Fat 2 Fit 56 Day Makeover Challenge

Happy woman on scale

How would you like to lose a ton of weight and transform your body in less than 2 months?

Start Your Own Personal Fat 2 Fit 56 Day Makeover Today!

Here are the Details

The Fat 2 Fit 56 Day Makeover is specifically designed to help you experience dramatic changes in your body. You’ll lose significant amounts of body fat. You’ll increase your lean muscle and reshape your body. You’ll boost your metabolism, and increase your energy. You’ll feel better than you have in years.

How does this work? It’s simple!

We combine a proven nutrition plan with cardiovascular, resistance training, and flexibility and guide you step-by-step to quick, impressive and permanent changes to your body!

In addition, we provide you with a ton of educational and lifestyle information. Plus, you get unlimited online support during the entire challenge on our Facebook page.

You have two options:

#1 – Sign up for our Live, In-Person, supervised program that takes place at The In2One Wellness Center, in Scottsdale AZ. The Live, In-Person program includes up to 24 supervised workout sessions, so you must live in the local area to participate.

#2 – Sign up for our Do-It-Yourself Online program and get started today! The Do-It-Yourself is just like the Live In-Person program except it is for anyone who doesn’t live in the Phoenix or Scottsdale area. You’ll workout on your own and without supervision.

Option #1 (Live)


Option #2 (Online)


The Fat 2 Fit 56 Day Makeover is designed with one purpose – to help you to lose the maximum amount of weight possible in less than 2 months.

Oh yeah, and you won’t be following any crazy, calorie restricted, starvation diet either!


Here’s what you’ll get
Fat 2 Fit 56 Day Makeover


The online program is only $147




Your Simple Path to Success


To get started, you just need to Click Here for the Live In-Person Program or Here for the Online Program

The only thing you’re going to lose is weight!



Live In-Person Program


Online Program



Note: We’ve utilized the STAX Nutrition program for almost 5 years with clients and boot campers. In fact, we’ve presented monthly nutrition seminars that follow the STAX principles. I’ve also been a fitness professional for over 17 years, so the exercise and lifestyle advice comes from an expert.

Terms and Conditions


Cardiovascular Training


Cardiovascular exercise will benefit you in numerous ways.


What is Cardiovascular Training?

The goal of Cardiovascular Training or Aerobic Exercise is to elevate your heart for a specific period of time. The extent to which you elevate your heart rate and the total time you keep your heart rate elevated depends entirely on your own personal goals.

There are a variety of activities that you can choose from to develop cardiovascular fitness. The most common are walking, jogging, running, swimming and cycling.

Why Does Aerobic Exercise Work?

When you exercise at an appropriate level, you place stresses on the body beyond what your body is accustomed to. The great thing about our bodies is that they are so adaptable. When you place stress on your body, it begins to adapt. It does this so that the next time you ask your body to perform that task, your body is prepared for it and can accomplish the task without being stressed. That is how improvements in fitness occur.

When you perform cardiovascular exercise, all sorts of really cool physiological things occur. It can get really technical, but it’s important for you to understand, so I’ll explain the essential functions in basic terminology.

First of all, there are two terms that you should understand. The first is “Cardiovascular”. “Cardio” refers to your heart and “Vascular” refers to your veins and arteries (your circulatory system). The second is “Cardio Respiratory”, which is the relationship between your heart (cardio) and your lungs (respiratory). So when you perform aerobic exercise you are improving your heart, lungs and circulatory system.

Circulatory System

Your veins and arteries carry blood. Arteries carry oxygen rich blood to the muscles (cells) that are working and need oxygen to be able to continue. Veins carry oxygen depleted blood from the muscles back to the heart then to the lungs to be re-oxygenated.

Regular aerobic exercise will result in an increase of red blood cells, which carry oxygen to the cells. It also results in an increase of capillaries (the tiny blood vessels that deliver the blood to the tissues and cells). Therefore allowing more nutrients to be delivered to working muscles.

Your Lungs

With exercise, your lungs will increase their capacity, and they will be able to hold more air. The more air that you can breathe in, the more oxygen that is available to your cells. Your lungs will also increase the ability to pull oxygen from the air and deliver it to the blood. This occurs because more alveoli (tiny sacks in your lungs that transfer the oxygen from the air and deliver it to the red blood cells) are exposed to the increased volume of air/oxygen in your lungs.

