How to Warm-Up Properly

Posted: 21st August 2017 by grabowrc85 in Uncategorized

Young couple jogging in park at morning. Health and fitness.

Are you warming up? Are you confident you are performing the right movements to warm your body properly? If you answered no to either of these questions this is the article for you! Warming up, to me, is like doing the dishes, its not fun, but to avoid a major mess, you should absolutely do it! Today I am going to discuss, briefly the reasons you warm up and how to do it effectively, and from here on out you will begin your workouts, by getting your body warm.

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First, lets start with a couple reasons why warming up benefits you as an exerciser.

  1. Warming up improves your muscle elasticity, making you less susceptible to pulled and torn muscles.
  2.  Warming up makes you a more productive machine as an exerciser because the blood required to build muscle has already increased in the appendages. When you warm up with a “first set” without doing an overall warm-up you usually don’t see results from the first 2-3 sets.
  3. Warming up helps put you in the state of mind you need to be in to forget about your stresses and shift to focusing on your workout. An amateur exerciser might find this one to be silly, but there is scientific facts to back this. If you focus on the exercise and muscles that are working, during the movement, you can increase the muscles contractions by 30%. When you are thinking about your workday, while performing your sets you are not getting that extra 30%, thus making you less effective in your time spent at the gym.

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With that being said, what is a good warm-up? Below is a list of things you should consider when compiling a good warm-up into your routine.

1. Does the warm-up increase range of motion in the muscles you are planning on exercising?

Most important of all things stated here, you need to make sure that your warm-up is utilizing the muscles that you plan on exercising during your workout. Also you want to increase the range of motion in those muscles by reaching and elongating the muscles. Youtube has some great warm-up routines and if you look carefully, you will find the right warm-up for you!

2. Does the warm-up increase your heart rate?

A simple test for this is do you have sweat on your head? Is it hard to say more then 1 sentence at a time without breathing? If you answered no to either question you need to make the warm up a little more challenging! Again, look at youtube or ask me if you need help getting on track with some great warm-up moves

3. Are you focused on your workout?

If you answered no to this one, you need to reassess your warm-up or perhaps concentrate more on your workout, and less on the outside world. Maybe you need more time to warm-up too! Some people take a little longer to focus than others! I happen to be someone who takes a little longer to focus on the task at hand!

 

Thanks for reading! I hope you found this helpful, and please feel free to contact me if you have any questions about anything regarding fitness.

 

 

5 Ways to Eat More Spinach

Posted: 14th August 2017 by grabowrc85 in Uncategorized

Popeye knew what we has doing when he endorsed spinach regularly as his “magic potion!” Spinach is a vital super food that can make you feel and look younger when consumed regularly! Most of us gag at the site of this food, especially if it is in a can! Good news, I have some advice for you! Read on to learn 5 great ways to implement more spinach into your life!

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  1. Eat it Fresh– The canned version is thick, gooey, and has a strong smell, which means it is far from appealing. Buy spinach fresh, from the produce section and you may have a different outlook of this key food.
  2. Add Spinach to Smoothie– In my opinion, every smoothie should have at least a half cup of spinach in it. I like to refer to spinach as the chameleon of foods because it is so great at blending in. When small amounts are put into your smoothie, you will likely not even notice its flavor at all.
  3. Add Spinach to Salad- Spinach is a great salad green. And there are many recipes online to make it really tasty as well.  If you can, keep the salad entirely spinach a couple times a week or add some to your other leafy greens.
  4.  Mix Spinach into Almost Any Dish- Again, spinach is the chameleon off food. It will mix in well with a great deal of dishes you cook regularly as well! Spinach goes great in spaghetti,  omelettes, stir fry’s, and soups.
  5. Saute It- Scientific study has shown the unique properties of our body prevent us from fully utilizing the nutrients in spinach, and the act of cooking the spinach tames the properties in spinach, that our bodies are trying to block, which allows us to absorb more!  This simple recipe will surprise you! Try it out!

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A big recommendation I make to all of my clients, especially if their not fans of vegetables, is to get one form of leafy greens in your diet everyday. If you reflect on your day and can say you haven’t eaten any vegetables all day, you need to take this challenge seriously. Not only will you notice yourself getting healthier in less than 3o days but you will also improve your overall health in a big way. The versatility of leafy greens will allow you to prepare them in a fashion that will prevent you from ever being bored with eating them.

