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Tom’s Fitness & Paris Martial Arts


Posted: November 19, 2007

With six weeks in the books so far, we’ve reached the halfway point of the contest. This week we had a two way tie between Myla Savant and Roger Hopper, both of whom lost 4.4 lbs! They were followed by Dawn Hopper and Steve Johnson, also tied at 3.0 lbs.

Myla had been looking for a good week and this was it. Previously, she’d told me she wanted to lose weight to feel better and keep up with her kids. She also wants to get off high blood pressure medication.

Roger said that he was tired of being overweight and wanted to change. He figured he’d stick out the program this time, because he was going through with his wife, and she wouldn’t let him quit! He’s also happy that his other activities are getting better, now that he’s dropped weight and gotten stronger.

This week, I want to talk about a couple trends I’ve noticed. There seem to be two groups emerging. The first group is made up of contestants that have lost weight each week, while the other is made up of people that seem to lose a little, and then gain a little (known in health circles as the yo-yo syndrome).

For example, all but one of the guys have lost the most weight at least once so far. But when you compare their total weight loss to Steve, they’re still quite a bit behind. Even though he hasn’t won a single week, this time, he’s been the most consistent, always losing at least two or three pounds, and often times, more than that.

Only Roger has been able to post consistent losses next to Steve’s. For the ladies, only Shirley has been able to post consistent losses for all six weeks, plus a couple more weeks during which she’d lost weight before the contest!

So, I asked them to talk to the others and tell them why they thought they were having more consistent results. What they were doing differently, that might help the others. While Steve wasn’t present at the Friday night workout, due to another engagement, I can tell you what his secret is.

He’s always here, pushing himself harder and harder. He’s running more, and trying to be very consistent in his diet throughout the week. He told me he has a few bumps on the weekend, but even then, he’s keeping the calories within check, although he might eat a few things he knows he shouldn’t.

Roger told the group that he and his wife are very careful to make sure he’s eating enough. The demands of his job have often caused him to miss meals, or eat junk food in a hurry. Now, he’s eating much better, and amazed at how much food he can eat, because he’s eating the right things. He and Dawn are also pushing themselves more, exercising longer, and running more.

Shirley said she was eating much more fruits and vegetables than she ever used to. She’s found a way to season them other ways besides just using butter, to keep the calories down. Shirley’s also been increasing her activity level. She told us she thought she was working pretty hard before the contest, but had no idea—now she’s really able to turn it up in the gym. She also said she almost never misses a workout (out of two a day), and if she does, she still got the other one in that day.

Each of them have got it dialed in—and that’s what I wanted the rest of the group to understand. It comes down to figuring out how much food you need, and then eating the right things in the right amount for you: fruits and greens; whole grains; low fat dairy, and lean cuts of meat, fish and poultry; and avoiding pop and junk foods.

It also comes down to increasing your activity with a walk (or run) every morning, and another session later in the day, which they’ve been doing with the free weights, and cardio sessions. Do these things, day in and day out, and you’ll lose weight every week, just like clockwork. Do them haphazardly, and you’ll lose a little here and there. Eat too little (or too much), and you can even gain weight, creating the yo-yo effect.

When people say they don’t have enough time to exercise, in the end, it really means that exercise isn’t a priority. Some of these guys are getting up at 4:30 in the morning to get their walk in before they have to leave for work. It all comes down to what you want. Do you want to lose weight, or just talk about it?

Each week, I’m showing them how to raise the intensity—this week we did a kickboxing workout. Most of them told me it was the toughest workout yet. Just wait. We have six weeks to go. I’ve a lot of tricks up my sleeve. Most of my personal training clients are ready to leave after just 25-30 minutes of well planned, intense, whole body exercise.

Finally, I showed them the second workout for Level Two. Later, we’ll alternate it with the other workout (Workout #1) I showed you before, and finally, we’ll combine the two for a super workout. For now, here’s the new workout.


WALKING LUNGES with or w/o DB (Legs, Hips, Core)
PEC FLY on the Ball or Bench (Chest, Shoulders, Arms, Core)
DEADLIFT w DB, slightly bent legs (Legs, Hips, Core
DB PULLOVERS on ball (Chest, Upper Back, Triceps, Core)
ARNOLD SHOULDER PRESS (Shoulders, Triceps, Core)
STANDING BICEP CURL both arms together (Biceps, Core)
#1: Regular Crunches
#2: Crunches with legs raised, feet crossed
#3: Crunches to sides with one knee bent, and other leg crossed
#4: Opposite Side
#5: Leg Raises (Upper body slightly curled off floor, quickly raising and returning legs just off the floor)

The first day, do one or two sets to become familiar with the routine. Be sure you get with someone that can show you the proper technique. After that, go for three sets of 10-12 reps (guys) or 12-15 reps (gals) three times a week.

For added intensity, do the Lunges and Pec Flys back to back without stopping. Then, do the Deadlifts and Pullovers back to back. Hit the Calf Raises, and then do the Arnold Press, Standing Bicep Curl and Tricep Kickbacks, back to back.

Finally, finish up with the Ab Routine, doing as many as you can of each exercise. With intensity, and without stopping, you can do this workout in a half hour. Be sure to drink plenty of water during your workout. Don’t forget to have a rest day between workouts, too.