Category: Health

Why Building Muscle Should Be Your Top Priority!

AMac definitely knows the importance of building muscle!!!

This is a great article from gubernatrix on the importance that building muscle has on your body!

When you mention muscle building or muscular hypertrophy to someone – male or female – they generally picture big, bodybuilder-type muscles. So for anyone who doesn’t want to be ‘big’ (and that’s most people, to be honest), they will claim not to want muscle building or muscular hypertrophy.

But that’s a mistake – understandable but nevertheless, a mistake. Everyone, from Johnny Teenager down the road to your old mum, needs muscular hypertrophy. And here’s why. Peak muscle We need our musculoskeletal system in order to do, well, anything. Sit down, stand up, take the stairs, carry things.

When we are young, our bodies build muscle well, without us having to do much about it. By adulthood, about 40 per cent of our total body mass is muscle. Without any particular training or dietary strategy, muscle mass peaks at around 16-20 years old in women, and 18-25 years old in men.

Muscle strength peaks a bit later, around age 20 in untrained women and around 30 in untrained men. Muscle decline After the age of 25, muscle loss is around 10 per cent per decade! In fact both bone and muscle mass decrease with age.

Bones become less dense and therefore frailer (osteopenia) and muscle mass decreases (sarcopenia). But weight tends to increase with age – which can only mean that the extra weight is fat!

Well I don’t know about you guys but I’m in my mid thirties and I am not happy about the idea of it being downhill all the way after age 20! We are surviving longer than ever before – do we really want to ‘peak’ having run only 20-30 per cent of our lifespan?

Do we want to spend most of our adult lives fat and weak?

So the truth is that after our early twenties, muscle building is what we have to do to stop the otherwise inevitable decline of strength and ability, and the increase in fat and weight. Muscular hypertrophy needs to be at the top of everyone’s fitness agenda.

Here’s an illustration of what I mean.

Diagram showing muscle building scenarios

This diagram shows what muscular hypertrophy really means for the normal person who just wants to stay in good shape for as long as possible. The red arrow is the ‘do nothing’ scenario: no weight training and bad diet results in steady loss of muscle and bone mass and increase in body fat and frailty. The blue arrow is the ‘regular resistance training and decent diet’ scenario, staving off the decline of muscle and bone mass for as long as possible.

Now I usually try to avoid giving personal examples since they don’t necessarily apply to everyone. But I think my own example does illustrate this process well.

I’m 35 years old and I’m stronger, slimmer, with less body fat and more muscle than 10 years ago. In other words, I’ve been able to reverse that trend by taking action. I’ve not done it through ‘cardio’ or by starving myself. I’ve done it through regular weight training and a good diet.

This is not about how great I am or what sacrifices I made. I’m not a professional athlete or bodybuilder, just a regular person who has committed to being in good shape for as long as possible. So this is about how blimmin’ easy it is once you’ve figured out how to do it. Muscular hypertrophy along with fat loss is the strategy that will get you and keep you in shape.

By the way, I have Dan John to thank for putting this strategy in such simple terms, making it so easy to communicate (read more of his wisdom here as he answers readers’ questions). The way forward It is taking a while to get this message across. It is not just women who are not getting the message; I hear plenty of men in the gym who are reluctant to do any weight training for fear of getting too big and bulky.

As my friend Allyson Goble from Bodytribe Fitness puts it, people “deserve to have strong muscles and bones and ligaments and tendons, etc. AND look good in their undies too!” Rest assured there are many different techniques in resistance training, to meet many different goals (just have a browse around this website!). But if you don’t build it in order to maintain it, you’ll lose it.

Fit Chic

Death by Sitting …..

We have become such a chair born society, most of us have desk jobs, that confine us to sitting for at least 7 hours a day. Then we come home from a long days work, and either sit at a computer desk, or on a couch!

Most of us sit more than we sleep! So what’s so bad about that?

Here is a great informative video from Mobility Specialist Kelly Starrett. He shows you stretches and great mobility exercises for those of us who are stuck sitting all day!

These exercises are so easy, you can even do them at your desk!

Fit Chic

Why Fish Oil is SO Important to Your Health ……

Chocolate Fish Oil … Who Could Ask For Anything More!

I have had several clients recently ask me why taking fish oil is  so beneficial to them?

So Here is a list that is very helpful on explaining the “Why” in Fish Oil…..

Here is a link to a tremendous fish oil that not only tastes good, it is the best fish oil I have ever used!

