I wanted to share with you the Top 5 things that you should NEVER do at the start of your day IF you want to become the best version of yourself.
The list is as follows:
1) Never Have 300 kcals of sugar in your coffee or morning drink.
Stay away from the high calorie, high sugar coffee drinks.
Opt instead for tea or if you are like me and MUST have your coffee fix, go for a healthy alternative for sugar like honey, maple syrup, or date sugar.
They are just a sweet, but so more more healthy, and you don't need to use as much which means less overall calories.
2) Never Eat white starchy carbs for breakfast. No bagels, no donuts, no bread, no cereal.
Carbs are sugar.
By starting your day with a high sugar, high calorie drink & white starches like bagels & donuts, you are setting yourself up for failure.
Your blood will get a high sugar spike which is great initially, but it will lead to a mid morning and/or mid day energy crash which ultimately leads to more coffee & more sugar.
It's a vicious cycle!
3) Never plan your meals for the day
If you hadn't planned what & where you are going to eat the night before then you are starting behind the game.
Success when it comes to nutrition starts with successful meal planning & preparation.
Plan meals on Friday or Saturday.
Use Sunday to prepare, cook, & store as much of the food that you'll eat during the week.
You'll save time. Be less stress. See faster results.
4) Never Plan your workout.
Just like nutrition, successful fitness programs are planned at least a week in advance.
Great workout programs take into account your goal.
Your goal should be established on paper.
You'll need to know your current weight, current body fat, & current lean body mass.
Your program should specify how much weight you want to lose or what dress size do you want to be at, and by what date?
Your program should specify what type of training you will need to do to hit your goals?
How many reps, sets, how much weight?
Order of exercises?
ALL these questions need to be answered IF you what to have an efficient exercise programs that delivers massive results in the shortest possible time.
If your planning your workout the day of you are more likely to pick random exercises that really don't have a whole lot to do with your goal.
You are less likely to succeed!
5) Never Plan To Workout Alone
Research indicates that working out with a partner or in a small group can increase the intensity of a workout by up to 25%.
This increase in intensity leads to higher calorie burn which ultimate leads to better results over a shorter period of time.
Also, scheduling workouts with a partner, small group, or trainer increasing your accountability & decreasing the likelihood that you will FLAKE!
So there you have it.
My Top 5 things that I think you should never do IF you want to see MASSIVE results in your body and become the best possible version of yourself.
Have an active day!
Remember, Eat Well, Drink Lots of Water, & Expect Results!!
Coach Sykes Out!
My name is Coach Sykes and for the past 15 years I have been helping individuals reach their fitness goals.
Prior to taking a client through a body transformation I need to get a picture of where they are current, where they aspire to be, and what barriers has stood between them reaching their fitness goals in the past.
I call this a goal assessment.
In taking literally thousands of people through this process I have identified 5 major reasons that people DO NOT reach their fitness goals.
Below is a list of the 5 reasons that people do not reach their fitness goals and more importantly a solution on how you can overcome these 5 barriers.
The first reason that people fail at reaching their fitness goals deals 80% of a person’s fitness results.
Food Intake- Up to 80% of your results are a direct result of what you eat. Some questions that elude people when it comes to health and fitness are:
· how many calories should we consume to reach our goals?
· when is the best time to consume meals?
· how much protein should I be taking in?
· what are good versus bad carbs?
When I train people, I give them a specific menu that deals with PRECISE answers to the above questions.
The second reason that you are not reaching your fitness goals deals with exercise.
More specifically how much & what type of cardiovascular exercise is needed for you to reach your goal.
Common questions that go unanswered dealing with cardio are:
· when should I do cardio?
· how long should we cardio for?
· how many days should we do cardio?
· which type of cardio will work best for you?
Again, after our goal assessment I give a specific cardiovascular training program to my members so they no longer have any guess work about what they need to do in order to see the most amount of results in the shortest period of time.
The third area that is commonly missed by people seeking to lose weight and or gain muscle is how do we get the nutrient requirements into their body without adding additional calories?
The questions that I receive regarding supplementation include:
· should you be taking compounds that assist with gaining muscle or losing fat?
· b) which supplements work and which are a waste of time/money?
· c) how long should I take a supplement before I start seeing results from it?
Through 17 years of experience I have studied supplements and companies that create supplements. I prescribe supplements based on a client’s so they get the most out of their investments.
The fourth area that people struggle with when it comes to seeing consistent results is lifting weights.
The questionnaire reveals that most people have no idea:
· what type of weight lifting program you need to do to build muscle/lose fat?
· which body parts should you work 1st?
· how many reps should you do?
· how many sets should you perform?
· how many days per week do you need to work-out?
· how long to rest between sets or exercises?
These just a few questions that a person must know the answer to if they want to lose fat and add lean body mass.
The fifth and final area that most people struggle with is how to apply knowledge.
