Fitness: Discover the AVAC® Difference!

The Business of Fitness: How To Crush Your Q2 Goals

via – Marcus Eduardes | Spinning Instructor, Team AVAC®

MarcusI have spent most of my professional life on the Sales side of Technical Consulting and Recruiting. These days, I run my own Consulting Company through which I coach Senior Sales Leaders and CEO’s to optimize their businesses in order to generate more revenue.

Why am I telling you this?

Well, there are actually a number of notable parallels between success in sales and business – and success in health and fitness, whether it be on the bike, in the gym, on the road, up a mountain or in the pool. These similarities include planning, execution, focus and commitment.

Many sales organizations set themselves up to tackle their respective markets on a quarterly basis – they target, execute, measure, manage and reward teams/employees in four separate cycles during the year. Jan-March, April-June, July-Sept and Oct-Dec.

I think the same template could work well for health and fitness initiatives.

Set yourself a specific goal at the beginning of each Quarter – and then manage and measure yourself, as you progress through the 13 weeks towards your goal.

Tomorrow actually marks the last Sunday in Q1. It’s a chance to reflect on the progress you’ve made in your own personal health and fitness agenda over the first 3 months of the year, and, looking ahead to Q2, an opportunity to consider a more specific goal or measure of success to help you combat the evil forces of Procrastination and Indifference…

And this next Quarter is a big one: April 1st thru June 30th…

It’s the all-important “Pre-Summer 2015 Quarter”!

Wanna look good at the beach? You’ve still got time to put a fitness plan together that delivers you into July in your best shape ever!

Follow these simple steps and set yourself up for success:

1. Set The Bar. Decide on your goals: Inches, weight, resting heart rate, # of workouts weekly – there are many different target options that you might choose to motivate yourself and measure your success.

2. Challenge Yourself. Nothing worthwhile comes easily, but with the right level of focus and determination, you can achieve whatever you want. Set some lofty goals and go after them with extreme zest!

3. Ownership and Accountability. You are far more likely to succeed if you write down your goals and share them. Tell your family and friends – you may even want to publish your goals on Facebook.

4. Non-Negotiable. Get your workouts in the calendar. Nothing is more important than your health and fitness. Make the commitment!

5. Be Realistic. It’s not the end of the world if you miss a workout or opt for the cheesecake once in a while. Just get back on your plan as fast as possible with renewed vigor!

6. Manage and Measure. Keep a journal of your progress and note how you feel at the end each week, or after each workout. Look for small wins to stay fired up and on track!

7. Nutrition. We all know how to eat healthy. Stay hydrated and try to plan your meals rather than reacting to hunger.

8. Just Do It. No excuses, let’s go! You are the master of your own destiny.

Consider meeting with an AVAC Personal Trainer to help you craft a plan that works for you.

Good luck – and make sure that Indoor Cycling features heavily in the cardio part of your plan – there’s nothing like it, to stay heart healthy and happy!

Marcus Edwardes
AVAC’s Best Male Spinning Instructor…
Check out BikeBeat.net for more great articles!

The Best Cities For Fit People – Did San Jose make the cut?

via – self.com

The rankings are in, and these are the top spots to celebrate your love for working up a serious sweat.

Studies have proven it: Working out with a partner can improve your performance (and motivation). And if you’re on the hunt for like-minded fitness friends or training buddies, you may want to unroll your yoga mat and lace up your sneakers on the West Coast. According to Eventbrite’s just-released The United States of Events report, three Californian cities take the cake: San Francisco, San Diego and San Jose rank first, second and forth, respectively, for cities where residents are most likely to spend their free time getting sweaty and hitting up local health and fitness events. New York City snagged the third spot.

And while the East Coast is represented in the top 10 thanks to cities including NYC, Boston and Baltimore, San Fran swept the top spot in all fitness categories. It was even dubbed the “The Work(out) Hard Play Hard City,” where cooking classes and pop-up dining experiences are equally as popular as racing and taking yoga classes.

But if you were wondering about who loves their bacon the most (because who isn’t constantly thinking about bacon?)…New York City boasts the greatest participation at events for the savory treat.

Here are Eventbrite’s top 10 US cities for attendance at fitness events:

  1. San Francisco
  2. San Diego
  3. New York City
  4. San Jose
  5. Baltimore
  6. Boston
  7. Chicago
  8. Portland
  9. Charlotte
  10. Los Angeles

Lydia’s AbsoluteFIT Journey – A Show of Strength

via – Lydia M. | AVAC® AbsoluteFIT Participant

Every once in awhile, I realize just how far I’ve come with AbsoluteFIT.

The other day, in a Strength and Endurance session, Marie demonstrated some hellish move she appears to have made up herself: a full pushup, in which your feet are on those Glider discs; the legs slide outward on the Gliders as you drop into the pushup, and slide back in to the starting position on the upward part. Basically, it’s some real Spider-Man stuff right there. A pushup, which is HARD ENOUGH THANK YOU, but also with extreme core control and LEGS INVOLVED.

An insanely hard move can teach you how strong you really are.

An insanely hard move can teach you how strong you really are.

