A diet cleanse that actually works

January 3, 2010


The New Year has come and many people, post holiday season are feeling bloated, heavy, and looking to rid themselves of this feeling.

But readers beware of the shortcut diets that rampage the internet. Those would include the notorious Master Cleanse and Gwyneth Paltrow diet.

Many of these diets may result in the dieter becoming many pounds lighter and “cleaner,” but post-cleanse, the pounds will eventually come back (most likely more than what was initially lost) and leave the dieter back to where he or she started.

While I am apprehensive about any diet promising fast results, I came across this 7-day Ultimate Diet Cleanse that seems promising. Below is an excerpt of the do’s and don’ts.

1. DON’T add sugar, other natural sweeteners (including honey, agave, and stevia), or artificial sweeteners to anything.

2. DON’T add salt to anything.

3. DON’T eat starches with dinner (including bread, rice, pasta, peas, beans, corn and potatoes).

4. DON’T drink alcohol.

1. DO eat on a schedule

2. DO drink lots of water throughout the day,

3. DO enjoy “water alternatives” in unlimited quantities at any point during the day.

4. DO begin dinner with a healthy appetizer

Happy Hunting! I on the other hand have found my New Year kick start in the form of P90X. After reading a ton of reviews-I also wrote one in a past blog post– I thought, “why not?”.

Looking for some noteworthy New Year diet tips? Check out this article.


Get Jacked Not Fit 2009

December 9, 2009

As this semester and this blog wind down in a fiery ball of finals, national championship runs and and more finals, I leave thee, dear reader with a parting gift.

No, it’s not my press pass to the game or my tickets to Passadena, so stop asking. Instead, it’s a workout to help you wade through the Christmas feasts and the midnight runs to Whataburger and/or Kerby Lane that fuel your studying.

It’s called, as you might have guess from the title, “Get Jacked Not Fat 2009”. Very down to the point. So here we go, courtesy of Zepeda Performance Systems:

Workout A: 5-step circuit. After each circuit, rest for two minutes. Do 3-5 circuits, depending on how much you feel like punishing yourself.

Start with  a front squat/push press, 4-6 repetitions at whatever weight you can handle.

swiss ball lateral roll (explained)- 4-6 repetitions

Chin ups: 10 repetitions

Swiss ball side crunch: 4-6 repetitions

Swiss ball jackknife: 4-6 repetitions

The swiss ball is an awesome device, as this workout tries to show. Get accustomed to it.

Lateral roll:

Do this circuit 3-5 times.

A second workout, recommended t break up monotiny and work different muscles, follows.

Start with the Romanian Deadlift 4-6 repetitions at a weight you can handle.

With a medicine ball, kneeling shoulder press, 8 repetitions

Then a set of Mogul squats: as many possible reps in 20 seconds

Back to the swiss ball for push ups, 8-10 reps

And end with the Tornado Chop 30 reps, to work the abs.

That’s a lot of links, but somone has to decode these workout terms. Hope that helps in getting some work done in between those tests and holiday shopping. Enjoy.

Personal Trainer John Kelly, Owner of Kelly Personal Training

November 29, 2009

Working as a personal trainer for the past 28 years, John Kelly knows his way around a gym. He has trained over 30,000 people of all ages and fitness levels and owns two personal training businesses, including one in Austin. He was kind enough to let interview him, his answers are below.

John Kelly

What started your motivation towards staying fit and keeping healthy?

I think most people exercise to look better, perform better, feel better, and have an overall feeling of well being.  As a young athlete I was more concerned about the first two. Now as an ex-athlete with old injuries I am more concerned about the last two.

What has been your greatest moment as a trainer?

At some point you go from having a client/trainer relationship to having a valued friendship. You attend christenings, family gatherings, and sometimes funerals. Your clients go out of their way to help you, and you do the same. I moved to Austin from New Orleans after hurricane Katrina.  The week before I moved to Austin I met with each of my New Orleans clients and fellow trainers for the last time. Most of my clients were longstanding, some longer than ten years. I realized how dear my clients, co-workers and friends really are.  Everyday of that last week was intensely emotional as we said our final goodbyes; it was one of the more memorable weeks of my life.

