Archive for the ‘Weight Loss’ Category
I have a true confession for you — this weekend I caught a case of the sniffles. It’s probably been 5 years or longer since my last cold so I can’t complain too much. Undaunted by my semi-disease ridden body, however, I bundled up and ventured out to the grocery store to restock our exceedingly barren refrigerator. Perhaps influenced by my influenza, I loaded up my grocery cart with a refreshing variety of vegetables, fruits, nuts, and seeds. Lengthy winter months often wither our resolve to eat fresh foods as many of us opt for comfort foods to warm us up when the cold winds blow. What better time to turn up our internal temperatures with an abundance of seasonal fruits and vegetables as we march into March?
Did you ever walk through a museum or past a static display that enticed you with its rich texture, glimmering sheen or perhaps its historical significance? Instinctively, you reach out to indulge your tactile temptation only to find yourself recoiling at the sight of a “Do Not Touch” sign? I hate those signs, don’t you? It makes me obsessed to touch it at the risk of reprimand by the local curator or temporary incarceration in museum prison for my defiance. So, now I’m feeling a little guilty for spending the better part of this month telling you what you shouldn’t do. Maybe it would be helpful, instead, to hear what you can do when it comes to your heart health.
Everyone’s busy nowadays; we’re lucky if we can find time to cook a healthy dinner for ourselves. Having an alternate plan for getting a great workout is vitally important to staying in great shape. Our busy lives sometimes pull us away from the important things in life like healthy food and time in the gym.
I have assembled the top 5 portable fitness equipment to keep you healthy in 2014 (and beyond):
I feel honored and blessed to have a grandfather who was part of the Greatest Generation as a veteran of World War II. Although I don’t recall him sharing many stories from the war, I always found it interesting that he never smoke or drank during a time when it was common and, quite frankly, fashionable to do so. I feel equally fortunate that my parents never smoked. So, it came as a complete shock when I was old enough to discover that my uncles smoked cigarettes. Fearing for their health, my siblings and I hatched plans to bury their cartons of cigarettes on numerous occasions. While that may not have been the best method to get them to quit, it at least got their attention. At the time, I didn’t know why it was dangerous to smoke, I just knew that I loved my uncles and hated cigarettes. If you, or your sweetheart, still light up, the following heart disease facts may help you bury your butts too!
I often get emails from people young and old about getting prepared for military training, and also from veterans who want to be in the shape they used to be when they served in the military. Many are looking for veterans to help them get into “fighting shape”. Here is a list of many former military officers and enlisted who train civilians to not only lose weight and get healthy, but prepare for military training too. If you are a veteran in the fitness business, send me a paragraph and link of what you do and I will add to this page.
Military Fitness programs are popular. In fact, many former military personnel of all ranks and services are now getting into the fitness business — myself included. Check out the list of veteran-owned fitness businesses around the country:
Boot Camp Fitness, Inc. — Created by former Army sergeant, Jay Johnson of Dallas TX, who has become the Official Fitness Trainer of The Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders (Enough said! THAT is a success story in the fitness business!). He has been featured on many television shows and magazine publications for his creative workouts that yield great results.
British Commando Fitness — British Army Commando “Sol” Sollerer has retired from the British Army, married an American, and has started his own fitness business in the Annapolis MD area. Also working as an assistant boxing coach at the U.S. Naval Academy, Sol has planted roots in the US and helping active duty and future military candidates prepare for service. Still competitive as well, Sol assists with the Heroes of Tomorrow program in Severna Park, MD giving the students a taste of how nice a drill instructor will be when they join. He is also involved in high school / college team sport mental toughness and team building training.
Hostyle Conditioning - With the help and support of Curd Hos, Owner and Operator of the best training facility in Orleans, Ontario—Curd is helping CPT Smash take the youth strength coaching platform by storm, as well as developing ongoing programs for older adults to help increase the awesomeness within Ottawa, CA. The youth program engages kids as young as 9–13 years old in our bootcamp style training, that will help them move better, get stronger and enhance their overall level of conditioning far beyond what the other kids are able to achieve nowadays. The upper level athletes (15–20+) are slotted into semi-private training sessions to really focus on certain performance goals for their sports in order to make them super tough athletes that are unstoppable on the field, ice or track!
Extreme SEAL Experience - Former SEAL Don Shipley puts on a great training program complete with shooting, survival, mission planning training in the Chesapeake VA area. See his youtube channel for great footage of the training they put on for civilians and wanna-be’s.
