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Choosing the Best Type of Training

Choosing the Best Type of Training

“This type of training will help you develop the physique of a Greek God!”

As soon as you go online or open a magazine, you’ll probably see an article titled, “6 Moves You MUST Do For Six Pack Abs!” You’ll see this for  training chest, arms, and your booty too. But if there really were 6 magical moves that will completely transform your body, it wouldn’t be news would it? Wouldn’t we all know about them already?

The truth is, a lot of different types of training can get different people the same results. Crossfitters and bodybuilders can both have phenomenal physiques.. However, the training couldn’t be any more different. How can that be?

Well, arguably the most important aspect of any training regimen is progression. For Crossfit, that might mean more reps, or a common workout completed in a shorter amount of time. Their bodies progress by being able to do more, more efficiently.

For a bodybuilder, that progression comes from an increase in volume, via added sets, reps, or weight. Adding an extra set, or increasing the weight, increases the volume. So does being able to do more reps with the same amount of sets and weight.

Choosing the Right Fit

So we’ve established that you don’t need to do one certain type of workout to achieve your goals. Moving forward, how do we choose what method will work best for us? That’s easy! The type of programming that will work best for you is the type of training that you will adhere to on a consistent basis. It’s the type of workout that fits into your schedule and the kind that you won’t skip on a regular basis. Therefore, it should be FUN and something you look forward to!

Popular Training Methods

Bodybuilding

ZEE PUMP! As made famous by the great Arnold Schwarzenegger, bodybuilding is the art of building your body. It’s less about performance and lifting the heaviest weights and more about focusing on growing each individual body part. These plans are developed to increase volume and maximize the pump to create an optimum level of hypertrophy (muscle growth). The workout is typically split into one or two body parts per day. You typically perform this type of training 5 days per week.

Powerlifting

Powerlifting is for those of us who enjoy lifting crazy amounts of weight. It is centered around the big three lifts: Squat, Bench Press, Deadlift. These movements are performed twice each per week in most programs. The rest of the programming is built around specific accessory movements that will directly help you with one of the lifts. You typically perform this type of training 4-5 days per week.

Crossfit

You may have seen the Crossfit Games on television. It’s like the gym version of an obstacle course. You race through a certain number of reps for certain movements. This is probably the most diverse form of training, with variations in exercises from olympic lifts all the way to body weight movements and running. These are shorter workouts performed at an extremely high intensity. You typically perform this type of training 6 days per week.

Making Your Decision

These are just a few of the many different types of programs you can choose from. The most important concept is to make sure you are active and healthy. You can do that in a variety of ways. So the next time you see an article that starts with “YOU MUST”, just laugh and keep scrolling by. Find something you love, break a sweat, and do it on a regular basis!

 

As always, if you need help, we provide online health coaching! This consists of custom training and personalized macronutrient programming! When you sign up for a membership, you aren’t just paying for coaches, you’re becoming a member of our team! Join the Evolution!

 

Josh Scutnik

SD Evolution

The Nation’s Elite Training Team

Live Happy. Live Healthy. Evolve.

The Top 5 Reasons You Aren’t Achieving Your Goals

The Top 5 Reasons You Aren’t Achieving Your Goals

How many goals have you accomplished this year? We are seven months into 2017.. Have you checked any boxes off  of your New Year’s Resolutions? Goals are easy to set, but very rarely do we see them all the way through. The problem is that we get excited and we set certain goals, but once that excitement wears off and we’re left with just the working stages to get to those goals, it doesn’t seem as fun as when we thought them up.

So what do we do? Stop setting goals? That’s kind of depressing. Here are the top 5 reasons that you aren’t achieving your goals, and what you can do to avoid these mistakes!

5. A Lack of Interest

It seemed like a great idea when you thought of it. It sounded fun and you were excited to take on the new challenge. But after the sparkle wears off that fun new thought, you don’t really feel like doing it anymore. When you set goals, it is crucial to make sure they are actually important to you. That’s why setting goals with friends can be dangerous. You all want to do something together, but it just doesn’t seem that special to one or more of you. People start bailing and the whole thing falls apart.

