Weightloss

Diet and Nutrition, The Fitness Academy

TFA Newsletter July 13: Group Class Announcements, Promos, Gut Health, & More!


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Hello again!

As usual, we have some awesome things to share with our TFA FIT FAM this week! Keep on reading to find out some new info about GROUP CLASSES, including a BRING A FRIEND PROMO and a NEW SUNDAY CLASS, how to get OPTIMAL GUT HEALTH, learn how to perfect and progress your SQUAT.

We will be sending these newsletters out bi-weekly so look out for them in your inboxes!

If you’re ready to have fun, sweat, and transform with us make sure you RSVP to the classes you wish to attend! Please RSVP in one of the following ways…

  • Click “RSVP For Weight Loss Classes” link under the ANNOUNCEMENTS section below. This will direct you to an online calendar of class dates/times.
  • Email, call, text, or tell us in person which classes you’d like to attend.
*Note: There is no penalty for missing a class you signed up for. We will not charge you for classes missed. However, we do have limited space so we ask that you consider this when RSVPing.

TFA Group Class Annoucements

BRING A FRIEND PROMO!

Help us expand our TFA FIT FAM by bringing a workout buddy! 🙂

Bring a friend to one class and get a FREE WEEK of classes – that’s up to 4 FREE CLASSES!

We want you to share your awesomely sweaty fitness experience with a friend or a loved one AND get rewarded for it!


NEW SUNDAY CLASS AT 12 PM

STARTING TOMORROW 7/14, we are now adding a SUNDAY CLASS AT 12 PM! So the schedule is as follows…
Monday Night at 8 pm
Wednesday Night at 8 pm
Saturday Afternoon at 12 pm
Sunday Afternoon at 12 pm

If you want to take the classes, you MUST RSVP for them so that we have an accurate head count! You can do so by emailing us, texting us, telling us in person, or you can sign up using the red button below that says “SIGN UP FOR WEIGHT LOSS CLASSES.” We will be sending out the calendars for two weeks at a time, so you can book your classes for the next two weeks every time our bi-weekly newsletter is sent out.

RESERVE YOUR CLASS SPOT BY CLICKING THE LINK BELOW!
If you are unsure of future dates, it is okay to just sign up for the upcoming week or two. We will be sending this calendar link out in every newsletter.

GROUP CLASS PRICES

NOW OPEN TO THE PUBLIC! BRING YOUR FRIENDS, FAMILY, OR CO-WORKERS! ONE FREE CLASS FOR EVERY REFERRAL!

Continuing Group Classes
1-2 classes per week – $20 per class
3-4 classes per week – $15 per class
You can by per class, weekly, monthly, however you prefer!

FOR EVERY 5 CLASSES ATTENDED IN A ROW, YOU WILL WIN ONE FREE CLASS!

*Classes will be held at the same times they are currently offered, however we will consider moving Wednesday morning’s class to Thursday morning if we have enough people sign up.
**There must be at least 3 sign ups per class in order for us to keep it going.

HEALTH TIP OF THE WEEK

TAKE CARE OF YOUR GUT!

Our gut health is SO IMPORTANT when it comes to living a healthy lifestyle, functioning optimally, feeling great on a daily basis, and it also plays a key role in our weight loss efforts. Besides all that, most of us suffer with some sort of digestive health issue, whether it’s occasional acid reflux, food allergies, or nausea and stomach aches. Having a healthy gut can change your life and have you feeling (and looking) your best!
Click the link below to check out the Bustle article that our very own Coach Raquel contributed to as a Certified Sports Nutritionist! It describes 9 very common, yet detrimental, habits we should avoid for a healthy and happy belly.

Click the link below to check out the Bustle article that our very own Coach Raquel contributed to as a Certified Sports Nutritionist! It describes 9 very common, yet detrimental, habits we should avoid for a healthy and happy belly.

9 Habits That Can Impact The Gut


MOVEMENT OF THE WEEK

SQUAT

The squat is one of the most important movements when it comes to strength training and just moving in your everyday life. Squatting involves nearly every muscle in the body and practicing the squat not only improves fitness and burns fat, it will also improve mobility for daily life tasks. You actually squat every single day, whether you’re aware of it or not. Every time you sit on the toilet or a chair, you’re squatting. When you pick something up off the floor, you should be squatting, however some people tend to bend at the lower back instead of squat down and this is how painful back injuries occur!

