Spring time is upon us, so if you have been putting it off, it’s time to get in shape for summer now! April is an exciting month for me. On April 8th, I’m hosting a big event near Washington, DC, with Autumn Calabrese. She will be leading a live 80 Day Obsession workout for over 1,000 people! If you live near DC and would be interested in more information you can check out our ticket site and you are welcome to come as my guest for only $5. Just let me know you will be there.
Later this month, Amanda and I, along with a bunch of other coaches from my team will be headed to the Hard Rock Resort in Riviera Maya Mexico! This is an ALL inclusive resort vacation which is TOTALLY FREE! Every year Beachbody sends me and my wife on a free paid vacation to somewhere amazing, all for just helping people throughout the previous year. This is one of my many benefits of being a coach, and if you would like more information about coaching, please contact me today.
On April 6th, Beachbody is releasing its all new snack bars called, BEACHBARS! I already got to try these back in October and I can tell you that they taste great! They are only 150 calories and have high protein, high fiber, and low sugar. They are releasing 2 flavors at this time: One is Chocolate cherry Almond, and the second is Chocolate Peanut Butter. These make the perfect low carb, low calorie snack and I highly recommend you order a box of each when they release this month.
Finally, I just started my new Beachbody fitness and support group on April 1st. I run the group on Beachbody’s My Challenge Tracker app, and we have an amazing group of people who post their workouts, healthy meals, Shakeology, and more every single day. Would you like some additional support and motivation to help you stay on track? Would you like to meet some new supportive friends? Would you like to have somewhere that you can track your workouts, goals, meals, etc. every day? If yes to any of these, then please come join us. It’s completely free, you just need to email me and let me know that you would like to be invited to the group.
If you don’t yet have Beachbody on Demand, Shakeology, or the performance line, please message me. I’ll be offering the first 3 people who purchase a MEGA challenge pack this month a FREE box of BEACHBARS (flavor of your choice)! Mega challenge packs are on sale now, check them out in this newsletter.
A few small tweaks can help you learn how to run faster and farther in just a short amount of time.
Rethink Your Warmup
You want to know how to run faster and farther. Patience. For now, consider getting there by running a little bit slower.
Slow, easy running is sometimes referred to as “junk mileage” because runners supposedly don’t see the benefit of putting in training miles at speeds well below race pace, yet nothing could be further from the truth. In particular, priming your muscles for hard workouts and races with some less stressful running is one of the simplest ways to boost running performance.
“Warming up helps increase circulation and creates heat, which loosens and primes the muscles, joints, ligaments, and tendons for the workout ahead,” explains Jennifer Gill of Road Runners Club of America. “That not only means better performance during your run, but also a lower risk of injury.”
Another smart move: perform dynamic stretches such as lunges, high knees, and butt kicks before you log those warmup miles. Research shows that doing so can improve leg strength, power, and overall running economy.
Mix Up Your Workouts
It’s easy to fall into a routine if you lift weights, but it’s even easier if you run. After all, everyone has his or her favorite routes. If you find that you’re running the same pace, distance, and course every day, it’s time to switch up your training.
“The body needs a balanced and varied workout regimen to build endurance, speed, and stamina,” explains two-time Olympic Trials qualifier Nikki Rafie. “This means your running plan should include tempo runs in addition to long slow distance to improve overall performance.”
Science is pretty clear when it comes to whether strength training can benefit endurance athletes—it does—yet it remains one of the most overlooked elements of many cardio programs.
“Strength training can not only improve speed and power, it can help improve cardiovascular fitness, coordination, and efficiency, allowing you to perform the same workouts with less energy expenditure,” says Gill.
What’s more, strength work can help reduce the risk of running injuries not only by strengthening muscles, but also by reinforcing ligaments and tendons. Just two to three strength sessions per week is all you need to help you learn how to run faster.
Make Recovery a Priority
Taking time to recover from tough workouts is just as important as the workouts themselves. If you don’t allow your body time to bounce back, you’ll likely run yourself straight into an injury.
“The body is always trying to self-regulate and heal itself, and that’s why rest days are important,” says Rafie. “The joints and muscles need time to rest so the body can heal, rather than breaking down from continuous wear and tear.”
For most runners, this means taking at least one day off from training each week. You should also alternate hard and easy days so that your body can perform optimally in each workout.
