New Year – New Start – New Goals –

Wow…2012 is already 16 days deep…UNREAL! I don’t know about you but I am super stoked for ALL that is in store for the next 12 months…As most of you know I am in a little bit of a competition with Chunk, Big House, and Big “S”…well, apparently somewhere between the holiday parties, the vodka tonics, cookies, carb loaded foods, Christmas, and New Years I failed to keep you all updated on our progress…if you call it that?!

Being that I am fairly disappointed in myself with my eating habits the past month. Yes, that is right I am CALLING MYSELF OUT and I am asking YOU to keep me accountable…ya Digg? As of New Year’s Day I was up 4 lbs from the start of the competition! Having said that I am ON my SHOW MODE DIET and weight will be falling off! Lucky for me I was able to get workouts in and stay fairly lean for gaining weight…body fat is probably still around 9.5%

Here is the GOAL AGAIN BUT BETTER              

I am def in the mood for a killer month as I just kicked off the opening of Chi-Town Boot Camps Woodstock two weeks ago and already have 15 members with a goal of 35 by February 15th!  If you are in that area and want a killer workout, nutrition, and cardio….check us out! We have found our home at 110 Irving Ave Unit B (Behind ACE Hardware) and hold boot camp Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday at 5am, 6am, 9am and 7pm (5:30pm Friday)! Saturday at 8am and 9am! We have some absolute Rock Stars already and excited to grow the family!

 

Now, the competition! I have to say I am impressed with the boys…they have kept to the plan and as much as the holidays derailed some progress they are back on their A game and ready to rock and roll. So, I am just going to go ahead and quote them from their past messages!

BIG HOUSE -

“Good to hear from you guys I was hoping no one quit. Week 5 was a really good week. Haven’t really compared photos from beginning but I am definitely getting stronger.  The  holiday temptations are over after we take our last trip back to Woodstock. Week 6 was a little tougher as I got an infection in my knee! The knee is on the mend but not quite 100% yet. Friday was not better as I  woke up with a wonderful case of stomach flu or food poisoning. That too is about gone today.  Weight is back down to 156 today but was up to 158 late last week. I am ready to crush these next weeks so be ready boys cuz The Big House is coming!”

Neck 14.75
Chest 36
Belly 30
Waist 30.5
Hips 37
Bi 11.5
Tri 10.75
Quad 19.75
Calf 15

BIG “S” – “Hey boys, Sorry I did not get an email out last week, I was slammed at work.  I was in the same boat as you guys ( looked a lot like Chunk’s pic). I got back in the swing and this week and I should be able to rock the last 6 weeks. I got pumped up last night because when we started this program I could only do 3 pull-ups ( yes I was able to do 15 in high school) and now I can knock out 8 with no floor help. Small victories!!!  I hope all is well. Been chugging along week by week and my weight this morning is 219. I got slowed down last week with a back problem, but should be back to normal this week. I don’t have measurements yet because I was home alone all weekend. All us married guys should know how rare that is. Anyhoo have a good week Great Game Packers and GO GIANTS!!!”

Neck-15 1/4″
Belly-39″
Bicep- 16.1/4″
Forearm-13″
Waist-37″
Penis-13″
Hips-42.1/2″
Thighs-24 “
Caves-17″

CHUNK -”Sorry fellas, been getting my sh*t handed to me at work.  Onlyable to get in about 3 days this a week, but should be able to get some quality time in the rest of this week and next! I have a couple questions for our Sensai-
1. Steam rooms after a workout – good, bad, indifferent? 2. Coffee – same? I attached my most recent picture for you to get a little extra motivation!”

Weight:  215

Neck 17.5
Chest 44
Bicepts 15.5
Belly 39.5
Hips 42.5
Thighs 23
Calves 16.5

MANIMAL HERE – Just wanted to touch on a few things before I post my progress as I flip the switch from relaxed eating to SHOW MODE – IN IT TO WIN IT MODE – BEAST MODE!

Chunk, I am a big fan of the dry sauna pre and post workout. I like the warming aspect of it before for a few minutes to get the blood flowing, sweat going, high body temp = high heart rate = more fat burn! It is a great way to loosen and stretch out the muscles you are about to break down. As far as after, it is a great relaxing way to end a great session. Helps release toxins from your blood and sweat out any excess water or sodium you might be holding. Some might even say it is a great to flush out that 1.75ml “Glass” of wine you guys always seem to have! I’m just sayin…lol! As for coffee…HELL YEAH! I am at Dunkin Donuts everyday getting my coffee to start my day! Just careful with the cream and sweetners…I prefer milk and sugar over all of them! Just not over kill…moderation. Too much of anything IS NOT good for you! Well…I can think of ONE thing we ALL agree on that there is always room for! I believe it fit into BIG “S” request for additional cardio sessions…lol! Ya dig?