Your Heart

Your heart is a muscle, so it will become bigger and stronger. You will increase the amount of blood the heart can hold. And the heart will pump a higher percentage of its blood each time it beats. It will pump more blood with every beat. This will allow you to deliver more blood to the body via your arteries. Your heart is muscle tissue and it will also benefit from an increase in capillaries, more oxygen rich red blood cells, just as your skeletal muscles will. As a result, it will become more efficient.

End Result

More air in your lungs
More oxygen delivered to the red blood cells
More red blood cells
A more efficient heart pumping more blood
More capillaries delivering oxygen to the cells
More efficient cells utilizing the oxygen
A More Awesome YOU!

How Aerobic Exercise Will Help You

Moderate physical (aerobic) activities will yield tremendous physical benefits. Those benefits include decreased risk of heart disease and certain cancers and improvement in blood pressure and cholesterol levels. The increase in physical activity will result in increased energy (caloric) expenditure which will help to decrease your body fat percentage. Your metabolism will improve not only during exercise but also for a short period after activity. Improvements in aerobic capacity will help to make all of your activities of daily living easier, resulting in more energy throughout the day.

Here is a short list of more benefits of Cardiovascular/Aerobic Exercise

1. Instant feel-good. You will feel invigorated for hours after training
2. Train your heart. The heart is a muscle and cardio is its strength training
3. Increased endurance and stamina. Get through your day without a cat-nap.
4. Increased confidence right away!
5. Healthy lungs
6. Increases metabolism for up to 24 hours
7. Improves immune system. Being sick less equals more days to work out!
8. Reduces stress
9. Improves circulation. You will be less sore after weight training
10. Sleep better
11. Relief from depression and anxiety
12. Reduced risk of some cancers
13. Reduced risk of heart disease
14. Lower blood pressure
15. Lowers cholesterol
16. Live longer
17. It’s something great you can do for yourself to improve your health!

Basic Nutrition Principles


Proper Nutrition is essential to your health.

It should also be priority number one when it comes to reaching your goals. A large majority of the success you’ll experience in reaching your weight loss and fitness goals is the result of a solid nutrition plan. To reach and maintain your goals you’ll need to develop realistic eating habits that you can follow every day for the rest of your life. I know that sounds daunting, but it is the solution to getting off of the on again, off again, Yo-Yo dieting carousel that many of you’ve been on for your entire life. If you’ve ever experienced any frustration with your weight or you’ve lost weight in the past only to put it back on, then what I’m offering here at Fitness Know How Headquarters will change your life.

The Truth About The Diet Industry

Here is the primary reason why you have to avoid dieting, proof that it doesn’t work. I was online checking some stats on the diet industry. There are some conflicting numbers so I’ll keep it really general. In 2003-2004 Americans were spending in the mid 30 billion dollar range on diet programs per year. By 2008-2009 we increased that spending to over 55 billion dollars each year. With all that money being spent you’d think we’d be a very fit and lean country. Quite the opposite is true, during that same period of time obesity rates have continued to escalate. So we know that the diet industry doesn’t have the answers that you want. You want to lose weight and keep it off. They need you to stay fat so that you can come back and buy their products and services over and over again.

A diet is a temporary change in eating that results in temporary changes in your weight. You can lose weight on any diet, but if you go back to eating the way that you do now, you’ll go straight back to being; obese, overweight, fat, heavy just needing to lose that last 10 pounds, whatever you want to call it. And by doing so you are going to drive yourself crazy, over and over again for the rest of your life. And that just isn’t any fun. Achieving the weight loss goals that you want and maintaining that weight: now that is FUN!!!

Change The Way You Think, Right Now

I want you to completely let go of the idea of dieting. Seriously, let it go! Say to yourself right now, “I will never go on another diet for the rest of my life.” Now don’t you feel better? The pressure is off, you can do this you can succeed!

Ok here is the bottom line. You are going to eat food every single day for the rest of your life (that sounds pretty obvious and easy). If you are obese, overweight, fat, heavy, just need to lose that last 10 pounds, whatever; you just need to change the way you eat every single day for the rest of your life. Now that might sound scary to you, but you’re already eating every day. You just need to eat differently. Either way you are going to eat food every single day, choose now to eat food that will help you to feel strong, lean, confident and healthy.

