Tag Archives | los angeles trainer

Here are some small ways to fight obesity.

Strange Shapes

By Susan Howard

On my recent vacation, I got a close look at a portion of our country, middle America. Here in Los Angeles, it’s all about the pretty people, the hyper-fit, the plastic, and the perfect.  Yes, L.A. has it’s own issues, but you don’t really see the obese population like you might in other parts of the U.S.

It’s incredible to me the different shapes people become when they over eat and under move.  It’s like their tummies are attached to their thighs, while their legs and calves are super fit to hold up the entire ship.  When I see regular-sized heads with narrow shoulders encased by this crazy fat frame, it’s really shocking.

I may sound mean here, but I am not poking fun, I am actually alarmed at the mismatch.  We are f@#!ing up!  I constantly worry that I am not doing enough as a trainer.  Yes, I encourage my clients, but that’s such a small fraction; it’s feels ..read more

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A personal trainer shares some real truths about drinking water and how it can improve your life.

H20 2.0

By Susan Howard

As a fairly healthy eater, I stop short at water. Why? I don’t know. It’s annoying all that drinking and peeing and water bottles and filtered or not — and I don’t know. However, I am on a mission to change all this.

When I drink water, my brain feels better.  (Your brain is actually floating in water)

Also, it’s supposed to be great for your skin and organs.

Also, it’s supposed to help your digestion and stave off hunger.

Also, my wife is doing it, and she constantly calls me a camel.

So, jump aboard the water ship.

The rule is 8 glasses a day, though I am personally starting with 4 glasses and will bump it up as I go.

If your pee is dark, you are messing up.

Bottoms up!

Stay Ready!

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A quick 20 minute workout plan to mix things up from a Los Angeles personal trainer.

Clock It

By Susan Howard

Wake up

Go to the gym.

Repeat.

I am always going on and on about consistency with workouts, but sometimes it feels a little like Groundhog Day — like what am I doing here again?  I am so bored and unmotivated.

Here’s a fun one for you to try to shake out the gym blues and challenge your body.

Bring a watch or set your phone to 60 second intervals.

Then pick 10 of your favorite moves:

Jump squats Bicep curls Push ups Military press Lunges Bicycle crunches Handstand Chin ups Incline press Rows

Now do as many as you can of each item for 1 minute only.  Once you are done you never go back to that move.  Take 60 seconds to rest in-between moves.  The whole thing will be done in twenty minutes and you’ll still have time to pick up a latte and scramble some eggs for your kids’ breakfast.

Word.

Stay Ready.

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The fitness industry has changed. Personal Trainer Susan Howard discusses how her thoughts on exercise and wellness has changed over the years.

Things I No Longer Believe

By Susan Howard

My industry is constantly changing, so if I stay set in my ways, I will likely be missing some cool new innovations coming down the pipeline. Past trends recommended barefoot running and now it has swapped to hyper-cushioned gym shoes. Yoga was a unique new age meditative stretch class, now there is a power yoga on every corner. People used to do Jane Fonda videos, now they listen to a podcast, use an app or follow along with their favorite YouTube chick. You get it.

So what do I think now that I didn’t ten years ago? Here’s my top 5:

1. You have to workout for at least one hour to make it count.

Today, I know that you can crush a workout in under 30 minutes with HITT routines, heavy lifting, and intense runs.

2. You must do a ton of cardio to burn your fat.

Cardio is great, but strength training is better. Hit the weights!

3. Don’t eat high ..read more

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Full, Stuff, Nauseated

By Susan Howard

Some of my clients always have been and always will be lean.  They are the long skinny ectomorphs that couldn’t gain a bunch of weight if they tried.  I was talking to one such client thinking that if someone were to pay her $100,000 to gain 100 pounds, she would be unable to do so.  Try as she may, she could not put on a bunch of fat.

I wondered, other than genetic predisposition, why this was?  Why is it that some people really blow up and gain a ton of weight and some won’t.  What was she doing that other people weren’t?  What was the magic formula to living Spanx-free?

So I asked her and here’s what I got.

She said, “I never, ever overeat.”

Boom.  She dropped the bomb just like that.  Under NO circumstances, at NO time does she overeat.

