The summer of 2019 has been filled with excitement and fun with family and friends, traveling, kids camps, and days at the beach. But as fun as the summer is... at times it throws off our ability to be consistent.

You may have heard the saying, "If you are persistent, you will get it. If you are consistent you will keep it"

For me this saying describes my wife and her efforts in everything she does from staying fit to taking care of our family day in and day out. It emulates her efforts in getting back in shape after giving birth to each one of our three children, after what was two and now is three knee surgeries in the same knee and getting stronger. She is driven and persistent in her efforts to getting better, to becoming a better version of herself. But its because of her consistency day in and day out that allows her to stay fit. I don't know anyone as persistent and consistent as she is every day. She has a process, a system, a mindset like no other.

I am blessed to have a wife who sets such an amazing example for myself and our children.

Like most, I fell off a little this summer. I was persistent at getting better from my knee injury. I was determined to achieve a goal of 100% full range of motion so that I could apply the appropriate intensities on my body that would allow me to recover faster than expected. I set expectations that would allow me to achieve my goal of being recovered. Yes there has been some hiccups along the way but I was driven to get there. And then, I fell off the consistency train. As I became more mobile, stronger, busier with work, travel and kids activities, my consistency dropped. My recovery plateaued.



Who is jumping back on the train with me?

Its time to get back on track to being consistent in our daily habits, our workouts, our nutrition habits, and being focused on achieving the fitness goals we set.

  • Consistency is what allows us to succeed.

  • Consistency is what allows us to achieve the impossible.

  • Consistency allows us to become a better version of our selves.

  • Consistency builds habits and momentum

  • Consistency eliminates excuses

Consistency is that one little thing that you do each day to improve even 1%. That little bit extra every day is what allows you to achieve big things. But you must COMMIT! Commit to doing one thing that will take you one step closer to achieving the goals you have set. Make a commitment to doing one thing and make no excuses. If you are tired... NO just one thing so that allows you to create a habit of consistency. That one small thing done each and every day will add up and compound into something bigger. Until one day you no longer recognize that person in the mirror because you are stronger, leaner, and more focused than you have ever been.

What do you need from us at GSFP to help you become more consistent with your workouts, your nutrition habits, your efforts in improving your quality of life?

Let us help you achieve your dreams!

Get Started

"Make Yourself Stronger Than Your Excuses"

God Bless,

Dave Bolduc, Owner


Carbohydrates: The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly


Carbohydrates: The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly

Carbohydrates aren't bad, but some may be healthier than others. See why carbs are important for your health and which ones to choose.

Carbohydrates have gotten a bad rap lately, especially when it comes to weight gain, and partly because they are lumped into one big-bad category. And for most of those individuals trying to lose weight… “Carbs are the devil”.  But that’s not the case if you know what carbohydrates are and how they help us live.

Before they fell on tough times, carbs had a pretty decent run. Remember the halcyon days of carbo-loading, when carbs were considered safe and healthy, the very center of an optimal diet? Back then, carbs were seen as “clean fuel” – the antidote to our dark desires for dastardly fats and heavy, heart-clogging meats. Carbs connoted energy for people on the go.

Then protein power came along, and carbs’ glory days came to a hasty end. Suddenly carbs were seen as a poison upon our plate, and “low-carb” became a sexy marketing label, fused in our minds with the ripped, lean-and-hungry look that high-protein, low-carb diets promised to deliver.

A lot of folks did a total about-face with their eating at this point, and started scouring nutrition labels with an eye to eliminating every last carb they could. For some people, that meant supplementing steak lunches with protein bars while all but swearing off everything from rice and oatmeal to fruits and veggies. This dramatic reversal made a lot of seasoned nutritional types shake their heads in dismay – but not in surprise.

Due to their numerous health benefits, carbohydrates have a rightful place in your diet. In fact, your body needs carbohydrates to function well. Think of carbohydrates as fuel for an engine.  And based on the type and amount of Carbohydrates you consume will determine the size and power of your engine.  It is important to understand that your body must be properly fueled to function at high levels.

But some carbohydrates might be better for you than others.

Understanding carbohydrates
Carbohydrates are a type of macronutrient found in many foods and beverages. Most carbohydrates occur naturally in plant-based foods, such as grains. Food manufacturers also add carbohydrates to processed foods in the form of starch or added sugar.

Common sources of naturally occurring carbohydrates include:

  • Fruits

  • Vegetables

  • Milk

  • Nuts

  • Grains

  • Seeds

  • Legumes

Types of carbohydrates
There are three main types of carbohydrates:

  1. Sugar is the simplest form of carbohydrate and occurs naturally in some foods, including fruits, vegetables, milk and milk products. Types of sugar include fruit sugar (fructose), table sugar (sucrose) and milk sugar (lactose).

  2. Starch is a complex carbohydrate, meaning it is made of many sugar units bonded together. Starch occurs naturally in vegetables, grains, and cooked dry beans and peas.

  3. Fiber also is a complex carbohydrate. It occurs naturally in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and cooked dry beans and peas.

So…Let’s start with three basic rules when it comes to Understanding Carbohydrates:

Rule 1: Your need for carbohydrates is dictated by your need for energy. Carbs are your body’s primary source of fuel – one of just three (the other two being protein and fat) available to you. Except in starvation situations, carbs are your brain’s only fuel source. Carbs are essential to both physical energy and mental clarity, so blindly slashing away at your carb intake in an effort to stay slim and healthy is counterproductive.

Yes, eating too many carbs will overload your system with potential energy it can’t use and thus make you fat. And some carbs (particularly refined grains and sugars) can make your blood sugar levels abruptly spike up and then fall, which leaves you feeling hungry and is bad for you in a variety of ways. But eating too few carbs presents its own problems. As a rule, cheating your body out of carbs will leave you feeling sluggish, dull-witted, weak and uninterested in exercise. It will also cheat you out of a whole raft of important nutrients, enzymes and phytochemicals. Which brings us to...

Rule 2: When selecting carb-rich foods, nutrition counts. The portion of your food intake you allocate for carbs is responsible for carrying the vast majority of your nutrients and phytochemicals, so you’d be crazy to squander your daily carb account on empty calories. As a rule, fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes and nuts deliver a far more powerful nutritional punch than refined grains, starches and sugars. They also contain more healthy water and fiber and a lower caloric density. As a result, eating whole, unrefined foods helps you satisfy your hunger and keep it at bay longer. So eating a wide variety of nutrient-rich carbs is one of the best things you can do for your health.

Rule 3: Once inside your body, all the carbohydrates in your food break down into glucose (sugar). That sugar is either 1) used immediately for energy, 2) stored as glycogen in the liver and muscles for easy access, or 3) turned into fat for longer-term storage.

Various carbohydrate-rich foods contain different concentrations of glucose, however, and they release it into the bloodstream at different rates. This can make a difference in how well and how often your body gets into burning stored fat for energy. Getting big hits of glucose and insulin in your system reduces your body’s opportunities to burn fat for fuel, and increases its opportunities to store it.

Faster-digesting carbs – such as sugars, some starches and grains that have been processed to remove their germ and bran – tend to catalyze greater blood-glucose and insulin responses. Thus, not only are they less nutritious, they also have a greater chance than slower-digesting carbs of resulting in extra padding on your body.

The role of insulin in all this is important and worth addressing. Insulin is the hormone your pancreas sends out in order to escort the sugar molecules where they need to go – and the more sugar that hits your bloodstream at any given time, the more insulin is required. If you begin performing some kind of strenuous exercise shortly after you eat a big helping of fast-digesting carbs, your insulin will have good success in getting your body to use most of the available glucose for energy. If you are sedentary, it doesn’t work so well.

Choose your carbohydrates wisely

Carbohydrates are an essential part of a healthy diet, and provide many important nutrients. Still, not all carbs are created equal.

Here's how to make healthy carbohydrates work in a balanced diet:

Emphasize fiber-rich fruits and vegetables.

  • Aim for whole fresh, frozen and canned fruits and vegetables without added sugar. Other options are fruit juices and dried fruits, which are concentrated sources of natural sugar and therefore have more calories. Whole fruits and vegetables also add fiber, water and bulk, which help you feel fuller on fewer calories.

Choose whole grains.

  • Whole grains are better sources than refined grains of fiber and other important nutrients, such as B vitamins. Refined grains go through a process that strips out parts of the grain — along with some of the nutrients and fiber.

Stick to low-fat dairy products.

  • Milk, cheese, yogurt and other dairy products are good sources of calcium and protein, plus many other vitamins and minerals. Consider the low-fat versions, to help limit calories and saturated fat. And beware of dairy products that have added sugar.

Eat more legumes.

