hrt

So You Started HRT: 7 Things You Need to Know.

HRT

Congratulations on starting HRT (Hormone replacement Therapy). Whether you are using pellets, shots or troches, you are taking the first step to getting your hormones back in balance. In doing so, you open up a door of possibilities that maybe you thought were closed for good.

So in this post we are going to go over some ideas and concepts for you that you may not have discussed at the Doctor’s office.

1. You won’t build muscle, get energy or change the way you look if you stay on the couch!

For most people, HRT really works well. Now that you feel years younger, it is time to start lifting weights. By weights, let’s include body weight exercises, barbells, dumbbells, TRX, kettlebells etc… If you have spent the last few years of your life wondering why you could never tone up or build muscle, all that is about to change. Increased muscle tone will increase your metabolism and speed up fat loss.

2. Get back in shape gradually.

When I train clients who are starting HRT, sometimes they have the idea that they can jump from the couch to a marathon. Partly because they feel so good and partly because they are anxious to make up lost time. Don’t fall for that. This is the time to have a plan and follow it.

Too much too soon will either lead to a quick burnout or injury. This is why it makes sense to work with a personal trainer who can help you get started.

3. You will be able to recover faster.

This is not a contradiction to point 2. As your hormones balance out, you will soon discover that you can recover from workouts a lot faster. So take advantage of that. Try and push yourself a little more each workout. The better quality of workout, the faster you will see results.

4. Don’t worry about what anyone else says.

Hormone Replacement Therapy still has a bit of a stigma. This is why I included the John Melton Quote at the top. I always thought that was strange. You can have someone on diabetes medicine because of their lifestyle choices and no one blinks an eye. You start taking HRT and all of a sudden you are messing around with forbidden fruit. Any criticism you get will most likely come from people who are doing very little to help themselves. You are doing the right thing. By taking care of yourself first, you will be better able to help your family.

5. You may be on Hormone Replacement Therapy for life.

This also freaks people out. The same people who will be on blood pressure or heart medication the rest of their life. HRT is a preventative therapy to keep your hormones balanced so you can avoid a number of the pitfalls of getting older. This is truly a quality of life argument. Given the choice, I would much rather be proactive with my health than get older and watch the ailments and medications pile up. That is no way to live.

6. In 10 Years, HRT will be the Norm.

Do you really think our generation is going to get old quietly? No way. We are an active generation and we are redefining what old is. You can either sit out on the sidelines and be miserable or give it a try now. HRT isn’t going away anytime soon.

7. HRT does not mean you can eat the same junk you were eating before and get results.

As they say in the computing world, junk in equals junk out. Don’t expect miracles or quick results if you abuse your body. Getting in shape has always required work and will always require dedication and work. No pill or shot will replace that. all HRT will do is remove the barriers preventing you from getting results from your hard work.

Make sense?

I hope that didn’t bum you out too much. The good news is that I work with a number of clients that can get excellent results by making moderate changes in their habits.

Conclusion

This is the new frontier of medicine. I work with a number of clients who have started HRT and really enjoy watching them take control of their life again. As a personal trainer, I can help you with the training, nutrition and corrective exercises programs to make sure you get the most out of your therapy.

If you have an interest or if you would just like to know a little more, fill out the consultation form below and I will be in touch.

It is a no obligation 30 minute consult I offer to see if this is right for you.

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weight loss or fat loss?

Weight Loss vs. Fat Loss

Are Weight Loss and Fat Loss the same thing?

weight loss or fat loss?

Which one is healthier for you?

Which one is easier?

People tend to use these phrases interchangeably even though fat loss is very different than weight loss. I have to admit I even use both terms. In my defense, I use them because the public tends to see them as the same thing.

But they aren’t and here is why.

Let’s take a set of identical twins who weigh 180 pounds each and have 40% body fat. Both of these ladies would like to lose 30 pounds.

Twin #1 decides on a nutrition program that promotes weight loss.

Twin #2 decides to try a program that promotes fat loss through healthy eating and working out with weights.

Disclaimer: I have been doing these charts for over 13 years now. The charts you are going to see represent best case scenarios for each woman.

The vitals

At 180 pounds and 30% body fat both twins start out with 72 pounds of fat and 108 pounds of muscle.