She continued, “I start to get nauseous if I get too full, it’s uncomfortable, so I never do it.”

“Everyone gets ..read more

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Get trim with this protein shake recipe.

Slimtastic

By Susan Howard

It’s still summer, and back-to-school is approaching. So whether you want to look good for those end-of-summer pool parties or for back-to-school season, here’s a few things I recommend for those who want to bare all and trim down.

Consider a meal replacement shake and swapping out b-fast, lunch, or dinner with…

Your favorite protein powder (I like Spiruteen Vanilla):

Add 5 ice cubes

12 almonds

1 banana

1/2 cup water

1/2 cup milk (whichever kind you like)

Blend and drink.

This combo keeps me full and focused for several hours.  A shake can feel better than a heavy meal after which my energy levels tend to take a nose dive. #2pmcouchcrash.

Stay Ready.

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If you're a food addict, you do have options to move past it.

Addict

By Susan Howard

Talking to one of my big weight loss clients, she lamented about all the advice she had been given by various diets and food bloggers alike, “Eat intuitively,” your body knows what it needs.  “Listen to your body, the pounds will naturally shed.”

“How can I do this,” she protested, “when I am a total food addict?”

What a great point.  If you act out with food, using it for emotional support, stress relief, or are just plain hooked, you will not lose weight. How then can you get to the bottom of your oversized bottom? (LOL)

It is worth it take a moment to question why you are there in the first place.  If food addiction seems to ring a bell for you, there are programs – OA, therapy and abstinence all seem to help.

When I say abstinence, obviously you can’t completely quit, like in AA, but my aforementioned client cuts carbs and sugar pretty strictly.  She’s is having a ..read more

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Stretching, warming up, and cooling down are essential to getting a good and safe workout as an adult.

Warm Up, Stupid

By Susan Howard

When I was in my twenties, I remember age-old advice given to me: before working out, always warm up for at least 5 minutes and always cool down and stretch for 5 minutes after working out.  This and “wash behind your ears” were solid truths I chose to ignore.

What a waste of time, I thought. Why not just workout hard, jump on the treadmill, run 3 miles and be done with it?  I don’t have all this time to be bringing my body temperature up and slowly building to a run. Yawn.

That was then.  If you are 20 and reading this, you are probably okay.

But, when you get into your 30’s and 40’s a warm up is really essential, especially if you have been working out consistently.  As an adult, your connective tissues get tight from over use and repetitive contraction.

You must warm up, or you are likely to suffer a pull, strain or even a tear.

On this ..read more

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Susan Howard encourages people to just unroll their mat, start stretch, get to moving -- a good workout will follow.

Ask Not What Your Workout Can Do For You

By Susan Howard

“I am out of the habit,” one of my client laments.

“I know every workout right now is going to be painful, even yoga.”

If you are feeling unmotivated or even scared to get started up again, fear no more. Here is your plan: force yourself to go to a class or to the gym and decide that you can chill on a mat do some stretches and just relax. With low expectations, you can match your low motivation and at least start.

The gap between doing and not doing is like the Grand Canyon, unsurpassable. Once you unroll that mat, inevitably, you will get a decent workout.

Never ask if you feel like it. Nobody cares how you feel, your body needs to move, period.

Stay Ready.

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Don't be disciplined! Change up your workout routine with a fun class or two!

Motivation is Dead

By Susan Howard

There is a reason the fitness industry is a 50-billion-dollar business. Americans want a change in their bodies, but fear they don’t have the motivation or discipline to get there on their own.  So like good consumers, they look to products to help them achieve the perfect self.  Most often, the diet or plan they pick only works temporarily or not at all and they move on to the next big thing.

Discipline is a mean word. It makes me feel like I got in trouble and am sitting in the principals office. Who wants to be disciplined? Not me. Is the disciplined person getting invited to a girl’s weekend, the lead singer in a punk band, or wind surfing in Australia?  The disciplined person sounds boring to me.

Great, you got your egg whites and your salad, but are you having sex? (Which can burn almost 100 calories, by the way.)

Motivation and discipline comes from a true want.  Identify ..read more

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