Whether you’re a beginner who has never seen the inside of a gym or an advanced athlete, incorporating some type of squat into your routine will do wonders for your body, the way it moves, and what it can handle. Below is a list of squat progressions in the order that I recommend following when incorporating the squat movement into your training regimen. If you’re more advanced and have mastered some of these (with proper form), skip to a more challenging squat variation that you haven’t quite become an expert at yet.

SQUAT PROGRESSIONS:
  • Bodyweight or Chair Squat
  • Goblet Squat
  • Dumbbell or Suitcase Squat
  • Box Squat
  • Back Squat
  • Front Squat
  • Other Squat Variations
    • Jump Squat
    • Single Leg Bench/Chair Squat
    • Pistol Squat
    • Sumo Squat

*Below is a document with images of each of these progressions and instructions on how to perform each move.

SQUAT PROGRESSIONS

AFFIRMATION OF THE WEEK

Share this affirmation on social media and tag us!
Instagram: @fitnessacademynj
Facebook: The Fitness Academy LLC


In Good Health,
Raquel & Matt

Diet and Nutrition, The Fitness Academy

Getting In Tune With Your Body’s Hunger and Fullness Signals


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Before we change WHAT we eat, we have to look at HOW we are eating. How many times have you stuffed your breakfast down your throat on your way to work? Have you ever eaten so much so fast that your stomach felt like it was going to explode? We’ve all been there…

It’s important to honor our internal hunger and fullness scales because when we are able to be more in tune with our bodies, we save ourselves from endless moments of regret and frustration. The way in which you eat – fast, slow, distracted, etc – is just as significant a factor in your health as the foods you eat. 

So, what exactly is the hunger/fullness scale? Look at your body as if it were a brand new, beautiful car. Would you drive that precious vehicle on empty for miles and miles? Probably not. If our hunger scales are on a scale of 1 to 10, 1 being just noticing your hunger, and 10 being starving/ravenous (below empty in the gas tank), we should start planning for food at a 2. This is when we’ll make the most sound, healthy decisions for our bodies. On the other hand, on our fullness scale, 10 is stuffed and 1 is starving. Typically, we want to aim for a 7 or 8 max on the fullness scale when we finish a meal. We want to feel nourished, energized, and satiated, not stuffed.

Image result for hunger fullness scale image

Seems simple enough right? Start planning for food when you’re at a 2 on the hunger scale and stop eating when you’re at a 7 on the fullness scale. For many of us, putting this into practice may be a bit more challenging than it seems because our eating habits have kept us so out of touch with our internal hunger/fullness scales. Sometimes we eat when we’re bored, sometimes we don’t eat at all, sometimes we shove food down our throats in a rush, sometimes we overeat…We’ve confused our poor bodies so much, no wonder we’re so out of touch with our hunger and satiety cues. It’s time to re-train our minds to be more in tune with our bodies by changing the way we eat. How do we do this? See the list of steps below!

  1. Give yourself more time at each meal. If you normally eat breakfast in five minutes, give it 10. If you normally take 10 minutes, bump it up to 15. For lunch and dinner, give yourself at least 20 minutes. Why 20 minutes? That’s how long it takes the receptors and hormones in our stomachs to communicate with the brain and say “I’m full.” Don’t have the time? MAKE the time. Rearrange your home and work schedules to give yourself more time. Get your family and coworkers involved too!
  2. Eat slowly. During these meals, make sure you are thoroughly chewing and savoring each bite. Eat with all of your senses! Enjoy the smell, taste, texture, etc of your food.
  3. Eat stress-free. When we’re stressed out and we eat a meal, it doesn’t matter if it is the healthiest meal in the world, our bodies will not absorb those nutrients properly. In a stressed state, the body puts digestion on pause. And if your body isn’t digesting the food you’re eating, what happens? Acid reflux, bloating, stomach pain, the list goes on and on. Here are a few tips on eating stress-free:
    1. Take 10 deep breaths before you eat.
    2. Eat with no distractions or stressful external stimuli – no work, no TV, etc.
    3. Focus on the meal in front of you and be grateful for it (eat with all the senses.)
  4. Eat for energy and satiety, rather than comfort or fullness. Remember, you want to be at about a 7 on the fullness scale. When you’re done eating, make a physical gesture that your meal is complete by pushing your plate away, putting a napkin over it, or crossing your silverware. If you’re eating with other people, state out loud that you are full or done.

Implementing these action steps will make your eating experience much more pleasant, allow your body to more efficiently digest and assimilate nutrients, and prevent you from making some “hanger”-fueled choices, such as yelling at a spouse for no reason or eating an entire jar of olives. When you’re in tune with these signals and you honor your body by feeding it when it’s hungry and stopping before you feel overly full, you’re showing your body self-love. This will pay off when you do begin to start looking at WHAT you’re eating and making some changes to your diet. You’ll notice that the body will respond better and perhaps quicker than usual to certain dietary changes.