Lets face it, most of us can use a boost in our vegetable intake as a whole. Personally I eat a lot of fruit but could use an improvement in vegetable servings. Eating a salad or throwing spinach in a smoothie are some easy things I can do everyday that help bridge that gap. If you can keep a habit like this one, its highly likely you will lower your blood pressure, cholesterol, and reduce the overall inflammation floating around in your body. Its simple, and of course only takes a small level of focus for 28 days to become a habit.

If you do decide to take this very valuable advice and embark on this journey, then I want you to focus on making it 30 days. You will notice things like more stamina, energy, and more mental clarity. Although you can only know your overall blood health by test, I can promise you an improvement in those 30 days, if you aren’t a big consumer of vegetables.

 

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Lets talk about some ways you can consume leafy greens to keep you from getting bored! First lets start with spinach! As I have mentioned in the past, if you remember, spinach is the chameleon of foods. Which is a fancy way to say it blends in other dishes well! You can mix spinach into sauces, eggs, stir fries, salads, and smoothies, and aside from seeing them, you will not know they are included in the dish! I put spinach in a smoothie 3 times a week, and add to omelettes and spaghetti every time I eat them!

Salads construed of leafy green lettuce, romaine, or kale are great too! These 3 types of leafy greens carry a carry a dark green color, which means they are packed with nutrients that will improve your health in many ways including digestion! You can dress your salads with natural dressings to avoid extra calories and improve the quality of your salad!

Give it a try and thank me later! I have only touched the tip of the iceberg in terms of what there is to know about the benefits of leafy greens, and how to prepare them! Do some research of your own and expand on what you have learned today! You could add years to your life with this one simple habit! Now go buy some salad greens!!

Low Calorie Snacks High in Protein

Posted: 17th July 2017 by grabowrc85 in Healthy Eating, Nutrition, Recipes

Low Calorie Snacks High in Protein (50~200 Calories Each)

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  • Canned Tuna
    42 grams protein in 1 can (165g / 6oz)
    191 calories
    1g per 4.6cal
  • Dry Roasted Soybeans
    17grams protein in 1/4 Cup (43g)
    194 calories
    1g per 11.4cal
  • 3 Pieces of Cheese (Parmesan)
    11 grams protein in 3 cubic inches (30g)
    117 calories
    1g per 10.6cal
  • Dry Roasted Peanuts
    9 grams protein in 1/4 Cup (37g)
    214 calories
    1g per 23.8cal
  • Almonds
    8 grams in 1/4 Cup (36g)
    206 calories
    1g per 25.8cal
  • Non-Fat (Skim) Milk
    8 grams in 1 cup (245g / 8oz)
    83 calories
    1g per 10.4cal
  • Pistachios
    7 grams in 1/4 Cup (31g)
    176 calories
    1g per 25.1cal
  • Sunflower Seeds
    7 grams in 1/4 Cup (35g)
    205 calories
    1g per 29.3cal
  • Soymilk (Unsweetened)
    7 grams in 1 cup (243g / 8oz)
    80 calories
    1g per 11.4cal
  • Hard Boiled Egg
    6 grams in 1 egg (50g)
    78 calories
    1g per 13cal
  • Toasted Whole Wheat with Yeast Extract Spread (Marmite)
    6 grams protein from 1 slice bread and 1 tsp marmite (48g)
    137 calories
    1g per 22.8cal

Health Fact of the Week

Posted: 14th July 2017 by grabowrc85 in Uncategorized

The best Plate

5 Ways to Get Results in Fitness

Posted: 10th July 2017 by grabowrc85 in Exercise, Weight Loss
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1. Exercise Large Muscle Groups

When you exercise, and especially when you lift weights, it is highly beneficial to focus your energy on the large muscle groups of the legs, the muscles that run along the ribs in your back (Latissimus Dorsi), the muscles of your chest (Pectoralis Major, and Minor), and your core muscles. Simply put, you can lift heavier with these muscles, and these muscles require a lot of energy (calories)!

2. Use the Rule of 2

When lifting weights, the rule of 2 is a simple, but effective manor to assure you are pumping the right number of pounds during weight training sessions! Simply put, if you can do 2 or more reps more than you have intended, you should up the weight, or if you are 2 reps short of the intended number of reps, you must lower the weight.

3 Document Workouts and Results

It is important that you develop a system that will allow you to know which weight will challenge you correctly, from rep 1 to your last intended rep! If you have a hard time remembering these numbers, you should absolutely keep a journal of previous workouts!