Certain goals can be set together as a team. But individual goals should really be decided on your own, with no outside influences. Only you know what you want. So decide what’s most important to you and start from there.

4. You’re Scared

You set a goal. It’s big.. Really BIG! You’re pumped, you’re motivated, and nothing is going to stop you! Then you wake up in the morning and it almost feels like a hangover. What the hell was I thinking? I can’t do that! It’s impossible!

That’s the though process when you set a goal and immediately become discouraged by it. You think it’s unrealistic and a waste of time even attempting it. The bottom line is that unrealistic goals are often much more achievable than you think. The safe plans are usually the ones that never happen because there is so much competition for those spots. The unrealistic goals are often the ones you chase on your own because no one else thinks they can do them!

Think of it in terms of a job interview. Entry-level positions are going to have 100 applicants for 5 spots. But the upper-level management only has 9 applicants for 3 positions. So the safe bet has you at 20-1 odds for entry-level, while the risky one has odds set at 3-1.

Nothing is impossible, and the only limiting factor is you!

3. It Isn’t a Priority

This tends to be a problem in many facets of life. We run through what can be compared to a juggling act of life, and certain things get put on the back-burner. And as we grow up and start families, we have other people to worry about too. But there comes a time when we need to spend a little worry on ourselves.

Prioritization is a majorly overlooked resource. In order to prioritize, we need to take a look at the bigger picture. You start with the necessities, the things critical to staying alive and well. Those get done first. From there we have to place a high standard on our goals. This is where we need to get just a little bit selfish. If something was important enough for us to set as a goal, we need to maintain that emphasis of importance until we complete it.

2. Lack of Support

This is a big one. We rely on support throughout our lives. With it, we often find success. Without it, we often don’t. Support doesn’t have to just be emotional. The best kind of support is where you have people battling in the trenches with you. In the gym, that can be a training partner, or a group of people in a boot camp class.

The key here is to surround yourself with others who share your passion. They say you are the average of the five people you hang out with the most. So surround yourself with people who have already been successful with what you’re trying to accomplish!

1. You Don’t Have a Plan

The number one reason you haven’t achieved your goals is that you don’t have a plan! You can’t say you want to do something and have no steps to follow to do it. If your goal is to make ten million dollars, you can’t sit around and wait for it. You have to go out and do things to make that money!

The goal is accomplished by setting smaller goals along the way. Each mini goal you accomplish gets you closer to that big goal.

Your list of goals also shouldn’t be five pages long. Stick to one goal until you accomplish it, then you can move on to the next one.

You also want to stay regimented. It’s easy to follow a regular routine. It’s much harder to fit something in once in a while. Manage your time. Plan ahead for when you’re going to do it. Then get it done!

 

As always, if you need help, we provide online health coaching! This consists of custom training and personalized macronutrient programming! When you sign up for a membership you aren’t just paying for coaches, you’re becoming a member of our team! Join the Evolution!

 

Josh Scutnik

SD Evolution

The Nation’s Elite Training Team

Live Happy. Live Healthy. Evolve.

Filtering Through the Miracle Diets: Which Works Best?

Filtering Through the Miracle Diets: Which Works Best?

The Atkins Diet, the South Beach Diet, The Mediterranean Diet, Keto, Paleo… You can probably Google 25 more that will express how THIS diet will change your life. Which diet truly creates the best transformations? Let’s go through a few of the most popular and identify the winner.

The Keto Diet

The low-carb diet. The principle behind the Ketone Diet is getting your body into a state of Ketosis. This is where your body transfers from using carbohydrates as fuel to becoming extremely efficient in using fat for fuel. So how do you get there? The general rule of thumb is keeping your carbohydrates between 30-50 grams.

Basically, when planning your diet, you consume a gram of protein per pound of bodyweight, and the remainder of your calories are going to come from fat. You don’t plan out your carbohydrates (you’re trying to eat as few as possible) but you the little bit you take in is coming from your protein or fat source that may have a few grams of carbs in them.

