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Let's talk a little about running and it's application to your fitness goals! I'll start by stating that I'm a huge fan of running for both conditioning and weight control.  In my 20's I was an avid runner and I was seriously hooked on daily running.  I set distance and speed goals, knocked them out through frequent running sessions and put running at the top of my fitness priority list.  Then a serious bout of IT band syndrome (right side) pulled my card and I could no longer run further than 1 mile without crippling pain in my right knee.  The pain was so intense that I couldn't walk properly for 2 days after a run and I was concerned that I had a serious connective tissue injury.  MRI's came back negative and I proceeded with physical therapy.  Did I take it seriously?  Sort of...well...not really.

At the direction of my doctor, I took a prolonged break from running. That break turned into quitting for 3 years. I had completely given up on running forever. Recently, I used yoga, plyometrics, and weight training to strengthen my hips and legs.  On a whim, I threw on some running shoes to see if my knee could make it.  I made it 3 miles before I started to experience any discomfort!  I couldn't believe it!  Thanks to a better balance of strength, flexibility, and enhanced range of motion in my hips, glutes, and legs, I was back to running.  I've continued to build my runs by choosing the proper shoes and slowly easing into new goals.  No pushing through pain, just using the brain.

So, why run?  Everyone knows it's an outstanding way to get your cardio in.  Many use running to improve speed and endurance.  Millions of folks use it to lose or maintain body weight.  But what about those traditionally employing weight training over all other means of training?  Doesn't running destroy your gains?  Not if it's done properly.  Going too deep into a calorie deficit is a valid concern for these folks (fear of a catabolic state).  However, being smart about incorporating a running routine into your resistance schedule could help cut a little fat without sacrificing gains.

The summer is upon us and many weight lifters are shifting from bulking to cutting phases.  Running is a great way to trim some fat while continuing to each in a sufficient (not excessive) caloric surplus and maintain or gain lean muscle mass while trimming fat.  The goal is to balance your calorie expenditure with your intake.  For instance, if I run 2.5 miles and burn 300 calories, I will account for those calories when tracking my food for the day.  I have a goal of maintaining 2200 net calories a day for maintenance and 2500 net calories a day for lean gains.  When running, if my focus is maintenance, I'll consume 2500 calories to offset my run (2200+300=2500).   If my goal is lean muscle gains, I'll consume 2800 calories to offset my run (2500+300=2800).  It's that simple.  If my goal is to cut, I'll eat my 2200 calories and not add additional food to offset my run (2200-300=1900).  This creates a period of calorie deficit to trigger brief weight loss.  This approach gives me a window of 2200-2800 calories to experiment with.  I slowly adjust my calories 200 every week or two to ease my metabolism inot gear and monitor how effective my balance is to meeting my goal.  Remember, weight doesn't necessarily equate to muscle mass, don't freak out because the scale drops.  Losing fat = losing weight unless you counter with muscle gains and you won't gain muscle mass as fast as you can lose fat.  If you do, congratulations, you are a physical anomaly.

Let's take a moment to address reality.  The reality of the situation is that you should expect to look thinner if you successfully run a deficit.  After all, you are losing that padding across your entire body, not just in one area (waist, thighs, butt, etc.).  If you are paranoid about losing a little weight, don't run a deficit.  You also need to keep your protein intake between 30-40% of your daily macros if you want to sustain or gain lean muscle mass during the cut.  Patience is key, take your time making adjustments, and enjoy a new period of training.

As for the running schedule, I recommend running 2-4 days per week, with appropriate breaks between running days.  This gives your joints a break and allows your legs to recover properly.  Also, avoid stacking a leg day between running days, your knees will thank you.  As for pace, take the first mile easy and ease into your run.  Think about keeping your feet under and behind you.  Leading too predominantly with your heels creates a breaking effect that slows your run and increases impact on heel strike.  And never take for granted having your shoes prescribed for you at a real running store.  There is a huge benefit to having an assessment completed and the proper shoe prescribed.  Lastly, have fun with it!  I highly endorse using a smart phone app like Nike+ Running to track your routes, pace, and progress.  Using apps is also a great way to create friendly competition between friends which can be a significant motivator.