4. Diet Diet Diet….

If you’ve ever read anything I have written you know, exercise is a complete waist if you aren’t on track with what you consume! I could talk forever about what you should be doing to improve your diet, but the fact is each person is different, so if you would like advice from me., you will have to ask!

5. Periodize your Workouts 

Somewhere along the way, some Joe job fit body told the public, we need to “confuse” the muscles by doing many different moves, and simply put, I hate that! Stick to Squats, Pull-Ups, Presses, and safe Core work, vary the reps so you train your muscles for strength (5-8 reps), Size (10reps) and Endurance (12-20 reps) and results will come!

Need help getting results in your workout? Contact Ricky today >>

Change Your Habits, Change Your Life

Posted: 26th June 2017 by grabowrc85 in Uncategorized

Overweight mature man with pizza in one hand and a beer in the other

If you are buff, organized, rich, perfectly healthy and happily living off of 4 hours of sleep a night, this article isn’t for you! If what was just described is the absolute opposite of you, then please, read on! Every day you are exposed to at least 5 different solicitations or news articles claiming a better path to good health or weight loss, most of which are complete B.S.. In fact almost every diet and exercise routine is completely useless if you don’t change yourself! This obstacle is much easier to define but, a lot harder to overcome. Please read on, it could change your life forever!
What are Your Bad Habits?
First, we need to stop blindly jumping into diet plans, cleanses, and new workout trends without taking a look within because its all just a waist of time until you take a look at how you live your life, the habits you have formed, and your responses to the stimulus in your life.
The fact is, especially if you are heavy, that you didn’t become the you that you are today overnight. The choices you make on a daily basis cement who you are, and what you look like, over time. Chances are if you are a little overweight or obese you can already thinking of some habits you do daily that plague your ability to achieve long term results.
The nightly cookie, the extra serving of pasta at dinner, the 3 beers after work every Wednesday all work against you as they become a part of your routine. Stop, and take some time to decide where your bad habits are. Identify every last one of them, chances are you already know them, and list them.
How Do You Overcome Them?
Once you have listed your problems, you must come up with a plan on how you are going to conquer these habits.  Its very important to note that this may be a long journey, especially if you have more than a few bad habits to overcome. I recommend you pick one habit to eliminate at a time. and don’t think about the next habit to overcome until you kept off the current bad habit for 30 days. Also, don’t forget to award yourself when you overcome bad habits. Celebrate your successes and give your self some damn credit for once! Being human is hard, and overcoming all of those human errors we create for ourselves is even harder so treat yourself from time to time.
What Happens When You Overcome Bad Habits
If you are able to use the approach discussed above successfully what you will find is results in overall health and fitness will come slowly. Unlike on the Biggest Loser, change takes time and the great thing is, if you have conquered the bad habits in life to get results, you have a much better chance of maintaining these “gains” you’ve made over time!
As a trainer for almost ten years now, I can say the great achievers I have worked with have almost always had this approach to fitness and diet! I always like to say “Good health is a journey, not a destination” embrace this great journey and try to improve your bad habits EVERYDAY! Hope you found this helpful!

Why You Crave Sugar So Much

Posted: 12th June 2017 by grabowrc85 in Uncategorized

Sugar

Dieting can be a real hassle! Cutting your favorite desserts, exercising, and resisting the urge to eat everything in the grocery store check out like is a constant exhaustion! But why? Why is this battle against will so tough to overcome? The truth is, there isn’t one answer to this question! Sugar has been kicking our asses for years and we won’t win the battle until we can understand our bodies demand for sugar, and how to consume it!
sugar-addiction

First, you crave sugar because you are hooked(most of the time)! Refined sugar has addictive properties that us sugar addicts aren’t even aware of! The blood sugar spike that we all experience is a high of its own. When we were kids it would cause a surge of energy that would have your Dads hair falling out. As adults however, we have built up a tolerance to the white gold, so the blood sugar spike only makes us perk up a little(our hearts still feel it though).

Fact is we are almost all sugar addicts! Try a week without refined sugar! You will experience all the symptoms of withdrawal, and if you can refrain from eating it for three weeks or more you will get a buzz that would send you through a wall, followed by a big crash when you reintroduce refined sugar! My advice-get off the white, but only the white sugar- we need sugar in our lives which brings me to my next point.

