This month I decided to dedicate this newsletter to all the females out there that have been tricked into believing that cardio is the only way to get in shape and weight lifting will make them bulky. In my opinion this myth has been the greatest obstacle women face when trying to improve their health through fitness. Fitness magazines with distorted female body builders, gimmicky exercise fads and just plain misinformation have led many women to skip the weights and go directly to the cardio deck when scientific evidence has proven nothing gives you a tighter, sleeker more feminine body than weight training. Below are a couple examples of women who have trained with me and have achieved great results with the help of weight training.
Body Transformation week #9
Grandmother of 3 gets rock hard abs
In my last newsletter I featured my wife Stephanie’s week 5 body transformation pics. We’ll she’s now at week 9 and still making great progress. In fact we both agree that she’s already in the best shape of her life and getting leaner weekly. It’s going to be interesting to see the final results on paper as well as through the camera lens but I’m already more than satisfied. At age 44 Stephanie defiantly doesn’t look like any grandma I’ve ever seen! Be sure to check out our next newsletter to see her final pictures.
In the news
Former client makes her mark
A few years back Kelly Gonzalez trained with me to get ready for National and World beach flag competitions. Since then Kelly has made quite a mark on the fitness industry. To date her resume includes accomplishments ranging from National and World beach flag competitor, fitness model, writer, bikini Olympia participant, personal trainer and fitness celebrity as well as being featured in chest, back and balance edition of the new P90X videos. And you know what the best part of all this is? She’s just getting started so look for her to achieve much greater things in the future.
Spangler wins pride award
It has recently come to my attention that Megan Spangler of Schell
Megan lost 16 inches of fat in 12 weeks
Brothers companieswas awarded the Shell Brothers Pride award for her performance in my corporate fitness challenge that ended this past summer. Megan transformed her body shedding a total of 16 inches, 9% body fat and 15% of her overall body weight. But more impressive than any of the above stats Megan finished the challenge by doing 42 chest touching push-ups. This is defiantly an Antonio’s Training record and it was only her first 3 months lifting weights. Who knows what’s she’s capable of in the future.
Ask the Trainer
How do I get results from my cardiovascular workouts?
This article originally appeared in my Ask The Trainer column on Dec 03, 2011
Q: I have some questions about how to maximize my cardiovascular workouts. I have read a lot on this topic but am confused because I always seem to get conflicting opinions. My goal is to lose body fat and get in better shape, but I am no longer getting progress. I’m currently doing cardio five times a week for 60 minutes. Should I add weight lifting? Should I increase my time or my intensity? Do longer cardio workouts work better for fat burning, and how much can I afford to eat during the holidays when doing the amount of cardio that I’m getting in weekly?
A: It seems everyone associates cardio with getting in shape, but there’s a lot more to it than running aimlessly like a hamster on a wheel. You have to do it correctly, or you could actually do more damage to your metabolism. Here are some answers to your questions to make sure you’re getting the most out of your workouts.
Cardio works better combined with weight training
Some things were just meant to be together, like pancakes and syrup, knives and forks, nuts and bolts, Demi and Ashton – OK, scratch that last one, but you get the idea. Cardiovascular training is an important piece of the fat-loss puzzle, but without weight training it’s like eating cheese without the crackers. It just doesn’t work. This is because cardio burns calories, but it won’t change the overall makeup of your body. If your goal is to tone up and get in better shape, weight training is a must. Weight lifting will improve your overall body composition, and studies prove that weight training boosts your metabolism for hours after you’re finished working out, while cardio will only burn calories for short periods of time. When you combine the two together, you have a deadly metabolic combination.
Cardio must be challenging
It’s important to understand that in order to get results from your cardio workouts, you have to work outside your comfort zone. If you focus on time and distance alone, you’ll never reach your full potential. Instead, find a level of intensity that’s hard but doable, and be sure to change it as your workout gets easier. Keep in mind, it only takes a couple weeks for your body to get used to your workouts, so be sure to throw it a curve ball every two to three weeks, and you’ll avoid periods of no progress.
Shorter, intense sessions work better than long distance
Don’t fall into the more is better trap when it comes to cardio; instead, focus on shorter, more intense sessions from 15 to 45 minutes for best fat-burning results. Too often, people with good intentions believe that if they do massive amounts of cardio, they’ll have a better chance of getting in shape, when actually they’re burning muscle, destroying the body’s ability to burn fat.
On the other hand, shorter, more intense sessions will burn fat and spare muscle, accelerating your metabolism. Remember, bigger muscles burn more fat, and too much cardio can make you skinny-fat.
Cardio is not an excuse to eat whatever you want
Most people work out because they want to look good, be healthy and enjoy some of the guilty pleasures in life, but you have to understand that just because you pay your dues in the gym or on the cardio deck, it’s not an excuse to eat whatever you want all the time.
Try and eat a sensible diet 85 percent of the time and treat yourself the other 15 percent of the time. You’ll get much better results from your cardio workouts, and you’ll appreciate eating what you want now and then as a treat and not a lifestyle.
Put all these pieces together and maximize your cardio workouts for best results.
What foods contain good fat?
This article originally appeared in my Ask The Trainer column on Dec 17, 2011
Q: For years I would judge the nutritional value of food based on how much fat per serving was listed on the label. I have recently learned that there are good fats that I am supposed to include in my diet. What are some examples of foods that contain good fats?
A: Food manufacturers often twist the truth to boost sales by playing on your fears.
They’ll tell you to buy their product because its “fat free,” leading the public to believe all fat is bad and should be completely eliminated from your diet. Not true!
Good fat is needed for healthy skin, hair, eyes, joints, digestion, energy and a strong metabolism. That’s right, you can actually use good fat to lose weight. Here are some examples of foods that contain good fat to help you get your daily dose.
Fish is loaded with omega-3 fats that have been proven to reduce the chances of heart disease. It’s also high in protein, helping to maintain and repair muscles after a hard workout. Fish is a staple for anyone interested in eating a healthy diet and should be eaten at least twice a week. For best results grill, bake or broil with nonfat cooking spray or a little bit of olive oil.
Nuts are high in protein, fiber, vitamins and minerals. They are a great healthy choice snack to keep stocked in your cabinet in case you get hungry in between meals. Best choices include walnuts, almonds and macadamias. Keep portion size at a handful or two and be sure to avoid nuts that have added sodium, sugar, chocolate or other things that take away from their nutritional value.
Avocado is great source of good fat for those who prefer fruit. It also contains vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients – substances found in plants that help fight disease. Avocado is an excellent addition to salads as well as many other recipes and is a personal favorite of mine.
Natural peanut butter
If you’ve never tried natural peanut butter, you don’t know what you’re missing. Natural peanut butter is basically the same as regular without the added sugar. It can be a little intimidating because of the layer of oil that sits at the top of the jar, but don’t let it bother you; just scoop through it and enjoy. It’s another excellent source of good fat.
Seeds are another good fat snack to keep around the house. They can be eaten alone or added to salads or cereals. Seeds are best eaten raw. Good choices include pumpkin, sunflower, flax or sesame.
It’s important to remember although an essential part of any healthy diet, foods that contain good fat are calorie dense and will cause weight gain if eaten in large quantities. So be sure to consume them in moderation and check with your doctor to make sure you don’t have allergies that would prohibit you from eating the above foods.
***Tune in next month for the final results of Stephanie’s 12 week body transformation, more news, valuable information and inspirational stories!