The Health Colonel – Bob Weinstein, LtColonel, USAR, (ret.) can be found on the beaches of Fort Lauderdale, FL conducting early morning workouts with his students. Training many out of shape and overweight people per year, he also prepares young men and women for the physical demands of the military. If you are looking for a motivational/health speaker, The Health Colonel is your man. He motivated me by telling me that “the United States has enemy soldiers within its borders — they kill more than 3,000 people a day, their names are cancer, heart disease, and stroke.” I immediately responded, “yeah and over 20 million people are being held hostage by diabetes in America.”
NavySEALs.com, SEALFIT.com, UnbeatableMind - Mark Divine has evolved into a fitness / mental toughness powerhouse. His programs / store enable any fitness enthusiast, SpecWar candidate pick and choose what he needs to make himself better — mentally, physically, and more. For gear, books, ebooks, training, hellweek simulation, etc.
Owen Richardson — NeoLife: Owen is an active Navy Reserve IS1 and promotes the neolife club products for two reasons: “When I was deployed to Iraq in 09–10, I saw you guys (SPECOPS) everyday with tons of energy. Last year I was talking with Chris (SEAL Team 8) and he told me this was the same vitamins they took day after day. I started on it without promoting for 3 months, once I saw the benefits personally, I started telling everyone about it.” NeoLife has different products for different lifestyles, and at a reasonable price. A months supply of vitamins or weight loss shakes will run about $40
Platoon Fitness.com – The folks at Platoon Fitness located in Philadelphia PA and throughout Pennsylvania and New York City was founded by Todd Scott, a Navy veteran. They have been in business for over 10 years and have indoor and outdoor training facilities with over twenty fully certified trainers who train everyone from working men and women, stay at home Moms, and kids too. They also offer franchising opportunities and training for instructors.
The Sergeants Program – Patrick Avon opened one of the first military group training businesses in the U.S. Patrick is a former Navy enlisted man who has created a military fitness empire in the DC/Virginia area, catering mostly to overweight executives — he also gets several students per year who seek a career in the military. He has over 45 instructors in 35 locations, all certified with a nationally recognized program. He also has his own outdoor boot-camp certification program. Check out his site for his annual Jolly Fat Man’s run/party.
The SEAL PT Course – Jack Walston — former Navy SEAL in Houston TX and Central Park Manhattan NYC — has been doing SEAL PT for over a decade. He has weekly workout plans for locals as well as a SEAL Training/Special Forces mini-camp that will test you to your limits. This program actually mimics many of the events experienced in Hell Week at SEAL Training, including a 24 hour non-stop period of training.
SEALGrinderPT.com - Brad McLeod, born in Thomasville, GA, grew up in Tallahassee, FL. He is a former Navy SEAL and graduated from SEAL training in BUD/S class 132 against all odds. Despite having no athletic background and having life long asthma Brad climbed his personal Mount Everest and made it through BUD/S the second time and went through Hell Week twice.
Training Philosophy for Spec Ops: Our philosophy on workouts is to try to keep as many functional movements as possible that have carry over to your day to day sport or occupation. SEAL grinder PT is dedicated to working out and improving your mind and body to unleash the inner warrior in you. The grinder PT is a mixture of the same exercises that SEAL recruits perform on a daily basis at the BUD/S training camp in Coronado, California. We are also throwing in a few CrossFit style drills, some exercises from SEALFit, Mountain Athlete, Gym Jones and a few others you may not have seen before.
SWAT Personal Training – Ron Holland (former USAF) out of Tucson AZ, created an outdoor and indoor fitness business in 1991 after a career in the military and police department. He has a one week in-residence boot camp where they create a military indoctrination environment (0500am wakeup!) He has recruits run, PT, eat a well balanced and nutritious chow, and hike 2 –12 miles in the Tucson area desert. Also water skills, aerobics, yoga, stretching, and other anti-aging programs are taught in a teamwork/military style program. It is very informative and positive feedback and teamwork is highly encouraged.
SEAL Team PT – Former Navy SEAL John McGuire has translated his experience into a one-of-a-kind, non-military fitness program, offering the dual benefit of world-class fitness and team-building to people of all ages and walks of life. Offered in the Richmond, Virginia area since 1998, SEAL Team PT has legions of satisfied, fit, and fulfilled graduates of all ages. To date, SEAL Team PT has graduated over 175 basic fitness classes, conducted more than 50 custom-tailored corporate team-building programs, and led more than 40 SEAL Teen and SEAL Pup classes for youth and children.