180 x .30 = 72 pounds of fat.

180 – 72 = 108 pounds of muscle.

Technically the 108 pounds are made up of muscle, tissue, blood bones etc…but since those variables won’t change much, we will just call it muscle.)

Both women are dedicated to their programs and work hard. In the fitness industry, the one thing we all actually agree on is that a person can safely lose two pounds a week. After 12 weeks both women have stuck to their programs and now have lost weight.

So who did the better job of things? Trick question?

Weight loss

Twin #1 was after weight loss. She now weighs 158 pounds.

weight loss

So why is she still at 38% body fat?

Twin #1 has lost 24 pounds but only 11 pounds of fat.

This is very typical of what happens when you go on a low calorie diet. In addition to losing fat, you lose muscle. Really what has happened to Twin #1 is that she has shrunk herself but stayed at about the same body fat level. There are a couple problems here.

  1. Her height to weight measurement has gotten better but she is still overweight bordering on obese.
  2. Muscles help burn calories. By losing muscle she is automatically lowering her metabolism. If metabolism is the measure of how fast you burn calories, she has slowed her system down. This will make it very easy for her to gain her weight back as soon as she stops her diet.

Yes, she weighs less but is she really healthier?

Fat Loss

Twin #2 combined sensible eating with a weight training program and lost 22 pounds of fat and 17 pounds off the scale.

fat loss

Twin #2 is now at 30% body fat. She was able to successfully burn fat while keeping muscle mass.

Key Points

1. When I train women, there is an initial gain of 4-7 pounds of muscle. It isn’t new muscle, you are just toning up what you have. Guys can expect to gain 5-10 pounds in a few weeks. The nice thing is that the muscle gain is offset by the fat loss. If you start lifting weights, you will not turn into the Hulk. I promise!

2. Any time you can keep muscle and burn fat, you know your diet is spot on. This also means you are also getting stronger, leaner and healthier.

3. Twin #2 has increased her metabolism by keeping her muscle mass. By doing so, those cheat days or cheat meals won’t have as big an effect on her as they will on Twin #1.

So to sums things up:

Weight loss is a temporary thing. This is why most dieters will end up weighing more than when they started. When you burn both fat and muscle, you slow your metabolism down and make future weight loss that much harder. This is not a lifestyle, this is a quick fix way of thinking that has serious emotional consequences.

Fat loss is a lifestyle choice. Once you get the hang of it, it is very easy to maintain and you actually feel like you have control over your body. You will look healthier and feel better.

My job as your coach is to show you the difference between constructive and destructive ways of eating. My clients want to learn how to repair and take care of their bodies and that is what M Factor Fitness is all about. Through weight training, corrective exercise and nutrition coaching, you can learn to shape and control how you look for the long-term.

If this sounds interesting to you, please take a moment and fill out my consultation form. It is a free, no-0bligation phone call or visit where we can sit down and talk about yoru goals and how to best achieve them.

Free 30 minute Consult to See if this is right for you!

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Don't feed fear

Donuts vs Exercise: Do you Really Need to Worry About This?

Read Between the Lines

When you see this sign, know that I am going to try and change the way you view food and nutrition.

Not in the traditional sense of making you feel guilty or ashamed of your eating habits but as a way to free yourself from guilt. Nutritionists study the science of food and are very good about telling you what to eat and what not to. They speak in terms of fact and logic. This would be fine if we were robots and could just re-program our brains.

But it never works like that, does it? we are emotional creatures and a majority of our decisions are based on emotion not fact.

Whether that is good or bad doesn’t really matter. That is what we do. There may not be anything in our lives as emotionally charged as food. It works on all five senses, comforts, nourishes, brings back memories…you name it. Food works on many levels of our consciousness at once. So if we can’t separate emotion from food, we need to re-frame our attitude towards it.

So kindly take a look at this infographic.

donuts vs exercise

You may have seen these on social media. What does it really mean? That is a trick question because it is going to mean different things to different people.

What popped into your head first?

“I could really use a donut and coffee about now!”

“I can’t believe I ate a couple of donuts the other day.”

“That is a lot of exercise!”

“Why does everything that tastes good have so many calories.”