What is it that is great about Austin in particular for fitness?

Fitness can be a simple as stepping off your stoop and just start running, walking or biking down the street. That can happen just about any anywhere.  Austin adds to that experience with miles of bike trails, walking trails, and green spaces.  I feel I am truly fortunate to have moved to here because of all Austin has to offer.

A unique aspect that I saw on your web site was your golf program and your focus on back pain relief. How did that start?

Several years ago I suffered with back pain for three years. A doctor told me I should consider surgery. Instead I began exercising with a MedX lumbar exercise machine in another doctor’s office, and I slowly incorporated strength training to my regiment. My pain gradually disappeared. A strong back and a strong body are less likely to suffer pain and injury. We use MedX rehabilitative exercise equipment at both our facilities, Kelly’s Personal Training and New Orleans Ultimate Fitness Training. We have had great success with the program; it is very gratifying to see people who have lived in constant pain become pain free.

Golfers swing in one direction creating potential muscle imbalances and increased risk of injury.  Our program is designed to increase strength and flexible and correct imbalances.  Increased strength and flexibility result in increased club head speed and less injury.

What advice would you give to potential clients about staying fit during holiday temptations?

Enjoy family, friends, and food. Taking a week or two off at the end of the year gives nagging injuries a chance to heal and you’ll recharge your batteries. It is not the one or two weeks that makes the difference; it is sticking to a program for the long term.  Very few people manage to do that year after year. If you reward yourself with a break now and then you’ll more likely stick to a program.

So, you heard it from a professional, it is okay to indulge over the holidays but make sure you get back on the wagon and to your fitness regimen after the break. Thanks so much to John Kelly and if you want to contact him visit his web site or blog.

Taylor Lautner does Men’s Health magazine

November 16, 2009

293.ad.Lautner.111009He’s the modern day story of Hercules. Taylor Lautner, now 17, went from a  5’10”,  bony 140 lb teenager who played in The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl in 3-D, to packing on roughly 30 pounds of muscle to play the role of Jacob in the hit teen vampire franchise, Twilight.

It’s hard enough for a growing teenage boy to build and keep muscle-far more than most men can maintain- but to do so in a year? That has got to be some determination. Lucky for Lautner, his weight gained sealed his role as Jacob (the director of Twilight‘s sequel, New Moon, considered replacing Lautner with a different actor in the second film).

This leaves most, if not all of us, wondering, “How in the hell did he do that?” While Lautner’s background in martial arts (which he showcased in the 2005 movie The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl) can attest to his newly buffed body,well guys, you too can also have the lust-worthy body of Lautner.

Men’s Health magazine spoke with Lautner’s trainer Jordan Yam to get a sneak peak into Taylor’s workout regimen. Here’s an excerpt of the interview:

Physioball Pikes
Assume a pushup position with your arms completely straight (your hands should be slightly wider than, and in line with, your shoulders). Rest your shins on a physioball, so that your body forms a straight line from your head to your ankles. Without bending your knees, roll the physioball toward your body by raising your hips as high as you can. Pause, then return the ball to the starting position by lowering your hips and rolling the ball backward. Do three to four sets of 8 to 12 reps.

Reverse Crunches
Lie face up on the floor with your palms facing down. Bend your hips and knees 90 degrees. Raise your hips off the floor and crunch them inward. Pause, and then slowly lower your legs until your heels neatly touch the floor. Do three sets of 15 reps.

Physioball Leg curl
Lie on the floor with your calves on a Swiss ball and your arms at your sides. Squeeze your glutes to raise your hips off the floor so your body is in a straight line from your shoulders to your ankles. Pause for a second, and then bend your legs to roll the ball toward your butt. Straighten your legs to roll the ball back out away from you, and then lower your body to the floor. Do three to four sets of 10 to 12 reps.

