Make a commitment to workout every week!

I Get So Emotional, Baby

By Susan Howard

“My mother-in-law is coming into town.”

“I have a super stressed work week.”

“My kid vomited on my running shoes.”

Whatever excuse you come up with not to workout, needs to be tossed aside.

“But, Susan,” you plea, “I really do have a super packed work week and my dog did chew up my iPhone with my run keeper app.”

Over my last decade of training clients, I’ve trained people with various degrees of busy-ness. And with every one of them, I stress that they shouldn’t think about whether they want to or have time to workout. Just start moving for 20 to 60 minutes, 3 to 5 times a week and don’t stop committing to that.  My clients with the highest degree of consistency always get the best results.

“You can spend one hour working out or 24 hours dead.”

Having returned from a four-day fitness conference this is one of the messages that still rings in my head.  It’s true — the bounty of ..read more

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Why you should keep working out even if you have pain in your body.

Watch Me Nay Nay

By Susan Howard

Unless you are in the NFL, don’t play through the pain.  Unlike what you may have heard from other sources, pain in your body is a little message telling you that something is off or being overused while something else may be weak and non functioning.

Switch up your workout if you feel pain. If you are running try spinning or swimming; if you are doing a lot of heavy lifting, try Pilates, and if you are doing a bunch of yoga, pick up some weights. Our bodies get tired of the same input day in and day out and we can get repetitive stress disorder which can wear down the ligaments and attachments and overdevelop the muscles in a certain plane of motion.

If you are in a lot of pain, get with a personal trainer to help you out.  Don’t be sidelined by your pain.  The instinct to think, “I messed up my knee so I can’t go ..read more

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Double Your Results With Eccentric

By Susan Howard

Recently I returned from a fitness conference where I took several courses and workouts from some of the top minds in fitness, the P90X guy (Tony Horton) to the Gatorade research folks, to the industry leaders in kinesology and body testing.

One presenter that had a big impact on me was this quirky guy from the University of New Mexico (of course) talking about eccentric movement.

What is eccentric movement and why do I care about it?

Eccentric is the opposite of concentric, so in a bicep curl the concentric is the “up” movement when you contract the muscle and the eccentric is when you elongate it towards the pull of gravity.

I signed up for the class to learn more because, contrary to conventional wisdom, the contraction part of a move is not nearly as important as the eccentric part and I wanted to know more.

Here’s what I got.  You will garner 40 percent better results by focusing on the eccentric ..read more

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Live with distinction. Make plans, make goals and complete them. If you don't push yourself, how will you ever succeed?

Distinction

By Susan Howard

On my desktop right now is a file entitled “Life with Distinction” and inside lists my goals for 2017. We are a sum of our habits — some are good, but some we’d like to kick. Living with precision doesn’t mean I am throwing the old me out the window to start over again, but merely being aware of my patterns and making decisions about what each day looks like.

One big change for me is going to be planning. If you are like me, you run from planning like the villain in a tangled Spiderman web in my son’s comic books. This doesn’t mean my days won’t be spontaneous, but even with random time, workouts, or meditation time I am going to block it off in my phone calendar.

If we don’t make decisions we tend to plod along aimlessly just getting through the day. Don’t get me wrong, some days are like that — days you just get ..read more

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Train Like an Olympian

By Susan Howard

I love the Olympics.  It’s a thrill watching the high level of focus and training these young athletes have poured into their given event. Seeing their transformed bodies near perfection, eyes fixed, goals high. In a moment, on a day it all comes forth as they fight for the fastest finish, cleanest program, or most points in a game. Although only three make it to the podium all of them are winners to even qualify for such an elite competition.

The spark in their spirits and joy of competing is alive in you as well. Maybe your are not going to set the WR in the 400 butterfly or hang in the iron cross like the mens gymnasts have astounded us with, you can compete, and win at your own game.

