Archive for the ‘Muscle’ Category

Our 30-Day Kick Start Transformation Starts September 3, 2013

Sunday, September 1st, 2013

Jason Smith Fitness has chosen four weight loss subjects that will have 30 days to lose as much weight as possible via exercise and following a strict diet plan. The four individuals will be training with Jason Smith three days per week using the HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) training protocol to maximize weight loss. They will be handing in weekly food journals every Friday for Jason’s review. At that time, each lady will get on the scale to see how their hard work is paying off.

The girls received their weight loss goals for the 30-Day program. They are as follows:

Zamantha Tavazon – 25 lbs
Kasey English – 22 lbs
Mari Ramos – 18 lbs
Patty LePore – 15 lbs

You can follow their success at

Good luck ladies!!

Exercise: “Miracle-Gro For The Brain”

Tuesday, January 31st, 2012

Ever wonder why your day seems to be more productive after a morning workout? Exercising your body has more benefits than just making you look good. Attached below is an article and a video on exercise and the brain.


Work The Entire Body…Not Just The Mirror Muscles!

Tuesday, October 4th, 2011

It seems to be a common practice for many gym goers to only work the muscles they see when they look in the mirror, (i.e., biceps, chest, and quads) and neglecting the muscles on the backside. Working the body in this manner can create imbalances in strength and poor posture which can lead to injury.

One way to make certain you train the body equally is to train opposing muscle groups together, (e.g., chest and back, biceps and triceps, or quadriceps and hamstrings). One of my favorite training protocols is “opposing muscle supersets”. Training two opposing muscles back to back without rest for three to four sets.

Whatever your method of training, don’t forget about the muscles you can’t see in the mirror!

Thank YOU for the inspiration! FIIT is finally here!

Sunday, March 6th, 2011

I want to thank all of my clients that have shared their past group fitness training and bootcamp experiences with me. It was your stories that inspired me to create a program that would not only be intense, but also safe, fun and extremely effective. I’ve spent the last two years testing and tweaking new ideas for what I wanted to be the “BEST” group training program ever! Today I’m proud to say…FIIT is finally here! So far…….so great!

FIIT – Fast Intense Interval Training

Is Your Body Weatherized For Summer?

Wednesday, February 23rd, 2011

Summer is right around the corner, why not make this one your best! No more wearing the long baggy shorts and big t-shirts at the pool…BREAK OUT THE BIKINI! With three months left until summer, you still have plenty of time to get in shape.

Here’s what you’ll need for your three-month weatherization kit:

– Resistance training – Exercise with weights at least 3x/week to build muscle and burn fat.
- Cardiovascular exercise – Get that heart rate up for at least 30 minutes a day to help create a calorie deficit and burn stored fat.

**Consider enrolling in one of our FIIT Team Training classes, where both resistance training and cardiovascular training are combined per the HIIT protocal**

- Healthy eating – Eat approx. 5x/day (small meals); a lean protein source with a low-glycemic carb.
- Calendar – Write down every week what you plan to do for activity; then cross it out once you’ve completed it.
– Food log – Enter into your journal every time you eat and drink; what, when, and how much.

Just how important is sleep when it comes to losing fat?

Friday, November 19th, 2010

Everyone knows that sleep is vital to our existence, but did you know that it also plays a very important role when it comes to losing fat?

My 12-week transformation clients are required to keep a daily log of their food intake. They annotate what they eat, the times they eat, water intake, and the amount of sleep they get each night. Why do I have them log their sleep? Well….if they’re not getting enough sleep (approximately 8 hours each night) it can effect their fat loss, muscle gain and physical performance.

Here’s an article on sleep and fat loss: Want To Lose Weight? Get Some Sleep

Body Mass Index…not an accurate way to measure healthy body weight!

Tuesday, September 14th, 2010

I was playing Wii Fit this past weekend with my 16 year old twin daughters. During the initial fitness assessment, you stand on this platform while it calculates your Body Mass Index (BMI). A BMI of 18.5 to 24.9 is considered healthy, 25 to 29.9 is overweight, 30 to 39.9 is obese, and 40 plus is morbidly obese. My daughters found it funny that it calculated my BMI at 28, which puts me in the “overweight” category…just shy of obese. Being a fitness trainer, I know that the BMI system is not an accurate measure. So, needless to say, I made certain to explain this to my daughters.