The Paleo Diet

This is sometimes called the new, old diet. It’s a bit of a caveman reference. The idea is that you only consume foods that you could hunt or gather.. These foods include fruits, veggies, meat, seeds, and nuts. The bigger list is of things it doesn’t include. You can’t eat any refined sugars, or anything that has been processed. If we couldn’t eat it 500 years ago, you can’t eat it today. That’s the concept.

The Atkins Diet

This one took the country by storm. I feel like half the books in the nutrition section of Barnes and Noble are all about the Atkins Diet. Created by Dr. Robert Atkins, a cardiologist, it is extremely similar to the Keto Diet in that the number of carbohydrates you consume are drastically reduced. The biggest difference is that the Atkins Diet calculates “net carbs”, or total carbs minus fiber. His idea on that is the foods high in fiber have less of an impact on blood glucose and can be considered “good carbs”.

Do Any of These Offer A Real Advantage?

The short answer? No. Weight loss and weight gain is extremely simple.. Calories in vs Calories out. The math is extremely straight forward. If you consume fewer calories than you expend, then you will lose weight. If your diet is 5 bags of M&Ms and a Snickers Bar per day, but you’re a competitive distance runner, you’re likely to lose weight. You’re also likely to be extremely malnourished and unhealthy, but you’ll lose weight.

“But (insert diet here) worked for me. I lost 40 pounds on it.”

The only advantage a diet offers is if it is easier for you to follow. Can you live on 30g of carbs per day for the rest of your life? Can you avoid bagels or cereal forever? I can’t speak for you. Maybe you can. But I can’t. And I don’t think most of the rest of us can either. But if you can, then yes, one of these diets does carry and advantage… For YOU.

Understanding Your Lifestyle

The only way you can be successful in a transformation is understanding your own lifestyle. Consistency is key to success. If you can’t maintain something, that success will not last. And if it isn’t maintainable, why are you doing it? How fulfilling is it to hold a trophy for a month and then have it taken back? You need to choose a healthy lifestyle that you can sustain. For most people, that just means eating a healthy balance.

I love the 80/20 rule. It’s a pretty good starting point. If you make healthy choices 80% of the time, the 20% of fun foods isn’t going to crush your goals. It’s actually going to help you maintain them because your aren’t restricting yourself. And when you don’t restrict yourself, you tend to have fewer cravings. The bottom line is that if you are eating foods with all the nutrients you need to stay healthy, you can have that bowl of ice cream if it stays within your caloric allowance. If your goal is weight loss and you have 2000 calories for the day and you’ve eaten all your fruits and veggies already but still have 400 calories left over, a few Oreos won’t keep you from losing weight. You’re still in a deficit so you’re still losing weight.

Conclusion

Unfortunately, there is no miracle diet. The only miracle is finding something that you enjoy and are able to sustain. There is no magical food, no magical process, and no overnight transformation. Caloric balance is the determining factor in whether you gain, lose, or maintain your weight. If you can plan out your goals and be consistent, you will have success. We can help with that 🙂

 

Josh Scutnik

SD Evolution

The Nation’s Elite Training Team

Live Happy. Live Healthy. Evolve.

Do You Really Know Why You Workout? Probably Not…

Do You Really Know Why You Workout? Probably Not…

I workout because

I wanted to do a different type of blog today. I still wanted it to be fitness oriented but from a different perspective. I didn’t want to do this one on a new trend or on tips to grow your arms or shrink your waste. I wanted to go deep. So I started with myself. What would I want to know? What haven’t I really heard or learned about in a while? What topic would really benefit our clients the most? Then it hit me…

Why the hell are we doing what we’re doing?? This may seem like a pretty dumb question. But here are the top answers to the question, why do you workout?

  1. I want to be healthier.
  2. I want more energy throughout the day.
  3. I want to look good naked!

Do these sound familiar? Another common one would be, because my doctor said I should. But for the purpose of this article, I want to focus on personal reasons, not outside sources.

