virtual run january

January Fitness Challenge 2: Ladies Only

January Fitness Challenge 2: She Believed She Could So She Did Virtual Run

 

 

virtual run january

 

The January Fitness Challenge 2.

When January 1 hits, you will hear people making a number of resolutions.

One of the most popular ones is always “I am going to get in shape this year”.

As a trainer and coach, the most important thing I tell people is that you need to put some skin in the game.

By that I mean commit to doing something now. It doesn’t have to be a mind-boggling achievement. It just has to be something.

The “She believed she could so she did” virtual run is a great way to take that first step.

Ever do a virtual run?

This one is for the ladies… New Year, New You! Join the She Believed She Could So She Did virtual 5k/10k/Half Marathon and run or walk your chosen distance anytime and anywhere you want to earn this inspirational framed mirror medal. Yes, the 4″ medal is a real mirror with a fold-out stand on the back, so you can display it on your desk as a daily reminder that you can achieve anything you put your mind to.

Want a matching shirt? During early registration (through 12/31), we will be holding a She Believed She Could So She Did campaign at Booster where anyone interested can order a matching race shirt in a variety of styles (ladies short sleeve, ladies long sleeve, unisex hoodie) and two different text colors (hot pink and metallic silver). These shirts will be delivered separately from medals in mid-January, and 100% of the additional funds raised through this campaign will be donated to the featured charity in addition to our standard per-medal donation!

The Charity

Left unchecked, tobacco will kill one billion people in the 21st century. Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) has a long history of taking action against tobacco use and its devastating health and economic impact on people and communities around the globe. For more than 40 years, ASH’s goal of a tobacco-free world has remained constant. The tobacco epidemic is global and so must be the solutions. From advocating for bans on cigarette advertising and smoking in public spaces to challenging the influence of the multinational tobacco industry—ASH takes action on a global scale.

A portion of the proceeds from this virtual race (at least $5 from each registration) will be donated to ASH. For more information about this charity or to make a direct contribution, please visit Ash.org.

Not so fast, this January Fitness Challenge has 2 Parts to it.

Part 1: The run

  1. If you like the idea, click and sign up here. Your choices are for a 5K, 10K or Half-marathon.
  2. You are now committing yourself to doing the run sometime in January. Congratulations!
  3. Once you complete the run (remember that you can run, walk, bike, skate or swim), log back into Virtual Strides and record your result.
  4. Wait for your finisher’s medal.

Part 2: Training

Commit to training for your run by telling me and the world how you are going to train. This part is free.

Here are some examples.

These are ways you can measure your training. Put down what you think you can reasonably do.

Choose one kind of training and fill in your own numbers.

  • I will run 50 miles this month.
  • I will spend 20 hours on the treadmill.
  • I will walk at least a mile 25 days this month.

You can email me or put it on the M Factor Fitness Facebook page. Look under events for the January challenge.

I do these every month and I will be posting updates on how I am doing.

6 Solid Reasons You Should Do This Fitness Challenge.

You need a goal with a deadline.

Yes the holidays are over but it is cold and dark in most of the country. Force yourself to get moving again.

Long Slow Cardio Burns Fat

I realize High Intensity interval training (HIIT) is all the rage these days. But most people can’t and don’t want to do it.

And that is actually okay.

 

The case for Long, slow cardio.

  • Long slow cardio is more relaxing.
  • It works on the oxidative energy pathway that relies on fat rather than carbs for fuel.
  • You can do it everyday.

You can inspire a friend to join you.

We all know somebody who is waiting for a reason to get in shape.

This virtual run challenge is the perfect opportunity because almost anyone can walk a 5K if they have a month to train.

Get in a habit

A question I get asked most often is, “How often should I work out?”

Then whoever asked the question regrets asking because the answer is “everyday”.

If you have something planned everyday, chances are you are going to miss one or 2 workouts in a given week. That is still 5 or 6 you got in.

Pretty good. Actually, very good.

Contrast that with planning 3 workouts a week.

Miss 1 or 2 and what do you have? Jack Squat.

You don’t have to set the world on fire every day. In fact, that would be a very bad idea.

Cycle your intensity of workouts. A classic way to do this is to alternate hard and easy days. Follow a hard workout with an easy run.

Support a great charity

Why pay money for a virtual run? I can do this anytime on my own for free.

Let me be blunt. No you won’t.

Once you sign up, you put skin in the game.

Once you state to the world what you are going to do, you have accountability.