We all stood around and did that dubious-laughter thing, like ain’t no way we’re gonna be able to do that, lady! You’re dreaming!

But — when it was my turn on that circuit — I did it. And not just once, either — I got four or five good reps completed before I had to give up the leg part and just do pushups for the rest of the 50 seconds. Second time through, I did it again — six of them this time. And while I was doing it, utterly focused (which I had to be — it was tough to coordinate!), the word “strong” came into my head. I absolutely could not have done even one rep of this move five months ago. “Strong,” said my unhinged brain — and it was right.

—Lydia M. 

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15 Ways Your Environment Makes You Eat More (or Less)

When my son was a young boy he was an extremely picky eater when it came to fruits & veggies. He loved basketball, so our trick for getting him to eat cantaloupe was to tell him it was called ‘Michael Jordan Melon’ and if he wanted to ‘Be Like Mike’ he’d better eat up… It worked! via – scienceofus | By

Brian Wansink, the best-selling author and Cornell professor of nutrition science and consumer behavior, has made a career out of studying the ways people accidentally eat more than they intended to. His work examines how environment shapes eating behavior, and how our human predilection toward mindless eating doesn’t have to mean overeating. In an entertaining interview this week with Mother Jones, Wansink takes us through what almost reads like a rundown of his greatest hits — some of the most interesting findings his research has uncovered on the ways we can use mindlessness to improve our eating habits. Here are some of our favorites.

In a restaurant:

  • Ask to be seated by a window. Wansink’s data show diners who eat next to a window are 80 percent more likely to order salad.
  • And if you’re trying to avoid sweets, don’t sit at a booth near the bar — according to Wansink’s research, people who sit in that location are 73 percent more likely to order dessert.
  • Choose a brightly lit restaurant with soft background music and you’ll enjoy your meal more — you’ll also consume fewer calories.
  • Order whatever it is you actually want. “If you tell people to be mindful of what they order, they don’t like it as much and they make up for it later,” Wansink told Mother Jones. “They tell themselves they deserve ice cream since they virtuously ate a salad for dinner.”
  • Wansink’s research even shows some very specific rules to remember should you find yourself dining at a Chinese buffet: Eat with chopsticks. Choose a smaller plate. Survey the entire buffet before making your selections. Don’t sit close to the buffet, and make sure you’re facing away from the food.

At home with the kids:

  • Serve fruit in colorful bowls. Wansink’s research on school children has found that kids eat double the amount of fruit when it’s served in a colorful dish, as compared to a plainer, metal one.
  • And cut up their fruit first. Again, in his research in schools, Wansink observed that when schools served sliced apples, 48 percent fewer apples were thrown out without being eaten.
  • Improve on vegetables’ #branding. Wansink’s data show that kids can be tricked into eating 35 percent more veggies when their veggies are given funny names (X-Ray-Vision Carrots! Silly-Dilly Green Beans!).

At the grocery store:

  • Spend at least 10 minutes browsing the produce section. Wansink says people who do end up buying more fruits and veggies than shoppers who speed their way through the produce aisles.
  • Buy the cheaper, bigger box of cereal. Just make sure to divide it up into small containers at home; people tend to eat less when food is served out of a smaller container, according to Wansink’s research.
  • It’s okay to buy the bagged salad. “Purist cooks say, ‘You’re a lazy head. You should be doing this yourself.’ That’s what my wife says,” Wansink told Mother Jones. “But when she’s not around, it’s often what I buy. It makes me a whole lot more likely to have a salad, because it takes three steps out of the process.”

How Long Does It Actually Take to Get Out of Shape?

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via – Greatist.com | by Nick English

Don’t let anybody tell you different—everyone has skipped a workout at some point. At Greatist, we’re firm believers in cutting yourself some slack and taking time off from exercise when you need to. But we also know how easily three days off can snowball into six, then 10. Before you know it, you’re asking that question we’ve all asked when the gym feels like a distant memory: How long does it take to lose my fitness?

First, it’s important to remember that taking time off now and again is a good thing—exercise inflicts a degree of stress on the body, and any good workout program includes a heck of a lot of rest days, especially if the exercise is very intense. And there’s a benefit to both “active recovery” and complete rest.

That said, “use it or lose it” is pretty much the rule. But exactly how much fitness you’ll “lose” depends on the length of your break and how fit you were to begin with.

If You Exercise on the Regular

Generally speaking, if you’ve been working out several times a week for more than a year, your muscle memory is solid . In fact, with that strong of an exercise habit, scientists are quite willing to drop you in the “athlete” category. And for athletes, your fitness can deteriorate at different rates depending on whether you’re looking at strength or cardiovascular losses.

Strength Loss

For most people, strength loss occurs after about two and a half to three weeks of inactivity, says Molly Galbraith, a certified strength and conditioning specialist and co-founder of Girls Gone Strong. But it depends on why you take the break.

“If you are sick, your body is over-stressed, so you’ll start to lose strength after two to three weeks,” she says. “If you’re not sick, and especially if you’re able to get in some movement and light exercise, you can probably take three, four, even five weeks off without significant strength loss.”

