The BEST in Metabolic Conditioning: What is MMA training? And what can it do for me?

One of my very favorite continuing education courses I ever invested in is my MMA Strength and Conditioning coach certification. It takes regular strength and conditioning up a notch and provides a fat blasting, metabolism boosting workout that flies by and leaves you drenched. In other words, it’s the most efficient workout I have in my arsenal.

MMA stands for Mixed Martial Arts and is a buzz word due to the popularity and success of fighting for sport, which has been around longer than most other sports. Fighters are lean, strong, and functionally fit. Why? Because of the way they train. A fighter doesn’t split body parts, but rather works the entire body in symmetry to promote a fully functioning fighting physique (say that 3 times fast). With MMA strength and conditioning workouts you are tacking the 3 pillars of fitness (cardio, strength, flexibility) in one workout. What kind of real-life benefits can you expect from MMA?

  1. Increased lung capacity
  2. Better body awareness
  3. Increased strength (all of my girls do MAN push ups now! )
  4. Decreased body fat (yay!)
  5. Increase lean muscle
  6. Increase calorie burn
  7. Increased EPOC (oxygen consumption post exercise; big for recovery and fat loss)
  8. Increased Flexibility
  9. Increased VO2 Max
  10. Increased self confidence, self efficacy, and general butt kicking awesomeness

Those are really the top 10, but there are many more. Are you sold yet?

There can be some concerns about embarking on an MMA journey. Some people tell me they just aren’t angry enough to hit things….that generally doesn’t last long. Once the gloves go on and the bag comes out, a little Hulk shows up in all of us. BUT, just to dissuade a few misconceptions take a look:

  1. You will not become an overnight fighting sensation and be taken from your family.
  2. You won’t randomly start fights….you’ll think about it, but you’ll know it’s stronger to control those emotions and use them in the gym.
  3. You won’t get big, bulky or start grunting when you move anything…unless you already do that.
  4. You won’t be challenged to fights by strange people lurking in alleys.

You’ll get leaner, stronger and have more energy than you thought you could have in just a few weeks. It’s worth the time and investment, plus you’ll learn some pretty cool tricks…like how to dislocate a jaw or knee :)

SOLD! Where do I sign up?

If you’re close to me (you lucky duck!), I run MMA sessions year-round. These sessions are 2x per week, 6 weeks with a limit of 4 people in each. If you’re interested, shoot me an email: michelle@michellecfitness.com for info on the next open sessions.

If you’re more of a homebody, or you don’t live near me (don’t cry, it’s ok) try out an MMA inspired workout like Les Mill’s Body Combat. They do sell this through Beachbody OR you can check out www.lesmills.com to find a combat class near you.

Either way you go, have a BLAST burning calories, getting lean and staying mean :)

rach Rachel Newsham, creator of Les Mills Combat

 

Cheers to health!

Michelle

Tasty Tuesday Recipe: Quest Bars :)

I love to eat! How about you? I mean, what’s the point of having food if you can’t enjoy it?

Welcome to QUEST Nutrition! Quest bars (and now pastas!) came on the scene a few years ago and dramatically changed everything. You can now #cheatclean and stay lean thanks to whole foods ingredients and bio-available protein in every bite. That means more bang for your buck. Follow Quest Nutrition on Twitter and Instagram for delicious recipes and posts on health, wellness and keeping your body its fittest year round. Flexible dieters unite! Quest Bars are totally acceptable in your “meal plan” :)

Need to stock up?

Check them out at Bodybuilding.com below!

 

Quest Bars By Quest Nutrition

Throwback Thursday! Let me tell you how I really feel……

I have a strong opinion about some things :) Especially the crossfit craziness…..

Let’s get real about weight loss

OK, so there is this thing that has been bothering me. It’s the entire reason why so many of us feel like failures when it comes to weight loss and I have even peddled along with it. But NO MORE! There is a reality to weight loss, but we aren’t really let in on that reality are we?

  1. You cannot deprive the body into losing weight. At least, you can’t deprive it into losing weight for good. Every time you embark on a deprivation diet of ANY kind, your metabolism, NOT YOUR BODY FAT, goes down. It is better to invest some time building your metabolism up instead of falling for quick weight loss fads.
  2. There is a definite science to weight loss…and most trainers don’t even know it. Basic CPT training courses do NOT teach the science of actual weight loss. They teach trainers how to take assessments and protocol for training programs. All of this is very important, but now the market is flooded with trainers that spit out meal plans like a weight loss ATM. Then, when the meal plan fails the client…the trainer blames the client.
  3. NUTRIENTS are far more important than calories. Nutrient help insure health, bone density, longevity and quality of life. If you focus on cutting calories, you inadvertently cut nutrients, leading to more fat gain and inflammation issues as you age.
  4. WOMEN: wrap your pretty head around the fact that you need to train like a man. Start thinking like men (grunting and throwing weights optional). You don’t see too many men starving themselves to fit into a certain size or see a certain number on the scale. Build your muscle, feed your muscle. And as for the flat-out lie that you’ll get BULKY…in the infamous Disney voice, LET IT GO.
  5. Get smart. Choose your trainer wisely. This person is not just responsible for helping you shed a couple of pounds….they are responsible for your HEALTH and wellbeing. Don’t take that lightly and don’t allow them to take it lightly either. If you see them training other clients exactly like they train you, run for the door. You deserve a personalized approach to your own health. Put it on the list as IMPORTANT.