For most people, this infographic will have a negative connotation. Donut=bad.

So let me ask you, is this true?

Could you in fact eat donuts and drink lattes and lose weight?

Most nutritionists would say no, I say yes.

A quick overview of my philosophy on food before we get into the science.

My job as your nutrition coach is to help you either gain or lose weight. My real goal is to help change your perception of food so you can stay at the weight you want for the long term and still enjoy your favorite foods. Why? because it doesn’t work the other way. What would happen if I tell you that in order to lose 50 pounds you will never eat another donut? You may agree at first and you may have the willpower to avoid donuts…for a while. And I say for a while because you are using willpower as your fuel source. Willpower is a precious commodity. We don’t have a lot of it and when it runs out, you break down and binge. Everyone has a breaking point.

So the idea is not to base your eating around willpower. Instead, change your view on food and eliminate guilt.

The Science

Dieting Composition

Thanks to the nice people at RP for this graphic.

 

This is a chart that 99% of nutritionists would agree with. It shows that 80% of your success will be based on portion sizes and combination of fats/proteins and carbs.

50% will be based on calories. So let’s take a look at a 150 pound women.

Caloric needs

This is a general estimate of calories based on a simple formula.

150 pounds x 10= 1,500 calories a day with no activity.

1,500 calories x an activity factor of 1.3 = 1,950.

What does this mean?

A women weighing 150 pounds who is moderately active can consume 1,950 calories a day and not gain or lose weight. The only asterisk I am going to put on this is for people that are yo-yo-dieters. Chances are your metabolism is way off from starving yourself. But once you start eating enough food again, you will find these figures are pretty accurate.

Exercise

Add in an hour of working out and you will have burned 500 calories, give or take.

  • I burn 180-200 calories a mile running. I am also a big guy. You will burn less so maybe 140-150 will be a more accurate number. Run 3 miles and you are close to 500 calories.
  • Working out with weights will give you 400-500 calories in 45 minutes if you minimize breaks.
  • High intensity weight circuit training will be in the range of 600-800 for 45 minutes.

Summary

If you add in exercise, a 150 pound woman could eat close to 2,000 calories a day and actually lose weight.

2,000 calories – 500 from exercise= 500 calorie deficit.

That is the healthy way to lose weight and get healthy at the same time.

Back to the donuts

donuts vs exercise

You could eat the donut and drink the latte and still have 1,600 calories for the day and lose weight.

So if you can accept the fact that you can eat 2,000 calories, exercise and lose fat at the same time (if not please re-read the above or email me), then this infographic looks a little different, doesn’t it?

That being said, the rest of your meals need to be more nutritionally sound. There have been studies where people have eaten nothing but junk food and lost weight because they paid attention to portion size but I would never advocate that. The idea is to eat clean but you can have the occasionally treat.

Hopefully your mind is blown because this changes everything.

We go from a negative view of food to a positive one.

If I tell you, as your coach, you can’t eat a donut, what food pops in your head? Donuts? Guilt? Sadness? A test of willpower?

Please don’t live that way and please don’t let these fear mongers make you feel bad about yourself.

M Factor Fitness is all about re-framing how you view food and exercise and integrating them into your life.

It is about making you feel good about yourself and making change.

You don’t have to make drastic changes but you will have to put in the work.

If this sounds interesting to you, call me or fill out my consult form for a free 30 minute chat.

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weight loss

The Most Important Weight Loss Tip you will ever get.

The most important, overlooked, never talked about weight loss tip is probably something you never thought about.

easy weight loss

 

There are a lot of articles of weight loss focusing on doing certain things.

  • Eat clean
  • Drink more water.
  • Exercise more
  • blah,blah,blah.

I am not putting down those tips because they are all part of the solution but they don’t get to the heart of the issue.

Most eating and diet plans will work. Why then, do most people fail to to lose weight?

You can’t stay on it.

Pretty simple but that is not the tip I have for you.

The tip is to align your eating with your personality type.

There is a great book called, “Better than Before: What I learned about Making and Breaking Habits” by Gretchen Rubin, that explores why we have trouble making habits that stick. It is a great book and I highly recommend you read it. Her premise is that you are born with a set personality that fall into four categories. We are all belong to at least one of the groups. So if your personality is set at a young age, it doesn’t make sense to try and be someone you aren’t nor does it make sense to try and do something that doesn’t line up with your personality. Trying to force a habit through sheer willpower is doomed for failure and will make your life miserable in the process. It doesn’t have to be that way.