Okay, now…BIG “S” you are in the area so you have an INVITE ON ME to take My Chi-Town Boot Camps Woodstock sessions! I better see you there Mon-Tues-Thur-Fri 5am, 6am, 9am, and 7pm! Saturdays at 8am and 9am. I plan on seeing BIG HOUSE there too when he is in town! Big Boyd started up just 13 days ago and as of today he is down 10lbs, my cousin lost 6lbs the first week, and my sister lost 3lbs and probably more this week…so why don’t you come and GET SOME!

Now that I have that out of the way I will drop a little bit of my progress on YOU!

Weight – 202 lbs
Neck – 16”
Chest – 45”
Bicep – 17.5”
Forearm – 13.25”
Waist – 32”
Belly – 33”
Hips – 39”
Thigh – 23.5”
Calves – 15”

Yes, I am about the same as last time I posted measurements! I will give the resason for it as this “YOU CAN NOT OUT TRAIN A BAD DIET!” Truth, I feel like I need to pick it up and do some work these next weeks ahead. Not only am I in a competition with these guys, but I will be doing the Gladiator Assault Challenge on 3/31 and then taking stage in the WBFF to go after my PRO CARD on April 14th! Only thing left to say is….I’m GONNA GET SOME!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CLEAR EYES – FULL HEARTS – CAN’T LOSE

SEXY BEAST OUT – For Real I am headed to Cali on Thursday so time to soak up the sun!

Losing your motivation? Have NO FEAR!

Hey Party People….oh wait, wrong BLOG!

I meant to say, What’s Up Fitness Fanatics? I hope this post finds you in good health. I just spent the morning driving to Arlington Heights to visit one of my boot camp locations and I must say I was witness to some killer workouts. Always a great way to start your Monday!

I headed back to Algonquin to our studio and was lucky enough to make in through all the traffic in time to put our 10am Targeted Total Body Training group through an old college football favorite of mine… “COUNTY FAIR” Nothing better than hot sun, hills, bur-pees, squat jumps, inch worms, push ups, overhead medicine ball squats and runs…yeah, it got real! Ladies and Gents that were in attendance you can thank Coach Mike Wagner for that… all of the Illinois Wesleyan University ballers have been through it too (I left monkey rolls out of the mix for you though)!

Well, if you read the title you are probably wondering when the main point of the post is coming…well…here it comes. I got an e-mail from a kid today who is a total Rockstar. He has been busting his butt and as of late finding out that it is NOT always easy…he sent me one line “Craig, what do you do when you can’t motivate yourself?”

About two minutes later I received an e-mail from Micah Lacerte. He is the current WBFF Muscle Model World Champion and was the guy who I hired to help me with my prep for my show last May. It was right on target to the question…so instead of giving my version I want to FIRST give MICAH PROPS and let it be known that the following words come DIRECTLY from his e-mail!

1. Develop a positive attitude: The first thing you need to achieve your goals is a positive attitude. Negativity towards what is necessary to achieve what you want in life will only set you up for failure. Stay focused on the positive, write down the positives that are in your life right now, and all the wonderful things that you will achieve, feel and see happen in your life when you make the right choices day in and day out. Your attitude towards anything in life is completely under your control, take charge of that power and you can see the upside of any situation.

2. Identify your obstacles: You may have been making excuses for years as to why you don’t possess the power and responsibility to make the choices necessary to achieve your goals. Be sure to own up to the excuses you have been making and identify them as obstacles that you can now overcome. Early on identify the obstacles that are going to pop up along the way, and come up with strategies that you will incorporate to get around them when they happen.

3. Find an exercise mode that you enjoy: There are plentiful ways that you can train in order to achieve your fitness goals. It’s important for you to try new things and find methods that you enjoy. Waking up every day dreading what you have to do is going to push you towards skipping your training. Whether it’s strength training in the gym, playing your favorite sport or heading out for a hike or bike ride, figure out what is going to energize you and that you will adhere to.

4. Exercise with a friend: This is a great way to stay accountable. Especially early on in your training, you may be more motivated by knowing that someone is at the gym or on the hiking trail waiting for you. Working out with a loved one or a friend can be rewarding in many ways. This can help your relationship become closer and you both can get in shape and become healthier. Many people feel nervous when going to a new gym so signing up with a friend can cut all the nervousness out.