Here’s one final thing that bugs me in the “weight loss” industry (aside from the fact that it should be the health industry…but that doesn’t sell as much):

MANY people fall for fancy marketing. I have blog posts about home workouts on this very blog. I also used to peddle them, but I have since seen a few issues come to light, especially since I started counseling:

  • You ONLY see the success. Let’s take Beach Body for example (please note, they are not the only ones): they KNOW infomercials. They have a specialized team that knows exactly what to do, right down to the lighting, colors and time placement. When Beach Body develops a new program, the program gets sent to beta testing. There is a controlled group of people who sign several documents stating that they will not breathe a word. In return, they get to work with celebrity trainer, get a meal plan and hopefully, a brand new body. Here’s the question: do you see the people that didn’t succeed? You know, the ones that did it for 2 weeks and got bored, injured or just didn’t mesh with the program? UM, NO! They’ve signed contracts that disable them from saying it failed for them, therefore we only see the success. Since we only see success, when we do not finish we feel like a failure….
  • Home based training is not bad, but over promising is. When I take online clients in, they are told up front that my methods aren’t super fast…they’re built to last. Trainers and fitness companies need to step away from the flash of fast and move towards better health and wellness overall. Maintainable fitness and nutrition is what keep you fit, healthy and happy with life.

Now that my soap box can be folded up :) Here’s an eye opener for you:

Januray 13 2014   rockin abs

I know I’ve posted these before, but stay with me here! These are no filter, no fancy lighting pics, just the real deal.

Pic on the left: I was down to 1400 calories, about 80 grams of carbs (that’s low people), no breads, pastas, rice, etc. and I was working out 2-3x per day.

On the right: my calories were worked up slowly to 1700 (I’m now up to 1800 and holding steady), carbs at 150 grams, zero steady state cardio, four 25 minute sessions per week and two hour long sessions to focus on building.

I have more energy throughout the day (carbs!) and I’m leaner than when I was following a plan.

The point? Learn the facts, learn your body and stop depending on people who don’t even know what they are doing! You’re health is worth the time and investment.

Want to learn more about nutrition? Join the next Nutrition Boot Camp that starts in June.

See you soon!

Michelle

Top 3 things that keep YOU from losing weight

 

Motivation Monday: Felicia Romero

Check out the Bodybuilding.com video on the beautiful Felicia Romero!

Strong and super sweet can exist on the same package :)

Follow Felicia on Twitter: https://twitter.com/FeliciaRomero




Nutrition Boot Camp 101

Transformation Thursday: Jessica Clemmons Story

Hello all!
I have had the GREAT pleasure of knowing Jessica Clemmons for a decade now. She was introduced to me when I first began my story in fitness and even knew me when I was a massage therapist!
She has struggled not only with weight, but with the feeling of being all alone in the fight. I am the lucky nutritionist who got her started on my program almost a year ago. Here is her story:

My journey:
At the age of 9 my mother put me on my first diet. Seeing the way kids were treating me and that I had terrible self esteem for a 9 year old, she knew this was the best way to help. From that point on I had been on a steady stream of fad diets as well as weight watchers and everything else to try and overcome this battle. In my late teens, early 20s I was the largest I had ever been. I was in a US size 22 (UK 24) and felt like a prisoner in my own body. That’s a feeling I had become very familiar with. Even as a child I always felt like I was in the wrong body, I wasn’t supposed to be overweight but no matter how hard I tried, genetics were always going to be against me. At times I gave up and continued to get bigger. At the age of 19 I started working out with a personal trainer and trying to make better choices but the smallest I could ever get was a size 18 (UK 20). Years later I felt it was time for drastic measures, I did the only thing I thought I could do and got a gastric band, also known as a Lapband. This was the start of a new journey for me that eventually ended in another painful surgery and heartache. I struggled for 3 years to still lose the weight. The band forced me to never eat and when I could eat it wasn’t remotely healthy. I struggled to keep any food down. I ended up getting to a US size 14/16 (UK 16/18) but only out of forced starvation due to the Lapband. In 2009 I had it removed and the struggle began again. I finally learned that I had Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS), a hormone disorder that hinders weight loss.