Science agrees. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise published a review of several studies on the subject that looked at runners, rowers, and power athletes. For all of these groups, muscular strength fibers appear not to change, even after a month of inactivity. But here’s the kicker: While general strength doesn’t change much in that period, specialized, sport-specific muscle fibers start to change in as little as two weeks without a workout . For example, endurance athletes lose a significant amount of the extra slow-twitch muscle fibers that they worked so hard to accumulate, and the same thing happens for the power athletes and their hard-earned fast-twitch muscle fibers.

Basically the body likes to hold onto strength for as long as it can, but skills that are very specialized for certain sports will decline faster. We’re generalists, what can we say?

Cardio Loss

So what about all the cardio lovers out there who are more concerned with the strength of their heart and lungs? Sadly we lose this kind of conditioning a little more quickly than we lose strength. One study of endurance cyclists found that four weeks of inactivity resulted in a 20 percent decrease of their VO2 max, which measures a person’s maximum capacity to take in, transport, and use oxygen during exercise . The results were more or less confirmed by another study, which found that after 12 days of inactivity, VO2 max dropped by seven percent and enzymes in the blood associated with endurance performance decreased by 50 percent .

But keep your chin up. While your cardio conditioning does fall faster than your strength, it’s easier to regain, Galbraith says. So get back on that horse, cowboy.

If You’re Newer to Exercise

Congratulations on your new-ish exercise habit! But if you’ve hit pause on your trips to the gym, don’t take too long to hit play again. Consistency is key for building new habits, and it’s as true for the body as it is for the mind: If your body hasn’t been enjoying exercise for long, it can be easier to lose the progress you’ve made.

Strength Loss

As far as strength goes, it’s best not to be too concerned about losing your headway, as those famous “newbie gains” make it somewhat easier to retain strength.

For example, previously untrained folks who took a three-week break in the middle of a 15-week bench press program finished the course with similar strength levels as those who didn’t take a break at all . One study even showed that six months after quitting a 4-month strength training program, up to 50 percent of the original strength gain was maintained . It’s also worth noting that among newbies, eccentric strength, that is, the strength used when lengthening a muscle or lowering a weight, may be harder to lose than concentric strength, which is when the muscle is contracted. A study of 13 previously untrained guys found that three months after ending a three-month training program, they had maintained their eccentric strength gains, but not their concentric strength .

Cardio Loss

Once again, cardio is a little more sensitive to time off. One of the best studies of the effects of detraining on recently acquired fitness gains found that VO2 max gains that were made in the last two months are completely lost after four weeks of inactivity .

Other Factors

While your fitness level is key to how quickly you get back to your fitness baseline, there are a few other variables that also come into play.

First, age plays a role in your bounce-back time . When looking at 41 people who were either 20 to 30 years old or 65 to 75 years old, the older subjects lost strength almost twice as fast as the whippersnappers during a six-month “detraining” period in one study .

And again, why you’re taking the break is also a factor. When scientists injected inactive volunteers with hormones that mimicked the stress of trauma or illness, they had a 28 percent decrease in strength over 28 days—a higher rate than average .

4 Ways to Make the Most of a Fitness Break

Whether you’re on a relaxing vacation or stuck on the couch with an annoying chest infection, there are a few ways to stay strong during downtime.

1. Do Light Cardio

“If you’re able to take plenty of brisk walks, keeping your heart rate in the 120-ish range, then you should be able to stave off losing conditioning for a little longer,” Galbraith says. Indeed, training a little will do a much better job of maintaining your gains than totally stopping, especially if you’re able to squeeze in the odd cardio session that’ll train you at the upper end of your VO2 max, like some quick intervals .

2. Incorporate Some Resistance Training

There are plenty of reasons for taking a break, but if you have a localized injury, say in your ankle or wrist, don’t use it as an excuse to completely stop exercising. Cross-train through injuries, if you can. Do some bodyweight exercises, or see if you can try swimming, which is the go-to exercise for a lot of injured athletes. Even a four-minute tabata or two will make a huge difference in maintaining your strength.

“Light, dynamic warm ups are also a good way to help keep the body from getting too stiff and to slow the loss of mobility without putting too much additional stress on an over-stressed body,” Galbraith says. But if you’re sick from the neck down—think achy muscles, chest congestion, fever—it may be best to rest, she adds.

3. Eat Right

Exercise helps to control junk food cravings, so you may need to try harder to avoid crappy food while you’re not working out. Get lots of protein, healthy fats, and low-GI carbs, and your body will thank you. Eating well will help you avoid any weight gain, which would make restarting fitness all the more challenging. And nutrient-dense foods will also speed up your recovery if you’re injured or ill.

Galbraith also suggests raw honey for its antibacterial and antimicrobial properties, homemade bone broths for hydration, and garlic to lessen the severity of cold symptoms if you’re under the weather.

4. Love Yourself

No, not like that. But it’s important not to judge yourself or lapse into self-loathing on account of taking some time off. The gym will be right there waiting for you when you’re ready for it, but for now, do what you can and do what makes you happy. If it’s seeing what life is like without exercising so darn much, you do you! Look in the mirror, say a body-positive mantra, and know that you’re perfect—no matter how often you hit the gym.