I gladly sign up for these events because I know that once I sign up, I am forced to do it.

I like the idea that at the end of the month I will be in better shape and that I am helping a charity.

I will help you

If you sign up for the run and have any training questions, I will be happy to answer them for you.

  • nutrition questions
  • training questions
  • rehab questions

Where else are you going to get this?

So what are you waiting for? Sign up now and start the new year off right!

More question? Check out this post with F.A.Q’s on my Monthly Challenges.

January Fitness Challenge- Operation Enduring Warrior

The M Factor Fitness January Fitness Challenge is here.

Operation Enduring Warrior 5K, 10K or Half marathon.

January Fitness Challenge

Note:

This was a run scheduled for Veteran’s day. They still have medals available so I thought this would be a good time to help these guys out.

Start the year off right. Set a good fitness goal for yourself and help out a worthwhile charity.

Virtual runs are scheduled for a set period of time but if they still have spots open, you can do the run anytime. Just sign up now to reserve your spot.

The January Fitness Challenge.

Part 1: Running

  1. If you like the idea, click and sign up here. Your choices are for a 5K, 10K or Half-marathon.
  2. You are now committing yourself to doing the run sometime in January. Congratulations!
  3. Once you complete the run (remember that you can run, walk, bike, skate or swim), log back into Virtual Strides and record your result.
  4. Wait for your finisher’s medal to be mailed to you.
  5. Take a picture of it along with you enjoying your favorite beverage of choice.

Part 2: Training

Commit to training for your run by telling me and the world how you are going to train.

Here are some examples.

These are ways you can measure your training. Put down what you think you can reasonably do.

Choose one kind of training and fill in your own numbers.

  • I will run 50 miles this month.
  • I will spend 20 hours on the treadmill.
  • I will walk at least a mile 25 days this month.

You can email me or put it on the M Factor Fitness Facebook page. Look under events for the January challenge.

I do these every month and I will be posting updates on how I am doing.

6 Solid Reasons You Should Do This Challenge.

You need a goal with a deadline.

Yes the holidays are over but it is cold and dark in most of the country. Force yourself to get moving again.

Long Slow Cardio Burns Fat

I realize High Intensity interval training (HIIT) is all the rage these days. Long slow cardio is under attack even though it shouldn’t be.

This is pure marketing. Anytime someone can sell you faster results in less time, it will get attention.

I am not saying high intensity exercise doesn’t produce results but consider this:

  • Long slow cardio is more relaxing.
  • It works on the oxidative energy pathway that relies on fat rather than carbs for fuel.
  • You can do it everyday.

You can inspire a friend to join you.

We all know somebody who is waiting for a reason to get in shape.

This virtual run challenge is the perfect opportunity because almost anyone can walk a 5K if they have a month to train.

Get in a habit

A question I get asked most often is, “How often should I work out?”

Then whoever asked the question regrets asking because the answer is “everyday”.

If you have something planned everyday, chances are you are going to miss one or 2 workouts in a given week. That is still 5 or 6 you got in.

Pretty good. Actually, very good.

Contrast that with planning 3 workouts a week.

Miss 1 or 2 and what do you have? Jack Squat.

You don’t have to set the world on fire every day. In fact, that would be a very bad idea.

Cycle your intensity of workouts. A classic way to do this is to alternate hard and easy days. Follow a hard workout with an easy run.

Support a great charity

Why pay money for a virtual run? I can do this anytime on my own for free.

Let me be blunt. No you won’t.

Once you sign up, you put skin in the game.

Once you state to the world what you are going to do, you have accountability.

I gladly sign up for these events because I know that once I sign up, I am forced to do it.

I like the idea that at the end of the month I will be in better shape and that I am helping a charity.

I will help you

If you sign up for the run and have any training questions, I will be happy to answer them for you.

  • nutrition questions
  • training questions
  • rehab questions

Where else are you going to get this?

So what are you waiting for? Sign up now and start the new year off right!

 

More questions? Click here for a post with Q&A. 

Operation Enduring Warrior

In honor of Veterans Day, support our nation’s wounded veterans by participating in the Operation Enduring Warrior virtual 5k/10k/Half Marathon. Run or walk your selected distance whenever and wherever you want to spread awareness and support the cause. All participants will receive a digital race bib and a 4″ bottle opener medal (the ribbon is detachable) in the shape of the charity’s logo, featuring a 3D-molded gas mask in honor of their Masked Athlete Team.

