New Fitness Reviews - Dolph Lundgren's Fitness Autobiography & Theraband CLX Loops

Train Like An Action Hero - Be Fit Forever

Dolph Lundgren: Train Like an Action Hero - Be Fit Forever—his autobiographical training guide—is out in a brand new edition, featuring weekly training programs with photos of each exercise, menu planners, guides to equipment and gear, stories from his life, and fantastic photos from behind the scenes of Hollywood action movies.

I have always liked Dolph Lundgren, from his debut as Rocky's opponent, his dating Grace Slick, and his current projects as writer and director. He is an academic (always close to my heart), a Fulbright scholar with a Master's in Chemical Engineering, served in the military as an officer, and is an internationally renowned black belt karate champion. Now, at 60, Lundgren has revamped his book for his peers, the older generation.

"[Y]ou are the star of your own life. Play it well and enjoy the movie."

DOLPH’S SPECIAL TIPS:
1. Briefing: The reasons you need to get fit
2. Mission: Personal training and health philosophy
3. Weaponry: How to best combine strength exercises, cardiovascular, and flexibility training
4. Special Ops: Stick to your goals even while away traveling
5. Fuel and supplies: The best foods and supplements to build your body
6. Fit forever: Stay in shape for the rest of your life!

Like Joseph Pilates, Lundgren was a sick child, with croup, asthma, and allergies. He also was bullied, and part of his fitness journey was simply being able to breathe. His father was bipolar (like my mom) and abusive. Lundgren was sent to live with his grandparents in the country, and that is probably what saved his life.

Lundgren promotes a holistic approach that includes strength training, cardio, stretching, and relaxation. He suggests meditation, breath work, and even legs up the wall! The workouts are pretty basic - a back body day (pull), front body day (push), and arm/shoulder day, and then a full body circuit workout for when you don't have time to separate parts.

Most of the exercises are gym and equipment-based, so if you want bodyweight-only exercises, this is not the book for you. My biggest issue with his approach to fitness is the classic, No Pain, No Gain mentality. He even asks readers to compare their measurements to the classic body builder Steve Reeves!

All in all, Train Like An Action Hero is worth it for the photos, the basic information, and Dolph Lundgren's stories. And the information he gives is sound and useful.

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Theraband CLX Consecutive Loop Bands

I LOVE the new Theraband CLX Consecutive Loops! My Black loop is arranged around Dolph Lundgren's book in the above photo. These bands are so useful, and are the first resistance bands I have tried that I believe really could replace weights.

Yes, you heard me, the CLX bands can actually replace weights for FASTer Way To Fat Loss or even Dolph Lundgren's workouts!

They come in 6 levels, ranging from Beginner to Elite, and are created with unique reinforced loops that give the user greater control and freedom when using the bands. The resistance levels pretty much match the standard Therabands.

But it is the loops that make the difference! The 5' band has loops built into it every few inches, and each loop can fit a hand, foot, arm, or leg. You can work many things at once! If you have a door anchor, you can literally do any resistance cable exercise. Want a longer band? They sell a 25' roll!

I used my black one for a strength training session a few days ago, and was able to do resistance squats, lunges, chest and shoulders, and all arm work, And then I was able to lay down and use it for hip and glute work. The bands are strong and it just really works!

The best part is TheraBand’s free CLX Exercise App, which guides you through a ton of different exercises, showing exactly where to place your hands and feet. With the CLX being as small and light as any resistance band, now there’s no excuse for skipping a workout! You can carry a few for different exercises.

How To Eat Carbs and Still Lose Weight

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Carbs DO NOT make us fat or cause weight gain.

I know this goes against a lot of trendy information circulating in the fitness world, but there’s a lot of science to back this up!

Our bodies run on sugar and carbs, so when you consume a very low carb diet (also known as a ketogenic diet), it puts a lot of stress on your liver and kidneys to process all the protein and fat you’re consuming.  Our organs are meant to process primarily carbs, so a typical diet should consist of 50% carbs every day.

This is not a free pass to eat donuts all the time!

The quality of carbs you eat definitely matters.  Let’s take it back to school here for a minute.  There are two kinds of carbs, simple and complex.  All carbohydrates are made up of sugar molecules, but the difference between simple and complex carbs is the number of molecules that join to form a carbohydrate.

Simple carbs are made of just a few molecules while complex carbs consist of hundreds or even thousands of sugar molecules.  This makes simple carbs quick and easy to digest.  Quicker digestion means you’ll get hungry faster, which means you’ll have to eat more frequently to feel full.  Complex carbs are harder to digest, so you’ll feel full longer and they’ll give you sustainable energy.