StewSmith.com – My website/fitness business has evolved since 1998 when I resigned from the Navy. At first I had a fitness business with as many as 40–50 hours of group PT and personal training a week. Now, after writing everything down for years, I created programs that have helped thousands prepare for military, special forces, and law enforcement physical fitness tests. I still do some online training and local group training in the Baltimore/Annapolis MD area, but my group workouts during the week and weekend are free to those who want to join me on my swims, runs, PT etc. Once on month, we test with a variety of PFTs and we also do quarterly Spec Ops Triathlons — Run, Swim, Ruck. These workouts now give me ideas which to write as I see issues, troubles, and ways around personal obstacles with a variety of students. I figure if I am going to write about training — I need to train.
Products Invented by Vets — SEALS / SF Specifically:
The TRX - Fitness in a Bag! Former SEAL Randy Hetrick has created another device that is easy to carry and so versatile I still cannot name all the exercises you can do with this thing. My latest count is over 200 exercises. In an article, I compared his TRX to a Universal Weight Machine and for a 1/10 of the price it easy outperforms the machine tenfold! This is great for travelers as the straps are easy to pack and unfold in seconds. See some of the videos on his site.
The Perfect Pushup and Pullup - My former SEAL buddy Alden Mills has created awesome fitness products that capture the most beloved and most hated exercises we do in the SEAL Teams and at BUD/S. The rotational motion of his products challenge the best pull-up and pushup performers. In fact, his products cut my reps in half and after a few years of using the Perfect Pushup, they still work like new and continue to make my pushups tougher. Supplemented with some weights, the Perfect Pushup and Pull-up are great additions to a home weight room.
The Fit Deck - Former SEAL Phil Black is probably the real genius of the bunch to take an idea and turn it into a successful business. When on a deployment or just bored, the SEALs as well as other military groups, do a workout with a deck of cards. Usually it required some imagination: face cards = 10 pushups, aces = 25 pushups / 25 abs, jokers = 50 reps of anything…BUT what Fit Deck does for you is take out the mystery and when you shuffle the deck and start to flip the cards you get told what you need to do. Now he has Pull-up Decks, Kettlebell Decks, Navy SEAL Decks, Navy SEAL Audio Series on Acing BUDS, Combat Sports Decks and so many more — even some for kids.
Refactor Tactical - Army SF veterans create tactical gear that works. Designed by the operator for the operator. Check out the gear list and training videos. Anything from bags, caps, survival bands, medical gear, fun t-shirts and more — you can find it on their store and talk with other operators on their blog.
Any of these make great gifts for your fitness guru in the family or those seeking a profession that requires some form of fitness test.
After a brief discussion with the veteran trainers, we all agreed upon a few things. We focus on teaching on a basic level of fitness, habit building, and just adding basic fitness as stretching, walking/running, light PT, and drinking water to people’s lives. Let them see and feel the progress they are making. Take them as they advance and PT them harder, but you have to give them a plan that works.
The plan I have here works…it will help people lose up to 25lbs if they just following the simple directions:
1- Stretch Daily! This is very important if beginning a fitness plan. See Stretch article.
2 — Drink more water — up to a gallon a day
3 — Do something everyday for 45 days straight – even if that is just walk after dinner. This FREE 45 day plan shows you how.
4 — Repeat above — do not worry about food intake yet, but if no results are seen in 3–4 weeks then focus on a food plan as mentioned in plan above.
Look up one of the above veterans and try a boot camp workout program this year. If you know of another veteran operated fitness business that is not listed, please send the website address/contact information and I will place it in an updated article archive so I have close to a comprehensive list. Please email me atStew@stewsmith.com with your questions.
Here’s a question: Is there a supplement you can take to get ripped and get better results from your workouts?
Anyone who has spent time researching fitness and athletic performance has heard about nutritional supplementation. By providing your body with additional amounts of certain natural nutrients you can promote performance, boost your immune system, and aid muscle recovery. This combo allows the body to function at a higher level. It also leads to improved workouts and muscle growth. However, it can be difficult to determine which supplements are effective. Here are some of the most popular supplements to get ripped.
