Friday, January 27, 2017

Tips From The Pros For Healthy Living

Have you ever wondered what the fitness professionals tell their clients? One of the best parts of my job is getting to work with and around so many amazing fitness professionals.  I reached out to some of the best trainers I know and asked them to share some simple tips for healthy living and, wow, did they deliver!  Below you will hear from nine amazing trainers & and learn what advice they give their own clients about getting & staying healthy.
#1 Erin Fergus:  Starting off with a bang, this incredible lady is a vegan bodybuilder. Yep, you heard that right! She fights for animal rights as hard as she kicks butt in the gym. She is also the Program Director for the Personal Trainer program at Greenville Technical College. If you want to follow her as she trains for her next contest (and see that you don't need meat to get buff) follower her on Facebook or Instagram. Here are her tips for healthy eating:
  • I think one of the most important things to help anyone who is trying to reduce calories or limit portions is maximizing the enjoyment of food. This includes using nice plate ware that is small enough that the meal appears larger, cooking food in the oven or stove top instead of the microwave, using your favorite seasonings, setting the table (and vowing to not eat standing at the counter!), cutting the food into small bites, chewing thoroughly while paying attention to the flavors. The most effort put into the preparation, the more you want to enjoy it. The longer you can linger and savor the food, the more likely you will feel fully satisfied with one healthful portion of that meal. 
  • My goal in the morning is to spend no more time getting myself ready for the gym than it takes to feed and let the dogs out. My favorite ways to speed up the process and make sure I’m motivated is by taking five minutes on the weekend to set out all my workout clothes for the week and a couple minutes each night to pack my gym bag and set it by the door. Another time saver is to make “overnight oats” – mix in your milk of choice the night before and refrigerate. When heated, the oatmeal will be creamier and more enjoyable.
  • Watch the patterns of your grocery store or ask the staff for when produce is marked down. Every Monday, I’m able to get all sorts of fruits, vegetables and tofu for slashed prices and just need to be eaten within the week. It feels good to save money AND keep food from going to waste!
  • If you dread grocery shopping, make the experience quick and organized. I can’t stress enough how important it is to have a list and to not arrive hungry; those steps greatly reduce temptations. You can also set a budget for each trip. Think about the store layout as you park and walk in so you can purposefully move from one item to the next. If you want to really make it a game, you can time yourself from walking in to checking out. Or you could do what I do – listen to an audio book to escape a little during a chore that can be monotonous.
  • Challenge yourself to the “time-intensity trade off” mindset with exercise. If you would prefer to have an hour to workout but can only devote 30 minutes on a certain day, commit to doubling the intensity that you would have gone with twice the time. If you are resistance training, move from one exercise to the next with little to no rest, and if you are doing cardio go for intense bursts for 20-30 seconds with 1-2 minute recovery periods.
  • Keep a gratitude journal. It doesn’t have to be fancy, it just has to allow you to write at least one, but ideally three, things that you are thankful for that day. This can help keep things in perspective, because no matter how “bad” the day, you can always find things that make you realize how good you actually have it.
#2 Caroline Corbin: I had the privilege to be trained by this amazing ballerina turned certified trainer and soon to be fitness competitor! Don't let her cute looks fool you, she will kick your booty! If you are looking for a fantastic trainer in the Spartanburg area you can find her at the downtown YMCA. You can also follow her journey on Facebook as she trains for the Carolina Supernatural figure/bikini competition this year. Here are her tips:
  • Always keep a water bottle with you (hydrate, hydrate, hydrate)!
  • Never skip a meal & MEAL PREP!!! Plan out a menu, have the food ready to go.
  • The more fruits & veggies the better, especially green veggies (broccoli, spinach, asparagus, etc).
  • Pack your lunch and take to work to avoid going out or to avoid the snack machines.
  • ·Avoid eating right before bedtime.