Thirteen reasons to use fish oils:

1.      Cell membrane health: Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), insure that cell membranes remain healthy. The membranes are flexible and contain larger numbers of insulin receptors that are more receptive and responsive to circulating insulin. This results in decreased fat storage in the adipocytes (fat cells)

2.      Fish oils turn on the lipolytic genes (fat burning genes)

3.      Fish oils turn off the lipogenic genes (fat storage genes),

4.      Fish oils diminish C-reactive proteins, a newly identified risk factor associated with various inflammatory diseases, including atherosclerosis, angina, coronary heart disease, heart attack, stroke, congestive heart failure and diabetes. The D.H.A. fraction of the fish oil seems to be one most responsible for that protective effect. DHA also has best ability to reduce blood pressure.

5.      Increase utilization of fat stores from the adipocytes.

6.      Preferential utilization for energy production once stored in the Adipocytes.

7.      Reduced inflammation from physical training.

8.      Pain management from the reduced inflammation.

9.      EPA regulates blood supply to the brain that is essential in maintaining focus in weight training sessions. DHA is important in brain membranes, memory and cognitive function.

10.  Fish oils increase serotonin levels (the happy neurotransmitter). Therefore, fish oils will decrease incidence of depression, anxiety, panic attack and reduce carbohydrate cravings.

11.  Fish oils will improve your cardio-vascular risk profile by lowering VLDL, triglycerides, homocysteine, fibrinogen and increasing HDL levels. Combining fish oils with plant sterols will improve lipid levels even more than either alone.

12.  Fish oils can also decrease blood pressure by several mechanisms.
These include increases in the vasodilatory compound, nitric oxide, reducing vascular inflammation, blocking the constrictive elements in the vascular wall such as the calcium channels reducing blood viscosity, and inhibiting a blood vessel constrictor (thromboxane). Lipoprotein (a) is another CVD predictor that can be lowered by fish oils (a 19% reduction was seen with natural, stable fish oils and just 4% with a highly purified fish oil).

13.  Fish oils are a great stress fighter. Supplementation with n-3 fatty acids inhibits the adrenal activation of steroids, aldosterone, epinephrine and norepinephrine (catecholamines) elicited by a mental stress, apparently through effects exerted at the level of the central nervous system.

Fit Chic

So What’s So Bad About Gluten Anyways?

Just Say NO!

We have all seen or heard about the new “gluten-free” fad. Go into any grocery store and the “gluten-free” labels are staring you in the face.

But why? What is so harmful about eating gluten (especially in moderation) anyways?

Well if you are like me, I am a why person! So here is your answer:

I found this great blog by Mark Hyman MD taken from the Huffington Post on the the effects gluten has on your body.

Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.

Fit Chic

Eating on the Go….

Looks Like This Guy Comes Really Prepared!

With our busy schedules these days, a lot of us have to eat on the go.

It is very hard for most people to grab something “healthy” in a convient store or at a fast food restaurant so instead we go for what we want instead of what is good for us.

Over the last few years I have really dialed in on my diet and learned how to make smart choices in any situation…. and the key to doing this is planning ahead!

Most of us know when we are road tripping, going on a business trip, or even vacationing with family and friends. If you are prepared then you will not be tempted to make those choices that you always regret later anyways.

Here are a few helpful tips that will get you on the road and on the way healthfully:

Road trips: pack a cooler and include beef jerky or turkey jerky (preferably grass-fed), include raw nuts (make your own trail mix with raw nuts, dried cranberries, and unsweetened bananas), cut veggies (carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, peppers etc), larabars, cold cut slices, and fruit.

For Planes: I tend to be a purse stuffer, I usually include larabars, trail mix, apples, and Jerky. Also, since airplanes include nothing now, this helps you to not die of starvation either!

When making lunch decisions with either just yourself or your family here are a few stops that have really helped me in the clutch:

McDonald’s: Southwest Grilled Chicken Salad with no cheese and no tortilla strips or you can also get the Grilled Caesar Salad and get balsamic dressing instead of the caesar. You can get a grilled chicken sandwich or any burger and tell them to wrap in lettuce in hold the bun. You can sub the fries for apple dippers or a side salad as well.

Subway: They make very fresh salads with chicken, tuna or deli meat. I like subway salads because I can control what I put in them. They also have balsamic dressing which is really tasty.

Arbys: You can ask for any roast beef sandwich and just tell them to hold the bun and include a side salad. A lot of our clients in the past really loved this route.