Eat Like an Athlete
Burning tons of calories through regular exercise doesn’t give you a license to eat all of the junk food you want—at least, not if you want to figure out how to run faster and farther. Indeed, targeted nutrition and strategic eating—including taking in the right amount and the right kinds of calories—are essential to increasing energy levels, boosting performance, maximizing gains, and accelerating recovery.
Most people focus on protein intake, but carbs are just as important—especially when it comes to “metabolic recovery,” or topping off the fuel stores your body uses to create energy.
“Taking in the right amount of carbohydrates, protein, and healthy fats between workouts will replenish energy stores, rebuild muscles, and provide enough vitamins and minerals for overall health and wellness,” explains Gill, who is also a licensed sports nutritionist. “If you don’t, your body won’t be able to perform properly, and will ultimately break down.”
How to Lose the Weight, Keep the Muscle
Losing weight and gaining muscle can seem at odds with each other. You’ve heard the classic advice: If you want to shed pounds, you have to eat fewer calories while burning more of them. If you want to gain muscle, you have to do just the opposite — eat more calories while working your muscles hard. So is it possible to attack these two goals at the same time? The answer is an unequivocal “yes.” Just follow these six simple rules.
1. Track Fat Loss, Not Weight Loss Most people say they want to lose “weight,” when they really mean that they want to lose “fat.“ More specifically, they want to dump the fat while maintaining (and even building) muscle, which provides strength and definition while boosting your metabolism.
But a scale can’t tell you whether you’re losing fat, gaining muscle, or doing both at the same time. All a scale can do is track your overall weight, which includes muscle, fat, skin, organs, bones, and the cherry tart you ate for dessert. Gain 10 pounds of muscle while simultaneously losing 10 pounds of fat and you’ll probably look very different, but for all the scale knows, you haven’t changed.
Instead, focus on your body-fat percentage — the proportion of your body mass that’s composed of fat. Methods to measure that precisely are expensive, which is why many fitness experts recommend another highly accurate (and decidedly low tech) body-fat analyzer: a mirror. Muscle weighs more than fat by volume, so even if the bathroom scale isn’t budging, you might notice significant, positive changes (e.g., a slimmer waist, firmer butt, more defined arms) when you look at your full-length reflection in the bedroom. And if you notice your clothes fitting better (or even more loosely), you know you’re heading in the right direction.
2. Prioritize Protein You need protein to build muscle, but if you want to lose fat at the same time that you’re packing on muscle, you may need even more protein: A 2016 study found that overweight men on an intense fitness routine and a calorie-restricted diet were able to gain muscle over a four-week period — but only if their protein intake was high.
Protein should make up slightly more than one-third of your total caloric intake. Don’t want to do the nutritional math? Use portion-control containers.
3. Don’t Starve Yourself If you want to lose fat, you have to cut your caloric intake. But if you also want to maintain (or even build) muscle, cutting a little works better than cutting a lot, according to scientists.
If you reduce your calories too much, your body goes into conservation mode: Your metabolism slows down, and your hunger and stress hormones get out of whack, causing your body to do everything it can to hold on to the paltry few calories you are giving it. Basically, your body is thinking: “huge calorie deficit = life-threatening emergency! = slow everything down!,” while you are thinking: “I’m eating less, why am I not losing weight?”
A study found that strength-training athletes who cut calories by 30 percent saw no change in muscle mass, but those who cut calories by just 19 percent were able to increase their muscle mass while also leaning out. Shoot for losing no more than one percent of your body weight — or roughly one to two pounds — per week.
4. Eat Fat to Lose Fat Consuming fat can help you burn fat—as long as you’re smart about your consumption, eating the right types in the right quantities. A 2007 study found that exercisers who supplemented with fish oil lost more fat than those who didn’t. In another 2008 report, researchers at the University of California-Irvine found that dietary fat —especially from plant sources like avocados and nuts — increased the feeling of fullness, and led to less overeating.
But fatty foods are calorie-dense, so you don’t want to overdo it. Focus on adding healthy fats — like those found in avocados, olives (and extra-virgin olive oil), nut and seed butters, and cold water fish — to your diet.
5. Focus on HIIT When it comes to shedding pounds, you want to be the hare, not the tortoise: A 2011 Australian study found that shorter, tougher workouts consistently resulted in significantly greater fat loss than steady state cardio. To kick weight loss into high gear, focus on workouts that include high intensity interval training (HIIT).
