Thursday, October 17, 2013

The Winter Warmer is Upon Us

  Hibernation and a fatty extra layer for the winter remains only for the bears. I know I am not alone when it comes to this topic; as the weather gets colder we have a harder time getting out of bed, we want to eat more comfort style food, we want to stay home in the warmth of our doors and have a harder time motivating ourselves to get to the gym or get on a hike, or what ever your exercise pleasure may be. BUT I encourage you to fight these feelings and continue to your goals. With the holidays approaching it is only that much more important we stay on track.
The article above shows information on the average weight gain during the holiday season, DONT allow people to scare you by saying it is 7-10 pounds because it is actually only about a 1 pound. Which sounds easy to change right... well not as easy as you think, the 1 pound is of fat not of water or other factors that otherwise may lead you to think it will go away in the day. Dont be afraid of the holidays though, if we get ahead of the game and start a healthy habit now it will lead us through the Thanksgiving and Christmas season full of all the delicious foods and things we otherwise punish ourselves for eating. Allow yourself to indulge and be joyous with your family but do it all in moderation. Allow your self a slice of pie but take only one, dont go back for seconds and dont try three different kinds. Take smaller portions of things like potatoes and eat more of the turkey; it will still fill you up and it will keep you fuller for longer.

  I have made a pledge to myself this week and will challenge you to make a similar pledge to yourself...

    I pledge I will eat 100% clean 6 day/week and on day 7 I get ONE cheat meal. I pledge I will work out at least 4 day/week and will strive to get 5 or 6. I pledge I will work hard on keeping my mental health not only by getting rest days and maybe some meditation, but by expressing myself how ever I need, whether it is by communicating more openly with the people around me or it is by picking up some art supplies expressing myself artistically, OR picking up a pen and paper and writing down what ever is in my head how ever it desires to come out.

If you need help with any of this please do not hesitate to ask I am here to work through any questions or concerns you may have, ESPECIALLY when it comes to clean eating. I have tons of recipes, and if I dont have what you are looking for I will find it!


Monday, September 23, 2013

Feeling Comfortable in the Gym

As a female I know this topic well. This post is mostly geared toward woman feeling comfortable in the gym, and specifically in the weight room areas of the gym. I am going to start by telling a bit of my story then go into how to become more comfortable why it is so important to lift weights as a woman.

I was an athlete in high school, playing volleyball the only reason I went to school, but was never in great shape, then when I went to college I started hiking and biking everywhere, even got into a bit of rock climbing. When I moved home after college I was unmotivated and working in restaurants eating unhealthy food, and gained a bunch of weight, I was never much of a gym person, I was board on the cardio machines and board on the weight machines, it never really felt like I got anywhere. I know now that is mostly because I was inconsistent and not challenging myself. I was like most woman who think that running is the best way to lose weight; I mean look at all the long distance runners they are thin and stick like. I am not built that way, PLUS I always hated running anything more that the 200 meter dash. When I was about 23 I learned about a course in Personal Training called NPTI. I was living in Seattle at the time and they seemed to have a great reputation so I went for it. Not really knowing what I was getting myself into I signed up, when I got to class on my first day I was nervous and excited, I have always thought of myself as strong but didnt realize that in reality I just looked strong. I quickly made friends with a couple of people one of which was the good looking built guy who was the class clown (has always been my type) For 3 months we hung out in class and eat lunch together, he always invited me to come work out after class and lift with him but I was nervous he would realize I didnt know ANYTHING about lifting and think I was an impostor.  When we left for winter break I saw friends and family I hadnt seen in a while, they kept telling me how great I was looking, that always feels good. When I got back to class after the break I stopped seeing the results I wanted I had hit a plateau, I then started talking to my friend David about it and he asked me again if I would like to workout with him after class, this time I couldnt say no, I was still working out hard and not seeing the results lifting weights was the only thing left to try. His routine was a typical guy who wants to be a "bodybuilder type" routine, back and bi on monday, chest and tri, on tuesday, a little bit of legs and core on wednesday and rotate through those through the week taking one or two days off a week.