So let’s dive in… You want to be healthier- Ok, why? Are you sick? Overweight? Do you have a genetic predisposition to something happening down the road? You want more energy throughout the day- Go to bed earlier. I can probably guarantee you don’t get 8 hours of sleep every night. If you think I’m wrong, write everything down for 7 days in a row. What do you end up at? 42 hours maybe? You want to look good naked- Well I have no response to that one. Ask your mirror, or your significant other (go easy on them if you don’t like the answer).

Where did those answers get us? Not very far right… Those answers were all pretty shallow, as were the top three responses to the original question, why do you workout? To truly dedicate yourself to a program, you have to truly know what you are working out for. How do we do that? I’m going to show you! It’s called “Root-Cause Analysis”. This is actually one of the cooler things I learned about when I entered the fitness industry. Unless you’ve done this before, or are a fitness competitor of some sort, you honestly probably don’t know why you’re working out. You might think you do, but it’s much broader than the actual reason. It isn’t hard to get lost. I sometimes find myself spinning in circles trying to hit 15 different goals at the same time. So this was fun for me to go through and refocus! The concept of root-cause analysis is very simple: keep asking “why” until you get to the real reason (root cause). This isn’t even limited to fitness, you can apply it to anything you are struggling to understand about yourself in your life.. Your psychiatrist was on to something…

So here we go! It might sound a little weird having a conversation with myself, but bare with me. You’ll get the jist of it.

 

Josh: Why do you workout?

Josh: So I can get stronger.

Josh: Why?

Josh: So I can use that strength to add more size.

Why do you want more size?

So I can look more filled out on my large frame. I’m 6’2 so I need more mass to show muscularity.

Why do you want more muscularity?

Because I feel like I’m smaller than most fitness athletes my height.

Why do you care if you’re smaller than most fitness athletes your height?

Because I want to be the best at what I do, and my body is my trademark. If other athletes have a better physique than I do, they will seem more credible than I am. A picture is worth a thousand words and, in the fitness industry especially, a lot of times a picture is your best marketing tool. I want people to see me as an inspiration. I want to be viewed as a goal for someone else to strive for. I don’t want to bust my ass day in and day out to be viewed as an average joe who goes to the gym after work just because it’s something to do before bed. I want to be the best and I want to look the best. I want the physique of a greek god. Large, lean, and proportionate. That’s what I want.

 

And that, my friends, is Root-Cause Analysis. We’re all going to come up with different answers, and that’s the point. Your answer might be, “I workout so I can keep up with my kids.” I’ll be honest, I didn’t know how this was going to turn out as I wrote it. I literally asked myself these questions as I typed this article. Notice how my answers get a little longer after each “why”. It forces you to think. More thinking creates more elaboration. More elaboration requires you to dig deeper and ultimately reveals WHAT YOU WANT. This shit is therapeutic. Excuse my language but that felt good. There’s nothing more frustrating that not knowing what you want. I’ve been in this rut for a little while. I couldn’t choose between training for strength or size or athleticism or a blend of everything-which would limit my growth in all of them as a compromise to get better at all of them at the same time. When we do this to ourselves, we ultimately find ourselves in a rut because we are spread too thin trying to do too much.

Throughout this little experiment I went a little bit deeper, off the record. It got me thinking about competing again. I’ve been competitive my whole life. I always had something to train for- basketball, baseball, football, track, even MMA for a little while. So I didn’t have to think about it. That’s why I trained. So because of my root-cause analysis, I discovered I might want to do a physique competition. How else am I supposed to judge if I have the best physique? So there we go. That’s why I train. That’s why I workout. Will I enter a competition? Maybe.. But I now have a focused view of what I want to train for, and when I’m ready, I’ll make that decision.

As we get older, most of us are no longer competing in any athletic leagues. Life takes over. We work. We get married. We have kids. But be a little selfish and do something for you.

