Archives for April 2017

The ABC’s of Fat Loss

Hi everyone! Today’s post is going to be a little shorter than usual because I’m getting ready for this Saturday’s 5 Things You Should Know About Weight Loss, But Don’t workshop.

Since the workshop is going to be about things that are a little different, I wanted to go over a few other things that people should already know.

  1. Calories in, calories out. In order to lose weight you must burn more calories than you take in. That’s it. There are no magic food combinations that will help you burn belly fat or anything like that (no matter what certain TV doctors may tell you). Now, even though this concept is simple, that doesn’t mean it’s easy. We do need to establish some basic facts, though.
  2. Every diet works. There have been a number of studies that have shown this. High carb, low carb, high fat, low fat, etc. The key is finding the diet that best works for you. The one you will stick to. THAT is what is really the determining factor.
  3. A lifestyle not a “diet”. The closer your diet is to the way you want to live the rest of your life, the better chance it will work long-term. You don’t want to lose weight only to have it come back, right? Forget the extreme diets and deadlines. If you make sustainable changes to your lifestyle the weight will come off and STAY off!

That’s all I have today but I’m going to have a lot more this Saturday at our workshop. You can get all the information you need here:

5 Things You Should Know About Weight Loss, But Don’t

It’s only $9.97 to attend and if you don’t get something good out of it I’ll give you your money back. I know it can help unlock some misconceptions people have about losign weight. If you’ve ever had that frustration you should come.

Please let me know if you have any questions. Have a great day!

Mitch Rothbardt, CPT, PN Level 2 Lean Eating Coach, FMS
Mitch Rothbardt Fitness at 2861 Grove Way
Castro Valley’s Premier Fitness Facility
I Help People Discover Their Strength

Let’s End Nutrition Frustration!

Who needs to know more about nutrition?

If you said “Me!” please answer these questions:

Which is healthier?
1. An Apple
2. A Candy Bar

Which is healthier?
1. Grilled Chicken
2. Fried Chicken

Which is healthier?
1. Water
2. Beer

Which is healthier?
1. Eating the right amount of calories
2. Eating too many calories

OK. Done? If you guessed number 1 on all the questions YOU ALREADY KNOW JUST ABOUT EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT NUTRITION!! Congratulations!!


Now, in actuality I’m guessing that most of you got these questions right. So the real question is why do so many people have trouble with their nutrition? Well, I think there are a few reasons for that.

1. Too much information.


In case you can’t read that, it says that a quick Google search on “weight loss” will give you about 157,000,000 hits. That’s a lot.

2. The “All-or-Nothing” Mindset.


This is where you eat great for a week or two, have a cookie at a party and then figure that since you had that cookie there’s no use trying anymore and you should forget about everything.

Here’s the thing: I meant it when I said that if you answered those questions correctly you already know just about all you need to know about nutrition!

It is very rare that people’s issues with nutrition stem from a lack of basic knowledge. Most problems with nutrition actually stem from one or both of the two examples I just gave you. What I’m going to do here is give you a strategy for getting started in a sustainable and positive way.

  1. The first thing you must do is keep it simple. This cannot be overstated. So I’ll say it again.

Keep it simple!

The more complicated a strategy you use, the less likely it is to work. Nutrition is simple! You know what to eat for the most part. Use your common sense and it will take you a long a way. Yes, you probably have questions but if those questions involve anything more complicated than how to classify a food (is peanut butter a healthy fat or protein, for example) or how much you should eat, it’s probably not necessary to think about right now.

2. The second thing is to pick one thing you’d like to change about your nutrition. Please read through this before you pick something because I’m going to give you some suggestions in a minute. You must pick a specific thing. Eating more protein is not specific. Eating a palm size of protein at every meal is.

I say pick one thing because research has shown that if we try to change one habit at a time we may be successful 75% of more. If we try to change two things that number drops to below 40%.

Now picking one thing may not be easy and you might have to dig a litle to find it. For example, one of the most effective habits I’ve used with people who have a problem with portion control or emotional eating is eating slower. This allows them to better feel their body’s hunger signals, which is the true issue at the heart of the matter. Here are some common issues and some habits you can look at to help with them.

Stress/Emotional Eating

  • Take 10/15 minutes to eat your meals
  • Keep a food journal

Portion Control

  • Take 10/15 minutes to eat your meals
  • Use the Precision Nutrition Portion Control Guide below:

PN Calorie Control

Time Management Issues

  • Prepare one meal ahead of time

Of course these are just examples, but I have seen them work for my clients. There are many ways to approach this, but the most important thing is that you do it in a way that works for YOU!

3. Now the third thing to do is monitor your progress and make adjustments. I like to give my clients two weeks to perform their new habit and then see how it’s going. At that point we make adjustments if progress isn’t happening.

That’s it! That’s how we approach things. Let’s go over it again.

  1. Keep it simple.
  2. Pick one thing to change
  3. Monitor your progress and make adjustments

Another issue that many people have with nutrition and weight loss is simple frustration!

           Many people’s reaction to weight loss.

Even though the process of weight loss (burn more energy than you take in) is relatively simple, that doesn’t mean it’s easy! Sometimes it’s actually pretty hard!

I’ve found that much of the time the frustration actually comes from just realizing a few things. Some of it is mindset and some of it basic biology.

Next Saturday April 29th we’re doing a workshop called “5 Things People Should Know About Weight Loss, But Don’t”.

We’re going to go over some of the things that we find that people don’t realize. We want to make sure that people can avoid that weight loss frustration! You can go here to get all of the information and sign up:

“5 Things People Should Know About Weight Loss, But Don’t”

We hope you’ll be there!

Have a great day!

