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Thursday, September 30, 2010

To Be Empowered Through Strength

 Around the military, most of the fitness training is endurance based. So there are a bunch of runners, triathletes and the like. There is something to be said for when you run your first 10k and make it or do well. You have a sense of accomplishment and you feel good about yourself. It's a great thing. I have been there and done that. But running doesn't transfer easily into daily life. It's not like the old days when Grok the caveman had to travel 100 miles to catch up with the herd of animals he was tracking for hot chow. You don't zip 5 miles down to the local store for milk in your running shoes. So even though you feel accomplished with your run, it kinda stays with the road.

With strength training, it is totally different. When I have a woman who could not even do a pushup on her knees to start with and I get her to bench press 100lbs or more, the sense of accomplishment is huge. And when that same woman can go about her daily life activities and pick up things she always needed help with, that sense of accomplishment stays with her daily. The added muscle and strength not only make you look better and function better but it psychologically makes you feel better about yourself. You no longer feel fat and helpless. You don't jiggle as much when you move. You are confident that you can handle a physical challenge when it presents itself. And after overcoming the mental fears of heavy weight, you feel as though you can do anything. You become empowered.

This psychological strength and new found confidence allows you to face things that used to intimidate you. These are things outside the gym in daily life. Instead of saying "I can't" - you just do it. Instead of thinking "I'll never be able to" - you attack it and conquer it. You are now empowered in all aspects of life and your potential for achievement in all areas rises dramatically. So put down the pink dumbbells and grab some heavy weight. Challenge yourself and work super hard. Eat really good to fuel your body. Be proud of your efforts and achievements. Then take your new strength and go out into the world. Attack any goal in life with the same intensity as the deadlift bar. Attain, achieve and accomplish. Your goals are now within your grasp because you are empowered.

Who is ready to become the next member of the strength club? I have the bench press, kettlebell squat to overhead press, barbell deadlift and iron woman clubs for my female clients. If you want to become part of any of these exclusive elite clubs, contact me and begin the journey.

Dempsey's Resolution Fitness     

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Meal Of The Week - Filet Mignon, Shrimp And Salad

This meal of the week consists of filet mignon, cocktail shrimp, salad (consisting of green leaf lettuce, mushrooms, grape tomatoes, crumbled bleu cheese and red onion), and jamaican ginger ale. I actually made this myself and it was good. I impressed myself with this meal and it didn't take long to make. All of the ingredients were found at Earth Fare in Auburn. If you like Fresh Market then you should check out Earth Fare the next time you are in Auburn.

Dempsey's Resolution Fitness

Friday, September 24, 2010

Counting Calories And Using A Food Journal

There are a bunch of viewpoints on counting calories and using food journals. Many mainstreamers say it's unnecessary and all you have to do is eat good and that's enough. I say that's a bunch of crap. 
I check my clients bodyfat, bodyweight and waist or hip measurements weekly. Some say that you should only check this stuff once in awhile. I check it weekly to keep everyone on track and to have accountability. Frequently, client's numbers go up and down and they get confused as to why. Of course there are many variables that influence your numbers. I always ask everyone how they have been eating this week and I get a variety of answers like "better, ok, not so great, eating real good". Then that rarely corresponds to how a person's numbers actually look that week. There are many reasons for this. The clients want me to tell them why their numbers are what they are. Of course, I can speculate as to what their numbers usually indicate based upon the book answer and historical evidence and experience.

But when my clients bring me their food journal, it turns from speculation to a more analytical view of data. Then I can usually dial in on the real problem and set people straight. Data takes the guess work out of the equation. I give everyone a bootcamper's handout when they first enroll, that shows them how to calculate their calorie requirements and gives them an example food journal, along with all of the nutrition basics. I show you how to calculate what you are supposed to be doing and the food journal shows you what you are actually doing. When you compare the data, the answers are usually very apparent.

In the beginning, when you are learning all of this new stuff and trying to change your lifestyle and break bad habits while replacing them with good habits, you need to track data. Counting calories and maintaining a food journal has shown time and time again to be super beneficial to the client. It raises the rate of progress to a very fast rate. Compliance with the program equals success guaranteed. Non-compliance negates your odds of success. So I recommend in the beginning, you should track your calories and maintain a food journal at least once a week if not everyday. I recommend using as your online calorie counter because it is free and allows you to print off pie charts and all sorts of data. Do you need to do this forever? - hell no!

