Why Women Need Weight Training

Again and again, research has shown that women who maintain a regular, moderate strength training program benefit from a long list of health advantages. Some still fear that weight training might bulk them up in unfeminine ways; however, as women of all ages realize the benefits of resistance training, negative attitudes about women in the weight training room are rapidly fading, according to renowned strength training researcher William J. Kraemer, PhD, of Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana.

Weight training expert and researcher Wayne Westcott, PhD, from the South Shore YMCA in Quincy, Massachusetts, gives 10 important reasons why weight training for women needs to be taken seriously:

1. Weight Training Will Help You Lose More Fat Than You’ll Gain in Muscle. Westcott and his colleagues have done numerous weight training studies involving thousands of women and have never had anyone complain about bulking up. In fact, Westcott’s research shows that the average woman who strength trains two to three times a week for eight weeks gains 1.75 pounds of lean weight or muscle and loses 3.5 pounds of fat. Unlike men, women typically don’t gain size from strength training, because compared to men, women have 10 to 30 times less of the hormones that cause bulking up, explains Kraemer.

2. Weight Training Will Help Your New Muscle Fight Obesity.As you add muscle from strength training, your resting metabolism will increase, so you’ll burn more calories all day long, notes Westcott. For each pound of muscle you gain, you’ll burn 35 to 50 more calories daily. So, for example, if you gain three pounds of muscle and burn 40 extra calories for each pound, you’ll burn 120 more calories per day, or approximately 3,600 more calories per month. That equates to a loss of 10 to 12 pounds in one year!

3. Weight Training Will Make You Stronger. Westcott’s studies indicate that a moderate weight training program increases a woman’s strength by 30 to 50 percent. Extra strength will make it easier to accomplish some daily activities, such as lifting children or groceries. Kraemer notes that most strength differences between men and women can be explained by differences in body size and fat mass; pound for pound, women can develop their strength at the same rate as men.

4. Your Bones Will Benefit From Weight Training. By the time you leave high school, you have established all the bone mineral density you’ll ever have–unless you strength train, says Westcott. Research has found that weight training can increase spinal bone mineral density by 13 percent in six months. So strength training is a powerful tool against osteoporosis.

5. Weight Training Will Reduce Your Risk of Diabetes. Adult-onset diabetes is a growing problem for women and men. Research indicates that weight training can increase glucose utilization in the body by 23 percent in four months.

6. Weight Training Will Fight Heart Disease. Strength training will improve your cholesterol profile and blood pressure, according to recent research. Of course, your exercise program should also include cardiovascular exercise and flexibility training.

7. Weight Training Will Beat Back Pain and Fight Arthritis. A recent 12-year study showed that strengthening the low-back muscles had an 80 percent success rate in eliminating or alleviating low-back pain. Other studies have indicated that weight training for women can ease arthritis pain and strengthen joints.

8. Weight Training Will Help You Be a Better Athlete. Westcott has found that strength training improves athletic ability. Golfers, for example, significantly increase their driving power. Whatever your sport of choice, strength training may not only improve your proficiency but also decrease your risk of injury.

9. Weight Training Will Work No Matter How Old You Are.Westcott has successfully trained numerous women in their 70s and 80s, and studies show that strength improvements are possible at any age. Note, however, that a strength training professional should always supervise older participants.

10. Weight Training Will Strengthen Your Mental Health. A Harvard study found that 10 weeks of strength training reduced clinical depression symptoms more successfully than standard counseling did, Westcott says. Women who strength train commonly report feeling more confident and capable as a result of their training program.

Remember to pick up those weights and don’t be afraid to challenge yourself.

-Priscilla

Workplace Weight Gain

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The photo above is a group of co-workers that I train who work out Tuesday and Thursdays in their office parking lot in Annapolis.

