Your Feet, Pain and Posture

So much of the time the feet are the missing link for people when it comes to pain and performance. Think about it. Your feet are the thing that connects you with the ground and lets your body know where you are, how to move and what to feel!

If you have knee, hip or back pain I’m betting that you have some issues there that need to be addressed and if you just want to perform better in the gym getting your feet working better can be a HUGE improvement.

In this video I’ll show you a simple test that will let you see what is going on with your feet, knees and how it relates to your hips and back.

Let’s talk feet!

 

Mitch Rothbardt
Castro Valley Fitness
Mitch@CastroValleyFitness.com
510-755-9191

November Member of the Month – Julie Navarro

Julie Navarro is our Member of the Month for November.  She has been a Boot Camp and Personal Training member for 4.5 years.

Julie added walking to her regular workouts about six months ahead of a trip to Bryce Canyon in Utah.  She wanted to increase her stamina, so she could really enjoy the hikes on her trip – not to mention keeping up with her two granddaughters.  You can now find her at Lake Chabot every day, rain or shine, enjoying her 5-mile walk. She likes to work out first thing in the morning as it helps her throughout the rest of the day.  She has found that walking is easier than when she first started because of her increased stamina, balance and, of course, her strength since joining our CVF family.  She likes her full body workout in a gym without machines.

She likes the personal attention she receives and having other members around her same age.  The three words Julie uses to describe CVF are “fun, healthy and stronger”.

October Member of the Month – Kim Butterfield

Kim Butterfield

It is our pleasure to recognize Kim Butterfield as our Client of the Month.

Kim used to go to a large gym, but has found she has improved her strength, stamina and is lighter on her feet since joining CVF. She feels really good and happy about her progress.

She likes the personal attention she and others receive. She enjoys the CVF community and won’t go back to that large gym. She especially likes the Facebook posts and emails on the different fitness subjects.

Her advice is to keep going – sometimes you won’t feel like going to your workout, but after the warm up, it’s all good.

Overall she’s had a positive experience since joining CVF.

What’s More Important, Losing Weight or Adding Muscle?

I overheard a question the other day.

“What’s more important, losing weight or adding muscle?”

HMMM…

If I know one thing, it’s that there is a ton of information out there. Some of it good and helpful, but much of it pretty crummy and confusing. This question is an opportunity to hopefully sort some of that out.

Obviously this question is very general, so I’m going to put some parameters on it. We’re going to assume the following:

  • The person’s overall goal is weight loss for general reasons such as overall health and appearance
  • The person is generally healthy, meaning no serious injuries or illnesses
  • The person does not have a long history with intense resistance training

Also, it’s important to understand that when we say adding muscle, we are NOT talking about becoming a huge bodybuilder. We are talking about adding some lean body, and if you want more definition to your body YOU MUST ADD LEAN BODY!! The assumption with someone with these goals is that as you add lean body you are also decreasing body fat, thereby making you smaller. Take a look at this picture if you need a little clarification on that.

Muscle is denser than fat making the same weight much smaller!

OK. Let’s start with this.

Adding muscle and losing fat are done mostly with two different processes. Losing fat is done largely with diet and adding muscle is done largely in the gym. Now this doesn’t mean that the gym and diet aren’t involved with both to varying degrees, but for the most part losing fat is done with diet and adding muscle is done in the gym.

What does that mean? Well, it means that these things are not necessarily mutually exclusive. You can do both, to some extent. Note that the person we’re talking about does not have a long history with intense resistance training.

At home you can work on your diet and in the gym you can exercise with purpose and intensity and try hard to get stronger. Both of these things should be done if you’re trying to lose weight.

As to which is more important this is a tougher question. Here’s the thing, when you are trying to lose weight it would still be very helpful to include resistance training in your routine. Although you might not have a goal to build muscle per se, this can be a big help in a couple of different ways:

  1. More muscle means a higher metabolism. This means that instead of our metabolism slowing down as we lose weight (which it will) the muscle allows it to stay as high as possible which makes it easier and more manageable to either continue with weight loss or maintain it.
  2. More muscle gives us better nutrient partitioning. This is the process where your body decides what to do with the food you’re eating. The more muscle you have and the more resistance training you do, the more your body will take that food and use it to maintain and build muscle as opposed to adding fat.

What does this all mean when it comes to the original question?

“What’s more important, losing weight or adding muscle?”

Well, here is my answer:

I think that whatever your goal is, that is what’s most important. If you want to lose weight, then that is most important (by the way, figuring out WHY you want to lose weight is a huge key to this whole thing). Having said that, adding muscle would be a huge advantage to this whole process, especially in the long term.