Once you have developed good habits and have changed your lifestyle, you will know if you are eating right or not. But it takes about a month of consistency to make or break a habit. So I would say 90 days is the minimum that you should track your data through calorie counting and food journals. Discipline yourself and put as much (if not more) effort into data tracking as you do in your workouts. So track your data and print it off. Bring it in for me to analyze with you and I can explain all of the variables to you and things will be much clearer.  

Dempsey's Resolution Fitness

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Does Your Cortisol Levels Affect Your Fat Loss?

Does Your Cortisol Levels Affect Your Fat Loss? 
The answer is absolutely! Cortisol is a steroid hormone produced by the adrenal gland. It is released in response to stress, and to a low level of blood glucocorticoids. Its primary functions are to increase blood sugar through gluconeogenesis, suppress the immune system, and aid in fat, protein and carbohydrate metabolism. It also decreases bone formation. Usually your cortisol levels peak in the morning which is why breakfast is a must. Intense exercise also raises cortisol levels - another reason your post workout meal is the 2nd essential meal of the day. So when you don't sleep well, have a stressful day, workout hard and skip meals, you keep your cortisol levels peaked which keeps the fat on - which is not what we want, obviously. Cortisol also counteracts insulin so you can't lower your blood sugar levels which also keeps the fat on. So cortisol does a bunch of things that keeps you from getting lean. 

What can we do to help keep our cortisol levels low?
The answer is follow the plan. Eating right, making sure that you get breakfast and your post workout meal along with the rest of your meals, sleeping well, trying to control your stressors (very hard), music, sex, laughing, having fun and being happy are all things that help lower cortisol levels. Magnesium, vitamin c, omega 3's and black tea are some of the many things that also help lower cortisol levels. There are many other hormones that affect your fat loss but this is one of the big ones. While it's impossible to do everything perfect, doing the best you can to regulate cortisol levels will greatly assist in your fat loss progress.    

Dempsey's Resolution Fitness

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Lenny's Recommendation From LinkedIn

"I do not have enough great things to say about Eric Dempsey. For eight months, he trained me in his boot camps at Smith Gymnasium and at his facility in Salem, AL. Eric shared his vast knowledge of nutrition, physiology, and classic and contemporary training techniques, while explaining the logic behind each exercise and the workout as a whole. Being able to work closely with such a friendly and talented professional motivated me to work harder than I had ever worked before.

As I progressed, so did our workouts, and our client/trainer relationship grew to one of mutual respect and trust. I knew then as I know now that Eric would never steer me in the wrong direction. He has such a vast skill set and so much experience that he helped me to make progress quickly and safely. His odd object, tabata, and kettle bell workouts were intense and awesome. I was amazed that I could do the things I was doing. Eric wasn't because he knew I could do them.

Our professional relationship is on hiatus because I relocated, but I use the skills and information Eric imparted to me every time I workout. (And I workout in my driveway. My next door neighbor is a personal trainer. He said he'd LET me workout with him for $60 an hour. Then he saw me do a killer Dempsey's Resolution Fitness workout and rescinded his offer.)

Eric Dempsey is the most sincere, dedicated, and caring person I have ever met in the fitness world. I have seen him work with people of all ages and ability levels with great results. I even let him train my mother. If you are serious and honest with yourself and with Eric, then he will help you take the blue flower from the valley up the mountain."

Service Category: Personal Trainer

Year first hired: 2010

Top Qualities: Great Results, Expert, Good Value

Thanks Lenny! Best of luck to you in your northern adventure. Nice words from a great client and friend.
Dempsey's Resolution Fitness

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Mid-Way Results for the Smith September Bootcamp

After two weeks of super easy workouts with me, the september smith bootcampers came away with these numbers:

Keeping in mind, that I run fat loss bootcamps and not weight loss (a monkey can get you to lose weight), the recommended rate of fat loss is about 1% a week or 4% a month. Everyone did really good. 