  • Legumes — which include beans, peas and lentils — are among the most versatile and nutritious foods available. They are typically low in fat and high in folate, potassium, iron and magnesium, and they contain beneficial fats and fiber. Legumes are a good source of protein and can be a healthy substitute for meat, which has more saturated fat and cholesterol.

Limit added sugars.

  • Added sugar probably isn't harmful in small amounts. But there's no health advantage to consuming any amount of added sugar. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends that less than 10 percent of calories you consume every day come from added sugar.

So choose your carbohydrates wisely. Limit foods with added sugars and refined grains, such as sugary drinks, desserts and candy, which are packed with calories but low in nutrition. Instead, go for fruits, vegetables and whole grains.

The New Glucose Revolution: The Authoritative Guide to the Glycemic Index by Jennie Brand-Miller, Ph.D., et al. (Marlow and Co., 2003)
Good Carbs, Bad Carbs: Eating the Right Carbs for Losing Weight and Optimum Health by Johanna Burani, MS, RD, and Linda Rao (Med. Marlow and Co., 2002)
The South Beach Diet by Arthur Agatston, MD (Rodale, 2003)
Carbohydrates: How to fit them in your diet by Mayo Clinic Staff


Reality Check:  Say No to Summer Weight Gain


Reality Check: Say No to Summer Weight Gain

So you spent the winter working hard.  You exercised consistently, you were careful to eat more healthy foods and you watched your portion sizes.  Why?  So you would look great at the lake and have plenty of energy to enjoy the summer.  You greeted summer with a healthy, toned body.  But summer, in spite of all the fun and relaxation it brings, can be tricky and deal us a cruel blow when it comes to our fitness.

Have you noticed the scale creeping up a little over the last couple of months?  If so, you are not alone. Summer is a very easy time to overindulge and pick up those pounds that you shed during the winter months.

Is that what you want though?  Are you willing to undo all that you worked so hard to accomplish?

Remember that bad habits creep in slowly.  Perhaps you are skipping your workouts a couple days each week, because ‘You have so much to do.’ Or maybe you have been indulging in unhealthy food or drinks a little more frequently when you are with friends.  It happens little by little.  It happens one small choice at a time.  But those choices add up fast.

If you realize that you have been slipping up, it’s not too late to turn around and get back on track. Really!  There is still plenty of summer left for you to regain whatever ground you might have lost and get back to awesome.

Here are a few common reasons that people gain weight in the summer and how to remedy them.

1.  Disrupted sleep cycle.  Summer brings with it more daylight and longer days.  This extra sunshine can cause our circadian rhythms to change which causes us to sleep less.  But if we don’t get enough sleep, our bodies will respond by packing on a few extra pounds!  The solution?  Be diligent to get at least seven hours of sleep each night.

2.  Baby, it’s hot out there!  When it’s hot and humid, we tend to move around less.  Our energy is lower and besides, who wants to sweat even more, right?  But the less you move, the slower your metabolism is and the fewer calories you will burn.  Be intentional about keeping up with your exercise.  Find indoor exercise alternatives like boot camp classes or maybe even take up swimming.  Just keep moving.

3.  On the road again.  Summer meals travel and travel means healthy eating just got harder.  Eating on the road presents big challenges if you are trying to eat clean.  Before your summer trips, brainstorm some ways to reduce the amount of fast food that you will consume while you are away.  Consider packing a cooler with hummus, nuts, lean proteins sources like chicken, fresh fruit and raw veggies.

4.  Caution:  Cookouts!  Ahhh…summer cookouts, parties, family reunions.  All this spells danger because the food at these festivities is usually about as unhealthy as you can get!  Make sure you pass on the hot dogs, potato salad, oily salad dressings and rice cakes.  Look for grilled vegetables, fresh fruit and lean cuts of meat prepared without greasy marinades.

Don’t let the summer creep undo all the hard work you’ve done to get you where you are right now.  Decide to fight back.  Make up your mind to finish well this summer.  Your future self will thank you!


Why Are We Focusing on the Brain and Doing These Deliberating Focused Drills?

Why Are We Focusing on the Brain and Doing These Deliberating Focused Drills?

The brain has maps of your bones, joints, muscles, organs, visual, and balance systems.  Like a personal GPS system, it tells you where you are and where you are going.  There are: sensory maps, think difference between a pinch and a tickle; memory maps, which make it possible to recognize an old friend; movement maps, which allow us to walk without thinking of every muscle involved.  These maps help our brains work more efficiently; conserving energy for activities like problem solving, or running from lions.  The brain’s primary concern is your immediate survival, not how well you perform. To make this high demand job easier, it creates predictive models of the world based on sensory information.  The information used to create the maps of your bones and joints comes from mechanoreceptors.  A joint with a clear map moves in a full range of motion. This level of clarity frees the brain from threat and primes it for performance.  If on the other hand, the mechanoreceptors are not sending signals when they should be, there is a blurry map, and the brain will send out the threat message.  This signal can take the form of pain, slow movement, less range of motion, flexibility, or power.   Injury is the most common map scrambler.  Life happens; you trip off a curb and jam an ankle, or sleep funny and wake-up with kink in your shoulder.  Because your brain’s concern is your immediate survival, it will modify your maps to work around the injured area. The modified maps will begin to affect every aspect of your life.  The limp that started with a tweaked ankle may become a permanent quality to your walk. Repetitive movements under stress can also have negative consequences on brain maps.  When the flight and fight (startle) response is continuously linked with any movement, the brain will reflexively link the two maps for efficiency.  This process of rewiring neural pathways for efficiency is called neural plasticity.   The more an action is performed, the more efficient the brain becomes at said action.  If two different actions are consistently performed together, the brain will wire the two actions together.  This is great for conserving energy, but if care is not taken, corrupt chunks can be created by repetitive actions executed with blurry maps. It takes 10,000 repetitions of an action to move from the cognitive to the autonomous regions of the brain.  That means activities performed everyday have the potential to quickly hard-wire maps.  If the activity involves more that one body part, it can rewire the maps of all body parts involved. That funky walk caused by a tweaked ankle will become hard-wired after 10,000 steps.  That’s as few as 4 days, unless conscious action is taken to clarify the blurry maps.

Let’s continue with the tweaked ankle example. You limp around in pain for a couple of weeks, cursing the curb that assaulted you, popping Advil to dull the pain.  Life goes on; public transportation to work, taking the dog out, grocery shopping and household chores.  All activities that require walking and potentially carrying loads. That means shifting the weight to the non-injured side and hobbling along for a while.  To make hobbling more efficient the brain alters its existing map for walking and turns it into hobbling.  Not only is hobbling complicated, it potentially doubles the weight being carried by one leg.  That might require some reinforcement to help handle the new load.  Maybe the plantar fascia of the foot gets inflamed (plantar fasciatis), the fascia of the low back tightens up to help support the spine (back pain), or the shoulders get tight from the extra forces travelling through them, the possibilities are infinite.  Because you didn’t know how to restore your maps, you never fully recovered and have a low-grade limp for years.  You stopped tennis because it hurt you too much. The muscles on the injured leg begin to atrophy and the bones begin to de-mineralize.  The non-injured side continues to handle more load and the forces at the knee are altered, potentially causing pain and osteoarthritis.[i] As life continues, the injuries add up: tweaked ankle first, car accident next year, low back pain for no apparent reason.  Then the right shoulder starts to hurt after “sleeping funny.“  The maps continue to blur, and the forces transmitted through the body are less optimal as the years go on.  You begin to wake up stiffer every morning and look forward to hanging out on the couch, instead of hiking with friends.  From your brain’s perspective it’s safer and hence more enjoyable to stay at home.  Blurry maps make the world a dangerous place.

Not all hope is lost after a string of injuries; the same laws that govern this process work in reverse.  A map chunk that created a limp can be broken, releasing the stress on support tissues by returning walking to its natural ease. When visiting a new city you procure the most current maps to navigate the town; the same should be done with the body. Update your maps on a regular basis.  A systematic approach is learning the ABC’s of movement as taught by Z-Health, and supplementing with strength training. The strength training will provide the brain the appropriate stimulus to hard-wire the clarified maps.  As the years go on and you brain maps continue to improve, so to will your options for fun. Enjoy life and exercise your brain and body! 

            I.     Z-Health R-Phase Power Point, Slide 67.

           II.     Gait Mechanics Influence Healthy Cartilage Morphology and Osteoarthritis of the Knee J Bone Joint Surg Am. Feb 1, 2009; 91(Supple 1): 95-101 Thomas P. Andriacchi, PhD, Seungbum Koo, PhD, and Sean F. Scanlan, MS

         III.     Dynamic Biomechanics of the Normal Foot and Ankle During Walking and Running

         IV.     PHYS THER. 1988; 68:1822-1830. Mary M Rodgers

           V.     Sandra Blakeslee and Mathew Blakeslee, The Body Has a Mind of Its Own (New York: Random House Trade Paperbacks, 2007), 3-89.