Mitch Rothbardt, CPT, PN Level 2 Lean Eating Coach, FMS
Mitch Rothbardt Fitness at 2861 Grove Way
Castro Valley’s Premier Fitness Facility
I Help People Discover Their Strength Boost Your Metabolism With My Free Report




No Time For Exercise? Think Again!

One of the most common reasons I hear for people not exercising is lack of time. We are busy! The thing is that we don’t necessarily need a lot of time to get a good workout in. While there are many aspects to a good workout, one way to get a good bang-for-your-buck so to speak, is interval training. (Thanks to Tracy for suggesting this topic!)

We use interval training with our members and it has shown to be very effective for fat loss, and cardiovascular training, as well. The nice time aspect of it is that you can get a good workout in as little as 10-15 minutes and you don’t have to be in professional athlete shape to perform interval training.

Interval Training

     Diane and Sandy Doing The Battle Ropes

First, let me explain what interval training is. The essentials are that it is an alternating period of work and rest. The keys are that while you work, you are working at or near 100% intensity and while you rest you aren’t working at all. For example, doing a 15 sprint and then resting for 30 seconds. While you are doing that 15 second sprint you need to be sprinting as fast as you possibly can for that entire 15 seconds.

It’s pretty common for interval training to be time-measured in one of three different ways.

  1. A 2-to-1 work-to-rest ratio. For example, 20 seconds of work to 10 seconds of rest.
  2. An even work to rest ratio. For example, 20 seconds of work to 20 seconds of rest.
  3. A 1-to-2 work to rest ratio. For example 20 seconds of work to 40 seconds of rest.

What kind of exercises should you do when interval training? It should be something that you can perform easily. This is why something like an exercise bike sprint or elliptical can work well. At our gym we also use battle ropes, heavy bag punches, a rower, medicine ball slams and other similar options. These exercises can be performed easily, with a lot of intensity, and without a huge emphasis on technique. Anyone can hit a bag, right?

Interval Training

     Tammy doing some Ball Slams

Here are some other keys to effective interval training:

  • You MUST work at 100% intensity during your work periods!!! This simply does not work if you don’t. Go as hard as you can!
  • The simpler the exercise, the better, in this case. When you’re getting tired you don’t want an exercise you have to think too much about. This is why simple cardio-based exercises, like hill sprints, work really well.
  • Start small. You don’t need to do, and shouldn’t do, 45 minutes of this kind of work. About 15-20 minutes of work should be plenty.
  • If you do 20 minutes of interval work and feel you can do another 20 minutes you didn’t go hard enough during your work periods!

Interval training has been shown in many studies to be more effective for fat loss than traditional steady-state work (like walking on the treadmill for 30 minutes) and did I mention that it doesn’t take as long?

Let me give you the structure of a good 20 minute workout you can use today.

  • 4 minute warmup
  • 14 minutes of intervals using one of the following time protocols:
    • 15 seconds work – 30 seconds rest
    • 30 seconds work-60 seconds rest
    • 45 seconds work-90 seconds rest
  • 2 minute cool down

For which exercise to use, again use something easy that you can perform with high intensity. As the weather turns I really love to go outside and do hill sprints. These are easy on the body and can be very challenging. Just run up the hill as fast as you can, walk back down and go again. Start by doing 4 or 5 and build from there. If you live in Castro Valley I actually put together a guide you can use to find some good hills and get your workout together. You can get it here:

CV Cardio Guide

Please let me know if you have any questions on how to put together your interval workouts.

P.S. My “5 Things You Should Know About Fat Loss, But Don’t” workshop is coming up on April 29th. Check out the details here:

Have a great day!

Mitch Rothbardt, CPT, PN Level 2 Lean Eating Coach, FMS
Mitch Rothbardt Fitness at 2861 Grove Way
Castro Valley’s Premier Fitness Facility
I Help People Discover Their Strength Boost Your Metabolism With My Free Report


How Should Your Age Affect Your Exercise?

Many times people ask me how I factor age into the equation when writing programs for our members. We have members in their 50s, 60s, 70s and even older. My answer usually surprises them. You see, I don’t factor age in at all when I’m writing programs for people. It never enters my mind.

This picture features some of our members with ages from early 20s to 60s.

That may seem a little reckless or even dangerous but I assure you that it’s actually the opposite. I have trained people in their 30s and 40s who deal with pain everyday, move poorly and have below-average physical strength. I have trained people in their 60s and older who feel great, move well and whose strength is well above average! How does age figure in? Well, it just doesn’t!


This is just some of what I consider when I’m writing a program for someone.

  • Goals
  • Mobility
  • Injuries
  • Movement Assymmetry
  • Psychology
  • Training Frequency
  • Training Experience
  • Exercises Liked or Disliked
  • Movement Pattern Proficiency

All of these things figure in more than age itself. Study after study, as well as a ton of anecdotal evidence, has shown that 0lder people aren’t fragile or incapable of doing things just because of their age. It’s only when they stop moving and challenging themselves that these things occur and that can happen at any age! Just look around and I guarantee you’ll see it!

Let me put this another way. If I have someone in their 70s who wants to train but they have knee pain doing certain things I’ll look at their posture and movement, try to determine any issues with them and program them accordingly. Doesn’t this seem more effective and responsible than just pulling out the “Age 70 Training Program” and giving it to them?

Here’s a simple way to look at things. No matter what your age you can improve. No matter what your age you can feel better and move better. Studies have shown  improvement not only with exercise itself but with daily tasks such as walking, climbing stairs, etc, with regular strength training.

Let me know what you think.

Mitch Rothbardt, CPT, PN Level 2 Lean Eating Coach, FMS
Mitch Rothbardt Fitness at 2861 Grove Way
Castro Valley’s Premier Fitness Facility
I Help People Discover Their Strength Boost Your Metabolism With My Free Report