With the abundance of you tube videos, online articles, & facebook trainers, there has =never been a time in the history of fitness where more knowledge is at your finger tips.
The problem is that most people have no idea how to put everything together for themselves in order to see long lasting results.
Questions that needs to be asked are:
· do you know the ins and outs of the proper food intake?
· how much cardio
· what type of supplements do you need to take to maximize your time and money?
· what type of weight lifting program that you need to do to achieve the most amount of results in the shortest period of time?
If you don’t have a clear and concise answer to any of the questions above, then you will NOT see consistent results from working out.
Your results will be sporadic and minimal at best.
Let me ask you a question.
If I tried to come to your job and perform the job just like you with minimal or no training would I be successful?
Would I be able to perform the duties as quickly and efficiently as you?
Probably not, right?
So why would you think that it would be any different with you approaching health & fitness?
On the other hand, if I watched you for a few weeks and you trained me sharing your many years of knowledge & experience, then my chances of succeeded would be greatly increased, correct?
I’d like to invite you in for Goal Assessment with me. It won’t cost you anything, just 45 minutes of your time.
Your goals are worth 45 minutes right?
In this session I I will personally walk you through:
1) the foods that you should take in
2) what type of cardio you should do.
3) what supplements that you should take if any.
4) take out all the guess work of weightlifting and how to work-out properly decreasing time wasting and risk of injury.
5) finally, you will have the opportunity to learn some of my most effective exercise secrets that will help you unlock your genetic potential and lose 8-12lbs of unwanted fat in as little as 4 weeks.
Go to our "Contact Us" to reserve your spot for this FREE Goal Assessment TODAY!
The following is an excerpt from conversation that I had with a client earlier this week.
Dear Coach Sykes:
There are two schools of thought pertaining to calorie restriction.
One states that that long term calorie restriction can lengthen your lifespan.
The other school of thought is that a calorie restrictive diet can NOT lengthen your lifespan.
Which is true?
Dear reader: The question of calories is a complicated one. Let’s first deal with what a calorie is. A calorie is a unit measurement that marks how much heat it takes to covert a solid (food) into a usable form of energy in your body.
Essentially the “calorie” itself is of no significance other that the overemphasis given by the diet and exercise industry for the last 50 years.
The important thing is the energy that is contained within the foods we consume and how processing these food affect aging.
We need energy to live, and food obviously provides that energy.
The key for optimal health lies in the balance between not consuming too many calories and not consuming too few calories.
Both extremes have negative side effects.
Consuming too many calories is associated with obesity, type 2 diabetes, & heart disease.
Undereating has its downside too.
If you don’t consume enough food you run the risk of malnutrition which results in low energy, decreased organ function, & eventual death.
There seems to be a sweet spot.
Researchers 1st observed benefits of calorie restriction in an experiment conducted on laboratory rats in the 1930’s.
Since then there have been more studies that have documented that a 30-60% reduction of calories for mice & rats led to an increase in both segments lifespan.
As compared to exercise, calorie restriction in rodents improved lifespan by 25% and as much as 50% versus rodents that did not exercise.
Additional research has shown benefits if calorie restriction in chickens, spiders, and even single cell organisms.
The reason for this increase in lifespan seems to lie in metabolism.
The metabolism apparently reduces just enough to decrease the oxidative stress placed on the body during the calorie burning cycle of action.
Decrease oxidative stress reduces the production of chemical damage to DNA, cell membranes, & proteins contained within cells.
Further, decrease in calories leads to lower blood sugar and subsequent insulin levels.
All in all, the body is being placed under less stressful environment when it consumes less calories.
In a study done on calories restriction of humans, a group of people were followed for 2 years.
Their food intake was monitored and documented.
The research indicated that the calorie restrictive group lost 16 more pounds than those that consumed what would be considered normal levels of food.
There were also better mood, energy, & sex life in the calorie restrictive group.
Another study conducted in Okinawa, Japan revealed that people that consumed 17% less calories than average have a 31-41% decrease chance of developing cancer, stroke, & heart attack.
Personally, I have gone through several 10 day calorie restrictive sessions and have seen my energy greatly improve during the 10 day cycle.
Overall I think calorie restriction does have many benefits, but we must be mindful to consume a variety of fresh fruits, vegetables, & flowing water if we want to maximize our lifespan.
I hope this answers your question and you find this information useful.
Coach Sykes Out!
Do you know what the Glycemic Index Is?
Do you know why you should even want to know what it is?
Well if your like most people you've probably stumbled across the term "glycemic index" while reading a magazine or fitness related article, but have no idea what it actually means.
You probably understand that it has something to do with good and bad carbs, but that is the extent of it.
So let me attempt to break it down for you today.
The Glycemic Index or GI as it's commonly referred to as, is a food rating system.
