Revolutionary You! #97-Martin MacDonald: A Primer On IIFYM (If It Fits Your Macros)

I have the great pleasure of welcoming Martin MacDonald of Mac-Nutrition Uni to the show as we continue our diet primer series. Martin has an amazing wealth of knowledge and we dive into the good, the bad and the in-between of the IIFYM approach to dieting. To learn more about Martin’s work, visit http://www.mac-nutritionuni.com and connect with him at http://www.facebook.com/martinnutrition To learn more about your host, check out http://www.jasonleenaarts.com and like our Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/revolutionaryou Download, subscribe, share with your friends and please take a moment to leave us an iTunes review.

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Strong Enough

*The title of this post was taken from the Sheryl Crow song of the same name*

What does it mean to be strong?

It means one thing to a high school football player, something else to a competitive powerlifter, a post-menopausal woman concerned about osteoporosis, or someone who has spent the last two decades pushing no more than a pencil to paper or keys on a keyboard.

And honestly, what’s the value in it?

For starters, there is something to be said about progress. When you can barely lift a given weight for 10 repetitions one day only to come back a week later and get 12,13, or 15 reps from the same weight, it feels good.

That little voice that sneaks in to say “Yeah! I did that!”

To be able to chart over time, how your body responds to higher weights or more repetitions of a given weight can have an almost exhilarating effect on some.

And yes, I’m showing my bias. I support my family by helping people find that strength.

I love seeing people get stronger. I love the confidence I can see in their face when they do something they previously thought they couldn’t. I love the physical results of someone who compounds that strength over time and partners it with a reasonable food plan.

Strength does mean different things to different people (as it should.)

For one person, the strength to do a proper push-up is enough to make their week.

For another, it’s being able to bench press more than their body weight or perform a pull-up.

And it can be easy to get caught up in what others do as well. Since some of my clients have been beating their personal records week in and week out, they’re routinely hopping on the internet to watch others do the same as a way to get more motivation.

My professional advice is to get as strong as you can with as few injuries as possible. With greater strength comes greater trauma to the body and with trauma comes risk. Those risks are not always preventable but they can certainly be mitigated.

Get strong enough to know you’re making progress. Then determine how you want that progress to continue.

Will you go for more reps next time or more weight? They both count.

There’s no age limit on the ability to get strong either. “King” Richard, who I’ve written about before, is nearly 78 years young and he recently hit a new personal record on the bench press (even though we were working his traplift fairly aggressively for awhile.)

All it takes to get stronger is your will to do so.

Just ask John, who pulled a massive 470×2 yesterday.

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Revolutionary You! #96-Ruby Cherie: Failing Your Way To Success

Transformation specialist, Ruby Cherie, joins me this week to dive into her work changing physiques and mindsets across the globe. Ruby covers her work as a physique competitor, powerlifting competitor and why she believes it takes confidence in failing to see true success. To connect with Ruby, find her on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/teamrubycherie and on Instagram under Ruby Cherie, Transformation Specialist. To learn more about your host, check out http://www.jasonleenaarts.com and like our Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/revolutionaryou Download, subscribe, share with your friends and please take a moment to leave us an iTunes review.

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Never Give Up

* The title of this post was taken from the Sia song of the same name*

Several years ago, I met Amy through our mutual friend, Crissy. Little did we know then, that she would end up switching where she worked and find herself at a hair salon right next to my studio.

While there was a little bit of conversation about her beginning training here, Amy got married and started a family with her husband. In the meantime, some of her colleagues started training here.

In the spring of this year, Amy reached out to get the ball rolling on her journey. She just recently hit a milestone of 30lbs down and, by her admission, the lightest she has been since high school (over twenty years ago.)

I wanted you to hear about her experiences straight from her mouth, so today’s article is more of an interview so you can see what it’s been like for her.

JASON: We have known each other for several years and have even worked right next to one another for several years as well. What made you decide it was time to finally get started?

