90 Fitness Answers 04 – How Do I Raise My Metabolism?

90 fitness answers 04 - how do i raise my metabolismYou know those people that it seems like they can eat anything (and everything) and they don’t put on an ounce of fat?  Then there are those people who look at a bowl of pasta or a birthday cake and it’s like ten pounds magically appears.  If you’ve ever asked “How do I raise my metabolism?” then chances are you’re in the second group.

Let’s start by just defining what we actually mean by “metabolism”, to get on the same page.  Basically, the metabolism is all of your body’s processes.  Everything from powering your cells to repairing damage, replacing old cells, creating new ones, and so on all fall into this lump category of “metabolism”.  All of these things require energy, in the form of calories, to take place.  That energy can come from the food you’re eating now or it can come from fat or muscle stored on your body, which is past overeating that you did.  Of course, when people are asking this question they’re generally looking for ways to expend more energy and ideally have the excess come from the stored fat.

For the first group, there’s a handful of reasons as to why they may be able to just burn through food, not all of which are related to the metabolism, but for the sake of this post we’ll stick with those.  For the rest of us, here’s how to get that metabolism cranking and the fat dropping: Continue reading

90 Fitness Answers 03 – Should I Do Cardio Before or After Strength Training

90 fitness answers 03 - should i do cardio or strength training first

Long-time Relentless athlete Tara was a great example of building both strength AND endurance!

Let’s get into the training side of our 90 Days of Fitness Questions.  This is another one I get a lot:

Should I do my cardio before or after my strength training?

Well, let’s start by defining what we’re talking about.  Usually when I get this question people are defining “cardio” as long-duration, slow-to-moderate speed endurance work:  Going for a run, bike, etc.  They’re defining their “strength training” as a more traditional weight training session:  Squatting, benching, etc.

For the record, those are not totally opposing activities.  There are ways to develop strength WHILE improving one’s cardiovascular ability, which we do at Relentless, but for the sake of this discussion I’ll keep to those definitions to not muddy the waters too much.

When it comes to combining cardiovascular/endurance training with strength training, the common thought is often that if you do too much cardio you’ll lose all of your strength and muscle.  We’ll actually get deeper into this in a later question, but the answer there is yes and no.

Continue reading

90 Fitness Answers 02 – How Do I Eat More Protein?

90 days fitness answers - how much protein should i eatYesterday, to kick off our 90 Fitness Answers series I addressed a common question that I get which was “How Much Protein Do I Need?“.

After establishing that most people who strength train are looking at somewhere in the 0.8g to 1.0g of protein per pound of lean or goal weight, the next question I get from a lot of people is:

Holy cow! That’s a lot of protein! How am I going to eat that much?”

That’s a fair question, especially if you’re not used to it.
So here’s some basic strategies to up your protein intake:

1. Eat more frequently/add a snack. If you’re a three-meals-a-day (or less) person, and your target protein ends up being 120g/day or more, you may find that you struggle to cram down 40-50g at each sitting. Honestly, for those of us who’ve been doing it for a while that’s not that big a deal (so it gets better), but at first it can be a challenge. A great way to add some more is to sneak in a high protein snack like turkey roll-ups, Greek yogurt, or something similar. Often you can get in 15-30g in a snack and that’ll take a little pressure off of your big meals. Plus, you’ll feel a little less hungry during the day, so when meal time comes around it’s easier to make good decisions. Continue reading

90 Fitness Answers 01 – How Much Protein Should I Eat?

In honor of there being only 90 days left in the year, I thought it’d be fun (and useful) to answer 90 of the most common fitness questions I get here at Relentless… one per day.  So to kick it off:

Day 1: “How much protein should I eat?

This is one of the most common questions that I get in the gym and that’s why I chose to kick this series off with it.

When it comes to putting together a nutrition plan (or heck, even “just trying to eat better”), one of the first things that people almost always run into is the question of how much protein should they eat… or even what IS a high-protein food, which we’ll handle a little bit later.

When it comes to the amount of protein you’re expected to shovel in, youll find that there’s a couple ends of the opinion spectrum: Continue reading

10 Steps to a Lean, Fit Body – Part 3

strength and performance training bangor maineTime for the third and final installment of the 10-Step Checklist To Build A Lean, Strong, and Healthy Body!

Building a lean, strong body doesn’t just happen in the gym and the kitchen. Today we’re going to tackle some of the “out of the gym” parts of the masterpiece-building equation. This is the often-neglected stuff that can make or break your success!

If you happened to miss Part 1, check it out here.
If you missed Part 2, check it out here.

On to Part 3! Continue reading

10 Steps to a Lean, Fit Body – Part 2

nutrition counseling bangor maineWelcome back to The 10 Step Checklist For Build a Lean, Strong, High-Performance Body. This is part II, where we break down what you need to do at the kitchen and the table to get your nutrition on point into simple steps. If you missed Part I then you might want to check it out here.

4. Eat protein, and eat enough of it.

Of the three macronutrients (carbohydrates, fats, and proteins), protein is probably the most talked about but also the most misunderstood.

Basically, protein is primarily a structural macronutrient in that you are made up largely of protein. While it can be used as energy to fuel you, doing so uses a very inefficient system and is a task better left to the carbohydrates and fats.

As far as how much protein do you really need? The answer is, as usual, “it depends”. If you listen to your average bro-lifter who gets his info from the bodybuilding magazines full of glossy, T&A-filled ads for protein powders… the answer is that you need something between a shit-load and the National deficit. If you listen to the random hippy in the health food store then you should be able to get all you need from broccoli. If you find the right hippy they may tell you that all you need to do is smell the broccoli. Trust me, they’re out there.

As I’m sure you realize, the answer is somewhere in the middle. Continue reading

10 Steps To a Lean, Fit Body – Part 1

relentless strength training bangor gym fitnessI’m going to break down building a strong, healthy body that has both “show” and “go” in ten simple steps..

Why would I do that? Because I’m tired of all of the conflicting, confusing stuff out there in the fitness world.

The truth of the matter is that if you want to build a lean, strong body that performs and looks the part it’s way too easy to get lost in the sea of information out there. Turn on the TV and you’ve got workout infomercials hitting you in the face. Click on the radio and you get blasted by ads hawking some stupid wrap. Heck, a single click of a mouse will see you be buried under a deluge of information. There’s basically no end to it. Quite frankly, it’s frustrating at best and maddening enough to throw your hands up at worst.

At Relentless we’re well known for being “BS Killers”. Sometimes that means that we’re a little blunt, but so be it. My clients hire my coaches and myself to cut through all the noise, kill the mumbo-jumbo, and get them great results without the stress and goose chases of having to hunt down and then figure out how to apply all that information.

So, in light of that goal, let’s cut to the chase. Continue reading