Now The Planet

New visitors may wonder why there's a huge gap in posts here. Well, for years, we've been doing a newsletter instead of blog posts: The StrongFast Planet. And now, the blog is becoming The StrongFast Planet. See? Simple!

22 July 2014

In this issue...

  • What's New at StrongFast?
  • Feature Article: Tricks or Treats
  • Fitness Found Online
  • Recipe: Cantaloupe Bacon Salad

What's New at StrongFast?

Don't panic but...this is the last StrongFast Planet Newsletter.

moving-vanSay it isn't so! Fear not: The Planet will live on...as a blog. The newsletter has proven to be too restrictive in what I can write and when, so the old blog is coming back, renamed StrongFast Planet, and all the things you're used to seeing in the newsletter will wind up there, and a lot more.

Planet posts will also be linked on our Facebook page, but some additional content will occasionally appear on Facebook that doesn't make it into The Planet. So if you're on Facebook please "like" our page so you don't miss anything.

Now, on with the last "issue" of The Planet...sure to be a collector's item!

"Knock knock."
"Who's there?"
"The Planet."
"The Planet who?"
"The plan: it is to move the newsletter to the blog."

Feature Article: Tricks or Treats

There's an old article I've been meaning to write about for a while, and now here we go. The article is "Five Tricks I Used to Beat My Unhealthy Eating Habits". I don't know how author Mikael Cho is doing now, and I'm not going to analyze the entire article, but here are some things that jumped out at me regarding the five tricks.

sugar_pourer#1: Cut Sugar and Starch (Gradually). I don't have big problems with this one. We do tend to eat way too much sugar (since it's in almost everything) and starches can be problematic, particularly for sedentary folks. I will say that while cutting back gradually apparently worked for Mr. Cho, it's certainly not the only way to go about it. Going "cold turkey" can be very effective, once you get past the first couple of days. The desire for sugar will begin to wane pretty quickly. The gradual approach of a few days without interspersed with some days eating sugar keeps re-introducing it, which can make getting off it really hard. A better gradual approach would be to gradually reduce the sugar in the foods you eat, and do that consistently. But your mileage may vary.

#2: Removing Guilt with a "Cheat Day". The "cheat day" concept is popular, though not everyone agrees. But in any case, I'd like to replace the word "cheat" with "indulgence" because "cheat" has such negative connotations. Most people consider cheating to be wrong (because, you know, it's wrong), so rather than removing guilt, a "cheat" day can add it, whereas an "indulgence" is something we do for ourselves that we know isn't a great long-term strategy, but it's not inherently bad. One might "indulge" in a shopping spree, which would be problematic to do regularly if you're not wealthy, but it doesn't generally provoke guilt. It's just a well-deserved treat. You could think of an ice cream sundae like that: a one-time indulgence. Nothing to feel guilty about, but keeping it up will cause problems. In any case, I'd rather people limit themselves to indulgence meals (or snacks) rather than entire days. That can be a lot of indulging!

mints#3: Use a Mint to Master Portion Control. He backs up this tip by (indirectly) referencing a study in which participants sniffed mint; they didn't eat it. The problem with eating mints (or chewing gum) is that they almost all contain sugar, or a sugar substitute that can have a similar effect. That kind of contradicts #1. If it really helps, fine. Just be aware of the potential downside (making it harder to give up sugar).

#4: Replace "Crispy". This one I have no problem with. (Yay!) Lots of people like the crispy crunch of chips and other junk food; replacing them with something healthy is a good idea. Not sure his suggestions of a cucumber or bell pepper are so great, though, but hey, whatever works. You can also jazz it up by adding a healthy dip or topping, like carrots with hummus or celery with cream cheese. (Yes, I'm advocating some cheese, but only because it's a non-smelly one.)

eggs_bacon_toms#5: Never Skip Breakfast. I must admit, I used to think this, too. "Most important meal of the day," right? Turns out, not so much. Research has shown that eating breakfast doesn't have any real statistical effect on fat-loss. Some people do well eating breakfast, some people do well without it. If skipping breakfast makes you ravenous later, your diet is probably too sugary (or simple carby). Skipping a meal shouldn't be painful. And if you don't want to eat breakfast, you don't have to. But if you do eat breakfast, make sure it's something good. (Think protein.)

And why are these "tricks" anyway? They're not particularly tricky. But that's just being picky. Mints: they can be sticky. My candle has no wiki.

And with that, this article is officially over.

Be seeing you.

-gary

Fitness Found Online

ronald-laughingDid you hear the one about the nutritionists' convention that was sponsored by McDonald's? Sounds like it could be a Saturday Night Live skit. But it's just another case of big corporations trying to skew the definition of healthy food.
jogger-by-waterLots of people run to try to lose weight, and for many it can help. But not always. Here's a list of 5 reasons running may not help you lose weight.

Recipe: Cantaloupe Bacon Salad

Another blast from the past...a summery treat!

Cantaloupe bacon salad

cantaloupe-bacon-salad

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StrongFast Blended Fitness (Personal Training)

NOTICE: StrongFast Fitness has made some temporary changes in response to the current COVID-19 situation. Click to learn more.

Fitness isn't about living longer...it's about living better!

gary-kayak-tahoe
Life is good!