What I’ll share with you will help you to change the way you approach food and eating and you’ll discover that reaching your goals and feeling great have never been so easy! It will simply be the way you live your life each and every day. And I have a lot to share with you, but for now I like to introduce “The Big Three Basic Principles” of the Fitness Know How Headquarters Nutrition Plan.

The Big Three Basic Principles
1. Eat Whole, Natural Foods
2. Eat Proper Portions
3. Eat Every 2.5  to 3 Hours

Eat Whole, Natural Foods

Eat food that is as close to the form you’d find it in nature as possible. Food that has been minimally processed is more nutrient dense. Nutrient dense foods supply and nourish the body with the vitamins, minerals, fiber, antioxidants etc. that it needs. The primary purpose of eating is to supply your body with the fuel that it needs. If food is in a box, bag, wrapper, or full of artificial ingredients and/or preservatives avoid including it in your nutrition program. Here are examples of some foods that are whole and natural:

Whole Grains
Nuts and Seeds
Lean Meat, Poultry and Fish

Eat Proper Portions

Now that you are eating natural and whole foods it is also important to eat the proper portions. Eating the proper portions helps to regulate blood sugar, insulin, cortisol and many other hormones. Eating proper portions also allows your body to utilize the nutrients and calories of each meal. If you eat too little you’ll often experience hunger before it’s time to eat your next meal. When this happens it is common to snack on junk food simply to quickly increase blood sugar levels. When portions sizes are too large some of the extra calories (energy) will be stored as body fat. Here are some general guideline for proper portions.

Protein – 4oz. (size of a deck of cards)
Carbohydrates — 1/2 Cup (size of your palm)
Vegetable – 2 cups (size of two fist)
Fats – 2oz. (size of your thumb)

Eat Every 2.5 to 3 Hours

Meal frequency, or what I call “Meal Cadence” should be between every 2 – 3 hours. When you are eating whole natural food and eating the proper portions, you will find that you are hungry every 2 – 3hours. When you eat this way you will boost your metabolism, which is essential for losing body fat. Two things happen to increase your metabolism. One your body uses energy to digest food. It’s called the thermic effect of food. So when you eat 5 – 7 times each day (which you should depending on how long your day is) your digestive system spends more time working.. And two, the body learns that nutrients will be coming in regular intervals so it adapts and starts to use that energy immediately instead of storing it as fat. All sorts so good things go on hormonally that will help you to lose body fat.

More to Come

I’ve just scratched the surface when it comes to providing you with information on the Nutrition Principles of Fitness Know How Headquarters.  Click here to read more super exciting articles on proper nutrition.

Fitness Seminars


My live, in-person seminars will give you all the tools you’ll need for ultimate success.

More information on my fitness seminars is coming soon…

Fitness Equipment Reviews

Equipment Reviews

Do you want to know what fitness and exercise equipment works best?

Fitness Equipment Reviews are coming soon…

Supplement Review


Supplements. Do you really need to take them? Find out

Supplement reviews are coming soon

Abdominal And Core Training

Abdominal and Core

Abdominal and Core Training have been around since the development of structured exercise programs. Ab exercises are nothing new they’ve been around forever. But the term Core Training has become very popular in the last ten years.

Abdominal and Core training is the foundation to your success. Here’s why…

To help explain the importance of Ab and Core Training it’s important to first understand what your Abs and Core are.


Abs are simple, they are your four Abdominal muscles

  1. Transverse abdominal
  2. Internal Obliques
  3. External Obliques
  4. Rectus Abdominis (six pack muscle)

The Core is open to a bit more interpretation.

The most common interpretation of the Core is to divide it into an inner and outer unit. The inner unit being the muscles that stabilize the spine and pelvis (this includes the transverse abdominis). It’s accurate to define this as a “unit” because this group of muscles has an single nerve input. Therefore the muscles that make up the inner unit all contract simultaneously to stabilize the spine and pelvis.

The outer unit is the Abdominal muscles that move the spine (listed above).

