Category Archives: goals

One Small Change Can Change Your Life!

By: Jenn Lormand ACE- CPT, BS. Exercise Physiology, Author of mommymovement: new baby. new body. new life.

I know what you are thinking, “Jenn don’t be so dramatic!”  Well I’m really not.  One small change compounded over time can absolutely change your life!  We all know this concept but aren’t always aware of all of the small and seemingly insignificant choices we make throughout the day.   These choices can help us or hurt us.

Let me explain.  Take our 90/10 Nutritional principle that we use for example.  We know through scientific research that if you blow out 10% of your weekly meals (that’s 2 meals) that you can still not only maintain your weight but lose weight.  This is because the other 19 meals you are eating clean and healthfully staying in the calorie range that’s right for you. This consistent effort allows you to continue to lose weight.  On the flipside of that, if you consumed 150 calories more than normal every day, over the next 6 months you would gain about 8 lbs assuming that you didn’t increase your activity level any.  This is just one example of how we can use this principle to work for us or against us; hence the title of this article- One small change can change your life!

So what small change are you going to make that can change your life for the better? Is it committing to save $1.00/day? Is it tracking each penny you spend to help bring awareness to where you can save money? Is it committing to change your mind set by focusing on what you are grateful for each day and writing it down?  Is it keeping a food journal to help you lose weight or gain weight?  Is it keeping an exercise log to help you see how many minutes you are really working out?

Whatever it is I want you to commit, with me, to track one thing that can help you change your life.  When you do this every day NO MATTER WHAT- you will get the results you want …AND THEN SOME.  This is “The Secret” to success.  No…this isn’t going to be immediate gratification, it will be even BETTER.  It will be moving towards feeling AMAZING over the long-term.  It will help you realize that the true secret to success is doing the simple things consistently!

So if you are still reading this article, I am asking you to not just read this, but take action on it.  Write down these questions.

What area of your life do you want to improve? 

What is one small change that you can make that will help you get there?

Write it down and do a gut check.  If you look at your answer and think, “I’m not sure I can do that.” then go smaller.

What is one baby step that you can take towards that goal? 

You will know that you have chosen something that you can repeat consistently when you think to yourself “Is this really the little thing that I’m going to do? This feels too simple!”  If that’s what you are thinking, then you are on the right track.  Start doing that one thing every day and then as you begin to not have to think about doing it every day, and you do it automatically guess what happens?? You have created a new GOOD HABIT!

At that point repeat this process with a different action step until you have created a LIFESTYLE that supports the person you want to be!!  That’s how simple creating the life that you want can be….one small change at a time, and that is what we at Ascension Fitness are about ONE BODY. ONE LIFE. COMMIT to one small change today and MAKE IT GREAT!

About the Author – Jennifer Lormand ACE- CPT, BS. Exercise Physiology, Author of mommymovement: new baby. new body. new life.

jenn blogMy love for fitness started at an early age. Growing up with asthma, I was driven to fight through those challenges. Exercise and fitness was my avenue to diminishing my reliance on asthma medications and treatments. Fueled by my passion to help people succeed and as a graduate in Exercise Physiology with a focus on Kinesiology, I am applying my love for fitness with these sciences to develop leading-edge one-on-one and group training programs to meet the specific needs of our clients, designed to push each other physically and support emotionally the needs of clients.

 

What is your ‘Why’?

By: Jamie McIntyre, BS Exercise Science, ACE-CPT

As I stood there hunched over with my hands on my knees after another grueling 5-mile run I thought to myself why I am doing this? Now, I am a competitive person by nature so I understand why I push myself harder every workout, because I always want to be better than the last time. What I hadn’t put much thought into was why I worked out like I do in the first place. Yes I am a personal trainer and yes it is part of my job but I could probably get away with fewer and shorter workouts and still be a good role model for my clients. So, the question remained why do I continue to push myself and why is it so important for me to know and understand that why?