Stay with me here.

All or Nothing versus Moderators.

Given a habit, you will be one or another.

All or nothing people have to be 100% in to achieve their goal. For example, the ex-smoker that knows if he/she has a cigarette they won’t be able to stop. So for them, total 100% abstinence from smoking is the only way they can be successful. My Mom is like that.

Moderators have a different approach. Being told they can never do something again fires off their sense of rebellion. They want the freedom of indulging every once in a while because they can do that without going overboard. Using the previous example, they may have a cigarette every once in a while but it isn’t a big deal.

Here is where it can get tricky. You can be an “All or Nothing” for one habit and a “Moderator” for another.

Here is an example from my life. You can apply this to weight loss.

Cardio- an example of  All or Nothing.

Arvade half-marathon

 

 

I don’t mind doing cardio, in fact I like it when I do it. However, it never seems to be a priority for me. In the past I had a schedule of running 3-4 days a week and I failed miserably at it. Something would always come up and I put it off. Not good, especially if you are getting ready to do some long and ugly races life the half-marathon in the picture.

I had to finally admit I was not a “moderator” when it comes to running. I am an “all or nothing”. So I created the 100 day Cardio Challenge for myself, which I am at day 99 of this writing.

Wasn’t that hard to do? Not really.

I set a baseline of a minimum of 30 minutes of cardio a day either running, on a treadmill, elliptical or bike.

I asked myself if that was doable and I thought it was. That is really all there is to it.

  1. Is this in your personality to commit to doing something every day?
  2. Don’t worry about the maximum requirements but are the minimum requirements doable?

If you can honestly say yes to both of these questions, you are good to go.

Did I ever not feel like doing it? Yes, but it would have been embarrassing to me to break the streak after a week or two. Once you get in the 40’s and up you have to ask yourself, “Am I really going to skip a day because I feel a little tired? If I don’t do this, how will I feel about myself in the morning?”

By the way, that is a great question to always ask yourself.

“If I don’t do this, how will I feel about myself in the morning?”

So in 99 days I have lost 15 pounds without intending to, Shaved 1:15 off my fastest mile time and am in the best cardio shape of my life. Not bragging, just saying this works.

The Elimination Diet- an example of moderation

weight loss tip

 

I have some allergies to food I didn’t know about that were causing massive inflammation in my body. So to get the inflammation under control, you do what is called an elimination diet which means you cut out all the food you like to eat for 6-8 weeks to heal the body.

In my case I have to eliminate:

  • Dairy (milk, cheese…)
  • Gluten (anything with wheat in it)
  • Legumes (beans, peanuts etc…)

Any this is a very hard way for some people to eat, including me. If you tell me I will never be able to eat a donut again, something in the back of my brain starts to rebel will sabotage the process. I know myself. Don’t tell me what to do. In talking with the Doctor, I asked if pretty good would be good enough. Say 90% compliance. He was okay with that and that was the key for me.

I don’t have to be 100%, I just have to be pretty good. My brain likes that idea.

I have given myself the freedom to go off plan every once in a while because I know I can limit the damage. If I am craving a jelly donut, I am 100 % sure I can eat 1 or 2 and not end up eating 6 or 8. Good enough.

Funny enough, I have been testing this out and I really am not craving those things anymore.

I have been on this diet for 2 weeks and have come to a couple realizations.

  1. Most of the time “that food” doesn’t taste all that great anyway.
  2. If I can smell it, sometimes that is good enough.

Here is an example, we are at this sports bar and I can’t find anything remotely gluten-free on the menu I want to eat. So I order a cheeseburger. Why not, I have been good all week. So the cheeseburger comes and I look at it. I smell the bun which has gluten. Not that great of a bun. Not that fresh and not really toasted right. Basically a very mediocre bun. Do I really want to eat that? Is this average,bland bun going to give me anything of value?

Nah, so I take it off and throw it to the side. Once the bun comes off, the cheese looks gross, so it comes off. Now I have a meal that fits the guidelines and I don’t feel deprived. Moral victory.