For me this was completely new. Having a guy who knew what he was doing helped enormously build my confidence when it came to even stepping foot in the weight room on my own. I always recommend working out with a buddy, it is safer, you have someone there holding you accountable for doing the workout, and its fun with a bit of a competitive nature along side it. Watch videos of people doing the lifts, if it is to hard or complicated then wait to try it, but at least you are starting the process of learning how to improve yourself. You will not look like you dont know what youre doing, I know that is a big concern for most women, they dont want to look like they dont know how to do it. Just GO FOR IT. Confidence is key and if it is to soon to start there then get into the group training studio, use the little "lady weights" start there. most guys have them in body pump classes, take one of those, then everyone looks like they dont know what they are doing. (hahah) Its time for women to take over the weight room. Lifting weights has completely changed the way I work out, the way I train my clients and they way I look at strength. STRONG IS THE NEW SEXY! RIGHT? so make it so, get your but in a squat rack and squat...deadlift! get your back strong do some rows on the cable machine, get underneath a barbell and do some inverted rows. DO PUSH UPS... not on your knees... elevate yourself on a bench or the wall if you have to.

I know this post seems like a rant and talking about myself quite a bit, but I am passionate about getting woman comfortable lifting weights. It is not only how you will get the results you want from your workout but it is how you prevent things like osteoporosis in older age, it is how you burn fat more efficiently, and affectively which in turn makes you crave better foods for you, which makes you a healthy person all around. You will feel better, look the way you want to look and feel more empowered.


Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Workout On The Go

When it comes to travel, for work, or vacation, you dont need much to get a good workout. If you have your body and are willing and able, then you have all the equipment needed. In leu of me being out of town and away from a gym I am bringing a total body, body weight workout,  I brought my TRX with me, which takes up very little space in my bag, but because most people dont own their own TRX Suspension Trainer here we go:

Starting with a small dynamic warm up:

  • Over head lunges with a twist (arms placed straight over head, keep your shoulders pinned back and away from your ears and while keeping your back straight turn toward your forward knee alternating sides)
  • Pull backs (Pull your foot behind you, otherwise knows as a Quad stretch, but I want you to hold for a count of one and alternate)
  • Inch Worms (Forward bend keeping your knees straight, walk your hands forward into a strong plank position, hold plank for a count of one, without bending your knees and keeping your hands in place inch your feet forward toward your hands. REPEAT) 

Body of the work out: You can either do each circuit once with a 1min rest between or if you can pick one circuit and do it 3 times with a 1min rest between each set. Your choice!

Round 1:
  • 20 Bodyweight Squats
  • 10 Push-ups (elevate your hand on a bench if you cant do it on the floor, not on your knees if it is doable)
  • 15 Burpees (If you don't hop at the top its NOT a burpee its a thruster!!!!!!)
Round 2:
  • 20 Bodyweight squats
  • 20 TOTAL Spider Plank (10 on each side. Hold plank position while bringing you knee to your elbow on the same side)
  • 40 TOTAL High Knees (20 on each side. Its like running in place but you are aiming to bring your knees to or above hip height
Round 3:
  • 20 Bodyweight squats
  • 40 Mountain Climbers (20 on each side. In plank position with rapid fire bring your knee to your chest, do not let the forward foot touch the ground then shoot that foot back and alternate sides)
  • 40 Speed skaters (20 to each side. Moving from side to side, leap to your right and like a speed skater throw your left arm in from of you and your left leg behind you, then leap to the left and do the opposite thing)
For every exercise listed there is a video or google image you can find. The fact that you have never heard of the exercise IS NOT AN EXCUS not to do the work out. 

Have fun on any vacation and keep up the good work


Sunday, September 8, 2013

Pumpkin Pancakes Bacon and Football Sunday

Its Sunday in September, and even if you're not a football fan, you know what that means. ALL DAY FOOTBALL. Whether you are going to a game and have already started tailgating, or are at home preparing a massive amount of foot for your friends to come over and watch the first Football Sunday of the season, you can always eat clean. Lets get a big veggie plate, kale chips, home made sweet potato fries.

Me... I like to wake up early and eat a YUMMY breakfast. Not only do I believe breakfast is the most important meal of the day but I also LOVE breakfast food. This beautiful Sunday in Asheville I made myself and a friend Protein Pumpkin Pancakes. I know people don't think of pancakes as clean eating but I can assure you... these are. Considering the ingredients ( these pancakes are not only clean eating but they are high in protein but gluten free. This was my first time making them, so my adjustments to the recipe would be to add a bit more coconut oil to the mixture to add moisture, which she suggests as an options, and my other recommendation would be to add a pinch of salt.   Otherwise the recipe is a good one and the flavor is good and pretty easy to make with not a ton of clean up.

