Introducing the #APLifestyle Challenge

We announced recently that on Monday February 10th we will be starting the #APLifestyle challenge.

The “challenge” part of it is that every day we will post fun things you can do to build a healthy lifestyle in 2014. These won’t be complex workouts or meal plans, they will be simple task and activities that you can do to build a healthier lifestyle.

There will be a wide variety of  things you will do including activity, nutrition, yoga and even mental health.

We believe that to build a true AnthroPhysique Lifestyle (#APLifestyle), you need to incorporate all aspects of your life: work, relationships, activity, nutrition, play, spirit, etc. The end results is creating the body you were born to have.

We want to show how small daily practices can go a long way to building the ideal healthy you.

There is however 1 caveat to the “daily” part of the challenge. We won’t be posting anything on Sunday’s. As part of our lifestyle, we believe that you should take 1 day to disconnect from work and the technological world and use it to reconnect with you and nature. So, Sunday’s won’t get a tweet from us but the standing challenge will be to disconnect and get outside.

Participation in the challenge is very simple. Just follow the hashtag #APLifestyle on Twitter. Each day we will post a simple activity, tip or challenge that you can do throughout the day. When you’re done the task simply tweet: I successfully completed the @AnthroPhysique #APLifestyle challenge today!

To let us know you’re going to join us and to help spread the word, please get started with: I’m starting the @AnthroPhysique #APLifestyle daily challenge next week. Join me to make 2014 a very healthy year!

Our goal this year is to help as many people as possible have a healthier lifestyle. Please help us with this fun daily challenge!

Why it’s SO EASY to fall OFF the fitness wagon.

Do you have fitness habits?

As in, do you exercise on a regular basis, consistently throughout the year?

No? Don’t worry, most people don’t.

Are you the type of person that has tried many programs, had many gym memberships, read every diet book there is and still isn’t’ getting the results you want?

When September, January or some special vacation roles around, you get motivated, inspired and back on track. But then something happens. Usually in the 3-6 week range…

You lose motivation.

You stop enjoying what you’re doing.

You stop. Period.

Yes, it’s happened. You’ve fallen off the fitness wagon. Again.

So what’s the difference between you and that one friend you have? You know, the runner. The one that’s ALWAYS out there doing something?

Why do they seem to always continue on and you don’t?

What I’ve found in my industry is that it’s all about products that tell you what to do and why you should do it.

6 Pack Abs! 

Lose 10lbs in 10 Days!

Burn up to 60% of you body fat! 

It’s all about results, which is great, but do they actually work? How many people actually get the results they’re claiming?

Likely, these are the programs you’ve already tried…

These programs are only good at producing results IF you’re the right type of person, IF you follow them perfectly and IF you actually finish them. However, most people don’t finish them.

Why?

They don’t have the habits.

The dictionary defines habit as a regular tendency or practice.

Is your fitness a regular tendency or practice?

It’s tough because the problem with all the fitness programs out there is that they don’t teach habits. You have to ALREADY have them to succeed.

True, SOME people do develop a habit and on a rare occasion go from couch potato to lean mean fighting machine. But that’s rare.

So how do you actually build habits you ask? Good question!

Here’s 4 key areas to start with:

1. Progression
2. Motivation
3. Accountability
4. Consistency

These are the tip of the iceberg and each point goes very deep.

Stay tuned for my next emails where I’ll dig into each area and provide you with the tools you need to build strong fitness habits.

— Chad

Weekly Challenge – Fitness

Squat hold

Happy Monday!

It’s been a few weeks since we did a Fitness Challenge so let’s get right into it!

This week’s challenge is a Squat hold. A squat hold is simply that: holding a squat position for as long as possible.

Squat hold

Any time you can, stop and hold a squat. Try it in the elevator, at your desk or in line at the grocery store if you’re daring enough.

Start Now! Get up from your desk and try holding a squat right now as long as you can. How long did you get?

 

*image source

Weekly Activity Challenge – Planking

Planking

Happy Monday!

Planking has become an internet phenomenon where people take a photo of themselves doing a plank in random places. A quick google search had me find this photo of a world  record of the most people planking simultaneously.

