Harmonize Fitness
menu
Harmonize Fitness

training

Exercise

Is stretching good or bad?

pic10
views
94

Do you warm up and stretch before your exercise routine? Or do you prefer to stretch after your exercise routine as part of your cool down?

Most of the guys I know that love to lift weights do not take enough time to stretch, they just warm up and cool down to avoid injuries and don´t consider stretching to be that important but it has some benefits that can improve their performance on the gym and increase their results.

Since we´re living very fast paced times and our daily lives keep us living with chronic stress we all need to find ways to reduce stress to have good quality sleep every night and to be able to deal with stressful situations the best way possible. Stretching is a great tool for this, we spend most of our day sitting and stressed out, if we take some time to stretch and breath through the exercises before going to bed it will help us reduce tensions from our body and muscles and this reduce stress, if we reduce stress before going to bed we also sleep better.

Stretching also helps us increase mobility and improve posture, even when we try to sit straight after long hours in the same position mobility is reduce this why some people recommend that we do some stretching exercises every hour even if you are in your office. If we don´t want to be stretching at the office for any reason we can do 10 to 15 minutes when we get home or right before going to bed.

Stretching also reduces pain in muscles and joints, pain in most cases is caused by bad posture and stress so when we relief the tension from our body by stretching we lower pain which gives us the freedom to move more and do more activities without pain.

For working out stretching also has amazing benefits, first avoiding injuries which is a most, stretching before hitting the weights and if we´re going to work out outside and it´s cold it help us prevent injuries by getting our body and muscles ready for the training session. This also helps to improve performance during our workout by increasing flexibility and mobility.

Another benefit that many people don´t consider is that it improves range of motion. When we are lifting weight, the more damage we do to the muscles the better and with full range of motion we are making more damage to muscle tissue which means more growth. I´ve seen people that don´t do full range of motion and the reason they don´t do it is because they can´t, their range of motion is limited but they don´t want to stretch they prefer 10 to 15 minutes of cardio as a warm up and cool down and even when cardio has a lot of benefits it won´t help you improve flexibility, mobility and range of motion.

What happens when we stretch is that we are lengthening our muscles and connective tissue and this reduces tension. We don´t need to spend 30 minutes stretching and we don´t need to work out to stretch, we can do it in the morning or every night before we go to bed, with 10 minutes you´ll start noticing the difference.

We can add one day to our workout program and focus only on stretching, we can take our rest day and see how our performance in and outside the gym improves. Training is a puzzle and every piece of the puzzle needs to be consider from resistance training, cardio training, recovery and stretching they all work together to help us get in shape, to get the type of physique we want and to help us perform as best as possible in any activity, from the gym, in our home, at work, vacations.

If you know someone who could benefit from this post please share it with them and don´t forget to follow us on Twitter.

Pam

Exercise

The most important point to consider when exercising

16_workout
views
112

How many people do you know spending hours at the gym? Some girls and guys spend two hours at the gym six days a week, some of them seven days a week exercising, but lets be honest, do they really look better every month? In most cases they look the same month after month.

You don´t need to spend hours exercising, with just 60 minutes a day is all you need, but for this 60 minutes to give you the results you´re looking for you need to consider 2 important points: work hard and avoid injuries.

There´s no other way to get the amazing results you want and deserve than working hard, how hard you exercise will determine your results, if you give half your energy you´ll get average and mediocre results and that´s not what you deserve so make sure every time you exercise you give your all. For some this may be a huge problem because when you´re exercising you´re going to feel that physical pain, here we´re talking about the burn you feel in the muscles you´re working out, that burn is what makes your body change but if you don´t like to feel that burn and you give up right when you starting feeling then you´re not working hard enough and you won´t get the best results possible.

When we talk about working hard you need to make sure that you leave your ego behind, if you´re exercising to impress someone then you´ll get injured and you need to avoid injuries. When you exercise you´re doing it for you, to get better than yesterday or the last time you did that exercise, to get faster, to perform better, to increase speed, power, strength, to get lean or whatever goal you´re working on, especially to maintain optimal health so you can´t let your ego get in the way.

You are the one who know your limits, how hard can you go? How much weight can you lift? Can you do another rep without getting hurt? You are the only one who knows if you gave your all, if you´re working hard enough or if you just showed up. Showing up is not enough, those days when you don´t feel like exercising getting up, and going to the gym and literally showing up is the first step but once you´re there make sure you give your all. You need to make every routine count, every set and every rep count if you want 100% results you need to give 100% of your effort always knowing your limit.