 

The Charity

Operation Enduring Warrior (OEW) is a veteran-founded charity whose mission is to honor, empower, and motivate our nation’s wounded veterans through physical, mental and emotional rehabilitation. OEW’s programs help participants overcome adversity and hardship through innovation, teamwork, and perseverance. This ultimately enables the lives of wounded veterans to go in directions they may have once thought were impossible. OEW is a 100% volunteer-run organization. Donations go directly towards operational support of the organization and its various programs such as Skydive Licenses, SCUBA Certifications, Athletic events (obstacle course and road/trail races, handcycle races, etc.), Public Speaking, Adventure Trips, Veteran Outreach and more. OEW’s “Warrior Christmas” event is coming up, which facilitates a visit to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center to spread encouragement and hand-deliver brimming Christmas stockings to recovering wounded veterans.

https://www.virtualstrides.com/product/operation-enduring-warrior/?ref=40

About the Mask:

OEW’s Masked Athlete Team are specially trained volunteers who support our wounded veterans with the physical and mental adversity of extreme athletic challenges. The MAT spends countless hours preparing and researching ways to successfully assist our wounded veterans in negotiating extreme athletic challenges. Past events have included obstacle course races, hand-cycling, 5k and 10k races, and half/full Marathons.

A portion of the proceeds from this virtual race (at least $5 from each registration) will be donated to Operation Enduring Warrior. For more information about this charity or to make a direct contribution, please visit EnduringWarrior.org.

 

 

I am Skinny and want to Gain Weight

I am Skinny and Want to Gain weight. What Do I Do?

I don’t have access to weights, but I’m looking to gain muscle.

Michael Medvig

 

People who want to lose weight don’t understand how painful it can be to be skinny and want to gain weight.

This was a question I answered on Quora.

It hits home for me because I started out as a weak skinny kid. 6′0 and 140 pounds.

Did I mention I had asthma and basically stayed inside and watched TV all day? (Video games weren’t around back then. I know, I am old.)

I really want to help, so let me give you some golden rules to follow.

These are the rules I used to gain over 100 pounds of muscle. It took me a long time to do it and I made almost every mistake in the world…but I did it.

And you can too. Just be patient and work smart.

 

The skinny person trying to gain weight has a two-fold problem.

  1. Adding muscle.
  2. Keeping the muscle.

This is how I gained muscle and kept it. 

The Golden Rules of weight Gain.

  • Eat as much as possible. You probably have a crazy high metabolism and if your body isn’t getting enough calories in, your body won’t have enough energy to create muscle.
  • Eat as much protein as possible. Muscles need protein to rebuild. If you can’t get access to a lot of protein (meat, fish, eggs, protein powder, protein bars, nuts etc..) take some branch chain amino acids (BCAA’s).
  • This is a project that is going to take time. Be patient. Work to keep every pound you gain.
  • Sleep as much as you can.
  • Cut out the cardio. Save your energy for building muscle.
  • Most supplements will be a waste of time and money for you. The ones to look at are actually the cheapest. Look at creatine, BCAA’s and protein powder.
  • 100 reps of anything will not build muscle. If you are using bodyweight exercises, try and make the exercise hard to keep the reps between 5–15. Anything more and you are building musclular endurance not size. The only exception to that is legs. Legs will respond to both high rep and low rep training.
  • Forget about a six pack. Getting ripped and getting bigger are two separate things. Focus on one at a time. Trying to do both at once means you will get half-assed results. (pardon my language)
  • Concentrate on the big muscle groups like legs, back and chest. Work those hard and everything else will fall in line.
  • Playgrounds are actually great places to work out. Generally you can find some bars to do pull-ups, dips and upside down rows. Combine that with some squats, lunges and planks and you have a great workout.
  • Try working out 45 minutes 3 days a week and see what happens. The biggest mistake I see with skinny people is that it is very easy to overtrain.
  • Take time between sets. Don’t rush and concentrate on form.
  • Get to the gym whenever you can.

Advanced tip.

There are always heavy things lying around a yard or house. I regularly use a log, rocks and a Home Depot Buckets filled with sand and rocks. Learning how to pick up and carry stuff around the yard will build muscle and tremendous functional strength. Just make sure your technique is tight.

Caution: Blatant plug for my online training coming up.

If you are interested, I do offer online training. Click here for details.

What Are The Dangers of Crossfit?