Why Complex Carbs

Complex carbohydrates are high in fiber and nutrients, which is an important reason to include them in your diet.  When you cut them from your diet, the lack of fiber can cause digestive problems, making it very difficult to go to the bathroom.  Not only that, excluding them from your diet also means you’re missing out on important vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that your body needs.  

If you eat a very low carb diet, your liver and kidneys will be under stress, and this results in YOU being under stress.  You’ll feel tired, bloated, constipated and hungry.  

Complex Carbs to Eat

  • Green leafy veggies
  • Cruciferous veggies
  • Potatoes (sweet and white—eat the skins, too!)
  • Low glycemic fruits, like berries

Even though a ketogenic diet isn’t good for your body long term, cycling your carbs is an effective way to get the benefits of a low-carb diet without eliminating carbs.

Why Carb Cycling

Carb cycling is an intentional variation of carb intake throughout the week.  I recommend 2 low carb days every week, paired with high intensity cardio.  This helps you burn through any leftover glycogen (sugars) in the muscles so your body can burn fat.  This is exceptionally effective for fat loss, which also makes it exceptionally effective for weight loss.

This is one of the components I teach my clients in the FASTer Way To Fat Loss, and they’ve seen incredible results!  The best part is, I teach you how to incorporate it into your lifestyle so you can still enjoy desserts and even alcohol.

How To Carb Cycle

If you’d like to learn more about carb cycling and how to pair it with intermittent fasting, tracking your macronutrients, and performing highly effective exercise, then check out the FASTer Way To Fat Loss.  It’s truly the most effective program on the market!  You’ll spend 6 weeks with me online learning and implementing these strategies and you’ll see the best, most sustainable results you’ve ever had.  

Losing body fat isn’t difficult as long as you know the correct strategies to implement and follow the science behind them.  Carbs are an important part of your diet and critical to living your healthiest life.

My next round of FASTer Way To Fat Loss starts prep week on Monday, March 26. I would love to see you there!

My Top 3 Functional Exercises (that will help you look and feel great)

What is a functional exercise, anyway?

I consider a functional exercise to be one that works with a movement pattern that we use all the time, helps correct imbalances in that movement pattern, and builds strength. Other people may define that differently, but this is my definition. If it doesn't work with a common movement pattern, doesn't help correct imbalances, and doesn't build strength, it ain't functional.

And what is a common movement pattern?

A common movement pattern is one that we do as part of our basic daily lives. The big ones for me are:

  1. Sitting down and standing up. - We use this one often - getting out of bed, up from a seat, down and up from the toilet.
  2. Kneeling down and standing up, climbing up and down. - Also used often - kneeling down and standing up, climbing up and down stairs or ladders, getting in and out of SUVs.
  3. Pushing things away, or using upper body to help with 1 and 2. - Your upper body can help stop you from falling by pushing you away from the ground, help push things away from you, and help lift things.

My top 3 functional exercises

1. Squats

Squats are the workhorses of the workout world, They help us stand up from sitting, deep sustained squats help build collagen in the hip joints, they help tone our butts, calves, and thighs, and they work core stability. 

If your knees bother you, I recommend doing squats as sitting and standing, literally, with a chair behind you. Sit down and stand up, and repeat it several times. 

There are many versions of squats - front squats, plie squats, jump squats, pistol squats, Bulgarian split squats (which is also, arguably, a lunge)....

In Pilates we have footwork, standing footwork, the standing 2x4 work, sitting down and standing up from the mat, the russian squats (with pistol squat variation) on the reformer and with arm springs, the centering exercise on the ped-o-pul, seated leg pumping on the chairs, and the wall sit.

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2. Lunges

Kneeling down and standing up, climbing up and down stairs, climbing up and down ladders, and even getting in and out of an SUV involve lunging. I would start with walking lunges, then back lunges, side lunges, and then more complex moves like the curtsy lunge. A step up and down is another version of lunging. And lunges strengthen your core and tone your thighs, calves, and butts. 

In Pilates we have many lunges! Standing arm weight lunge series and arm spring lunge series, the splits on the reformer (especially Russian splits), going up front and side plus mountain climber on the chairs.

3. Push Ups

Since push ups involve plank (front support) with a controlled pushing and scapular stability and mobility, they are perfect for building core and upper body strength in a way needed to help us break a fall or push away from someone or something. Combined with the first two, we have the ability to push ourselves up from the ground to one knee and actually stand up. 

Push ups are also very amenable to modifications and variations. You can make them easier by separating your feet, bending knees, elevating your upper body, or shortening your range of motion. You can also easily make push ups harder by bringing feet together, straightening legs, elevating feet, or increasing range of motion. You can also alter hand/elbow positions to target triceps or chest more.