Working out is hard. There is nothing easy about weight loss/muscle gain/toning. It takes a lot of discipline and hard work to reach our goals. Knowing and understanding your why is the key to success. Your why is not “because I want to lose 10 pounds,” it goes deeper than that. Your why goes into why you want to lose 10 pounds at all. What is truly motivating you to reach your goals? You must know the answer to this question in order to achieve success because if you don’t then chances are you will not have the drive and determination it takes to get to where you want to be. Here are a three questions you should ask yourself to determine your why:

  • Why do you want (insert goal here)? – Like I said before you need to go into why you want to achieve that goal. For example, if your goal is to lose 10 pounds your reason for that may be because when you were at your goal weight you had never felt better about yourself. You were more confident, more outgoing, and more comfortable in your own body. Our feelings motivate us and knowing the feelings involved with achieving your goal is crucial to your success. So, dive deep and find out why you want to reach your goals and identify the feelings involved.
  • What in your life is going to change if you achieve that goal? – Now I want you to dig a little deeper and think about how your life will be different once you achieve your goals. Will you be more confident? Get off medication? Be able to play with your kids more? Having a clear picture of how your life will change is another way to motivate yourself to reach your goals.
  • Are you doing it for yourself or for someone else? – This question is important. You need to know if you are being motivated by yourself or by someone else. If you are doing it for someone else, is it what’s best for you? Because if it isn’t something that you want or that you believe you will benefit from chances are you are not going to achieve your goals. You must be able to say that you are pushing yourself towards your goal because it is important for you.

So, dig deep and use these questions to find your why.  I promise you that if you can find it and have a clear picture of why you want what you want then nothing can stand in your way.

As for me, I workout and eat healthy for my future self because I know that the harder I work now and the more disciplined I am now, the easier it will be when I’m older. I have learned a lot from my clients and one thing that I am continually told is how much harder it is to achieve your goals when you are older. I believe them, even though I am still young, I know that my body is not the same as it was when I was 20. The great thing about my why is that I will always be working for my future self. My why is never going to change, other factors may come into it but I will always be working for my future self.

Jamie McIntyre, B.S. Exercise Science, ACE-CPT

meJamie McIntyre is the Marketing Coordinator and a personal trainer at Ascension Fitness. She came from San Diego, California where she recently completed a Master’s degree in Business Administration at San Diego State University. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Exercise Science from Dickinson State University. Jamie received a softball scholarship to play at Dickinson State University. During her time at Dickinson State she completed an internship as a student athletic trainer which led to her passion of fitness.  Jamie loves training, softball, ringette, and watching movies.

Does your workplace sabotage your weight loss goals?

When trying to lose weight, the workplace can sometimes be your worst enemy. Maybe it’s a vending machine, a colleague’s candy dish, or baked goods for special holidays and celebrations, that test your willpower. Every office has these obstacles and the only way to fight them is with a plan. Below are a few common workplace saboteurs and strategies to fight them:

Saboteur #1: Candy Jar/Baked Goods Station - There is always that colleague who keeps a jar of candy on their desk or that brings in donuts or baked goods for the office. How do you resist the temptation of digging in for a bite or two (that we all know start to add up quickly)? Keep a stash of healthy snacks at your desk such as: nuts, fruit, or protein bars. This will make it easy for you to have healthy options and resist the temptations. Allow yourself one day a week to indulge in a couple of treats. This prevents binging and actually helps willpower.

Saboteur #2: Sitting for long hours – A study done by the Swedish School of Sport and Health Sciences indicates that even as little as a few hours of continuous sitting causes metabolic changes that increase blood sugar levels and decrease the amount of fat used as fuel, therefore increasing the amount that goes back into storage as body fat. The good news is that short bouts of physical activity, spread throughout, can help reduce the negative effects of too much sitting. It doesn’t have to be high intensity activity, like formal exercise-simply getting up and walking around the office or the house for 5 minutes every hour can really help.

Saboteur #3: Busy Workload = Skipping meals – We have all been there, pressure is on to get something done and we don’t feel like we have time to go out and get food or even take a lunch break. Along with your healthy snacks, you should keep some meal replacement shakes in your desk (We like Advocare Meal Replacement Shakes, or Genesis Pure non GMO and organic Health Trim shakes). That way you can mix up your shake and drink it while you work.