The workplace is filled with people trying to lose weight. However, desktop candy cars and workplace socials will have you indulging in more calories than you need. Don’t sabotage your success in the gym with mindless social eating. Here are a few tips to help keep you on track both in and outside your office.

1. Put a lid on the goodies. When there are office socials choose snacks or fruits that are healthy.

2. When dining out with a co-worker split portions.

3. Avoid desktop dining. If you are sitting at your desk snacking make sure you are munching on fruit, nuts, and healthy options. Remember to drink water which will help keep you full between meals.

4. Exercise on your lunch hour. Keep a pair of sneakers under your desk and get out for a 30 minute walk. It will help you burn calories and get your focused for the rest of the work day.

5. Find co-workers who also want to exercise and start your own class or boot camp. There are many training options for groups and it is less expensive than one-on-one training. You are also more likely to stay motivated and accountable if you are participating with friends.

Happy Hump Day,

Priscilla

Want Abs? Stop the crunches….

Everyone always asks me about what they can do to have abs. I never say more crunches. Crunches are actually a waste of time and are doing more harm than good. Try eating clean and having an exercise program that works your entire core. Read below to find out more about why you should not be doing sit-ups!

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1. It causes damage to your back. Dr. Richard Guyer, president of the Texas Back Institute says, “the “full flex” movement—the actual “crunch” part of crunches – puts an unhealthy strain on your back at its weakest point. The section with the most nerves (and most potential for nerve damage) is in the back of the spine, which is the very part that bends and strains during a sit-up.”  Of course, no one ever does just one sit-up so think about the amount of strain you are doing by flexing your spine and bending the disk over and over again, that nucleus slowly breaches the layers and causes a disk bulge, or a disk herniation.

2. You aren’t training your entire core. When you do a sit-up the rectus abdominus muscles is the most targeted. When the rectus abdominus is worked it actually gives your  stomach an extended look. To get the long, lean look, one needs to work transverse abdominius, a large muscle that holds in the rectus abs, and is mainly unchallenged by sit-up and crunches.

3. Functional Training. You need to train your abs for what they are designed to do, bracing and supporting the spine not flexing. Dr. Guyer says, “You have your back extenders, your flexors, which are belly muscles, you have your oblique muscles. Working the core is essential to both back health and general athleticism.”

4. HIIT Training and Nutrition. It won’t matter if you have a muscular core if your body fat is still high. Add in high intensity interval training that will work your core and put you in a fat burning zone. Keep your diet in check and eat clean. 90 percent of having abs is a good diet!

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What to try? Planks, push-ups, TRX roll outs, and russian twists!

Have a great week,

Priscilla

HIIT Thursday!

HIIT Workout
Try this workout today! It will be sure to make you sweat in no time. Make sure to keep your speed and intensity up! Use a timer and do 30 seconds of work followed by 30 seconds of rest. Repeat circuit 4 times.
1. Squat Jumps
2. Spiderman Push-ups
3. Sprints
4.  Prisoner Lunges or Lunge Jump
5. Overhead Press with kettlebell or dumbbells
 
Good luck,
 
Priscilla

Yummy Green Drink!

This drink is nutrient packed and delicious! A great breakfast or snack on the go. Packed with veggies, fruits, omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, and nutrients. I promise it won’t taste like grass either.

  • 1 cup raw kale, chopped
  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1 cup frozen pineapple
  • 1 teaspoon chia seeds
  • 1 squeeze of lemon
  • 1 cup almond milk

Directions

  1. Add bananas, kale, and pineapple to your blender.
  2. Squeeze about a teaspoon of lemon juice into the blender.
  3. Add chia seeds and almond milk.
  4. Blend until smooth.
  5. Enjoy!