If you´re starting your fitness journey it is so hard to give your all and to know your limits, so finding the right balance is hard and it takes time but be patient. If you´ve been sedentary for some years once you start doing some exercise you´ll feel tired and your body starts to hurt in a couple of minutes this is why improving your diet it key especially if you are obese or overweight to help you lose fat faster but it´s hard to know if the pain you´re feeling is the right one, the type of pain and burn you need to give a stimuli to your body or ifs it´s bad pain. In this case. Also, if you are starting your fitness journey but you get obsessed and want fast results you may want to do more or you may push your body harder causing health problems and injuries.

As I´ve mentioned before you need to talk to your doctor or health care professional before starting any exercise or physical activity and before changing your diet.

Mind-muscle connection plays a big role and make it easier for you to know if you´re giving your all without letting your ego get in the way and knowing your limit. By focusing all your attention on the muscle you´re working and the exercise you´re doing is also really helpful to avoid injuries, always make sure that you´re really focused and concentrating on your routine, that you´re breathing correctly and that you have the right mindset.

If you know someone who could benefit from this post please share it with them and don´t forget to follow us on Twitter.

Pam

Exercise

How much exercise do we really need?

DSC_0367
views
227

We´re living very fast paced times and very busy lives so how much time do we need to exercise or how long our workouts should be is a question I get asked a lot. The problem is, if your goal is to maintain optimal health and a lean physique you need to be as physically active as possible throughout the day.

For the past years our habits and routines had change a lot, we´ve become more sedentary, we literally spend long hours sitting in front of a computer working or on the couch watching TV whether it´s movies or series or in the car traveling from home to the office and back again. Processed and fast food is also a huge part of our lives making it easy for us to eat something while we´re in the car travelling to any destination, when we´re at the office or at home working or when we´re watching our favorite tv series, movie or sport. This is the recipe for diseases.

Research and studies show that you need around 20 to 30 minutes of exercise every day, other studies show that with 8 minutes of HIIT per week you can improve and maintain a fit and healthy body. Both of this options are beneficial the problem is you can´t schedule 30 minutes a day or 5 minutes of HIIT for exercise and then sit for the rest of the day, as I mentioned in a past post, sitting is a disease and I´m not the only who thinks this. We´re not meant to spend long hours sitting or laying on the couch or bed, we´re meant to be physically active throughout the day.

So, how much exercise do we really need? For resistance training I would say around 45 minutes to 60 minutes 4 to 5 days a week, you don´t need more time for this type of exercise, but you need to keep the intensity high and challenge yourself, every workout needs to be challenging and you need to make progress by adding more weight or more reps or one more set. You don´t need to do different exercises for each muscle group, with 3 or 4 you can get a great workout if you´re training with the right intensity. A great strategy is to keep your workouts simple but effective, focus on what matters, keep what works this is one of those cases where less is more you just need to make sure that you do your best.

Now that you schedule those 60 minutes for resistance training let say 5 days a week you also need to find ways to stay physically active throughout the day, think of another 45 to 60 minutes of daily physical activity 7 days a week. Yes, every day. You don´t need to do those 45 to 60 minutes all at once and I don´t recommend it, what I recommend is that you divide those 60 minutes in 2 to or 3. You can do 15 minutes right when you wake up before breakfast, another 15 minutes after lunch and 15 minutes after dinner, there you have 45 minutes, if you have time for more you can add the other 15 minutes left to hit the 60 minutes. For this the best option is walk. Go for a 15 minutes walk in the morning, another 15 minutes walk after lunch and a last 15 minutes walk after dinner.

Another great option is to get up and walk during phone calls and also get up and walk a couple of minutes every hour. If you have a desk job and you can get up and go for small walks, try to do it every hour.

This may seem like a lot and you may be thinking you don´t have that much time, in reality most of us have enough time to get more physical activity during the day but we spend too much time on social media, take a couple of days to be aware of everything you do during your day from the moment you wake up until you go to sleep. Write on a book or piece of paper how much time you spend on social media, watching or reading news, how much time you spend watching tv, how much time you spend just thinking about nothing. Most of us have enough time to go for at least a 10 minute walk after dinner and we can fit another 10 minute walk in the morning or after lunch, start with those 20 minutes I´m sure you can reduce the time you spend on social media ad watching news and I´m sure taking those 10 minutes walks twice a day will give you a lot more benefits.