Heather lost 11.2% bodyfat, up a pound - she was a crazy girl and did like an hour of cardio after the workouts. But she ate good so it paid off luckily.

Sarah lost 7.1% bodyfat, up a pound

Patricia broke even on bodyfat and was down 2.6lbs

Justina lost 4.9% bodyfat and weight stayed the same.

William lost 5% bodyfat and he managed to lose 7lbs as well. 

So you can see that when getting lean (which is completely different than losing weight), you can actually gain weight from increased lean body mass (LBM) while losing bodyfat. Fat loss and weight loss are apples and oranges or oil and water and have nothing to do with each other in general. 99.99% of weight loss comes from LBM usually and is unhealthy. Be smart and healthy! Lose fat and not LBM. 

Keep up the great work everyone and eat your food.

Dempsey's Resolution Fitness

Friday, September 10, 2010

Not All Protein Powders Are The Same

The July 2010 consumer reports article on heavy metals found in 15 top protein powder brands was very alarming to many people. Everyone assumes as I used to that these companies making health and fitness supplements must be good to go right? Well the facts show they are not. Most of the companies use more money in their marketing than for the production quality of their products. Here is a link to the consumer reports findings for heavy metals in protein powder:

I used to use and recommend allot of the stuff listed in this report, for many years until I adopted Prograde as my single source supplement company. Prograde is a high quality, no frills company founded and run by respected fitness professionals. These guys would not have anything harmful, negative or low quality associated with them. I study their other fitness and marketing materials as well as sell their nutrition products because I believe they are superior. I also use their products as do most of the successful fitness professionals that I follow. The guys from Prograde use their own products as do their families. It's a smaller company with top quality and results at the forefront in this industry. So I use and recommend Prograde Protein. 

During an independent study Prograde Protein's heavy metal counts were found to be miniscule compared to the others. For a variety of reasons, heavy metals are found (even in trace amounts) in damn near everything. Check out the findings for Prograde Protein for yourself here:

Some other reasons that Prograde Protein is superior are the fact that they put lactase in their protein powder to aid in digestion, it's naturally sweetened with stevia, it is low temperature microfiltered and has Ion-exchanged Whey Protein Isolates for unparalleled purity, Only 2g of carbohydrate per serving,  5.3 grams of muscle boosting Branched Chain Amino Acids and is gluten free. Also Prograde Protein contains 2.5 grams of the essential amino acid Leucine, shown in extensive scientific studies to be responsible for activating protein synthesis and muscle growth at the DNA level.

Another great thing about Prograde Protein is that it's on sale for 20% off right now. Give it a try and see for yourself. Prograde products fall into the "you get what you pay for" category. High quality, effective, reliable, and dependable are characteristics of Prograde. You owe it to yourself to have the best because you are worth it.

Dempsey's Resolution Fitness 

Is It Possible? Burn Fat, Build Muscle And Increase Your Performance At The Same Time

Most traditional fitness programs are centered around a theme. There are weight loss programs, body transformation programs, sports / performance enhancement programs, muscle building programs, lifestyle enrichment programs and programs to work on specific trouble areas of the body (hips/buns/thighs etc...). If you train with me or have trained with me, you know that my program is anything but traditional. I don't believe in having different programs to do all of the mentioned stuff above.

With my program, you work on all of those areas at the same time. Efficiency and functionality are my themes. Getting the most bang for the buck and the hour are important in today's time crunched world. Dynamic, total body, multi-joint, compound movements have been proven to be more effective at achieving the greatest amount of benefits in the shortest amount of time. Heavy strength training, metabolic resistance training, targeted fat loss cardio and supportive nutrition have proven, time and time again, over the years, to increase performance and overall health, burn fat and build muscle, all at the same time. Not only does my program cover all of the areas but the functionality of it carries over into daily life activities, regardless of who you are -be it an airborne ranger or a housewife.  Also, the time it takes to achieve these goals in the different areas are minimized, provided that you follow the program and eat right. 