Above all, remember, no excuses, just results. Keep Pushing!!!

 

 
 
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Ok folks, let's do this. Let's talk about the PROPER way to eat when trying to lose weight. This is a subject that I get pretty passionate about because it's simple, effective, and impactful while also being generally misunderstood and bastardized by so many "fitness" organizations/corporations out there. Dieting is a mess. Half the nutrition plans I've seen out there are a mess. Let's sift through the junk to find the truth.

Quick disclaimer: I'm not a licensed dietitian or nutritionist, I'm a certified personal trainer. Please consult a dietitian or nutritionist to confirm any of the following information or develop a detailed nutrition plan.

Rule #1: If the plan doesn't address the number of calories you are consuming daily, keep moving.  The science behind weight loss and gain is relatively simple: running a healthy calorie deficit leads to weight loss & running a healthy calorie surplus leads to weight gain. It's that easy. No tricks, no gimmicks.  Ready for your first quiz? Good! How many calories are you supposed to be eating? If you don't know the answer immediately, you don't know the answer at all. You need to calculate your daily caloric need to find a good starting point for your nutrition.  Then you need to run a 500+ calorie deficit to lose weight. Tracking your food every day so that you eat the proper number of calories a day and maintain the proper balance of carbs, proteins, and fats is essential. Consistency is king.  I recommend doing this every day. The American Counsel on Exercise has a great complement of fitness calculators to help you self-assess (use the Daily Caloric Needs Calculator):  https://www.acefitness.org/acefit/tools-and-calculators/

What's the recommended bare minimum of calories? 
For the ladies losing weight: 1200 + how much you burn working out = minimum daily caloric intake.
For the fellas losing weight: 1800 + how much you burn working out = minimum caloric intake.
Send me a message if you aren't happy with the number you see. :)

I normally recommend a 50% carb, 30% protein, 20% fat balance. I use MyFitnessPal to track my calories.

Rule #2:  If the plan endorses living off of less than 1200 calories per day for a woman or 1800 for a man, look somewhere else.  These two calorie goals are critical to this discussion. If you are a female living off of less than 1200 calories per day (after you've already accounted for work outs) you are putting your health at risk. And don't even think about justifying an argument against this. If you are a woman and you are living on less than 1200 calories you are negatively impacting your hormone levels, increasing your chances for osteoporosis, creating mood imbalance (anyone who has eaten too little knows what I'm talking about here: attitude), and may lose weight but in an unhealthy, unsustainable fashion. Oh, and you are slowing your metabolism.  Congratulations: you are experiencing the negative health benefits of malnutrition.

Rule #3: Guys, you won't gain lean muscle unless you eat properly. If you want to add some lean muscle you need to eat 300-500 more calories per day than your calculated caloric need. For instance my maintenance calorie intake is roughly 2100. Right now I'm eating 2400 calories a day and I work out for 30-60 minutes per day and I've gained 3 lbs in 2 months (8 weeks). I'm not gaining body fat, but I'm adding lean muscle gains. Addiing another 200-400 lean calories and changing my training modality would support larger gains. In fact, I ate 3200 calories a day during a bulking phase last year.  By the way, I'm 5'8", not 6'3". Don't be afraid to eat clean calories fellas if you are trying to live large.

Rule #4:  This is simply my opinion but...I believe supplements should be limited to only the essentials. I won't get into a debate here about whether a multivitamin is effective or not, whether a pre-workout is necessary, or whether creatine (pick your form) is crucial to performance gains. But I will say this: I get my vitamins through a balanced diet, I get my pre-workout from a cup of coffee 30 minutes before my workout, and I stopped taking creatine when I realized it was causing me headaches (yes, I was properly hydrated).  I believe in using a protein supplement to increase protein intake (I prefer Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard Whey).  I also drink Shakeology every morning for breakfast because it is the most appetizing all-natural shake I've tried. And I tried quite a bit before dedicating myself to Shakeology.  I simply don't get enough vegetables in my diet and I like the quick mix-and-go benefits of a health shake for breakfast.  That's it.  If you want to dump all your money on chemicals go for it but I bet you will find the same results are possible without adding manufactured "stuff" to your diet.