Start this small walks throughout the day and stick to them for a couple of weeks, then let us know how you feel by leaving a comment down below and on Twitter. Be aware of your mood, attitude and energy.

If you know someone who could benefit from this post please share it with them and don´t forget to follow us on Twitter.

Pam

Exercise

How to start increasing physical activity

01
views
148

What you we do every single day is what we become, that daily routine creates our life. If we spend most of the time sitting then it will lead to all kind of negative results.

We all know that exercise is key for optimal health and weight loss, but we can not think about exercise just a something we need to do every day for a short period of time, we need to think about it as being more active throughout the day, finding ways to add more physical activity, the best way to do this is by walking, adding small, short walks is a great way to increase activity.

Most of us spend most time sitting in front of a computer on the couch, in the car and we have the bad habit of leaving the car as close as possible to the entrance wherever we go, if it´s at the mall. On the past years we´ve become very lazy, we don´t want to suffer, we want things fast and with the least work and effort possible from our part. This is a huge problem; this has caused so many health issues and we need to reverse that by increasing physical activity.

Here are 3 steps you can follow to increase physical activity throughout the day:

1.- Go for a walk every morning.- Every morning before having breakfast or before going to school or work go for a 10 to 15 minute walk.

2.- Go for a walk after dinner.- Every night right after dinner go for a walk, the moment you get up from the table go for a 10 to 15 minute walk before doing something else.

3.- Walk for a couple of minutes every 2 hours.- If you have a sedentary job try to get up and walk for 5 minutes every 2 hours, or walk 2 or 3 minutes every hour.

These steps may seem so simple but none of us do them, we are so busy that we don´t have time, so we rather stay in front of the computer checking social media or the news.

If you do want to improve your life you do have time to increase physical activity, instead of looking at your phone every 10 minutes focus on the work you actually need to finish for one hour straight and then take a rest by walking. Checking social media, your phone or the news every hour don´t give you any positive outcome but, if you stop checking your phone, social media and the news and you focus on what you need to get done you´ll be more productive then you take a rest mentally by walking and then you concentrate on the next activity.

Increasing physical activity improves your health and your entire life, it´s not only about losing weight, it´s about keeping it off while maintaining optimal health and you´ll get all the benefits that lead to having a better day, increasing performance and on the long run you live a better life.

We all have time we can use to go for small walks, if you can´t get out and go for a walk you can stand up and stretch, sitting leads to many health problems and stretching has so many benefits, just by standing up and stretch for a couple of minutes improves posture and gives your mind a rest from what you´re doing.

Even when you do need to schedule one hour 4 or 5 days a week for a resistance exercise routine you still need to stay as active as possible throughout the day, resistance exercise helps you build and maintain muscle and it´s also important for maintaining strength and optima health while staying active throughout the day helps you burn calories so that you can sustain your weight loss results and also maintain optimal health.

If you´re struggling to find ways to increase physical activity let us know by leaving a comment on Twitter, we´ll be glad to help you.

If you know someone who could benefit from this post please share it with them and don´t forget to follow us on Twitter.

Pam

Exercise

Benefits of compound exercises

DSC_0084
views
146

Every time I pass through a gym I see people doing so many different exercises for each muscle group which for me only makes the workouts more complicated, if you are one of those guys or girls who do a bunch of exercises for each muscle group but, you´re doing them for a reason, and you understand why then that´s great but, many people don´t understand why they´re doing certain things a certain way, they just follow some workout they found on the internet or the one that some  friend recommended them.

In the last posts we talked about bodyweight exercises now let’s talk about compound movements which along with bodyweight exercises are really helpful to get an amazing physique and improve overall fitness and strength.

Compound exercises are multi-joint movements that work several muscles at the same time which gives us the opportunity to lift more weight. The more weight we can lift, the stronger we get, and we gain more muscle (considering that our food program is right). This type of exercises have a lot of benefits including lowering the risk of injuries (considering that we don´t let our ego get in the way), we can do more in less time but it doesn´t mean that it´s going to be easy and we keep things simple.

Performing compound movements with free weights (barbells or dumbbells) is the best option even when we can´t lift the same amount of weight compared to gym machines or other equipment.

My approach to training is old school, sticking with a few basic exercises with high weight and low reps and adjusting some variables according to the goal you´re working on. Since compound exercises are multi-joint movements, you can lift more weight, so they are the perfect option to lift more weight in a low rep range.