There will always be things that tempt you when you are trying to change a behavior, like eating healthy and exercising. Planning is always going to be your best strategy to lose weight. Taking time on Sunday to map out your meals for the week, and packing your lunches with snacks the night before will help you succeed and overcome the workplace saboteurs.  Choose to change one small thing at a time and continue to build on your successes.

“A journey of 1,000 miles begins with one single step.” Chinese Proverb

Why I Don’t Set Goals Anymore…

By: Ann Corwin Marix, ACE-CPT, LMT

Definitions:

Goal: object of a person’s ambition or effort; an aim or desired result.

Habit: a settled or regular tendency or practice, especially one that is hard to give up.

The definitions alone are pretty self explanatory as to why I have decided to nix the goal making and start on the habit forming. Do you see what I’m talking about?  Yeah, it’s that simple…I know, you are probably giving yourself the palm to head and saying “Geez that makes sense!”

If you don’t get it, that’s ok, it took me 50 years to figure it out, so I’ll cut you some slack.  Creating a goal (i.e. lose 10lbs for the beach trip, workout to fit into your new outfit for the company party, etc,) has its benefits. It provides a motivation to do better, look better, or feel better.  The challenge with goal making, however, is the end result is just that, the end.  Think back to how many times you “set goals” and once they were achieved, you quit doing what it was that helped you achieve that goal?  I can see you thinking and shaking your head because you know exactly what I mean!  No…that’s not you?  Really? Ok, then dig a little deeper and tell how many of your ‘goals’ are repetitive?  In other words, can you just go back every year to your Resolutions list and basically do a ‘cut and paste’?  I’ll pause here a moment as you have just been slapped by the reality glove.

Think about habits and we automatically add the word “Bad” to the front.  We generally think of habits as those acts that are bad for us.  Yes, there are some bad habits out there; smoking, excessive drinking, too much time playing video games, too many to mention. Once again, I ask you…think of your “bad’ habits?  Now, think about how often or long you have been doing them?  See where this is taking you?  Again, I’ll give you a break and say it plain and simple:  Start creating good habits that are in line with your ideas and dreams of a better life, better health, and better world and see what happens.   What are good habits?  Well, it can be anything that makes for a more positive, productive, and happier you.  Create the habit of drinking more water, walking 30 minutes 4 days a week, getting to work 15 minutes earlier, and so on.  Those three habits alone can result in meeting your desired goals.  How?  More water…flush the fat and lose weight, walking…lose inches and fit into the outfit for the party plus build endurance to dance the night away, arrive early at work…get a jumpstart on the job reduces stress and makes you feel better.  Good habits become second nature to what you do and who you are hence, your goals, dreams, and ideas are resolved by default…Ok, I think you getting the picture! I can see the light bulb shining brightly over your head…you’re welcome!

So the short of it…Goals are an idea, a way to define your dream…habits are something you do to put your idea into action, make your dream a reality forever, not just a day!

About the Author – Ann Corwin Marix

annAnn’s start in health and wellness was (and still is) as a masseuse after, believe or not, hiring a personal trainer.  See athletics, exercise and activity have always been a major part of my life; but over time life seemed to take over – work; raising a child; keeping a household took its toll and my “Me-time” seemed to disappear.  Long story short, what was going to be a time to make myself feel better (by getting a massage after some a personal training session) became an eye opening experience and drove me to obtain my massage license and help others in relieving pain from injuries, trauma, or simply everyday life. Wanting to get back into exercise, I became a Jazzercise instructor and then wanting a closer relationship with clients, followed that experience by becoming an ACE Certified Personal Trainer and Certified TRX Instructor.  I love providing my clients with a unique and fun approach to help motivate and drive to obtain the results they want.

To Diet or Not To Diet? That Is The Question.