Planking

However, when I speak about planking for exercise, this isn’t exactly what I’m talking about.

The exercise of planking involves you keeping your entire body OFF the floor by supporting yourself on your elbows and toes. It’s the focus of our Benchmark #2, and you can find the video here.

For this week, the goal is to do 3 sets of planking each day. Hold a plank for as long as you can, rest for a minute or two and then repeat for 3 sets. This will help you build up  your stamina for the next Benchmark assessment.

Please share your results, and even a photo, in the comments or on our Facebook Page.

Weekly Activity Challenge – Sit Ups

Sit ups

Happy Monday!

Did you have a good weekend? Was it full of sweets, treats and wine???

Well, mine was… HA!!

Good news, this week’s challenge can help counter the negative effects. Today we’re going back to basics with the well known, well practiced, and potentially most loved exercise of all: sit ups! 

Sit ups are a great exercise for strengthening the core and helping reduce lower back pain. Of course it’s also good for building up those 6-pack abs for beach season! Here is a quick video for proper technique.

The challenge this week is to see how many sit ups you can do in 2 minutes. Start slow, pace yourself and see how you do. Each day, do 2 minutes of sit ups and see if you can improve your score over the week!

If you find that your back gets sore from doing sit ups, that’s a fairly normal response. It’s often due to the ab muscles being weak. It doesn’t necessarily mean that sit ups are bad for you.

If you run into this, my suggestion is to take a break and reduce your sets. It should improve over time as your core gets stronger.

Weekly Activity Challenge – Testing Week

Happy Monday!

The key focus to the weekly activity challenge is that each week you get a new activity to focus on to build your health and fitness. At Anthrophysique, we’re big on measurement and like to make sure all of our clients are getting results.

As I mentioned in the very first challenge, we’ll be testing our benchmarks workouts every 10 weeks. Believe it or not, it’s been 10 weeks!

benchmark workouts

The focus this week is to go through each one of the benchmark workouts to re-assess your fitness. FInd your old score and compare that to what you achieve this week. If you didn’t do the benchmark workouts last time, this will be your first chance to get a baseline. In 10 weeks you’ll be able to test it again!

Here are links to all the benchmarks:

Benchmark #1
Benchmark #2
Benchmark #3
Benchmark #4
Benchmark #5

Throughout the week, test each one of the benchmark workouts. Please post your results in the comments and let us know if you’ve improved or not!

Weekly Activity Challenge – Pull Ups

Weekly Activity Challenge - Pull Ups

Happy Monday!

Time for another weekly activity challenge! This week we’re going to focus on Pull Ups.

A pull up is when you hang from a bar or ledge and pull yourself up so your chin is above it. For the sake of this challenge, I consider pull ups and chin ups to be the same thing. For those that like to get picky with the terms, pull ups are usually done with an overhand grip while chin ups are done with an underhand grip. Either way, you’ll pulling your self up to get your chin up and over the bar.

Pull ups are a great upper body workout to help you build your muscles in the back, arms and shoulders. Here is a quick video of a strict chin up.

For the activity challenge this week, I want you to try and find places where you can pull yourself up. As you walk around, see if you can find poles or ledges that you can use. If you’re an attention grabber like me, this is a great way to get an audience!

If you’re unable to do a pull up, ring rows or body rows are a great alternative. Here’s a cool video of a body row using a table. Just make sure the table is sturdy!

How many pull ups can you do?

Weekly Activity Challenge – Step Ups

Weekly Activity Challenge - Step Ups

Happy Monday everyone!

This week our activity challenge is going to focus on step ups.

Step ups are a simple exercise that can be done on stairs, a chair, couch, bench or short wall or ledge. Simply put, it’s just taking a big step.

Picture a small child when they first learn to go up stairs on their own two feet. Each step is a pretty big deal because it’s so high for them. Now, as adults, this is a great way to build up the muscles in your hips and knees. It’s also a great way to tighten and lift the butt!

