coupled with foam rolling(SMR)

I taught him the correct stretches to lengthen his back, hip flexors and hamstrings. The stretches needed to be preformed daily, for months, maybe even years. Eric followed the program religiously. We also employed Self-Myofascial Release(SMR) techniques to give him more flexibility. The SMR is a more effective way to break up tightness in the muscle tissue. If used properly, it can expedite the healing process. This was the first piece of the puzzle.

Click for FREE Guide

Critical Issue#2: Weak Core

Solution: A core strengthening program

The next step was proper core activation. The core consists of roughly 29 muscles that attach the pelvic bone to the spine. If you stand up and cough, you activate your core. The trick is to have your core strong enough to relieve pressure from your back. With simple core exercises, we can strengthen the deep abs and low back. Core activation and strengthening takes time (4-6 weeks) but the results can feel almost magical. 

 

Critical Issue #3: No Glute Activation

Solution: Resistance training exercises targeting glute activation

Go ahead and squeeze your butt. Can you? Chances are you can’t squeeze your butt. Under-active or a weak butt can be a cause of back pain. When you stand, you basically have three muscles to hold you up (abs, butt, low back.) If your abs aren’t string enough, and you don’t know how to activate your butt, then the low back does all the work. Eventually it grows tired, leading to pain. By strengthening the other muscles, less pressure will be on the back. This will help remove pain from the excess burden.

If he stuck with the program, we would see incredible results…

Eric ready to bike from Canada to Mexico

Eric’s back pain became a distant memory

He felt as strong as a bull. The strongest 57 y/o around. He then asked me a question that would change my life forever.

 

“Would you consider biking from Canada to Mexico?”

What?

I obviously thought he was joking.

I replied like any normal person. “Sure, no big deal. Let’s keep working, three more reps.” We finished the session and I thought nothing more of the proposal.

 

Things Got Real…Quick

The next session, Eric showed up with a map and possible dates. I pooped my pants. This guy is serious? I didn’t think it was possible, but I reluctantly agreed.

Eric laying while training to bike from Canada to MexicoOur first long training ride went…awful.

My butt cried. Every hill destroyed us. We found ourselves laying on the side of the road. It took a monumental effort just make it through the practice ride. I just didn’t think it was possible. I would have a TOUGH time. And I knew it would be even harder for him. I had doubts, big doubts. 

 

Our Secret Weapon

We had a secret weapon, we each possessed a Bigger Burn. A powerful Bigger Burn. Eric was a cancer survivor. He beat the odds, coming back from near-death made him almost invincible. He wasn’t supposed to do any of this, not anymore. I had a starkly different experience with cancer. My friend Amadu fought bravely against the horrid disease. Sadly, cancer won.Picture

 

 

We knew what we needed to do. Make the mission bigger than us. Eliminate failure as an option. We would suffer to  raise money for the fight against cancer.

 

Bicycling the Pacific Coast For Cancer

Armed with incredible motivation, we began our first ride. The first part of this epic dream of biking from Canada to Mexico would be San Francisco to Irvine. 6 days, 500+ miles and 45+ hours of cycling (my butt still hurts.) Our navigation confusing. The days endless. The pain immense. Fun quickly replaced by torture. 

Eric Was Ready to Quit

On the beginning on Day 3, a ride from Big Sur to San Luis Obispo, we started the day in horrific pain. We each carried a backpack filled with all our equipment. The backpacks grew heavier and heavier.  We took a little break so Eric could jump on a conference call (he was still working…) I could see the pain as he struggled of the bike. When he sat in the gas station, I calmly took Eric’s backpack and threw it over mine. 

No.

Eric said “No” to me with two backpacks. He shook his head. I told him to pedal. He didn’t fight back after that. We biked the next 45 miles through rolling hills, heat and narrow lanes.

“Eric!”

I screamed as my front tire punctured. My body flew over the handle bars. I ricocheted off the asphalt. Sprawled on the ground, Eric came to my help. He removed the extra backpack, and we managed to complete the day. I tore up my shoulder and hip, but I could still ride.

 

Armed with the right motivation, anything is possible.

Luckily, no serious damage was done. Falling off my bike did motivate Eric to work harder. We completed that ride and 6 more rides the following years. Completing his dream of biking the Pacific Coast. All the way from Mt. Whistler to Ensenada, Mexico. I never dreamed I could ever say something like that:

“I bicycled from Canada to Mexico!”

Crazy dreams come true. 

Biking from Canada to Mexico

Today, we start our 8th annual bike trip. A repeat of our first epic ride from San Francisco to Irvine. Eric isn’t slowing down one bit. Eric proves that age is only a number. He pushes me to work harder. And honestly, I need to. I need to be ready for whatever loony adventure pops in his head. Wish us luck as we ride from Sam Francisco to Irvine (again.) 

Picture

 

Tony Arreola

NASM Master Trainer

Author, “Get Me Medals”

 

PS: For serious cyclists (or crazy ones) make sure you follow our 3 Quick Tips for Speed. Or for more epic inspiration, you can read my New York Marathon journey.