Miles and Smiles with Pat - Beat the Heat


Miles and Smiles with Pat - Beat the Heat

June 21st marks the first day of Summer. Lucky for us, Bay Area temps don't get too hot. But then again anything over 70 degrees is too hot for us Bayareans. When running outside and the temperatures go up, our body core temperatures increase, our bodies work hard to keep us cool and performance decreases. I want to share some things that work for me when running in the heat and I want to make you aware of signs of heat illness.

When the outside temperatures get hot and you need to get a run in, it is important that you prepare yourself as much as possible:

Plan your run-

If you know it’s going to be hot, run a familiar easy route. Save the hard workouts for another day. Do yourself a favor and plan your run early in the morning or in the evening. No need to go out there at the peak of the day and get cooked.

Start out slow -
Starting out at your normal pace will only increase your core temperature faster. Starting out slow allows your body to acclimate to the hot temperatures.

What to wear-
Where UV protective gear, sunglasses and a hat. Stripping down and exposing your skin only exposes you to the UV rays and your sweat evaporating. Covering up with light UV protective clothes can protect you from the UV rays and hold your sweat to keep you cool. Another thing that works for me is wearing with a wet cloth around my neck.

Run for cover!
I like to run to the shade. I like to stay out of the sun as much as possible, even if only my legs are covered by the shade. This strategy has worked for me while running a 200-mile relay race in the middle of Summer in So Cal.

Hydration and electrolytes-
When it's hot, we automatically want to drink ice cold water to keep cool and hydrated. While this is true, here are somethings to talk about before you start pounding down water before and during your run. When its scorching hot out its not only important to drink water but its important to replace all the electrolytes you lose through your sweat. Swap your water with an electrolyte supplement. Gatorade is a household favorite for electrolytes. If Gatorade is too sweet, I like to use Nuun, Watermelon is my favorite! Nuun is lightly flavored, not too sweet and is formulated to help you replenish electrolytes you lost. Another easy way to replenish electrolytes is to try taking a salt tab. No, not table salt but an electrolyte tab. Electrolyte tabs have the same ingredients as Nuun or Gatorade but all in a capsule or tablet form. I use Salt stick capsules. They are easy to pack while on the run and has helped me stay cramp-free during long runs and marathons.

Something to be mindful of while hydrating during your run, is not drinking too much. Drinking too many fluids can dilute your electrolyte levels and will put you at risk of Waterlogged or Exercise-Associated Hyponatremia.  Drink enough to satisfy your thirst and do not over consume liquids. Drink slow and small sips. Taking electrolyte supplements or eating something salty can help you maintain electrolyte levels.

Keep your expectation low-
As temperatures increase expect your performance to decrease. Your body is going to be in overdrive to try to keep you cool. Once you hit a point where you can’t cool yourself down your brain will take the necessary steps to slow you down to cool off. Keep it slow and expectations low.

Signs and Symptoms of Heat illness-

  • A headache and nausea
  • chills or goose bumps
  • cessation of sweating
  • faintness or dizziness
  • weakness
  • Strong and rapid pulse
  • hot dry skin
  • confusion
  • Loss of color

It is okay to stop and give it a go another day. Heat exhaustion and heat stroke is no joke. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms stop running immediately, get indoors or find some shade, drink a cool beverage, cool off with a wet cloth and stand in front of a fan.  If you find symptoms are getting worse make sure to get to a ER!



Independence Day: How to Break Free from a Slump

Tomorrow is Independence Day!  We’re surrounded by all kinds of reminders about the priceless freedom that we enjoy in our country.  Flags, fireworks and fun cookouts all symbolize the bravery and determination of our ancestors as they fought to secure our freedom and help our country to break free from tyrannical rule.

With so much emphasis on breaking free, July 4th is a good time to take a close look at where you are with your exercise and nutrition plans.  How are you doing?  Are you pleased with your daily habits and progress?  Are you in a slump from which you need to break free?

We are 6 months into the New Year—how are you doing with your New Year’s resolutions?

Daily life keeps us so busy that we can slowly lose motivation to work out and eat healthy food.  And it happens so gradually we hardly notice it.  Before we know it, we’re off track and old habits are slowly getting the upper hand.

You know you are in a slump when you look back over the past few weeks and realize that you are not working out much (or your workouts are very low intensity), you are being a little more lax with what you eat, and worst of all, you feel discouraged.  The further behind you get, the harder it is to revamp and start again.

Break free

If you are in a slump, this is a perfect time to break free. 
The hardest part of breaking out of a slump is taking action, but once you get moving again and take some positive steps, you will quickly find your feet and resume your forward momentum to fitness and health.

Try this:

Schedule some exercise time into your day today.  It does not have to be a long session; it can be 10 minutes.  Just move.  The biggest predictor of whether you work out tomorrow is whether you work out today.  The tough part is to begin.  Take a walk, make several trips up and down your stairs, jog in place—it doesn’t matter what it is, just do something.

Decide on your July 4th eating plan. You will likely be in the presence of unhealthy holiday food tomorrow.  What is your plan? One of the best things you can do to get back on track is draw a line in the sand and don’t step across it.  Make healthy choices tomorrow.  Eat for energy and vitality.

Once you take the first step, the next will be easier, and the next even easier.  Declare independence from your slump, dust off those resolutions and make the second half of 2018 the best half!



10 Ways to Torch 100 Calories

Some days you simply don't have time for your usual workout.  Perhaps you have graduation parties, summer BBQ’s, weekend trips and vacations, work traveling, or you have meetings from dawn ‘til dusk.  Or maybe something totally unexpected comes up and your workout time disappears.

When life steals your exercise time, however, you do not have to forgo your workout.  If you have just a few minutes, you can burn off 100 calories, get your heart pumping fast and redeem at least a little of your workout.

Here are 10 ways to torch 100 calories

You can use them on busy days or even to supercharge your normal workout days.  Most estimates are for a person weighing approximately 130-150 pounds.  If you weigh more, you can probably shorten the duration, but if you are lighter, add a few minutes to ensure that you burn at least 100 calories.

  1. Take the stairs.  Stair climbing for 15 minutes will burn 137 calories.  Have a 15-minute break at work?  Find a staircase and set your phone alarm to alert you when 15 minutes have passed.
  2. Run a 5-minute mile. By the time you are 4 and ½ minutes in, you will have already burned 100 calories.  If you can’t get outside, just run in place.
  3. Ride a stationary bike at 20 mph for 4 minutes 54 seconds. Or get on on your bike and enjoy the weather.  You can also put in a little work on that Assault Bike!
  4. Work on the lawn.  Pull weeds for 17 minutes, rake leaves or 20 minutes, or dig dirt for 16 minutes.
  5. Calisthenics. Spending 15 minutes doing some light body-weight squats, lunges, jumping jacks, get-ups and knee-ins will burn about 137 calories.  If you need more ideas for quick body-weight circuits ask our coaching staff, they would love to help you.
  6. Go for a walk.  A 150-pound person will burn approximately 117 calories by walking at a 4 mph speed for 20 minutes.  Walk in place if you do not have a good area to walk in outdoors.  Try walking in place while you watch your favorite television show! Or come in and use our Trueform Runner which will help burn more calories.
  7. Kettlebell Swings.  If it takes you five minutes to do 50 swings at 10 swings per minute, you'd burn around 100 calories in that time. To reach the whopping 1,212 calorie burn per hour, you'd have to work your way up to completing 250 to 300 swings using a kettlebell that's between 20 and 35 pounds.
  8. Chop firewood.  Summer camping trips or sitting around the fire with friends and family this summer?  If you're having S'mores with the kids chop some wood so you can enjoy them too!  Spend 5 minutes chopping firewood and you will burn 100 calories.
  9. Swim laps.  Enjoy the pool during the hot days.  It only takes 12 minutes to burn off 100 calories while swimming.
  10. Mow the lawn with a push mower.  If you are someone like me who actually enjoys doing yard work, it only takes about 14 minutes zap 100 calories.




5 Weight Loss Obstacles Busy Moms Face

I've had the pleasure of personally working with thousands of busy moms over the course of my fitness career.

Mother's are without a doubt the most selfless clients I have ever worked with, almost to a fault. Honestly, I wish they would just be a little more selfish sometimes and give their personal, physical and mental health a bit more of a priority.

Many good mothers miss the boat when it comes to their fitness.  In general, they tend to think that it's okay to put all of their personal ambitions aside for the good of their friends and family.  But in reality, moms are not as effective as they could be when deviating from a healthy lifestyle.

After all, a mom who doesn't workout and doesn't eat the right foods at the right times will not be running on all cylinders.