AMY: I believe the bottom line of why I started working out was I needed something for myself. I wanted to feel better about myself all around. I wanted to be the girl who decided to go for it so I did. I had always been an athlete and always loved being active. I got married and had 3 babies in 4 years. I had just lost myself physically and most of all mentally.

After my last and final baby, it took me about 4 months to get my shit together and pull the trigger. I had goals which scared me a lot but I was also super excited to try and reach them! Having you next door just made the deal sweeter for me. A couple of girls from the salon were working with you, loved you and had nothing but positive things to say about you. Knowing you from back in the day helped as well. I am so thankful our paths crossed again. I had no idea how instrumental you were going to be for me on the journey.

JASON: So, you lost 30lbs in about 6 months. How did you do it?

AMY: I lost 30lbs by having 1.) Courage to take the step, to make the move. 2.) Determination to feel better, look better, and move better. 3.) Discipline. I told you all the time if I was at a gym I would not be here. I had to use MY time wisely because MY time was very limited. I had to move and eat like a normal human.

JASON: It wasn’t an easy process initially for you and I remember you having a lot of doubt of being able to do this. What changed?

AMY: I absolutely had doubt about losing weight… Come on, don’t we all? I had tried before and it is really scary to make that commitment. For some reason I think my mindset changed when I started to feel stronger physically. It triggered something mentally for me. I started to think, “I could do this!” It became exciting for me, it became kind of like a game and I was just going to win, period. It also helps if you have a good trainer and positive people around you…just had to get that in there!!

JASON: Not only do you have a part-time job but you’re the mother to three children under the age of 4. How did you deal with the time constraints to reach your goals despite so much on your plate?

AMY: This is a hard one for me to answer. I dealt with the time constraints really by not wasting my time. Not making excuses that I had no time. I really just said “Amy, get over yourself”. I think it goes back to being determined, and focused. I had to let go of some things at home whether it be enjoying my TV show with food in my lap, or knowing my husband had it covered.

JASON: For you personally, what was the most difficult part of losing weight? Conversely, what did you find to be the easiest?

AMY: Let me say that for some reason this all feels like an out-of-body experience. I still can’t believe I lost 30lbs. I wonder if other people feel the same way? That being said there was and is absolutely nothing easy about me losing this weight. One of the hardest things that sticks out the most at this time was my family….in particular, my kids. When we first met to talk about my goals you asked me how many times my hand went to my mouth a day with food.

In my mind I thought “Shit…probably about 20 times. My kids eat all of the time and so did I. That was the first thing I had to change. I had to be utterly aware not to put their food in my mouth. It had become such a habit that was very difficult to break. Another thing that pops into my head that scares me and is going to be difficult is keeping the weight off. I think people might forget about that part. That might be by far the most exhausting part to think about so far.
If I am being honest with you right now I don’t think I can tell you anything that was easy about losing this weight. Reaching this goal was a hard mountain to climb one that I will always be climbing

JASON: Many people start to listen to their bodies and make adjustments along the way to either diet or exercise. What changes did you make on your own that helped along the way?

AMY: ARE YOU KIDDING ME? I had to change everything about my life. The only thing my body told me is that it was hungry and I was going to be sore no matter how many squats I did! (HA!) I had to change how much I ate, what I ate, how often I ate and had to figure out how to move more then I already thought I did.

When I first came to you I said I feel like I should be so much skinnier then I am, all I do is chase after kids. You told me my body was used to that so I had to change that as well. It took me a couple of months to find my rhythm and not feel like I was totally going to die because I was choosing not to have those beers and some wings drenched in BBQ sauce and deciding to get on the treadmill instead of taking a nap with my kiddos. I understand now why when I read about other peoples success stories they always said stick with it. With this kind of emotional rollercoaster you have to stick with it.
My body now does tell me I am hungry in a good way. The foods I choose to eat I actually have grown to like and don’t crave the deep fried foods as much anymore. Please don’t get me wrong people… that beer and those BBQ wings still call my name and are a nice treat from time to time.

JASON: What is the best advice you can give to someone struggling to lose weight right now?