Weekly Activity Challenge - Step Ups

The activity challenge focus is to take a big step everywhere you can. Whether it’s up a ledge or skipping every other step on the stairs, take a bigger step than usual. If you’ve been trying my Stairs activity challenge, this is a great way to increase the challenge! Count how many times you do this each day and see how your legs and butt feel by the end of the week.

Does your butt need this challenge?

Weekly Activity Challenge – Get Outside

Get Outside

Happy Monday everyone!

This weeks activity challenge is all about getting outside!

This may not seem like ‘activity’ so much, but it can be just as good. Often, when we go outside we end up going for a nice walk, bike ride or play a game. But even spending some time to lay on a beach, in the grass or listen to the sounds can be a great way to relax. Getting in touch with nature can alleviate a ton of stress that we build up in other areas of your life. Consider this week recovery and a chance for your body to heal itself.

I challenge you to committing to a certain amount of time each day that you can be outside. 10 minutes, 30 minutes, 60 minutes… you pick. Try and get outside every day and see what the effects are by the end of the week. What if it’s raining you ask? Then wear something warm and bring an umbrella. Being comfortable is key so that you can truly enjoy the sounds and power of the rain.

Please post your experiences of being outside to the comments below.

Weekly Activity Challenge – Push ups

Push ups

Happy Monday everyone!

This weeks activity challenge is going to focus on push ups.

Push ups are a great exercise because they include a ton of muscles in the body, they can be done almost anywhere and are very easily modifiable for all levels. Using the floor is the most common option, but you can make them easier buy putting your hands on a table, chair or bath tub. To make it harder, just flip your body around and put your feet on a chair, bathtub or table.

For some extra crazy variations, check out this video!!

For the challenge, I want you to pick a number, any number. Well… any number between 1 and 10 that is :).  Choose closer to 1 if you are a beginner and closer to 10 if you’re more advanced. Whatever number you choose, you should be able to do that many push ups consecutively without rest.

Now that you have a number, your goal is to do that many push ups at various times throughout the day. Some ideas of when you can do them are: right before your shower, right before you eat, in the elevator, as a quick break during work, during commercial breaks while watching TV, every time someone says “yesterday” or any time you think about eating chocolate. As you do this, keep track of how many times you do them throughout the day and add up your total at the end.

Beginners should aim for 20-50 per day. Intermediate could do 50-100 per day and advanced people can probably handle over 100 push ups per day. If you’re not sure what level you are, this simple test should tell you: Do one maximum set of push ups from your toes, with your chest touching the floor on every rep. If you get less than 5 full reps, you’re a beginner. If you get over 20, you’re advanced. Anything in between is intermediate.

 

Start now!

If you haven’t already, pick your number. (Mine is 10). Now, get up and do that many right now.

Feel energized?!

Please post your daily results in the comments and share your success!!

Weekly Activity Challenge – Stairs

Weekly Activity Challenge - Stairs

Happy Monday!

This week’s Activity Challenge is all about stairs!

Aside from just walking, stairs are one of the simplest ways to build a great base of fitness. They can also be an incredible way to get a killer workout for the legs and butt. If you’ve ever gone quickly up a flight of stairs, you understand what I’m talking about.

This week, I want you to try and take the stairs as often as possible. Avoid escalators and elevators when possible.

This should be really easy if you only have to go up 3 or less floors. If you’re going up more, just stop a few floors early and take the stairs for the rest.

A lot of people often tell me that they already take the stairs in their house many times a day. This is great! However, it’s what you’re life already calls for. For this challenge, I want to you to go above and beyond. Try and add a few more trips than normal, or turn it into a 5 min workout session where you go up and down as many times  you can.

If you don’t take the stairs too often, start slow. And don’t be surprised if you butt hurts a lot the next few days!

Weekly Activity Challenge  - Stairs

 

Start NOW!

Stand up, find some stairs and go up and down for 5 mintes. Was it tough?

Measure how many flights of stairs you do throughout the entire week.

As always, post your results, comments or questions below.

3 Ways Running is Preventing You From Reaching Your Goals

Is Running PREVENTING your from reaching your goals?