Compound movements also require balance and coordination so as you keep increasing the weight your performance will improve too.

When you are using compound movements it is simple and effective but it doesn´t mean it´s easy. And since you´re working with low reps and high weight things get harder meaning maximum muscle recruitment and high nervous-system activation this is the right stimuli for muscle growth and strength. Here you need to consider recovery, which is as important as your workouts, the central nervous system needs more time to recover so you can´t train the same muscle group 2 days continuously.

If your goal is fat loss, you can stay with bodyweight and compound exercises and focus on low rep ranges around 8 to 10 and make sure that you maintain strength so that you maintain muscle mass.

You don´t need to do a lot of different exercises for each muscle group, keep what works and eliminate what doesn´t work. If you focus on key movements, you can build a great physique that is useful, there´s no reason to look great if you can´t perform great. Your goal is to improve body composition and build a physique you are proud of and that is useful for daily activities at your home or your job.

If you´re starting your weight loss journey and you have a lot of weight to lose you can start with bodyweight exercises only as I mentioned on the last post (click here to read that post), once you´ve lost some weight and you feel comfortable you can buy some dumbbells and a bench to start with compound exercises if you still don´t feel comfortable going to a gym. Exercises like squats, bench press and dumbbell or barbell rows are great options. Focus on maintaining good posture and avoid injuries. We´ll talk about all this on future posts so make sure you don´t lose any post.

If you know someone who could benefit from this post please share it with them and don´t forget to follow us on Twitter.

Pam

Exercise

Why resistance exercise is important

DSC_0446_fix
views
156

Do you lift weight or do some type of resistance exercise or are you afraid that you will gain too much muscle and get big?

Many of us are afraid of lifting weights and doing resistance exercises because we will get big, especially girls, fortunately this is wrong we won´t get big (unless that´s your goal which we will talk about how to do it in other post) but we will look lean, and toned. We think too much about this that we forget all the benefits for overall health that resistance exercise has to offer.

We know that resistance exercise gives the stimulus our muscles need to grow and get stronger, if we want to build an amazing physique resistance exercise is key there´s no other way to achieve a physique that looks lean, toned and strong without giving our body and muscles the stimulus they need.

There are different variables and exercise techniques we can use to get the type of physique we want which we´re going to talk about in a future post. If you´ve to a gym and exercise with a trainer lifting weights you may have found that he made you do a lot of different exercises using dumbbells or machines or a lot of reps. Most fitness trainers use some of variables and techniques we will talk about in future posts but most of them only overcomplicate things. Your goal is to improve body composition which we talked about in another post (click here to read that post). So you don´t need to do all those different exercises and spend hours exercising.

As we get older we start losing muscle mass so we need to make sure that you build lean muscle and maintain it to avoid this loss as you age, it also increases bones mineral density which keeps your bones strong and improves physical performance on daily activities, it increases metabolism, improves body composition, helps you prevent injuries and chronic pains and as you see results, as you see your body changing and getting leaner it bust confidence, increases self-esteem and helps lower anxiety and depression, it also slows and even reverse aging factors.

As we get older we are more susceptible to accidents and injuries so resistance training is a way to make sure that we not only look strong but that we´re actually strong, as cardiovascular exercise has many amazing benefits beyond fat loss and weight management which includes our brain and heart, resistance training also has a lot of amazing benefits that go beyond looking lean which include strong bones.

Resistance training can get really complex if we talk about all the training variables and advance techniques you can use if you have a more advanced fitness goal, but if your goal is only to get in shape, sustain it to maintain optimal health you can keep your programs really simple what you need to consider is that both cardio and resistance have great benefits for health so if you can find ways to use them both not necessarily the same day that´s the way to go.

You don´t need to go to a gym if you don´t want, you can get a really good workout with bodyweight exercises and if you want to add more volume you can add compound exercises. Going to a gym when you´re out of shape or starting in fitness is very overwhelming, being in public and exercising around other people can make you feel uncomfortable because we know unfortunately some of them are not nice, you don´t feel good and don´t have the confidence so you can start at home with minimal equipment.

Making your programs based on resistance training is the best option, if you over-do it with cardio we can lose muscle and that´s not what you want so you need to create the resistance part of your program based on your goals first, then you add cardio to help you achieve your goals faster and also to get those benefits.