  • Rest is important! Many of my clients have hectic jobs or crazy work shifts so I advise them to do their best to find time to relax when they can. It's okay, and even important to take time to just sit down and read or do something that's fun, but also allows some rest. 
  • We all fall off track occasionally but I simply tell my clients "get back on track"! It's all about building better habits and that takes time!
#3 Candi Moore: This beautiful lady, mother of two & ACSM certified trainer is an inspiration to me! Last year she entered her first figure competition, the NPC Upstate Classic at the age of 38 and WON 1st place in Women's Figure Class A & 1st place in Master's Figure. That is no small feat!  You can follow her journey as she trains for her next fitness competition on Instagram. Here are here her tips:
  • Have a cute water bottle! My water bottle is like an accessory, I never leave home without it.
  • Have a piece of dark chocolate when you are craving something sweet. It has a lot of health benefits & really does satisfy a sweet tooth without having a sugar binge. 
  • Make healthy versions of your favorite restaurant dishes at home. 
#4: Stevie Blickle: One of the coolest and funniest trainers I know, this ex-collegiate athlete & ACSM certified trainer makes working out fun & challenging (I should know, she trained me!). When she's not about to give birth to her first baby (yay!) you can find her at MADabolic in Greenville, SC.  Here are her tips:
  • CONSISTENCY. Find what you love and stick with it. For some people that's yoga, some it's Crossfit, some it's marathons, and for some it's just a home workout. Whatever you can fit into your day is worth it in the long run.  
  • GOOD ENOUGH. If you are working hard at exercise and diet and you look in the mirror at a plateau and think "this is good enough" then it is. I strongly feel that we plateau when we are fit for a reason. Anything past that point is NOT going to be maintainable, whether it's you cutting out that piece of chocolate you have every night and look forward to all day or you begin over-exercising. Good enough can truly be good enough. Give yourself a break.
#5 Tatiana DeAngulo: Tatiana is another amazing ex-collegiate athlete & ACSM certified trainer that will give you a run for your money on the golf course! She is a truly passionate trainer with years of experience helping her clients get healthy & fit. These days you can find her training at Fitness With a View in Greenville, SC. Here are her tips:
  • Add a tablespoon of Ground Premium Flaxseed by Spectrum to either a morning yogurt mix (plain goat yogurt, berries, walnuts) or to a protein smoothie every day. Why? Flaxseed is:
    • Rich in Omega 3 (ALA) Fatty Acids
    • A great for source of dietary fiber (3 g per serving) (this really aids in digestion and regularity)
    • And has a great nutty taste
  • Keep a bag of nuts everywhere! Purse, car, work bag or desk. When feeling low on energy grab a handful. Vary the type…walnuts, pistachios, cashews, pecans, almonds.
  • Drink 24 oz of water first thing after waking up in the morning.  This helps get your body going and hydrated.
  • Daily dose of greens! Add a handful of spinach or kale to a protein smoothie every day.
  • When going out to a party or have drinks with friends alternate between drinks and water.  
#6 Jamie Blaire:  One of the most experienced and qualified trainers I know, Jamie is the founder & owner of Fitness With A View in Greenville, SC. When it comes to nutrition Jamie offers his clients this short but poignant piece of advice:
  • I have a phrase that I share with clients who are overwhelmed by nutrition when they are making a food choice:  "If it grows and doesn’t move have as much as you would like; if it grows and moves have a moderate amount; and if it doesn't grow don't do it!"
 #7 Chad Delaney: Another Rockstar graduate from the GTC program & now the co-founder, owner & operator of Tri-Fit Barbell, Chad is a dedicated trainer who is passionate about teaching his clients how to move better, exercise more efficiently & reach their specific goals. If you are in the Mauldin area please check them out, you won’t be disappointed! Here are the tips Chad gives to his clients who are starting out: 
  • When getting started, get a workout journal & on the first page write down your starting goals, measurements (body weight, current strength, circumference measurements, etc.). Everyone needs a clear starting point!
  • Find a coach or trainer. I don't care how much you know or used to do physically. Everyone needs a coach to get on the right path.
  • Do NOT go for the cheapest easiest option. Paying more keeps you more accountable and convenience like workout DVDs are often pushed off until "tomorrow".