Here's the number one question I ask busy mom's who are overweight, stressed out and tired who just can't find the time to workout:

Do you want your children to grow up and be just like you?

That usually hits a nerve, and that's my point.  Parents, especially moms, are the biggest example for their children.  If you don't take care of yourself you're not taking care of your kids.

In retrospect, I have identified the 5 anchors that tend to hold most moms back from getting the better body they so desperately are seeking.  Here they are, in no particular order:


Obstacle #1: Too Many Missed Meals...Especially Breakfast!

Many busy moms are simply on a roller coaster ride from dawn until dusk, dealing with the stresses of parenting and/or challenging careers.  Mornings can be especially difficult since there is often the need to feverishly multi-task to get the kids fed and off to school.  Not to mention the fact that many busy moms today have to deal with their own demanding, high-stress jobs.

So missing breakfast becomes a reality, often leading to a host of other missed meals and snacks throughout the day.  This leads to cataclysmal series of events that deprive your physique of lean, toned body mass while simultaneously priming your body to overeat junk food later in the day and store ugly, unwanted fat.  Furthermore, this starvation protocol creates low levels of blood sugar.  This zaps your energy and leaves you feeling foggy, irritated, and lethargic all day long.

Look, there's always room for breakfast, you just need to make the time!  Better yet, plan and prepare a breakfast high in lean protein and fiber in advance the night before to best ensure you stay the course.  

One solution that's worked really well for my clients is a meal replacement shake.  What's the best part about it?  It leaves NO room for excuses!  All you need to do is put the required scoops, almond milk or water, mix, and enjoy.  

Most of the Mom's have started their healthy eating habits by participating in our AdvoCare ONE/80™ nutrition program, a 3-part system designed to fuel your transformation and develop lifelong healthy habits.  This program has helped many moms drop unwanted pounds and kick-start their metabolism into a fat burning machine increasing energy, stamina, and strength.

Click Here for Information or ask me for more details and we can sit and talk about what best fits your needs. 

Obstacle #2: Failing To Make The Daily Workout Appointment

This one is simple, yet oh so powerful.  Think about it.  Moms never miss an appointment for their kids.  Why?   Well, yes, it's because they love them, but more importantly, it's because they love their kids enough to religiously schedule their appointments!

If you are a busy Mom who is serious about your fitness, then you absolutely need to take the same approach to your workouts.

In addition, you need to be sure that you schedule your daily workouts when you are most likely to do them rather than when you prefer to do them.  For example, you may prefer to workout in the evening, but with afterschool activities, dinner and homework that just may not be realistic.  Getting your workout done first thing in the morning may be the best option.

In my experience, most busy Moms work best when doing their workouts either first thing in the morning while the kids are still sleeping, or right after they drop their kids off at school.  It seems that too many unexpected obstacles come in the way of an afternoon or evening workout for the typical mother.  But, regardless of when the best time may be, just schedule it in and stick to it like it's a family commitment!

Obstacle #3 - Eating "What the Kids Like"

I've heard it a million times,

"My kids are very picky about what they'll eat, and I just don't have the time to cook two different dinners."

Are you serious lady!  Did you hear what you just said?

Mom's, I know you're super-busy and sometimes it's just easier to give the kids what they want, but what are you teaching your kids about nutrition?  And, who's in charge here anyway?  

By the way, how did your kids discover "what they want?"  Most likely by you buying quick-fix foods to give them in the first place.

Yeah, but it's quick and easy and it keeps her quiet…

Don't get me wrong;  I've seen the struggle with my three rugrats.  I have the utmost respect for moms.  I know I couldn't do it.

However, I do remember things were different when we grew up - You ate what was served or you didn't eat, remember?

So, my advice is to learn to cook healthy alternatives and teach your children what real food is.  Also, you'll find even more success with your kids if you get them involved in the cooking; make cooking a fun activity you do together.  By the way, you can get tons of recipes HERE.

Children emulate their parents.  If they see you eating healthy foods they'll want to eat them as well.  And remember, you're the one paying for the groceries! ;-b

Obstacle #4 Too Much Cardio.  Not Enough Weights.

This can be an entire article all by itself.

Cardio training burns some calories and is good for your health (to a point), but it simply doesn't increase your metabolism or tighten your body like weight training and high-intensity interval training (HIIT) do.  

Now, don't get me wrong, I love to see moms being active.  It's great to get outside and move, especially with your kids!  However, you need to get to the gym (home gym is fine) and move some weights.

It doesn't take much though.  2-3 great workouts per week will often be enough to help you lose the baby fat and get your pre-baby body back.

If you need ideas or home workout programs ask any of our coaches at GSFP.  They will be happy to help you.

Obstacle #5 - Too Many Glasses Of Wine In The Evening

Nobody wants to hear that a glass or two of wine at night is going to stop your fitness goals in its tracks.  But the reality of the matter is that alcohol has the double-edged sword of both paralyzing the fat-burning process while simultaneously creating fat within the body.  Plus alcohol tends to lower inhibitions leading to the consumption of other junk food.  Not good!

So I say, "zip it" to all of those folks who say: "consuming several glasses of wine a day is healthy because it has anti-oxidants and that keeps you from getting sick."

Fruit and veggies have more anti-oxidants and tons of other health benefits, so we just need to cut the BS that wine is an integral part of a healthy diet.

Now, I want to be sensitive to those busy, hard-working moms who have a glass of wine at the end of the day to unwind and take some of the load off of their shoulders because I hear you.  But I also know there are other healthier ways to de-stress that don't have such a negative effect on your body composition.  Try stretching, foam rolling, taking a bath, reading a book, etc.

So please remember- if you booze, you WON'T lose!

One last thing – any guy who thinks his wife has it easy at home while he's out busting his ass "on the job" is a moron.  Do the research and you'll see that the value of a stay-at-home mom is a pretty high price tag, and that price skyrockets for the working mom.  So, guys, go kiss your wife, say THANK YOU, and tell her that you love her.  While you're at it, give your mom a call and tell her the same.

If you have any questions or thoughts feel free to reach out at any time.

Thanks again!





I think in today’s society we think that the path to success must be difficult.  That the ONLY way for us to achieve our goals is to go through stress-induced torture and agony doing things we hate and over complicating the process.  I can tell you… I am probably one of the biggest offenders of this. 

Like most, I tend to get in my own way when it comes to trying to achieve certain goals or complete multiple tasks.  This happens not only in my business but also in my personal life as I try and create balance between my faith in God, Family, Business, Health, etc.  I blame it on my heritage and having a mix of Irish & Italian while being 100% American!  Just plain stubborn and hard headed sometimes. 

But realistically, life was meant to be simple, but most people insist on making it complicated. And what we don't understand is that the simpler we can keep things, the more successful we will be.

There's way too much information being thrown at us each day via social media, news, and Internet quick fix health tips. We are trying to do everything that everyone else is doing, rather than simplifying tasks that best fit our needs and lifestyle. At the end of the day, because of how tough it seems, many people decide to give up on their health goals and throw in the towel. The wellness industry is not meant to be a tough world to navigate and with a few tips, health and fitness may become much simpler than it seems.


Why Simplify?

Here are four reasons why you should simplify your health and fitness regimen.

1) Less stress- Your health and fitness regimen should enhance your life. It’s something that should REDUCE STRESS and not increase it.

When you keep things simple you won’t be overwhelmed or stressed out as is common when trying to revolve your life around a rigid diet and complicated routine.

2) Develop habits that stick- If something is simple, you’re more likely to do it consistently, and CONSISTENCY is what develops long-term habits. Long-term habits ensure you achieve and maintain results.

This is the main goal – to make certain habits fit into your lifestyle so they eventually become effortless, or at least so they don’t require much thought.

3) Greater flexibility- A few simple guidelines allow you to accommodate for everyday occurrences. Let’s face it – life is unpredictable and can throw us curve balls, but simplicity allows us to adapt. For example, if you have the goal of eating real, whole foods most of the time, you can indulge in your favorite not-so-healthy treats and meals when a special occasion presents itself.

You’ll also be able to make a good food decision, no matter where you’re eating if your sole goal is to eat mostly real foods.

4) Greater Focus-  When you choose to focus on a few BIG things instead of a dozen or more smaller things, you’ll be significantly more focused. That means you’ll get more done.


How to Simplify

1) Begin by changing ONE thing, and one thing only.

Where are you struggling the most in your health and fitness routine?
Do you work out consistently but struggling to make better, more consistent nutrition changes? Then make the only change in your current routine be to eat more slowly.

Or maybe you can focus on eating more real, whole foods. Just pick ONE simple thing to focus on, exclusively, for a period of 4-6 weeks. Once you’ve nailed that one thing as a habit, then do one more, SMALL thing.