So stop wasting time and money trying to find an easy out. There is no easy way to achieve great things. Your issues and bad habits didn't pop up yesterday. There is a time factor required to make things right. It can be shortened in a healthy way. You must earn it by traveling down the right path and by negotiating the obstacles that stand before you. Let me guide you down the path. Follow the way to become lean, strong and fast -sooner rather than later. It is totally possible and it's proven by my clients daily. So when the masses say it can't be done - I say bullshit -I do it everyday and so can you.   

Dempsey's Resolution Fitness

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Trans Fat -Truth & Myths

Trans fats, also known as hydrogenated oils, are synthetically produced by adding hydrogen atoms to unsaturated vegetable oils. Unlike natural unsaturated or saturated fats, trans fats have no nutritional value. They have been overwhelmingly shown to increase the risk of death from cardiovascular disease. Food producers like using trans fat because it has a longer shelf life. 

Does zero trans fat on the label mean that there is really no trans fat in your food product? The answer is no! According to FDA guidelines, products containing less than 0.5g of trans fat per serving can be labeled as zero trans fat. So that means that one serving of zero trans fat can contain up to 0.49g of trans fat. Do the math and you can see that 0.49g of trans fat per serving can add up over the day and week. With one serving of zero trans fat at breakfast, lunch and dinner, you can rack up 1.5g grams of trans fat and that's the low end. The American Heart Association recommends limiting your trans fat intake to less than 2g a day. One serving of zero trans fat for 3 meals a day puts you at about 75% of the AHA recommended level of trans fat intake. In one year, you could add up 547.5g consumed under the guise of zero trans fat. That sounds like a whole lot more than zero to me. 

Major sources of trans fat include:  
  1. Cakes, cookies, crackers, pies, breads, and other baked goods
  2. Animal products prepared in partially hydrogenated oils
  3. Margarine
  4. Fried potatoes
  5. Potato chips, corn chips, popcorn
  6. Household shortening
  7. Salad dressings
  8. Breakfast cereals
  9. Candy
Trans fat goes by many different names or disguises. You may see zero trans fat on the label but then find these common names in the ingredients instead: Hydrogenated oils, partially hydrogenated oils, or mono and diglycerides. These are all trans fats and should be avoided. Sadly, many so called health foods contain these other names in the ingredients. So you must read your labels and be aware of the trickery being used to poison you in order to make big money.

Dempsey's Resolution Fitness 

Friday, September 3, 2010

Can Organic Food Make You Fat?

What is organic? The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has established an organic certification program that requires all organic foods to meet strict government standards. These standards regulate how such foods are grown, handled and processed. Any farmer or food manufacturer who labels and sells a product as organic must be USDA certified as meeting these standards. Only producers who sell less than $5,000 a year in organic foods are exempt from this certification; however, they must follow the same government standards to label their foods as organic. If a food bears a USDA Organic label, it means it's produced and processed according to the USDA standards and that at least 95 percent of the food's ingredients are organically produced. The seal is voluntary, but many organic producers use it.

Products that are completely organic — such as fruits, vegetables, eggs or other single-ingredient foods — are labeled 100 percent organic and can carry a small USDA seal. Foods that have more than one ingredient, such as breakfast cereal, can use the USDA organic seal or the following wording on their package labels, depending on the number of organic ingredients: 100 percent organic. Products that are completely organic or made of all organic ingredients. Organic. Products that are at least 95 percent organic. Made with organic ingredients. These are products that contain at least 70 percent organic ingredients. The organic seal can't be used on these packages.

Foods containing less than 70 percent organic ingredients can't use the organic seal or the word "organic" on their product label. They can include the organic items in their ingredient list, however. You may see other terms on food labels, such as "all-natural," "free-range" or "hormone-free." These descriptions may be important to you, but don't confuse them with the term "organic." Only those foods that are grown and processed according to USDA organic standards can be labeled organic.

Eating organic is a popular topic in the health and fitness circles. Eating organic is touted to be the way to go. I advocate eating organic whenever possible. But does eating organic promise to keep you lean? The answer is no! If you eat improperly, it doesn't matter how organic the food is. You will get fat regardless. There is a misconception that if it's organic, it's good for you and you won't gain weight. If you make a cake with all organic ingredients- you are still eating a cake and you will still become a Jabba The Hut look-a-like. So it's about eating the right types of food in the right amount at the right times.