Continuing on the therapeutic trend this has put me on, I went one more level and asked myself why this has become so important to me, a perfect physique. The answer to that one? I’m inspired each and every day by this amazing girl I get to call mine. My girlfriend, my best friend, my partner in crime. She inspires me because she inspires literally thousands of people every single day. The girl is 122 pounds and is breaking records for lifting more weight than the kids I used to play football with. Her physique is also phenomenal. And her heart is second to none. The passion she shows with our clients overshadows everything she has done on a personal level. She has changed so many lives (and bodies) and is a role model to an incredible female base. They look up to her as a role model and reach out to her on a daily basis for help and advice. She is my inspiration to get to an elite level. And I won’t stop grinding because she’ll be right there with me. I’m a lucky guy to be on this team.

So why do you train?

 

Until next time,

Josh

The difference one year can make

The difference one year can make

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    A year does not seem like a long time, in fact with how fast these weeks have been flying by, a year is not very long at all. One year ago to this month I started a huge lifestyle change. Last October I was newly single, finishing my last year at CCSU, and battling 3 jobs. I was an avid marathon runner, INSANITY instructor and definitely not eating enough. Last Halloween I was the skinniest I have ever been. I was running anywhere from 6-10 miles per day and for a span of a few weeks I was eating only 1,000 calories at the max. Between the stress of school, work and my break-up I turned to running as my escape and did not properly fuel my body despite the high amounts of stress I was putting on it.

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    I would call last Halloween my breaking point. I went out with my girlfriends, drank way too much and all I can remember is waking up the next morning feeling the WORST I had felt in a long time. It was that day that I decided to make a change in my life. It was time to stop feeling sorry for myself, and get my act together to be the strong, confident woman I knew was somewhere inside.

Training for my first NPC Bikini Competition was one of the best decisions I made. Now, I did not jump right into it. I took November and December to jump on the clean eating train. I experimented with fun recipes and really focused on myself. I didn’t go out much, if at all but that was exactly what I needed to refresh my body and get my mind right. I still kept up with my running (as I had The NYC Half-Marathon planned for March) but I began to really fuel my body with the right foods and WOW what a difference that made! It truly is amazing what can happen once you learn to let go of the things that no longer serve you, allow you to grow, or make you happy.

The day after Christmas (come on did you really expect me to skip out on being able to eat my Mom’s delicious cookies?!) I started prep for my competition. I hadn’t picked out what show I wanted to do, nor did I know very much at all about the whole process, but I made this my goal and I was sticking to it. I spent countless hours researching and talking to people about doing shows and as I got more excited about it I realized this is exactly what I needed.

Beginning to strength train again was an amazing feeling. Making up my own workouts and seeing how much stronger I was becoming each week built my confidence and made me feel whole again. I absolutely LOVE running, however I absolutely LOVE lifting heavy weights too- and despite what everyone told me (that doing both was impossible) I continued to run and lift weights. For the first time in a long time, I was happy. I was happy with my body, I was happy with my life, I was surrounded by my amazing family and friends who supported me through 12 weeks of eating clean, mood swings and food prep and most importantly I was happy being on my own. Those 12 weeks from January to April, I spent more time getting to know myself and what worked for my body than ever before. Looking back I am so thankful for that break-up and thankful for that time period where I felt so awful because it made me the strong, confident person I am today.

bikini

 

Today, I am grateful for my relationship with fitness and health because it has led me to find myself and most importantly find myself in a supportive, amazing relationship with my best friend and now business partner. Without that downfall, SD Evolution would not exist and I cannot wait to see what happens in another year from now. With that, I leave you to think about what you want to accomplish in one year. Is it weightloss? Is it a bikini competition? Is it incorporating a healthier lifestyle? Let me help you get started. Don’t wait another day to become the happiest, healthiest YOU that you can be.

 

Email me at FitnessTeam@sd-evolution.com for questions, comments or to learn how I can help you!

Why it’s ok to love your body while working towards your goals

Why it’s ok to love your body while working towards your goals

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Today it is so easy to want what you don’t have. Social media is full of other people’s best photos, top moments or “highlight reel” as I like to call it. Way too often are we comparing ourselves with others whether it be a model in a magazine or your favorite Instagram fitness account when we should be focusing on how amazing our own bodies are.

