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Saturday, June 23, 2018

Don’t Let One Loss Turn Into Two

Football coach’s are full of cliches. In fact, to become a coach you have to take a secret test on “coach speak” before you’re allowed in the fraternity.

“There’s no I in team”
“Where there’s a will there’s a way”
“Believe and achieve”

When I was a know it all 20 something this stuff drove me crazy.

But now that I’m a know it 40 something I’ve become obsessed with the the hidden wisdom found found within cliche coach speak.

My current favorite is “Don’t let one loss turn into two.”

When it comes to your weight loss goals, this advice is invaluable. Let me illustrate with an example:

It’s Thursday morning. You were planning on getting a workout in but when your alarm goes
off you hit snooze and don’t have enough time before work to get to the gym.

In the game of weight loss you just suffered a defeat. It happens to all of us and it’s not a big deal. But how you handle it is crucial.

You can wake up and get right back on your plan. If you eat your healthy breakfast, pack your low calories lunch, and follow through with your plan the defeat was nothing, a mere bump on the path to your goal weight.

Or you can get out of bed mad at yourself because you missed a workout. You start playing the “woulda, shoulda, coulda” game in your brain.

When you get to work someone brought doughnuts from The Main Street Grill. In your head you think “I already missed my workout this morning so why don’t I just have a doughnut and start fresh tomorrow.”

You just let one loss turn into two.

And if you’re not careful you’re likely to wake up Sunday morning five pounds heavier and full of regret.

We’re human - and as humans we are going to make bad choices. And to be successful in any endeavor we need to learn from our mistakes and move on, not obsess over them.

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

3 Ways to Burn More Fat Lifting Weights

There are many good reasons to lift weights. Do it consistently and in a few short weeks your blood pressure and fasting blood sugar will drop significantly. Your mood will improve, as will your cholesterol numbers. And you’re likely to drop an inch or so off your waist.

All great results. But for most of us the primary outcome we seek is weight loss. And unfortunately it is also the most elusive.

But there is good news. Apply these minor tweaks to your current routine and can turn an ordinary workout into a fat melting one.

3) Use a Metronome to Perform Slow Eccentrics

Performing exercises with a slow eccentric, or “negative”, significantly increases Resting Energy Expenditure (REE) and fat oxidation by 5% and 10% respectively versus concentric training. In layman’s terms that means lower a weight slower increases your metabolism significantly more than lifting the weight.

In practice the easiest way to do this is to download a metronome app to your smartphone. I use MetroTimer. It’s easy to use and ist free. Set it to 60 beats per minute and then choose a sound that doesn’t make you crazy.

Next time you do your weight workout try to lift the weight for one beat and then lower it for eight beats. Keep sets between five and twelve reps.

2) Do High Rep Sets with an Explosive Tempo

Performing high rep sets with an explosive tempo increases fat burning through a few different mechanisms. It increases calorie burn versus a slow lifting tempo and the high levels of lactic acid that result triggers the release of hormones that burn fat (i.e. growth hormone).

And while “Explosive Tempo” sounds scary but it really just means performing exercises with a fast, or explosive, tempo, trying to accelerate the weight through the entire range of motion. And while explosive training can be high impact there are many options that can be performed safely by people of any fitness level. 

Chains, bands, and kettlebells can also be used to make explosive training safer and more effective. 

3) Do Peripheral Heart Action Training

Peripheral Heart Action Training (PHA for short), is a system of training alternating sets of upper and lower body exercises performed with little or no rest between exercises. This forces your heart to “shunt” blood back and forth from your upper to your lower body, placing an intense cardiovascular and metabolic demand on your body.

PHA is a powerful tool that maximizes your calorie burn during and after exercise in the most time efficient way possible.


There are many ways to combine the methods above into highly effective fat melting workout. One that is particularly enjoyable is “Tempo Contrast Giant Sets.” Here’s an example:

Giant Set One:

Perform 1 set of each of the following exercise with no rest. After completing all four moves rest 30-60 seconds and repeat. Do a total of 4 Giant Sets.

     1)  Barbell Overhead Press

Perform 8 reps lowering the bar to an 8 second count. 

     2)  Hamstring Leans

Kneel on the ground and have someone hold your feet behind you. Bending only at the knees lower yourself to the ground to an 8 count. Return to the starting position. Do 5-8 reps.