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Second you are craving sugar(on some occasions) because you deprive yourself of essential sugar when “cleaning up” your diet. The fear of white sugar has caused us to cast judgement upon all sugars, but the fact is our body needs sugar to function optimally! Sugar provides fuel for movement, improves immunity to disease, and is crucial in mental clarity.

When you deprive your body of complex carbs(sugar), the body in return sends a demand for the food source to the brain. The disconnect for us occurs when we reach for the donuts or sugary drinks instead of eating a piece of fruit or blending a smoothie. Point being- when you crave sugar, eat it, but again, avoid the white, and choose fruit instead! It will be hard at first but you can do it!

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Finally your body craves sugar because you are an active human(hopefully)! Perhaps you have noticed your sugar cravings to increase after working out.  When you exercise at a high intensity you deplete your glycogen stores(which is what your body breaks sugar into, through chemical processes)! Our bodies utilize sugar for movement, like a car utilizes gasoline. Once that supply is gone, our body lets us know about it by, again sending a signal to the brain to consume sugar!

This craving shouldn’t be ignored but, nourished with a protein smoothie, or a delicious protein-heavy vegetable stir fry! If you attempt to ignore this craving and avoid sugars, it is more likely than not that you will fall upon a bag of skittle or some other type of vice food and thus depleting the gains you worked so hard for prior to eating! Whats the point!?

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To conclude Here’s a little secret my Mother told me long ago that works in all facets of life-“Everything in moderation”! You are craving sugar because its freaking normal to crave sugar! Our bodies need sugar to function optimally, its up to you to limit how much and what type you consume.  The war against refined sugar has caused a fear of all sugars, but sugars in the form of complex carbohydrates fuel and nourish the body. Depriving the body of all sugars only means short term progress and will leave you scatter brained, so keep it in moderation and use will power to eliminate white sugar from your diet!

As always, please reach out if you are curious to learn more!

The Problem With the Fitness Industry

Posted: 5th June 2017 by grabowrc85 in Uncategorized

bad form

As the fitness industry continues to explode, so does a great deal of pitfalls that set regular folks up for failure. Whether its misinformation about the overall body transformation process or a young, inexperienced trainer, there are a wide number of ways things can go wrong. Today I am going to discuss the ones that annoy me the most and hopefully this helps you get a better idea of what you need to do to reach your goals!

First and, in my opinion, the worst of all of the problems with the fitness industry is the false expectations individuals have about the process thanks largely to shows like The Biggest Loser and, pop-up ads that show ridiculous and usually doctored before/after pictures. The constant exposure to these so called “success stories” leads our minds to expect immediate results, and guess what? For most of us, it doesn’t work like that. In fact most of the biggest loser participants end up right back at their original size because there was nothing natural about the way the achieved there results. Funny you don’t hear so much about that though right?

Another major issue with the fitness industry is the false conception we have of what we need to do to transform our bodies and get healthier! If you read my stuff you probably remember me mentioning the 80/20 ratio- and if not, 80/20 means achieving results in fitness is 80% related to your diet and 20% related to how you exercise! We see gyms popping up everywhere these days, when in fact the public as a whole would be better served with more nutrition centers and diet coaches(just being honest).

Finally, although I could probably list quite a few more issues, the last issue I want to discuss is young and or inexperienced trainers who put you at risk for a number of reasons. Keep in mind I speak about this knowing I was once both of these issues. Young and inexperienced trainers “don’t know what they don’t know” and usually they are good looking, confident, and suggestive, so people trust this trainers advice not knowing that could be a big mistake.

The most common issues with young and or inexperienced trainer are their lack of understanding of the human body and proper exercise progressions leads them to injure their clients(Also known as you). These young trainers also assume everyone loves exercise as much as they do, which is usually not the case, but the only perspective this young trainer has is their own, which makes them assume we all love 5 mile runs at 5am! To which most of us say “hell no”! Young and inexperienced trainers typically emphasis exercise too much and diet not enough! Again the lack of perspective makes them blind to the right approach to the process as a whole. In return this trainer will write you difficult training programs without much analysis and hardly any diet coaching. If you find yourself in this situation, get out!!

In conclusion, the world of fitness is exploding and so are the impostors! Do your research and treat your body like its a sacred temple that you must protect when looking at gyms to join, as well as how to approach your nutrition! If you are considering Peak Physique, let me assure you, that I will do everything I can to help you get to where you want to go!

1 Month Goal Sheet

Posted: 5th June 2017 by grabowrc85 in Uncategorized

1 Month Goal