5. Set realistic goals: Goal setting is crucial, much like your job you will have goals, quotas or projections that you want to meet. Set goals that are attainable for you, set short term goals and long term goals. Do not set goals that are out of reach as that will set you up for disappointment. For example, don’t shoot to lose 40 pounds in a month, you want to set goals that are going to get you on a healthy track and keep you on that track for the rest of your life.

6. Compete: Competing is a great way to push yourself to new levels, it adds a level of excitement to attaining your goals, and knowing that those who you are competing against may be out there working harder than you, or that slacking on your training will prevent you from finishing a race or winning an ultimate prize, you will find you are much more motivated to stay on track.

7. Educate: The more educated you are about how your body works, and about how nutrition affects and changes your body, the easier it will be for you to make good choices about your own personal health and fitness. Ignorance is bliss, until it leads to health issues, self esteem issues, and/or disappointment in what you have allowed your body to become. The information you need to achieve your goals is out there, it’s just up to you to seek it out.

8. Move: The only way you are going to add that muscle, drop body fat and transform your physique is to MOVE. If an hour of exercise seems daunting at first, just get moving for 5 minutes, you will find that once you get your body in action it is much easier to keep it going.

9. Change your scenery: Revamp your workouts by having a change of scenery. Go to a different gym to switch things up or take your training outside.

10. Try something new: Getting into a steady workout routine as part of your day to day life is absolutely beneficial, but to avoid boredom don’t be afraid to try something new. Maybe you’ve always wanted to try yoga or learn karate or try out that cool kickboxing class. Mix things up and keep them fresh by branching out and trying something you’ve always wanted to.

11. Listen to music: Studies show that music elevates your mood and can enhance your workouts. Having your favorite beats playing while you are strength training or doing cardio can help you keep going even when you are tired. If you are slowing down or thinking of prematurely quitting, kick on one of your favorite songs and you will get a surge of rejuvenation.

12. Track your measurements and workouts: When you first set out to achieve your goals, be sure to know where you are starting from so that you will know how much progress you have made over the course of time. Track your stats and measurements and track your workouts. It’s exciting to see when you could only do 4 push ups on day one and 12 weeks later you can do 50! If you don’t track your progress you will not know how far you have come. If you are having a tough day, a great way to get reenergized is by checking your stats and seeing positive progress in the right direction, letting you know that your hard work is paying off.

13. Take Pictures: When you start out on a fitness journey, it is highly likely that you will hate your starting point, regardless of what that might be. The majority of people are motivated to visually look better, so seeing the condition of their current physique can be difficult. Nevertheless this is a critical piece of the puzzle, to actually SEE the changes in your body instead of just FEEL them is very powerful. Take pictures every 2-4 weeks to see the change in your body. Post your pictures someplace that you can see them every day so that you will remember why you are making the right choices day in and day out.

14. Journal your nutrition: When you are working towards attaining a fitness or health goal, 80% of your success is going to depend on the eating choices that you are making on a day to day basis. Stay on track and motivated by writing down all that you eat in a given day, this will also help you avoid mindlessly snacking or going over the amount of calories that you should be taking in per day.

15. Reward yourself: The internal rewards of achieving a fitness goal are great, however giving yourself an external reward can increase your motivation even further. A couple ideas to positively reinforce without having a fitness setback are purchasing a new pair of running shoes or workout clothes, or enjoying some pampering at the spa.

16. Schedule your workouts: We all have extremely busy lives. Our time is consumed by jobs, families and any number of activities which will easily pull our attention away from taking work out time for ourselves. Putting your health and fitness on the back burner just sets you up for long term health issues and unhappiness. Your fitness IS important, so take the time to schedule your workouts into your day. Treat it as an important appointment that you can’t miss, and make sure you get it done!

17. Find your right time: You may be a morning person or perhaps you are an evening person. Regardless of which time of day you find yourself most energized, you can achieve your goals. Plan your training schedule accordingly so that you hit your workout of choice at the time when you feel strongest and most eager to exercise.

18. Eliminate negatives: Cutting negative people, places and circumstances out of your life will open you up for more positives. To the best of your ability, avoid negative people who would put you down, negative places that cause you to fall off track or put you in a bad mood, and negative circumstances that can lead you to emotional stress and poor choice making. Cutting all negatives in your life out may not be an option, but do your best to eliminate as many of them as possible.

19. Get creative in the kitchen: Eating healthy is crucial to your fitness success, and good foods can taste great. The only way you are going to enjoy eating healthy for a lifetime is if you find foods that you enjoy eating on a daily basis. Find ways of preparing your foods that please your palate. You’ve got options including but not limited to, grilling, baking or steaming. Hit up the spices aisle at your local grocery store and find some new ways to flavor your meats and veggies, there are loads of options out there.