The Body Mass Index is supposed to be a useful way to estimate a healthy body weight. BMI is calculated from your weight and height, but does not take into account how much lean tissue or fat you have. So this form of measurement can be misleading. For example, a 6 foot male weighing 200 pounds with 6% body fat has a BMI of 28.5, as does a 6 foot male weighing 200 pounds with 30% body fat.

If you want an accurate measurement of a healthy weight…have your body fat percentage tested. This form of measurement will give you a more accurate reading of how much of your weight is fat and how much is lean tissue (bone, muscle, organ tissue, blood, etc.).

Here’s a link to what some experts are saying about BMI: Your BMI doesn’t tell the whole truth, experts say

Decrease gym time…increase calories burned!

Wednesday, August 18th, 2010

With the majority of our population being unfit and overweight, we need to be burning more calories. Sometimes our busy lifestyles can get in the way leaving less time for our workouts. What if you could spend less time in the gym and burn more calories??? Well…you can! High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT). HIIT is a great training protocol that works for any fitness level!

MSNBC article: Work/rest intervals ratchet up workouts!

EXERCISE…Prescription For Anxiety!

Friday, November 20th, 2009

Who hasn’t felt stressed out at one point or another in their life! And although we know exercise is great in so many ways…here’s another reason to incorporate it into your daily activities. A recent study conducted at Princeton University discovered that exercise has a “calming” effect on the the brain when put in stressful situations. The study was conducted on rats, but nonetheless…it sounds like exercise helps the brain deal with stress differently than non-exercisers. Attached below is the article written by Gretchen Reynolds in The New York Times.

Phys Ed: Why Exercise Makes You Less Anxious

Researchers at Princeton University recently made a remarkable discovery about the brains of rats that exercise. Some of their neurons respond differently to stress than the neurons of slothful rats. Scientists have known for some time that exercise stimulates the creation of new brain cells (neurons) but not how, precisely, these neurons might be functionally different from other brain cells.
Phys Ed

In the experiment, preliminary results of which were presented last month at the annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience in Chicago, scientists allowed one group of rats to run. Another set of rodents was not allowed to exercise. Then all of the rats swam in cold water, which they don’t like to do. Afterward, the scientists examined the animals’ brains. They found that the stress of the swimming activated neurons in all of the brains. (The researchers could tell which neurons were activated because the cells expressed specific genes in response to the stress.) But the youngest brain cells in the running rats, the cells that the scientists assumed were created by running, were less likely to express the genes. They generally remained quiet. The “cells born from running,” the researchers concluded, appeared to have been “specifically buffered from exposure to a stressful experience.” The rats had created, through running, a brain that seemed biochemically, molecularly, calm.

For years, both in popular imagination and in scientific circles, it has been a given that exercise enhances mood. But how exercise, a physiological activity, might directly affect mood and anxiety — psychological states — was unclear. Now, thanks in no small part to improved research techniques and a growing understanding of the biochemistry and the genetics of thought itself, scientists are beginning to tease out how exercise remodels the brain, making it more resistant to stress. In work undertaken at the University of Colorado, Boulder, for instance, scientists have examined the role of serotonin, a neurotransmitter often considered to be the “happy” brain chemical. That simplistic view of serotonin has been undermined by other researchers, and the University of Colorado work further dilutes the idea. In those experiments, rats taught to feel helpless and anxious, by being exposed to a laboratory stressor, showed increased serotonin activity in their brains. But rats that had run for several weeks before being stressed showed less serotonin activity and were less anxious and helpless despite the stress.

