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May 17, 2016

Thank you for visiting us from Facebook


Thank you for taking the time to fill out our information form on Facebook and Wanting to learn more about Athletes Equation

One of our staff members will be reaching out to you over the phone in the next one to two business days to tell you more about our program and answer any questions you may have.

At Athletes Equation we strive to provide our clients with a strength & conditioning solution that is expertly crafted to be evolving training plan for your fitness needs in an engaging setting by providing a supportive social environment that goes far beyond a “typical” gym.

 In the mean time please enjoy our website and we look forward to speaking with you soon.

toughmudder teamSuperbowl workout

January 25, 2015

Super Bowl Bootcamp


Take part in the Free bootcamp class at Athletes Equation to get ready for Super Bowl XXXIX.  Wear you Pats or Seahawks gear to support your team.  If your team didn’t make the big game that is ok wear your favorite teams gear.  This class will be suitable for all fitness levels and ages 14-100.

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December 1, 2014

Monday Motivation 12/1/14


“You can achieve only that which you will do.” -George S. Halas

This is one of my favorite quotes of all time. It is short and sweet.

I see it all the time in myself and in the clients I work with where you have great goals and aspirations. But, when it comes down to doing the work it is a struggle to make it happen.

For example in my weightlifting I have set the lofty goal of qualifying for the Masters World Championships (aka the “old man” world championships) in weightlifting. Today I am 34 kg away from qualifying which is roughly 75 lbs. In order to achieve this goal it is going to take a lot of time and effort both in the gym and out. It will take sacrifice both physically and financially. I will have to eat right, train right, stay healthy, save money for travel to qualifying meets and budget the time to train and compete. If I am unwilling to make any of those sacrifices I won’t achieve my goal. Now, I can make the sacrifices and still not reach my goal. But, that is another story for another day.

Whether your goal is to get stronger, lose weight, get better at sports, etc. it won’t matter if you are not willing to make the sacrifices it will take to achieve the goal you set. “You can achieve ONLY that which you will do.” So, if you want to lose weight you had better dial in your nutrition. If you want to get stronger you had better work hard to perfect your training technique and not be afraid of pushing outside your comfort zone. If you want to get better at sports you have to be willing to train when others are not.

Remember setting goals is easy, doing the work to attain them isn’t. As always our staff at Athletes Equation is here to help you reach your goals. Feel free to email me back and let me know what your goals are or if you need help setting a specific goal.

November 28, 2014

4 Simple Steps for Surviving Holiday Parties


4 Simple Steps for Surviving Holiday Parties

Holiday weight gain happens to everyone, right? Not you. Not this year.

Holiday Weight Gain Basics

Research has shown that Americans are gaining more weight each year with most of the gain occurring between October and February.

The weight gain during this time of year can be attributed in large part to the increase in social eating situations. Have you been gaining weight slowly over the past several years? Do you always gain a little weight during the holidays, promise yourself you’ll lose it after the first of the year, but never really get around to it??

It’s okay, be honest.

The best plan is a proactive one. If you can avoid putting on the extra weight in the first place, then you won’t have to go through the much more difficult process of losing it. Fortunately, curbing your holiday weight gain is actually very simple.

Below, I have outlined 4 action steps that you can use to prevent holiday weight gain.

  1. Pre-Eat

The worst choice you can make is going to a holiday party on an empty stomach. This is setting yourself up for complete and utter disaster. Pre-eat before you go, with a small amount of food that will increase your feeling of fullness, prevent cravings, and slow the digestion of any foods that you do eat when you go out. My top pre-eating foods are:

Small Salad – This has been consistently shown in scientific studies to reduce the amount of food you eat in the subsequent meal. Having a salad before you go to a party, or having a salad as your first item at the party, could help you eat 200-300 calories less.

Apple & String Cheese – The apple provides fiber and volume while the string cheese provides fat and protein. These components will signal your body that you are full and slow down digestion (making you feel full longer).