  • Give it time and be patient. Realize nothing worth having comes easy.
  • Get involved in a recreational sport of some sort. I find that sports help keep people motivated. If you have an event or sport you are active in then your gym routine will be that much more rewarding.
#8 Jen Raby: Talk about walking the walk…or in Jen’s case, running the run. This ultra distance runner, mom & all-around awesome lady is based in Atlanta, GA. You can follower her on FacebookInstagram or just reach out to her through email if you have any training related questions.
  • Make sure goals are reasonable and attainable. If there's a rather lofty goal you are hoping to achieve, it's best to set small goals along the way. For example, I have a client looking to lose 50 lbs by May and we started working together in September. It's far easier to break that number down to losing just 6-7 pounds a month!
  • For diet and nutrition, I have always emphasized that clients focus on what they can ADD to enhance their diet and better fuel their workouts rather than only focusing on what they have to take away. Obviously, in more extreme cases when someone needs to make a drastic change due to a health crisis, we must be very vigilant about making immediate changes. That's when I tell my clients that at the very least they have to STOP eating out as much as possible, and get serious about meal prep. But for most general weight loss cases, the best thing to do is focus on swapping out one healthy item for a less healthy one, one meal and one week at a time.
  • Lastly, I encourage my clients to always think about the big picture when it comes to their health and wellness. They can work our hard and try to eat better, but it's going to be all too easy to slide backwards if they don't rest and recover. So if they are struggling to sleep or destress, I offer my personal tips and tricks to help them relax and get into a more restful mindset. It's very tempting to go gung-ho with a new workout but inadequate rest will lead to overtraining and burnout, which I do NOT want to happen.
#9 Holly Di Giovine: Last but definitely NOT least is one of the best trainers I know. I could probably do an entire blog dedicated to all she has accomplished both personally and as a trainer but for now let’s just say she could have invented the word “inspirational”. When not serving our country in the National Guard she is putting together amazing events like the Stoix annual run or Suckapalooza.  Here are her tips:
  • Furniture is for guests (and pets) only!  For the last almost five years now I've only sat on the floor at the house.  There are two basic benefits that work hand in hand with each other.  The first is that we tend to sit at work and sit in the car and then sit, or curl up in a fetal position in furniture at home.  So we are training our bodies to exist in these permanently bent positions which lends neither to healthy backs or basic function, let alone feeling good to go for a run or workout.  Sitting on the floor gives us an opportunity to sit cross legged, or stretch out on our backs! Second, when I sit on the floor I always spontaneously start stretching--sometimes it's passive hip flexor stretches or simple spinal twists. Other times I reach for one of the various stretching tools left there strategically for my use: the foam roller, a lacrosse ball, a stretch strap etc.  I also sit on a yoga block in virasana while folding laundry or working on the computer.  Every little bit helps!
  • Liquids only day.  While I've completed up to a week long juice fast, I find they are difficult to do while trying to conduct every day business of life.  One of the benefits of a juice fast is to give your digestive system a mechanical break from having to break down fiber and macronutrients.  So one day a week, particularly after a holiday, party or any other period of being "off" my clean diet, for 24-36 hours I will only consume liquids. This usually includes herbal teas, fresh pressed veggie juices, bone broth, soups, coconut water and water mixed w apple cider vinegar, or lemon/lime and salt.  In addition to giving your system a break, this is also a great way to divert your attention away from cravings that may be lingering longer than usual.
So there you have it! I hope you enjoyed these and learned as much as I did. Please feel free to reach out to any of these trainers if you have additional questions or would like to work with one of them to help you reach your health & fitness goals.  
Health & happiness!
Need help reaching your health or fitness goals in a way that works with you & your schedule? Learn more about my online coaching programs here