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Lost on Aisle 5

My clients are always asking me what to buy at the grocery store and where to shop. Luckily, living in Annapolis we have access to some of the best grocery stores and farmers markets in the area. You can often find me at Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, and Sam’s Club. Yes, sometimes I really do go to three grocery stores in a week. Each person is different and it depends on your schedule and what kind of time you have. I buy a lot of organic fruits and vegetables at Sam’s Club because we eat through them very quickly. I love Trader Joe’s for a quick place to shop.  I am currently obsessed with Trader Joe’s Broccolli Slaw in salads and mixed in with a stir-fry.  I am a Whole Foods fanatic. They have the best selection of organic meats and fish.

Tips for a successful trip:

1. Make sure to NEVER go shopping on an empty stomach. Always have a snack before you go!

2. Go with a list. Trying a new recipe? Write down all the ingredients that you need. When you go unprepared you spend money on things you don’t need.

3. 90% of your time should be spent on fresh foods. Think lots of veggies, fruits, and lean proteins. Shop the perimeter of your grocery store and avoid the middle where the junk food is.

4. Avoid foods that have more than five ingredients, artificial ingredients, or ingredients you can’t pronounce.

5. Hate the grocery store? Shop some of Maryland’s best local products. Find a list of local farmers markets and bring a tote to carry your goodies home. http://visitmaryland.org/events/pages/marylandfarmersmarkets.aspx

Sample Grocery List 

This is a sample grocery list I share with my clients. This is a great way to check what you currently buy with what you should be buying.

Protein

  1. Chicken Breasts
  2. Turkey breasts
  3. Shellfish- crab, lobster, shrimp (try canned crab instead of tuna)
  4. String cheese*
  5. Natural yogurt
  6. Ricotta cheese
  7. Beef-organic is preferable
  8. Eggs/egg whites
  9. Fish-cod, flounder, halibut, herring, orange roughy, salmon, tilapia, tuna
  10. Cottage cheese*
  11. Wild game- buffalo, venison
  12. Ostrich
  13. High quality whey protein
  14. Pork-lean
  15. Milk*
  16. Ham
  17. Veal

*Pay attention to how you feel when you eat dairy. It can be an excellent protein source, but many people have an intolerance to it. If you feel bloated, lethargic, heavy, gassy, or have a stuffy or runny nose after you eat it you should consider eliminating dairy from your diet. 

Fruits and Vegetables-Have one at every meal!

1. Zucchini
  1. Eggplant
  1. Cucumber
  1. Asparagus
  1. Green and red bell pepper
  1. Lettuce
  1. Tomato
  1. Cabbage
  1. Mushroom
  1. Leafy greens
  1. Apples
  1. Peas
  1. Lime
  1. Cauliflower
  1. Banana
  1. Artichoke
  1. Raspberries
  1. Lemon
  1. Edamame
  1. Grapefruit
  1. Scallions
  1. Blueberries
  1. Radishes
  1. Strawberries
  1. Leeks
  1. Water chestnuts
  1. Chicory
  1. Rhubarb
  1. Escarole
  1. Radicchio
  1. Beet greens
  1. Chives
  1. Pumpkin
  1. Fennel
  1. Cantaloupe
  1. Bok choy
  1. Broccoli
  1. Arugula
  1. Collard Greens
  1. Coconut
  1. Brussel Sprouts
  1. Squash
  1. Celery
  1. Spinach
  1. Green Beans
  1. Green beet
  1. Onions-green and white
  1. Avocado
  1. Orange
  1. Pineapples
  1. Carrots
  1. Snap peas
  1. Sauerkraut
  1. Jicama
  1. Kale
  1. Chard
  1. Endive
  1. Bamboo shoots
  1. Alfalfa Sprouts
  1. Peach

Starches

Tortillas-corn, rice, or spelt Grits
Quinoa Beans-black, red, brown
Wheat Bran Rice-brown or wild
Potatoes Oatmeal
Sweet Potatoes Cream of rice
Lentils Rice cakes-non flavored
Oats  

Fats

Olive oil/olives pecans
Coconut oil/coconut Flax oil/flax seeds
Raw cashews Raw walnuts
Pumpkin seeds Natural peanut butter
Butter (not margarine!) Macadamia nuts
Raw almonds/almond butter Sunflower seeds
avocado  

NOTE- These recommendations are meant to improve your nutrition and lifestyle. They are not intended as treatment or prescription for any disease, or as a substitute for regular medical care. It is advised that you consult with your doctor prior to following the advice laid out in this report.  The above nutrition recommendations have been influenced by : John Berardi- http://www.precisionnutrition.com

Hope this helps and as always e-mail me with questions or concerns.