The system was initially created for diabetics to make sure they did not get sick from sudden spikes and drops in their blood glucose or "sugar" levels.
You see each food that contains sugar are what we know as "carbs."
There are 2 main carbohydrates.
One is simple sugars like fruits & vegetables.
The other are complex carbs like beans, legumes, grains, etc.
You could argue that there is a subcategory within the complex carb family.
We would refer to those as "bad carbs."
The bad carbs would be breads, donuts, candy, etc.
Now each carb takes a certain amount of time to be absorbed by the body & release the sugar that's in it.
The 'bad" release sugar very quickly and cause a quick rise & fall in blood sugar.
This could be VERY dangerous to diabetics thus the need for the Glycemic Index to rate the amount of time it takes for the carb to release the sugar & how long it takes for the sugar level to fall.
The scale is set up on a 1-100 rating system.
1 being the slowest amount of time for a carb to release into the blood stream, and 100 being the quickest amount of time.
Vegetables like broccoli, kale, spinach, & mushrooms are rated close to 1 VERY LOW.
Fruits are higher rated, but they give sustained energy which is what we want.
Complex carbs like grain, nuts, & so on are in the mid range.
The "bad" carbs are super high on the glycemic scale and result in rapid increase & decrease in blood sugar which leads to poor energy.
The habitual consumption of bad carbs can result in poor health conditions such as obesity, type 2 adult diabetes, blindness, heart problems, & organ failure.
So, make sure you stay away from the "bad' carbs.
Eat plenty fresh fruits and vegetables.
Consume grains, nuts, beans, & legumes.
I hope this helps you understand the Glycemic Index better.
Feel free to leave comments or questions.
Have and active day & remember, Eat Well, Drink Lots of Water, & Expect Results!
Coach Sykes Out!
It seems that everyone wants to talk about stress & being stress free lately.
Everyone seems to be stressed out about something.
Especially when it comes to health & fitness.
People are constantly bombarded with unhealthy images of what supposedly is and is not healthy.
Not to mention the reality of disease and degeneration that kill hundreds of thousands of men & women in the United States yearly.
Then there are bills, jobs, and unhealthy relationships.
Just thinking about these things can be overwhelming.
It's no wonder that we are all stressed out.
Before we go any further I want to ask a question.
What exactly is stress?
Stress as defined by the Oxford dictionary is
“pressure or tension exerted on a material”
“particular emphasis or importance.”
“a state of mental or emotional strain or tension resulting from adverse or very demanding circumstances.”
“something that causes mental strain.”
I like the definition of stress that I heard from an author this morning.
The author defined stress as “the fearful reaction to life's constant changes.”
She went on to say that “stress can become an excuse that we often use for not taking responsibility for our own feelings.”
That hit home for me.
If we can put the blame out there on someone or some thing then we can just play the innocent victim, but being a victim doesn’t make us feel better and it doesn’t help resolve anything.
When I find myself stressing out, it helps when I examine what it is that I am actually obsessing over.
When I take an honest look at what is bothering me I see that I have gotten my priorities out of perspective.
I find that I’ve been focusing on things that may be important from a superficial standpoint, but are small in comparison to what is really important in life.
I may stress over my weight, money, or other material things that I think I can’t live without and when I think about the magnitude of these issues it seems like a solution will never present itself.
It can actually become paralyzing and thrust me into a cycle of inaction.
I have developed a solution to dealing with stress and since I've been applying these solutions, I've seen vast improvement in the area of stress in my life.
Here are a few action items that I have been using lately to help me deal with my stress.
#1Trust life- if our creator has the power to provide enough air for us to breath until the day that we die, wouldn’t it make sense that the creator can provide a solution to whatever we allow to stress us?
#2 Check your thoughts- If you aren’t seeing the results in your life in the area of weight loss or any other area of your life, check your thoughts.
Ask yourself. What fearful thoughts are you allowing to occupy your head space?
These are the things that “stress you out.”
#3 Transference- Replace fearful thoughts with positive thoughts.
The easiest way to do this is to keep a gratitude journal and write down at least 5 things that you are grateful for before you go to sleep each night.
#4 Do something- The next time you feel stress take a walk, go for a hike, or come on down to FitRanX and workout with us.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve asked my clients how they were feeling before a workout and received a negative response.
Then when I ask them how they feel after the session, I receive a positive response.
Bottom line, stress relief can be as simple as a workout.
To me, that is enough reason in itself to become active or begin an exercise program like FitRanX.
I hope you found this post useful.
Have an active stress free day,
Coach Sykes Out!
In a world that is built on competition, it’s almost impossible to participate in group exercise without looking around the room at other participants and silently comparing ourselves to others.
We might ask ourselves questions like, “why is she able to hold the plank longer than me?” or “Why can’t I do a push up like her?”
It’s actually quite common to compare yourself to others in a group setting, but these comparisons can lead to discouragement and you giving up.