Monday, January 23, 2017

What Is In Your Protein Shake?

Facts on protein shakes:

Plexus Slim
This product is not even a protein source.  From looking at the nutrition label it contains ingredients to suppress appetite and accelerate fat loss.  We all know that those "too good to be true" claims are just that! 

Shaklee Life Energizing Shake
Designed to increase your energy and help retain lean muscle mass in order to achieve a healthier weight.  It does so by containing 24 grams of protein, the highest of the protein shakes we discuss, and leucine.  With a powerful combination of prebiotics and probiotics it promotes digestive and immune health.  It is also designed to promote heart and brain health by including Omega-3 fatty acids. Protein is provided by non-GMO soy.  It contains 3 grams of fat, 18 grams of carbohydrates and 6 grams of fiber in 170 calories.  It is however, higher in sugar than the rest at 10 grams.

Lean Shake
Aavailable at GNC, it’s a good price point but there is a reason for that.  Has a good amount of calories at 180 per serving, fat grams are low at 2 and has a good amount of dietary and soluble fiber.  Where this meal replacement lacks is in the amount of protein it contains, only 9 grams per serving.  

Lets just go ahead and say it… this protein shake is probably the worst of the bunch!  Although it is high in protein, 24 grams, it is also high in calories, 220, and 12 grams of sugar!!  At this point you are better of going with one of the other shakes we discuss in this blog.  

TLS Weight Loss Solution from Market America
TLS emphasizes a low-glycemic approach to eating.  This helps keep your blood sugar levels where they need to be and helping you lose weight while doing so.  TLS offers support through certified trainers and provides meal plans to follow a low glycemic diet.  The 190 calories per serving offers 18 grams of whey protein, 6 grams of fat of which 1.5 grams are saturated.  Its got a good carbohydrate, 16 grams, to fiber ratio, 10 grams and only 2 grams of sugar. 

Contact Juli Ennis, one of our Fitness With a View trainers if you are interested in purchasing this particular protein shake.  864-360-7285

One of the most well known and well marketed fitness supplement programs right now.  It provides 160 calories with a good ratio of sugar, 6 grams, and protein 17 grams.  It also has a decent amount of dietary fiber, 6 grams.  And you have to be happy with the fact that it only has 2 grams of fat.  It is sold through network marketing so it is not easily available and it is the most expensive of the bunch.  You’ll be paying more than $4.00 per serving.  One more con is the danger of consuming GMOs which are prevalent around soy and whey products, these are their protein sources. 

This multi-level marketing company does provide a few things that set them apart from the rest.  With 160 calories per serving it provides a whopping 20 grams of non GMO, pea based vegan protein, which provides a complete amino acid spectrum.  It only has 15 grams of carbohydrates but it is cost effective giving it and edge.  It has 3 grams of fat per serving and 2 grams of fiber (that is on the low side.) Their products are free of artificial colors and sweeteners, gluten free, dairy free and soy free.  Its biggest downfall is the amount of sodium, 480 mgs per serving.  This is high for a single protein shake, that said… it is not high for a single meal.  

Contact Tatiana De Angulo, one of our Fitness With a View trainers if you are interested in purchasing this particular protein shake.  

Vega One
Vega One Nutritional Shake is a plant-based all-in-one nutritional shake that provides you with 20 grams of protein, 6 servings of greens, and 50% of your daily value of vitamins and minerals.  It provides a lot of nutrition for only 160 calories.  Vegan certified and non-GMO Project certified, Vega One is gluten, dairy, and soy free.  It is higher in fat with 6 grams only 1 of those being saturated.  It also has a good amount of fiber with 6 grams.  

Garden of Life Raw Organic Meal
This provides the most amount of nutrition for the least amount of calories, only 120 per serving.  In addition to an incredible amount of protein, 20 grams, Raw Meal contains 21 vitamins and minerals, 5 grams of fiber, and probiotics. Raw Meal is USDA-certified organic and non-GMO Project verified. It is made of all raw and vegan products. Raw Meal is gluten, dairy, lactose, and soy free. A 32-ounce container retails for about $45.00 with 28 servings per container.  This makes it a great deal!

Monday, January 16, 2017

Fitness Trends For 2017 - Part II

11) Fitness programs for older adults
Baby Boomers ushered in an unprecedented fitness revolution back in the '80s, and now, they're reaching retirement age and still enjoying the perks of physical activity, the survey suggests. More businesses are tailoring classes to better serve this aging population. “Even the frail elderly can improve their balance and ability to perform activities of daily living when given appropriate functional fitness program activities,” the survey says.