Living in a rural state like Maine, it’s easy to get spoiled by the solitude. With no traffic to speak of, nights are still and silent which makes for a perfect sleeping environment. It also makes it easier to get startled when an errant noise jolts you out of bed with your pounding heart leading the way. Isn’t it amazing how much we don’t think about our hard-working hearts until they remind us in a big way? Since February is a month in which we celebrate the decadence of Valentine’s Day along with the prudence of heart health month, let’s find a happy medium to enjoy both!
Are you training for a military sport? Are you training so that you are ready for your next mission? Or are you traiing so that you can keep up with your kids once you get home?
It is important, both as an athlete and as a normal Joe or Jane looking for quality of life, to have a well-rounded diet that consists of a variety of healthy foods. And I’m saying healthy as in “real” food so you think that the variety pack of donuts counts as a well-rounded diet (even though most donuts are round)!
Think about it…you wouldn’t go putting lesser quality gas into a Ferrari, now would you? Here are some great foods that can be found in a healthy diet.
What’s up with a Vegan Bodybuilding Diet? Many people worldwide have a vegan diet. However, in other places (such as the States) becoming vegan is something new. It’s also something becoming more common, especially as specialty grocery stores pop up like Whole Foods. Even so, there are still lots of misconceptions about this diet and lifestyle.
Primarily…where’s the protein?
To date, few studies focus directly on vegetarian bodybuilding because, simply put, there is absolutely no evidence that a vegetarian diet affects bodybuilding performance.
In fact, many bodybuilders will agree that the overall health benefit of removing meat (and sometimes dairy and eggs) from their eating plans allows them to feel better because it reduces fatigue, clears that “mental fog”, and improves their overall sense of well-being. And, they can still build muscle and get all the protein and nutrients they need when they are fully aware of what needs to be replaced (like B12, zinc, iron, and Vitamin D)
This never-ending winter bringing you down? The slush, snow, ice and frigid temps make it tough to continue New Year Resolutions, and might even be an energy drain. If you are feeling tired, depressed, lazy and have the Winter Blues, I have the antidote!
A common myth is that Vegans don’t get enough protein. For a bodybuilder and athlete, lack of protein could make all the difference in the world! So, does that mean that you have to resort to eating animal based products in order to achieve the results you want in Previewthe gym, on the sports field and even on the field of battle?
Not at all! The reality is that plant-based products possess an abundance of proteins. You just have to know which ones will give you the most bang for your buck.
Though red meat is rich in protein, many people are paying attention to the potential negative health effects from consuming meat (especially pork and beef). This can cause some problems, especially when you’re active, working out, or building muscle because protein is needed to maintain your physique and your muscle. While there are other sources for protein, many people are raised in a “meat and potato” kind of environment so making the jump to a more plant-based diet can be challenging…at first.
So what’s wrong with meat? Many cuts are rich in fats. These aren’t those “good fats” like you find in avocado or olive oil. In studies, animal fats seem to contribute to a number of health conditions such as obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol levels, arthritis and diabetes. Some also believe that certain compounds found in meat-based protein promote different types of cancer.
Endurance training and endurance sports can be tough on your body. They challenge you beyond what you think you’re capable of. They also allow you to reach levels of fitness so you can experience peak performance and health. That’s why many people try to improve their endurance by using endurance supplements.
When herbs and supplements are paired with proper diet and exercise, you can see amazing results. Endurance Supplements can play a KEY role in helping you reach your fitness goals by improving your body’s endurance.
If you’re interested in improving your endurance, look for products made with these endurance boosting supplements.
Cordyceps: The mushroom that will keep you going!
The slow transfer of oxygen from red blood cells to mitochondria is one of the biggest problems people exercising to improve their endurance face. The obvious solution is to improve that transfer, right? Cordyceps is a Tibetan mushroom which has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for lung protection and to balance Qi. In clinical studies the mushroom has been shown to cause significant improvements in feelings of fatigue, oxygen uptake, and endurance exercise performance.
Rhodiola: Improved Oxygen Transfer, Energy and Endurance
Rhodiola has been shown to help improve oxygen transfer from lungs to red blood cells. The root’s anti-fatigue effects are a result of an enhancement of oxygen efficiency.
When the root has being studied on people living in high altitudes, they saw that the root had beneficial effects on blood oxygen levels, time to exhaustion, VO2 peak, and pulmonary ventilation during endurance exercises. Himalayan Sherpas were the first people to discover the health benefits of this Himalayan root. They would chew on the root for an energy and endurance boost when they would climb high mountains.