By: Larry Gruber, CSCS, MES

It’s now April.  A time when rain showers bring way to flowers.  A season that strikes fear in all Americans when we realize just how much we owe the government on April 15.  It’s the month of French Quarter Fest, Patriot’s Day, and the much-celebrated Boston Marathon.  And, it’s the month that we put our winter clothes in the back of the closet and bring those summer clothes front and center.  That simple act of pulling our bathing suits out of winter storage can be scarier than writing those checks to the state and federal governments.

This is the month when many of us begin scouring the web in search of that perfect diet to get us in shape for the summer.  However, does dieting really work?  I’ve had many clients who have told me about this year’s great, revolutionary diet or about a diet in Europe that is all the rage and how people are losing a lot of weight on these plans.  Let’s analyze for a moment why any diet actually causes people to lose weight.  Basically, a diet restricts caloric intake because diets, by their nature, limit the items we eat.  When there is a caloric deficit (less calories taken in versus calories expended in normal activity plus exercise), we lose weight.  Even the man who ate nothing but McDonald’s for two months lost weight because the foods he was permitted to eat was limited, so he ate less.  A plan like the Atkins Diet takes an entire macronutrient (carbohydrates) out of the picture.  So, your food choices become less and less.  When this happens, people will eat less and lose weight.

Now, let me ask you a question.  How many times have you been on a diet and then gained all the weight back?  The purpose of this question isn’t about bringing up past failures, but to show you that dieting itself doesn’t get us the end result for which we are searching.  When you lose weight on a diet, you lose both body fat and muscle.  Then, when you have achieved your goal, you go back on a regular eating plan and most of us end up gaining that weight back.  Realize, when this happens, we gain back fat, not muscle, which skews our body fat percentage even more so that we are, in reality, fatter than when we actually began the diet.  To prevent this from happening, we need to learn how to eat healthy on a day-to-day basis, and dieting doesn’t teach us this.  When we re-introduce the entire Whole Foods or Rouse’s grocery store back into our life, panic ensues because now our food options are unlimited again and most of us go back to our pre-diet habits.  Don’t diet.  Break those bad habits.

I know I’ve painted a fairly bleak picture.  However, allow me to clear away those cloudy skies for a sunnier view.  Think about what your ideal weight should be–the weight that, through proper diet and exercise, you can maintain without extreme measures for years to come.  Unfortunately, this means the size we were when we were 18 is probably not a realistic weight for us in middle-age (did I just call myself middle-aged?).  The next thing I always have my clients do is keep a food diary so that together, we can analyze what they are eating, how much they are eating, and when they are eating it.  Then, I like to introduce one or two changes at a time so that my clients may acclimate to those.  By slowly integrating change into their day-to-day diet, they gradually become healthier and slowly lose body fat.  A one to two pound weekly loss is what is recommended for healthy weight loss, and to keep that weight off.  Also, exercising, especially resistance training, will help maintain the integrity of your skin and muscle mass as you lose weight.

When analyzing a client’s food diary, I look for a myriad things.  To begin with, are you having a sensible breakfast to begin your day?  Are you eating periodically throughout the day–approximately every three to four hours?  Both of these will actually help to speed up your metabolism and help you burn more calories.  Are you limiting your intake of sodas, fried foods, cheeses, mayo, and fatty spreads and sauces?  Do you substitute cakes, cookies, and ice cream with yummy alternatives such as fresh fruit, yogurt, and crunchy vegetables?  Are you drinking plenty of water throughout the day?  And, are you giving yourself the pleasure of one “free day” per week?

Dieting (the verb), doesn’t work.  A healthy diet does.  I urge you to think of exercise and a proper diet as a welcomed life-style change.  Just as we have to brush our teeth every day to prevent cavities, we have to be consistent with working out and eating well in order to lose body fat and to keep it off.  So bring on those warm, sunny, humid southern days.  Unpack those bathing suits and book that Destin hotel room.  This Chicago boy is excited about summer.  And, if you need a little assistance in getting excited, just call me and let’s work together to get you looking great, feeling awesome, and moving like you’ve never moved before.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR – LARRY GRUBER – CSCS, MES, ACE-CPT

larrygruber-headshot2Physical fitness used to be just a pastime for me, until more and more friends began asking for my opinion concerning their fitness regimen.  In 1999, after a successful restaurant management career in some of Chicago’s finest restaurants, I became a certified personal trainer through the American Council on Exercise and the National Academy of Sports Medicine. I’m also a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist through the National Strength and Conditioning Association.