Don’t worry if you can only lower yourself ½ way down before losing control. Catch yourself with your hands and push yourself back to the starting position. 

     3)  Dumbbell Push Press

Do 20 reps using a bit of leg drive and maximum acceleration.

     4) Kettlebell Swing     

Do 20 reps.

After completing all four rounds rest 2 minutes and move on to the following:

Giant Set Two

Perform 1 set of each of the following exercise with no rest. After completing all four moves rest 30-60 seconds and repeat two more times for a total of 3 rounds.

     1)  Negative Accentuated Assisted Pull-ups

Using a dip/chin assist machine raise your body with both arms. At the top top release your right hand and lower yourself to an 5 second count using only your left arm. Repeat, lifting with both arms and lowering yourself with only your right arm this time. Do 4 reps on each arm alternating every rep.

     2)  Negative Accentuated Hanging Leg Raise

Lift your knees to your chest with your knees bent, straighten your legs out in front of you and lower to the starting position to a 5 seconds count. Perform 6-10 reps

     3)  Jump Squats

Do 20 reps.

If you stick with the tempos and rest intervals you should be able to finish this workout in under 30 minutes. After you do, peel yourself off the ground and give yourself a pat on the back - you’re done!

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Yoga with goats and sheep

True story...

I open an interval timer app on my phone this morning and the in-app
advertisement caught my eye.

It was for "Yoga with Goats and Sheep"

Seriously? How could I not click that link!

Don't believe me? Check out the picture and link below:
Turns out there is a farm in Durham that does Family Yoga with Goats and 
Sheep. Who knew?

If that sounds interesting to you maybe I'll see you there with my soon to be 
10 year old daughter Sophia. She loves yoga, and is fond of fuzzy baby 
farm animals too.

...if you're at one too many BBQ's this Holiday weekend...
...had a few too many beers and dogs and need a jump start on your fitness 
and weight loss program.

Or you could do yoga with goats and sheep. No joke.

Happy Memorial Day!


PS - If you want to try us out we have a great, limited time offer going on:

Click here for more info.

Monday, May 2, 2016

Coconut Pumpkin Chicken

Coconut Pumpkin Chicken

Making healthy meals with the typical hectic day can be a real challenge. This meal is full of healthy medium chain triglycerides, fiber, and protein, vitamin C, and vitamin A. And as an added bonus it can be made in about 20 minutes, plus another 20-25 minutes of simmer time.


2 lbs skinless boneless chicken breast or thighs
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 cups + 1/2 cup chicken broth
2 containers fajita mix sliced onion and red and green peppers
1 can organic pumpkin
1 can coconut milk
1/4 cup soy sauce or tamari sauce
10 garlic cloves
1 bag frozen peas
juice of 1 lime
1 tablespoon fined chopped fresh cilantro

1) Season chicken breasts liberally with sea salt and black pepper.

2) Brown chicken breast in olive oil in a large dutch oven over medium high heat (about 2 minutes per side). You do not want to cook them through, just brown them on both sides.

3) Remove chicken from pot and deglaze with 1/2 cup of chicken broth, making sure to scrap up any browned bits on the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon.

4) Add onions, red peppers, and green peppers to pan and cooked covered for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

5) While veggies cook cut chicken into bite sized pieces.

6) Add pressed garlic to taste. (I used 10 garlic cloves but if you are a vampire or don't like flavor feel free to use less.) Cooked about 2 minutes or until garlic becomes fragrant.

7) Add chicken broth, soy sauce, pumpkin, and coconut milk to veggies, stirring until incorporated and smooth.

8) Add chicken, frozen peas, lime juice, and cilantro. Reduce heat and simmer until thickened (about 20-30 minutes), stirring occasionally.

9) Serve over rice or roasted butternut squash.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

ABS 60 Day Challenge

I’m going to let you in on a little secret - almost every popular diet plan, nutritionist, and weight loss program has got it all backwards.  

This is because most programs focus on “what” to eat and “what” not to eat.

Eat more veggies. Drink more water. Add more protein. Don’t drink soda.

The list goes on and on…

But in the real world the hard part is not the “what.” The “what” is easy. And while some plans might work better than others, the truth is most WILL work….as long as you can stick to them.