Are you having trouble sticking to a workout program? If so, why? Is it because your current routine doesn’t fit your schedule or you’re trying to force yourself to work out too often? If so, follow a two days per week or a three day per week program that more easily fits your schedule.

If you are stressed trying to get to the gym more than 1x per week then perhaps you can save time and do body weight workouts at home. Ask your coach at GSFP and they would gladly help you create something productive and time efficient.

Whatever the case may be, find a way to make your routine fit into your life and don’t revolve your life around an unrealistic routine.

2) Ask yourself, “Is this essential?”

There’s a good chance you’re focused on too many small things that don’t have much of an impact on your goals.
Some things may only increase stress or cause you to get too concerned with insignificant details. For example, if you find yourself obsessing over small details like, “Should I eat white or brown rice?” ask yourself, “Is this essential? Is trying to decide between white or brown rice essential to improving my health or reaching my goals?”

The answer, in this case, is “No”.

Focus on the main things that produce the vast majority of the results and forget the rest.

3) Stop searching – start doing.

According to Wikipedia, analysis paralysis is an anti-pattern, the state of over-analyzing (or over-thinking) a situation so that a decision or action is never taken, in effect paralyzing the outcome.

I understand – you want to do the right things. You want to be armed with knowledge, so you go to those other fitness websites or flip through the latest magazine. Perhaps you even read debates and research articles. As a result of consuming so much information, we get too caught up in looking for the next big thing, the best workout program, or waiting until we have all the information before we take action.

The details of nutrition and fitness will always be debated, but most people can agree on a few key principles.

  • Eat a variety of mostly real, whole foods
  • Drink plenty of water
  • Be physically active whether you choose strength training, participate in sports, go on nature walks, bike ride or any combination thereof
  • Get enough sleep
  • Do things consistently

Take action and do those things consistently, and you’ll be well on your way to improving your health and fitness.

If you’re not achieving the results you want or find yourself constantly searching for the next big thing – simplify. Focus instead on the few things that matter most and experience the benefits for yourself.

If you are so overwhelmed with the thought process of getting fit and staying healthy sit with your coach and re-evaluate your goals.  Determine if the goals you have set are reasonable based on your current fitness level and life-style.  We can help simplify the process.  Don’t make things harder than they need to be.  And start with one good habit at a time.

Dave Bolduc

Make Yourself Stronger Than Your Excuses


Race Day Tips!


Race Day Tips!


Most of you know me as the smiling guy who greets you in the gym. Some of you know my passion for running and fitness. If I have not met you, my name is Pat Der. I am the General Manager here at GSFP and I love to run.  I have been running since 2010. I have completed 8 Marathons and 8 Half Marathons. Outside of the gym I am the co-founder of the Green Cormorant Run Club (GCRC) here in Oakland. We are a small intimate running club that meets on Tuesdays at 6pm at the Lake Chalet at Lake Merritt. Since 2013, I have been fulfilling my passion by helping others and helping them with their running goals. I am a certified Road Runners Club of America running coach and a student of running who is striving to soak up as much knowledge as possible. I am fortunate to have the opportunity to learn from our awesome trainers here at GSFP, reading books and through my own experiences. I am honored that Dave has asked me to write a blog to give you all some tips on the upcoming 2017 Piedmont Turkey Trot 5k.

Pat’s Race day tips!

Get everything you need prepared before you go to bed

·      This means lay out your race gear, pack everything necessary for pre, during and post race. Pin your race bib to your shirt and don’t forget to set your alarm. Preparing as much as possible the night before will save you a lot of time and stress during race day.

Give yourself some time before the race

·      Give yourself enough time to get to the race, to find parking, warm up, and to use the rest room. You want to go into the race with the least amount of stress as possible. The race itself will put enough stress on you and you don’t want carry extra stress during the race.

Don’t try anything new

·      Stick to your game plan.  Don’t add anything new and stick to things that you have tried and true. This means everything from nutrition, clothing, shoes and the way you run.

Eat a light breakfast 1-2 hours before start time.

·      Race starts are very early and most of us do not have an appetite before 7:00 am and I bet most of you skip on breakfast on a regular. Its called breakfast for a reason, Break the Fast. Breakfast is so important before a run and to start your day because you are breaking your fast. The last time you probably ate was dinner 8 + hours ago. You are going to need energy to carry you through your race. So make sure to get something in your system 1-2 hours before your race. I usually eat a small bowl of rice, two eggs and I drink some coffee before my race. Remember… do not try anything new; eat a breakfast that you are used to. You don’t want to upset your tummy or digestive system before your race.

Take care of bathroom needs

·      Go through your daily cycle.  Trust me, you do not want to run while you have the urge to go. Porter potty’s are far and few between. It’s pretty uncomfortable to be in one of those blue boxes sweaty, out of breath and breathing in human waste. Sorry but I know all this too well from experience.

Dynamic warm up

·      It important to warm up your body but most importantly to wake up your neurological system.  It sounds cheesy but you do want your mind and body to start working as one. You will have a better start and better race if both are on the same track. Go through our GSFP Dynamic flexibility to warm up your body and brain.

Start slow

·      Yes this is a race and yes you want to finish as fast as possible. You also want to have a good race. Starting out slow allows your cardiovascular system and respiratory system to warm up and stabilize.  It is way more enjoyable trying to get negative splits then turning on the boosters at the beginning of the race, using all of your energy and struggling to finish. Plus if the race has photographers they are usually at the middle and end of the race. You want to make sure you are in a sweet stride and looking strong for the picture.

Water vs. electrolytes

·      It’s your preference. I like to drink the electrolytes during the race and pour the water on myself to cool off.  Water is great and can keep you hydrated. The benefit of the drinking electrolytes replenishes you with some carbs and salts. Remember… do not try anything new.  If it’s a brand you have never tried, just stick to water. Traditional coaches will say to drink at every water station to stay hydrated.  I suggest to only drink when you are thirsty. Drinking too many fluids can get you waterlogged and all of those fluids will be swishing around in your stomach. Very uncomfortable. Like in life… Everything in moderation.

Have a mantra or remind yourself why you are doing this

·      Sometimes midway through a race it gets tough. Having a motivational mantra can help you get through some tough times. I like to remind myself why I run.  Sometimes simply keeping a smile on my face gets me through the race.

Have Fun

·      This is rule #1! If you are not having fun than look forward to a long race. Yes we can get competitive and you want to beat the next person next to you or get a personal record, but make sure you are having fun doing it. I challenge you to encourage other runners around you. Dish out high fives to other runners or spectators. And most of all don’t forget to smile!


Good luck to you all at the Piedmont Turkey Trot and I wish you a Happy Thanksgiving!





Why Your Body Composition Isn’t Improving When You’re Doing Everything Right


Why Your Body Composition Isn’t Improving When You’re Doing Everything Right

I lift, do cardio, and eat clean-- but I can’t seem to build more muscle. 

I dropped a few pounds for the first few weeks, but nothing has changed since then.

I’ve been running three times a week, yet my body looks the same!

If any of these statements sound like you and you’re frustrated by the lack of body composition progress, you might be wondering if you’ve been doing everything wrong.  

What is really going on?

Like everything else in nutrition and fitness, there is no “one-size-fits-all” approach in improving body composition. You have to try out one possible fix after the other and make adjustments.

In this article, you’ll learn why you’re not seeing the results you want and be able to identify the adjustments that you can make to address these issues.  

Before you revel in the Aha! moments below, keep in mind that improving body composition is not mainly about getting from Point A to Point B as drastically as you can, but rather making slow yet substantial changes in between Points A and B.

1. You are not sleeping enough.  As we’ve previously discussed in detail, getting enough sleep is necessary (and not merely a luxury) if you want to change your body composition.
For instance, if you’ve been working on increasing muscle mass, you have to make sure that certain hormones in your body are doing their jobs. These include your growth hormone (GH), testosterone, and cortisol levels.

First off, your growth hormone plays a huge role in muscle growth and development. In adults, growth hormone secretion is at its peak shortly after the onset of sleep-- that is during the first phase of slow-wave sleep (SWS) or Stage 3 sleep. Sleeping 7-8 hours per night can help to ensure you get enough cycles of SWS to promote GH secretion.

Another significant study, with findings published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, revealed that GH intervention improved body composition in children with Prader-Willi syndrome, a genetic disorder characterized by weak and poor muscle development.

Fewer hours of sleep and not receiving enough bouts of SWS may also deprive your body of testosterone. This means trouble because the testosterone hormone is associated with increased muscle mass. In a 2008 study showed that poorer sleep quality was associated with lower testosterone levels, causing unfavorable differences in body composition compared to those with better overall sleep quality.