 

I know I sure have dreamed about having the body of some of the top female fitness competitors I follow via Instagram (Follow me—> @fitgirlmoves) and there was a point during my prep that I had one of them set as my background for motivation. Now nothing is wrong with a little motivation however I became obsessed with not having the awesome abs like she did. This person(who I didn’t even know!) was impacting my life in an unhealthy way, and when I realized this I began to laugh. I had been so focused on this other girl’s body that I was missing out on the transformation of my own. I was about 3 months into my competition prep and probably in the best shape of my life. Once I realized this, not only did I start to love my own body, but I was so proud of how far I had already come which pushed me even further to work hard towards my own goals.

The truth is you will never look exactly like that model, fitness competitor or actress and that should be a GREAT thing. Why would you want to look exactly like someone else anyway?  The media is so pressuring on us to look a certain way when we should be embracing ourselves every single day.

So what can you do to stay motivated and love your body?

  • Write down your goals. Whether they are fitness goals or not- write them down and keep that list visible. It forces you to be accountable.
  • Pick a favorite body part. This is a question I always ask my clients: “What is your favorite body part?” and I am usually given “I don’t have one” as an answer! THAT is just so silly to me! Our bodies are amazing in so many ways so if one doesn’t pop into your head immediately think about something you like to do (ex. running) most runners need your legs to perform- therefore your legs should be high up on that list of yours!
  • Take a selfie! Take photos during your fitness journey to keep track of weightloss or muscle gain. You will be amazed when you compare those photos months down the road.
  • Eat healthy. Focus on incorporating more whole foods into your diet: lean meats, veggies, fruit, nuts & seeds while limiting processed foods to feel your best.
  • Sweat daily. Even if its only 15 minutes or physical activity- 15 is better than 0. Go for a walk, jump on the treadmill or lift some weights. Earn your shower!
  • Each night look at yourself in the mirror and realize how lucky you are to have a functioning, powerful mind and body.

If you perform each of those steps daily, I promise that your focus will shift from feeling bad about your own body to absolutely loving it.

 

As always email me with personal questions, information about my meal and training plans or just to say hello!

Happy Monday all!

~Alessandra

 

Alessandra’s Top 5 Favorite Vegetables and WHY your body needs them

Alessandra’s Top 5 Favorite Vegetables and WHY your body needs them

Growing up I HATED vegetables (along with every other child in America). It wasn’t until my Senior year of college when I started to eat healthy and actually eat vegetables. The fact that I actually enjoyed them came as a shocker to my entire family and even was surprising to myself but I can thank my Dad aka “Chef Frank” for not only making them for me but flavoring them to be healthy and delicious.

Straight from the Center for Disease Control (www.cdc.gov) here is why you should be consuming your fruits and vegetables daily:

CDC Fruits and veggies

Today, I consume about 3 cups of veggies per day: I can’t get enough! Not only are they a key component to my clean eating lifestyle, but they regulate my digestive system and most important keep me full between meals. Now I know 3 cups of vegetables sounds like a lot but when you get creative with preparing them, 3 cups really isn’t a lot at all!

Now I know what your next question is….

“How many fruits/veggies per day is the right amount for me?”

Luckily technology is here to help us! While on the CDC website I also discovered a calculator that uses your age, gender, and physical activity level to determine the right amount of daily intake for your body. It is SO important to understand that no individual has the same body. Many clients come to me telling me about their “friend who is on the Paleo diet” or a low-carb diet and lost 35 pounds. My response? Good for them, but you probably won’t have the same results. You are an individual therefore, you need to treat your body as an individual. There is no cookie-cutter diet plan that will guarantee weight-loss for all (although that would be AWESOME and fix the current Obesity epidemic) so you need to figure out what works for you.

Vegetable Daily Intake Calculator

Now that you know how many servings you should be eating per day, let’s talk about our favorite types of veggies!

Top 5 veggies

Although these are what I consider my “Fab Five”, I do eat numerous other types of veggies regularly including Brussels Sprouts, Sweet Potatoes, and Kale!

You have all of the tools to incorporate vegetables into your daily routine….so what are you waiting for?? Get to cooking!

~Alessandra