What is Baseline Fitness?

Baseline Fitness is a term I came up with years back that describes the concept of a person incorporating a weekly fitness plan that accomplishes 3 things…

  • is effective and allows someone to reach their fitness goals
  • fits into their weekly routine without interruption
  • allows for weekly, monthly, yearly consistency

When you get right down to it, I believe the biggest error people make when thinking about having a fitness lifestyle is not appreciating developing a baseline fitness plan. As I have stated in many blog posts before, when people get excited about fitness they have a tendency to do it too hard and too often. This may not necessarily lead to burnout, but life usually gets in the way that makes it too difficult to sustain this pace. After a few short weeks of this, it is all too common for fitness to disappear from the regimen until the desire to get back at it happens…then this cycle of going too hard, too often repeats itself and fitness comes to a halt again. I call this the “fitness roller coaster”, and unfortunately, this roller coaster is very crowded.

Baseline Fitness isn’t anything specific. It simply takes into consideration the obstacles that get in the way of people getting highly fit and tries to eliminate them. What specifically are these obstacles?

  • being a part of a poor fitness regimen
  • going too hard and too often with their fitness workouts initially

With Baseline Fitness, fitness workouts need to be fun and effective. They also need to be done only a few times a week which will highly increase the chances of people staying consistent in doing them over a long period of time. Let’s look at 2 days a week as an example…the first thing that comes to many people’s minds with this is how infrequent it is and how ridiculous one must have to be to believe it would lead to being highly fit. BUT, let’s look at it in a different way…2 days a week for a year is 104 workouts. If one performs 104 workouts a year, they easily would be in the top 2% of how often our population works out. Let’s add a 3rd day each week…it still is less than half the amount of days in a week that are available for us to workout, but it adds up to 156 workouts per year. Moral of the story…2 to 3 days a week of quality fitness done on a consistent basis can do wonders for people and change lives for the better!

Starting Monday July 11, 2016, I will be offering our 21 Day Baseline Fitness Program to people who want to learn and experience the right way to have quality fitness in your life over the long haul. Fitness shouldn’t be a hot and cold happening in your life because this all too common approach leads one to failure and frustration. My 21 Day Baseline Fitness Program will finally allow you to experience what having an effective fitness plan that could last a lifetime feels like. I am offering it to you at the ridiculously low price of only $37. The deadline to register for this program is Wednesday, July 6.

Simply put, if you are frustrated with your fitness life up to this point, and have tried many different things, but can’t seem to find the answer….this program IS your answer!! Contact me at (408)915-1002 and/or email me at ron@getathletic.net to sign up for what will prove to be the best fitness experience of your life…BY FAR!!




The Fitness Nutrition 6

I have been getting a lot of questions regarding nutrition lately
and that is a good thing because it is such an important part
of fitness and the hardest one to get right. The thing that frustrates
me about nutrition is what I refer to as information overload. There
is simply too much information out there and it becomes confusing
to know which is the right information. Should I eat carbs and if so,
when and how much? Is the Paleo diet the best thing to follow? How
much protein is the right amount for me? Should I take supplements?
How many hours should I eat before a workout? What about how many
hours after? All of these questions are good valid questions, but
depending on who you ask, they have many different answers and it
becomes confusing and frustrating to try and figure out.

I think nutrition is very similar to a great fitness workout. Keep it simple
and master the basics. My greatest achievements in life have come
about when my mindset took this approach and I truly think that nutrition
should be no different.

With that being said, lets take a quick look at out 6 Basic Rules of Nutrition
again and ponder a few questions on each one:

1. CONSUME THE RIGHT AMOUNT OF WATER: Bodyweight multiplied by
.5 = daily fluid ounces intake of water.
Example: 160 pound person multiplied by .5 = 80 fluid ounces daily.
How are you personally doing with this water intake rule? Are you at least
making a conscious effort to drink more water daily?

2. CONSUME MORE VEGETABLES: Are you taking the time to buy more
veggies at the store when you shop? Do you plan to eat them daily?

3. CONSUME THE RIGHT TYPE OF CARBOHYDRATE: Complex carbs (whole fruits,
beans, whole grain bread, brown rice, legumes) is what we want. We do not
want the simple sugar carbs (ie: candy).

4. CONSUME ONLY NATURAL FOODS: Let’s face it, this one is extremely tough
to follow. Actually in this day and age, it is almost impossible to follow. Here is a list
of natural foods to choose from:

–  Nuts (raw, dry roasted, or in natural butter form)
–  Cottage cheese
–  Whole Eggs
–  Chicken breast
–  Lean cuts of meat
–  Fish (Salmon, Tuna, Cod)

–  Vegetables
–  Mixed beans
–  Whole fruits

–  Extra virgin olive oil
–  Virgin coconut oil
–  Fish oil
–  Raw mixed nuts
–  Butter

And here is another list of foods we should try and avoid as much as possible:

–  Most lunch meat (processed)
–  Non-natural nuts (contain cottonseed oils etc.)
–  Fast food

–  Regular bread
– “added” sugars
–  Most cereals
–  Soda (even diet)
–  Fake juices and drinks (Crystal Lite, energy drinks etc.)
–  Fruit juice
–  Bagels
–  Most energy and fruit bars
–  Candy

–  Margarine
–  Vegetable oil (soybean oil)
–  Corn oil
–  Heated/fried oil

eating more often appeals to most or all of us, but the obvious key here is
eating good sources of food and not bad calories. Are you thinking about
your meals and what is going in our mouth from meal to meal?