Bottom line on weight loss

The point is, I value having a choice in some areas of my life and I like not having a choice in others.

Figure out how to make the habit fit your personality and you have a greater chance of success.

Try and change your personality to make a habit work and you are doomed.

If you need a little help with this stuff, I offer online and in home personal training and coaching. Click here for more information or fill out the form below.

 

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Can You Drop Fat and Build Muscle at the Same Time?

Can you drop fat and build muscle at the same time?

Drop fat and build Muscle

“Hey Coach Mike,  I’m an currently working out 5 day a week. I am at 31 % body fat. I want cut it down to 15 % while maintaining the body weight. Can you please help to chalk out a good work out plan. Thanks”

This is a classic question. If I understand your question, you want to replace body fat with muscle. The old “Drop fat and build muscle at the same time” conundrum.

Just in case you are wondering…”Can fat turn into muscle? Can muscle turn into fat?”

No.

Let’s look at the numbers.

I don’t know how much you weigh but let’s assume you weigh 200 pounds. At 31% body fat you have 62 pounds of fat and 138 pounds of muscle. Note: when I say muscle I am referring to muscle, blood, bones and everything else that isn’t fat. We can do this because the only variable that will change is muscle. Blood volume, bone weight etc…will stay consistent for the most part.

If you want to stay the same weight and go down to 15% body fat, then you would be at 30 pounds of fat and 170 pounds muscle.

What you are looking at is gaining 32 pounds of muscle while losing 32 pounds of fat.

So the big question here is your time frame.

The good news about fat loss.

You can keep the same level of muscle and easily lose 2 pounds of fat per week. You could achieve that in about 16 weeks.

The bad news about muscle gain.

The harder part of this equation is putting on 32 pounds of muscle. Unless you are really gifted this could take 3 plus years at best. This also depends on your body type, joint size and family history. Any of which could be a deal breaker. It took me over a decade to gain 100 pounds but I was going from painfully skinny to average to bigger than average.

Don’t get discouraged, it can be done and people are doing it all it time. But that is the key. It takes time.

Building muscle is challenging.

For muscles to grow you need to do the big 4 consistently.

  • Break down muscle tissue with hard workouts.
  • Get enough recovery time.
  • Eat a surplus of calories to build muscle
  • Eat enough protein throughout the day and night to foster muscle growth.

Maximizing dropping fat and building muscle at the same time is a tricky balancing act. Usually you can’t do both nearly as well as doing one at a time. Most people who are successful at putting on muscle won’t worry too much with body fat levels. But…

Here’s the big secret.

If you follow the big 4 rules consistently, you will drop body fat without thinking about it. I am making the assumption that you are taking in quality calories not junky ones.

The good news about muscle gains

The more you get into this, the more you will know your body and be able to optimize the big four. Learn what works for you and stay with it.

How do you measure progress?

If you are serious about this, you will get an electronic body fat tester. They run around $30 on Amazon and allow you to get a much more accurate body fat reading that scales or hand held sensors that send electric impulses. If you know your weight and body fat, then you can track pounds of fat and pounds of muscle.

Or you can do it the old fashioned way and see how your clothes fit. Tight around the legs and chest? Good. Tight around the waist? Bad.

The really good news.

  • As you drop fat, you will look better because the muscles you have will start to pop out.
  • A little muscle goes a long way in changing your appearance.
  • More muscle means a faster metabolism so you will burn more calories at rest.

The other factor here is over-training. I am going to give you an ambitious schedule. You may not be able to handle the amount of volume. If so, no problem.

Take another day off or cut down on the volume.

Go to the gym 2 on and 1 off. So for every 2 days you workout, take 1 day off. Concentrate on Chest, Back, Shoulders and Legs. Arms will be done at the end of the workout.