20. Be prepared: Preparation is the key to your success if you are serious about achieving fitness goals. If you are consistently unprepared, meaning you don’t have the right foods available at the right times, or you forgot your gym clothes, then you can easily lose your motivation and fall off track. Schedule the time on weekends or during your “down” times to cook your foods and having them ready to go when you need them. Tupperware to store these items in your fridge or freezer as well as a small cooler so you can take your food with you to work or out running errands will help you stay on track.

21. Talk to your family: Family support can be one of the make or break aspects to achieving your fitness goals. A home filled with naysayers is difficult to avoid, so it’s important that early on in your journey you sit them down, have a heart to heart explaining your goals and why they are important to you. Explain that you need their support in order to achieve them. If this doesn’t work, you CAN still achieve your goals, it will just be a matter of tapping into a deeper level of inner strength.

22. Join an online fitness community: When you are working towards a fitness goal, it helps when you know there are others out there working towards similar aspirations and struggling with similar obstacles. Having an online support team can be especially important if you are lacking encouragement at home.

23. Find a great personal trainer: Having a quality trainer to motivate you and guide you can be the piece of the puzzle that will get you to your goals. A good trainer will be able to help you set goals; and guide you on the lifestyle, eating and exercise choices that will get you there. Knowing that you have a trainer there to teach you, push you, hold you accountable and keep you on track can absolutely help you get to your goals if this is something that is within your budget. There are also online training programs (such as what we offer at Hitch Fit) which enable you to virtually work with a personal trainer at a fraction of the cost of one on one. You still have them there to guide you, answer your questions and help you stay on track, so if money is an issue this can be an effective way to get to your goals by working with a trainer at a much lower rate.

24. Practice positive affirmations: Belief in yourself is critical to your success. You may doubt your ability and find yourself engaging in negative self talk. If that is the case then you must begin positive affirmations on a daily basis. When positively affirming be sure that you use present tense such as “I am” rather than “I will”. Come up with a list of 5-10 positive affirmations about yourself and repeat them on a daily basis. Over time these positive thoughts will become engrained in your mind and will be a natural part of how you think of yourself. Even if you already have a positive though process, affirmations can make your mind even more powerful over your ability to succeed at your goals.

25. Create habits and focus on lifestyle: When it comes to weight loss you don’t want to just lose weight for a short period of time only to gain it all back. Look at your new healthy eating and exercise choices as your new powerful, positive and healthy lifestyle, not as something you are just doing briefly. Focus on creating new habits and embracing a new way of living. Visualize making these healthy choices not just today and tomorrow, but picture yourself in one year, five years or ten years making these same choices and still living the life that imagine for yourself.

Micah Hitch Lacerte – Founder and Owner of the FAMOUS www.hitchfit.com

I hope you all enjoyed this little ditty…if you take even one or two little nuggets away from those 25 tips, you will be able to nip any speed bumps in the butt and keep on in your journey!

Until next time…have a badass day!

KASTNING OUT

PS Miami Dolphins 21 Patriots 17 (Reggie Bush is about to go off…you heard it here FIRST!)

4 Quick Ways To Work Off Dessert

It is fairly unreasonable to try and never eat dessert.  You can try and eat healthier desserts but you are probably never going to cut sweets entirely out of your diet, and you shouldn’t.  You should definitely enjoy your favorite sweet treat every now and then but you don’t want to just let it sit and turn to fat after you do.  Here are a few ways to keep your dessert from going strait to your gut, butt, or hips.

Do 50 pushups after you eat.  Your body should already be using the protein from your meal so now you want to signal it to burn the fat for energy.  Do a set of 20 then a set of 15 then 10 then 5.  It isn’t enough to make you pour sweat but it lets your body know you need the energy you just ate.

Go for a walk.  Not only will the movement help you digest your food, it will help to keep your metabolism moving.  Most people like to sit and watch their favorite TV show or read after dinner and dessert.  This trains your metabolism to slow down after dinner.  If you keep moving, your metabolism will too.

Perform 90 seconds of high energy, explosive exercise before you eat.  This will cue your muscles to grab and use the nutrients you are about to eat.  Try to find a dessert that has some nutritional value whether it be protein or vitamins make sure your body is getting something out of it too.

Bike to get your dessert.  If you have to go out and work for your dessert you are more likely to actually work it off than if it was already waiting for you in the fridge.  Pick a place that is at least 3 miles away so you have enough time to get your heart pumping on the way there and then to digest your food on the way home.

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