Rule #5: If you want to train like an athlete, you must eat like one.  This goes for the ladies and the gentlemen alike!  Training while malnourished increases risk of injury, prevents lean muscle gains, prevents proper weight loss, and defeats the purpose of exercise (which is to increase health).  Do the right thing: EAT HEALTHY FOOD!

If you want more information or support, please consider joining the Team Push-Pull Challenge Group on Facebook. 

 
 
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We are proud to announce our first Challenge Group of 2014!  What is a Challenge Group? Well, it's a private Facebook group moderated by yours truly for the purpose of helping you succeed with an exercise program.  Every day I will post motivation, accountability, & program information to help you stay consistent & get the most out of your T25 journey.  

If you have tried home fitness programs before but found accountability, motivation, & consistency lacking, THIS IS FOR YOU!  By taking part in our Challenge Group, you will have the undivided attention of me and your group mates for the entire 10 week journey. You will have support from others experiencing the same daily challenges & build confidence through the strength of teamwork.  Of course, you will need the program to participate & right now there are two great ways to acquire the program and get into our group. 

Option 1 - T25 Challenge Pack
This is how 3 of my last Challenge Group members managed to lose 20 pounds in 10 weeks: using the Challenge Pack & staying consistent. That's it! To sweeten the deal, Beachbody has reduced the price of the T25 Challenge Pack for the month of January. This is by far the most effective way to maximize weight loss with this program & it saves you $90 on the first month's supply of Shakeology. Shakeology is an all-natural, low calorie super food meal replacement shake. I use it everyday for breakfast & highly recommend it to people that are serious about buying the best product in the meal replacement industry. By saving $90 on your Shakeology you nearly get the DVD set free! If you don't like the Shakeology, just send it back within 30 days and Beachbody will fully refund the cost of the bag.  Seriously, what do you have to lose?

Option 2 - T25 DVD Set
Use the Focus T25 link located on the Programs Page of this site. Select me as your coach during check out, wait for your program to arrive, & get ready to make some major goals a reality!

Joining our group is easy:
1) Make me your Beachbody Coach by purchasing a Focus T25 Challenge Pack or DVD set through my Programs page link & selecting me as your coach during checkout
2) Log into Facebook & search for "Focus in 14' T25 Challenge Group"
3) Request group membership
4) Put on your game face & commit to 10 weeks of hard work!
5) Log in daily to review group posts, log your workouts, & have fun!

If you have difficulty finding the Challenge Group on Facebook, simply search for Team Push-Pull and request membership through our FB home page.

Don't wait until the Spring to start working towards your fitness goals folks, you could be on round 2 or 3 of T25 by then! That's just the reality of the situation. Please join us, time is short & spaces are going quickly!


 
 
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Everyone knows the deal by now...every new year spawns old resolutions. We start having that talk with ourselves, "I want to lose weight by summer", "I want to gain lean muscle", "I want to get rid of this fat (name your bodily location of choice)".  Then the motivation peaks and the gyms get packed but by March 1st you are back to the same old. It's depressing and frustrating but it's not happening again.

NOT THIS YEAR! 

Team Push-Pull is going Full Throttle in '14. No excuses, no interferences, no more "next year" talk! No gym membership costs, traffic jams, or waiting in line for equipment. In fact, NO 1-2 HOUR WORKOUTS REQUIRED. No treadmills, elliptical machines, stationary bikes or public fitness classes required. Give us 30 minutes, eat better, log your workouts daily, and you WILL succeed!