  1. Skip The Crackers

Most holiday parties are loaded with breads, crackers, cookies and cakes. Just say no. Loading up on these starchy carbohydrates will send your blood sugar levels for a ride. This, along with the lack of fiber in these foods, will cause you to end up eating a lot of them and quickly stack up the calories….Honestly, when was the last time you ate just one cracker? Exactly. Skip the crackers.

  1. Shrimp & Veggies Please

So, what can you eat? Shrimp, smoked fish, cheese, and vegetables (not the fried ones) are staples at holiday cocktail parties and are all good choices. Many parties also have a featured meat item that would work, such as roast beef or a spiral ham.

Broccoli, carrots, celery, and whatever other vegetables sitting near the ranch dressing are all fair game. The protein-based foods like shrimp, smoked salmon, the meat entrée and cheese are nice compliments to your veggies, by providing fat and protein (components that help with fullness).

If you have a choice, opt for hummus over Ranch or Blue Cheese dressing to dip your vegetables. The carbohydrates in hummus have very little impact on your blood sugar and the chickpeas, which are the basis for hummus, will give you additional fiber. The calorie content of creamy dressing is a nutritional black box. Just 2 TBSPs can contains 7 to 17 grams of fat. These fat grams and calories can add up fast, thus it is best to save the dressing for another time.

  1. Watch Where You Stand

Holiday parties are full of mindless eating opportunities. I’m sure you’ve been in the following, or a similar, situation before. You’re chatting with a friend or colleague and a bowl of Chex Mix lays just within reach. Next thing you know, the conversation is over and the bowl of Chex Mix is empty. When it comes to feeling full, your body doesn’t sense these mindless eating calories, but your waistline does.

Watch where you stand at parties. Take a small plate and pile on your veggies and proteins. Then, go start a conversation on the other side of the room, away from the food table.

This tip alone can reduce how much you eat by 50%.

Holiday weight gain isn’t inevitable. Put these simple strategies into play to control the greatest source of holiday weight gain and keep the pounds off this year.

 

 

Dr. Mike Roussell PhD, is a nutritional consultant and author known for transforming complex nutritional concepts into practical nutritional habits that his clients can use to ensure permanent weight loss and log lasting health.

 

November 25, 2014

Tuesday Training Tip


Theme of the week is rest and recovery.  Yesterday I talked about taking pause this week and resting.  Well during your workouts the time to take to rest and recover is equally if not more important than the weight you lift, number of reps you do, etc.
It is easy to fall into what I call treadmill syndrome.  That is exercising like you are going for a run on a treadmill.  Constant steady state exercise is good.  But, for a majority of people out there looking to improve body composition, get in better shape, feel more energized and lose weight that is not as good as High Intensity Intervals.
Our Group Strength & Conditioning Sessions are all based off the principle of High Intensity training.  If we use the format of time intervals or performing X number or rounds in a certain amount of time the concept is the same.  Work hard then rest hard.
Now I could go on a long winded response to what is “intensity” when it comes to high intensity training.  But, for the sake of keeping this email under 5 minutes to ready I will explain two simple concepts of intensity.
Concept #1 – Intensity of effort is defined as how hard you perceive yourself to be working.
Concept #2 – Intensity of load is defined as how much weight or resistance you are using.
So, what does this have to do with rest and recovery…. Everything!
In order to properly train in a high intensity setting it is important to understand those two concepts of intensity and how they will impact your rest and recovery.
If your intensity of effort is not high then when it comes to rest you will feel like you can just keep going and resting is pointless.   If your intensity of effort is high then the opposite would be true you would not want the rest period to end.
So, how can you increase your intensity of effort.  Well that is simple.  You manipulate the intensity of load.  You do this by Adding weight to your squat and maintaining proper depth and form.  You use less assistance on a pull up.  You run faster for a specific distance.  Doing these things will make things more difficult and once things become more difficult then you must rest and recover more effectively.
So, when you have time intervals like a 30 seconds of work 10 seconds of rest.  You should be using an intensity of load that makes your intensity of effort feel to a point where when the 10 seconds rest comes you are thankful for it to be there and when the 10 seconds are over you are skeptically optimistic of the next round.
If you are performing a specific number of rounds in a period of time you should be working at a point where you need to pause for no longer than a minute after you complete a round and no longer than 10-30 seconds between exercises.
If at any point you feel like you could just keep going like you are on a treadmill than you have fallen victim to the treadmill syndrome.  Remember these concepts the next time you are working out in our group training session or on your own.  I bet you will have a better training session.
November 24, 2014