What are Some of the Dangers of Crossfit?

Crossfit

Choose your weapon. 45, 55 or 70 pounds of pure fun!

I recently received this question and the person deserves a fair and honest answer on how dangerous Crossfit is.

Before I do that, let me make this statement.

  1. I like any discipline that uses barbells, kettlebells and other weights. That includes Crossfit.
  2. Crossfit has done a huge amount of good bringing a greater awareness about strength. Especially to women.
  3.  Crossfit isn’t any more dangerous than some personal trainer goofball showing you how to work a pec-deck at 24 hour fitness. In fact if you take the time to do it correctly, it is a great way to get strong and very fit.

But I do consider it flawed. Here is why.

 One of the selling points of Crossfit is that they want to get good at everything.

So a typical workout…well there aren’t typical workouts. Every day is different so you don’t get in a rut.

But doing the same movement over and over is the only way to get good at it. It takes thousands of reps to hone your form.

You have couch potatoes (no offense meant) stepping into a world that may throw gymnastic moves, kettlebell movements, Olympic lifts and power lifting at you in the same session.

How are they supposed to get proficient in all these exercises?

Consider this.

  1. The biggest danger with Crossfit is that they ask you to do complex, intricate movements as fast as you can. Olympic style movements like snatches and clean and jerks take years to learn properly. And they only do 1 rep.
  2. Crossfit asks you to do high volume reps with exercises that are aren’t suited for high reps. Let’s talk about deadlifts, cleans etc… Again, these are traditionally low rep movements. They take a lot of coordination, experience and strength to execute.

I have no problem with the crossfit exercises, even the kipping pull-up.

My issue is what they do with them. Very few people can do high rep movements with a challenging weight and maintain proper form.

Especially when you are doing a series of movements for time without breaks. To do that you have to already be highly conditioned.

More than that, you need to have the experience in your mental game to know how to budget your energy and strength.

The Crossfit athletes you see on tv are gifted athletes that have come from a disciplines like gymnastics or olympic lifting that translate well to the sport.

They have the flexibility and the understanding of body movement. They also know how to manage their heart rate and when to back off.

That is very different from the average person who is sedentary, lacks power and flexibility.

So how do you get that flexibility and experience?

In a perfect world that person steps into a crossfit box and the trainer puts them in a class to learn all these separate movements. When they are ready, they can participate. That may take months or years.

I am talking about just doing the lifts properly without tying them into a workout.

The problem is that the client doesn’t want that.

This is an instant gratification society.

They want to see how fast they can go.

They want a workout even though they can’t do they can’t do the exercises right.

They want to sweat and be beaten down.

Why don’t you just “fake it until you make it?”

I have been training people for over a decade, you can’t just “wing it”. Some clients pick up movements quickly. Others don’t.

If you want to get good at crossfit. And by good, I mean not being a menace to yourself, it will take time.

In addition to the workouts…

  •  Watching video time.
  • Stretching, rolloing and smashing time to gain flexibility and repair old injuries.
  • Personal one-on-one training time for the complicated movements.

No problem, they can teach me. The owner is in really good shape.

For $40 a month????

Crossfit is no different than stepping into a gym.

There are good owners who care and create a culture of learning and helping.

Then there are the owners that are just looking after the bottom line. The teaching at some of these boxes is atrocious. Just as the personal training is at a lot of gyms.

Don’t believe me? Go on a site like Flickr and look at some of the crossfit gyms posting daily pictures. You tell me how many of the clients are doing the exercises correctly.

The risk of injury doing sets is a lot lower than the risk of doing a high intensity circuit…if you don’t know what you are doing.

Even if the owners know what they are doing, do they have the time to personally coach each individual? No. Your $40/month can’t possibly cover that.

Summary

You have people doing exercises they don’t know how to do as fast as they can racing against a clock.

Where could the danger in that be?

If you would like help learning some of the exercises they do at Crossfit, find a trainer that can train you in olympic lifting, gymnastics etc…one on one.

If you would like something a bit safer but I think is just as effective, check out my online training by clicking here.

can I run after a heavy meal

What Happens If I Run After A Heavy Meal?

What happens if I run after a heavy meal?

 Eat light before a run

 

That being said, what did you eat and how long are you going to run?

Greasy food will take a longer time to digest than “cleaner” food. A heavy, greasy meal may send you into the bushes mid-run.

Does it count as carb loading if I eat a pizza before a run?