You also have to worry about cortisol. Popularly known as a stress hormone, cortisol is the antithesis of GH and testosterone in terms of muscle mass development. One of its functions is to break down tissues- your muscle tissues for one- in order to provide you with energy if you’re truly dealing with something stressful. Sleep-deprived individuals have been shown to have increased cortisol levels the next evening, between 37-45% more than previous days.

Your Game Plan: Aim for at least 7 to 8 hours of sleep and stick to it consistently. This will help you get enough Stage 3 sleep, which in turn elevates your growth hormone and testosterone levels while making sure that the rascal cortisol is under control.

2. You are chronically stressed.

Chronic is the keyword here. The occasional small doses of stress can help us get stuff done through cortisol providing quick bursts of energy and heightened memory. Having some form of adversity in our lives has also been shown to be beneficial in moderation. However, being chronically stressed is a different story.

Let’s go back to our favorite stress hormone— cortisol.

Just a couple months ago, the Obesity Journal published the findings of a study examining the link between cortisol levels and adiposity (being overweight or obese). After measuring the cortisol levels of 2,527 men and women who were over 50 years old, the researchers came up with this conclusion— the higher the cortisol levels, the greater the body weight, BMI and waist circumference. This was after controlling the factors that might be linked to obesity such as sex, age, ethnicity, and lifestyle habits.

Plus, high cortisol levels were also associated with persistence of obesity over time amongst the subjects.

In short, you might not know it, but the buildup of daily stress can hinder you from making significant progress in improving body composition.

Your Game Plan: Whether it’s personal or work-related, stress happens. The good news is you can take steps to control how you feel. Some people utilize mindfulness meditation while others feel better by just laughing it out. You can also try going for a walk or taking a quick nap. Do whatever feels the most relaxing to you.
The most important thing is to always schedule a chunk of your day to do these self-care activities.  Often, people tend to forget that self-care is a must, just like eating and sleeping.

3. You are relying too much on exercise, but your poor eating habits haven’t changed.

Eating out with friends or workmates seems easier than cooking at home all by yourself. Not to mention that you can’t just say no to second helpings of free lunches at work. So you promise yourself that you’re going to simply burn those extra calories later at the gym. It turns out that you may be doing more harm than good.

A 2012 study among Japanese adults found that while exercise intervention alone for achieving weight loss may work, combining diet and exercise efforts is most effective in weight reduction. On top of this finding, a systematic review of similar studies proved that exercise is associated with a concomitant increase in caloric intake. In other words, it makes you eat more. If those extra calories are “reward” calories like a sugary soda or piece of cake, you may be offsetting the fat you burned off during exercise.

Your Game Plan: Re-examine your food choices and experiment with cutting down on highly processed foods or certain food groups. If possible, try keeping a food journal for a couple of months to help you get a sense of your eating habits. For some folks, calorie counting works. Others have the greatest success when they went low-carb, high-fat, or did intermittent fasting alongside their exercise programs, but the biggest goal is to understand and balance your caloric goals when your diet and exercise routines change.

4. You have imbalanced blood sugar.

Here’s a recap of how insulin works. When blood sugar increases (usually after a meal), insulin delivers glucose (sugar) to the cells for energy. However, eating too often or overeating can make your body less sensitive to insulin’s effects. This elevated insulin level can also lead to an increase that pesky stress hormone, cortisol.

More importantly, when insulin resistance occurs, your cells cannot intake the sugar from your blood. As a result, the liver converts this sugar into triglycerides that are stored as existing body fat through de novo lipogenesis, just in case you’ll need them for energy in the future.

This could have been useful for our ancestor’s ages ago when there was a shortage of food. Yet these days, food means opening your fridge or dropping by at the nearest convenience store. However, your body is unaware of this modern day fact, which in turn leads to unwanted weight gain.

For this reason, it may be beneficial to keep an eye on your blood sugar levels. Continued excess glucose loads can promote insulin sensitivity and lead to more complex metabolic abnormalities including Metabolic Syndrome. This can possibly be one of the reasons why fat mass remains stubborn despite working out or supposedly eating clean.

Your Game Plan:  Excess carbohydrate consumption (pizza night or Pasta Thursday?) causing de novo lipogenesis can be mitigated by none other than exercise! Balancing your macronutrient intake or utilizing intermittent fasting (with guidance from your medical professional) can help you balance your insulin resistance without having to directly monitor blood sugar levels. Looking for more tips? Try blueberries or cinnamon!

5. Your exercise routine is not aligned with your body composition goals.

People have different body composition goals. You might want to reduce fat mass for now while your workout partner may be more interested in developing lean muscle mass. Working out together may be fun and engaging, but can also hinder your attempts to reach your personal body composition goals.

There’s also the issue on exercise intensity. This study found out that regardless of age, you’ll experience a significant increase in myofibrillar protein synthesis (increased muscle mass and strength) with more intense exercise.

This finding was supported by another study performed at the University of Ontario. The first group cardio trained for 30 to 60 minutes while the second group completed four to six 30-second sprints. And the results? Both cardio and sprint groups had the same amount of boost in lean muscle mass (around 1%), but the sprint group burned more than twice as much body fat than the cardio group, 12.4% and 5.8% respectively.

So if you’re looking into losing fat mass, increasing intensity for short intervals instead of steady state cardio may be your best bet.  Doing total body strength training circuits 3-4x per week will help improve your lean muscle mass which in turn will improve your resting metabolism.

Other Possible Reasons

o   You’re still eating highly-processed foods disguised as healthy, like the ones with “low-fat” or “zero sugar” labels. Instead, exercise more diligence in your food choices by paying attention to nutrition labels.

o   You are underestimating alcohol. All those calories lost from workouts and clean eating can be canceled out if you’re having too much booze. First, alcohol is high in calories even in small amounts (7 calories per gram of alcohol, not to mention the drinks with alcohol and carbs). Second, food tends to taste better with booze. The more you drink, the more likely that you’ll eat more. With that said, go slow on the margarita and beer.

o   You have an existing medical condition that is possibly stopping you from losing weight and improving body composition. Sometimes, there are medications that can either cause weight gain or hinder significant body composition changes. In these scenarios, it might make sense to prioritize treatment of your existing medical condition or work with a healthcare professional to make lifestyle changes.

Wrapping It All Up: Try out different things

Take notes and track your progress.  You do not have to channel your inner mad scientist when trying out which fix is right for you.  Do one tiny change at a time, give it at least 2-4 weeks, and take notes.

Start small by using honey and cinnamon instead of white sugar to add more flavor to your tea. How about not using electronic devices two hours before you sleep? Another good idea is to focus more on functional exercises with either your body weight or resistance instead of your usual jogging routine.

Through self-experimentation, you not only become more aware of what works for you (and what doesn’t), but the process itself is also more rewarding and fun. No matter what the established facts and research findings will tell, you’ll know yourself better in the end.







Through my years in the fitness industry, I have noticed there is one main ingredient that keeps people from reaching their fitness goals. That's consistency, and not only throughout the summer but in general. Most people tend to be impatient when it comes to exercise, expecting miracles to happen over night. The body requires time and effort in your pursuit to a better version of yourself. You need to give your exercise program enough time to change you. Neurologically, it takes most individuals 6-8 weeks to see noticeable changes in their body through consistent workouts. But it's not just about the workouts, consistency in your nutritional habits play a role as well.

As with anything we pursuit in life, whether it is to have success in work or business, or strive to achieve our dreams of a better life, without consistency day in and day out for months and months we will not get to where we want to go. The same goes for your exercise programs. You can have the best coach on the planet, and the best nutrition plan to follow, but if you do not stick with it consistently, you will wind up spinning your wheels and driving yourself nuts as this can be very frustrating for someone who is trying hit a certain goal. 

No matter how good your current training program may be or how perfect a nutrition program you have planned to follow, none of it matters if you are not consistent in your training and nutrition habits. Consistency truly is the key to lifelong fitness and health. Even a not so great training program will outperform a good training program as long as someone remains consistent to the not so great training program.  This is because the longer you are consistent with your training the better you will become mentally and physically.  As with anything in life the longer you train the more experience you obtain, and experience is the greatest teacher which results in knowledge and wisdom.

The 3 Keys To Consistency

I feel there are three main components in any exercise program to build lean muscle and lose unwanted body fat that must be consistent. Those are resistance training, cardiovascular exercise, and proper nutrition. All of which are equally important in your pursuit achieving your health and fitness goals.

Think of them as a team, which requires everyone to do their job or a machine whose parts must work synergistically. When teammates work together or machine's parts work together, they accomplish more than they could alone, which in most cases results in a success win or a completed task.  Same goes with our three components listed above.  If one is not executed consistently, the other two will suffer and so will your progress. Don't get me wrong; to assume we can be perfect, 100% of the time, will just be setting ourselves up for failure. Our goal should be to follow our programs the best we can day in and day out most of the time. The longer the time you stick with something the better you will become at it. Let's go over some ways we can remain more consistent with our exercise programs.