In Pilates we have Push ups on everything. Mat push ups, reformer push ups, and chair push ups, just to name a few.

I did a Facebook Live video about this topic yesterday. You can watch that here.

FASTer Way To Fat Loss features functional exercises 

If you are looking for a fat loss program that works through whole foods, functional exercise, and cutting edge nutrition and workout strategies, FASTer Way To Fat Loss is for you. This is, hands down, the best program on the market for a healthier you.

And if you are reading this on 2/25, it is the final call for my group that starts Week 1 tomorrow - Register Now. 

If you are reading this after 2/25, registration is open for the group starting 3/19.

Register for FASTer Way To Fat Loss here.

In and Up Diastasis Repair also features functional exercises

Moms need to sit and stand, kneel and stand, and climb around with their little ones. They also need to stabilize their spines and torsos to lift heavy children and play around.

For Moms with Diastasis Recti, all of these movements can be hard. My In and Up Diastasis Repair Program features functional exercises presented in a gradual way that will help heal your diastasis without surgery.

Register now for the In and Up group that starts tomorrow, 2/26!

Why You Aren't Losing Fat (the answer will surprise you)

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1. Your body will hold onto fat if it thinks you are starving

Fat storage is a main way that our body holds onto energy for later. While most of us know that our bodies store excess calories as fat, you may not realize that if you eat too little, your body will hold onto that stored fat as long as it can, in case you start to starve.

To get your body to let go of that stored fat, you must give it all the calories and nourishment it needs. You can use a free app (I like My Fitness Pal) to plug in your height, weight, and activity level to see how many calories you need to eat to maintain your weight, as well as lose weight.

2. Your body will keep fat if you are eating all the time

As many of you may know, I am huge proponent of Intermittent Fasting (IF) as part of an all-over weight and fat loss strategy. I used to eat all the time. Small snacks starting with an early breakfast to "start my metabolism" and eating every 3-4 hours from there. And no matter how how much I exercised, or how low my calories, I didn't lose fat.

Why? Because I was never in digestive rest, where our bodies really do use the nutrients we are eating, as well as repair and restore for the next day. I now practice a 16/8 IF schedule, where I eat 8 hours out of the day. This takes some planning, as I need to fit in all my calories and nutrients within that 8 hour window. But it saves me having to deal with snacks and packing food all day!

3. If you are always hungry, you are not eating enough!

A few of my friends shared with me that they "tried Intermittent Fasting" but stopped because they were so hungry. This is most often due to not eating enough in your eating window, and to not getting the right balance of nutrients.

For example, I need to eat 1950 calories per day to maintain my weight. So when I break my fast, I start with a protein shake (especially if I am running around). Then a large salad with chicken, avocado, nuts, some fruit, and an oil & vinegar-based dressing. For supper I will have another large meal, say some steak, rice or potatoes, and lots of vegetables. Then for dessert I will often have berries with greek yogurt or cultured cottage cheese and a few dark chocolate chips.

When I eat less, or don't get all my nutrients in (enough protein, carbs, and fat), I wake up hungry. For more information about Intermittent Fasting and being hungry, watch this video on my Facebook page.

And, if you are ready to get healthy and start losing fat now, my next FASTer Way To Fat Loss group starts prep week on Monday 2/19. Registration is open now! Click here to register.

Last Call for May 22 FASTer Way To Fat Loss

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Hello There!

I have been posting a lot lately about my FASTer Way To Fat Loss 6 week online program, and now there are just 9 spots left in the next round that starts prep week Monday, 2/19/18.

Why am I so excited about the FWTFL? Because this cutting edge approach to nutrition and exercise is easy to learn, sustainable, and wonderfully effective!

Most of my clients are either under-fed and over-exercised or over-fed and under-exercised. The FASTer Way will help you find balance. You will be well fed and properly exercised, and will discover more energy and better sleep.

This program helped me lose 40# and 16", balance my insulin and cortisol, and improve my cholesterol ratio and blood pressure. And I still eat cookies!

Join us!

The next round of  FASTer Way to Fat Loss™ begins on Monday, 2/19/18 - Register Now!

FASTer Way To Fat Loss™ Testimonials

I have news! I recently passed a new certification, and am now a FASTer Way To Fat Loss™ Coach!

What is FASTer Way To Fat Loss™?

FASTer Way is an online, 6 week, cutting edge program that combines intermittent fasting, carb cycling, and effective workouts into an extraordinarily effective fat loss program.

Intermittent fasting is known to be the easiest plan to stick with, showing the greatest adherence over time. That's because when you give your body a chance to fully digest food, and eat in a defined time window, you are not as hungry and are better able to burn fat for energy. It's a win-win!