The Fitness Academy

My Fitness Journey


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Hello all, welcome back!

Someone had suggested I speak a little bit more about my own personal fitness journey that I have been on since 2005. I have to start off by saying my first inspiration from the fitness world came from my father. I can remember growing up in our small apartment in Hoboken, NJ. In the corner of the master bed room he had one of those all in one gym stations. It was a flat bench that could raise up for incline with dip handles behind it. It even had a cable attachment for lat pulls and leg extensions in the front of it. He was a true mans man at the time. Metallica blasting, no shirt on, constantly going over to the mirror to check his “gains.” He even had a camcorder and started filming his workouts. This was WAY before Facebook and Instagram. The energy in that tiny bedroom was infectious. I didn’t realize it at the time, but I was hooked. I wanted to feel like that! I wanted to lift heavy weights and build a huge chest! However, I came to realize in my early teen, overweight years that it was not as easy as it looked. “You mean to tell me one day of bench press won’t give me the chiseled pecs I’m looking for?” “Is it supposed to be this difficult to lift 15 pounds?” “What is this soreness!?” Needless to say I didn’t last very long with that mindset. I went through the rest of my teenage years including high school very quiet, self conscious, insecure, overweight, etc.

Fast forward to 2005, I just graduated high school and got a job at a local gym where I started out as a life guard for their swimming pool. I wasn’t even old enough to workout there without a chaperone. When I finally turned 18 they allowed me to workout by myself. This was my first time showing any consistency working out and boy, did my body adapt quickly. I saw and felt my chest getting bigger and stronger by the month, my arms were starting to show definition, my confidence was through the roof. It was not controlled, I was downright cocky. I also knew nothing about nutrition or how the body worked. This will come back later in the story.

So over the course of about 7 years working at this gym I ended up working in every department. I worked the front desk, I became and online certified trainer (which is a joke and a disservice to the fitness industry if I’m honest), I headed over to the sales department and even had my hand in the marketing department. At some point this gym I was at started to rent out space to a personal trainer trade school, this will also come back later. At around 21 years old I tore 2 ligaments (ligaments attach bone to bone) in my right ankle playing basketball. I had no health insurance, my uncle had to pay out of his own pocket for me to get an MRI. No health insurance meant to surgery, no rehab. My ankle is currently being held together by scar tissue. I had crutches and stayed off that ankle for months, testing it each month to see how it was healing. This was a dark time for me. Unable to work, I stayed home all day, every day taking prescription pain medication and eating all day long. Hello, weight gain and depression! As soon as I was able to start putting weight on that foot, I did and I returned to work against their wishes. I started to rehab myself, picking the brains of anyone that seemed like they knew what they were talking about. I wanted to play basketball again, I started to work on my cross over, slowly and painfully. I can remember still being on crutches, hobbling over to the bench press and getting in as many sets as I could during the 30 minute lunch break I had. The soreness had never felt so good.

As my ankle got closer to 100% I started to work with a personal trainer that free lanced at this gym. It changed my life. I had never been stronger and the education on lifting that I received from him is a huge part of what I apply to my business today. After working with him for over a year I eventually had to discontinue due to the fact I had decided to go to school to become an RMA (Registered Medical Assistant). I was working at the gym during the day and going to school at night. Finding time to workout became difficult and remember when I said diet would come back into this story? Well, here it comes.

Your body will talk to you. It will send you signs that something is not right. I never put much thought into what I was eating or how I was living. So that meant late night diner trips after spending a few hours at a local bar. There is about 3 different fast food chains within a 1 mile radius of my town, I even had picked up smoking cigarettes! I had asthma, I literally could not leave my house without a pack of tums due to acid reflex and I was taking 4 – 8 Advil every single day due to stress headaches. Side note, pain medications do not work for stress headaches. I felt horrible every day, I was getting sick every few months. My wake up call came when I went to the doctor for a check up. My BMI told me I was obese, he wanted me to fill prescriptions for a daily asthma inhaler (I had only had an emergency pump to this point), he wanted me to see an orthopedist for all of the pain I was in (my body aches were terrible when I was sick) and a neurologist for my head aches. I did none of what he asked. I refused to accept this as my new life. I stopped smoking and got my obese @$$ on a treadmill for my heart and lung health. I changed my diet which amazingly stopped my antacid use and I quit my job, I woke up the very next day headache free. I also started taking zinc to help boost my immune system. Thanks, doc.