As a personal trainer, I strongly feel that exercise should be an enjoyable and rewarding experience.  I structure the workouts so they are fun, combining traditional weight training with functional training, cardio-respiratory training and flexibility training, all aimed at helping you look, feel and move better.  In order for the sessions to be successful, the personal trainer/client relationship must be a very interactive one, requiring constant feedback from both parties.  I want and need your opinions and suggestions.

After training for 13 years in Chicago, I made the move south in search of warmer weather.  I’m so excited to be part of such a vibrant city, and I can’t wait to try its world famous restaurants.  Thanks so much for welcoming me to New Orleans!!

Love, Learn, and Happy Mardi Gras

Happy Mardi Gras! What an incredible February!  Greg and I have had some ups and some downs this month.  The theme for us this month has been Love and Learn.  We discovered back in December that Cooper would need to have surgery due to the bones in his skull fusing too early.  He had that surgery this month and is doing GREAT!   This was a great reminder for us to stop and BE PRESENT with each other and with Cooper.  We LOVED on our boys and received LOVE from our family and friends and are so grateful that he is healthy and happy.

cooperandjenn

I also had the awesome opportunity to go and Hang out with some of my favorite people at our Todd Durkin Mastermind Retreat in San Diego and Learn from the best!  Our guest speaker was Wayne Cotton, one of Todd’s mentor.   Wayne truly delivered one of the most powerful talks I have ever heard.  It really changed my life and I want to pay it forward to you.  Wayne has a system for creating your Dream Life using his color coded calendar.  Go to www.nobrowndays.com to download your free color coded success calendar and learn more about Wayne.  I promise that this will change your life in terms of creating the LIFE that we want to have, and not the life that just happens to us!Mastermind

Lastly we learned how much fun it is to work out with a partner during our Couple’s Retreat workout.  Scroll down and watch some video highlights below! I haven’t laughed that much in a long time!  I hope that each of you LOVED and LEARNED a lot too this month.  Feel free to share anything that you Loved or Learned on our FB page.  We love hearing from you – whether that’s posting your Mardi Gras pictures or asking questions, please let us know how we can help you Create your Best Year Yet!

CREATE a safe and fun Mardi Gras!

Wishing you much Love and Great Health,

Jenn and Greg Lormand

Do you Fit in a Box?

By: Jennifer Lormand B.S. Exercise Physiology ACE-CPT

In January of each year I often get the same question from prospective clients.  “What kind of training do y’all do?”  My answer is, “Whatever it takes to get you to where you want to be.”  I get some strange looks when I say this.  People have become accustomed to fitness being a franchise like Curves, Jazzercise, Crossfit, and Pure Barre to name a few.  I have to explain how we actually personalize a fitness program to each person, based on their wants and needs, and some folks still don’t understand what I mean.  That is why I’m writing this article today.  I want to help people understand what we do and why we are different.

First let me say that I’m not suggesting that all of these franchises are bad.  I am suggesting that in my 19 years experience, I have found that most of the population doesn’t fit into a box.  What I mean is, each person’s body is different. When I started training and teaching in 1995, I had a dream to take a little bit of each of the things that I love about fitness and put it into one workout.  I started putting boxing, lifting weights, spinning, running, TRX, foam rolling and more into my personal training sessions with clients and they all loved it.  I would get people coming up to me saying, “You are the only trainer that I have seen doing cardio in your sessions, I love that!” This began to light a fire in my belly that I couldn’t put out.  I was going against the norm of what the typical personal training session was, and I loved it.  I began personalizing everything that I did in those sessions based on the wants and needs of my clients and we continue to do that today.  I truly believe that it is the highest honor, when people trust me with their most precious commodity- their body.  And my philosophy has always been simply the golden rule- Treat others the way that YOU want to be treated.