If your goal is health and living a better life then keeping things simple with just a few exercises done correctly with the right amount of intensity and effort is all you need, you can get a great workout in 45 minutes and you don´t need to do resistance exercises every day, and with two or three 10 to 15 minute walks every day you´ll get great results.

Let us know by leaving a comment down below and on Twitter if you´ve ever done resistance exercise or lift weights and what were your results. Also if you struggle with something, we´ll be glad to help.

If you know someone who could benefit from this post please share it with them and don´t forget to follow us on Twitter.

Pam

Exercise

Here are some benefits of exercise for overall health

17_tools
views
214

If you want to improve your health and improve your life then, exercise is a priority. If you hate the term exercise, training or work out then you don´t need to worry. You can think about it as physical activity or movement.

There´s a reason why we focus on 5 principles of fitness as a tool to help us live the life we want and deserve; exercise is one of those principles.

Most of us spend so much time sitting whether it´s in front of a computer when we´re at school or at home or at our job working or our car to get to the office and back home, or in the sofa watching tv. We´ve become so sedentary and this lack of physical activity is causing so many problems on our body and health. I know we´re all busy with jobs and school it can be hard to schedule some time to exercise but, if you want to live your best life possible then you need to make some time to exercise every day, if you have time to watch tv whether it´s a tv show, a movie, Netflix or you spend a lot of time on social media you have time to exercise and you don´t need any equipment, just comfortable clothes and a pair of good sneakers, a pull up bar is also a great tool to have and that´s all you need so there are no excuses.

You don´t need to spend hours in the gym or exercising to get all the benefits, if you´re new the goal is to develop the habit of exercising every day so you can start with 15 minutes and from there increase intensity and time, the best part is that you need to do what you love or at least something you enjoy, I´m sure that there´s some physical activity you enjoy doing it can be running, walking, jump rope, lifting weights, calisthenics (bodyweight exercises), practice a sport, yoga, etc; the only way to develop this habit is by doing something you like otherwise it will be like hell and you won´t stick to it.

Exercise helps you build the type of physique you want whether you want to look big like a bodybuilder or superhero or if you want a more athletic  look or you just want to lose weight, get lean and stay in shape. It also helps you maintain a healthy weight focusing on body composition which is our primarily goal and you also want your physique to be useful. Exercise also has amazing benefits for your heart and brain health so it´s key if we want to maintain optimal health.

We will divide exercise in 2 categories which are cardiovascular and resistance training, both of them are important they both have a positive impact on your body and health and there are some benefits for each of them that makes them important. Some of the benefits you get from resistance training you won´t get them with cardiovascular exercises in the same way some benefits from cardiovascular exercises can´t be achieved from resistance training.

One of the benefits you get from both of them is lower stress and improve mood. Chronic stress has negative effects on your body and health, it takes your hormones out of balance and increases inflammation, increase blood flow, improves insulin sensitivity which are some of the negative consequences so reducing chronic stress and finding ways to keep this type of stress low is a great tool to maintain optimal health.

Exercise also improves quality and quantity of sleep, lack of sleep or poor quality sleep also has negative effects on your body and health so you need to make sure you get enough high quality sleep every night, exercising especially in the morning has been shown to improve sleep.

Exercising or doing some type of physical activity every day is one of the fitness tools to maintain a healthy weight and improve your life, some simple steps you can take to start increasing your daily physical activity are:

1.- Take a 10 to 15 minute walks in the morning right after you wake up.

2.- If you work in an office and spend most time sitting try to stand up and take a walk for a couple of minutes every 60 to 90 minutes, it can be 3 minutes or 5 minutes it depends of the amount of time you have.

Fitness and exercise are not only about looking great, is about feeling great, maintaining optimal health and being able to perform at peak every single day. Fitness is a tool to help you feel great and live your best life possible so even when you need to develop healthy habits you can´t get obsessed with it. You can´t let your life revolve around exercise or fitness you just need to find ways to use as many tools as possible to lose weight, stay lean, maintain a healthy weigh considering body composition in an enjoyable way so that you have the energy and concentration to work on your goals and achieve the success you want.

Exercise is a great way to improve your mood, sleep, focus and energy so you can start today by taking a 10-minute walk after your next meal, it doesn´t matter if it´s breakfast, lunch or dinner and starting tomorrow take a 10 minute walk after you wake up, do this for a couple of weeks and let us know how you feel by leaving a comment down below and on Twitter.

If you know someone who could benefit from this post please share it with them and don´t forget to follow us on Twitter.

Pam

Programs

New Years Fat Loss Program!!