In General, this definition of the Core is the most widely used and accepted in the fitness industry. And I can almost agree with it. Except the “outer unit” really isn’t a unit the way the inner unit is. The “outer unit” has multiple nerve inputs and we can consciously decide how to move our spine. The different movements that we’re capable of, engage a different combination of muscles (so it’s not really a unit).

Other definitions of the core also include the muscles that stabilize and move both the shoulder complex and hips. The muscles that stabilize and move the spine, pelvis, hip and shoulders make up the majority of our muscles and a huge majority of movement we are capable of.

If you look at the general definition of Core; “The central, innermost, or most essential part of anything“. Then including the hips and shoulders makes absolutely no sense.
So here is my definition.


The Core is made up of the muscles that stabilize the spine and pelvis. This fits the definition of core, they are the innermost muscles. It is also essential to focus on developing Core strength when beginning a workout routine, as well as maintaining core function throughout your training program and life.

When functioning properly the muscles of the core contract a fraction of a second before your intended movement begins. This contraction is subconscious and serves one purpose. Your Core contracts to stabilize and support your spine and pelvis before movement to protect your spine from injury.

If your Core doesn’t contract prior to movement or if you don’t have adequate strength in your Core muscle, then you are increasing your risk of injury with every movement
When developing your Core and Abs program it’s important to begin with Core exercises. You should first develop adequate core strength then progress to adding abdominal strengthening exercises.

For examples of some Core and Abdominal exercises please visit my “Photo Gallery” page.



Flexibility is an important component of every fitness program.

Flexibility Programs can be performed everyday. With Resistance Training, you should always take a day off between training muscle groups. And with Cardiovascular Exercise,  you should plan on one or two days of rest each week.

Adding a Flexibility or Stretching element to your fitness program will improve your results in many ways. That’s because there are many benefits to improving your Flexibility, including;

  1. Relaxation of Stress and Tension
  2. Muscular Relaxation
  3. Self-Discipline
  4. Body Fitness, Posture, and Symmetry
  5. Relief of Low Back Pain
  6. Relief of Muscular Cramps
  7. Relief of Muscular Soreness
  8. Injury Prevention
  9. Enjoyment and Pleasure
  10. Union of the Body, Mind and Spirit

There are several common Stretching Techniques that you can utilize to improve and achieve optimal Flexibility.

The first (and most obvious) is Self Stretching.  This is the easiest way to get started, and that’s because you are always available to stretch yourself. Plus you are always with you. So you can Self Stretch any place, at home, the gym, hotel room, etc.  There are  three general sub-categories of Self Stretching.

  1. Static Stretching
  2. Ballistic Stretching
  3. Dynamic Stretching


Static Stretch – With a Static Stretch you will move into the stretch and once you feel the stretch, hold that position. Typically the stretch is held for a relatively long period of time (20-60 seconds). To get the most out of Static Stretching you should exhale into the stretch and relax as much a possible. You’ll also notice that after 20-40 seconds the sensation of the stretch will decrease. When that happens you should move into the stretch a little bit more and hold that “new” position for an additional 20-30 seconds.

There are several benefits of Self, Static Stretching. It is convenient. You can do it anytime, and anywhere. It feels good and is very relaxing. And it is very safe.

The downside of Self, Static Stretching is that the improvements that you will experience during the workout are often times transitory. Meaning that you’ll notice an improvement in your range of motion during the workout, but those gains are quickly lost. It’s common to be right back where you started at the beginning of your next stretching workout. While you can improve your flexibility over time, the process with Self, Static Stretching is very slow and will require a lot of patience.

Ballistic Stretching– Ballistic Stretching is also a Self Stretching technique. Its different from Static Stretching in that you will bounce in and out of the stretch at the end of your range of motion.

There is one benefit to Ballistic Stretching. If you are about to perform an activity that requires quick, explosive movements, then ballistic stretching can be used as part of the warm up to prepare you body for that activity.

But there are several downsides to ballistic stretching. There is a risk of bouncing too far into a stretch. This could result in a muscle strain. Which can lead to pain and soreness. Also repeatedly over stretching and straining muscles can lead to damage and scar tissue. Scar tissue, unlike muscle tissue is not elastic (it doesn’t stretch), therefore over the long term you could experience a reduction in range of motion/flexibility. Also there is a nervous system protective mechanism that will cause your muscle to contract if they are rapidly over stretched. This contraction’s purpose is to prevent a muscle pull. By performing ballistic stretches you can trigger this response. If you do, a contracted muscle is more tense than a relaxed muscle, thus you limit your ability to stretch it.