Sample Workout Schedule

Day 1:

Bench Press 5 sets of 5–12 reps

Military or shoulder press with dumbbells 5 sets of 6–12 reps

Laterals with dumbbells 3 sets 8–12

Skull crushers with dumbbells 3 sets 8–12

Bicep curls 3 sets 8–12 reps

Day 2

Squats 5 sets 5–12 reps

Pull-ups 5 sets as many as you can or at least 25

Barbell or 1 arm rows 3 sets of 8–12

Straight legged deadlift 3 sets 6–8

Day 3 off

Day 4

Dumbbell bench press or incline press 5 sets of 8–12

Arnold presses 5 sets of 8–12

Front raises 3 sets of 8–12

Rear dips 3 sets as many as you can

Dumbbell curls 3 sets 8–12 reps

Day 5

Lunges 5 sets of 15–25

Rows 5 sets of 8–12

Pull-ups 3 sets as many as you can do or at least 25

Stiff legged deadlifts 3 sets of 6–8

Calf raises.

Throw in planks, hanging leg raises and reverse crunches for core work 6 days a week.

Day 6

off

Day 7

Work on weak areas with a short workout.

What about Cardio?

Here is where things get a little controversial.

If you really want to lose fat right now.

Spend at least 30 minutes 5–6 times a week doing long slow cardio. This means keeping your heart rate around 115–130 bpm. I know a lot of people will disagree with this but it is a proven way to burn fat and keep muscle.

An Alternative

If you don’t want to do that, consider high intensity interval training 4 days a week at a place like Crossfit and see if that works.

Both ways will get you where you want to be. It will just take time and patience.

Hey Mike, what about nutrition?

If you are at 31% body fat, you need to clean up your diet. Eat clean and emphasize protein each meal. That is the easy answer and in reality, don’t overload yourself at once. Everyone knows how to eat clean.

  • No soda or diet soda.
  • Cut out sugary drinks.
  • No fried food.
  • No fast food.
  • Don’t rely on restaurants to help you. Make your own food and eat it.

I hope this helps.

If you need some coaching…

You can always join my online training for the crazy low price of $10/month.

Online and Mobile Personal Training

Click here for more information.

 

Calories 101: Can you lose weight counting calories?

Calories are the theme for podcast #140.

It is timely because this is February 28th. I have a funny feeling that a number of people who had great expectations for losing weight this year have given up.

Don’t give up. Just try a different approach.

Why should I listen to you about nutrition?

  • I have certifications out the wazoo for this very subject.
  • I have a solid track record with my clients for weight loss.
  • I am not trying to sell you anything.

Here is a brief summary of the podcast.

I would love to have you as a subscriber on Itunes. You can find me here at https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/m-factor-fitness-funkcast/id736197825?mt=2

Is a calorie a calorie?

a bunch of calories!

Yes, there have been many studies that prove, at least for weight loss a calorie is a calorie. A number of studies have people losing weight eating anything from McDonalds to Doritos and losing weight. The key is that they measured portions.

When is a calorie not a calorie?

Even though you can lose weight by eating junk food, you will pay a price in the end. Junk calories have little to no nutritional value.

Who should count calories?

I think everyone should get a good idea of how much they should be eating. Don’t go down that rabbit hole of tracking everything you eat. Personally, I would rather get poked in the eye with a sharp stick than write down everything I eat. I just don’t have the temperament.

Can you accurately measure how much you should eat?

Please don’t ask me exactly how much you should eat. There are way too many variables. Instead, get the big picture and get close. In the calorie game pretty good is good enough.

How do you figure out caloric intake?

Here is an easy formula I learned a long time ago. It is more accurate than a lot of the software out there.

Terms

Weight– how much you weigh.

RMR– resting metabolic rate. How many calories you burn without moving.

Activity Factor- How many calories you burn per day moving around. Be safe and use 1.3.

Workout calories– how many calories you burn working out.

See, I told you this would be easy.

Women’s formula for daily caloric intake.

Your weight x 10. Example 150 x 10= 1500 calories per day RMR

Add in your activity factor which is almost always 1.3. 1500 x 1.3= 1950 calories.

Figure out approximately how many calories you burn exercising per week.

4 workouts at 400 calories= 1600 calories per week or 228 per day.

Add that to your total and you have a good estimate of your daily caloric needs.

In this case we are talking about 2178 calories.

Men’s Formula for daily caloric intake.

These are my numbers. Last body fat test I was at 11%.

Your weight x 11. Example 245 x 11= 2695 calories per day RMR

Add in your activity factor which is almost always 1.3. 2695 x 1.3= 3503 calories.