11/24 Monday Motivation


This is probably my favorite week of the year.  It is not a coincidence that it coincides with a week that has a giant feast in the middle of the week.  But, in all seriousness Thanksgiving week is really a good week jto do two things that will help make it the best week of the year.

The Number One reason it is a great week is because it is an awesome opportunity to take a well needed and deserved pause to our daily grind.  During the holiday take some time to breath and relax.  It is ok to take time to recovery and relax from time to time and it is an important part of life to do so.   It is equally as important if not more important than working your ass off week after week.

The Number Two reason is that it is an opportunity to sit back and realize how good you have it.  Too much time and energy is focused on worrying about what you don’t have or all the things that are wrong that are happening to you. Thanksgiving is a great opportunity to flip the script on that way of thinking.  Focus this week on what you have and all the things that are happening that give you all the good things.  I guarantee it will lead to putting you in a good mood and you will have a great week.

I know it sounds cliche and corny.  But, guess what it works.  So, take some time this week to #1 relax and recover.  It is ok at take a pause to your daily grind and this is a perfect week to do it.  #2 is to be thankful for all you have and all the good that is happening.  Do these two things and I bet you when you return to your regular routine on December 1st you will be renewed and carry a new sense of motivation going into the last month of the year.

November 21, 2014

Eating Out Survival Guide


Eating Out is No Longer a ‘Treat’

Eating out at a restaurant used to be considered a treat. An uncommon indulgence. However, since the 1970s eating away from home has become more and more common with Americans, now eating upwards of 43% of their meals and 32% of their calories away from home (up from 25% and 18% in 1970).

When eating at a restaurant was an infrequent indulgence, you didn’t have to pay too much attention to what you were eating, but now that eating out is more and more becoming the norm, to lose or maintain your weight and improve your health, you need to be nutritionally savvy when on the go. Here are some steps to serve as your survival guide.

Avoid Empty Calories

Eating out is a constant battle of controlling calories. You can make a lot of headway by avoiding empty calories. This includes free bread or tortilla chips, and calorie containing drinks. Ask your server to take away the bread/chips and opt for beverages that don’t contain calories (water, sparkling water, diet soda, tea, etc).

Portions

One of the most important things to remember is that the portions you are served are not necessarily the portions that you should be eating. It is important to remember that chefs aren’t trained in nutrition. This is illustrated by the fact that 76% of chefs thought the portions of pasta and steak they were serving were regular but they were actually 2-4 times what would be considered a normal serving.

Other research shows that 73% of chefs think they could reduce the calorie content of their meals by 10-20% without customers ever knowing (but they aren’t doing this!).

Know what portion is appropriate for you. Use simple guides like:

Protein the size of 1-2 of your palm(s).

Rice or Pasta that fits in the palm of your cupped hand

Oil or dressing the size of a poker chip

Do Nutrition Reconnaissance

Whenever Possible

The calorie content of meals is very often available on a restaurant’s website but it is not always easily accessible onsite. Online, some companies have nutrition calculators where you can create your ideal meal and see what the calorie, protein, carbohydrate, and fat breakdown would be. Use these tools whenever possible to empower your ordering decisions.