What can only 30 minutes and clean eating do for you? Well, several of our Team members recently completed Focus T25 and lost weight BIG TIME! I won't broadcast their names here but one member lost 20 lbs, another 17 pounds, and another lost 15 pounds in ONE round of T25! They ate better and nailed their 25 minute workouts 5 days a week. That's it!  Those are legit results without any gimmicks, contracts, or hassles.  They literally worked out for 25 minutes 5 days a week, logged their workouts in our Facebook Challenge groups, held each other accountable, and got results.  Done deal.

I am so proud of them. I can't begin to describe how happy I am that they found something that they actually enjoyed doing. They are doing what seemed impossible at first, they are making their longtime goals a reality. They are living healthier, more productive, more satisfying lives and I'm thrilled for them. They have inspired me to stay in this fitness coaching business and continue the fight to end the obesity epidemic in this country. 

Here's what you need to do:
1) COMMIT to just 3 months of consistent fitness with either T25 or P90X3
2) COMMIT to just 3 months of better nutrition (eating better, cleaner, not annoying dieting)
3) Request FREE membership in our Facebook Challenge Group and log daily workouts: 
https://www.facebook.com/groups/TeamPushPullChallengeGroup/

You can find links to the T25 and P90X3 programs on our Programs page here:

Join us and finally get where you've been wanting to be for years now. 30 minutes a day and you are DONE! No excuses, just results!

KEEP PUSHING!!!

-Coach Lucas-
 
 
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I'm very excited to announce the release of the most versatile P90X program to date: P90X3. What's so desirable about this program? Quite a bit actually!

Never done P90X or P90X2? That's fine, P90X3 is a stand-alone program! You can literally start your fitness journey with P90X3. In fact, after researching P90X3, I feel this version of the program may be the most versatile, user-friendly of the series, and requires only 30 minutes per workout.  I'm not in the business of boring you with tons of sales jargon but I want you to see what an extraordinary home fitness program P90X3 is.

P90X3 is more versatile than most home workout programs (even the original P90X) and includes plyometrics, pilates, yoga, mixed martial arts-based cardio, core work, traditional resistance exercises, & more in one program. Sounds fancy but what it all comes down to is a well-balanced program that targets all aspects of fitness to include core strength, cardiovascular health, strength, lean muscle mass building, flexibility, & nutrition.

If you are fan of Beachbody's programs like I am, you may consider P90X3 to build your own hybrid program. I plan to mix P90X3, P90X2, and T25 programs into a supercharged fat shredder while continuing to build lean muscle mass. Overall, I want to be as healthy as possible and P90X3 adds additional tools to a well-rounded workout toolbox.
 
So, what do you get with the Base Kit at a cost of $119.85 + shipping and handling (cue the cheesy voice over)?
  • 16 unique and brand new workouts on 8 DVDs
  • 5 Free Gifts
  • Fitness Guide
  • Nutrition Guide
  • 90 Day Workout Calendar
  • How to Accelerate Intro DVD
  • 24/7 Online Support
  • Network Exclusive P90X One on One: On One Leg DVD
  • Network Exclusive Premium P90X3 Hat ($24.95 value) - December Only!

P90X3 comes in several different packages but I only recommend the Base Kit or Challenge Pack (includes Shakeology at discount) options for traditional users. Why not choose a Deluxe Package from the start? Well, to be honest, you only add 3 more workouts for an additional $89. That's a bit much...I recommend completing the Base Program in its entirety, then if you are really wanting more, you can consider the 3 additional workouts. Just my 2 cents.

If you are interested, you can get P90X3 here:

P90X3 BASE KIT ($119.85 + Shipping & Handling):
http://www.teambeachbody.com/shop/-/shopping/X3Base?referringRepId=275453

P90X3 CHALLENGE PACK($180 for December 2013 only, Regularly $205 + shipping & handling):
http://www.teambeachbody.com/shop/-/shopping/BCPX3205?referringRepId=275453

As always, feel free to ask questions or seek additional info through our Facebook page and Keep Pushing!!!


And 2 favors that I ask:

1) If you like the hard work I put into my blogs and videos, PLEASE help me out by sharing them.  Click the share links below them and share them on FB, twitter, etc.  It really helps me get more exposure and grow Team Push-Pull!