12) Functional fitness
Functional training gives you the type of strength that really matters: the kind that lets you move furniture, lift a suitcase into an overhead bin, or carry your toddler. In other words, it improves your coordination, balance, force, power, and endurance and helps enhance your ability to perform normal daily activities. This trend has moved up and down on the survey ranking since 2007. In addition to being a big part of CrossFit programs, functional fitness is often used in clinical programs to help with rehabilitation and independent living for older adults.  

13) Outdoor activities
Think a personal trainer will only have you working out in a gym? Not so much—these days, they're recommending all kinds of outdoor activities to clients as a way to enhance their overall fitness, the ACSM survey says. The survey considers outdoor activity as anything from kayaking to pick-up basketball to high-adventure excursions like camping and rock climbing. Experts say you can burn upward of 530 calories an hour when hiking, and even more if the wind resistance is high. Outdoor excursions have mental benefits too: greenery elicits a mood-boosting response after just five minutes. Plus, doesn’t a breathtaking mountain view sound much more exhilarating than your gym’s television screen?

14) Group personal training
This trend mixes the effectiveness of a one-on-one personal trainer with the economic sensibilities of a group class. Between two and four people can elect to use a group personal trainer, who can focus on this small group while not charging the same high prices they would for a purely individual session. “In these challenging economic times, personal trainers are being more creative in the way they package personal training sessions and how they market themselves to small groups,” says the survey. That explains why this trend has made the list since 2007 and remained through 2017

15) Wellness coaching
As opposed to personal training, health and wellness coaching focuses on the more mental aspects of wellness, like goal-setting. These coaches provide support and encouragement for clients who want to meet certain goals in their health, like participating in rehabilitation or disease prevention. Recently, personal trainers have implemented the techniques of wellness coaches into their fitness practices, blending the two trends into one.

16) Worksite health promotion
Companies are beginning to realize that a healthy employee is a happy, more productive employee—and that creating programs and services that promote positive behaviors like working out, quitting smoking, and losing weight ultimately controls rising health care costs. If your company already offers things on-site yoga, gym reimbursement, or Weight Watchers, ACSM predicts you'll see more of that in 2017.

17) Smartphone exercise apps
At this point, who hasn't tried MyFitnessPal or Nike+ Training Club? Fitness smartphone apps will continue to be trendy in 2017. Whether you're looking for meal planning help or programs that let you work out in your own home, there's probably an app out there for you. Similar to wearables, these apps have been questioned for their accuracy, but younger gym-goers and fitness lovers don’t seem to mind. It’s projected that as these apps become more accurate, usage will rise too.

18) Outcome measurements
You may have never heard of this trend before, but there’s a chance you’ve used it. It’s quite literally using numbers to measure your progress. It’s a way to hold your instructor or personal trainer or yourself accountable when trying to meet fitness goals.  For example, weight can act as an outcome measurement if your goal is to shed a few pounds. If your personal trainer says he can help you to lose 30 pounds in 3 months and you fall short, it’s a way to check your trainer’s ability to help as well as your own habits. 

19) Circuit training
While similar to HIIT, the survey defines circuit training as a lower-intensity option when compared to its non-stop work counterpart. Typically, 10 exercises are chosen and completed one after another in a circuit with rest between each exercise. Then, the circuit is repeated. For beginners who want to get in a workout but find high-intensity interval training intimidating, circuit training could be the answer. This form of training, which has been around since 1953 according to the survey, can be done on your own or at gyms with more specialized equipment.

20) Flexibility and mobility rollers
Stretching before and after a workout has been considered useful for some time now, but foam rollers, which offer more deep-tissue massage action, have become popular in the last few years. These tools, which come in smooth or raised-bump cylinders, improve circulation and relieve muscle tension. 