Since I have moved to Asheville, I have noticed, people here (even the men) are not big sports fans. I have never been a diehard, and I don't plan on starting now but I have always liked having friends that are so I can at least keep up and have a reason to watch a game here and there. In my household... we decided we were going to be fans this football season and we got cable the day of the first NFL game.  This Sunday our TV, which at best used to be turn on only once a week, will now be on ALL DAY. With the pre-game Sports Center show on now and it wont turn off till after the 8:30pm Giants and Cowboys game.

I hope everyone has a fun and safe football Sunday with some clean eating and moderate beer drinking. Happy First Week of Football! Stay STRONG.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Strong is the New Sexy

Regardless of your opinion on the new campaign, geared to empowering woman, I want to talk about why I think this saying and image are so powerful.

For WAY TO LONG woman have gone to the gym, spent 30-45 mins on the treadmill or elliptical 3 days a week and wonder why after a few months they stop seeing changes in their body. The reason this is happening is because these women/ people's (because it happens to men to) body have adapted to the hardest thing they have asked it to do. Our bodies are very smart; once it has adapted it will stop changing.  For even longer men have been getting results by lifting weights and strength training. I cannot say when it happened but someone somewhere told woman, lifting weights and strength training would make them get big, or look manly.  Who ever told woman that should be kicked in the shin. Although I am not a huge fan of the Crossfit movement, since it came in and introduced the "kool-aid", woman have started to realize that this is not the case; not only will they not get big and manly looking but they will start to move better, and feel better than ever before.

This is why I am talking about the "Strong is the New Sexy" campaign, I have adopted this with my clients and with myself. Feeling strong is much more influential in a high self-esteeme than just feeling skinny.  The word strong can have so many different connotations depending on the person interpreting it. Woman in the media are also taking this on, celebrities like Jessica Biel, Scarlett Johannson, Halle Berry, have all embraced and stood behind strength training as an effective way to be strong and look strong while maintaining their curvy and feminine sexiness.

The "Strong is the New Sexy" is especially important with our up coming generations of woman, mostly because of the obesity epidemic with our youth. Encouraging girls to feel strong will only bring up strong woman; woman who not only have high self-esteem, and are physically strong, but also have an emotional strength that has not been seen in past generations.

This picture above shows how body composition can change dramatically. This demonstrates why the weight on the scale should NOT be your goal. The girl above gained 14 lbs and not only is smaller in size but is more muscular while maintaining a feminine figure.

After all is said and done, do what gets the results you want. Never rule something out because you think it will end up a certain way, if you haven't tried it, you don't know how it will end. If you have never lifted weights and don't know what to do or how to do it, I recommend hiring a professional. Try it, if you hate it then at least you know it wasn't for you; but my guess is that when you start in March and can deadlift (with good form) 45 lbs (an olympic bar), and by August you are putting 45 lb plates on either side of the bar, you will be looking better and feeling better than you ever have.

Welcome, lets get started STRONG!

Welcome to my blog, I am Morgan, as some of you may already know.  I am Trainer in the Asheville area, looking to bring the community together by providing another avenue of getting healthy. I am going to be bring you the best information about clean eating and innovative functional exercises coupled with ways to help you get motivated and stay accountable. 

I want to start by telling you a little about myself, and why I am so passionate about health and fitness. I grew up in a family of outdoor lovers, camping and hiking every summer, with a mix of rock climbing and mountaineering there was no choice but to love every bit of it.  Growing up mostly on the west coast Morgan is a fresh excited new face to Asheville, North Carolina, having moved here in January 2013 in hopes of a change in scenery from rainy Seattle.

Through adolescence, I played competitive volleyball, which taught me the importance of functional movement, agility, and endurance. I realize through our busy schedules and movement patterns we as a society have lost most of those abilities, and have made it my goal to assist in peoples journey to a better and healthier life and lifestyle. 

My education is from NPTI (National Personal Training Institute) Seattle, where corrective and functional exercise is a strong focus. I am very passionate about fitness and nutrition, and take an approach to health that is more holistic than conventional. My belief is, to be healthy is about whole body health; mental, physical and emotional.

I choose the word STRONG to be mission; for many people, strength is something physical, being able to lift heavy stuff around. For others it might mean, the ability to run long distances. For those who are not, by deffiniton “able to perform a specified action well and powerfully” strength is something that comes from within. It is infinite and ever changing. This is the pledge of  M3 STRONG, to aid in the strength building process for everyone, no matter what it means to you.