2) Also, remember that the way I benefit from being your coach is that I earn a commission from any Beachbody products that you purchase, as long as you buy them through my site,http://www.teampush-pull.com, or by logging in to http://www.beachbodycoach.com/LUCAS-MARINO to do your shopping (If you buy from the plain beachbody site I get no credit). It helps with the amount of time I spend answering questions and helping people. Thank you! I really appreciate it!


 
 
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Happy Thanksgiving Week! Why is it that we immediately cringe and go on the defensive when we consider our actions during holiday breaks?! We should embrace the relaxation and fun! I look forward to eating all of that awesome food and having drinks with the family! Being active and consistently hitting workouts gives you FREEDOM to smile through these times! It's an incredible gift to not feel guilty or resentful for such special times. Get out there and push a little harder during this week's workouts so you don't lose ground on your gains. 

If you aren't currently taking part in a fitness program, consider starting this week as part of being thankful for your health! I can help you find a program if you'd like, just get moving! Complaining about how much weight you put on during the holiday feast isn't going to improve anything but selecting a fitness regimen, consistently pushing "GO!!!" every day, and working toward your fitness goals will get things done.  Don't settle for ordinary.  Don't listen to the naysayers.  Get motivated, take care of business, and join us in the fight to end the obesity trend in this country!  Happy Thanksgiving TEAM!!!!

 
 
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We've all had it happen.  We find a workout program, activity, or sport that we fall in love with and commit ourselves to consistently when...BAM...you sustain an injury.  Should you work through it?  Should you take time off to recover?  Should you workout  other body parts or should you give up for the next few weeks until the injury is healed? These are all common, and vaild, questions when injuries hamper your fitness goals.

I'll start by stating the obvious: not every problem has one solution.  With that said, there are some things that must be considered before you can move forward.

1. Is the injury severe enough to require medical attention?  You are your body's best injury detection meter and you should pay very close attention to the nature, severity, frequency, and volume of discomfort or pain associated with an injury.  I'm not a doctor by any stretch of the imagination.  Go see a doctor even if you aren't sure whether you require medical advice.  Safety first!

2.  Once cleared by a doctor, you can consider working around the injury if it won't cause undue strain or potential injury.  The last thing you want to do is overload or imbalance another body part and cause further injury.  When working around the injury, you may not be able to handle the same resistance (load) that you normally use.  For example, you may injure your right knee and decide that you can still do tricep extensions.  Just don't stop listening to that injured knee.  While you are adding weight to your triceps for the purpose of resistance, you may also transfer additional weight to your legs (gravity sucks sometimes) and cause discomfort.  You may choose to avoid this potential loading of your injured leg by doing the exercise on one leg (be very careful here) or by doing the exercise in a seated position (safer option).  I am a big fan of adaptation but never sacrifice form or safety for the sake of a quick rep.

3.  You can alter your fitness goals to accommodate your recovery restrictions.  For example, if you have a case of tendinitis in your wrist, elbow, or shoulder, focus your workouts on legs, core, cardio, circuit training, and tighter nutrition for a week or two.  Establish new goals to challenge you during the recovery period and see what you can accomplish!  Changing things up keeps workouts interesting, challenges your body in new ways, improves your overall health, and keeps your joints smiling.  Need some detailed advice on altering goals?  Ask your doctor or a certified Personal Trainer (you can hire me if you are in the Williamsburg, VA area :).

In cases of mild discomfort, you can try simple changes such as different hand/foot positions, decreasing load (either repetitions or weight), or changing specific exercise types.  For example, if your back is bothering you during squats don't do them! Change things up and do lunges or seated leg presses with light weight, ride a stationary bike (I'm a big fan), or skip legs for a day and substitute another body part, then come back to legs later in the week.