Resistance Training

Based on your individual goals, you should perform some type of resistance training with weights anywhere from 3-6 times per week. The importance of resistance training is that it will help increase your lean, tone, muscle mass, thus giving you a better shape to your body and increasing your resting metabolism. Think of muscle as a 24-hour furnace, in order to improve our metabolism, we must be sure to maintain or even increase our lean muscle so that we can enjoy some of the finer pleasures in life without guilt.

To help keep you more dedicated; I would find a good workout partner with common goals or increase your training session at GSFP either with or without a coach.  Classes are an added benefit of GSFP family members and you are always welcome to bring a friend.  This way you are held accountable for your goals and training sessions. I am more likely to go to the gym if I know there is someone waiting for me that I am accountable for. Also having a training partner or coach will keep you more focused and motivated during your workouts and will keep you from getting bored of the same old routine.

Cardiovascular Training

Cardiovascular activity is necessary to keep the metabolism roaring and help you burn some extra calories that will lead to fat loss. The main reason I choose to do a good amount of cardio is that it allows me to eat more food and still make the fat loss results I am looking for. Some people who rely on diet alone to lose fat usually find themselves losing weight but also a lot of muscle. Keeping a little bit more food in the diet, but using cardio to burn more calories will end up in retention of lean muscle while losing the fat.

I would recommend doing your cardio first thing in the morning, 30 minutes plus, before breakfast. This way it is out of the way, and it will really boost your energy for a good portion of the day to follow. It is a little tough in the beginning, but after a week, you will feel so good doing it, you will be locked into a routine.

If there is no way you can do it first thing in the morning, I would do it right after you train with weights or at night after your last meal. Bring a headset with your favorite music, podcast, or audiobook to help the time go faster.


This is by far the most inconsistent of the Big 3 that 95% of the clients I have had issues with over the years. Some honestly go by the motto "I Work for the Weekend", and are good for 2-3 days, then blow it for 2 days, etc.

It is a vicious cycle that will lead to frustration. The goal is not to do an all out sprint and crash at the end.  Go with the 80/20 or 90/10 rule based on how committed you are to achieving your goals or improving your quality of life. Eat good 80-90% of the time and 20-10% of the time you can have a cheat "MEAL" (Not day, lol).  Otherwise, if you have never followed a solid plan you will crash.  I would rather you follow a balanced nutrition program 80% of the time that will keep you sane and happy than one that tests your patients, limits, and causes you to fail. 

It's never a bad thing to enjoy an ice cream once in a while.  Just not an entire carton or every night. 

If you slip up and indulge in one or two of your meals, your life is not over, you did not fail your program, and the day is not ruined, just start back on your nutrition program on your next meal following.

Convenience is a big factor that affects the consistency of eating the right foods. I recommend you get in the habit of preparing your own meals ahead of time. I try and do it on the weekend or mid week.  This will eliminate the excuses of stopping off at a fast food place because you have nothing to eat. It will also eliminate the excuse for skipping a much-needed meal.  The weather is great in California and we can grill year round.  There are 1000's of healthy grilling recipes out there that will allow you to enjoy your food and not get bored eating the same thing over and over again.  If you need some recipes or help with your nutrition programs we have the knowledge and tools at GSFP to help you.  Just ask your coach or me:)  Most of our clients do not take advantage of the nutrition programs we offer because they are afraid that we will learn the deepest darkest secrets, lol. Do not be afraid, no one will judge you, we are here to help you. 

It is recommended that most people should eat 5-6 small meals a day to boost their metabolism. And it takes a minimum of2 weeks of a consistent eating regime to start boosting your metabolism so that you see noticeable changes to your body.  Without proper nutrition or eating habits, you can actually slow your metabolism down and lose that lean muscle you are working so hard to build.  Some people think that if they stop eating they will lose fat, but your body will actually do the opposite of what you want in order to survive and maintain a state of homeostasis or balance.  It will break down your muscle for easy energy and store fat to survive if you are not eating enough.   Supplement companies today make it very easy to hit all of your meals and caloric requirements. 

We specifically work with AdvoCare products at GSFP because they are of the best quality and safe. AdvoCare is considered one of the industries most trusted supplement companies.   Highly regarded and recognized in their areas of expertise, members of the AdvoCare Scientific & Medical Advisory Board use their knowledge and experience in the fields of medicine, nutrition, and science to ensure that all AdvoCare products are formulated with the highest quality ingredients based on the latest scientific research.   Some members include:

  • Stanley Dudrick, M.D., F.A.C.S.: Pioneered research and development of intravenous hyperalimentation (Total Parenteral Nutrition)
  • William Kraemer, Ph.D., FACSM, FNSCA, FISSN, FACN: National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA), Past president,
  • Karl Keen PhD: Distinguished Professor of Nutrition & Internal Medicine University of California, Davis
  • Gail Cresci Ph.D., R.D., L.D: Associate Staff Gastroenterology/Hepatology, Cleveland Clinic, Former Associate Professor of Surgery, Medical College of Georgia, Member of AdvoCare Scientific & Medical Advisory Board since 2014 

AdvoCare has formed a strategic alliance with Informed-Choice to certify the products that carry the Informed-Choice logo are banned substance free. AdvoCare values its relationships with the athletic community as well. With testing on the rise for performance-enhancing substances, both at the amateur and professional levels, this alliance allows athletes to make informed choices about what they put into their bodies. Informed-Choice has specialized anti-doping experience. Their WADA (World Anti-Doping Agency) experienced laboratory adheres to standards for sports supplements and has analyzed more samples for banned substances than any other lab in the world. The AdvoCare program exceeds industry requirements.
If you are interested in purchasing Advocare supplements that are guaranteed to help you achieve your nutritional goals go to .  There you can purchase a protein powders, a meal replacement packets, protein shakes in a can already mixed, and protein bars. Again this helps eliminate any excuse for not getting the proper nutrition your body needs.

I would rather you eat whole foods but these supplements will make it much more convenient during those least convenient times. 


Like anything worth doing right, a consistent routine will take some time to develop. After a couple of weeks, it will be part of your everyday routine. Once you hit that level it is smooth sailing, almost "auto-pilot." Sure, in the beginning, it will be rough to prepare all your meals, do all your cardio, and hit every training session.  But there is light at the end of the tunnel and we are always here to help. 

We are always here to help you "Make Yourself Stronger Than Your Excuses"

PS.  On a side note, I will be doing 100 workouts in 100 days.  This is something I want to do to help improve my consistency! 

If anyone wants in let's get after it.  I will give you details!! #NoExcuses #WorkOutsInMinutes #MYSTYE



Tips for Surviving the Holiday

1. Workout in the AM: Morning workouts have a way of really waking up your mind & body. It gets the metabolism revved up for the day. Your AM workout does not have to be an Olympic training session, it could be as simple as doing a 10-15 minute strength circuit. Keep it simple. You will be surprised what a few minutes can do for you and your metabolism.

2.Don’t Skip Meals: Eat 5-6 times a day. Will discuss this more in tip #8. Skipping meals to “save room” or to make up for your over-indulgences is a bad habit you must break. Skipping meals does one thing & one thing only, it entices you to over-eat.

3. Eat Before Going Out: Say it with us, “HOME = CONTROL.” Take the time to eat something BEFORE you head out. This will help you avoid overindulging or being tempted by everything you see & smell. Being on the go is no excuse. Snacks travel well.  If you are going to a dinner or a party try a tablespoon of Almond Butter and a large glass of water before you go out.  The good fats will help make you feel satiated and you will be less liikely to eat everything on the menu:)

4. Drink & Be Merry…in Moderation: Here’s the question: how do you DEFINE moderation? That is the key to how you handle your “merriness.” If you will be indulging in alcoholic beverages, a good tip is to bracket your drinks with water. Remember, sugary beverages may seem harmless but the numbers add up quickly.

5. Stay Active: Don’t let go of your workout regimen just because it’s the holiday season. We know you have a lot of things to do. No Excuses. Your health & fitness are a matter of priority. You must make time for it.  There are a lot of simple things you can do at home & on the go that can help you stay active & burn calories. Make that extra effort. Now is not the time to get lazy & complacent about your daily activity regimen. Stay focused. And if you are traveling and need a workout for the road, our team would be more than happy to provide you with something that will not take up a lot of your time.

6. Continue to Strength Train: It’s important to maintain your lean muscle mass. Remember, building muscle helps you continue to burn more calories even when you are finished your workout routine. Weight lifting will help you to tone, lift, & strengthen your body. Keep it up! Slow and steady cardio will just male you fat:)

7. Drink WATER: Really? Ok.. I probably shouldn't have to explain this one again? Remember, water keeps you hydrated, feeling full, flushes toxins, clarifies the skin, keeps the organs functioning, etc, etc, etc. Drink up!