If you plan on integrating Ballistic Stretching into your program, make sure that you are fully warmed up and stretched out. Then perform the ballistic stretches prior to your event (game/practice). Also your ballistic stretches should replicate the activity that you’re going to be performing.

Dynamic Stretching– The final type of Self Stretch is a Dynamic Stretch. With Dynamic Stretching you will move into and out of stretches. But unlike Ballistic Stretching you won’t bounce at the end of the stretch. Instead you’ll move slower and through your entire range of motion into and out of the stretch. These movement are more complex than typical stretches. Think along the line of a flow Yoga class, Tai Chi, or a dancer warming up. These type of movements have been merging into athletics so you might be familiar with some of them.

There are a ton of benefits to Dynamic Stretching. First of all it takes strength to move into and out of the stretches. As you develop an increased range of motion you’ll simultaneously be developing strength in that new found range of motion. That is the key to maintaining flexibility and seeing rapid improvements. It is safe. You can easily replicate the movement patterns of your upcoming activity. You’re body temperature will stay elevated. Being properly warmed up is vital to an effective Flexibility workout.

The only downside to Dynamic Flexibility is that the movements can be complex. It’s easy for people to perform them incorrectly. So you’ll need to take some time and learn how to do the stretches the correct way.

The Second Type of Stretch is an Assisted Stretch

Assisted Stretches utilize a partner to help you achieve a greater stretch. No matter how much you know about Flexibility, a stretching partner will always be able to generate a deeper stretches than attempting to stretch on your own. The obstacle is that you are dependent upon some one else. That person may not always be available.

The three general sub-categories of Assisted Stretching are;

  1. Passive
  2. Active Assist
  3. PNF

Passive Stretch– With a Partner Assisted, Passive Stretch the stretchee should relax as much as possible. The stretch partner will move the stretchee into all of the stretches. Once a full stretch is achieved the Partner will hold that position for a specific period of time. This time is similar to the Self Static Stretching (20-60 seconds).

The benefits of Passive Stretching is that it is very safe. You can experience a deeper stretch than you’re able to on your own. It can be done anywhere.

The only downside is that you are dependant on someone else to assist you who may not always be available. And progress can be quite slow, like the Self Static stretch. It may feel like you’re starting at the same level at the beginning of each workout.

Active Assist– Active Assist is similar to Passive except the Stretchee is engaged in the process. For an Active Assist stretch, the stretchee will move into the stretch (using the opposing muscle group) as far a possible. At that point the assistant will push the stretchee into a deeper stretch. This type of stretch takes advantage of a physiological response in the body called Reciprocal Inhibition. Reciprocal Inhibition can be somewhat difficult to understand. But just know this. In order for your body to move, muscles must contract. To perform a specific movement you have to contract specific muscles, also the muscles that perform the opposite of your desired movement must relax. Those relaxed muscles are neurologically inhibited.

That inhibition results in a deeper stretch. The Active Assist stretch begins to utilized some of the principles of the final type of stretch PNF.

The benefits of the Partner Active Assist Stretch is that you’ll experience deeper stretching and improved results compared to Static and Passive Stretching.

The downside is that you’re still dependant upon a partner.

PNF– PNF stands for Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation. Proprioception is subconscious awareness of your body in time and space. Try this. Extend your right arm out to your side then close your eyes. Slowly bend your elbow and bring your finger in toward your nose. Stop just before you touch your nose. Now open your eyes. Your finger got pretty close to your nose with out touching it, didn’t it? That is because you have proprioceptors (sensory nerves) in every joint in your body, including your elbow. You had a sense of the angle of your elbow and the position of your finger even though you couldn’t see them. That’s proprioception.