Figure out approximately how many calories you burn exercising per week.

Running 20 miles per week at 180 calories per mile = 3,600

4 workouts at 500 calories= 2,000 calories per week.

Add both together and you get 5,600 calories /7= 800 calories per day.

Add that to your total and you have a good estimate of your daily caloric needs.

In this case we are talking about 4303 calories per day.

What do these numbers mean?

Eat that many calories and you will stay the same weight.

Eat 300 more calories pr day to gain weight.

Eat 300 less calories to lose weight.

If you have any of the following symptoms:

  • Trouble losing weight.
  • Trouble sleeping.
  • Irritability.
  • Poor memory
  • Constantly sick

There may be a very easy cure for you. Eat more.

If all this is too much of a bother, just go with this.

Eating Plan for Women

Eating Plan for Women

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Eating Plan For Men

Eating Plan for Men

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.

 

 

Monthly Fitness Challenge Q&A

 M Factor Fitness Monthly Challenge Q&A

 

monthly fitness challenge puppy rescue mission

Why Do A Monthly Fitness Challenge?

There are 168 hours in a week. That is a lot of time.

At best I see my clients 2-3 of those hours. What my clients do during the other hours I really don’t have control over.

I assign homework but sometimes life gets in the way of the best intentions.

These monthly fitness challenges are meant to get you off the couch and get you moving. The idea is to keep fitness on your mind all month and get rewarded at the end with a little swag. It is inexpensive, you can invite your friends to do it with you and you will feel better about yourself.

 

What is A Virtual Run?

A virtual run is a run you do at your own time wherever you want to do it. If you sign up for the December run, you have the month of December to do it.

Once you do it, log in and check that it is done and you get your finisher’s medal in the mail.

I am putting a slightly different twist on this in that I want you to do the race and commit to training a certain number of miles during the month.

Simply put, do the work get a medal and enjoy it with your favorite beverage. Enjoy your success.

Do I have to run?

Nope. Do any type of cardio you want. The point is to keep you moving.

  • Run outside
  • Run on a treadmill
  • Walk outside
  • Walk on a treadmill
  • Bike outside
  • Bike inside
  • Use a Stairmaster
  • Use an elliptical.
  • Ride a unicycle.
  • Swim
  • Jumprope

Can I mix up the types of cardio?

Sure. Here are some equivalents to keep you on track.

1 mile walking = 1 mile.

1 mile running = 1 mile

4 miles cycling (indoor or outside) = 1 mile

 

I try at walk 10,000 steps a day. Can I count that?

I guess …but I would rather you don’t.

Here’s why.

Training is training.  Set a period of time to go from point A to Point B. It is uninterrupted exercise. That is how you get results.

The monthly fitness challenge has to be just exercise.

I understand counting steps is popular right now but I wouldn’t call getting off the couch to get a beer exercise.

Neither is getting up to go to the bathroom

How to you keep track whether we actually do the work?

I don’t. This is the honor system.

  1. Sign up for the race  and pick a distance.
  2. Make sure you do that distance at least once during the month.

Here is the twist. You have to train for the race…right? I want you to commit to a number of miles you are going to train that month to do the race.

I would like to use the M Factor Fitness Facebook page, here is the link to keep track of everybody.

If not, just send me an email.

The reality is you can cheat but remember you are only cheating yourself (wow, I sound just like my mom).

How do I pick a goal for the monthly fitness challenge?

Pick a mileage goal you are 80% sure you can achieve. When I train my clients, I always tell them if you aren’t 80% sure you can do the next rep, don’t try it.

Why? Because success is built upon the foundation of consistent achievement. If you choose an unrealistic goal because you think it sounds good, you are doomed to failure.

Of course, the opposite is true. Make it easy and you won’t be interested in it.

Does it have to be a mileage goal?

Mileage goals work really well. It is a black and white goal. You either do it or you don’t.

That being said:

  • You could commit to working out x number of days this month. Ex. 25 1 hour workouts with weights or cardio.
  • You could workout out for a set number of hours. 5 hours a week x 4 weeks=20 hours.

 

Can I sign up anytime?

Yes. I am going to offer a new challenge every month. Best case is that you have a plan ready to go and sign up for the 1st of the month.