What I mean by that is much deeper than giving them what they want in training sessions.  It’s much more than that.  It’s about realizing that every person that walks through our door is special.  It means never saying, “I’m sorry we can’t help you.”  I can’t stand that when I’m desperate for help and I go see a professional and they say, “Well, that’s not what we do.”  I always want to be able to lead people in the right direction for the next action step they can take to create their BEST LIFE!  That means that over the last 19 years I’ve developed relationships with other trusted professionals that I refer people to and I know will take great care of them.  People like Physical Therapists, Chiropractors, Massage Therapists, Orthopedic Surgeons, Internists, ENT Physicians, Cardiologists, Social Workers, Psychologists, Nutritionists, Advanced Rolfers and more.

This is what makes us different.  We Care.  We want for each person that walks through our door, the same that we want for ourselves and our families.  We want to give them a challenging workout that is safe and effective for their goals, and what their body needs.  This is our SECRET SAUCE.  We LISTEN to the clients goals, evaluate what their body needs, and then we use all of the tools we have to attain it!  Whether it’s sprint intervals, dancing on a step or BOSU, lifting heavy weight to get stronger, doing plyometric training to burn fat, doing TRX to get a stronger CORE and improve the body’s movement patterns,  helping someone recover from a injury or limitation, or helping moms get their body back after having a baby.  We DO what they NEED.  We make it Fun. We make it Challenging.  But most importantly, we do it because it’s what feeds our soul!

So here’s what I know.  I know that there are many great places that people can go to accomplish their goals, but nowhere like Ascension Fitness.  The Passion that we have to transform people from the inside out, separates us from any other place you will go.  I have been so incredibly blessed to find amazing like-minded people to be a part of my team.    I know that my calling in life is to help people feel amazing in the skin they are in, and I know that I will give my all to continue to make that happen.  I believe that everyone deserves to be happy when they look in the mirror.   I feel grateful and blessed for all of those who have trusted me and my team to help them along their life’s journey.  I look forward to helping many more become THEIR BEST SELF.

About the Author – Jennifer Lormand ACE- CPT, BS. Exercise Physiology, Author of mommymovement: new baby. new body. new life.

jenn blogMy love for fitness started at an early age. Growing up with asthma, I was driven to fight through those challenges. Exercise and fitness was my avenue to diminishing my reliance on asthma medications and treatments. Fueled by my passion to help people succeed and as a graduate in Exercise Physiology with a focus on Kinesiology, I am applying my love for fitness with these sciences to develop leading-edge one-on-one and group training programs to meet the specific needs of our clients, designed to push each other physically and support emotionally the needs of clients.

 

 

A Different Resolve!

By: Erica Dammon, NASM- CPT

Yep, it’s here again, the start of a new year.  The fireworks go off, kisses are given, and promises are made.   Promises that begin with sincere conviction and declarations of “It will be different this year”, yet soon becomes overshadowed by the overwhelming demands of a busy life.  Next comes despair that the goal is unattainable and finally the big ‘I Give Up!’   Well, how about we actually make this year different!  What if we actually get all the way on board!  How, you ask?  Simple, by going about things in a whole different way.

Most of us have a very negative outlook on “getting in shape”.  The diet is going to be hard to stick to, exercise stinks, and do I really have time for this?  Well there is the first problem!  Negativity can sink even the biggest ship.  You need to practice breathing positive winds into your sails if you are going to get this boat moving.  A perceived lack of time is the other problem most of us find.  I get it!   There are a lot of us out there juggling jobs, kids, and yes even spouses that require a portion of our time.  Where do you squeeze in the lifestyle change?  I say it starts with a change of mind.  We have to learn to look at the journey differently.

Starting back up is hard, especially if you are walking back down a road you have bailed on before.  So let’s start this year’s trip in a different way. If you start your New Year’s resolution with the same group classes or elliptical workout plan, or even the same crazy diet, you are setting yourself up for failure.   Research tells us that switching up your routine brings a ton of benefits both mental and physical.  Changing a workout prevents the body from adapting too much, keeping that plateau away.  The more we do a specific movement the more effective muscles become at performing the movement and fewer calories are being burned.   Routine switches can help build new muscle and prevent the overuse of others, as well as creating new muscle memory.  And there is the simple ability that something new decreases boredom and allows you to get excited about exercising again.  Kick off this New Year with a new kind of workout!