6. Don’t Ignore the Weight Rack One final key component to weight loss: resistance training. That may sound counter-intuitive, since if you’re trying to get smaller, why do something that makes you bigger? Because if you’re trying to lose fat, muscle mass (AKA “metabolically active tissue”) is your friend. Besides digesting food, circulating blood, and keeping and your organs up and running, your body’s primary means of burning calories is by contracting your muscles, which it does every time you move. And the more muscle you have, the more calories you burn.
Dieting without strength training can lead to loss of muscle mass — and thus a diminished capacity to burn calories. But if you strength train while dialing in your diet (making sure to include plenty of protein!), you’ll maintain, or even gain, muscle, further enhancing your fat-burning potential 24-hours a day.
Even the process of building muscle can help you burn fat. That’s because repairing the damage caused by workouts and reinforcing muscles to better withstand the rigors of future ones requires energy. Indeed, studies show that a single strength training session can elevate your metabolism for up to 72 hours after you work out.
The Big Picture Monitor your body-fat percentage, not just your weight. Eat a healthy, balanced diet in proper proportions, with plenty of protein to spur muscle growth, and stoke your fat-burning furnace with HIIT that incorporates strength exercises. Net result: less fat, more muscle.
It’s Time for the Smartest Snack Bar Yet – BEACHBAR is Here!
BEACHBARS will be available for purchase from your Team Beachbody Coach (that’s me!) starting April 7!
The BEACHBAR is a crunchy, chewy, and delicious snack bar that is a good source of protein and just 150 calories. BEACHBAR comes in two flavors: Peanut Butter Chocolate and Chocolate Cherry Almond. Both are made with nut pieces and nut butters, protein crisps, and topped with a ribbon of chocolate. They are gluten free, have zero grams trans fats, and contain no artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives.
At 150 calories per bar, you get 10 grams of protein, four grams of fiber, and six grams of sugar. BEACHBAR is the perfect on-the-go snack to keep you going until your next meal. And, since they are both delicious and nutritious, BEACHBARS are also great snacks for meetings at work, to keep in your bag, or to toss into your child’s lunch box.
They come 15 bars per box, with the option to order up to three boxes at a time. Login to your Team Beachbody account on April 7 to choose your flavor and place your order!
April Special – Save $20 on All Mega and Deluxe Challenge Packs
Spring into fitness this month with special challenge pack savings from Beachbody! All Mega and Deluxe Challenge Packs are on sale for $20 off in April. These premium challenge packs bundle together Shakeology, and Beachbody Performance products to maximize your fitness results and save you money!
With the MEGA Challenge Packs, you will receive 1 year of access to EVERY fitness program Beachbody has ever created, including downloadable guides and future releases, plus you get me as your free fitness coach! The 80 Day Obsession packs include the resistance bands and floor gliders you need to do the workouts. People are loving this intense new workout and getting amazing results!
80 Day Obsession Annual BOD & Shakeology & Choc Performance Mega Challenge Pack Save over $315 compared to buying each item separately!
Stream 80 Day Obsession, plus hundreds of world-class workouts on Beachbody® On Demand for a year. Your bundle also includes a 30-day supply of Shakeology®, 80-day supply of Beachbody Performance™ Energize and Recover supplements, a portion-control system, and essential equipment.
80 Day Obsession Annual BOD & Shakeology & Chocolate Performance Challenge Pack
Save over $225 compared to buying each item separately!
Stream 80 Day Obsession, plus hundreds of world-class workouts on Beachbody® On Demand for a year. Your bundle also includes a 30-day supply of Shakeology®, one-month supply of Beachbody Performance™ Energize and Recover supplements, a portion-control system, equipment, and access to support from a personal Coach.
Annual BOD & Shakeology & Choco Performance Mega CP
Save $255 compared to buying each item separately!
Fitness + Nutrition + Support = SUCCESS
Stream hundreds of world-class workouts on Beachbody® On Demand for a year and get our most popular nutrition products including a 30-day supply of Shakeology®, one-month supply of Beachbody Performance™ Energize (pre-workout), Hydrate (during-workout), and Recover Chocolate (post-workout), and Portion Fix®. Plus, get a foam roller and mat, access to support from a personal coach, and a FREE Energize 10-pack.
Annual BOD & Shakeology & Choco Performance Deluxe CP
Save $215 compared to buying each item separately!
Stream hundreds of world-class workouts on Beachbody® On Demand for a year. Your bundle also includes a 30-day supply of Shakeology®, one-month supply of Beachbody Performance™ Energize (pre-workout) and Recover Chocolate (post-workout), Portion Fix®, and access to support from a personal coach.