From Jessica to Daisy (Dukes of Hazzard Workout)

Pic for Blog- Dukes of Hazzard

The phrase ‘hard work pays off’ has to be one of the most spot on phrases when it comes to the fitness world. Working hard, eating right and getting enough sleep every day does the body wonders. Go ahead and listen to all of the success stories around the world, but the one that can truly put the phrase into perspective is Jessica Simpson in The Dukes of Hazzard. Now we may not all have the motivation of your body being shown on 50-ft Cinema movie screens around the world, but it is a prime example of how with the correct mindset, anything is possible.

Jessica Simpson spent weeks and weeks in the gym working hard and eating right for the role. “When I found out I got the role, I went straight to the gym,” says Jessica. Jessica also had the luxury of a personal trainer working with her every single day. She went on a workout regimen from her trainer, Mike Alexander, which consisted of squats, running, and other weight-resistance exercises to overall lean Jessica out and tone her up. She worked out for nearly two hours every single day to get in the best shape of her adult life.

She strayed away from carb-loaded foods like bread and her favorite sweet, banana pudding. Her trainer called the diet she went on a ‘don’t eat crap diet’ which pretty much was a lower carb, higher protein diet consisting of a lot of grilled chicken, fish and fresh, green vegetables. When Jessica cheated in her diet she found herself immediately resenting that she did and made herself work twice as hard the next day in the gym and added new exercises, extra sets, or extra running. “I watched my diet and was in the gym to walk proud,” she says. “My body is definitely an accomplishment.”

The trainer she had practically lived with her during the close to three months she trained for her part in the movie. He ate with her during ever meal she ate, told her what was okay to order, and told her what to stay away from. He also released the exercises on a website I found, including why he had her do each exercise.

Getting Simpson into Daisy Duke shape “was never about fat loss,” says her trainer Michael Alexander. “She never once stepped on a scale. It was about taking on a different shape.” Simpson would start her 2-hour sessions with a 5-minute jogging warm-up, then weight-resistance exercises and 30 minutes “booking it” on the treadmill, says Alexander. He describes key moves for her legs, rear and upper body:

• BODY-WEIGHT SQUATS: Stand with hands clasped in front of you. Do 25 reps for 2 or 3 sets. These will firm your glutes, hamstrings and quads.

• FORWARD LUNGES: Step forward and back, alternating feet, to tone your quads and glutes. Do 8 to 10 reps for 2 to 3 sets.

• REVERSE LUNGES: For a glutes and hamstrings workout, step back off a short box or step 14 times on each leg. Repeat 2 or 3 times.

• TRAVELING LUNGES: Walk across a room doing lunges with a straight back leg. (You should be leaning forward slightly so your head is in line with your back leg.) This works out every muscle from your waist down.

• PRONE-KNEELING LEG EXTENSION: Get on your hands and knees and have your spine straight, hands below the shoulders and knees below the hips. Bring one leg up, creating a straight line from head to toe (do not point toe). Alternate legs for 10 reps for 3 sets for a firm behind.

• BICEP CURLS FROM A LUNGE POSITION: Stand in a lunge position so that your back leg is on the ball of your foot. Holding dumbbells in each hand, do 18 bicep curls for 3 sets. This position also works out your abs.

• LATERAL RAISE FROM A LUNGE POSITION: Immediately after the bicep curls, switch legs in the lunge position and raise your arms straight out to either side while holding dumbbells. Do 18 reps for 3 sets. This tones your deltoids.

When people see movies like The Dukes of Hazzard, they see movie stars like Jessica Simpson and see how perfect she looks on and off screen during this time. It was literally her job to look as good as she possibly could for the time that she was recorded. She put in hours on top of hours with a personal trainer/nutritionist following her every move to make sure she was going to be able to look the way she wanted, and would punish herself for ever mistake she would make with eating or drinking. Once the movie was over, she took a break from working out too because of how hard she worked herself! Remember this when you try and compare yourself to someone like her or any movie star you see. You can always put in the work, but you just have to remember what they went through as well. Let them be your motivation and remember…

Yesterday you said tomorrow

-Eric Hess

Peanut Butter Lover

Pic for Blog-National Peanut Butter Lover's DaySunday is National Peanut Butter Lover’s Day, a day where all peanut butter lovers can get together and laud the magnificent substance, or just eat a peanut butter sandwich.  But since this holiday is quickly approaching, I decided to go over why everyone (who isn’t allergic to peanuts) should love peanut butter too and join in on the celebration. Peanut butter in moderation is a wonder source of many vitamins and health benefits. Let’s go over them.

