If you are receiving this e-mail it’s because sometime during the last couple years you signed up for it. The problem is that I have been so busy training, writing and just living life that I haven’t sent out a newsletter for a long time. I have completely upgraded the website and periodically posted fresh material but that’s about it. Boy oh boy things are about to change. I am now gearing up to send this newsletter out monthly with the intent to provide interesting, educational, motivational and inspirational material to anyone willing to read it. There will be no spam, sales pitches or any other junk just valuable information for likeminded people who love working out and staying in shape. I encourage you to comment, write questions and even send pics and who knows you just might find yourself gracing the pages of Antonio’s Training or find your questions answered in the Cape Gazette. Ok, enough said, let’s get moving.
In the News
Antonio’s Corporate Fitness clients move that bus
Shell Brothers Construction Company has participated in my corporate fitness challenge 3 times and was recently chosen to participate in ABC’s Extreme Makeover Home Edition. The show was chosen for this year’s Thanksgiving special and will air Friday November 18th at 8:00 Pm. Be sure to tune in and check out the awesome job that they did building a soup kitchen for those in need while working through an earthquake, hurricane and a tornado all in one week. Also check out the video below featuring some of the best male body transformations from Schell Brothers Companies.
Many of you may recognize the woman you see in the picture below. Yep that’s right it’s my wife Stephanie. Stephanie has always been known for being one of the most in shape grandma’s in the area but at age 44 she wanted to take her fitness program to the next level so she has agreed to do my 12 week body transformation. We initially decided that she would only do 6 weeks because of her advanced fitness level but she’s doing so well she is already talking about extending. Stay posted for updates on her progress.
Week #1 Week #5
Ask the Trainer
Stick with the basics for best results
When I was young the most common question I heard at the local gym was how much you bench? Boy how things have changed. Today you’re more likely to hear how many box jumps, kettle bell swings and flying leg raises can you do in 30 seconds while standing single legged on a bosu balance ball?
Great exercise or accident waiting to happen? You be the judge.
Don’t get me wrong I too like change. After all it makes life interesting but don’t get so caught up in the hype that you forget about the basics that have been giving people great results for the past 75 years.
Here are 4 time tested oldie but goodies that every serious fitness enthusiast should consider adding to their training programs. Give them a try, you will be surprised at how simple and effective they are for helping you get in shape.
It doesn’t matter whether you’re a strength athlete, body builder or soccer mom if you want to reach your full potential barbell squats should be included in your program. Many people don’t like to do squat’s because they are just plain hard but the results you’ll get will be well worth the effort. No other exercise I can think of isolates the quads, glutes and hamstrings more effectively than the traditional back squat so if this exercise is not currently part of your program all I can say is get squatting!
Squats aren’t just for guys.
Once thought only as an exercise for muscle heads and weightlifting behemoths dead lifts have found their way into the mainstream of fitness. I love deadlifts because there’s no real way to cheat it’s just you against the weight and you better be ready or the weight will win. Deadlifts are a great addition to any program because they work several larger muscle groups including the upper back, traps, hamstrings, quads, hips and a host of smaller muscles all at the same time.
If deadlifts were good enough for a 70 year old they are certainly good enough for you!
Military shoulder press
The thought of lifting a barbell overhead would normally be enough to make most orthopedic surgeons have a nervous breakdown but if you take the time to properly strengthen all 3 heads of the shoulders muscles- front, side and rear delts- as well as use proper form the military press can be a great shoulder exercise. The military press primarily works the shoulders but also hits the traps, triceps, upper chest, abs and lower back too. It can also be a great way to work on balance and it takes a lot of practice to stabilize the weight.
Bent over barbell rows
You can do all the fancy machines you want but nothing will isolate the bigger back muscles like doing a bent over barbell row. I consider this the meat and potatoes off all back exercises and teach it to my clients once they have mastered basic movements such as seated cable rows and lat pulldowns. Bent over barbell rows are great because they require upper body strength, core strength and stability to do them correctly.
Most people associate bench presses for chest development but I’ll take bench dips any day of the week. Chest dips are a great way to isolate the chest and triceps without using a bench to support your body weight sharpening your core strength, balance and posture all in one shot.
chest dips are not a beginner’s exercise and most people will have to work up to them as they get stronger and lose excess body fat. Once you’re able to pound out 10 or more of these babies you might even want to strap a weight to your body for added resistance. Chest dips have been around forever and are still a great choice for any program.
So if your training routine is beginning to sounds more like an order of fancy Italian coffee than a workout it might be time to go with simpler more effective approach of time tested exercises that have been helping people achieve their fitness goals since 1932 when York barbell decided to forge pig iron into the first weightlifting sets.
Why everyone should get body fat tested
There are many ways to test the effectiveness of your training program but none as important as checking your body fat. You can be strong, fast or have bulging biceps but if you’re carrying a high percentage of body fat you’ll never reach your full potential. I personally guarantee that reducing your body fat to an optimal range will make you look, feel and perform in ways you never dreamed of so if you’re curious to see how you stack up against the competition get tested and adjust your program accordingly.
It really doesn’t matter what method you use as long as you have a baseline you’ll be able to chart your progress but just in case I’ll break it down from least to most effective so that you can choose the method that works best for you.
This method works by sending low level electrical currents through your body to determine your body fat usually through a scale or handheld device. It’s popular because it is quick and easy but is it’s not very accurate. Several factors including skin temperature, body hair and fluid retention make it even less perfect. On average the bioelectrical impedance has a margin of error of approximately 10-12%.
Skin fold calipers
This test uses a large set of calipers to lightly pinch the skin in several key areas. The calipers allow you to measure the thickness of fat on the outer layer of skin. You then compare the measurements to predetermined chart or do a fancy mathematical equation and you have your body fat percentage. This is a much more accurate way to check your body fat and is my personal favorite but it doesn’t test visceral body fat that lies between the organs so the more obese the person being tested the less accurate the test. It also depends on the skill and consistency of the person administering the test. The average margin of error is about 3-4%.
This test requires you’re body to be lowered into a giant tank of water and since muscle is denser than fat your body composition can be determined based on how much water you displace. People that have a low body fat will displace more water than those with a higher body fat percentage but very few facilities have the equipment to give this test except possibly some hospital’s or universities making the test unrealistic for the average person to get access.
The Dexa Scaner is latest and most accurate method of body fat testing because it takes into account muscle, fat and bone mass. It’s a very expensive piece of equipment that uses low level ex-rays and can be found at some imaging centers and doctors’ offices. To take this test you simply lay down on an open table while a computer generated arm slowly scans vertically from head to toe over your body. The end result is an accurate detailed spread sheet of overall body fat percentage as well as the body composition of all of our major body parts.
How do I measure up?
The only real way to know what kind of shape you’re in is to see what you’re made of and I mean literally. Here’s a chart to see how you measure up. Remember women naturally carry more body fat than men so don’t be upset if your boyfriend is lower than you are.
|Classification||Women (% fat)||Men (% fat)|
Where do I go from here?
Ok, chances are you won’t be as lean as you had hoped for but that’s the beauty of getting tested. First find out where you are and what your fitness level is and then make a better leaner version of your current self. As a wise historian once said, “How do you know where you’re going if you don’t know where you been”, and if you get tested you’ll know where you’ve been. The only real question left to answer is where are you going from here?
18% body fat 8% body fat
Jay Nichols completed my 12 week body transformation and lost 9% body fat in 12 weeks and body fat testing was a great way for us to track his results.
Stay tuned next month for more valuable information, news and inspirational results!