When things started to change:
Through the diets, surgeries and medical discoveries I continued my 5 day a week workout routine as well beginning a new journey with my nutritionist, Michelle Carlson. One of the biggest changes in my life is how I view food. Since working with Michelle I’ve learned that I’ve spent my entire life putting far to much pressure and stress on myself when it came to eating. I became terrified to eat and if I ate something “bad” I beat myself up about it for days. I learned the effects that was having on my body. I now no longer stress out about food. I know what’s good for me and I work every day to make healthy choices. Do I always do it? Nope, but I move on and make a healthier choice for my next meal. I’ve had so many different nutritionists who just gave me a meal plan and told me to eat it. There wasn’t education behind it and usually it was a one size fits all approach. Michelle knows that we are all individuals so what worked for some of her clients may not work for me. She takes the time to get to know you and learn what your body needs to become healthy in the most effective way. It’s not all about counting calories. There is a science behind it. Weight loss is 90% mental if you ask me. If you can get educated on the reasons why we do things or should do things, the success rate will increase. That is why I’m so thankful that Michelle is a part of my journey. She is unlike anyone I’ve ever worked with. There is an honesty and sincerity to the way Michelle works and I believe it’s because she’s one of the few who have actually walked in my shoes. Now at a size 12 I know I still have a long way to go but in conjunction with my workout routine and supplements, I’ll be able to reach my goal thanks to the tools and knowledge that Michelle has provided me with!

The first photo (red shirt) was when I started Boot Camp with Michelle in January 2013. Second photo is when I started nutrition counseling I believe in April 2013. Both “after” photos are current.

jess 1Jess 2

Isn’t she GORGEOUS! And she has a Texas sized heart too.

I am beyond honored to be helping Jess through her story. I truly LOVE what I am able to see everyday :)

Think her story can never happen to you? Think again! I have helped others overcome emotional eating, ditch diets for good and attain results that really last. Find out more HERE.

Follow JESS!

Twitter: @Jessicaclemmons

Facebook

 

5 Moves to a Better Butt

Everyone wants a better butt, no buts about it! These five exercises will help you build a pro-level posterior.


    by
Chady Dunmore

 
Dec 10, 2013                                                    


Let’s get one thing clear: It’s all about the bum. Sure, built biceps fill out a shirt and six-pack abs are the prize of every beachgoer, but the back is where it’s at. A bodacious booty is essential to a good physique and not just for stage-bound fitness contestants. Everyone seems to want a great bum. Photos of posteriors flood the Internet and are often the most viewed and “liked” body part on social media. There’s just something magical about a beautiful butt!

“How do you get your butt like that?” is the fitness question I hear the most. And before you say it, yes, genetics play a part. Just like a pretty smile or clear skin, there are people born with a genetic booty advantage, but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible to improve your glutes. Women often turn to cardio to “get a butt,” but the clear path to a better booty doesn’t go through the treadmill or the elliptical. Instead, start with weights.

Nutrition Boot Camp FAQ’s

Nutrition Boot Camp starts in just days! I’ve opened up a few more spots, but I am trying to keep them small so we can get to everybody’s questions. Today, I wanted to answer some questions that have come up and clear up what might be holding you back :)

  • How much time will this take?

Well, the answer is: however much you’ll give it. Bootcampers will be given exclusive information sent directly to their inbox for the subject matter we are covering that week. You can read it all right then, or put it in a folder and still have access to the knowledge well into the future. Calls are limited to 1 hour or less every Monday night and will be recorded (or at the very least, typed out) and put into an email within the following 48 hours.

  • What if I can’t make the call?

As stated above, the call will be recorded and sent. I encourage you to email questions that you have prior to any call you may miss so I can answer it for everybody. This also works if you’re just a little shy about asking questions :)

  • What is the difference between Nutrition Boot Camp and Nutrition Counseling?

Nutrition Boot Camp is a class-style environment designed to get the most education and information to a broad range of people. We will be covering basics in Nutrition Boot Camp (more in-depth boot camps will be coming soon!). Nutrition Counseling is one on one personal nutrition, tailored to meet your goals and overcome your own personal obstacles. Nutrition Boot Camp is a 6 week course. Nutrition Counseling takes 3-12 months to complete.

  • What can I expect to have covered in Nutrition Boot Camp?

Here is an overview of our 6 weeks in Nutrition Boot Camp:

  1. DIETS: They only make us fatter
  2. Eating Style vs. Diet
  3. Emotional Eating: Pitfalls and Fixes
  4. Common dis-ease nutrition fixes
  5. Why any kind of deprivation is a BAD idea
  6. Metabolic Damage: We’ll touch briefly on what it is, what causes it, how to identify it and ways to avoid it. There will be an in-depth class offered later on repairing the metabolism.
  • At the end of the day, what will I learn?

While we will al walk away with different things, here are a few I am hoping will stick:

  1. To NEVER trust a diet again…no matter who is doing it
  2. To trust that I can make the right nutrition decisions for myself (and my family)
  3. What the heck is a metabolism really?
  4. Food is fuel, but it should also be enjoyed
  5. I don’t have to live in deprivation to reach my goals
  6. How to clarify my goals and make my nutrition meet my lifestyle.

Those are the basics of what you can expect by enrolling in Nutrition Boot Camp. It’s not a boot camp about my eating style, or why you should change everything you’re doing, or meant to make you feel terrible about the way you are eating….it’s quite the opposite. We learn and then apply that knowledge to suit our lifestyles. Keep it simple people!

Sign up by clicking the NUTRITION TAB or email me: michelle@michellecfitness.com

Januray 13 2014   rockin abs

 

These pictures were taken 3 months apart and were the result of loosening up on food restriction and LESS gym time! I’m no super hero…I just like to share what I know :)

Hope to see you there,

Michelle