I hope this gets you thinking a little differently about what you’re doing. Please let me know if you have any questions about how to make this all work for you.

Thanks!

Mitch Rothbardt, CPT, PN Level 2 Lean Eating Coach, FMS
Castro Valley Fitness
2861 Grove Way
510-755-9191
Mitch@CastroValleyFitness.com

 

Do Carbs Make You Fat?

I help one of our members who runs a preschool with the wellness program for her employees. I received a question from one of them that, I think, is a common source of confusion for many people. Here it is, along with my answer.

If you’re trying to lose weight as an older woman should you eat carbs at dinner or only have protein and vegetables? Also, is whole wheat making us fat? Should we avoid it to be slim?

This is a very common question and one that creates a lot of confusion for many people.

First I want to go over some basic facts.

  1. Weight loss is determined by calories. In other words, to lose weight you must eat fewer calories than you burn.
  2. Many studies have shown that the macronutrient (carbs, proteins and fats) makeup of someone’s diet doesn’t really matter for weight loss.
  3. It really doesn’t matter when you eat  for weight loss. The only thing that matters is calorie intake. In other words having carbs at breakfast or dinner makes no difference.

In other words eating carbs at dinner is perfectly fine as long as the overall amount of calories you are taking in is less than what you are burning.

Having said that, cutting down on carbs can be a perfectly legitimate and simple way to achieve the caloric deficit necessary for weight loss. The main issue with this, however, is that a low carb approach can be difficult to sustain for people. In fact, many studies have shown that people who resort to low carb diets don’t stay on them for very long, even if they have success with the diet!

My opinion is always that the most important thing to consider when dieting is sustainability. Simply put, you should not go on any diet that you can’t see yourself on for a long time. That is the only way to truly achieve and sustain weight loss.

Lastly, whole wheat is not making us fat unless it’s eaten at a caloric surplus. Really, any food eaten at a surplus will make us gain weight.

Mitch Rothbardt, PN Level 2 Lean Eating Coach
Castro Valley Fitness
2861 Grove Way in Castro Valley
510-755-9191

September Member of the Month – Frank Robertson

Frank Robertson

It is our pleasure to recognize Frank Robertson as our Client of the Month.  He is celebrating his first year with CVF this month!  We can always count on Frank to keep the group laughing.

Frank has found that his mental attitude, strength and mobility have improved in the last year.  He has seen this in little things like the ability to walk over a beam at work easier and a stronger golf swing (which isn’t always a good thing!)

He has more self-confidence outside the gym because of what he has accomplished inside the gym.  He has found that CVF helps him overcome obstacles easier and it has “woke up the athlete within.”

He finds CVF a safe and warm place to work toward your goals.  The personal programs really help you reach your goals.  He recommends that clients have faith in the process and to stay positive.  Don’t become complacent and continue to push to improve.

The three words that best describe his experience at CVF are “challenging, safe and confident”.

2 Things You Might Not Realize About Weight Loss

Hello! I hope you’re having a great day. I’m going to make this one pretty short today so let ‘s get started.

When it comes to losing weight I’ve found that there are a few things that typically get people’s way. Let’s talk about two of them.

1 – It’s not about the food. I can feel your eyes glazing over right now. “What do you mean?” you’re asking. “Aren’t you the one who’s always saying that losing weight is all about the nutrition?” Well yes, but let me explain. You don’t need me to tell you to eat your vegetables, right? You don’t need me to tell you that an apple is healthier than a candy bar, right? At least 5 times a week I hear some version of “I know what to do but I just can’t do it.” We all know what we need to know about nutrition. It’s really very simple. The issue is what is getting in our way of doing it.

Creating Healthy Lives

You don’t need me to tell you to eat this

2 – The most important skill for weight loss is emotional regulation. The truth is that the real reason most people can’t do what they know they should do has to do with emotions. When we’re emotional that’s when we have trouble making the decisions we know, deep down, that we should make.

I hope this helps clear some things up for you. I know this is tough. If it does help, I want to let you know about a program we are starting up. It’s a nutrition program that we’ve put together that we believe covers what REALLY MATTERS about weight loss. (remember it’s not about the food!) Its starts up on the 24th and you can get all the information right here:

Creating Healthy Nutrition 

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

Mitch Rothbardt

 

 

Why Do I Have Back/Shoulder Pain?

So many people have back and shoulder pain. The problem is that many of those people don’t really understand what is causing it.

Hint: It’s probably not your discs and rotator cuff irregularities.