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Fitness Trends For 2017 - Part I

1) Wearable technology
Fitness trackers and smart watches have been hot holiday gifts for the last few years, and the ACSM says that trend won't be going anywhere in 2017—and in fact, it will only get bigger. Recent updates from brands like Garmin, Apple, and Fitbit have sent the trend to number one for the upcoming year. Brands have upped their games regarding the accuracy of their technology.  This has helped keep the trend around. 
Today’s wearables track distance, and also provide heart rate readings, GPS route tracking, move reminders, and so much more.

2) Body weight training
It's easy to see why no-equipment workouts are so popular: They're relatively easy to learn, they can be modified to suit any ability level, and they can be done just about anywhere. Plus, body weight body weight exercises are an efficient way to get fit for free. Pushups and pull-ups are classic bodyweight moves, but there are plenty more to choose from, like squats, lunges, and planks, just to name a few.

HIIT's helps you torch calories fast by alternating quick bursts of high-intensity exercise with short rest periods. It can be found in all types of workouts, from Pilates to CrossFit and boot camp classes. High profile fitness companies are huge proponents of this form of exercise, if they continue to advertise and support HIIT, we don’t see it leaving the trend list anytime soon.
To try a high-intensity interval training workout yourself, spend 20 to 30 minutes total combining repeated shorts bursts of work with short break periods, like 45 seconds of burpees with 15 seconds of rest followed by 45 seconds of squats.  A 20-minute HIIT session can burn around 190 calories per session and will keep your metabolism fired up long after you finish the routine.

4) Educated, certified, and experienced fitness professionals
The number of people who want to become personal trainers keeps growing, and they have more options than ever to earn accreditation. Overall, people who work in the fitness industry are much more accountable and professional than previously.  This is attributed to clients becoming smarter about who they seek out for fitness-related help.
Not only is there continued growth in college and university programs, but there are more than 250 third-party certification organizations committed to teaching personal trainers best practices. As for the future of personal trainers and fitness professionals, the U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts these occupations to only increase in popularity, with employment of fitness professionals to rise 8% between 2014 and 2024.

5) Strength training
Gone are the days when the biggest fitness buffs out there stuck to cardio. Today, they know they can't miss strength training's science-backed benefits, such as boosting longevity, building muscle mass, and protecting against diabetes, back pain, and more. Plus, a growing number of women, in particular, have come to realize that lifting weights won't necessarily make them bulky, and in fact will help them burn more fat and boost metabolism.

6) Group training
SoulCycle, PureBarre, Orangetheory, CrossFit—they're all forms of group training, a huge fitness trend that will continue to thrive in 2017. The current group training movement kicked off in 2008 in conjunction with the beginning of the Great Recession, when the expense of personal training became a luxury many Americans could no longer afford. With many people using services like ClassPass to replace a gym membership entirely, we don't see the group training trend dying down any time soon.

7) Exercise Is Medicine
Regular exercise lowers your risk of heart disease, stroke, cancer, dementia, and other chronic diseases, and serves as a powerful stress-reducer and mood-booster. That's why the ACSM and the American Medical Association co-launched Exercise Is Medicine, a global movement that encourages physicians to refer patients to fitness professionals in their communities, and likewise, encourages fitness professionals to make connections with physicians. With health care costs on the rise, and with the future of the U.S. health insurance industry uncertain, using exercise as a preventive health tool is perhaps more important than ever.  

8) Yoga
Your zenned-out yogi friend is onto something: this ancient mind-body practice can be practiced on the go and can boost your mood, improve your sex life, and strengthen your entire body. Yoga has been around for thousands of years and has been a modern fitness trend for at least a decade, so how does it continue to be so popular? ACSM notes that while traditional Ashtanga, Hatha, and Vinyasa classes are readily available, fitness pros are also constantly finding new ways to reinvent yoga—think aerial yoga, hot yoga, and rope wall yoga. 

9) Personal training
Personal training is a perennial trend (it's been on the ACSM's annual list since it launched in 2006) and not much has changed about it over the years—these professionals generally provide one-on-one sessions that provide a more immersive and personalized experience for fitness seekers. But one important shift is happening in the industry: More education. A growing number of fitness professionals are seeking out formal education in kinesiology and exercise science, and credentialing is becoming more important to the facilities that employ them.  Quality of trainers has increased along with the sheer number of trainers available, because certifications and qualifications weed out the trainers who aren't top-notch in such a saturated market. 