Vegetables, Vegetables, and More Vegetables

When eating out, vegetables are your friend. Dr. Barbara Rolls’ research on eating behavior is pretty clear and consistent, the more vegetables you eat (preferably green leafy ones) the less calories you are going to eat. Pile on the vegetables.

This means starting off your meal with a salad. Not a salad with bacon, cheese, eggs, avocado, walnuts, and salad dressing. A simple ‘house’ salad with lots of greens. Dr. Rolls’ research shows that having a salad before a meal can decrease the total amount of calories that you eat by 10-12%. If you aren’t big on salads, her research shows similar results with broth based vegetable soups.

Decode the Menu

How a meal is described on a menu can provide you with a lot of information about the calorie content of that meal.

Avoid Foods described as:

Scalloped

Parmesan

Fried

Bisque

Breaded

Crisp

Au Gratin

Battered

Béarnaise

Meals described in this fashion are going to be higher in calories and prepared using more fat.

Pick Foods described as:

Steamed

Poached

Grilled

Broiled

Au Jus

Baked

Braised

Lean

Meals described in this fashion are going to be lower in calories. The amount of fat used in these preparation techniques is greatly reduced.

Dr. Mike Roussell PhD, is a nutritional consultant and author known for transforming complex nutritional concepts into practical nutritional habits that his clients can use to ensure permanent weight loss and log lasting health.

 

November 18, 2014

Training Tip Tuesday – Getting the Most Out of Assisted Pull Ups


This week’s Tuesday training tip is all about pull ups. What level of assistance should you use and why is one of the most frequently asked question we get at Athletes Equation.  When using bands for assistance it is easy to turn a challenging exercise like chin ups and pull ups into a complete waste of time. When doing an exercise like a pull up it is easy to get lost in what is the real goal of the exercise. Vertical pulling like the Pull up, Chin up or Lat Pull down is designed to build strength in the biceps, upper back and lower back. Usually Lat pull downs are the easiest exercise of the three where chin ups and pull ups are challenging for most people so they will default to Lat Pull downs because it is easier. However you are limiting your potential significantly by doing that.

We use bands to give our clients assistance in performing body weight vertical pulls. But, the biggest mistake our clients make is to not challenge the drill. Turning the vertical pulling variation into an easy exercise. Vertical pulling is hard plain and simple. The goal of the exercise should be like the goal when learning to ride a bicycle. That is to get the training wheels off and for body weight vertical pulls like pull ups and chin ups bands are the training wheels. Just like riding a bike once you are able to do body weight pulls without assistance it is very hard to lose that skill. Even if you take time off from the gym.

How to go about getting rid of the training wheels. First is to understand the progression of the exercise. Pull ups and chin ups should be hard and by hard I mean you should be challenged for the final few reps to be able to perform them with proper technique. If rep one and ten feel the same than it is time to progress.

How to progress. It is easy. Everyone’s goal should be to eliminate the bands and do body weight pull ups. Everyone is capable of doing this and I mean that. It takes dedication and desire to achieve. But, everyone is capable of building that level of strength. So once you make your mind up to get rid of the training wheels it is about following a progressions to get to the goal.

Here is the road map.

  1. Understand where you are at. Can you do one pull up or do you need assistance?
  2. If you can do one pull than your job is to always try to do one or more pull ups before using assistance.
  3. If you can’t do a body weight pull up than your job is to know what is the least amount of assistance you need to perform a single hard pull up.
    1. Decide which colored band that is or whatever other assistance you are using.
  4. When using assistance you should use the least amount of assistance and perform as many reps as you can. If you don’t reach the prescribe amount of reps that is ok. Get as many as you can with no assistance than use as little assistance as possible to finish the number of desired reps.
    1. For example if the prescription is 10 reps and you can only do 5 BW pull ups do as many pull ups as you can then use as little assistance as possible to finish your final five reps.
  5. Continue to track your progress and try to improve each time you do pull ups.