4.  What if your injury is bad?  As long as your doctor clears you for activity, you need to take your time and be careful.  For example, if you broke your right arm, you may be cleared to exercise your left arm with dumbbells or resistance bands.  You won't be doing chin ups or using an e-z bar any time soon.  You need to pace yourself and accept the fact that your recovery is priority #1. On the flip side, if you have a significant injury or medical procedure, you may not be cleared to do ANY workouts for quite some time and that restriction should be taken very seriously.  In these cases, I immediately recommend using your nutrition to sustain your fitness goals.  Make sure you are tracking every ounce of food that you eat, nail your macros, and adapt your calorie goals to compensate for your change in activity level.  Don't think this works? Go ask a pro athlete how important their nutrition is to their physique or results.

As you can see, there is no single solution to injury work.  If you take anything from this blog let it be that your doctor must clear you for activity, you need to avoid using an injured body part, and adaptation can be your best friend.  Injuries will happen, that is a promise, but we don't have to give up our fitness goals or use injury as an excuse to not maintain a healthy lifestyle. Injuries are a legitimate opportunity for a rest week so don't be afraid to do so if you know it's truly your best option.

Use your brain, avoid injury, and keep pushing!  -Coach Lucas-

And 2 favors that I ask:

1) If you like the hard work I put into my blogs and videos, PLEASE help me out by sharing them.  Click the share links below them and share them on FB, twitter, etc.  It really helps me get more exposure and grow Team Push-Pull!

2) Also, remember that the way I benefit from being your coach is that I earn a commission from any Beachbody products that you purchase, as long as you buy them through my site,http://www.teampush-pull.com, or by logging in to http://www.beachbodycoach.com/LUCAS-MARINO to do your shopping (If you buy from the plain beachbody site I get no credit). It helps with the amount of time I spend answering questions and helping people. Thank you! I really appreciate it!

 
 
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I wish I had a dollar for every time someone asked me how to get the best results with a workout program. My answer is always the same.

The formula for success is simple folks:

Consistent Nutrition + Consistent Workouts + Consistent Support = RESULTS!!!
(note: the common factor here is the word "consistent")

Just think about it, do pro athletes eat properly and workout every once in a while and win multi-million dollar contracts? No way!  Do marathon runners run every once in a while and win the race? No!  Do people stay healthy for life by only doing fly-by-night diets?  Not at all!  

The reality of fitness is that it requires consistent choices and dedication.  The vast majority of people become motivated at some point to start working out, but then the crippling excuses start.  They often sound like the following (followed by my honest reaction):

- I don't have time (hmmm...don't have 25 minutes a day? How much TV did you watch?)
- I can't change my diet (don't confuse "can't" with "am not willing to")
- Eating healthy is expensive (I saved money when I began eating better. Processed foods are actually more expensive. Oh, and your medical bills will cost a lot one day too.)
- Those workouts don't really work (did the laws of nature suddenly change? Last time I checked, increasing your activity burns more calories. Maybe it's not the program, but the amount of effort being applied) 
- I have injuries (so do I! How about healing and strengthening your body so you don't suffer injury as often!)
- My spouse doesn't support me working out (That's horrible! How can they love you and not want you healthy?)
- My genetics make me fat/skinny(your genetics may make you more susceptible to gaining weight but let's be honest, they don't prevent your body from getting better through good habits. Really. Let's be honest)
- I don't like working out (Ok. Understood. Then don't expect too much change.)
- I don't like healthy food (You don't like chicken, fruit, turkey, nuts, lean beef, salad, soups, shakes? Ok....)

So these reactions may seem a little harsh but they are absolutely reality.  Really.  No matter what's happened in your past, how you've lived, how you've loved, who you've married, how many kids you have, what your parents did or didn't do for you, what your education level is, etc....you can improve your health!  You can gain or lose weight!  You can do WHATEVER YOU WANT TO DO!!!  It's all about the WANT, followed immediately by the DO.  That's where consistency comes in.  You want to get fit?  Get fit consistently.  Do your workouts every day.  Eat clean and track your calories every day.  Realize that you get out of a life what you put into it!  Some people have it harder than others.  That will always be true.  But the successful people push harder than the ordinary.  And that will always be true as well.  Even the successful people that have cheated or taken shortcuts have worked hard to do so (any famous cyclists, baseball players, or pro weightlifters come to mind?).  In the end, those shortcuts are revealed and become that person's legacy, not their hard work. There are no worthy shortcuts.

