Austin Personal Trainer Ross' Blog

A Precision Health & Fitness blog

Archive for February, 2010

You have more Control over Your Health than you might Realize

Posted by Ross Harrison, CSCS, NSCA-CPT on February 28, 2010

     This post is inspired by a book excerpt I recently read in the February 2010 issue of Wired magazine. The excerpt is from a new book titled The Decision Tree: Taking Control of Your Health in the New Era of Personalized Medicine and it is primarily about using decision trees to help you make better choices when making health related decisions. While the decision tree information was somewhat interesting and could be very useful to some people, it was the introductory information that really struck a nerve and made me want to write about this topic.

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Posted in Health and Fitness Overview, Psychology of Health and Fitness | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

Alcohol: The Enemy of Fat Loss (There’s a Reason it’s called a Beer Belly)

Posted by Ross Harrison, CSCS, NSCA-CPT on February 24, 2010

     It’s common knowledge that drinking a lot of alcohol will make you fat, unless you have a naturally fast metabolism or have an otherwise great nutritional program and burn a lot of calories through exercise. However, chances are you may not know why alcohol causes you to store so much fat or how many ways alcohol can sabotage your ability to lose fat. Alcoholic beverages can have a lot of calories, but the number of calories is only one of the issues.

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A Key to Fat Loss: Naturally Shrinking your Stomach

Posted by Ross Harrison, CSCS, NSCA-CPT on February 21, 2010

     One of the most common problems people have when dieting and trying to lose fat is controlling how much they eat at one time, otherwise known as portion control. Many people end up eating appropriate amounts of food for most of the day, but then eat significantly more during one of their meals (usually dinner). In some cases, the amount eaten during this larger meal is enough to undo all the progress the person made with their eating during the rest of the day.

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Posted in Fat Loss, Nutrition | Tagged: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

The Importance of Your 2 Different Types of Muscles: A Functional Approach

Posted by Ross Harrison, CSCS, NSCA-CPT on February 17, 2010

     People frequently write or talk about the physiological differences between muscle fibers (fast twitch vs. slow twitch, oxidative capacity, etc.), but this information is generally not very useful to the typical health and fitness enthusiast. Some understanding of how your muscles work is certainly important, but most people don’t need to know all the in-depth physiology. Instead, I believe that understanding the basic functional differences between muscles provides more practical information than you would get by learning a lot of the muscle physiology.

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A Healthier Way to Cheat with Sweets

Posted by Ross Harrison, CSCS, NSCA-CPT on February 14, 2010

     I originally planned a different post for today, but I thought this topic would be more appropriate since its Valentine’s Day and chances are you have some chocolate or other sweets around the house today.

     One of the biggest nutritional roadblocks for many people is trying to eliminate or cut down the amount of sugary foods they eat. Some people do better by avoiding all sweets, but a lot of people develop intense cravings and are more successful over the long run when they simply limit the amount of sugary food they consume. Eating a little sugar here and there is not too bad, but if your goal is to lose fat, then even moderate amounts of sugar can significantly impede your fat loss. Fortunately there is a simple trick to help you minimize the negative effects of eating reasonable amounts of sweets.

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Fact or Fiction: Doing lots of Abdominal Exercises is the Best Way to get Great Looking Abs

Posted by Ross Harrison, CSCS, NSCA-CPT on February 10, 2010

     The abdominals are the muscles that people are concerned with more than any other part of the body. There are so many products developed, articles written, videos made, etc. about developing better looking abs that it could seem like everyone must be walking around with incredible abs. Of course, most people don’t have great abs and genetics does play a part, but another reason is because people assume that doing lots of abdominal exercises is the best way to get great looking abs. The reality is that this belief, while common, is complete fiction.

     Doing lots of abdominal exercises is definitely not the best way to get great looking abs and believe it or not, it is actually a very inefficient way to get the abs you desire. That said, it is still very important to incorporate abdominal exercises into your overall routine. Just keep in mind that abdominal exercises have more to do with the way your abs work (strength, endurance, etc.) and less to do with making significant changes in the way they look.

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Posted in Exercise, Fact or Fiction, Fat Loss, Program Design | Tagged: , , , | 2 Comments »

The Single Most Important Nutritional Factor for Fat Loss

Posted by Ross Harrison, CSCS, NSCA-CPT on February 7, 2010

     Fat loss is probably the most common health and fitness goal today and there are so many different products and programs designed to make people lose fat that it is virtually impossible to keep track of them all. Having different options for achieving fat loss is important, because no single approach will work for everyone, although some fat loss strategies definitely work better than others.

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Posted in Fat Loss, Nutrition | Tagged: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

The 3 Things Needed for a Comprehensive Warm-up

Posted by Ross Harrison, CSCS, NSCA-CPT on February 4, 2010

     Everyone agrees that it is important to warm up before exercise, but there has been a lot of disagreement about what should be included in a warm-up. Many of these disagreements are the result of research done over the last 10 to 15 years, which has provided new insight into many of the old assumptions about warming up. At this point, the specific physiological effects of different types of warm-ups are becoming clear and I want to summarize recent findings and explain what you need to include if you want to experience all the benefits associated with warming up.

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Posted in Fitness, Program Design, Recovery | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

My Favorites: Quick and Easy Nutritious Meal

Posted by Ross Harrison, CSCS, NSCA-CPT on February 2, 2010

     This meal is a personal creation and it is one of my favorites because it has everything I look for in a meal. It only has 4 ingredients, requires almost no preparation or cooking, and is very good for your body. It is also inexpensive and makes a great meal for anyone trying to eat healthy on a budget. It contains high quality protein, healthy Omega-3 fat, and some of the best carbohydrates available. It would typically be considered a breakfast meal, but I actually eat it any time of the day. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in My Favorites, Nutrition | Tagged: , , , , | 4 Comments »

 
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