So something different and new, oh and let’s not forget the time management aspect.  Remember the new fun plan still has to find a place amongst work agendas, after school activities, and functions for your spouse’s job.   Well I have a suggestion.  I am willing to bet that a lot of you have not tried Kettlebells.  It’s true they can be intimidating, but the benefits they provide make them worth a second thought. Henry Marshall, a NSCA certified trainer as well as an AOS and IKFF certified Kettlebell instructor says that they are “the most efficient fitness tool.”  Efficiency is one of the big necessities on our list!  Marshall says that Kettlebells train our body to work as “one synergistic unit linked strongly together.”  So what exactly does that mean?  It means that a kettlebell exercise is a full body conditioning exercise working multiple muscle groups at the same time causing the amount of calories we burn to sky rocket.  With each kettlebell exercise you create the momentum and work to control it and change direction.  On average a kettlebell workout burns 20 calories a minute.  That means in a short 20 minutes you can burn up to 400 calories, and if you last the whole hour you could burn up to 1,200 calories.  How’s that for efficient?

Kettlebells are considered a functional workout because the movement’s in each exercise is based on every day functional movement.  This means that as you get used to swinging that kettlebell around, you are going to start noticing how everyday activities start becoming easier, which has to make your life easier, right?   Your posture will improve, because the importance of form in each exercise will train your body to be aware of correct posture.  You will see a greater range of motion in your joints and muscles because kettlebell exercises are performed in a range of motion and not an isolated movement.   This range of motion action will build strength in the form of more lean toned muscle, which is what we are all looking for.

Hopefully I have caught your interest and you are thinking that these kettlebells are at least worth checking out.  But even if kettlebells aren’t the answer, there are so many ways to produce the same results.  Maybe Pilates or yoga are more your style, you won’t know until you try.  You don’t want a repeat of the failed resolutions of the past, and who knows you may find yourself excited about working out.  I always find that trying new things motivates me by presenting a challenge.  Attacking a challenge and moving forward with it can also instill confidence which has the ability to chase away negative outlooks and replace them with positive “can do” thinking.  At the end of the day it’s that “can do” attitude that is going to keep you accountable to yourself and make time in that crazy schedule of yours.   Taking a new outlook, making a different plan, and trying new things can breathe a much needed fresh breath in an old resolution.  Whether its kettlebells, yoga, or some other new thing, keep the ball rolling, and don’t let yourself get bored!

 

ericaAbout the Author – Erica Dammon, NASM Certified Personal Trainer

I was born overseas but hail the great city of New Orleans as my home town. My husband Mike and I have been married for 12 years and we have three amazing boys, Nicholas, Cody, and Benjamin. They have been the biggest adventure yet!

Training is a huge passion for me and I embrace core fitness values in both my training programs and my lifestyle choices.  I believe that food should be chosen for what it can do for you, not just for the flavor you crave at the moment. I believe in pushing yourself in all aspects of life because how else will you know what you are capable of accomplishing?  Pushups should never be done on your knees and core is where it all begins!

I am a huge football fan and a big part of the Who Dat Nation!!  I look forward to meeting and helping you achieve any and all fitness goals you bring in to Ascension Fitness!

Effectively Creating Change

By: Larry Gruber, CSCS, MES

As we approach the second month of 2014, it’s a great time to reflect on those promises you made to yourself at the beginning of the year (I hate the word “resolutions”).  Are you on track with your goals or do you notice that the steps needed to be taken just aren’t getting done? Don’t worry!  Don’t beat yourself up!  Let’s figure out a way to make sure that you achieve the results from any goal you set, no matter if it’s a new year’s goal or one you made yesterday.

