Thursday, April 23, 2009

Why we need to be consistent

By Eduardo Lorenzo

In the words of Claude Bristol: "It's the constant and determined effort that breaks down all resistance and sweeps away all obstacles".

In other words, you control your own destiny with your mind! Sometimes we must tap into that inner self and realize what our potential is. And sometimes it's just about trying to make it and survive.

Sure we all have our days, or sometimes weeks--that it seems nearly impossible to make it to the gym and eat the right stuff. Sometimes--life just gets in the way! Yet on a constant basis we allow other things in our lives to take priority over our own health and lifestyle. In order to live our lives well we must get things headed in the right track. It's like a vicious cycle that if done right things come easy on their own; you start going to the gym, you eat properly, and you even sleep better. If left ignored then it just sneaks up on you with 10 to 20 pounds added, you start to feel sluggish, along with other health risk.

In order to inspire and motivate yourself, think about the commitment you have made to your health and to your loved ones.

Believe in yourself and you can make it happen!

Write down some realistic goals and work until you reach them!

Understand there will always be obstacles and road blocks to overcome.

The key to succeed at this is to be CONSISTENT, even when you feel you are not at your best. In turn this will help to build up from one workout to another over a period of time your body will get back on track with some noticeable results.

I had a trainer friend who always said: "NEVER MISS A WORKOUT". It sounds easier than getting it done. But with a simple strategy you can make this happen. How about bringing your workout down to 20 or 30 minutes? Or work on the muscles and movements that make you feel better and that you perform the best. Do some interval cardio for just 15 to 20 minutes.

Get yourself to an Electra Group Fitness class or go for a bike ride or some other outdoor sports.

Maybe it's about packing your meals the night before, or setting up your gym bag at the door so that way there’s no excuse on your way out.

Choose one thing to do that will help you to feel good, and stick to it. It might take a few days, or even a few weeks, but you’ll find out that consistency is the key!

That is true when you take a look at some the folks that have been consistently coming to their personal training sessions for the last couple of weeks even against the odds. I can think of CJ who has finally master his pull-ups (un-assisted by the way), David has dropped over 30 pounds in about 8 weeks (even with the adversities we had to face, he's getting the job done), Jill feels confident in her bikini again. I could keep going on and on but the message is clear. They've all overcome their fears and obstacles and have made it.

The key: Consistency!!!

Eduardo Lorenzo – NASM-CPT; specializes in sports performance, injury prevention, corrective exercises, physique enhancement and weight loss programs.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

The Essence of Core Training

By: Eduardo Lorenzo

Building a strong mid-section requires more than just the typical ab exercises. Sure everyone would like to have six pack abs to show off, but there a many reasons why someone should and needs to be training their ab muscles in a proper way.

First of all the term Core Training relates to the strengthening of the muscles that stabilize your skeletal structure; meaning the muscles of the spine, your pelvis and shoulders in order to provide a solid foundation for movement in the extremities. Properly training your Core is essential in the treatment and prevention of spinal pain and other musculoskeletal aches.

If your core muscles are strong they will aid in the following:

  • Proper movement of your torso – if your core is not strong you will likely suffer from back problems and increase your chances of injury, “even if you are an active person or consider yourself fit”.

  • Good posture and body stability - These muscles all work in harmony to provide stabilization for your body and to transfer power from the legs to the upper body and vice versa.

  • They will also protect your vital systems, improve body fluids and enhance your circulatory support.


Some of the best core training exercises you should be performing are planks, hip raises, reverse crunches, woodchops and even compound exercises that will involve proper engagement of your core muscles. You can ask any of the members I’ve been training and surely they’ll tell you how sick and tired they are of listening to me constantly reminding them to “draw in” their abs, stabilize their abs, engage their core and hold it for the duration of their set of exercise. The main idea behind these exercises, is that it will strengthen your ab muscles a lot better than any other crunch you could ever do.

In essence, core stability benefits everyone, from older people to top professional athletes. Exercises for core stabilization should be part of every conditioning program, along with flexibility, strength, and aerobic training.