Happy Shopping,

Priscilla

Excuses, Excuses

“Our beliefs about what we are and what we can be precisely determine what we can be” – Tony Robbins

I love this quote for many reasons. I coach clients daily on positive attitudes and believing in themselves. I want so much for all my client to feel their best, look their best, and reach all of their goals. It is so very important for those individuals to really want it for themselves.  I know that things come up and life can get very busy. Excuses are something I hear constantly. I’m too tired, on a tight budget, too busy, and the list goes on. The fact is that throughout life these things will happen but that doesn’t mean exercise is the first thing you should drop. Think about your goals and realize that you will have to work for them. You will have to believe in yourself and you need to surround yourself with people who believe in you too. No more excuses!

1. Too Busy. You can get a great workout in just 20 minutes. Break up your workout into two 15 minute sessions. You do not need an hour to get a good workout in. Wake up early. Turn off the TV. Small changes make huge differences.

2. I hate going to the gym. You don’t need to go to the gym! Try an outdoor workout. Body weight exercises such as planks, jump squats, and push-ups will have you sweating in no time. Purchasing a few pieces of equipment like a kettlebell and stability ball are great to have at home and perform exercises while you are watching TV.

3. I have no money. How many times a month do you go out? How many times do you go to Target for something that costs $5 but you end up spending $75?How many times are you going to Starbucks? Log into your online banking and see what purchases come under I WANT versus I NEED. Many monthly gym memberships can be less than the cost of a cup of coffee! Many of my bootcamps and group workouts are less than $8 a class. Personal training and gym memberships are very affordable. Considering the amazing benefits you get from working out it will be well worth the money.

4. Working out is boring. Yeah, when you’re on the treadmill it is pretty boring. Try a class. Do a session with a trainer to learn new exercises. Change it up constantly and have fun!

5. Too tired. Put down the coffee and put on your sneakers. When you exercise you have more energy! You will also sleep better at night.

6. I never stick to exercise. Do you brush your teeth every morning? I hope so! That was a learned habit. Daily exercise needs to be developed the same way. Exercise everyday at 7 AM. Find a time that works for you and stick to it. Hire a trainer or attend a group class to make yourself accountable. Pay for session up front so you are committed.

Put an end to excuses. If you are tired of feeling and looking the same way you need to change. Henry Ford said, “If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got.” Believe in yourself. It’s amazing what can happen with a positive attitude and determination.

Best,

Priscilla

Questions? Please e-mail me at wellnesswithpriscilla@gmail.com

HIIT THURSDAY

Get off the treadmill and try something new! First of all it’s boring and secondly you aren’t going to see changes. Save your time all you need is 20 minutes. Challenge yourself with High Intensity Interval Training AKA HIIT! Why should I be doing HIIT? Let me count the ways…

1. Efficiency – Research shows that you can get more done in 15 minutes of interval training than waisting an hour on the treadmill.  According to a 2011 study presented at the American College of Sports Medicine Annual Meeting, just 2 weeks of high-intensity intervals improves your aerobic capacity as much as 6 to 8 weeks of endurance training. Stop wasting your time on the treadmill and start interval training.

2. Burn More Fat - Not only do you burn more calories during HIIT workouts, but the effect of all that intense exertion kicks your body’s repair cycle into hyperdrive. That means you burn more fat and calories in the 24 hours after a HIIT workout than you do after a steady paced run.