Performing pull ups and chin ups are not easy. But, improving strength with them is. You just have to be focused on the task at hand which is taking of the training wheels.

November 14, 2014

Power Food: Lean Beef


Heart Health Promoter or Destroyer?

Red meat has long been implicated as a food that will destroy your heart health…so how could it be considered a power food? Let’s look at the nutritional power of lean beef and the misinterpretation of scientific research that has given it a bad name.

Red Meat vs. Lean Beef

Much of the confusion about the healthfulness of lean beef comes from the way it is categorized in research studies and talked about. Red meat can mean a lot of different foods that have a very different nutritional profile compared to lean beef.

What is considered red meat?

Hamburger, beef hot dog, processed meat and processed meat sandwich, bacon, beef/pork/lamb as a mixed and main dish.

What is considered lean beef?

A piece of beef that contains <10 g total fats, =4.5 g saturated fat, and <95 mg cholesterol per 3.5 oz. serving

These two categories describe very different types of foods. In the 5 clinical trials that have compared the effects of eating lean beef vs. chicken/fish, there is no difference in the diet’s ability to reduce risk of heart disease.

10 Essential Nutrients

To be a power food, you need to bring a lot of nutrition without a lot of calories. Lean beef leads the way in this category as it contains 10 essential nutrients:

Protein

Vitamin B12

Selenium

Zinc

Niacin

Vitamin B6

Iron

Phosphorus

Riboflavin

You would need 6 1/2 cups of raw spinach to get as much vitamin B6 as you would get from a 3oz serving of beef. You may also be surprised to know that almost half of the fat found in beef is monounsaturated fat, the same fat in avocados and olive oil.

Where’s the Lean Beef

Knowing that lean beef is what you want, the next questions is where in the meat case at the supermarket is the lean beef?

It is everywhere. Chances are that you are already buying lean beef without even knowing it. 69% of the beef sold in supermarkets is lean beef.

Currently, 38 cuts of beef meet the USDA criteria for lean. Here are some of the most popular lean cuts

Strip Steak

T-Bone Steak

Filet Mignon

Sirloin Steak

Top Round

90% lean ground beef

Brisket

Pot Roast

Keys to Cooking Lean Beef

Cooking delicious lean beef doesn’t need to be difficult or tricky. The key is in the temperature.

Using a meat thermometer to ensure that you are cooking your meat to the correct temperature, will allow you to not just avoid food borne illness but will ensure that you get meat that is cooked to your liking every time.

Well Done: 170 degrees Fahrenheit

Medium: 160 degrees Fahrenheit

Medium Rare: 145 degrees Fahrenheit

More Flavor, Less Calories

Beef contains high levels of the amino acid glutamate. Glutamate is responsible for the 5 taste – umami or savory. By adding other umami flavor rich foods to your meal, you can exponentially enhance the taste and enjoyment of your beef dish without a lot of extra calories. Umami rich toppings to add include: aged cheese, soy sauce, fish sauce, mushrooms, and ripe tomatoes.

Dr. Mike Roussell PhD, is a nutritional consultant and author known for transforming complex nutritional concepts into practical nutritional habits that his clients can use to ensure permanent weight loss and log lasting health.

Monday Motivation 11/14/14


Don’t Quit

When things go wrong as they sometimes will.

When the road you’re trudging seems all up hill.

When funds are low and the debts are high.

And you want to smile, but you have to sigh.

When care is pressing you down a bit.

Rest, if you must, but don’t you quit.

Life is queer with its twists and turns.

As everyone of us sometimes learns.

And many a failure turns about.

When he might have won had he stuck it out:

Don’t give up though the pace seems slow –

You may succeed with another blow.

Success is failure turned inside out –

The silver tint of the clouds of doubt

And you never can tell how close you are.

It may be near when it seems so far:

So stick to the fight when you’re hardest hit –

It’s when things seem worst that you must not quit!!!

-Anonymous