Quercetin: The Nutritional Supplement that Improves Blood Flow
Quercetin is an antioxidant that improves blood flow by dilating blood vessels. This antioxidant has been used to improve blood flow in individuals with high blood pressure and heart disease. On the sports training front, research has shown that taking 500 mg of quercetin twice a day for 3 weeks before, and during 3 days of long and intense cycling sessions, reduces the number of upper respiratory infections in the 14 days following heavy exercise.
Siberian and Indian Ginseng: Centuries-old Natural Energy Boosters
People have been using ginseng, a natural energy booster., for thousands of years. However, there are two particular species of the ginseng plant that can help you improve your endurance. Siberian ginseng (also known as Eleuthero) and Indian ginseng (known as Ashwagandha) can provide resistance to physical stress and also help boost your energy levels. They used in traditional medicine as “adaptogens”, herbs that can help the body adapt to stressful situations. Some people claim that Eleuthero tends to have more of a noticeable affect on energy than Ashwagandha. High-quality supplements that use Siberian Ginseng as part of their formula offer someone working in extreme climates and in high-stress situations an advantage. Adapt is the name of the game, right? NS Formula.
Resources for Endurance Supplements:
Early in the 2013–2014 football season, I had every confidence that I would be watching my beloved Packers play in the Superbowl this Sunday only to see my hopes fade as Aaron Rodgers was out with an injury for several games and, of course, a playoff loss that quickly ended their season. So, I turned to my runner up, the Patriots, and, yet again, my dreams were dashed as were theirs when they lost to the Broncos. Undaunted, I pinned my faith to the fast & furious 49ers. As you can tell, I don’t place any bets on my predictions! At least my fourth favorite is playing in the Superbowl this year, although, I’d better not say to whom I betroth my allegiance for fear of jinxing the outcome. The reason for my football rant is seated in what you’ll be doing this Sunday and beyond. Drinks and snacks will be the norm for Superbowl Sunday and, while it’s okay to share good cheer, you may want to rethink your cocktail concoctions.
These days, it seems like everyone is trying out a vegetarian or vegan diet of some sort for environmental, ethical or health reasons. Documentaries like Forks over Knives, Vegucated, and Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead have shined a spotlight on some of the effects of the typical Western Diet on overall health, and there have been numerous studies linking plant-based diets to better cardiovascular health.
But what happens when you remove meat at a source of protein? Is it really good for you and if not, then what do you need to know before embarking on a plant-based diet?
We live in a typical Maine neighborhood where the closest house may be 3–6 acres away. That kind of isolated living certainly has its benefits when it comes to privacy but it also has its challenges as you may go days without seeing a sole, especially during the winter months. What’s different for us is that we have been blessed with incredible neighbors, from a combat wounded Vietnam Vet with a heart of gold, his wife who takes care of our cat and delivers scrumptious goodies on our doorstep, to my friend and business partner Julie who leaves little surprises in our mailbox and is always up for a glass of wine and a chat on the back deck. Recently, Julie shared great information about the dangers of dietary supplements and how some have been linked to liver damage. This is a must-read story.
No matter what technological advances come out to make our lives more efficient and effective, we seem to have less and less free time in our daily lives. With the daily responsibilities of being a parent, it seems nearly impossible to consistently make time for the gym. But don’t worry; there are exercises you can fit into your existing day that can be surprisingly effective. If you want to lose weight and have more defined muscles, fit the below routine into your daily schedule for 4 weeks.
What Do Runner’s Eat? Whether you’re new to running or a competitive marathon athlete; endurance –based exercises like running require you to pay attention to your extra nutritional needs. If you don’t, you’ll notice changes in your body structure that may not be what you hoped for (like getting way too thin) or even worse, you’ll experience a lack of energy after your workout.
Although running may not seem as physically intense as weightlifting or martial arts; runners of all levels need to be pay close attention to vitamins and minerals as well as caloric intake. Your quality of nutrition will ensure optimal performance and help you avoid over training.
Did your grandmother ever have a tried-and-true remedy for whatever ailed you? It usually came from ingredients she gathered from her backyard garden or root cellar that transformed into a stinky, sticky concoction she would rub on your chest or stick under your tongue, right? My grandmother’s cure-alls were cocoa butter and Vitamin E. Regardless of the nature and severity of your complaint, she’d say, “Just rub some Vitamin E on it and you’ll be all set,” with such a commanding tone that you were convinced it would work. And, actually, it did more often than not! Maybe Grandma was onto something after all and science is backing up her home remedies with even more E-vidence.