2019
views
809

One of the most common New Year’s Resolution is weight loss but most of us don´t achieve it, for weight loss the goal must be to improve body composition, this means loss fat and gain or maintain muscle mass and be able to sustain those results. If you do it correctly, making those results sustainable becomes effortless.

If you are obese or overweight I need to say that it´s not your fault…completely… yes you play an important part but the real fault is the way we were educated, our society and the industry, there´s unhealthy food everywhere. If you´ve been dealing with your weight I know that the problem is not only physical, it´s also mental and emotional, you can see and feel some of the negative effects it has like feeling sad, depressed, lethargic, alone, you may think that your life sucks and you suck. I understand I´ve been through this emotional roller coaster and it gets tougher when you start following a program and you can´t stick to it, you feel like a failure the worst part is when you realize that weight loss is not difficult, you´ve spent so much time and effort following programs that are not right when it´s actually simple. It´s simple to lose weight and get in shape the hardest part is to change habits.

We´ve all hear the most common advice for weight loss “eat less – move more” if it was this simple then none of us would be dealing with our weight. I think it´s disrespectful to tell you this advice, there´s a reason why you can´t stop eating too much, there´s a reason why you can´t stop eating unhealthy foods and our goal with this website is to help you get to the root of the problem so that you can lose weight, get in shape and make it sustainable.

Life is full of choices, if you make one good choice, then another and then another every single day you´ll get results, consistency is key here but this is easier said than done at the beginning. There will be times when you make the wrong choice, don´t blame yourself and don´t make the whole moment bigger than it actually is, just realize that you made the wrong choice and move on, focus on your next choice it may be your next meal or your next workout and focus on making that the best choice.

Most weight loss programs focus on diet and exercises and in most cases the reason why this programs don´t give you the results you want or it´s impossible to sustain them is because they leave out 3 ingredients of fitness which are sleep, stress and mindset and they make nutrition and training a lot harder.

The key to make your results sustainable and do it effortless is lifestyle and habits. A lifestyle based on good habits makes it easier for you to achieve any fitness goal and live a better life. Many diseases we are dealing with nowadays are caused by our unhealthy lifestyle, making small changes in our routines and developing good habits is all you need but it´s the hardest part.

This program and all this website is designed to help you achieve any fitness goal and live a better life by developing good habits based on the 5 ingredients of fitness which are: Nutrition, Training, Sleep, Stress and Mindset.

What you can do is develop good healthy habits and routines one step at a time so that they become part of your lifestyle and it´s easy for you to get amazing results and sustain them.

There are tools you can use for each ingredient that will make your fitness journey more enjoyable and if you take the tools that fit better to you and make them habits you don´t need to worry about gaining weight back. Many of the tools we share with you in the website can have a huge impact in all areas of your life, not only fitness. So if you´ve been wondering how to make some changes that can help you improve in different areas feel free to navigate the site and follow us on Facebook and Twitter for more tips.

One more thing before we begin, this is not a 4 week, 6 week or 12 week fat loss program, it takes time and it´s different for all of us, this program and everything we share with you is meant to be timeless and effective, it may take you 6 weeks to get in shape but it may take you 12 or more weeks, the more fat you have to lose the more time it will take you but don´t focus on that, focus on your weekly results and weekly progress. In this program we will use some tools for each ingredient of fitness but we won´t go deep explaining each tool, we´ll only share with you a simple explanation and how to use it, if you want to learn more about each or learn more in general feel free to navigate the site, is all free!!

NUTRITION

The problem with nutrition is that we have access to all kind of unhealthy foods, they´re everywhere. This foods are cheap and convenient but they are also full of chemicals, unhealthy fats and loaded with sugar. This is one of the causes of obesity, overweight, diabetes and other serious diseases and to make things worse portion sizes are bigger than some years ago and they just keep getting bigger and bigger, you can see some of this increased sizes in packages that say 20% more “to share” and we end up eating the whole bag alone or if you go to a fast food chain you can make the coke and fries bigger for just a couple bucks more.

We are eating too much of the wrong foods!!

If your diet is based on unhealthy foods which include sweets, junk, processed and fast food there´s no need to follow a strict low calorie diet where all you can eat is boiled chicken, broccoli and rice. Since you´ve been following unhealthy diets for a long time they became habits and routines so it´s very hard to change them in one day, this is why it´s so hard to stick to a diet for a long period of time.