8. Eat 5-6 times a day: Eating small meals more frequently helps to keep your body properly fueled. Understand, when you feel hungry, you’ve waited TOO long to eat. Think about it like this: your body is a car with a small gas tank. If you have a small tank, you can only go so far with a limited amount of fuel. Therefore, it requires you to fuel up more often. Don’t allow yourself to run out of “gas.” Fuel up!

9. Select your Treat: Notice, we did not say “select your TREATS!” lol! Pick one! We know it can be hard but you can do it. Don’t allow yourself to get overwhelmed with everything you see. You know there will be holiday pies, cookies, candy, ice cream, cupcakes, muffins, & tasty drinks. Decide what you want. Eat it. Enjoy it. Move on.

10. Set Realistic Goals: How many times have you heard us tell you, “This is a process.” Rome was not built in a day. That means you can not expect to reconstruct your normal behaviors & see sustainable results overnight. It’s a process. It was a long-term process to gain it. It will be a long-term process to overcome it. Remember, this is a LIFEstyle change. Establishing and working towards both your short term & long term goals will help you stay motivated & put you in a position to win. At the end of the day, the ultimate goal is improving your overall health, wellness, and establishing sustainable weight loss.  Be on the look out for new programs we are putting together to help improve you daily habits. 



Don’t Over Think Your Nutrition

So, over the past couple weeks I’ve been asked on multiple occasions, “what is the best diet for me to cut weight?”  To answer that honestly, there is no one diet or BEST diet that works for everyone.  Like your fitness programming, your nutrition program should be customized and tailored toward your lifestyle and needs.  A successful nutrition plan isn't necessarily considered the “Best Diet” or most “Popular” that’s hit the market at a specific time (Paleo, Atkins, Vegan, Whole 30, etc). But that doesn't mean that the so called “Best Diets” out there are wrong either.  They all focus on similar points such as: Food Awareness, Quality, Nutrient Deficiencies, & Exercise.  Being more aware of what food you are putting in your body will help you through outany nutrition program.  Most of the programs out there all recommend choosing high quality whole foods, that are minimally processed, and is nutrient-rich.  They eliminate nutrient deficiencies, which keeping with the previous point, its about what you put in your mouth.  Making sure that your food is nutrient dense, minimally processed with rich nutrients that your body can actually use rather than store as fat.  This will help control appetite and food intake.  They also promote EXERCISE.  Which we all know is the gateway to staying fit and weight loss.
But where do you start?  How do you know how much to eat?

I think that the most important thing is to first work on good eating habits and be aware of how much you are eating by controlling your portion sizes.  It doesn't make sense to count calories when you don't understand how the different types of calories you are putting in your body effect your end goal.  Its just silly to get all wrapped up and overwhelmed in the time consuming process of calculating the amount of calories you are consuming and stressing about breaking up your macronutrients (proteins, carbs, fat).  There is a lot more science and calculations that go into that.  And it involves a lot of time that most people with full time jobs, who have a family to support, a social life, simply do not have.  Your nutrition program shouldn't be so difficult that you give up and say “the hell with this shit!”

So…Lets start with simple… Then we can tweak your program for the best results possible.  

Understanding portion sizes is a good start to simple.   Using your hand as a way to measure your portion sizes of protein, carbohydrates, and fats is a good way to initiate good, simple, eating habits and controlling how much you eat.  Below are some simple ways to make measuring your portions easy using your hands rather than pulling out the scale, measuring cups and spoons, and calculators and smart phone apps (which for the most part are in accurately counting your calories anyway).

To Determine Protein Intake:
For protein-dense foods like meat,
fish, eggs, dairy, or beans, use a
palm-sized serving.

We recommend women eat one
palm-sized portion with each meal.

For men…we recommend eat two
palm-sized portions with each meal.

Note: a palm-sized portion is the same
thickness and diameter as your palm.



Fist Sized Portion

Fist Sized Portion

To Determine Your Vegetable Intake:
For veggies like broccoli, spinach, salad,
carrots, etc. use a fist sized serving.

We recommend women eat one
fist-sized portion with each meal.

For men…we recommend eat two
fist-sized portions with each meal.

Again, a fist-sized portion is the same
thickness and diameter of your fist.



Cupped Palm Size

Cupped Palm Size

To Determine Your Carbohydrate Intake:
For carbohydrate-dense foods like
grains, starches or fruits use a cupped
hand to determine your serving size.

We recommend women eat one
cupped hand - sized portion of
carbohydrates with most meals.

For men…we recommend eat two
cupped hand - sized portion of
carbohydrates with most meals.



Full Thumb Size

Full Thumb Size

To Determine Your fat Intake:
Fat fat dense foods like- oils, butters,
nut butters, nuts/seeds use your entire
thumb to determine serving size.

We recommend women eat one
thumb size portions of fat
with most meals.

For men…we recommend eat two
thumb size portions of fat
with most meals.

Examples of Good Protein Sources:  

  • Eggs
  • Chicken Breasts
  • Beans
  • Steak (lean)
  • Shrimp
  • Red Lentils
  • Greek Yogurt
  • Scallops
  • Salmon
  • Halibut
  • Pork Tenderloin

Examples of Good Carbohydrates:                  

  • Spaghetti Squash
  • Red Potatoes
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Brown Rice
  • Couscous
  • Quinoa
  • Chickpeas
  • Plantain
  • Butternut Squash

Examples of Good Vegetables:

  • Broccoli
  • Spinach
  • Kale
  • Bell Peppers
  • Green Beans
  • Eggplant
  • Brussels Sprouts
  • Celery

Examples of Good Fat Sources:  

  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Coconut Oil
  • Avocado Oil
  • Raw Avocado
  • Butter
  • Almonds
  • Peanuts
  • Almond Butter
  • No Sugar Added Natural Peanut Butter
  • MCT (Medium Chain Triglycerides)

I recently posted an article on Facebook on how we tend to overeat or until we are full and how we tend to let our external, visual cues determine how much to eat instead of listening to our bodies.  Understanding portion sizes and how much we should eat is a good way to start creating good eating habits.  A couple more habits I want you to try are:

  • Eating slower
  • Put less on your plates
  • Eat meals that are satisfying and make you feel satiated
  • Eat your vegetables and salads first
  • Drink your water between meals and not during meals (big glass right before you eat)

Be on the look out for more Eating habits and Nutrition advice.  My goal is to help you create good habits now so it is easier for you to maintain them throughout the upcoming holiday season.  

And remember…

“There is no BEST diet…The BEST diet is the diet that is best for YOU!!”






I think I’ve figured it out!

I think I’ve figured it out!

Posted on April 14, 2016 by Siriji Lamenzo0 Comments

What? What have I figured out?

Finally, I think I’ve found something that actually works.

When we talk about fitness, nutrition, habit building, strength gains, lifestyle changes, mindset shifts, there are a gajillion different ways, different plans, different ideas and a never ending barrage of new research, new formulas, new ways to do things. Each one better than the last, right? Each one touting that you’ll get the best results you’ve ever had, and this time it’ll last forever!

Oftentimes, all this information and new research, new and hot trainers to learn from, new fad diets only leave us more confused, more unhappy and still not achieving the results that we want from our own fitness and nutrition programs.

But, I think I’ve found a solution. I know I have for myself. I’ve developed my own training program for myself that for the last 6 weeks I’ve been working on. It’s not complicated, it’s not overly ambitious and my results so far have been amazing. I feel great, I’m achieving personal records in the gym each and every week and I’m pretty sure that I’ve finally hit on the right formula for me to adhere to.

So, what’s the big key to all this success? It’s one simple word. Patience.

Yep. That’s it. Patience.

Even if you work with a personal trainer or nutritionist for guidance and help, it will take time to figure out YOUR particular formula. I urge you to take the time, and be patient with it. Once you put all your pieces together in the right way, you too can feel as good as I feel right now.

Ask yourself one simple question to get started, then start trying new things and keep asking yourself that question until you’re able to fine tune your strategies for success.

Ask yourself: Does this make me feel good?

That’s it. Then practice patience and remind yourself that any change is a process that if you trust, you will get there.

For me, nothing is set in stone. I know that my formula changes. It changes with my moods, it changes with my energy levels, it changes with my work schedule. But, I roll with all that so that I can stay on track. I miss workouts, I don’t always eat the best food but I work on being patient and knowing that tomorrow I will do better. I don’t kill myself in the gym, but I workout almost everyday. I don’t count calories, macros or track anything. For me, that’s what works.

What works for you? If you want results either with your workouts or your diet planning, you need to know that. And, if what you do does not make you feel good, it’s not the right thing for you.

In the mean time, be patient and trust the process.