6. FOLLOW THE 90/10 RULE: Let’s say we eat 5 meals a day. That is 35
meals a week. 32 (90%) of those meals should be clean eating and 3 (10%)
of them allow for a little cheating. The general public is somewhere less than
50/50 on this rule. Where are you currently at and what is your determination
level to get close to the 90/10 ratio?

These are the 6 basics I believe in strongly and make the overly complex area
of nutrition fairly simple and easy to understand. I want you all to go over each
rule and analyze where you are at with each. What is your level of motivation
to eat clean? Do you have weight loss goals that will make nutrition even more
important for you to truly lose weight? The best anyone can do with great workouts
and average to poor nutrition is to stabilize their weight. They may not gain any,
but they will have a hard time losing any. Both your workouts and nutrition have
to be dialed in to shed the pounds.

Fitness Success: What Are the True Measures?

We usually think of fitness success as something we can quantify…how much weight did I lose?, how much more weight can I lift?, how many more repetitions can I perform in a specific exercise?. Those are definitely good, accurate ways to measure improved fitness levels, but I think there is another set of measures that one can use to measure truer, more sustainable fitness success…….

1. How many days did I workout this month that were part of my original plan?

If you are a 3 day a week workout person, did you get all 12 workouts done in a particular month? Being consistent over a period of time is a great indicator of putting yourself into position to be successful with fitness.

2. How consistent was I with my workouts over the last year?

Again, consistency is key to true long term fitness success. The key is to not bite off more than you could chew. 2 to 3 workouts a week over many weeks is a great  formula to use.

3. Is it obvious to me that my workout execution is improving by the workout?

Whether it be squatting, lunging, pushing, pulling, planking, crawling, running, etc…, there needs to be an obvious feeling that mastery of these movement patterns is taking place and improvements are being made each workout.

4. Are the areas of nutrition and recovery being taken serious?

I have said many times before that nutrition is the hardest area of fitness to conquer. One may never be able to dial that area in perfectly, but has there been attempts to improve it and have they been implemented consistently? With recovery, has it been “active recovery”….stretching, foam rolling, walking, jogging? How about your sleep quality? Are you getting enough of it where you feel refreshed when you awake?

I am a strong believer that the measures of true fitness success are those longer term variables that you want to attempt to be consistent at. Life gets in the way often that makes the pursuit of fitness success difficult, but with a solid, well thought out fitness  plan, it is definitely possible and something we all should strive for

My 6 Priorities of Successful Fitness

Fitness is hard. To get and stay in shape is challenging. What makes it even tougher and nearly impossible on a regular basis is the perception that many people have on what fitness should look like. Grueling workout sessions consisting of long bouts of cardio and weight training exercises done on a daily basis are thought of as the answer. Although there are many ways to go about performing a quality workout regimen, the above example is not one of them.

Is their a specific way to design a workout plan that will allow you to reach all your fitness goals? No…but, there are 6 key priorities that one should ponder when it comes to finding the right solution for you!

Priority #1: FEED YOUR MOTIVATION – Do you like to hike, lift weights, run, play recreational sports, take part in fitness classes? Whatever you enjoy doing is what should take priority in your fitness plan.

Priority #2: FEEL REFRESHED AT THE FINISH LINE – Don’t fall into the false thought that states fitness will not bring on any meaningful benefits unless you work yourself into the ground each and every session. Quite the contrary! Your fitness sessions when completed should leave you feeling refreshed and good about yourself and excited about continuing them on a long term basis.

Priority #3: HAVE A LOGICAL LONG TERM WEEKLY BASELINE – Simply put, what does your fitness week look like? If you are thinking of going hard 6 to 7 days a week, there is a great chance you will burn out in a short period of time. Your motivation for fitness will disappear. You need to adjust your thought process and be more logical. How about 3 to 4 days of moderate to high intensity exercise along with other days of low intensity work and a complete rest day or 2 as well. This approach can have you going strong over the long haul.

Priority #4: MORE STRENGTH, LESS CARDIO – There is a thought amongst many fitness professionals that says “strength is the foundation of fitness”. I agree. Getting the entire body strong and functional sets the tone for any fitness endeavor one may have. Unfortunately, many fitness programs out there emphasize great amounts of cardiovascular training that literally try to fatigue you into terrific shape. Talking about why this is a poor strategy needs it’s own blog post, but what I will tell you is a fitness program that contains a healthy amount of strength exercise done in high intensity fashion is a formula for success!

Priority #5: USE ALL INTENSITIES (HIGH, LOW, and NONE) – Always going hard in your workouts is a road to disaster. It will lead to injury, staleness, and lack of motivation. Mixing days of high and low intensity workout sessions as well as complete days off is conducive to long term fitness and health!