Knowledge isn't power.jpg

You see, it’s not the “what do I do” that most people struggle with…

It’s the “how do I do it.”

How do I change my eating habits? How do I cut the soda out of my diet? How do I eat less breads and grains?

So how do we develop daily habits? How do we change?

Leo Babauta, author of the popular blog, has a 8 step system for change:

  • Do a 30-day challenge, focusing on just ONE habit.
  • Write it out on paper, along with your motivations, obstacles, and strategies for overcoming them.
  • Commit fully, in a public way.
  • Log your progress.
  • Remain publicly accountable — report on your progress each day.
  • Have support for when you falter — either in real life or online.
  • Reward every little success.
  • If you fail, figure out what went wrong, plan for it, and try again.


So instead of trying to lose 15 pounds or eat only chicken and broccoli for the next two months we are going to instead focus on developing the habits we need to consistently do to achieve the results we desire.


STEP ONE - Do a 30 day challenge, focusing on just one habit

Our ABS challenge will be broken down into two consecutive 30 day challenges.

MONTH ONE - Increase our daily intake of healthy foods.

During the first 30 days, we are going to focus on increasing our intake of the three cornerstones of healthy eating:

  1. Water
  2. Veggies
  3. Protein

MONTH TWO - Reduce our intake of empty calories.

During the second 30 days, we are going to focus on reducing our intake of the two most common sources of the empty calories that stop us from losing weight:

  1. Processed carbohydrates
  2. Liquid calories

STEP TWO - Write it out on paper

Fill out your ABS Goal Setting Worksheet and review it with your trainer.

STEP THREE - Commit fully, in a public way

Post a screenshot of your Goal Planning Worksheet in the Kuzora Clients Private group before Monday February 1st.

In addition, fill out the “Accountability Bubble Worksheet” to help us enlist the support of 2 or 3 friends of family members.

STEP FOUR - Log Your Progress

Fill out your Daily Habits Log everyday.

STEP FIVE - Remain publically accountable and report on your progress daily

Post a screenshot of it in the Kuzora Clients Facebook Group.

In addition, weigh in weekly with your trainer and report your progress to the group.

STEP SIX - Have support when you falter

Use the Facebook group, your trainer, and your friends and family members as a “Support Bubble” to get you back on track when you fall off the wagon.

STEP SEVEN - If you fail, figure out what went wrong, plan for it, and try again

Meet again with your trainer during the last week of February to review how you did during during the month. Evaluate your successes and failures, and plan ways to overcome your obstacles for the next 30 Day Challenge.

In addition, fill out a new Goal Planning Worksheet for your March goals.

STEP EIGHT - Reward every success

Now for the fun part! Celebrate your hard work and success at a client appreciation party in early April, date and location TBD.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Your "To Do" List When You're Fighting Temptation

We all battle temptation sometimes. And
having a plan to strengthen your willpower
when you're struggling can go a long way
towards helping you achieve your goals.

So the next time you are battling with the
snooze button of fighting an internal war
with that piece of chocolate cake do these
three things:

1) Stop focusing on the problem

Whatever your mind focuses on grows. If
you are feeling hungry or tempted by food,
and you continue to focus on those feels,
they will eventually become the only thing
on your mind.

Instead of thinking about why you need to
give in, try thinking about why you need to

Instead of obsessing about how hungry you
are and how one or two chips won't hurt you..

Think about how you CAN'T just have "one or
two" because most of the time "one or two"
turns into the half the bag!

The mind is very powerful - so instead of using
it to justify your failures use it to strengthen your


2) Willpower is a muscle

Willpower is a muscle and every time you resist
temptation you make it stronger. Each victory,
no matter how small, makes it easier to do the
right thing next time.

Every lapse in motivation we overcome, every
temptation we resist, will make us stronger in the
long run.

3) Get real with yourself

Did you think this was going to be easy? Because
I hate to burst your bubble but nothing worth doing

Instead of quitting your diet, quit fooling yourself!
Success is about HARD WORK - plain and simple.

So quit thinking this was going to be a "piece
of cake" and get real with yourself!

Now throw out that cookie and give me 20 Burpees! cheeky

Till next time...