The first step here is to change your eating habits, for this you will focus on real food, meals cooked and prepared with real fresh ingredients. Cooking is amazing but if you don´t like or don´t have time to cook you can ask your mom, dad, siblings or someone for help or you can go to a local restaurant (no fast food chains allowed). And avoid all junk, processed and fast food; no sweets, donuts, cookies, cakes, cupcakes, muffins, no soda, no fruit juice, no energetic drinks, no “healthy” bars, no McDonalds, no Burger King, etc.

We´ve been told that we need to have 3 meals and 2 snacks every day, this is not true you don´t need to eat every 2 or 3 hours, our digestive system and body needs time, a tool we´re going to use is intermittent fasting. Intermittent fasting is an eating schedule it tells you when to eat and when not to eat, it has a  lot of amazing health benefits and it also makes your fat loss easier. The fasting schedule I prefer is  8 hours eating window and 16 hours fasting window, in the 8 hours eating window is the time you have to eat and the 16 hours left you don´t eat anything you can drink water, coffee or tea. If you are use to 5 meals a day going to 16 hours of fasting is hard so you can start by reducing your meals from 5 to 3 meals per day (breakfast, lunch and dinner) once you feel comfortable with this you can skip one of those 3 meals, most people prefer to skip breakfast so you only have lunch and dinner in an 8 hour period.

We need to say that even when  we don´t agree completely with traditional weight loss programs because it is impossible to stick to them, fat loss comes down to calories so you need to eat less. The way you´ll be eating less is by avoiding all unhealthy foods and intermittent fasting, by avoiding junk, processed and fast food and by skipping meals and getting to just 2 meals a day you´ll be reducing calories but you need to make sure that you are in a small calorie deficit for fat loss to occur.

So the 3 steps of nutrition for this fat loss program are:

1.- Intermittent fasting – 16 hours fasting window, 8 hours  eating window, 2 meals a day just lunch and dinner within those 8 hours.

2.- Eat real fresh food, avoid unhealthy food (sweets, junk, processed, fast food)

3.- Eat less

TRAINING

Training is the tool that helps you build the physique you want for this you need resistance and cardio training. Resistance is key and in more  cases more important than cardio but cardio still has its place in fitness it has so many benefits and it helps you burn fat so it makes your fat loss journey faster and easier and resistance helps you maintain and possibly build muscle.

In any fat loss phase it is highly important that you focus on maintaining as much muscle mass as possible while burning fat this is why resistance training is important and it´s also why you´ll be doing this type of training 4 days a week, Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday you´ll be working 2 muscle groups each day.

The 3 days left you´ll be doing cardio, cardio helps you burn more calories to achieve your desired weight faster so if you want to skip it for any reason you can skip it just realize that it will take you longer to get to your goal and you won´t get it´s benefits.

As you can see based on this you´ll be working out every single day, yes, the 7 days of the week. The reason for this is habits, developing new habits is hard you need to take the routine or action that you want to develop as habit and do it over and over and over again so by working out every day you are able to develop the habit of exercising faster.

Our approach to training is to use resistance training and work with low rep ranges lifting heavy weight to build lean dense muscle and use cardio to burn some extra calories for fat loss. By low reps in resistance training we mean working in the 5 to 8 rep range but since this is a weight loss program we´re considering that you have not work out for a long period of time and you´re not use to the exercises. We want to avoid injuries and get you in the habit of exercising so if we go directly to low reps and high weight it can be dangerous so in this case we will start at 12 reps in all exercises and from there we will increase weight until we reach 5 reps.