Priority #6: MASTER MOBILITY AND MOVEMENT PATTERNS – This is true for all modes of fitness, especially when it comes to strength training. Strive to get your body to move well and go through full ranges of motion. Many exercise programs overlook this as they are designed to work you into the ground and burn off unwanted weight without any thought of quality movement. Ingraining solid movement patterns into your total workouts process sets the tone for quality fitness for a lifetime!

Fitness will never be easy. It shouldn’t be, but if these 6 priorities are taken into strong consideration when designing a workout program, fitness becomes effective and can be so for long periods of time without having to feel like you have to be superhuman to follow through with it.

The Precious Commodity Of Fitness

Many things are important in a quality fitness regimen: strength, mobility, flexibility, endurance, calorie and fat burning activities, etc.. but the one area that is by far the most important and what I refer to as the precious commodity of fitness is MOTIVATION! Without motivation to get fit, all the other important areas of fitness are irrelevant.

I believe it is rather easy to initially get motivated for fitness and I see this play out in most people all of the time. It could be that they don’t like what they see in the mirror and want to change that. It could be a health condition they have where a fitness program will help clear up. Maybe they want to take part in a physical event in the future that forces them to have to train to get ready for it. All of these initial motivations happen with many people on a daily basis and it is great to see these people get motivated to start.

BUT as the title to this article suggests, motivation is a precious commodity. Once one has it, it needs to be nurtured and protected. This, by far, is the most abused area of fitness that people go through. This high level of initial motivation comes to a complete stop usually because of bad programming. The workouts are too hard, take too long, or a combination of both. Sometimes this initial excitement leads to too many workouts per week which leads to complete burnout in a short amount of time. All of this happens much too often and is very sad to see play out.

The area of fitness that I am most dialed into as a trainer is understanding that motivation for fitness is a very precious thing. I need to do everything that I can to keep this motivation sky high for a client to keep their path to get fit going down a steady road. Here is a list of 5 things that go into keeping the precious commodity of  fitness motivation at a high level:

1.) Keep the number of intense workouts per week at 3 or less. Simply put, too many workouts too often leads to staleness and burnout.

2.) Keep each workout short in duration. 2 hour marathon workouts will chip away at even the most motivated people. 45 minutes or less per workout is ideal.

3.) Workouts need to be fortified with “intelligent intensity“. Doing set after set of intense exercises with no rest will burn out any fitness client. Longer rest periods between sets and reps are very important to keep a steady flow of quality workout time and motivation high. Also the length of the exercise itself needs to be realistic. 20 to 30 seconds of squat jumps is a much better option than 5 minutes of them. This is where the art and science of training are critical.

4.) Workouts should be regimented, but also contain variety. Nobody wants to do the exact same workout all of the time, but there should be some similarity from workout to workout for the client to get in a comfort zone and stay confident. The balance of regimen and variety in a fitness plan is an important one.

5.) Exercises should have levels of difficulty from beginner to advanced. Each client has unique levels of fitness ability and being able to match their ability to the appropriate exercise level needs to be constantly monitored.

Motivation is number 1 when it comes to a client having success in fitness. These 5 things should be a part of any fitness plan to keep the precious commodity of motivation at a high level.

Do You Have A Long Term Fitness Approach?

Millions of people aspire to have fitness be a part of their lives and most of these people do, but only dabble in it from time to time. The most common scenario is a person wanting to get fit, and starting on some type of regimen, but after a few weeks, it comes to an end,. A few weeks pass and then this same cycle starts again, with usually the same result happening. These people are left frustrated and thinking that an ideal long term plan is non-existent.

All though having a long term fitness plan is very possible, it takes some thought and planning on how to best bring it about. Here are 4 things to heavily consider when designing your long term fitness program:

1. DON’T PUT YOUR MOTIVATION IN JEOPARDY: When people set out to get fit, there is an excitement to it. This excitement usually leads to over-training which weighs heavily on one being able to keep their motivation at a high level. Motivation, by far, is the most important factor in one partaking in a long term fitness program and it needs to be high to do so. Keeping the volume of training at the proper level is important for this motivation to remain high.

2. DON’T TRAIN TOO MANY DAYS: Simply put, the body needs rest, especially when going through an intense fitness regimen. While there is no exact amount of days per week that is correct, a logical rule of thumb is “3” hard workouts a week and 1 to 2 recovery/leisure workouts in addition. In other words, a good amount of rest is needed between workouts and should be planned.

3. DON’T TRAIN TOO LONG: The stories about 2 to 3 hour training sessions in the gym with half being cardio and the other half weights shouldn’t be part of your story. At most, 45 minutes of total exercise including warmup and cool down is plenty.

4. USE WORKOUTS THAT ARE FUN, KEEP YOU HEALTHY, AND GIVE YOU RESULTS: Getting results in weight loss, muscle gain, moving better, more energy, etc… are the reason most people workout in the first place. Find the right workout type that is fun for you to do and also do it in a way so you will stay healthy, and gain the greatest benefits from.

The most ultimate fitness regimen is one that plans for the long term. Keeping these 4 things in mind when designing your long term fitness regimen will help you greatly in getting and keeping you fit over the long haul.