From that point on I never looked back. I had realized that between rehabbing my own injury, putting myself through school (and graduating) and doing an complete 180 with my health that I could do anything I put my mind to. Anything. So, that’s what I have been doing ever since. From owning a dance studio to driving trains for the HBLR. Putting myself back through school to become the best fitness professional I could be. The school I am referring to of course just so happened to be the personal trainer school that was located inside of the gym I started working at when I was 17. Now if that’s not full circle then I don’t know what is! The Fitness Academy will be turning 1 year old in few months and none of this would have been possible if not for all the pain I had to endure both physically, mentally and a  whole slue of other wild stories not mentioned in this blog.

So, that’s my story, or at least part of it. The message behind it? Embrace your pain, never fear change and believe in yourself. Let your heart lead you, it’s way smarter than your brain.

Peace & Love,

~ Matt G.

The Fitness Academy, LLC

If you’re seeking change in your life and need help to get started feel free to reach out to me. Change starts within the mind and your first session is always on me!

FitnessAcademyNJ@Gmail.com

@FitnessAcademyNJ on Instagram

201.983.3510 (call/text)

Diet and Nutrition

Dieting & Nutrition 101


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Hello Fit Fam, welcome back!

Today We will be going over not so much the science behind dieting and nutrition, but more covering over the basis to help keep your sanity. The reason I feel covering this topic from this perspective is because, right off the bat I will let you know that every single person in the world is different from the next. So there is not one diet or nutrition plan that will work for everyone. The dirty truth the fitness industry doesn’t want you to know is that the secret for success lies within trial and error, lots of patience and perseverance.

Mindset. This comes first. Accept that this is a life long journey and the goal is not just to drop 10 or 20 pounds but to find a way to live your life that is the healthiest for you while not being miserable. No one wants to eat chicken, broccoli and brown rice everyday and since you’re not competing in a body building competition, you don’t need to! If you are struggling with your weight due to unhealthy eating habits to think you can completely change your entire lifestyle in one shot is too unrealistic and will set you up for failure in the long run. Trial and error. Set your self up with small obtainable goals. How is your water intake? Do you drink a lot of sugary sodas and iced teas? Can you drink one less can of soda per day and replace it with an extra bottle of water? Seems silly right? Well, for some people this can be a struggle and this one little change can be the catalyst that sets you up for success in the long run. Last thing I will mention about mindset. Your biggest critic is probably yourself. So as you start to make these small changes to your lifestyle, if you have a day where you aren’t doing what you’re supposed to be doing, that’s okay! Change is not linear, you can and you probably will fall off the horse a few times. Change begins and ends with perseverance and patience.

Your body is just a vehicle. You’re very own, very personal, very customized vehicle. While you are awake, while you are alive, your body is burning calories and calories equal energy. That and only that is the true purpose for food. To fuel your vehicle for the day. The more you move, the more physical activities you take part in, the more calories you will be burning. Unfortunately, we live in a society where food has become entertainment. Just take a minute to reflect on that. When you are looking for something to do, how often does the solution of a night out eating and or drinking come up? Are you eating to fuel your vehicle or are you eating for fun? Are you actually hungry or are you bored? I challenge everyone to try just a few days of intermittent fasting. Try this and you will find out what true hunger feels like. Not to mention the actual scientific benefits of fasting that I will save for a future post.

As I said before, everybody is different and fasting may not be the answer for you and that’s okay. I encourage everyone to put in a little effort to invest some time into themselves. Track your calories, get an idea of how many you are actually eating on a daily basis. Track your macros, same concept. Learn about yourself and your body. Document things. What times are you eating? So much to think about! Something I have all of my clients do is in some form or fashion (texting pictures is usually the easiest) is to journal every single thing you put into your mouth for a 14 day period. You don’t have to worry about tracking calories or the macro-nutrients, I handle all of that. At the end of the 14 day we can come up with a game plan together on where we can start to make some changes.

I hope you able to take some of what you read here today and reflect. Ask yourself some of the questions you read above. If you would like to dive deeper into this topic with me, as always you can e-mail me at FitnessAcademyNJ@gmail.com

The Fitness Academy is dedicated to helping you not only achieve your goals but also to set you up for success long after your time is up with me.

E-mail, call or text (201.983.3510) to schedule your complimentary 90 minute consultation.

Peace & Love,

~Matt G.

P.S. The Fitness Academy will be hosting an all day seminar (10 am – 6 pm) on May 20th led by Holistic doctor, Dr. Julian Cano. You can sign up on his website http://www.DrCano.net