You can also go to any local grocery store in the town where you are at, and find their delicious salad bar. This way you can control what you put on it but you still have a yummy meal that tastes delicious.

In and Out: You can always ask for any burger with no cheese and protein style and they will make it with no questions asked.

Burger King and Wendy’s: You can do a Burger with no bun, or choose their grilled chicken salads with no cheese. I know that Wendy’s has side options as well.

So there are really no excuses, the next time you are going somewhere plan ahead or take these helpful tips with you when driving through. I guarantee you will not only feel better, but you will look better as well!

Fit Chic

The Best and Worst Brands of Water Bottles You Can Buy…..

Which One Would You Choose?

I came across this article and thought it was very useful information that would be interesting to all of us. I got this article from “Shine” on Yahoo.

I hope you enjoy reading this as much as I did!

How much do you know about the bottled water you drink? Not nearly enough, according to a new report released today from Environmental Working Group (EWG). “Bottled water companies try hard to hide information you might find troubling,” says Jane Houlihan, senior vice president of research for the Washington D.C.-based research and advocacy group.

EWG analyzed the labels of 173 unique bottled water products and company websites to determine if companies disclose information on where water comes from, how or if their water is treated, and whether the results of purity testing are revealed. The nonprofit also looked at how effective (and advanced) any water treatment methods are. Researchers followed up by calling dozens of bottled water companies to find out which ones willingly tell consumers what’s in their bottles.

The Environmental Protection Agency says on its website that consumers have the right to know where their water comes from and what’s in it so they can “make informed choices that affect the health of themselves and their families.” Tap water is regularly tested and consumers can find their local water info online. That’s not necessarily the case with bottled water, which is not required to disclose that information to consumers. “Bottled water is a food product and every one of these companies is complying with federal law,” says Tom Lauria, of the International Bottled Water Association.

More than half of the bottled water products surveyed failed EWG’s transparency test –18 percent didn’t say where their water comes from, and another 32 percent did not disclose any information on treatment or purity of water.

Only three brands earned the highest possible marks for disclosing information and using the most advanced treatment methods available – Gerber Pure Purified Water, Nestle Pure Life Purified Water, and Penta Ultra-Purified Water.

On the other end of the spectrum, these six brands got the worst marks in EWG’s report because they don’t provide consumers with the three basic facts about water on product labels or their company website – Whole Foods Italian Still Mineral Water, Vintage Natural Spring Water, Sahara Premium Drinking Water, O Water Sport Electrolyte Enhanced Purified Drinking Water, Market Basket Natural Spring Water, and Cumby’s Spring Water.

How does your bottled water brand stack up? Here’s a look at the 10 top-selling* U.S. brands:

1.     Pure Life Purified Water (Nestle), EWG grade = B

2.     Arrowhead Mountain Spring Water (Nestle), EWG grade = C

3.     Aquafina Purified Drinking Water (Pepsi), EWG grade = D

4.     Dasani Purified Water (Coca-Cola), EWG grade = D

5.     Deer Park Natural Spring Water (Nestle), EWG grade = D

6.     Ice Mountain Natural Spring Water (Nestle), EWG grade = D

7.     Ozarka Natural Spring Water (Nestle), EWG grade = D

8.     Poland Spring Natural Spring Water (Nestle), EWG grade = D

9.     Zephyrhills Natural Spring Water (Nestle), EWG grade = D

10.  Crystal Geyser Natural Alpine Spring Water (CG Roxane), EWG grade =  F

Filtered tap water received the best grade (an A) from EWG because if you change your filter regularly, EWG says it is purer than bottled water, plus it saves money (bottled water can cost up to 1,900 times more than what flows from your tap). Drinking tap water also takes less of a toll on the planet. EWG offers plenty of tips for filtering your water, so that you can drink the healthiest water possible.

[Related: Giving up bottled water saves a shocking amount of money]

What should you do when bottled water is your only option? “While our top choice is filtered tap water, when you do need to choose bottled water, we recommend brands that tell you what’s in the water and that use advanced treatment technologies like reverse osmosis and micro-filtration,” says Houlihan. Advanced treatment technologies remove pollutants that other methods don’t. You should look for bottled water products that tell you where the water is coming from and how pure it is.

Here are the results for all 173 bottled water brands included in the report. You’ll find that some less popular brands rank even lower than our list of top-sellers.