So in PNF Stretching the assistant takes advantage of our knowledge of how the nervous system and proprioceptors work. There are several techniques available within the realm of PNF Stretching.  Including;

  1. Repeated Contractions
  2. Rhythmic Initiation
  3. Slow Reversal
  4. Slow Reversal-Hold
  5. Rhythmic Stabilization
  6. Contract-Relax
  7. Hold-Relax
  8. Slow Reversal-Hold-Relax
  9. Agonistic Reversal

The benefit of PNF is that it is very effective at increasing Flexibility within a workout session. It also results in rapid flexibility improvements over time. It has been studied extensively and it is very effective. In addition to improvements in Flexibility it also helps improve strength and joint stability. In my opinion Dynamic Self Stretch and Partner Assisted PNF are the way to go.

Now for the downside of PNF. If you’re interested in improving your flexibility, but you’ve decided to go to school and pursue a career in something other than fitness you are probably unsure about how to implement PNF into your workouts. That’s because it’s complicated. You have to have an extensive background in exercise science and specific training in the administration of PNF stretching techniques. That is a huge downside. You can’t just grab your spouse or a friend and head out to the gym and do PNF stretching.

If you’re serious about your Flexibility and you want to incorporate PNF into your routine, then you should seek out a professional in your area for help. It will be worth it. Otherwise stick to the other techniques I’ve addressed in this post. But do add a Flexibility component to your routine. You’ll feel great and your body will thank you.

For more information about Flexibility Click Here

My Golf Journey


Success in any endeavor is always a journey.

Along that journey there are always tiny setbacks and successes that should be celebrated and acknowledged…

Stay tuned, this might get interesting…

These “Golf” related posts serve three purposes.

1. They allow me to talk about a relatively new passion in my life.

2. They allow me  to connect with you on a fun and personal level.

3. They allow you to see that I can relate to the struggles that are often involved in reaching ones goals. And the importance of Perseverance!

Let start at the beginning….

I was born a poor black child (OK, that’s from The Jerk), not that far back…

My first memory of having a golf club in my hand, was definitely not my “first memory”. I think I was about ten years old, and I (or my mom), signed up for a six week summer golf clinic. I’m not even sure who put this clinic on, it might have been a city (Battle Creek, MI) recreation program. It was held at a city park (Piper Park), instead of a golf course. I don’t even remember how many days each week we practiced. But here is what is important.

Golf was easy! I hit the ball every single time. From the first swing, to the last, every single time. The ball when in the air, and for the most part right where I was aiming. The class ended, I went on to other things, and really never gave golf another thought. OK, I did think that golf on TV was boring (I’m more of a football and basketball fan).

The next time I held a golf club, I was 19. My brother helped get me into the movie industry right out of High School. My first movie (grip/electric) was Mystic Pizza. We worked six days/week, and on one of the Sundays that we had off, a group from the crew decided to golf. We shot a scene in the movie at a country club, and the staff set up some tee times for the crew.  I thought it’d be fun, so I was in. Especially since my memories of golf were that it was easy.

I will say this. I went from Piper Park (which doesn’t even have any golf holes), at the age of 10 to a country club in Connecticut (which has 18 holes, plus tee boxes, greens, roughs, water, trees, bunkers, etc) at the age of 19, without swinging a golf club a single time. Luckily, my naivete and and the supreme confidence that I developed at the age of 10 got me through.

It wasn’t easy! I hit some bad shots, and I hit some good shots. But I was able to work my way around the golf course. Which looking back on it was somewhat amazing.

After working on Mystic Pizza I moved to Los Angeles to continue working on movies. I remember playing one round of golf on an executive course with my brother. The experience was similar to my round of golf in Connecticut. I hit some good shots and some bad shots, but overall a little better just because the course was a lot easier.

After working in the movies for six years, I decided to go back to college to pursue a degree and a career in fitness. I wanted to follow my passion. Part of the curriculum included taking eight sports proficency courses. Now I know that sounds really easy, but we were graded on how well we performed the sport. We had to learn the rules of each sport, and teach and officiate. One of the electives was golf. I took it because I still thought that golf was easy.

But if you know anything about golf you know that the rules of golf are complex. At times it felt like I had enrolled in Law School, trying to understand the rules of golf (and for only 1 credit too). Like I said part of our grade was performance. We we graded on a scale of 1-10 on putting (from different distances, bunker play, and ball striking from 75 and 125 yards between two cones that were 20 yards apart.

