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

Fitbit Charge Review

I have been wondering what all of the hype about fitness bands has been, so I recently decided to buy a Fitbit Charge (http://www.fitbit.com/charge) to try it out for myself. The price tag of the Fitbit Charge is a little hefty at $129.99 but I got it on special at Kohl’s for $109.99. I thought writing a review as my blog would be helpful for some of you since I don’t think any of us ever have. So here it goes:

Display 

There are two main ways to display the information received from the Fitbit: on the Fitbit itself and the Fitbit app. Since the Fitbit Charge has an LED screen, it is able to display multiple categories. It is able to display the time and date, steps taken each day, how many miles you have walked, calories burned, and number of floors climbed.  In addition, you are also able to see who is calling your phone on the Fitbit display if you have them synced. You are also able to set an alarm from the Fitbit app to vibrate whenever you have it set.

App  Pic 1 for Blog Pic 2 for Blog

The Fitbit app, which is available for iPhones, Androids and Windows phones, has a much larger selection of statistics. The app has all of the options the Fitbit Charge itself can display, but you are also able to see things like active minutes and how long and well you slept. There are also things that you can enter manually like weight, food consumed, water consumed, and exercises that you completed. You are able to see more detailed statistics from previous days, weeks and months to track your progress. The app is very well designed and I personally have not had any problems with it yet.

Design

I find the design of the Fitbit Charge pretty stylish and comfortable for the most part. I am a person who always wears watches so starting to wear the Fitbit wasn’t much of a change. The only weird thing was wearing it while I sleep so I could get statistics on how well and long I am sleeping. I actually find the the Fitbit to be less noticeable since there was no watch head that restricted any of my wrist motions. There are three different sizes (http://www.fitbit.com/charge) which you are able to find dimensions to on the website. The only thing that is slightly annoying to me is that the Fitbit is sort of a rubbery material that can sometimes get caught on my long sleeve shirts and sort of pull my sleeve when I move my arm too much. Other than that, I never notice that I am even wearing it.

Battery

There is a battery that is rechargeable. I have found that I have to charge the Fitbit about once every 5 days or so. I have been checking it a lot more than I feel I will in the future though since it is new, which drains the battery. It charges in less than an hour so I have been getting in the habit of just charging it while I go take a shower since it cannot be taken into the shower. But I have not had a problem with it dying on me yet.

Add-ons

There are also many other cool add-ons you can get to use with your Fitbit app like a scale which is recorded daily and tells you how well you are making progress. There are also fun, motivational badges you get whenever you break personal records and goals. You can compete against friends to see who is the most active as well, which is a pretty cool feature to help push yourself.

My Opinion

While wearing my Fitbit Charge I honestly find myself walking more and challenging myself to reach my goals every day. I take stairs rather than elevators and have learned things that I never really thought about, such as how lazy I can be some days and how much sleep I don’t get on others. It’s nice to know when someone is calling and whom he or she is without running to get my phone when it isn’t on me or when I don’t want to pull it out of my pocket.

There are only a few things that I do not like about the Fitbit. I do wish that I was able to wear it in the shower, but it is recommended that you do not. It would also be nice if it were solar charged so I wouldn’t have to ever charge it, but charging it isn’t the biggest burden. The last problem is it getting caught on my long sleeve clothing.

Overall, I do really like the Fitbit. It really helps me be more active because I feel more rewarded seeing all of the steps and active minutes I am putting into each day. It helps me feel guiltier when I take elevators and escalators too. If you can spare the $129.99 for a personal trainer on your wrist I would recommend a Fitbit Charge to you!

Let me know if you have a Fitbit, and if so, how you like it!

“Yesterday you said tomorrow.”

– Eric Hess