The advice to drink filtered tap water can seem confusing when there are often reports about the contaminants found in municipal water supplies. Just last month, for example, EWG announced that cancer causing hexavalent chromium (chromium-6) is in 31 cities’ tap water. Houlihan says chromium-6 is as likely to be in your bottled water as it is in your tap water and we need action from the federal government on this. She points out that a reverse osmosis filter can remove the worrisome contaminant. You can guarantee its removal in your home supply, but in many cases you don’t know what’s in the bottle you’re drinking from.
For more information on this feel free to go to the website …..

Now you will think twice before purchasing your water ……

Fit Chic

When All Else Fails Modify….

Over the past nine months I have learned many different ways to modify exercises and my workouts.

I had shoulder surgery back in May 2010 and it has been an uphill battle since. I am a workout fanatic and the thought of resting is not in my element of thinking! So what did that leave me with …. modification. I had surgery on a Wednesday and by Thursday I was back to working out.

Just because my shoulder was injured, didn’t mean I couldn’t use my legs and butt and abs! If there was pullups I did box jumps. If we lifted I would back squat. For kettlebell swings I would use my one good arm.

My one big fear through out this process, is that I would lose my strength and stamina; but I didn’t!

Other people with injuries, started to see this and instead of taking a break from their workout routine, they modified.

Whatever the workout of the day was, I would turn it into a workout that was attainable to my clients and to me.

I have had members with broken feet, legs, elbows, back issues, shoulders, neck (just about every injury or set back you could have), and they have still managed to get a killer workout and maintain their strength and results in the process.

What limitations do you have that are keeping you from obtaining the goals that are possible?

In the comments below leave any potential issues and I will give you an exercise or workout to modify this!

Fit Chic

Who Knew Sleep Was Just as Important As Exercise…..

I found this blog from our old gym and I thought you all would really enjoy this!

sleep, Sleep, SLEEP! We all need it. We all know we need it. So why do we get it?

Work, family, kids, homework, friends, social life, T.V, internet, etc…All the stresses of LIFE!

For most of us, we have or are putting our Health way up high on our priority list.

Now within the health list of priorities SLEEP is at the TOP! Yep, the TOP!

“Sleep deprivation mimics many elements of the aging process. One could make the argument that how you feel when you are sleep deprived is likely how you will feel if you are both diabetic and old (sleep deprivation dramatically impacts insulin sensitivity). Improved sleep time and quality will help you: Lean out, avoid depression, autoimmunity, heart disease…it might even help you be a better athlete. This is a very interesting article for me in that coaches simply tried a schedule more conducive to better sleep and they saw immediate performance improvements in their players. They also dumped the AM shootaround session and saw improvements. More down time, less junk “mileage”.” Taken from Robb Wolf site.

Sleep is an integral part of living a healthy life and I am going to recommit myself to this task! I’ve read a bunch of sleep advice and the common threads are as follows:

1.Make a regular sleep schedule, including weekends.
2.Use your bed for sleep and sex only, use your laptop, watch tv and do your homework someplace else.
3.Avoid eating large meals, caffeine and alcohol at least 3 hours before bedtime. Alcohol may make you sleepy at first but it fragments your sleeping stages and a small snack is ok if you have an empty stomach.
4.Create a bedtime ritual, reading a book or taking a hot bath are both good recommendations. The bath will raise your body temperature and as you cool down your body will fall into a sleep state more naturally.
5.Make sure your sleep environment is dark, quiet and cool. Make sure you have good blankets though!
6.Exercise regularly. This is best performed during the daytime or no more than 3 hours before bedtime.
7.Go to sleep when you’re tired. Sounds obvious, but if you are in bed with the lights out for more than 15-20 minutes, get up and do something else until you get tired.

So take the smart approach and get those zzz’s!

Fit Chic

What If CPM Fitness and Fit Chic Procreated?


My husband and I recently sold our gym in South Dakota, and relocated to our home of Los Angeles. After working together for over 2 years, we thought we would part ways in business for a while and do our “own thing”. We still wanted to get people to their fitness goals through nutrition, working out, and overall wellness, but not as one unit.

As we began training on our own, we realized we were missing our better halves and what a great team we were together. We could touch so many more people if we were doing this as a team.

My husband has a blog and a training business called CPM Fitness (which are both amazing by the way). As we all know I am a “Fit Chic”, so what does that make?

We are opening the doors to our new venture Tuesday February 8th and need your creative minds to help CPM and Fit Chic become one…..

Please put your wonderful ideas in the comments below

or you can comment on my husbands blog at

Can’t wait to hear what you everyone comes up with!

Fit Chic