Hanging Leg Raises
Grab a chin-up bar with an overhand, shoulder-width grip (or use elbow supports, if available), and hang from the bar with your knees slightly bent and feet together. Simultaneously bend your knees, raise your hips, and curl your lower back underneath you as you lift your thighs toward your chest. Pause when the fronts of your thighs reach your chest, and then slowly lower your legs back to the starting position. Do three to four sets of 8 to 12 reps.

Prone Cobra
Lie facedown on the floor with your legs straight and your arms next to your sides, palms down. Contract your glutes and the muscles of your lower back, and raise your head, chest, arms, and legs off the floor. Simultaneously rotate your arms so that your thumbs point toward the ceiling. At this time, your hips should be the only parts of your body touching the floor. Hold this position for 60 seconds, then rest one minute. Repeat three times.

As far as Lautner’s diet plan goes, he does what most active teenage boys do: He eats a ton of food. In an interview at Comic-con he stated, “Jordan Yaum. He’s really talented. He helped me a lot with this process. He’s always on set, like, shoving food in my mouth. Literally, I’d be talking to somebody and he comes up with a plate. He wakes me up in the morning. He’s like, ‘Take this protein shake.’ I’m like, ‘I’m sleeping.’ Yeah, I have a lot of people to thank.”

You can find more of Taylor’s workout regimen at Menshealth.com.

Lonny covers gym profiles, workout gadgets, food. If it goes hand in hand with sweating off the pounds, then she’s on it. For more information on her and questions check out the about page.

Fitness in Pop Culture: The Biggest Loser

November 12, 2009

There seems to be a surge of research each year that shows the astronomical numbers for obesity in America. As someone who is reading this blog in particular, you know these numbers and how if someone would like to lose weight–it is not something that just happens over night. Losing weight not only takes work, but it is altogether a change of lifestyle.


In 2004, NBC launched “The Biggest Loser”, a reality television show that centers around overweight contestants who fight for a cash prize by losing the most weight. Whoever loses the most not only gains the title of the “biggest loser” but also wins $250,000.

With a prize this high, the contestants do not have it easy, they have to go through many hurdles including challenges, temptations, weigh-ins and eliminations until the final contestant remains to claim the title.

The contestants live on a secluded ranch for 12 weeks (with their own gym that 24 Hour Fitness built), two trainers (Bob Harper and Jillian Michaels), and a supportive group of people in their fellow “losers” to help them lose the weight. After they have reached the 12 week period, three contestants go to the finale, which is after they have been in the “real world” with no trainers and no designated schedule for three months.


Erik Chopin, Winner of Season Three of "The Biggest Loser" source: rebeccascritchfield.files.wordpress.com

There are skeptics to the way the contestants lose weight being applicable to the real world because the contestants work out for four to six hours everyday. But the show’s point is simple: diet and exercise alone (without extra supplements or surgeries) can/will lead to dramatic weight loss.

Trainer Bob: “This isn’t just a reality television show. This is about eight people’s lives and about our lives too.”

Although this show does have a good message and has valuable information for the viewers such as diet and exercise tips, it is still a reality show and they have to bring the drama. For example, in last night episode (week nine), there were seven contestants left when they threw the curve ball that there would be two separate contestants leaving instead of the usual one. The first person that would go home is the one that had the lowest percentage of weight loss compared to everyone else, and the second would be voted off.

During the commercials,  Bob Harper provides trainer tips to help viewers make small changes in their lives that might help them lose weight. For example: many people forget to monitor their caloric intake in beverages, one way to do so is to not drink them. There are 2.5 servings of in this 20 oz. bottle of juice, that means it contains 20 to 30 grams of sugar per serving which is more than a can of soda. Although this is something small that you can do in your life, it is a small step that can help people become part of the lifestyle.

The contestants who went home last night were Daniel Wright and Shay Sorrells.


Shay has lost 152 lbs since start of Biggest Loser

With a starting weight of 476 pounds, Shay was the heaviest contestant ever on the show. “I lost 100 pounds in nine weeks…I won my life back,” says Sorrells on Jay Leno last night in the video below. “The last time I was this weight was when I was a sophomore in high school.”