Peanut Butter is an amazing source of Protein. Two tablespoons of peanut butter is approximately seven grams of protein. To stay on the healthy side with all of the others things you get from protein, you usually don’t want to intake over two tablespoons a day.

According to research done at Harvard Medical School there is heart health benefits that you receive from eating peanut butter. When you eat it in moderate amounts (two tablespoons or less a day) the amount of unsaturated fats that you get is amazing for you and is worth the lower amount of saturated fats that you get. You also have to be sure to eat higher quality peanut butter for it to be as healthy as possible (I’ll go over the better kinds of peanut butter later in this article).

The vitamins you receive from eating peanut butter can actually be an Energy Booster for your body. This is why peanut butter makes for a great condiment for breakfast food or for mid day snacks! I would try and stay away from it during the night, as it can be a factor in keeping you up at nights.

The fibers and proteins that peanut butter contains can actually help you feel fuller for a longer period of time and can help aid you in weight loss. Once again, eating massive amounts of peanut butter isn’t going to help you lose any weight, quite the contrary actually, but the two tablespoons a day can possibly be a factor of losing a few pounds!

Peanut butter has healthy fats. A lot of people worry about eating peanut butter because it is high in fats, but in reality the fats that peanut butter contains are actually healthy fats that you need for a complete daily diet. The unsaturated fats, which are the good fats, are much higher than the saturated fats, or bad fats, which makes it a good food to eat.

Buying the right, healthiest, peanut butter can be a task within its self. There are a couple things that you should be looking for when you purchase peanut butter.

All Natural peanut butter is the best for reducing your intake of most saturated (bad) fats and everything else that is bad in other peanut butter options. All natural peanut butter tends to be slightly more pricy so keep that in mind too, but if you’re sticking to your two tablespoons of peanut butter a day you shouldn’t worry too much about what kind you are getting.

The amount of Sugar is another factor that you have to look for.  The sugar is what makes the peanut butter have more of a sweet taste so keep that in mind when trying these kinds of peanut butter.

Let me know what types of peanut butter you like best and why.  If you didn’t eat peanut butter before, I hope you’ll give it a try after reading this article.  We’ll see you at the National Peanut Butter Lover’s day party on Sunday!

Yesterday you said tomorrow

-Eric Hess

The 300 Workout

Pic for BlogWhenever I watch a movie like 300 I always think of how much work the actors must have put in to have the bodies that they have.  I wonder not only about the countless hours in the gym they must put in, but also the absolutely insane diets that these people must go on, and how hard it must be both physically and mentally. I did some research to try and find out what exactly it takes to look like the gods in 300.

Each ‘Spartan’ had to workout 5 days a week in order to train for their dreaded ‘300’ workout, which got its name for the intense 300 reps that is done during it. Before they were even able to do this workout, though, they worked on several different circuits, volume training and cardio for 90 minutes to 2 hours on the days they worked out. They also had to do fight training for another 4 to 6 hours!

Here is what the ‘300’ workout consists of with no scheduled rest between each set.

Pullups – 25 reps

Barbell Deadlifts with 135 lbs. – 50 reps

Pushups – 50 reps

24-inch Box Jumps – 50 reps

Floor Wipers – 50 reps

Single-Arm Clean-and-Press with 36 lb Kettlebell – 50 reps

Pullups – 25 reps

Now before the actors were allowed to do this intense of a workout, they had to first train for months in order to be able to be physically fit enough to do so. They were on strict diets, were only allowed to eat a majority of their food immediately after working out, and were only given enough to recover from their workouts. Just to give an idea of how hard the ‘300’ workout was, only about half of the actors were able to partake in the workout, and the fastest time the workout was done in was 18 minutes and 11 seconds.

