What Is the best way to lose fat?

The best answer is, there isn’t a best way. I will say that everyone’s body will react differently to diet and exercise programs. The best first step is to find an exercise that you enjoy doing because weight loss can be a long, but rewarding, journey.

Whatever exercise activities you do choose, try to make sure they incorporate multiple muscle groups. The more muscle groups you work the more calories you will be burning. So, doing a squat to over head press would be more beneficial than just doing a chest press because more muscles are activating. Also, consider activities like HIIT or Tabata training over just running. You will work a lot more muscles in a shorter amount of time. If motivation to exercise is an issue, then try group classes like boot camps. You will work at your own pace but with your peers there to help motivate you. 

Now onto diet. First off, get rid of the term diet, look at it as a lifestyle change. Want to feel good? Then eat good. No, this does not mean you will have to give up all the foods you love. You just have to take it all in moderation. I suggest to stay away from fad diet programs. In most cases (not all) they are a very very short term solution. As your body changes so too will the meal plans. This is important! You may start off with high protein and lower carb and fat, but as you become more physically fit you may need more fuel like carbs. Remember protein is not an energy source, it does help repair muscle, but carbs and fats are what give you energy. I would highly suggest talking to a nutritionist for a meal plan to fit your needs or if you just need the basic such as “What amount of protein, carbs, and fats do I need?” talk to a trainer or check out apps like My Fitness Pal. Also, don’t worry if you slip up from time to time, no one is perfect. Even I have a little cheat meal from time to time.

Most important, remember to do this for you and no one else. Life will happen and it will create obstacles. Use those obstacles to make you stronger. This is the first step to a newer fitter you!

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Flexibility Training

Much like other areas of health and fitness, flexibility has a systematic progression based on your goals, needs and capabilities. The three phases of flexibility training that I like to use are corrective, active and functional.


Corrective flexibility is used for increasing joint range of motion, improving muscle imbalances and correcting alter joint mechanics. Some of the techniques for corrective flexibility include foam rolling (also known as self myofascial release) and static stretching. Foam rolling would be used for tight or overactive muscles to help relax and elongate improving muscle extensibility. During static stretching will improve muscle extensibility further by holding your stretches for 20 to 60 seconds allowing for greater lengthening of the muscle.

 

The next phase of flexibility is active flexibility, which uses active-isolated stretching. This allows for the agonist and the synergist muscles to move through a full range of motion while the antagonists are being stretched. In most cases the stretches are only held for 2 to 5 seconds at the end range of motion and then relaxed and it would be done for a specific number of repetitions.

The third phase in the flexibility continuum is functional flexibility which utilizes dynamic stretching. For dynamic stretching you need multiplane are extensibility with optimal neuromuscular control throughout the full range of motion. One easy example of this would be doing bodyweight squats or walking lunges with a medicine ball rotation.

The third phase in the flexibility continuum is functional flexibility which utilizes dynamic stretching. For dynamic stretching you need multiplane are extensibility with optimal neuromuscular control throughout the full range of motion. One easy example of this would be doing bodyweight squats or walking lunges with a medicine ball rotation.

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My Fitness update 

So my original doctor a few years ago told me I would have to take medicine for my cholesterol because of how crazy high it was. Matter of fact it was so bad he said I would be lucky to make it to 35 without a heart attack. Well with focusing on diet and exercise I got it to normal levels with no medicine. Take that pharmaceuticals!The moral of it all… Don’t let someone tell you what you can and can’t do with your own health and fitness.

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Fitness Quick Fixes

I know everyone out there is looking for the quick fix or shortcut to health and fitness… Well here it is…

There isn’t one. I know DVDs, Diet Programs and, yes, even Body Wraps claim they have the solution, but sadly they are temporary.

Let’s start with DVDs. Yes, I myself did start with a DVD program, and yes it was a challenge, but after a short time my results started to plateau. That’s when you realize that your fitness has to evolve with your body. Our bodies are amazing, and can adapt to physical stress loads. 

Now onto the diet… Yes! Your diet has to evolve with your fitness. Sure, you may start with the low carb low fat diet plans, but diets are temporary. Eating smart and lifestyle changes are more permanent. As you get more fit your meal plans will have to change. Even weight watchers evolves over time.

Now for the wraps… This is an extremely temporary fix. It essentially squeezes the water out of your fat cells making you look thinner. Normally this will last for up to 72 hours, and sadly over use of things like this is not only expensive but also can start to dehydrate your body. 

My best advice… Put in the work for the results. You will feel better seeing all that you have accomplished. 

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Weight Loss Myths

With so many weight loss myths out there, it’s time we bring the facts to the table.

