We’ve all heard it before: “Always use full range of motion.” We know it’s the right thing to do when weight lifting, but have we ever stopped and asked ourselves if we are enforcing it? Sure, we may think we’re using full range of motion with each exercise, but I want you to be honest with yourself and re-evaluate your form the next time you’re training in the gym. It’s easy to judge someone doing quarter reps when squatting and think to ourselves “I have much better form than that,” but “better” may not be good enough. Many of us may, in fact, be lifting with solid form, but I encourage you to test your boundaries and explore the potential benefits of increasing your range of motion during each exercise. Over the past month, I have done just that, and have already noticed the benefits.
Before I highlight some of the advantages, I would like to make a disclaimer that we all have different anatomical structures and joint mobility limitations so just do the best that you can and be sure to start with lighter weights to avoid injuries.
Advantages of Full ROM (Range of Motion)
- Increased strength and hypertrophy were also found in the full ROM group in a different study analyzing upper limb muscular development using barbell preacher curls.
- Fat loss even improved in a longer range of motion training group compared to shorter range of motion.
Overall, the benefits speak for themselves, both from an anecdotal observation as well as a scientific evidence perspective. Next time you’re training, be cognizant of your range of motion and consider adjusting the weight to truly allow yourself to maximize range of motion. In turn, you will maximize muscle growth, strength, and flexibility.
Take a look at the back of your supplements. Do you see a list filled with proprietary blends consisting of a multitude of ingredients, including artificial flavors, sweeteners, food dyes, preservatives, and fillers? It might be time to rethink about what you're actually putting into your body. As the world of fitness supplements has grown exponentially, so too has the amount of "junk" that has been additionally added in. Each day more and more research unveils the benefits to many of the supplements we take such as creatine, citrulline, beta-alanine, BCAAs, whey protein, etc. But we often don't realize that we tend to be taking in much more than just those ingredients in our pre-workouts and post-workout shakes.
Just recently we heard about the potential carcinogenic effects of sucralose (aka Splenda) and the CSPI (Center for Science in the Public Interest) downgraded it's rating for sucralose from "Caution" to "Avoid."
See here for more info: http://www.cspinet.org/new/201602081.html
While occasional servings of sucralose are most likely safe, we may overlook the actual dosage of sucralose in some of the top preworkouts on the market. See this video from Kris Gethin for more info:
Since labels often don't list the actual dosage of inactive ingredients, we have no idea how much of these artificial sweeteners and colorings are in our supplements.
As if one sweetener wasn't enough, most brands tend to add another sweetener as well, such as Acesulfame-Potassium. This also has been categorized as "Avoid" by CSPI:
Beyond the sweeteners, many brands tend to value marketing gimmicks over your health and well-being and color their supplements with artificial food dyes such as Yellow 5, Yellow 6, and Red 40. These ingredients have been found to pose risks such as hyperactivity in children as well as a potential risk of cancer (like Red 3) and allergic reactions. See here for more info:
When we consider the fact that we often drink down our preworkouts in less than 10 seconds prior to heading to the gym, is it really necessary to be adding such high doses of sweeteners and colors? Especially considering we take these products day after day, in addition to other workout supplements such as BCAAs or post workout drinks which also contain another high dose of artificial sweeteners.
Being aware of all of the ingredients in your workout supplements allows you to make informed decisions about your health. It may be wise to consider opting for supplements that naturally sweeten their products with stevia and use natural food colorings such as beet root. Or, consider purchasing unflavored supplements with which you can rest assured that the contents are actually the active ingredients and not just fillers and flavorings.
I'm proud to support Do Vitamins and their wonderful line of supplements.
Wonder Whey Organic Whey Protein
I encourage you to look at all of their supplements and rest assured knowing that all of the ingredients are stated on the label with their dosages and there are no other fillers. Each supplement is crafted with scientifically proven effective ingredients and has the certifications to prove the quality and purity. Your health should be a top priority so choose good nutrition and supplement wisely. And follow the matra of Do Vitamins:
Purity and performance; no pollutants.™
What if I were to tell you that over the weekend I had ravioli, popcorn, cookies, smoothies, crackers, dip, chocolate chip cookie dough bars, muffins, chocolate pudding, ice cream, chicken parmesan, and more and enjoyed it without feeling guilty AND actually felt as though I still stayed on track in terms of my nutrition?
Am I crazy?
No - it's all possible to fit those foods into your life if you pick the right products and keep things in moderation. Those foods would all be typically classified as "dirty" or "unhealthy" but I'm posting this as an example that foods aren't inherently "good" or "bad" and that trying to "eat clean" 24/7 is not necessary or ideal.
Now yes, it is true that the above foods are typically very high in calories and it would be hard to fit them into your daily macronutrient goals, but I'm here to show you that if you shop right, you can buy much healthier varieties of the same foods and stay on track.