It is highly recommended that unless you have been training for something like this, you do not attempt to do it. If you are not in good enough shape, you can get seriously hurt. Start off slower and do one of the more intermediate or beginner versions of the workout that can be found here.

It is always important to remember how absolutely dedicated you have to be if you were ever look the way that these people do. You literally have to make it your job and life in order to look like a Spartan or even a supermodel for that matter. I feel like a lot of people don’t realize how much work people put into looking that way, and are harder on their selves because of it. It’s always great to have goal and nothing is impossible, but you have to have a realistic approach to them as well.

“Yesterday you said tomorrow.”

– Eric Hess

Inside > Outside

Picture for Blog

After a lot of thinking, which was probably sparked by the hours of Grey’s Anatomy I’ve been watching on Netflix lately, I have been wondering how an average college students’ lifestyle affects the body. This time, though, I am not going to blog on the basic “freshman 15” or the lack of exercise students typically get. Rather, I want to focus on one thing: inside the human body.

Of course all organs are vital and should be taken care of regularly.  However, as college students, we don’t quite think about how our lifestyle affects our liver, heart, intestines, etc.  Instead, we tend to care much more about the quick and easy components such as: What will make us fat? How do we stay up all night?  What is the best hangover cure? But what if we all actually started caring about our organs, the inside of our bodies that people can’t see, rather than always worrying about the parts that people can see?

First, let’s talk about the liver. We all know that the more we drink, the more it affects our liver. However, a night out on the town doesn’t just stop us from eating healthy, working out the next day, or feeling at our best.  It also can lead to many forms of cancer, most commonly of the liver.

Studies have found that about 60.2% of college students drink heavily compared to 51.9% of individuals around the same age that are not in college. The long-term effects of drinking lead to an increased chance of liver disease, which may eventually lead to liver cancer. No one ever really understands what that means until they know the symptoms, which include weakness and fatigue, weight loss, nausea, vomiting, and yellow discoloration of the skin (jaundice). Think twice when you are looking for a night of fun. Does alcohol have to be involved?

Up next, the intestines. This also leads to discussion of the bowel. I should start first by establishing the fact that EVERYONE POOPS. Okay, now that you understand that, as a college student, or at any point in your life really, you need to make sure you are consuming the correct foods that your bowel and intestines will appreciate. Did you know that cheese constipates the normal digestive system and that spicy foods disturb it? If you like spicy foods, though, you may already know that well from first-hand experience. In college, hot wings and pizza are staples in our diets; foods that are full of intestine blocking and irritating ingredients.

Making sure you eat the right foods to keep your inner-self happy and clean is important. A lot people are full of sh*t, but no one wants to literally be FULL of sh*t. The best foods to keep your digestive system happy and your intestines and bowels clean are: fruit, vegetables, and whole grains.  These are full of fiber, which in short, helps you poop and keeps you clean.  You may also want to try replacing unhealthy oils by cooking with olive oil.

Lastly, the heart: The most important organ in the human body. Without your heart, you have no life. One of the best ways to keep your heart healthy is to exercise. Not just once in a blue moon, but regularly. Habits are formed best when we are young, so by forming the habit to exercise 3-4 days a week now, it will be easier to make it an important aspect of life in the future. Another way to keep the heart healthy as a college student is to avoid the greasy foods because they are high in calories and saturated fat. Eating these types of foods can lead to a blockage of blood flow to the heart, which can then lead to a heart attack.

So yes, you are always being told to eat healthy because it genuinely keeps you healthy. Now you know that not eating healthy can lead to serious long-term heart issues, and without the heart, we can’t survive.

Hopefully this topic was a little more interesting than the basic “eat healthy and exercise” topics usually forced upon you as a college student. Your organs are important. If you are someone that can eat whatever they want and it doesn’t affect you externally so you don’t think it affects you at all, think again.

Your liver, intestines, heart, and every other organ in your body are important.  Unless you start forming healthy habits now, it will be harder later in life, and could even be too late. The time is now, so READY, SET, GO!

“Always remember that it doesn’t matter how slow you go, as long as you keep on going.”

~Kenzi Weidman

Sources: Alcohol Facts and StatisticsLiver DiseaseConstipationSix Healthy Tips for College Students7 Foods for a Healthy Heart