3. Healthier Heart - Most people aren’t used to pushing themselves into anaerobic zone (that lovely place where you can’t breathe and you feel like your heart is trying to jump out of your chest). But in this case, extreme training produces extreme results. One study found that after 8 weeks of doing HIIT workouts, subjects could bicycle twice as long as they could before the study, while maintaining the same pace.

4. No Equipment Necessary – Think Burpees, sprints, and jumping.

5. Lose Weight, Not Muscle - Anyone who has been on a diet knows that it’s hard to not lose muscle mass along with fat. While steady state cardio seems to encourage muscle loss, studies show that both weight training and HIIT workouts allow dieters to preserve their hard-earned muscles while ensuring most of the weight lost comes from fat stores.
6. Increase Metabolism - In addition to increased fat burning and more muscle preserved, HIIT stimulates production of your human growth hormone (HGH) by up to 450% during the 24 hours after you finish your workout. This is great news since HGH is not only responsible for increased caloric burn but also slows down the aging process, making you younger both inside and out!
7. Do It Anywhere - Go at maximum effort for a short period of time followed by a recovery period and repeat—you can adapt it to whatever time and space constraints you have.
8. Challenging - This is not a workout you can do while reading a magazine or chatting with your friend. Because it’s so short, you will be working hard the whole time. The trade-off is this format offers seasoned exercisers a new challenge and new exercisers a quick way to see results.
Example HIIT Workout 
Try this today! Make sure to be quick and push yourself. Use a timer and
30 seconds of work followed by 35 seconds of rest. Repeat circuit 4 times.
1. Burpees
2. Jumping Jacks
3. T push-ups
4.  High Knees
5. Mountain Climbers
Check out HIIT classes at SportFit in Severna Park and my Bootcamp in Annapolis and Broadneck today! E-mail me if you have questions or for class information.

Exercise of the Day!

If you train with me you have used a sandbag! The sandbag is an excellent functional training tool to build strength, improve balance and increase metabolic demand. It can be used for a variety of movements – rows, lunges, squats, presses, etc. Try out this sandbag rotational lunge today!

 

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Hold a sandbag by the neutral grip handles. Perform a reverse lunge, and begin to rotate the sandbag to the same side as the stance leg just outside of the hip. Drive explosively upwards through the front heel — this will cause the sandbag to project out in front of the body. Quickly reverse lunge on the opposing side to receive the weight and repeat.

Have a great day!

Priscilla

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Client Transformation: Jenn

Jen came to me last year in preparation for her upcoming destination wedding in Punta Cana. When we initially met, Jen really wanted to focus on losing extra weight, toning up arms and core, as well as losing some inches off the waist and hips. She was focused on feeling confident and fit in her dress and by the pool. She signed up for bridal bootcamp and as her trainer I’m proud of all of her accomplishments over the past year! Congrats Jen!

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I asked Jen to fill out a short questionnaire. Please check out her answers below.
Challenges: I really wanted to find a workout where I was committed. I hate getting bored and like to try new things. So it was important to me that the bootcamp was high energy, fun, but also challenging. I also felt I need to focus on nutrition and having healthy eating habits.
Accomplishments: I feel stronger and definitely look a lot better!!  I finally lost inches from my hips – and can fit into those jeans I have been holding onto for years!
Priscilla also gave me some great tips to eat right – and I think that was the tipping point for me!
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Priscilla will not only get you in shape for your big day – but give you the confidence you need to feel great in your dress!  The small group environement is great – it makes you accountable to make sure you show up – and all the ladies (and occassional bf/fiance/husband) are extremely supportive.  Priscilla is flexible, which is something someone planning a wedding needs!  She has great energy and will help you to push yourself towards your goals.
 Waist
April 2012: 28 inches
Today: 26
Hips
April 2012: 39
Today – 36
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 Check out a few wedding shots! Jen looks gorgeous and fit!
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