Below I will compare the nutrition of my food choices vs. an alternative popular version:
It's pretty clear to see the vast amount of differences between the food choices in terms of their nutrition values. I hope this helps to highlight the point that if you put some effort into food planning and choices, you can still eat foods that are enjoyable and stay on track with your nutrition plan. And while this post is meant to serve as an example of how to incorporate delicious foods and snacks into a lifestyle, I also want to point out that my weekend also included "healthy" food options such as chicken, veggies, fruits, protein shakes, etc. I also went out for dinner and ordered Chicken Parmesan with angel hair pasta, but only had half my portion and a side salad so I could take home the rest. This saves 50% of the calories. And I also fit in a quick workout as well over the weekend.
With the right preparation, you too can find the perfect balance and be able to enjoy your food choices and continue progressing toward your health and fitness goals.
I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas and best wishes for a Happy New Year! With 2016 right around the corner, many people across the world will be planning their New Year's Resolutions, and losing weight or getting in shape is at the top of list in terms of popularity. Unfortunately, studies show that, by Jan. 10, most Americans have already given up and only 8% of people actually achieve their New Year's Resolutions. Here are a few tips to help you stick to your resolutions and achieve the results you desire.
Set Both Long Term and Short Term Goals
Envision what you want to achieve and write your goals down or make it into something visible and tangible so you will be reminded of your goals each day. Whether it's a reminder you'll read each morning or a note that you'll come across throughout the day, keep the goal fresh in your mind and work towards achieving it each day. Additionally, remember to set smaller, short term goals to help you stay accountable and continue progressing.
Rome wasn't built in a day. And most likely, you didn't gain the weight overnight so don't expect to lose it overnight either. While 7 day fasts and 14 diets are all the rave, they do more harm than good. Fast and rapid weight loss oftens leads to primarily water and muscle loss, which will do more harm to your metabolic capacity in the long run. And typically, once you return to your old habits, you'll regain the weight and then some. Any diet which you cannot sustain in the long run is not worth starting in the first place. Successful weight loss is about making lifestyle changes, both physically and nutritionally, as well as psychologically so that you can lose the weight and keep it off. These changes need to be adjustments that you can adhere to today, tomorrow, next week, and next year. Losing weight is one step, but weight loss maintenance over the long term is a true accomplishment.
Focus on the Process, Not Just the Goals
While it's easy to talk about what we want to achieve, we must take action. Aim to take steps each and every day to help get you closer to your goals. Whether it's substituting one soda per day with a glass of water, or committing to exercising 3x per week for 30 minutes, every step counts. Success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day in and day out. We don't have to be perfect and we shouldn't expect the process to be easy. But strive to do your best each day because consistency is the true key of success.
Let your friends and family know what you're trying to accomplish and how they can assist you on your journey. They can help keep you accountable and stay on track. Also having a workout buddy to motivate you and expect to meet you at the gym certain times during the week can be a great tool, especially on days that your mind is tempting you with excuses to skip the workout. Staying motivated is vital for success and while extrinsic motivational factors may be the primary fuel source at the beginning, they can become intrinsic motivational factors over time. See my previous post regarding exercise and motivation here.
Be Patient and Proud of Yourself
The best things in life take time, hard work, and consistent effort to achieve so be patient and believe in yourself. Anything is possible! It will require commitment, dedication, time, will power, and sacrifices. There will be temptations and times when you fall down. But failure isn't falling down. Failure comes from refusing to get back up. You can make it happen if you set your mind to it and I promise you that the results will be well worth it. Each day, wake up with determination and a goal. If you achieve it, you'll go to bed with satisfaction at night.
Get a Plan and Stay Accountable
Even if you have the proper mindset, you still need the game plan for success. And while there's no substitute for hard work, it's also important to strive to work smarter as well. There are millions of diets and fitness plans out there, but for it to be truly successful, it must be customized for the individual. Everyone is different so a "cookie-cutter" diet plan will never be optimal. A customized program should be based on many factors, including one's body composition, lifestyle habits, current and previous diets, likes/dislikes, workout equipment, preferences, and goals. Along with the proper plan, motivation and accountability is vital. Will power can fade so having the support and guidance to pick you up when you fall and keep you progressing along the path is essential. And when the right plan is combined with consistent progression, then resolutions and goals will indeed come true.
If you're ready to take the first step towards your goals today with a customized online personal training plan, click here.
- Joe Zucchi
The latest episode of Weight Loss, Fitness, & Your Health is now available for viewing! In this episode, Dr. Piotrowski and I discuss tips for avoiding holiday weight gain. I hope you find it informative and helpful in the coming months! Feel free to comment here or ask any questions in regards to the video.
I apologize for my recent posts being continually centered around the FitOrbit fiasco, but I want to keep everyone as updated as possible regarding the situation. I am happy to report I have some good news. Today, all the trainers, such as myself, received an email. Here's an excerpt:
"The Company has been making every effort to send final payments and will work on completing final payments out to you by this week. We thank you for your understanding and sincerely apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused to you."