We practiced twice a week and just like the summer program when I was ten years old, I got really good. I hit the ball well every time and for the most part very close to where I was aiming. Golf was easy again. I took this class my very last semester in colleges. I was 29 years old.

I spent the next decade focused on my career in fitness.

The Story Continues…to read all of my golf related posts Click Here 

Resistance Training

Resistance Training

Learn the facts about the benefits of Resistance Training

If you really want to look and feel your best, you will need to incorporate resistance training into your routine. Resistance training will help to increase muscle, improve posture, tone your body, increase your metabolism and allow you to focus on changing the shape of specific areas of your body.

Anytime you pick anything up and set it down or simply move, you are in essence, doing resistance training.  Whether you are moving your body against the force of gravity or moving an object, it requires muscle contractions to complete the task.

Resistance training  is a structured and planned workout routine designed to fatigue your muscles.

 Fatigued muscles adapt to the workouts by becoming stronger. So that the next time certain demands are placed on the muscles they are capable of completing the task without experiencing fatigue. In other words, you’ll be able to complete all of your daily activities with less effort.

The goal of weight training is to improve muscle endurance, muscle strength, muscle growth (hypertrophy), or some combination of those three.

Muscle endurance is your muscles’ ability to perform an activity or movement many times without experiencing fatigue or exhaustion. Think of hiking out of Grand Canyon with a 30lbs. back pack. Not only will you have to take thousands of steps uphill to move the weight of your body but you also have to carry additional resistance (the back pack). If your muscles don’t have adequate muscular endurance to complete the hike, you end up stuck in Grand Canyon (and that’s not good).

Muscle Strength is your muscles’ ability to move a maximum amount of weight a single time.  Rarely do we pick up or move the maximum amount of weight that we’re capable of. If fact when it happens, injuries usually occur. An example of this is when a parent picks up something really heavy (a car) to save their child. The good news is you’ll never have to do anything like that during a workout. That’s because there is a correlation between muscular endurance and muscular strength.

Here’s an example of how that works. Let’s say that you begin a new workout routine and at the beginning you perform an exercise 10 times with 100lbs., but the most you are able to lift for a single repetition is 175lbs. Six weeks later you are able to lift 150lbs 10 times, and 150lbs. was the heaviest weight that you worked out with during the six week period. Now when you re-test your single repetition maximum you can  lift 225lbs. So in this example you increased your strength by 50lbs. by increasing your muscle endurance. Even though you never actually attempted to lift anything over 150 pounds (during your training), your strength gains resulted from your improvements in muscle endurance.

NOTE: There is scientific research on how to gain muscular strength and/or endurance by working out with very specific weight relative to your maximum strength. I didn’t follow that information in my example. I simply chose random whole numbers to keep it simple for you to understand.
Muscle Growth or hypertrophy is an increase in the size of your muscle cells. When you begin a resistance training program you will experience an increase in the size of muscle cells. At first you won’t notice an actual change in the shape or size of your muscles (i.e. the way your body looks). Instead you’ll notice that your muscles are more firm or toned. I like to call this an increase in muscle density, meaning that your muscles are more firm even though they are taking up the same amount of space that they did prior to starting your new resistance training program.
Muscle growth is the primary objective of bodybuilders. When they are on stage being judged for their physiques neither they nor the judges care how much they can lift or how many times they can perform an exercise before failure. It’s all about how they look at that moment. But there is also a correlation between muscular strength, muscular endurance and hypertrophy. So bodybuilders do pay very close attention to weight and repetitions during their training.

Most people do not have the goal of being a competitive body builder. In fact, more often than not, people fear becoming too bulky. What people typically want is to shape their bodies or become toned, firm, and sculpted (ok some guys do want to get jacked). The good news is that muscle development is a slow process. You aren’t going to wake up huge one morning because you accidentally worked out too hard. In most cases people are too bulky because of excess body fat, not excess muscle.

It’s time for a reality check!

If you want to be toned, firm, sculpted, or to reshape your body, you have to first increase your muscle density. And then you have to increase the size of your muscles. Remember the section above on Muscular Growth? Muscular growth is initially an increase in density, then an increase in size of your muscles. So if you have any goals to improve your appearance, you are going to have to adapt some of the training principles that bodybuilders follow. In other words, don’t fear weight training.

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