“I workout hard, so I can eat whatever I want.”
In truth, it comes down to calories in vs. calories out. If you consume more calories than what you burn in a day, then you will gain weight. The reverse is also true. If you consume less than what you burn, then you will lose weight.happens-eat-much-junk-food_52511c18d2246a53

“To lose the weight, I will cut carbs and fats out of my diet.”
This is actually a very bad idea. Yes, at first you will drop a few pounds, but it will mostly be water weight. Carbs and fats are needed for a healthy body. Carbs are a huge fuel source for your body and fat helps cells absorb vital nutrients into your body. Finding the proper balance of these macro nutrients, and the right kinds, are key, not cutting them out.Red-Dice-Fat-Protein-Carb-400x250bfc6a

“You have to workout to lose weight.”
Not entirely true. Again, weight loss comes from calories in vs. calories out. Now adding a workout to your weight loss plan will help. After all adding some muscle will help burn the fat. Granted with the muscle the weight loss may slow down, but you will lean out and look tone.

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“The more calories you cut, the more weight you will lose.”
True and false. While a calorie deficit is required for weight loss, dropping them too low (below 1,200) should only be done under the supervision of a medical professional. Some of the risks of these ultra low calorie diets are malnutrition, poor energy, digestive issues, or even development of gallstones.

 very low calorie diet

“Eating at night causes weight gain.”
There is no magical time when the body is better at storing fat. Even when sleeping your body is still burning energy.

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What Quest Fitness Is All About

The theory behind Quest Fitness is that everyone’s fitness journey is unique. Sure, you may share the same goal as the next person, but how you get there can be very different. Not everyone wants to run miles, lift weights or do push-ups, and not everyone has the self motivation to do at home videos. What we do first, at Quest Fitness, is sit down and talk game plan. We need to be on the same page on how we will get through all the different phases of your workout. Then, we schedule times to meet. Yes, it will take time, but you will have the support that you need through all the struggles. Your Quest for a more fit you starts here.IMG_3641

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New Review!

If you’re considering working with a personal trainer, my advice is:

1. Go for it. I’ve never seen these kind of results, nor been this happy with my body before. It addition to keeping me consistent, Ray knew how to push me enough so after every workout I had that wonderful feeling of exhaustion and accomplishment, knowing I couldn’t possibly have done any more work.

2. If you live in the GR area, work with Ray Shonk at Quest Fitness. He knows how and when to change things up so you continue to see results. He’s basically a fitness genius/psycho and you’ll learn A LOT from him. Bonus: he’s a bit of a sci-fi/Deadpool/dark humor kind of nerd and not at all a dumb jock.

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Get to Know Cardio

One of the most misunderstood and underrated parts of most people’s fitness programs is cardio-respiratory training.
Most people fail to understand why cardio training is so important in their fitness routines. Once you have set your overall goals, it is important to understand how to perform cardio training in the most effective way to reach those goals. Some of the most common goals for cardio training are: improve health by reducing cardio risk factors such as unhealthy body composition, poor blood lipid profiles, high blood pressure, weight management, improve performance, and reduce mental anxiety. There is much more to cardio training than just working the aerobic energy system.
In order to meet the goals, you have set the aerobic energy system and anaerobic energy system must both be trained. This is true especially for people who consistently switch between their aerobic and anaerobic energy systems, maximizing performance and minimizing fatigue. This type of conditioning is referred to as “interval training“, and is actually one of my favorite types of training. One thing I would suggest before you start an intense cardio program is to actually meet with a fitness professional just to help determine your current VO2 max. Your VO2 max, is the highest rate of oxygen transport and utilization achieved at maximal physical exertion. It will also be very helpful to find your maximum heart rate. The formula for this is rather simple your maximum heart rate is equal to 220 – Age.

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Why Not?

Some days I just love pushing those limits! Last night was a great weightless class! I decided to finish it out with something new for myself. This is not something I would suggest for a beginner.


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Cardio or Resistance Training First?

The answer to that question depends on the end goal. A lot of people feel strength training should be done first to augment the amount of fat burnt during cardio, because the strength training will burn glycogen stores. But, because of the rest periods and the shorter bursts of exercise, this will not likely affect your glycogen levels. However working in such a state can have negative effects such as low blood insulin, and a strong perception of fatigue. Currently there is no research showing that strength training before cardio increases fat burn. Strength training first may reduce your intensity causing your cardio training to suffer.


If the goal is strength, then resistance training would be the best way to start. If weight loss or aerobic endurance are the goal then hit the cardio first. Alternating the 2 is a great way to train both.

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