In this video I talk about some easy steps you can take to discover what may be really causing your pain and how to get started in fixing it.

This video is not meant to diagnose your specific issue but I do cover the most common things I see on a daily basis and the causes.

Take a look and let me know what you think.

I Know What To Do But I Just Can’t Do It

I heard it again today. “I know what to do but I just can’t do it.”

If I’ve heard this once I’ve heard it a thousand (million) times.

I know what to do but I just can’t do it.

At Castro Valley Fitness we believe that, for the most part, people know just about everything they need to know about nutrition. You don’t need me to tell you that an apple is healthier than a candy bar and that you should eat your vegetables, right?

You may be asking yourself, if people know all they need to know, then what’s the problem?

Well, that’s the million dollar question, isn’t it? If we answer that, we can pretty much solve everyone’s food issues, right? The problem is that this isn’t as easy as it sounds.

It requires work that really has very little to do with food itself.

It requires an approach that is both honest and unemotional. Both of these qualities tend to get lost when we think about how and why we eat.

Let me give you a few things that have worked for some of our members when they’ve been tying to figure some things out.

  • Slow down. Sometimes I’ll ask someone how fast they eat. Usually they just laugh. Slowing down allows your stomach to let your brain know it’s full. That can take 10-15 minutes. How much food can you eat in that time? It also gets you out of GO-GO-GO-GO mode which is when so many of us wind up eating whatever is easy and fast. That’s not usually conducive to making good decisions.
  • Keep a journal. Just reading that might have given you a chill.
    Holiday Season

    An actual person when asked to keep a food journal.

    If it did frighten you, you should ask yourself why. You just might figure out something that’s been holding you back. Journaling keeps us honest and accountable. It also can reveal things that we didn’t know. You might not have realized how much you actually snack in a given day, for instance.

  • Aim for progress not perfection. One of the biggest problems I see is all-or-nothing thinking. This is when people think that one slight slip counteracts all the good they’ve done or they feel like they the “perfect” plan to get started. The truth is that there is no such thing as perfect. No perfect diet or perfect workout. The closest thing we have to perfection is in this picture right here.

    The Closest Thing To Perfection

                      All we need to aim for is progress in whatever form it takes.

Listen, we all have crazy lives. Kids, work, family. We sit in traffic for hours each week. The more we can figure out the REAL issues behind our diet the better off we will be.

Let me know what you think. Have a great day!

Mitch Rothbardt, CPT, PN Level 2 Lean Eating Coach, FMS
Castro Valley Fitness
2861 Grove Way in Castro Valley
510-755-9191

3 Things You Should Know About Cardio

One of the most potentially confusing things about exercise is cardio. I always hear people say they “need to do more cardio” when they want to lose weight that. Well, this isn’t necessarily the case.

Today I’m going to let you know three things you might not know about cardio, how it relates to weight loss and how you can get it to work better for your goals.

Let’s get started!

  1. You don’t burn that many calories when you’re doing regular cardio exercise. I’m sorry to tell you this, but you just don’t. For example, if you run at a 12 minute mile pace for a half hour, which for many of us is pretty darn fast, you’ll burn off about 250 calories. That means that if you’re feeling like you deserve a little something like this for your efforts: You will actually be taking in somewhere between 150 and 300 calories in excess of what you just burned! On top of that the better you get at running, the fewer calories you will burn as your body becomes better and more efficient.
  2. For weight loss, interval-style cardio training is the way to go. As we talked about last week strength training is the most important exercise you can do for weight loss. Having said that, if you are going to do some cardio, interval-style cardio the way to go. Interval-style cardio has the additional benefit of raising your metabolism after you are done. In other words, you will continue to burn additional calories even after you stop exercising. Now to get this to really work you must push yourself pretty darn hard, but that shouldn’t be a problem for you, right? 
  3. You can get creative with your cardio. At our gym we do all kinds of things to get that cardio effect. You don’t have to just walk on a treadmill or ride a stationary bike. We do different kinds of circuits. Try this one: 10 squats, 10 pushups, and a 30 second plank. Do each exercise as fast as you can (with good form, of course). Rest 30 seconds between each set and do 4 sets. If you’re not breathing heavy afterwards, re-read what I said above about working hard.

Well, I hope this gives you a few ideas you can use to help get more out of your cardio training. Please let me know if we can help.

Have a great day!

Mitch Rothbardt, CPT, PN Level 2 Lean Eating Coach, FMS
Castro Valley Fitness
2861 Grove Way in Castro Valley
510-754-7113
Mitch@CastroValleyFitness.com