All the parts of your body are connected to one another, directly or indirectly. Think of a chain as the connection; for example, imagine a chain starting at your foot and running through your ankle, calf, knee, thigh, and hip to your pelvis and spine. This is called the kinetic chain, and it means that moving one part of your body can affect another body part. Your trunk is where the kinetic chains come together.

So the next time you think of ab training, forget doing basic crunches only. Remember your body needs all the support it can get.

Eduardo Lorenzo – NASM-CPT; specializes in sports performance, injury prevention, corrective exercises, physique enhancement and weight loss programs.

Thursday, April 16, 2009


By Tammy Bryant

We can start to feel the changes in our bodies at the age of 35, but menopause is a life changing experience for many women. We exprerience mood swings, weight gain and other symtoms due to drops of estrogen levels. Some women are at risk of heart disease and osteoporosis, but studies have shown that by exercising, eating right and keeping fit we can alleviate or stop some of the symptoms from happening.

BONE LOSS: Resistance training during menopause can help to diminish the effects of bone loss caused by estrogen reduction, aging or inactivity. Exercise that strengthens your muscles helps to lessen the severe effects of bone density loss, which is an issue during menopause.

HOT FLASHES--MOOD SWINGS: Increasing estrogen levels is key to reducing the symptoms of menopause, such as hot flashes and mood swings. With regular exercise it appears to be for some a promising alternative for hormone replacement therapy. A study showed increased levels of estrogen in both premenopausal and postmenopausal women aged 40 to 56 years after the women participated in weight and cardiovascular training programs. Exercise can also reduce fatigue, irritability and sleep loss associated with menopause.

WATER INTAKE: Hot flashes can cause severe sweating, which can lead to dehydration during exercise, so keep hydrated.

CARDIOVASCULAR DISEASE: When you do cardiovascular exercise, you sustain an elevated heart rate for a period of time, which when done consistently, will make your heart healthier and stronger. Studies have shown that women over 40, who are overweight and menopausal, have a higher risk of heart disease. So, do your cardio and hit those weights to keep your estrogen up, your weight down, decrease your total cholesterol levels and keep your heart happy and healthy.
BALANCING YOUR FITNESS PROGRAM: During menopause your body needs a balance of cardiovascular training, resistance training and stretching, because the three are important for your changing body.Some options include low-impact classes, walking or strength training with weights, machines, bands, or hand weights. Training both the upper and lower body are very important. Keeping the muscles of the upper back and chest strong may prevent the onset of spinal changes such as dowager's hump. To work on these issues and more come in and utilize our other classes. If you're not sure where to start, than a personnal trainer might be right for you and your needs.

If you have any questions on this subject contact me at

Monday, April 6, 2009

Essential Weight Loss Guidelines

By Eduardo Lorenzo

Most people are familiar with the concept of eating 4-6 small meals per day, but many ask why this is necessary. There are several reasons, and this method of eating works for people trying to lose weight as well as those who are trying to put on muscle. However, I’ll focus more on weight loss, since most people are after this as a goal.

To be fit, trim, healthy, and have lots of energy, you’ve got to feed your metabolism! That means eating every two to three hours. Skipping meals or drastically cutting calories is never the answer because it tricks your body into storing fat rather than shedding it!

That is why you may see yourself lose some weight the minute you start on a certain diet program and most start doing some type of cardio. Yet after a while you hit a plateau, stop losing weight or just can’t gain muscle (whichever may be the goal you’re after). This could be discouraging; but don’t lose hope or motivation. Building a fine physique takes time, determination and continuous effort.

In order to understand this concept, below are several reasons why this way of eating works and delivers results:

1. Metabolism- By eating 4-6 small meals per day, you are taking in some food about every 3 hours. This means your body has to digest something every 3 hours. The process of digestion actually uses a fair amount of calories, so you are increasing your metabolic rate by doing this! If you eat five small meals or snacks throughout the day and at roughly the same time each day, your body will soon get into a new rhythm of eating. In essence, it will begin to trust that it will be fed regularly. It will begin to trust that it does not have to lock down what is held in storage within your fat cells, and it will begin to release body fat naturally. Your body will adjust so that it expends what you eat for fuel rather than conserve or store away nutrients for later use. This is the process of speeding up your metabolism!