For the sake of this discussion, we’ll talk about exercise and diet goals–since that’s my specialty.  When you set goals, make sure they are S.M.A.R.T. The “S” stands for Specific, for example: “I want to lose 15 pounds and 2 inches from my hips,” or “I want to do Larry’s bootcamp class 3 times a week.”  The goals also need to be Measurable:  you can measure 15 pounds or going to a class 3 times a week.  Are the goals Attainable?  If you travel for business and are out of town part of the week, you won’t be able to make my class every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.  With that scenario, a better goal would be to take my class when in town and visit a gym to take a class when away on business.  You also want your goals to be Realistic. Setting a goal to lose 20 pounds in one week is not only unrealistic, but it’s also unhealthy.  And finally, you want to be on a Timetable.   “I will lose 15 pounds in 7 weeks–by March 14, 2014.”

Now that you have set S.M.A.R.T. goals, how do people change habits and routines into healthier and more beneficial ones?  There are three basic principals in creating change:

  1. Thoughts – What are your thoughts about exercise?  Are your thoughts negative?  Do you spend your time dreading it?  Or while exercising, do you just think about getting through it? On the other hand, are your thoughts about physical fitness positive?  Do you think about the amazing outcomes and how you will feel if you start exercising regularly and improving your nutrition?  Do you think about how you will feel more energized and how well your clothes will fit or how your chances of being a candidate for cardiovascular disease will be greatly reduced? You see your thoughts shape your focus and shape your motivation.  Your thoughts direct your energy and maintain focus.  Staying positive and staying focused on how you’re going to feel is key to succeeding not only in fitness, but in everything we do.
  2. Intentions – Let me introduce Lisa, a busy lawyer for a local hospital who had her second child four months ago.  Lisa’s story brings me to the next part of making change and that’s your intentions.  What do you think Lisa’s intentions and motivations are where healthy living is concerned?  Her intentions are greater than losing weight–it’s about creating an easier life, having more energy and being there for her children.  Her intentions and motivations are what keep her going even when she’s tired or busy.  What are your motivations or intentions?  What are your drivers?  For example, for me, due to psoriatic arthritis, exercise and stretching are so vital because they actually make me feel better and reduce the amount of pain I usually experience.
  3. Actions - The final component of making lasting change is ACTION.  Let’s face it, we’ve all been there–we have great thoughts and intentions, but without action, nothing happens, nothing changes.  ACTION is at the core of making change, making it happen.  In Lisa’s case, she had the right mindset (thoughts), identified her motivations (intentions) and knew that she needed help.  Lisa reached out to Ascension Fitness to help her make the change because she knew she needed professional direction and most importantly, accountability. Decide who will help you stay accountable so that you can keep moving, keep acting and keep striving to achieve those goals.  Will that person be me, as your trainer, your partner or a friend?  Pick a person who is reliable and whom you can trust.

If you are well on your way to achieving your goals, then you probably didn’t even finish reading this article.  If you need a little help–you aren’t alone.  Set S.M.A.R.T. goals.  Analyze your thoughts regarding your goal.  Dig deep for your intentions and motivations.  And, find that person who can keep you accountable so that you can take action!!  Happy New You!!!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR – LARRY GRUBER – CSCS, MES, ACE-CPT

larrygruber-headshot2Physical fitness used to be just a pastime for me, until more and more friends began asking for my opinion concerning their fitness regimen.  In 1999, after a successful restaurant management career in some of Chicago’s finest restaurants, I became a certified personal trainer through the American Council on Exercise and the National Academy of Sports Medicine. I’m also a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist through the National Strength and Conditioning Association.

As a personal trainer, I strongly feel that exercise should be an enjoyable and rewarding experience.  I structure the workouts so they are fun, combining traditional weight training with functional training, cardio-respiratory training and flexibility training, all aimed at helping you look, feel and move better.  In order for the sessions to be successful, the personal trainer/client relationship must be a very interactive one, requiring constant feedback from both parties.  I want and need your opinions and suggestions.

After training for 13 years in Chicago, I made the move south in search of warmer weather.  I’m so excited to be part of such a vibrant city, and I can’t wait to try its world famous restaurants.  Thanks so much for welcoming me to New Orleans!!