Maybe it’s a virtual fitness competition on social media with your friends from high school or a tennis match with a friend or a made up game with your ..read more

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Best Workout in Shortest Time: Isometric/Dynamic

By Susan Howard

Creating muscle to burn fat is the most efficient way to spend your time working out. Maximizing results by working your large muscles in an active way, such as a squat, is the best. Most fitness professionals will agree. The more muscle engagement the better. Thus the birth of the compound move like a squat with a row. The issue I have with these compound moves are often times there is so much going on that the form is compromised. Watching a client trying to perform a reverse lunge with a military press leaves them with a wobbly mediocre version of both the lunge and the shoulder press.

I feel as though well meaning trainers and athletes alike make this mistake, so here is my answer for you all to keep it tight. Combine Isometric with Dynamic, so while one part is moving the other is stabilizing. One of my favorite examples is an isometric squat, like a skier ..read more

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Kick Starter New Years A Go Go

 

By Susan Howard

It’s hardest to begin and once you’ve stopped difficult to restart. Inertia; an object at rest tends to stay at rest, and an object in motion tends to stay in motion. Just like riding a bike, once you are going it’s fairly easy, but that moment, the first pedal push and balance takes some doing. Once you take the first step, you will naturally continue forward.

Often times when I am training, within the first ten minutes of a session the client is trying to book their next appointment. They realize immediately how vital motion is and how good it feels to be in action.

We must move our bodies to free our minds. I offer you nothing less than Nirvana. I watch my little kids in the morning playing a jumping game up and down they look like little frogs because it FEELS GOOD TO MOVE. Not only does it feel good, but it is necessary.

I am here ..read more

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Love yourself if you dare

By Susan Howard

Recently I got into an email battle with an author that I quoted in a post on my site. She was upset about how I pleaded with readers to stop buying food in large quantities which often leads to overeating. Love yourself at any weight is the driving message in her book and she was claiming that I was being hurtful to the overweight population. I was talking with one of my successful weight loss clients (75 lbs. down) and she wisely replied, “What about loving yourself enough to take CARE of yourself.” I couldn’t agree more.

My goal in working with clients is to get them close to their “set” weights. Unless you are an actor or an underwear model, why bother with anything else? No, my client isn’t a size two, but she went down 10 sizes and can fit into most anything she wants. She looks and feels great and has re-gained energy, confidence and control ..read more

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Let’s Not Make a Deal

By Susan Howard

 

Everybody loves a deal.  Getting more for less has been an American slogan for decades.  Our waistlines (or lack there of) have also been increasing for years.  Let me tell you this, get RIPPED OFF when buying food.  Yes, that’s right, buy small portions of fresh delicious food and avoid things that are labeled “Family Size” or “Value Pack”, believe me it’s no value to be obese, just ask any medical professional.

Let’s go back a minute and see how this whole idea of getting more for less started…

In the 60’s a man named David Wallerstein owned movie theaters and wanted to increase concession sales. He tried to convince people to buy more than one popcorn, but nobody did because they felt glutenous getting two.  Desperate for a profit, they doubled the amount of one popcorn because it was so cheap to make, it didn’t really matter, and sold it for 10 cents more.  People started picking the bigger size ..read more

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Kids Counting Steps

“I don’t want to workout.”

“I am too tired.”

“My elbow feels swollen and besides I might be getting sick.”

These are all lies we tell ourselves to get out of something we really DO want to DO. WORKOUT.

Have you ever finished a workout and said, “Oh shit, I wish I hadn’t worked out.” No. You are always glad you did. You always feel better, it never fails you, not once. So why don’t you do it?

You fail yourself by believing your own stories about how it’s impossible to commit to a routine.

I was astounded when I saw a new product on the market, a pedometer for children. With mixed emotion I looked at it and wonder when did we get so backwards that our children are counting their steps. I remember as a kid being outside playing ghost, an elaborate game of  night tag with the entire block of kids, and when my mother called us in for dinner we were begging ..read more

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