Workout Schedule

Monday – Legs

Tuesday – Back – Biceps

Wednesday – Cardio

Thursday – Chest – Triceps

Friday – Shoulders – Abs

Saturday – Cardio

Sunday – Cardio

Workout Program

LEGS BACK & BICEPS
Bodyweight squat  

SUPERSET
Walking lunges
Deadlifts  

SUPERSET
Wide stance squat
Hip thrust  

SUPERSET
Standing calf raises
Seated calf raises
Pull ups  

SUPERSET
Bent over row
Straight arm pull down  

SUPERSET
T-bar row
Lat pull down  

Chin ups  

SUPERSET
Barbell curls
Hammer curls
CHEST & TRICEPS SHOULDERS & ABS
Push ups  

SUPERSET
Incline bench press
Incline dumbbell flies

SUPERSET
Flat bench press
Flat bench dumbbell flies  

Dips  

SUPERSET
Skullcrushers
Over head triceps extensions
Handstand push ups  

SUPERSET
Over head press
Dumbbell lateral raises  

SUPERSET
Arnold press
Bent over flies  

Leg raises  

SUPERSET
Abs wheel roll outs
Plank hold

As you can see you will repeat almost the same workouts every week, the difference each week will be the rep range. On week 1 you go for 12 reps, on week 2 you go for 10 reps, on week 3 you go for 8 reps, on week 4 you go for 6 reps. You don´t necessarily need to follow the rep ranges for each week, if you are new to this type of training you may want to stay in week 1 which is 12 reps for 2 or 3 weeks until you get use to the exercises, movements and make sure that you are doing each with good form and then you go to week 2 where you increase the weight and go for 10 reps.

Cardio program

For cardio in this case you´ll be doing 30 minutes of steady state, this means that you´ll be doing the same activity at the same pace for 30 minutes, try to keep it intense. It can be brisk walk, jogging, bicycle, swimming, jump rope.

You don´t need to finish this program in 4 weeks, the goal of the program is not only to lose weight and get in shape but to introduce you to fitness and develop the habits you need to make your results sustainable, then you can do some of the other programs we´ll be sharing with you that focus on low reps and high weight.

The 2 steps of training for this fat loss program are:

1.- Resistance training 4 days a week

2.- Cardio training 3 days a week.

SLEEP

Enough good quality sleep every night is necessary for fat loss, it helps you keep cravings low, it keeps you focus and motivated so it´s easier to stick to the program.

One night of lack of sleep impacts negatively certain hormones that increase appetite, increase your cravings specially for sweets and unhealthy foods, makes you insulin resistant, you don´t have the energy and mood to hit the gym.

If you are like most of us who have a 9 to 5 job or you go to school and have other projects and stuff to do you may find it difficult to get the 7 or 8 hours recommended, you can get 6 hours of good quality sleep and have amazing results and feel great during the day but you really need to make sure that those 6 hours are good quality otherwise you won´t make it.

Going to sleep and waking up at the same time every day helps you get a better sleep, also getting sun light in the morning because it helps your body set its internal clock.

Reducing light from electronics like Tv, computers, lap tops, cell phones and other devices also improves your sleep, what you can do is turn off all this devices at least 30 minutes before you go to sleep, if you can do it 60 minutes before it´s amazing.

STRESS

Most of us live with chronic stress and we think it´s normal and it´s actually not and it has many negative impacts not only on weight but health in general. High levels of stress for a long period of time plus high consumption of highly processed foods are the cause of many diseases nowadays, eating less junk, processed and fast foods and lowering stress can make a huge difference in our lives.

One of the causes of stress is worrying about things we can´t control and worrying about what others say and think of us. If you can stop worrying about what people say or think you´ll feel more calm and have more freedom, you don´t need to please everyone you just need to be yourself.

Another thing you can do is avoid negative people and negative environments, stop reading and watching news which almost all of them share negative information and they show us what they want us to see, they create fear and that fear increases stress.

MINDSET

Even if you have the best workout and nutrition program if you don´t have the right mindset you won´t achieve your goals.

Our thoughts and emotions have a strong impact on our results, if there´s any fear or doubt deep inside us that´s the only thing you need to block your results, if you feel unworthy or that you don´t deserve a better life you are not letting that amazing life and those amazing dreams come to you.

Most of us set goals and try to focus on what we want but most of the time we keep thinking about what we don´t want, from now on I want you to think of yourself as that amazing person you already are, think of yourself and visualize yourself already lean and in shape. Belief in yourself, belief that you can get that amazing body and live the life you deserve but know that you need to put time and effort and commit to taking action every single day.

The 4 steps to improve sleep, stress and mindset are:

1.- Turn off all electronics (tv, computer, tablet, laptop, cell phone) 30 minutes before going to  bed.

2.- Use those 30 minutes for meditation.

3.-  Get at least 6 hours of good quality sleep every night.

4.- Keep a positive attitude.

We hope you take this as the introduction and beginning of your fitness journey to help you live a better life and achieve any fitness goal so that you can enjoy every moment as much as possible. There´s so much we still need and want to share with you for each 5 ingredients of fitness.

We believe we all deserve to live the best life possible and for that we all need to know the truth and to understand how things really work, that´s the reason why we created this site.

If you know someone who could benefit from this post please share it with them and don´t forget to follow us on Twitter.

Pam