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What do you guys think, does this show motivate you to keep up with your exercise routines? Let me know in the comments!

The Biggest Loser airs Tuesdays at 7 p.m on NBC.

Stephanie McDonald: Owner and SW Boot Camp Coach

November 10, 2009

I talked to Stephanie McDonald, owner of Austin Adventure Bootcamp about her experience in fitness and what inspires her to achieve her goals everyday as she holds bootcamps for women across Austin.


Stephanie McDonald, owner of Austin Adventure Bootcamp

Here were my questions for Stephanie:

What is your history with fitness and sports?

My initial inspiration for fitness came at the age of 15 when I stumbled across a women’s bodybuilding contest on television. From that moment on, I knew that I wanted to compete in bodybuilding and I aspired to achieve a strong feminine muscular physique like Cory Everson, the reigning Ms. Olympia at that time. This passion was new and exciting for me as I grew up in a family where the women were not very athletic. I began weight training with some of the football players in our high school’s field house. I started by learning the basics and then through books and magazines, I expanded my knowledge. I continued weight training through college and throughout my twenties. However, it took me until the age of 31 to finally get up the nerve to step on stage in my first figure competition. That was it. I was hooked! I’ve been competing for about 5 years now and I’ve almost  earned my professional status in the sport, which would put me in the same bodybuilding federation as Cory Everson.

What drives your passion for fitness?

I’m driven by my desire to improve and push my body and mind. I really enjoy pushing the limits of my fitness level to see how my muscles will react. I know that if I put my mind into it and focus, I can accomplish anything. I keep telling myself this as I continue on my quest for my professional status. I’m also driven by the fact that I am a role model for my clients, my friends, and my family. So many women struggle with knowing what to do and having motivation when it comes to being fit and healthy; it is my passion to be able to help them achieve this.

What kind of fitness goals do you set for yourself?

I have been fortunate enough to accomplish my goal of competing as a nationally ranked figure competitor and my current goal is to achieve professional status in the IFBB. After that, I may move on to obstacle course challenges or triathlons. I find it’s easier to focus on fitness, when I set a goal event that I need to work towards. Plus there’s such a great feeling of accomplishment after I’ve completed an event, even if it’s just a 5K.

What is the best thing about your program for you emotionally?

I am so fortunate to have such great women in my boot camps! They are my inspiration, and in turn make me want to be a better fitness role model. The stories and emails that I receive month after month about the successes of our boot campers are so inspiring that I want to continue to do all I can in order to help them achieve their fitness goals.

What would you recommend for people to do to improve their workouts/eating habits outside of your program?

If I had to chose, I would recommend that people focus on their diet first. Eating a clean, healthy diet is important for so many obvious reasons; if you’re not eating clean, you’ll be hard pressed to see results regardless of your fitness routine. Jack Lalanne was once quoted as saying, “If God made it, eat it. If man made it, leave it.” That’s really good advice from someone who is exponentially more qualified than I am.

I want to thank Stephanie for taking out the time for this great interview. If you would like to learn more about her boot camp, or more about her please refer to her website.

Cassandra covers the North Austin beat. If you have any suggestions please email her at CassandraHdz@mail.utexas.edu.

Austin Adventure Bootcamp

November 3, 2009

Hello North Austinites! I found a boot camp that you can sample for free. Austin Adventure Bootcamps is owned by Stephanie McDonald and has received critical acclaim from Austin’s finest. The boot camp has scored titles from The Austin Chronicle as Best Fitness Class and ExerciseTV’s Best Trainer.

The program consists of about 20 sessions, over the time span of four weeks, 5 days each week. Each session is an hour and starts promptly at 5:30 AM. They offer women’s only classes as well as coeducational classes. According to their web site, their regime consists of a little bit of everything:

From running/walking (less than 1 mile), weight training (upper and lower body), core conditioning, abdominal work, calisthenics, plyometrics, circuit training and more!

They have openings in camps for Pflugerville, Round Rock, and Cedar Park/Leander. If you like the sample class above, their regular prices are $249 for the four week program and $199 for their 2 week program. Check ’em out!