Oh sure, studies have indicated being active correlates to living longer. But being fit has many other benefits: for example, it can improve your mood, cognitive abilities, sleep, energy levels, and your ability to do things.

It's easy to get and stay fit just training at home. Are you getting the results you want from your home workouts?

If not, you’re not alone! To get real results at home, let StrongFast Blended Fitness give you:

  • The plan you need to stay healthy and reach your fitness goals.
  • The support, coaching, and education you need to keep it up.

So what's keeping you from being as fit as you'd like?

  • Are you unsure how to get started or what to do?
  • Do you have exercise equipment at home collecting dust?
  • Do you have trouble getting the fitness results you want?
  • Do you have difficulty fitting fitness into your busy life?
  • Is it hard to exercise consistently?

Blended Fitness provides a combination of live personal training and personal online training and support. And we're not talking just a forum or some email support.

Each month, StrongFast Blended Fitness Personal Training includes:

  • One video consultation (Skype)
  • (At least) two detailed online customized workout programs ("Blitzes")
  • Online progress tracking for you
  • Daily online monitoring of your progress with proactive support
  • Support through multiple private message systems
  • Access to online instructional videos
  • One hour-long in-person training session

"Proactive support" means you'll receive regular messages through the system to ask why you missed a workout, commend you for workouts well done, or make suggestions based on your entries. Or just to say "hey."

"In-person training sessions" are either at 7 Tigers Martial Arts on Genesee Street in Cheektowaga or, if appropriate, at your home*. These are primarily to ensure you are using optimal form to get the best results safely, but may also include baseline/progress measures or targeted workouts.

* In-person sessions at your home are only available if your home is within 10 miles of the Buffalo Zoo using the shortest route on google maps.

Blended Fitness is an ongoing program, not "Lose 20 pounds in 30 days!" (and gain it all back in 30 more). We'll take the time to build healthy habits and make steady progress built on a foundation of solid fitness and improved mobility. Our goal is always to enable you to continue making progress on your own...the knowledge and experience you'll gain will make that easy.

Getting older doesn't have to mean feeling older. Do something special for yourself...and your family. Get started today!

Here's what some StrongFasters have to say:

I've tried most every fad exercise program you can think of but I've come up short. Since joining StrongFast, I've learned exactly how much i was working against myself all these years. Now I'm losing weight, breaking lifetime speed and lifting records and most importantly I feel great. I sleep better, have more energy and don't spend half my work day wishing I could crawl back into bed. This program is whipping me into shape and it's going to keep me there for the long run. -Aaron E.

As a member of StrongFast, I can say nothing but good things about the workouts! I have become stronger, more toned and most importantly a healthier person. Gary is a patient trainer with excellent insight on whole body workouts. I have never been one to look forward to working out, but he makes the workouts fun and pushes you to do your best without even realizing it. I would recommend this to anyone who wants to gain that inner strength and become a more fit person. -Michelle D.

I have worked out with Gary for over a decade and have yet to meet anyone with his level of understanding when it comes to proper workout technique. His ability to break things down into their simplest form is unrivaled and his commitment unmatched. -Jim O.

"Yeah, yeah, yeah...but how much does it cost?"

Let's face it: that's the first question almost everyone asks. Fine. Here you go.

Monthly membership including everything listed above: the custom programs, online support, one video coaching session, and one in-person session is $125/month.

Any additional 1-hour in-person sessions (optional) are $50.

Membership is month-to-month: there are no long-term contracts!

Get started now for free!

hill-sprint
Let's go!

Fast Relief

exhausted athlete A woman in a gym, apparently having just completed a workout, says, "Fast: that's just the kind of relief my muscles need." Or something like that. It was the beginning of a commercial, and don't ask me for what (other than some pain relief drug, obviously) since it was switched off after that line. Perhaps it was a good commercial, though, since it did get me thinking.

First of all, why is she sore immediately after working out? Sounds like she needs a new workout. (Or a good trainer!) Immediately after a hard workout, muscles experience fatigue, often in the extreme. As in "I can't get up" extreme. But that's different from pain, and no pain-relief product will put a stop to that. The muscular pain associated with a hard workout typically shows up 24-48 hours afterwards and is known as Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness or DOMS. Continue reading

What Is “Fitness”?

People talk about it all the time, but what is "fitness" anyway? The Free Dictionary defines it as:

Good health or physical condition, especially as the result of exercise and proper nutrition.

But there's also the concept of being "fit for duty." I kind of like that: fitness as being "fit for life" as in ready to live life competently. Simply being able to live is comparatively easy in our society: eating, sleeping, breathing...muddling through each day like it's a tedious task. Being fit to live demands more than mediocrity. And that takes some effort. Is it really worth it?

Sprinting WomanImagine you could take a pill (with no side-effects) and instantly double your strength. How would that feel? What might you do differently (other than crush your enemies, of course)? Suddenly, you could run faster, jump higher, climb, lift, throw...do all kinds of activities that were previously very difficult or even impossible. But even the simple things are affected: standing up from a chair, climbing stairs, carrying the groceries, mowing the lawn...almost everything is easier. How much would you pay for a pill like that?

You know where this is going, right? Of course. There's already a way to get those results. It doesn't happen instantly, but it also doesn't cost a fortune. It takes more time and effort than pill-popping, but if you're doing it right, that time and effort can be fun!

But wait! There's more!

Continue reading