Be consistently awesome and results will come.  Guaranteed.  Give the realistic level of effort and time and you will succeed.  Do you need to be weird about it?  No!  I treat myself to a treat meal (not treat day) once a week.  I actually work harder during the week so I can earn that few pieces of pizza and not worry about it.  The very minute that meal is over, I'm locked on for another week.  Some people can't do that without going overboard.  Knowing that about yourself is very important.  Don't blow it if you can't exercise self-control.

in closing, here are tools for being consistent and getting results:

Nutrition (track food in MyFitnessPal & Shakeology) 
+ Exercise (Pick your program!) 
+ Support/Motivation (join our FREE Facebook Challenge Group for daily accountability
= RESULTS


The ball is in your court, folks.  I look forward to seeing you in the Facebook Team Push-Pull Challenge Group.  Let's get serious about our health and get consistent!


And 2 favors that I ask:

1) If you like the hard work I put into my blogs and videos, PLEASE help me out by sharing them.  Click the share links below them and share them on FB, twitter, etc.  It really helps me get more exposure and grow Team Push-Pull!

2) Also, the way I benefit from being your coach is that I earn a commission from any Beachbody products that you purchase, as long as you buy them through my site,http://www.teampush-pull.com, or by logging in to http://www.beachbodycoach.com/LUCAS-MARINO to do your shopping (If you buy from the plain beachbody site I get no credit). It helps with the amount of time I spend answering questions and helping people. Thank you! I really appreciate it!


 
 
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This is such a great time of year, and it’s such a GREAT OPPORTUNITY that so many people miss.  Most people will spend the next 90 days letting themselves get out of shape and overindulging, only to find themselves staring down the barrel of an ominous “New Year’s Resolution” to undo the damage they’ve inflicted on themselves these next 90 days. The same resolution they had last year…

What if Team Push-Pull goes against the flow?  What if we buck the trend?  What if we spend the next 90 days pushing our boundaries, making it happen, and taking our fitness to new levels?  How much different … BETTER … will our New Year start?

That’s what I plan on doing.  I have a goal of getting in the best shape of my life in 2014 … better shape than when I was 18 or 28 years old!  Instead of dialing it back and coasting through the winter, I’m dialing it UP to elevate my cardio capacity while I increase my full body strength and stability.

What goal will you set these next 90 days to keep your eye on the prize?  Many of our team members are challenging themselves to lose 15 pounds before Christmas and they are succeeding! If you aren’t sure what goal you should set, consider this =

Beachbody is releasing the brand new P90X3 program for the Christmas holidays.  X3 is going to be a 90 day program featuring 20 diverse workouts based on the best of what Tony Horton has learned from X and X2.  Plus, the workouts are all just 30 super-intense minutes long.  A fellow coach sampled some of the workouts and they are legit!

Why not start your 2014 rocking the X3 with me and the other Team Push-Pull members?  And why not spend the next 90 days getting ready for X3?  How can you do that?  Why not do a round of P90X or P90X2 (my favorite program) now?

The timing this month is perfect.  Beachbody always runs a monthly special — sometimes it’s cool and sometimes it’s not.  Well, this month’s special is awesome.  For the month of October, you can order a P90X Challenge Pack or a P90X2 Challenge Pack for just $180. This is a significant deal considering the whole package would normally run close to $250.

What’s a “Challenge Pack”?  A Challenge Pack includes your fitness program, a month’s supply of Shakeology, and a VIP club membership, along with free shipping on everything, for a much reduced rate. If you are looking to get X or X2 along with the healthiest meal replacement supplement on the market, Shakeology, this offer can’t be beat.

