10 Weight Loss Tips (Trainer Edition)

Fitness Climbing
1) Working out doesn’t have to be a bad experience
Everyone immediately correlates exercise to being chained to a treadmill for long periods of time. This is the wrong mentality: with all the different types of exercises and free online fitness information available, exercise can be more of a game or hobby than a painful commitment. Jazzercize, zumba, yoga, free running, parkour, ultimate frisbee, aqua cycling, and tabata are some of the new fitness trends that have become large in the fitness environment. These are just some of the new things that have come out, but we can’t forget finding enjoyment in simple things like hiking, bicycling, swimming, and (for some people), running. My overall point is that you should find something you enjoy if you want to have a long term plan that will provide you with various physical and mental benefits.

2) Learn some nutrition basics
Some of the major downfalls people experience when trying to lose weight are nutrition based. You need to feed your body in relation to your exercise levels; using only nutrition to control your weight gives only short term results, and as soon as you go off the diet the weight often comes right back. In order to keep weight off in the long term, it’s important to establish a healthy diet as well as healthy exercise habits. Make sure to stay hydrated!

3) Create a schedule and STICK TO IT
Most people who are starting an exercise program or are planning a workout regimen somehow decide that, even without a schedule, they will actually work out regularly. Unfortunately, most of us have lives that tend to interfere with our workout schedules, and many people instantly sacrifice the workout to do something else. By creating a strict schedule you will not only be able to keep you workouts organized, but your body will adapt to the schedule in unique ways. Also, after establishing a schedule, you might feel guilty when you skip a planned workout. Once the schedule starts to get neglected, it is usually all downhill from there.

4) Set a tangible goal
If your goal is just to “get in shape,” you will have no way to track it or ever know you’ve succeeded in reaching your goal. It’s important to have a specific goal or goals in mind; generalized goals can be ambiguous and lead to demotivation. Your goal can be anything from having a goal of doing a pull-up by a certain date to running a marathon or losing a specific amount of weight.

5) Track your progress
Seeing progress towards your goal will help motivate you when you are doubting yourself. When you can look back and see that you have made progress over time, it’ll be easier to stay on track.

6) Find people that you can work out with
If you have a schedule, it is easy to collaborate with friends to exercise. If you have a gym membership, another benefit of sticking to a schedule is that you might get to know others that work out on a similar schedule or attend the same fitness classes you do.

7) Don’t be afraid to talk about it
Often times people are afraid to admit they go to a gym or are self-conscious when speaking about weight loss. Even if you are upset about your weight, remember that at least you are taking action to improvement.

8) Hydration is key
Water allows your body to function at its best and also aids in cleansing your body of toxins. With all the diuretics we are exposed to on a daily basis (like caffeine, alcohol, and various medications), the average person rarely consumes enough water.

9) Focus on what you are working on
Many people try to distract themselves from workouts by listening to music, reading books, or watching TV while working out so that it is less of a chore. Personally, I feel it’s important to focus on the workout–this will help you improve yourself exponentially. When I work out I pay very close attention to what exercises activate specific muscle groups and how they all feel.

10) Trust yourself and your plan
When people get frustrated they often question if what they are doing is working. This is when you need to recommit and believe in everything you are doing. Many times, people will start a weight loss program and gain a small amount of weight at the outset. Often, people will take this to mean that working out isn’t “working,” so they give up almost immediately. However, it’s important to remember that muscle weighs more than fat, and before you lose fat, you might gain muscle mass.

Review: Lenovo Twist Laptop

Lenovo Twist Laptop Recently I decided to purchase a new laptop now that I have graduated college. I have been using the same Dell XPS for the last 4 years and even though it still works it has suffered decent wear and tear. I constantly carry my laptops with me everywhere I go, always finding some sort of work to do or necessary need for it. So I began looking into the new technology on laptops and some of the features that I would want. This is when i found out the laptop market is a new type of beast. With all the new different types of laptops out there it is extremely complicated deciding what features best fit your needs nevermind which brand to choose from. I was in no rush to buy a new laptop because I wanted to thoroughly research each one and find something that would be perfect for my specific needs. After a bit of online research, I came to the decision that I wanted a high performance “Convertible” laptop. A convertible laptop is a touch screen laptop where the screen can be rotated or slid over the keyboard converting it into a tablet.

Now with the type of laptop decided it was onto the more complex part of choosing, deciding what brand to buy then what specifications the laptop required. Luckily I have a strong knowledge of computer statistics and knew the exact specifications I needed for both work and entertainment. I wanted an i7 with both a solid state hard drive (no moving parts) and a hard disk drive. One of the most important factors was reliability and durability, I carry my laptop with me everywhere I go…Literally I always have it so if it can’t take some rugged situations then it will have a short life span.


Price: $1100 (www.lenovo.com – $1400 after 4 year warranty)
Ownership Length: 2 months
Buy at Amazon.com (aff)


Pros:
1) Portability and adaptability – It is so light and ultra thin that it’s almost mesmerizing watching it transform back and forth from tablet to laptop. Fully functional laptop when I’m at a desk and folds into a tablet when I need to be mobile.
2) Speed – The Intel Core i7 has been unbelievably fast.
3) Durability – Gorilla glass screen and tough Lenovo ThinkPad parts combine to make a sturdy machine. (I got a screen protector because of touch features)

Cons:
1) Not 1080p HD – 12.5″ W HD (1366 x 768) LED Backlight, but it is Gorilla Glass
2) HDMI mini out – I don’t know why they did not put a full-size HDMI port in this laptop, requiring me to get an adapter is somewhat frustrating
3) Display orientation – This is a very minute criticism that I am only mentioning because it can be slightly frustrating. The screen rotation sometimes acts strange and whatever orientation it is in when it’s slept/turned off will be how it is going to startup until you are logged in, then it becomes active.