Carb cycling is the intentional manipulation of carbs, since a low carb diet is not sustainable long-term. In the FWTFL, we balance out low carb days with higher carb days, depending on what workouts we are doing and how much energy we will need. This also makes the plan easy to stay with.

FASTer Way To Fat Loss™ Testimonials

Let's start with my testimonial! After spending years fighting to keep my calories and carbs low, while grazing all day, and doing HIIT constantly, and still not losing weight, I was tired. My thyroid function dropped, my cholesterol and blood pressure went up, and my cortisol levels went through the roof.

Then I decided to try FWTFL. Whole foods and plenty of them, sane amounts of exercise, and an easy to follow eating window (I eat from 2-10pm) that allows me a late dinner without feeling gross. Now I am down 40#, my numbers are better, and my energy level is up! Plus, I am not hungry!

Here are some more testimonials:

“This program has been single handily the best thing I’ve ever done for my health and fitness. The support and encouragement from the group is amazing and really keeps you engaged! In just seven days I can wear what I call my skinny girl pants and I can’t wait to see what 6 weeks will do!” – Lauren

“When I first signed up for this bootcamp my main goal was to be able to see my ab muscles by the end of the bootcamp. Little did I know that I would get SO much more out of it! I now have the knowledge on how to fuel my body on a daily basis. This is knowledge that I will be able to use long-term. No crash diet or 21 day fixes here! My skin has completely cleared up. Like completely. I have spent A LOT of money on facial cleaners and moisturizers over the past year so I never expected my skin to clear up the way it has…especially since it has only been a week and a half!

And ya know all those clothes that you squeeze into because you refuse to go up a size? Yeah, those fit me now! So thankful I refused to go up a size 😉My waist is significantly smaller and I can tell by the way my clothes fit and by the way I look. I love that I’m only a week and a half into this and already having such fantastic results!” –Hannah

Register Now for the next round of FASTer Way To Fat Loss!

Food, Glorious Protein-Packed Food!

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Food, Glorious Protein-Packed Food!

Food is one the best things I get the privilege of reviewing. Seriously, nothing makes me happier than waking up to an email from a local food purveyor's PR company.

"Lynda, we would love for you to try X. X is made and sourced locally, has won awards, and is a growing brand. We would love to send you some samples for review."

Now, I don't always say Yes.

I say no, in general, to most juices, protein powders, workout supplements disguised as food, and bars. They tend to be rehashes of one another.

I say Yes to locally crafted foods, and to random things that interest me.

This week, I bring you three Yesses - charcuterie from NYC's Les Trois Petits Cochons, Greek-style yogurt from Southampton's Nounos Creamery, and protein snack chips from Ips Snacks.

Les Trois Petits Cochons

Hubby used to be a classically trained chef, and in our house we eat a lot of charcuterie. Smoked duck breast on salad, a nice paté on good bread (I save my gluten for these moments), a good sausage with mustard and cornichons. Yum!

Les Trois Petits Cochons sent us four items in a cold box - Paté forestier, Saucisson sec aux herbes de provence, Smoked duck breast, and Terrine des Trois Rois.

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The folks at The Three Little Pigs make some of the best charcuterie we have ever had.

We had the paté, sausage, and terrine on a tray with sliced bread, course mustard, and cornichons. They were all perfectly rendered, with great textures and flavors. So good! And the smoked duck breast? It was simply wonderful.

Seriously, their smoked duck breast is perfect - not overpoweringly salty and not dry. And the breast even included the tender! We had it on a salad of romaine, good tomatoes, mini cucumbers, and hearts of palm with a light ginger soy dressing. Fab!

Nounos Creamery

On Friday, Nounos Creamery dropped off a mixed case of their decadent and wonderful Greek-style yogurt. I received 12 jars of the best Nounos flavors - Apple Pie á la Mode, Fig and Orange, Strawberries and Cream, Vanilla Bean....

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Nounos yogurt is just so good. Thick and creamy, intensely flavored without a lot of sugar, and satisfying. It is my favorite yogurt!

Ips Chips

I don't know about you, but I sometimes crave salty, crispy chips. Potato chips are yummy but deep fried, and the baked versions are not as satisfying. I also love pretzels, and while Snyders does a decent gluten-free pretzel, they are just pure carbs and salt.

Ips Chips are different. These are a corn-based chip with added whey protein. I received Sea Salt & Black Pepper Chips, Barbecue Chips, and Cheddar Cheese Chips.

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The flavor and texture are great, even with significant protein! Even hubby, who loves junky snack food, loved these.

The only thing I noticed after eating them for a few days was that I started to notice the chalky texture of the protein. In normal life, I probably wouldn't try all the flavors so quickly, so I doubt that would be a regular issue.

Enjoy!