Eating a bunch of carbs before a run is not carb loading as some people have suggested.

Carb loading starts 24–48 hours before you run.

Cleaner food is easier to digest so you won’t have as many resources taken away from the muscles.

In fact, if you are going on a long run, being full carbs is a pretty darn good idea.

2. The Energy Issue

Because digestion takes energy, you won’t feel as energetic as usual. That generally makes the run feel pretty crappy.

If your meal consisted of a bunch of rice or potatoes, you may actually feel better during the run as you have a constant supply of glycogen.

Summary

Life is hectic and complicated. It is hard to find time to get the training time you need to get the results you want.

That being said, try to maximize the effectivness of everything you do. In this case it would be to rest and get the benefit of a full and complete digestion before running.

Or next time eat a little lighter.

I would rather see two things done well than two things done -half-ass.

But I do understand that you have to do what you have to do. And if you need to get your cardio in, then go for it.

High Rep Push-ups: Do They Build Muscle?

Here is the question about push-ups as I answered it on Quora.

I’ve been doing push-ups till I fail which is about 30 to 35 push-ups Will I see a muscle improvement overtime?

I just had to jump in and help. There were some very sketchy answers. And I am being extremely kind when I use the word “Sketchy”.

So you deserve a good answer, so let’s have at it.

If you keep doing push-ups until you fail, you will see muscle endurance improving.

Chances are you will not build any more size and strength gains will be minimal.

Endurance strength is very different from maximal strength or power.

A person who does 100 push-ups looks the same as he did when he/she could do 50 push-ups.

Look at push-up champions. If what everyone else is saying was true, they would have huge chests and arms. Never the case.

MK.J Joseph, 2092 push-ups in 1 hour.

K.J Joseph, 2092 push-ups in 1 hour.

I am not saying that doing high volume push-ups are bad.

They are just not the most effective way to build muscle and strength.

Why? Because you are using a sub-maximal load for a long period of time.

That burn is lactic acid building up in the muscles, not the pain of breaking the muscle down.

If high volume with a sub-maximal load truly worked marathon runners would be massive! Consider this, who has bigger legs, a sprinter or marathon runner?

This is what I would do.

  1. Try doing push-up variations. Stay in the 10–20 rep range.
  2. Work on keeping your body tight. This means pulling your shoulders down, bracing the upper back, tightening the butt and abs, quads, hamstrings and calves. You are doing a moving plank so make it look like one. This will be really hard in the beginning but you will see a difference.
  3. Try lowering yourself down with a count of 5 and exploding up with a count of 1.
  4. Elevate the feet to put more pressure on the shoulders.
  5. Try a few sets with the hands and elbows in close to work the triceps.

Do these things and I promise you will see a difference.

Sample Push-up variations

Push-up with Mountain Climber

M Factor Push-up

Downward Dog Push-up

Not making any progress?

Need some help with your workouts?

Would you like having access to a personal trainer?

Check out my online personal training.

Only $10/month, click here for details.

Why you need to push hard to build muscle.

Why you need to push hard to build muscle.

Push hard to build muscle

Why can’t I do weenie workouts?

Because you need to push hard to build muscle and make progress.

Yes working out is hard. Training is painful but you will get used to it. You may even like it!

So why do I ask my clients to give me 100% every workout?

The short answer is to break down muscle fiber and allow it to rebuild stronger.

The key is to work hard and smart, then recover.

The harder to understand answer is that it builds discipline and an ability to push yourself when you don’t want to.

Here is an analogy for you.

Two twins go to school. Let’s say both twins have the same IQ.

One gets C’s and barely makes it out of school. The other works harder, gets A’s and graduates with honors.

They can both say they graduated (completed a workout) but what has really happened?

The honor graduate will get scholarships, a choice of schools, better job offers and a better quality of life.

There may be some other factors involved but he/she have built a life around discipline and doing the things they don’t want to do.

The “C” student is glad to have graduated and now has to pay for college or look for a low-paying job.

The lack of work ethic has hurt him/her over and limited their choices.

So to answer your question, if you want limited results that are far below your potential, then just go through the motions.

My hope is that there is a fire deep down inside of you that wants something a little more.

Working out with weights is one of the hardest things you can do but the discipline will carry over and help you in all aspects of your life.

If you need help in figuring out what to do, I am here for you.

Check out my online training. It is everything you need to get in the best shape of your life.

All for the ridiculously low price of $10/month. Click here to learn more.