Summary

This laptop has been completely perfect for me. I was impressed when I first had unboxed it; before I had even fired it up it had me smiling. I knew it would be smaller than my old laptop but never realized this would only be a ¼ of its size.

This laptop has more than impressed me, it has spoiled me with its portability and has almost rendered my iPad as an entertainment only device. I’ve used IBM and Lenovo products before and they have a very crisp and responsive feel, this being a ThinkPad has the same overall good feel with the addition of a touchscreen and innovative portability. If you want a laptop that basically functions as a tablet just as efficiently and have strong value on dependability this should be one of your major considerations.

Tech Specs
Processor: Intel Core i7-3537U on MB
Operating system: Windows 8 64
Operating system Language: Win8 64 English
Total memory: 8 GB PC3-10600 DDR3L on MB
Hard drive: 500GB HDD 7200rpm
Battery: 8 cell Li-Polymer 42.4Wh S230u
WiFi wireless LAN adapters: Intel CW-N 2230 (2x2BGN&BT4)
Display Panel: S230u 12.5WHD,NW Mocha
Storage Adapter: 24GB Micro SSD SATA3 Win8
System Unit: S230u Intel HD, i7-3537U 8GB

Guide to Free Weights

What You Need to Know

Working out with free weights has many benefits compared to using machines; however, it carries a much higher risk of injury. I recommend free weight workouts for intermediate to advanced individuals with a basic understanding of fitness. Exercising with free weights can help speed up your metabolism, will work multiple muscles at once, and will burn more calories than standard weight machines. They also promote balance and stabilizing muscles because there is no limit to range of motion, unlike a machine, which works in a single direction. Free weights are very versatile: it’s very easy to isolate muscle groups and do multi-joint exercises.
Free weight workouts can be utilized for both losing weight by toning muscle or for bulking up and gaining size. How you work out with free weights determines how your muscles will react to resistance training. There are two different strategies I would recommend: one for people who want to increase muscle size and another for people who want to slim down or tone muscle.

Toning
If you are trying to lose weight, tone muscles, or increase your stamina, then you should do many repetitions in your exercise sets. Choose a weight at which you can do 25-30 repetitions without stopping and then over time increase the number of sets that you do.

Building Muscle
If your goal is to bulk up, gain muscle mass, or increase your raw power, then you should lift heavy weights. Choose a weight at which you cannot do more than 6-10 repetitions. Over time, increase the number of repetitions to 12-15 and start increasing the number of sets.

Have a Plan
In either case, I would recommend doing resistance training 2-5 days a week and build up to 1-3 hours each day. Personally, I choose two or three muscle groups to focus on each time I work out and alternate muscle groups with each exercise. You should never work out the same muscle group every day because the body needs time for the muscle fibers to repair and strengthen (with the exception of the abdominal muscles). In order minimize the risk of injury, always make sure to research the proper positions and movements each exercise requires before you begin.

Things to look into if you’re interested in free weight resistance training:
1) Supersets
2) Diet logging (We reviewed the Lose It! App)
3) Powerlifting

Is The Samsung Galaxy Note 2 A Good Phone?

Review: Samsung Galaxy Note 2

Samsung Galaxy Note 2Deciding what phone to buy is always a difficult decision with new devices being released to the market every month. For me, this was especially difficult because I have had multiple Blackberry phones previously and had grown to like their products. I was going to wait to buy the new Blackberry z10, but at the time, it was not released. Not wanting to buy an obsolete blackberry I decided my choices were limited to Apple or Android.

Due to the fact I already have an iPad, I was dissuaded from buying an iPhone because it would simply be a smaller version of my iPad and I am not a fan of the Apple operating system, I like to be able to customize my phone and have plenty of adjustable options.

To make a decision, I came to the conclusion I needed to physically try the phones recently released to see what features are available. So off to Verizon I ventured to search for a new cellular device.

The first phones that drew my attention were the Motorola Razr HD, Samsung Galaxy S3, and then I saw the Samsung Galaxy Note 2. Instantly attracted to the mini-tablet that claimed to be a phone, I needed to know more. After a few minutes of using each one, I was drawn back to the Galaxy Note 2 with its massive and clear HD super AMOLED screen. Then I realized it had a stylus and my intrigue spiked. The stylus is one of the best features because of how many things it allows you to do that would not be possible without it.


Price: $422.50 with 2-year contract from Verizon
OS: Android 4.1 Jelly Bean
Ownership Length: 6 month
Buy at Amazon.com (aff)


Pros
1. Screen size and quality- Very large 5.55 inch and super bright HD super AMOLED screen provides clear video and vivid colors.
2. Stylus- The stylus that comes with this phone is unlike any other. Not only does it have a button but the phone also detects it when it is hovering over the screen.
3. Operating system- Android 4.1 Jelly Bean provides features that work well with the phone such as built in power saver mode and driving mode.
4. Speed – Quad core processor makes it so that you can multitask…on a phone.

Cons
1. Size- Difficult to use with one hand.

Summary

At the time, my phone had died and I was forced to replace it. I decided on something that would be the best for me, which happened to be the most expensive one at the time. After owning this phone for more than 6 months, I am still in love with it and use it nonstop, both for business and for entertainment. If you like watching video on your phone, multi-tasking, lightning fast processing, and the ability to draw, then I highly recommend getting the Note 2.