Shakeology + P90X + Team Push-Pull Challenge Group Participation = Success

For existing Beachbody Customers:

P90X Challenge Pack Link:  http://teambeachbody.com/shop/-/shopping/BCPP90X205?referringRepId=275453

P90X2 Challenge Pack Link: http://teambeachbody.com/shop/-/shopping/BCPX2205?referringRepId=275453

New customers can sign up for a free club membership and begin shopping.

No more regrets. No more excuses. Just results. Keep Pushing!!

Lucas Marino

And 2 favors that I ask:

1) If you like the hard work I put into my blogs and videos, PLEASE help me out by sharing them.  Click the share links below them and share them on FB, twitter, etc.  It really helps me get more exposure and grow Team Push-Pull!

2) Also, remember that the way I benefit from being your coach is that I earn a commission from any Beachbody products that you purchase, as long as you buy them through my site, http://www.teampush-pull.com, or by logging in to http://www.beachbodycoach.com/LUCAS-MARINO to do your shopping (If you buy from the plain beachbody site I get no credit). It helps with the amount of time I spend answering questions and helping people. Thank you! I really appreciate it!


 
 
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Ok, here's one of the most important FREE things you could EVER consider doing for your health - tracking your nutrition with the myfitnesspal app. I won't sugar coat it, this app is the most important tool in my fitness arsenal! In fact, it's the first tool I introduce every Team Push-Pull Challenge Group member to. Without the focus on proper nutrition, you WILL NOT see the results you so badly desire. That goes for losing and gaining weight alike (listen up dudes!). Want to gain lean muscle mass? Want to lose body fat? If you answered "Yes" to either of those questions, you need this app. Consistent workouts and consistent nutrition = results.

How does it work? Myfitnesspal is available for both smart phones and computers with an internet connection. Basically, you download the app, enter your account settings, and you are ready to begin tracking your calories. The set up is relatively simple and the program will help you establish a target calorie goal based on your desire to lose or gain weight if you haven't established goals of your own yet (see my posts on calculating target calories in the Nutrition tab at the top of your screen to calculate your own goals). If you've already identified a target calorie goal, simply go to Settings, then Fitness Profile, and scroll down until you see your Net Calorie Goal. At that point, you can enter your own custom goal if you don't want to use the myfitnesspal calorie recommendation. 

So how do you track your calories? Easy! When you open the program, the home screen will display an option to Add to Diary. Click on that button. Next, select the meal of your choice and use the search bar to find your food. The more detail about the food type, the better (brand name, specific recipe, etc.). Once you've seen your food item in the search results, click on that item and confirm/enter the number and size of the serving. Then click on Add. Boom. That food is now logged for the day and will be in your food options under that specific meal for future use. After entering ALL of the day's food (yes, all of it), select the "Complete This Entry" button to total your foods and update your info. Did I mention this is FREE?

Now for the grand finale...table top drum roll please...you can view your total calories and macros! Yes, indeed, we are entering our food for a good reason: tracking your calories and to balance your diet. To see your macros and nutrition details for the day, open the menu and select Nutrition. You should now see your nutrition details for the day's food. Next, click on the little pie chart to see your nutrition macros (protein, carbohydrate, and fat percentages). This is where the magic is, you can see what percentage of your diet is consumed by carbohydrates, protein, & fat! (view my post on Macros in the Nutrition tab at the top of the page). 

At this point, you are either confused or amazed by the simplicity and effectiveness of this tool. It's database is massive, you can enter your own food data, you can track some basic exercise (I personally don't enter my workouts because the program doesn't recognize them), and it's all free. Amazing. 

In closing, I hope you seriously consider using this tool. Its free, takes just a few minutes of your time each day, and becomes a great meal planning tool. You can plan your entire day's diet before it starts, which supports a successful day of eating. You need this in your life. Trust me. Just download it, enter your current day's diet and be blown away by how your nutrition is really stacking up. You may not be meeting your calorie goals. You may be completely fooling yourself concerning how much of your diet is comprised of fat. Tracking is the only sure way to be spot on, day after day, so start today!

Keep Pushing!  -Coach Lucas-