AMY: This is a hard one too because everybody is so different. I think I would tell someone not to put so much pressure on themselves . The struggle is so real, to find that inner strength. I know it sounds cheesy, but really, I didn’t wake up one day 30lbs lighter although that would be pretty awesome. Take it slow. It really is just one meal at a time. I would tell them that they are beautiful the way they are. Now you are just deciding to be healthier, fitter, faster and stronger. REMEMBER THAT.

And this, ladies and gentlemen, is a leaner, stronger, healthier, happier Amy (who still has some more goals to hit.)

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Revolutionary You! #95-Louie Guarino: The Freedom To Choose

Louie Guarino joins me for his first time on the show and shares some of his tips and best practices for not only what has made him a successful physique competitor but the way he empowers his clients to succeed in their transformations as well. Louie has some great, sustainable advice to offer and we talk about the power of choice and making better decisions on the journey to better health. To learn more about Louie, check out http://www.lgthetrainer.com and connect with him on his social media channels. To learn more about your host, visit http://www.jasonleenaarts.com and like our Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/revolutionaryou Download, subscribe, share with your friends and please take a moment to leave us an iTunes review.

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Surgical Focus

*The title of this post was taken from the Guided By Voices song of the same name*

This past weekend, I filmed a little motivational video (with the help of my oldest son, Jackson) for one of our closed communities reminding clients to stay focused.

Not just because it’s the holidays.

When I coach clients in the studio pushing their physical limits with back squats, traplifts, and bench presses, focus is immensely important.

On those rare occasions when a client feels a little tweak, the conversation might go:

ME: What happened on that rep?

CLIENT: I lost my focus, I was thinking about X, Y, Z instead.

Focus matters.

It reminds you to brace your core and engage your breathing before you start the rep.

It reminds you to tune out the noise around you: music, conversation, etc.

It forces you to pay attention to the task at hand: the perfect rep.

Not only with the heavy lifting, focus matters for diet too.

Focusing on your hunger allows you to ask yourself:

Am I truly hungry or am I bored/stressed/anxious and filling that void with food?

Focus allows you to make choices that lead you closer to your goal.

Focus reminds you to eat something before you go grocery shopping so you don’t buy every hyper-palatable treat that you pass by (Winter Oreos anyone?)

Focus is that gentle voice in your ear that says “You have a goal to reach and you have every tool at your disposal to reach it.”

Focus is what you might lose if I keep this post going too long.

And this is Gary, laser-focused on his traplift PR.

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Revolutionary You! #94-Susan Niebergall: How I Beat Menopause

I have the great pleasure of welcoming Susan Niebergall to the show for the first time. Susan has had an amazing journey into fitness and found the perfect combination of nutrition and strength training to help her conquer her menopause symptoms. Now, she inspires other women to do the same. To learn more about Susan, connect with her at http://www.susanniebergallfitness.com To learn more about your host, check out http://www.jasonleenaarts.com and like our Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/revolutionaryou Download, subscribe, share with your friends and please take a moment to leave us an iTunes review.

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Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin)

*The title of this post was taken from the Sly & The Family Stone song of the same name*

I guess it’s only fitting that I write this post the week of Thanksgiving.

Last year, I was fortunate to pull together all of our current clients at the time to celebrate the holiday with a gratitude video. You can check it out here.

And while I had the best intentions to do that again this year, I have been completely consumed in something that I believe is equally deserving of gratitude.

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This is one angle of our new location. We have been fortunate to stay in the same plaza as before but we have taken over significantly more space (double the work space, actually.)

This has been an amazing process for a lot of reasons. For one, we’ve been in negotiations, preparations, construction and transition for several months now. When that much conversation happens between us and our clients, there is a lot to be excited about.

That’s not to say there hasn’t been a great deal of frustration with the move as well. Let’s just say, there are some industries that are very easy to work with and some that aren’t.

However, most of that is behind us.

As of this week, the city has given us the green light to resume business after having to temporarily cancel a couple of days worth of sessions to make the move and get our final inspections cleared.

Over the next couple of weeks, we’ll be finishing up the spot too.

