PLAN: Start out with an activity you enjoy. If you like what you are doing or incorporate a hobby into your plan, it will become a part of your lifestyle. Your plan should take into account interests, schedule, finances and current health. Figure out what you need in order to execute your plan as far as transportation, child care or location in an attempt to bust through any potential barrier before you begin.

SUPPORT: A lifestyle change can be one of the most challenging things you do. There are several studies that indicate motivation, commitment and success significantly increases when you work out in a group. Finding a trainer, a workout partner or classes, will greatly increase your chances of sticking with it and getting you to your fitness goals.

BE SMART: Your body was built to survive. That being said, your body has a wonderful way of adapting to everything you throw at it, and your body will eventually plateau. This is why changing up your routine is so important. Throw something different into the mix and it will shock your body into surviving that. Thus…changing it.

LIFTING WEIGHTS: As a trainer, I have heard women say, “I don’t want to bulk up” too many times. Will you build up muscle with resistance training? Yes. Will you end up looking like a man? NOOOOOOOO! I usually have a little chuckle every time I hear this. Biologically speaking, it is nearly impossible. 99% of women will not “bulk” as a man does. So ladies, weights are not your enemy! It will enhance your fitness plan and ensure success.

STRETCH: Include stretching in your wellness program. Stretching is something that should be done daily for the best results. It will help release stiffness and pain caused by poor posture, occupational habits and/or muscle imbalances. I would recommend doing Yoga as well as it is safe for everyone to do, and it offers numerous different types which will ensure you can find one that is right for you.

NUTRITION: 70-80% of your success is determined by your nutrition. You can work out as hard as you can, but if you are eating a pizza that night you are setting yourself up for failure. I am not saying don’t indulge every now and then, but make sure it is every now and then. What you are putting in your body makes a HUGE impact on what it is going to do. Making sure you eat enough (restricted calorie diets are a no-no) of the right things is important. I usually recommend logging what you eat on a regular basis, getting your body fat checked, and do the math to get your basal metabolic rate. Your basal metabolic rate is the calories you need every day just to survive; this doesn’t include any type of physical activity. Thus if you are denying your body the baseline of calories, it will begin storing what you eat as fat. This goes back to my comment about the body is built to survive. If you are overeating, start paying attention to serving sizes and go from there. Get with a fitness professional to discuss your nutrition and they can help guide you to what you should be paying attention to.

REST: Be sure to take a day off of your fitness plan. Your body needs to recover from the physical activity. Essentially, to put it in basic terms, you are creating microscopic tears in your muscles when you are working out. The body repairs these muscles making them stronger, bigger, and leaner. So, taking a day off is important. Your body will be good to you if you are good to it.

ADVICE: Seek a professional in the fitness industry. When I say professional, I mean a certified, educated fitness professional. Not someone’s friend who works out all the time. Your body is different and will respond different, and a fitness professional will make sure you get the best workout built for you not what someone read in a magazine that month or what has worked for them.


The missing component that prevents you from achieving your fitness goals

Looking to build muscle? Lose Weight? Tone up? Chances are you are doing what millions of other people have done: cardio, resistance training, diet. However, the majority of you will quit…sad but true. So, why? Laziness, not seeing results, injury? Whatever the reason, one important factor in beginning any fitness regime is one of the most overlooked…the ASSESSMENT!

Any certified, qualified fitness professional will take you through a fitness assessment before you begin to get into your training program. Body composition, medical questionnaires, movement assessments are all things my colleagues and I have been educated on.

How many of you have worked out hard and were so frustrated that you were not seeing the scale number go down? So many people give up on their fitness program for this reason. However, the scale is one of the biggest liars. The adage muscle weighs more than fat is true. The scale could stay the same or go up, but your body fat could be heading down at the same time. So, the scale is not the only thing you should be paying attention to. For that reason, “losing weight” is not a statement I like to use when training my clients, changing body composition is the new mantra. During your assessment and reassessments, measuring your body fat is more of a priority than stepping on the scale. Your fitness professional can also guide you in the right direction if things need to be addressed about nutrition (as far as your macronutrients or whether or not you need to be tested for insulin sensitivity, which is a blog for a later date) or within the workouts themselves. Keeping you motivated is why we do this!

My personal favorite of the assessment are the movement assessments. Overhead squats, pulling, pushing, balance are all tell-tale movements that can reveal issues within the kinetic chain of human movement. The kinetic chain refers to the way you move your body. A block or flaw in the kinetic chain causes issues in other place in the body as well. For example, your ankle is going to affect the knee and the knee can impact the lumbo-pelvic region (lower back issues) and vice versa. This is likely due to a muscle imbalance or a previous injury. When you ignore this pivotal part of an assessment your body will continue to use itself in this ineffective and ultimately damaging way, because your body will seek the path of least resistance and keep using itself the way it has. There are several corrective strategies to address the issues that prevent you from achieving your goals. Once corrected, you will be able to activate your muscles properly in order to get them to grow and/or tone up and prevent any future injury.

The assessment is in place for the exact reasons that most people give up on their fitness programs, which is why they are so import to anyone looking to get fit or change up their current routine.

What to chat with a certified trainer and corrective exercise specialist? Contact us here.

ESP Wellness’ July Boot Camp

Today marks the mid point of ESP Wellness’ 6-week boot camp. Due to demand and popularity, we are going to be hosting another, August 11 to September 19th at Lake Elmo in Billings, MT. We want to thank everyone for their support including Lake Elmo for graciously helping us secure a location.

Our friends and clients will be battling the heat this evening but still getting a great workout that you can do below. Remember – stay hydrated, stay motivated and stay on track.

Thank  you for all of your love and support!

Zac Linton
NASM Certified Personal Trainer, Corrective Exercise Specialist, Fitness Nutrition Specialist

Workout 7/9/14

Lateral Lunges
180 Jump Squats
Push Ups
Side Shuffles
30 Seconds of each then 30 Seconds Rest
25 meter run
Repeat three times

Tuck Jumps
30 Seconds of each then 30 Seconds Rest
25 meter run
Repeat three times

High Knees
Walking Lunges
Switch Kicks
30 Seconds of each then 30 Seconds Rest
25 meter run
Repeat three times