If you don’t, sign up anytime and let me know what you are committing to for the month.

Click here to get signed up.

Can I just do the race and not the monthly challenge?

Sure, Part of your registration fee goes to a charity so you are still doing a good thing.

But why dip your toe in the water? Jump in!

Why is there a sign-up fee?

Let me answer this two ways.

  1. There is a company involved and they have costs. Your registration fee money goes towards the cost of the medal, shipping of the medal, admin fees etc… At least $5 of every registration goes towards a charity. As the person promoting the race, I get a very small referral fee. I actually lose money by doing this but I think it is a great cause.
  2. If it was free, a lot of people would sign up and never do it. Nobody values free stuff. $25 is very reasonable for a race and a good part of it goes to charity. So put some skin in the game and sign up.

 

How Do I keep track of everything?

If you are a member of M Factor Fitness Online training, it is very easy.

Not a member? You can be for the ridiculously low price of $10/month. Click here for more details.

Ok, enough of the shameless plugs. My members can go into their account and schedule all their cardio and weight sessions ahead of time.

When they do that, they will get text reminders on their phone. Once they complete a workout, they mark it as done.

How can I track mileage?

There are a number of free apps you can download that track mileage through GPS.

I really like the Adidas Train and Run App but almost every shoe company has their free app.

I am not a member of M factor Fitness, can I still sign up?

You bet. One of the reasons I want to open this up to the public is that there are a lot of online training resources out there.

The problem is that there aren’t a lot of good ones. This is a good way to make sure you have a good month of cardio and introduce you to

my way of training.

Can I invite friends to the monthly fitness challenge?

That would be awesome.

Summary

I am here to try and help motivate people. The M Factor monthly fitness challenge is meant to keep you focused, get results and most of all…..have fun.

If you are interested in learning more, click here.

 

 

Schedule Your Online Workouts.

How to Schedule Your Online workouts


If you have five minutes, you have time to schedule your online workouts.

If you do this simple thing, schedule your online workouts, you will maximize your results and waste less time.

This is not a chore but a gift you can give yourself. You can give yourself the gift of efficiency.

Let me ask you an obvious question.

Would a NFL team just wander out on the field Sunday and come up with a game plan once the game started?

Not a chance.

Do you think anyone who has made a major change in their fitness did so by working out when they felt like it?

Or better yet, winging it in the gym?

But Coach Mike, I don’t want to be a professional athlete. I just want to look and feel better.

I am not asking you to devote hours to the gym. The idea of a coach is to get you from point A to point B in the most efficient way possible. I realize you probably don’t have hours to spend in the gym.

That is why the most valuable thing I can give you is the power to leverage time.

Schedule your online workouts for the month and you will always know what to do and when to do it.

It is not an issue of being in the gym enough, it is an issue of not getting enough dome during your workouts.

M Factor Philosophy

Enjoy life. This is a culture where people spend more time whining about what they want than they spend actually going after it.

These are people who really don’t want to get in shape.

They just want to talk about why they can’t.

The best way to enjoy life is to work hard at something and make progress.

My online training system gives you the means to schedule your online workouts, track them and see the results at the end of the month.

As a bonus, you have me as your personal coach. Commit to doing something big this month and see how great it feels.

Set a Goal of working Out 6 days a week.

There is nothing like getting into a routine to keep you in check during the holidays. I have a client who runs every morning on his treadmill.

I couldn’t do this but it is ingenious.

To him, it doesn’t matter what season it is. Whether it is dark or light, 6 am is still 6 am. He does it and gets it out of the way early. Brilliant.

Your goal can be a little different. This is the great part of M Factor Online training.

  • You have a number of workouts from 10 minutes to an hour.
  • Some require equipment while many don’t.
  • You can even go in and customize workouts. Substitute exercises, shorten or lengthen your favorites.
  • Do interval training.

No more excuses.

You have workouts that fit any time frame and are geared to give you fast results.

For Online training to work, you have to sit down and schedule your workouts the week before.

This does two things for you.

  • You commit to doing the training.
  • You activate the reminder system so you get an email/text telling you about your scheduled workout.

That is cool!

So watch this video to see how to do it.