As you can see, we’ve changed our flooring from carpet to mostly rubber and our turf shipment will be arriving in about a week so we can do our sled work year round.

Also, we were very fortunate to have had many of our clients help us carry tons and tons (literally) of equipment and weights over to the new spot. To be able to share that endeavor with the people who keep us operating was extremely gratifying.

So, while I’m on the subject of gratitude, I will say this as many times as there are eyes to read and ears to listen: Thank you.

Thank you on behalf of myself, trainers Megan and Julie, and our families who your support helps us provide for.

Thank you for giving us the opportunity to expand for the 3rd time in nearly 9 years.

What an amazing blessing.

Thank you to every person who has ever stepped through our doors and given us an opportunity to help. We didn’t always succeed, but we always grew as trainers for having the experience.

It is my sincerest hope that you all have a wonderful holiday season.

I can think of no better way than for us to be mostly settled into the new space to kick the holidays off.

If you’re currently part of the RevFit family, thank YOU for helping us get to this point. We are in your debt.

If you’re a former family member, thank you for giving us a shot once upon a time and we’d love the opportunity to work with you again.

And if you’re a potential client, we would love to show you what we do that has brought us this far.

Thank you. Happy Holidays.

Jason (The Leenaarts family), Megan (The Winiarski family) and Julie (The Boehringer family)

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Revolutionary You! #93-The Top Five And A Solo Update

Due to some technical difficulties with two shows that were previously recorded, I have decided to release a small update to give you the news and also to unveil our top five most downloaded episodes. We will resume normal programming soon! To learn more about your host, check out http://www.jasonleenaarts.com and like our Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/revolutionaryou Download, subscribe, share with your friends and please take a moment to leave us an iTunes review.

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If You Have To Ask

*The title of this post was taken from the Red Hot Chili Peppers song of the same name*

 

If you’re struggling to reach your goals or you haven’t quite started on the path towards reaching them, there are three questions I would encourage you to ask yourself:

First, how important is your goal (or why are you motivated to change?)

Whether you’re trying to lose fat, hit a new record in the gym, or just feel better how motivated are you to reach it?

Does your life (or health) significantly improve when you get there?

The reason you’ll want to answer this question is because you will likely find yourself in many scenarios where the drive and ambition to reach your goal will falter. If you know how important it is for you to reach your goal, motivation will not be an obstacle you will have in your way as often.

Second, what are you willing to sacrifice to reach your goal?

Achieving anything with your physique will require some type of sacrifice, maybe several of them. This can include the time you need to meal prep, the time you will commit to a gym or a workout routine you do on your own, and possibly some sacrifice of your social life to stay on track.

Third, how sustainable is your plan?

If you’re embarking on a regimen of high intensity bootcamps, crash diets, juice cleanses or celebrity endorsed fads to reach your goal, you not only stand to burn out and get discouraged but regain everything you lost with a vengeance.

Looking at this differently, imagine you want a promotion at work. That’s your goal.

If you get the promotion, not only will you be involved in something that is of greater interest to you but you also get the boost on your resume and the upside of better salary. With those things maybe you can finally afford a family vacation and you won’t have to work as many hours as you do in your current position. These are some motivators to get to your goal.

To get the promotion, you will have to work harder, longer and with more focus to get the attention and respect of upper management thereby putting you in position for the promotion. By doing so, you may have to work some weekends, take away time from family and friends (temporarily) and prioritize other work tasks to be completed more efficiently. These are your sacrifices.

You’ll also have to give yourself a reasonable timeline. Maybe you’re willing to work this way for six months but not for two years. This is your plan of sustainability at a given rate.

This same process of thoughts with advantages and benefits would apply to your fitness goals as well. You need to know where you want to go, why it’s appealing and ultimately what it would take to get there.

Another thing to consider is that you may have to revisit these questions multiple times along the way. A goal that is important to you now may not be important in three months. Or you may find yourself more willing to adapt to change later as opposed to now.

There’s no wrong answer. Only the candor you owe to yourself to decide your best path to success.

We can help.

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