2. Losing Body Fat-Through a physiological process called “Starvation Mode”, your body, after four hours or so, doesn’t know when it will get its next meal and “partitions” more of your next meal into fat cells than it would if you simply ate more often. Without a constant supply of small meals, commonly known as “grazing”, you’ll find yourself drowsy in the afternoon, fighting cravings, making impulsive food choices, bingeing, and, worst of all, gaining fat!By eating smaller meals, more frequently, you are hopefully taking in enough calories to cover immediate energy requirements and rebuilding muscle, without taking in excess that would be stored as body fat.

3. Level Blood Sugar- By eating more frequently, you maintain a more even blood sugar level. This means a fairly steady energy level, without all those highs and lows most people experience when eating only 3 large meals per day, with a long time between meals. (Anybody who works 9-5 and has indulged in a large lunch knows that sleepy, fatigued feeling that hits about 2:30pm)!

4. More Protein IntakeProtein builds and repairs muscle, and an ample intake is absolutely necessary if you are working out and challenging the body. But, like anything else, if you take in too much at once, the excess will be stored as body fat. By eating 4-6 small meals per day, you have more opportunities to increase protein consumption, without having too much at one sitting!

The whole idea is to make your body a fat-burning, muscle-building machine. By increasing lean muscle, you will burn more calories, even at rest (muscle is more metabolically active than fat).
Try to incorporate these methods of eating and see how it all comes together. I have found that by also starting a food journal you make better choices and are held accountable for what you eat.

Try to get it done, and let me know how it’s going for you. I would love to hear about your progress report. Enjoy your healthy eating!

Eduardo Lorenzo – NASM-CPT; specializes in sports performance, injury prevention, corrective exercises, physique enhancement and weight loss programs.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Benefits of a Fitness Assessment & Why You Need It

By Eduardo Lorenzo

What is a Fitness Assessment? A proper fitness assessment consists of a series of measurements that will help determine your level of physical fitness. These tests can identify your strengths and weaknesses in relation to your physical needs and fitness goals.

There are several standard tests in a fitness assessment. Depending upon the assessor, other tests may be added to achieve a greater picture of your fitness level or lack thereof.
Bear in mind that a Fitness Professional should be able to explain to you the benefits of a comprehensive fitness assessment before developing any kind of fitness program. And I say this because the main reason to perform an assessment prior to any exercise regimen is to help educate and motivate regardless if you do personal training or not. These tests and screening processes will establish a baseline or blue print that will allow for monitoring your performance and progress throughout your exercise regimen; remember fitness is not a one size fits all. Like the old saying says: “If you’re not assessing, you’re just guessing”.

So a proper assessment should include a Health History Review, followed by measurements of Cardiovascular & Muscular Strength along with a comparison of the anterior and posterior muscles and even exercise technique. There should also be a screen process that will allow measuring any muscle imbalances, body movement and alignment patters. A ROM (range of motion) assessment along with either a Body Fat Analysis or a BMI and Body Composition Measurement are also suggested. Further assessment may also be performed of an individual's dietary habits.

Most of this assessment process is already part of an orientation for first timers at Electra Health Club & Spa; which also includes equipment set up orientation to show you how to use and operate cardio and weight machines. The assessment process will vary slightly depending on your fitness level and even perhaps your health background. If you haven’t taken advantage of this program or feel you have hit a plateau in your exercise regimen, go ahead and approach a personal trainer or the front desk personnel to set this up.

In summary a fitness assessment is beneficial for both personal trainers and their clients. By following the guidelines described in this article, personal trainers can remove the guesswork of exercise design, and provide sensible starting and progressing points for resistance training programs. With follow-up evaluations, members will see measurable improvement that may help them maintain interest in the program, but most importantly maximize your results.

If you’re interested in learning about proper technique and are a results driven person, contact me by e-mail or at Electra as I would like to help you build a better body.

Eduardo Lorenzo – NASM-CPT; specializes in sports performance, injury prevention, corrective exercises, physique enhancement and weight loss programs.