10) Exercise and weight loss
Achieving a healthy weight will never go out of style, and a healthy diet combined with regular exercise is the best way to reach your weight loss goal. In fact, using fitness as a way to shed fat has appeared on the ACSM's annual list since the survey’s inaugural year in 2006. Most of the well-publicized diet plans integrate exercise in addition to the daily routine of providing prepared meals to their clients.

Monday, January 2, 2017

Principles For Training Success & Having Fun

Principle 1: Consistency
Perhaps the largest predictor of fitness success revolves around your dedication to being consistent. Without this turning into some kind of dissertation, the idea we need to get our minds wrapped around is that the body needs a continual stimulus to create change or adaptation.
Fat loss, muscle gain, strength gain, cardiovascular fitness, you name it — they’re all dependent on consistency.  If I want to create measurable change in any fitness variable, I need to expose my body to a very specific stimulus over and over for that change to occur.
No matter what your goals are, here are some general rules of thumb to follow when it comes to the number of times you workout or train each week:
>  One day a week will do nothing but repeat the cycle of getting sore, then taking a step back.
>  Two days a week will reduce the soreness, but will lead to nearly no discernible changes in fitness.

>  Three days a week tends to be the tipping point where your training begins to show reasonable payoffs.

>  Four days a week is usually the sweet spot. You will get continual payoff from your investment and create dramatic change in your body.

>  Five days a week begins to introduce the idea of overkill. Yes, this level of dedication is admirable, and you will see dramatic change, but you must watch for overtraining after some time.

>  Six days a week is typically too much for the average Jane or Joe. Overtraining will likely appear after a short time and you will see injuries popping up from overuse.

>  Seven days a week, the “no days off” approach (yes, this exists), is a great way to get hurt. The cumulative effect of fatigue will become insurmountable and the only thing I can guarantee with this approach is eventual and complete burnout.
My recommendation for consistency is to stay in the zone of three to five training days a week and on your off days, be truly “off.” Recovery is critical for continued progress.

Principle 2: Intensity
There are two great things about intensity. First, you are in complete control of your intensity at all times. Think of intensity as your “effort” level. Second, if you don’t know how hard you should be going for given routine, remember that progression is the key with good form!
Look up CrossFit, kettlebell training, Zumba, spin classes, etc. and you’ll find they all have predetermined levels of intensity prescribed alongside exercises, sets, reps and pace. So the only thing you need to do is to adhere to that prescribed intensity. It’s actually very easy.
Stick with what is prescribed. If you are doing long duration, moderate aerobic work on an elliptical that asks for a heart rate of 130-150 bpm, don’t change the prescription. If you are doing a CrossFit WOD and they want to you to do 3 sets of 3 repetitions at 82% of your one-rep maximum, do exactly that. Intensity is a vital for success and if you find yourself having poor results in your program, look here first.

Principle 3: Technique
This one is a little more involved than the other two, but the payoff is immense. If you are doing a specific routine, especially if it involves weight training, spend the money on a couple of personal training sessions with someone who is certified and have your techniques evaluated. Most training programs assume your technique is spot on. The upside of this is that you can nearly guarantee success if your techniques are dialed.
Technique is also the mother to staying healthy. The fastest way to get injured is to do some big dynamic weightlifting exercise with poor form. If consistency is a critical principle, the easiest way to sabotage this principle is to get hurt. So, take the time and make sure your movement is clean.

Principle 4: Does It Make You Happy?
This one is a no-brainer. The easiest way to see the biggest results is to do something that makes you happy. The easiest way to have an epic fail is to try to do something that you dread, that makes you miserable, or that is not sustainable.
Truthfully, all of us coaches and trainers who genuinely care about you simply want you to move.  
Do you love to run? Do you dream about your next lifting session? Is the happiest place on earth anywhere that you are sitting on your bike? Do you want to try CrossFit?  Give it all a go. These routines, those exercises, and that fitness system all work.