If you’ve ever had a fitness goal, running was probably part of the prescription to get you there.

Is Running PREVENTING your from reaching your goals?

The great thing about running is that it’s easy to do. Anyone can throw on some shoes, or not, and head outside for a run.

The bad thing about running is that it’s easy to do and anyone can throw on some shoes and head outside to do it.

What I mean by this is that running has a few downsides. There are plenty of positives, but there are some things you should consider when starting to run to ensure that it will help you reach your goals. If done incorrectly, running can actually PREVENT you from reaching your goals. Here’s how:

#1. Limited strength. 

If you haven’t done much of anything in a while, a common first step is to start running. The challenge here is that your body, and mainly your legs, aren’t strong enough to support this activity. If you go from zero to running, you’re likely going to cause more damage than good. The lack of strength will cause your body to compensate for weak areas. This will lead to injuries in the ankles, knees, hips and even back and reduce your chances of success. The solution is to start with more walking than running and be sure to add some strength work into the mix to prepare your muscles for the activity.

#2. Overweight.

This can often tie in with #1, in that if you haven’t been doing much, you might also be overweight. Heading out for a run with extra pounds on your body translates into a lot of force being put onto your legs and joints. It’s not so much about the weak muscles here as it is about the strain of too much force constantly pounding through your joints over an extended period of time. Again this can lead to compensation and injuries that will prevent you from truly reaching your goals.  The solution here is the same as #1. Start with more walking and strength training. I’ve seen many clients lose plenty of weight through walking alone. As you lose the weight and build the strength, then you can start to incorporate some running in a progressive program designed for you.

#3. Overtraining.

The biggest reason running will often prevent someone from reaching their goals is that people tend to over do it. I get it, you have goals and you want them NOW. It doesn’t mean that more is better. Running too often and for too long creates a lot of oxidative stress in the body. It’ll also increases cortisol which reduces fat metabolism. So, what you’re really doing is just ADDING stress to your body. Now, instead of getting stronger or losing weight, you’re body will be working to fight off all the damage from the added stress. The solution here is to have a progressive program that includes adequate rest. If you’re running a ton and still not getting the results you should be, I suggest hiring a coach for a quick assessment and a new plan to get you on the right track.

Running can be a fantastic exercise with tons of benefits. The important factor is to know when, how, and how much of it to be doing. Starting slow and not over doing it should get you all the results you want.

Do you run? What results have you gotten from it if so? Please post in the comments below.

Weekly Activity Challenge – Farmers Carry

Weekly Activity Challenge - Farmers Carry

Happy Monday!

This week’s Activity Challenge focuses on carrying heavy things.

If you’re a mom, you know the power of carrying a ‘heavy thing’. At first, those little bundles of joy are cute and you just can’t let them go! However, seemingly overnight, they’re 15, 20 then 25 pounds. You’re carrying them everywhere, which is tough, but you notice your arms are starting to look hot!

Or, if you grew up on a farm, you carried feed, dirt, fertilizer all over the place. Your arms got strong just from day-to-day life. Have you ever shaken a farmers hand?!? That’s strong!

Now, we’re not looking to create farmers hands here, but it’s nice to have strong arms and be able to carry things when you need to. Nowadays it’s probably bags of groceries from the car to the house.

As humans, we have a huge anatomical advantage when it comes to being able to take stuff with us. First of all, we walk on only two of our limbs, which leaves our other two open for new activities. Second, we have opposable thumbs which better allows us to grip stuff. Put those together and it’s like we were designed to carry stuff! Amazing!

For this Weekly Activity Challenge, the goal is to carry heavy things any time you can. If you own a dumbbell, bring it with you to work. Or, grab some water jugs, grocery bags full of cans, a backpack full of books or some free weights and just walk around for a few minutes. Try this a few times a day or build it into a workout.

If you’re not used to carrying things often don’t be surprised if your hands seem tired the next day. That’s a sign of challenge and that you’re pushing yourself!

 

Start NOW!

Stand up, grab your kid or something heavy and walk around for 5 mintes. Was it tough?

As always, post your results, comments or questions below.