And yes, when you eat right, you want to have as much of your food organic as possible. But make no mistake about it, organic carbs are still carbs, organic sugar is still sugar and whether you eat organic or not, you can and will get fat doing the wrong thing and eating the wrong stuff. So keep it real and use organic foods when you can but make the right choices and follow the basic nutrition principles. Don't let the term organic let you become fat.

Dempsey's Resolution Fitness  

You Are Your Own Worst Enemy In Your Fat Loss Battle

Human homeostasis refers to the body's ability to physiologically regulate its inner environment to ensure its stability in response to fluctuations in the outside environment and the weather. Your body wants to maintain command and control and only recognizes stress and change, regardless of whether it's good or bad. When you begin a new exercise program or nutrition plan, you create a new stress or change to your body. The body is programmed to not think this is cool and it try's hard to stop it immediately.

Usually, in the first two weeks of the start of a new exercise and nutrition program, your body will make massive adaptations to combat this new stress in order to achieve homeostasis. This will cause you to make some serious progress and trick you into thinking you are now good to go. Past the two week mark, you have to keep pushing the envelope in order to continue to place stress on the system causing even more change.

Then around the 6 week mark you need to really shake things up and stress the system more to prevent natural plateau. The difference between maintaining and a plateau is your intent. If you are still wanting to make progress and you stop getting ahead, then you have reached a plateau. If you get to a place where you are happy with your progress and you want to stay where you are at, then you have entered a maintenance phase by allowing the plateau to take effect. Your body is all about you staying in your maintenance phase forever because it can then re-optimize your systems for your current situation.

Most people don't reach a place any time soon, where they think they are ready for a maintenance phase. So change and stress must continue to bombard the body to keep adaptation in full swing. Your brain will trick you constantly by sending out signals that make you feel content or full with no need to train harder or eat more or better. You'll think "I'm good to go right here". But it's rare that that's an accurate place to be because you have yet to attain your fitness goals. So you must press on. Understanding this self-mental trickery is a key to success. Knowing that this will occur will allow you to watch for the warning signs and take appropriate action to stay ahead of plateaus.

Normally, when you operate in your comfort zone with fitness and nutrition, you will not make any significant progress. Of course, this is what your body wants you to do to maintain control. Your brain will scream "I can't do it, I can't lift that weight, I can't run any faster or I'm full and can't eat another bite. This has to be recognized and you must stay in the red zone of exertion and nutritional advancement. So when your brain trys to defeat you, you must run faster, lift heavier, get one more rep in and force another bite of food. Fight hard to stay out of your comfort zone and ignore your brain when it trys to stop you.

Two techniques that I use frequently at the  home bootcamp are the black mailbox and the 3 second drive/push. The black mailbox is the point in the road, near my house, where the road starts going uphill, three quarters of the way through a 30 second sprint. This is where your brain screams "stop-I'm going to die" and you want to slow down and fail yourself. So I tell people when you reach the black mailbox, you must force yourself to run faster until you hit the finish line. And almost 100% of the time, when a person does what I tell them, their sprint time improves dramatically.

The 3 second drive / push technique applies to the deadlift and the bench press. When you are deadlifting a heavy weight that is maximal or near maximal, it takes approximately 2-2.5 seconds for the bar to leave the floor when exerting yourself maximally. At about 1 second, your brain screams "this is too freakin heavy, I can't lift it, stop now". If you listen to your brain -you fail and don't make the lift, even though you could have. With the bench press, you must continue to push as the bar hits your sticking point. You must push continually for the full 3 seconds while focusing on core stabilization and the weight will creep up slowly if you are going to lift it.  

The bottom line is that your body is programmed to strive to reach / stay at homeostasis regardless of your body composition and fitness level. Your body wants to optimize your systems to operate smoothly at it's current stress level. Your brain will send signals to persuade you to slow down or stop even though you could physically do it. You must push past these mental barriers and learn how your body works. The more time you spend operating in the Red Zone of intensity will allow you to make progress and master your limits. When your brain screams stop - take another step and see what happens. You will be surprised. Progress and your goals are within your grasp and control. You can do it!

Dempsey's Resolution Fitness