Other researchers have looked at how exercise alters the activity of dopamine, another neurotransmitter in the brain, while still others have concentrated on the antioxidant powers of moderate exercise. Anxiety in rodents and people has been linked with excessive oxidative stress, which can lead to cell death, including in the brain. Moderate exercise, though, appears to dampen the effects of oxidative stress. In an experiment led by researchers at the University of Houston and reported at the Society for Neuroscience meeting, rats whose oxidative-stress levels had been artificially increased with injections of certain chemicals were extremely anxious when faced with unfamiliar terrain during laboratory testing. But rats that had exercised, even if they had received the oxidizing chemical, were relatively nonchalant under stress. When placed in the unfamiliar space, they didn’t run for dark corners and hide, like the unexercised rats. They insouciantly explored.

“It looks more and more like the positive stress of exercise prepares cells and structures and pathways within the brain so that they’re more equipped to handle stress in other forms,” says Michael Hopkins, a graduate student affiliated with the Neurobiology of Learning and Memory Laboratory at Dartmouth, who has been studying how exercise differently affects thinking and emotion. “It’s pretty amazing, really, that you can get this translation from the realm of purely physical stresses to the realm of psychological stressors.”

The stress-reducing changes wrought by exercise on the brain don’t happen overnight, however, as virtually every researcher agrees. In the University of Colorado experiments, for instance, rats that ran for only three weeks did not show much reduction in stress-induced anxiety, but those that ran for at least six weeks did. “Something happened between three and six weeks,” says Benjamin Greenwood, a research associate in the Department of Integrative Physiology at the University of Colorado, who helped conduct the experiments. Dr. Greenwood added that it was “not clear how that translates” into an exercise prescription for humans. We may require more weeks of working out, or maybe less. And no one has yet studied how intense the exercise needs to be. But the lesson, Dr. Greenwood says, is “don’t quit.” Keep running or cycling or swimming. (Animal experiments have focused exclusively on aerobic, endurance-type activities.) You may not feel a magical reduction of stress after your first jog, if you haven’t been exercising. But the molecular biochemical changes will begin, Dr. Greenwood says. And eventually, he says, they become “profound.”

“Why Exercise Won’t Make You Thin” by John Cloud…….WHAT!!!

Sunday, September 20th, 2009

John Cloud is a reporter for Time Magazine. He wrote an article titled “Why Exercise Won’t Make You Thin”. If you don’t want to waste your time reading it, I will summarize it for you. In short, the article says that if you’re trying to lose weight…exercise won’t help. Mind you, he talks about exercise alone without changing eating habits. His article quotes different studies on exercising for weight loss and how none proved exercise helped with losing weight. However, the article doesn’t really talk about the type of exercise or exercise intensity; whether the studies involved aerobic, anaerobic, etc.

When it comes to losing weight, there are numerous studies showing that anaerobic exercise is more beneficial than aerobic exercise. Anaerobic exercise requires more glycogen (stored blood sugar) and aerobic exercise requires more oxygen, as far as the energy pathway goes. Weight lifting is a form of anaerobic exercise. Lifting weights, also known as resistance training, will increase muscle which in turn will increase your basal metabolic rate (BMR), thus helping with fat/weight loss. So, I think it’s important to know what kind of exercise/intensity he’s referring to when he states, “Why Exercise Won’t Make You Thin”.

I can typically get my clients to burn between 300 and 500 calories in a 30 minute session of anaerobic/aerobic activity. For someone working out with my same intensity for three times a week this calculates to approximately: 900-1500 calorie deficit per week, 3600-6000 calorie deficit per month, and 46,800-78,000 calorie deficit per year. This can produce as much as 22 pounds of fat loss per year for someone that kept their calories the same as before they started their weekly workout routine; and much more for those who changed their eating habits and calorie consumption to fit their new found exercise program.

One of John Cloud’s excuses as to why exercise doesn’t help with weight loss is because exercise can make you hungry…causing you to eat more calories; more calories than your exercise session burns. Well, duh John…exercise requires energy…and food is energy. You just have to watch what type of food you put into your mouth. And if you’re wanting to lose weight and get healthier, why would you not want to refuel your body with the healthiest food available!

John, just because you exercise doesn’t mean you’re going to get “thin”. You have to be conscious of how you exercise, what you eat and how much of it you eat. You can’t walk on a treadmill while you eat a donut and expect to lose weight just because you’re doing some form of exercise. Just like you can’t expect to ever save money if you spend all you earn.