It is good to finally receive an update on the situation after weeks of silence from FitOrbit.com. In addition, I reached out to the FitOrbit support rep for more information in regards to the clients awaiting their refunds. I received a prompt reply stating:
"As far as client refunds go, I've reached out to the managing team and there has been a slight delay in completing the client refunds due to multiple requests from their financial institution and other resources. Every client will be compensated for a refund of all/any unused weeks of their remaining plan."
So although it may take a bit more time, it's nice to hear that the refunds are still planned and should occur hopefully in the near future.
I hope this provides some comfort to those awaiting refunds and gives you more information regarding the situation overall.
UPDATE 11/2/2015: Just wanted to post a quick final update regarding FitOrbit. The trainers have finally received our final payment this past week. We have been informed that they are also working on the refunds for the customers as well. Hopefully that will happen soon. If you would like, another option that has been successful is asking for a refund via PayPal. Some clients have successful received their money back by going through that method.
I wanted to provide a quick update regarding the information I have learned from some of my clients in regards to the recent FitOrbit closing. If you haven't seen my original post, please see here.
Unfortunately, FitOrbit has failed to provide any information thus far in regards to potential refunds or even an explanation as to why the closure occurred.
I have reached out and sent emails to FitOrbit support, and at this time, I have yet to receive any response from FitOrbit administration. I myself, along with the other trainers, have still not received our pay check for our final month (September) so we await that as well. Typically trainers receive payment online on the 15th of the month so I will know more very shortly. There is a reddit page where some customers are talking about it as well: Link
One of my clients has also begun the process of filing a complaint with his state’s attorney general regarding a possible lawsuit against FitOrbit if a refund is not sent out to customers. Another customer also reported on Twitter that "Chase gave me a temp credit for my dispute of the FitOrbit membership" so perhaps checking in with your credit card company may be a wise idea as well. Also, since they did business across state lines, you can file a complaint to the Federal Trade Commission here.
You can also file a fraud complaint through PayPal as well. According to PayPal, FitOrbit has 10 days to respond to the claim. If they don’t, it will be closed in the customer's favor.
As I mentioned previously, I myself and the other trainers received no notice ahead of time regarding the closing of FitOrbit. We were notified via a very brief email, similar to what customers received, on the day prior to the website shutting down. It's very unfortunate and unprofessional of them to not be providing any clarity about the circumstances or time frame for our payments. I'll be sure to keep you updated on any further news I receive.
I hope this information has been helpful for you. If you have any questions, feel free to email me. I hope to continue working with you as part of my new online program through JPZ Fitness! I have created a complete fitness plan that you can learn more about here.
With the recent unexpected closing of FitOrbit, I have received many emails and messages from clients looking to continue working with me in a similar fashion and keep striving to reach their goals. What made FitOrbit unique was that it offered convenient online personal training from the comfort of your home in a very affordable package. The weekly workout plans, nutrition plan, and ability to email me anytime to ask questions and continue making progress was a perfect combination for many and has led to some truly incredible transformations. With the benefits also came some downfalls such as a poorly designed and outdated online interface, no mobile access, a very limited exercise database for trainers to choose from, a confusing and limited nutrition log, technical glitches, and more.
Today I am very excited to announce my new Online Personal Training Plan! This online program has been designed and built by me to deliver a new and improved platform that offers much more than what FitOrbit offered, in a much easier to view layout. I have gathered feedback from others and implemented features that I've always wanted. Here are some of them:
FitOrbit's slogan was "Ridiculously affordable. Remarkably Successful." I know that value is very important and the idea of paying a trainer at a gym $50-80 per hour of training is outrageous. And many online training packages from competitors to FitOrbit charge very expensive upfront costs for packages that you aren't even sure you'll like! One very popular company charges "$377.99" for a 12 week plan, while another charges "$550" for 4 Weeks Training & Diet with only 1 Modification. Extremely expensive to say the least. I want to offer you more features for less - much less. I'll even beat the price that FitOrbit had straight from it's website. The cost there was "$40/week if paid by the week, $30/week if paid for 1 month, and $17 per week if paid for 3 months in advance. I'll beat all these prices and won't lock you in for months at a time. Here's my special offer:
$60 per month
($15 per week)
(only $2 per day!)
No locked in commitment - pay by the month and stop whenever you want
Secure payment via PayPal
You're getting all the features listed above at an incredibly affordable price. If you want to lose fat, strengthen and/or build muscle, and improve your health & well-being, then I dare you to find a better option out there. Together we will work together to achieve your goals and be successful. It's going to take hard work and commitment, but with my guidance and motivation, you can do it.
To join today, please visit the Services tab or click here to go directly to the purchase page.
If you have any questions, feel free to email me at any time.
I look forward to working with you!