So to achieve lasting results, it’s imperative that you have a correct attitude when participating in group exercise.
What I've found that works for my clients is having a perspective that is grounded in patience.
When you start on a fitness journey for the 1st time or restart for the 100th time, you need to be patient with yourself and patient with results.
After all, a workout program should reduce your level of stress and anxiety not add to it.
In fact, a number of people use working out as a stress reliever and an escape from everyday stress.
That’s why I love FitRanX so much.
We have cultivated a non-intimidating, stress free group training environment where your only competition is you.
It’s for that reason our members stay motivated and see results.
Now I realize that a lot of reading this do not belong to a group as unique as FitRanX and you may find yourself in a situation where you are comparing yourself to others.
So I wanted to take a moment out and share what I've seen work for our members.
1)Stay Focused on Your Why-
You’ve heard me say it a thousand times before and you’ll probably here me say it another thousand times.
Focus on WHY you are working out.
Think about what you will gain from your time spent in the gym.
Think about the way you will look and feel when you reach your goals.
That should be more than enough to keep you focused.
2)Embrace your unique body type-
No two fingerprints are alike, correct?
Neither is your body like anyone else.
Your body is a one of a kind masterpiece perfect in its design.
Yea, you may need a little bit of work, but we all do.
So embrace your uniqueness, be thankful for the body that your creator has entrusted you with.
Feed it good whole nutrition and do your work!
Get with your trainer and get your goals on paper.
Have a definite starting point to reference and a time in which you will reach your goal.
Have bench marks to measure your progress.
Revisit goals no less than once per week to make sure you keep your goal fresh in your minds’ eye.
Allow your fitness coach or a friend to hold you accountable to your written goal.
Show up regularly, put your head down, and do the work. Your energy will greatly increase with consistency.
Your confidence will grow as you make small gains.
It may be something as simple as going from a power walk to a light jog.
Little victories on a daily basis will lead to a BIG victory at the end of 2 weeks or a month.
Avoid allowing your mind to wonder during sessions.
Think about the muscles that your using and focus on the movements.
Take the perspective of a student that wants to actually learn how to move better and more efficiently.
This will allow you to get more muscle groups involved with movements and burn more calories.
6)Share your journey-
Most of us decide to get fit because we see our friends or family lose a bunch of weight and think thought to ourselves “if they could do it, why can’t I?”
Share your struggles, rewards, and results with others and become an inspiration point for someone else.
Good luck on your journey and as always feel free to contact me if you have questions about health & fitness.
Have an active day!
It’s Not often that I am inspired by a film, but this past weekend I watched “The Walk.”
It was a riveting first person narrative about Phillippe Petit.
The film was about Phillippe pursuing his passion of leaving the world a piece of himself in the form of an impossible wire walk that he would perform high above the ground on the New Your City Twin towers.
Phillippe was a street performer who’d recently been kicked out of his parent’s home because he wasn’t paying rent.
While performing on the street he injured his tooth while biting on a piece candy that he got from someone in the audience.
He ended up going to the dentist to repair his broken tooth.
While in the dentist office he saw a picture of the Twin Towers and was inspired to make it his life mission to wire walk the Twin Towers.
For him, the impossible walk would be his legacy and would be a work of art that would be appreciated for all time.
In order to pull of what he affectionately called the “Coup,” Phillippe would embark on an inspirational journey that I found worth writing about to you this morning.
I was inspired by Phillippe for two main reasons.
#1 His WHY. Why he would do something so dangerous.
#2 His HOW. How he pulled it off.
Let’s deal with the why.
Phillippe knew his passion and knew what he wanted to do with his life.
He wanted to be great and in order to do so he’d need to overcome enormous obstacles.
He’d failed many times throughout his life and had yet to become more than a street performer, but he always knew exactly what he was here to do.
He also knew that once he completed the “coup” his actions would inspire others to attempt the so called impossible in their own lives.
His why was very personal yet it was much, much bigger than him.
Now let’s get into the “how.”
How did he pull this off and what did I learn from how he did it?
As I witnessed how he pulled it off I saw many concepts that it takes to be successful in any endeavor.
Of all the “how” actions the 1st thing that stands out was his laser sharp focus and unwillingness to allow ANY barrier to stand in his way.
Laser sharp focus seems to be a prerequisite for success.
If we become so consumed in our why, then the how will present itself and NOTHING will stand in your way.
Phillippe had zero margin of error while wire walking between the towers.
One break in concentration would cost him his life.
Once he made the decision about what he would do he did several things that if you and I mimicked would ensure success in our endeavors.
The 1st thing is he had a Plan with a REAL deadline and would not change this date for anything other than bad weather.
After he mapped out his plan & established a deadline, he assembled his team or as he called them his “accomplices.”
The team was as critical an aspect of the walk as any other part.
His 1st accomplice was his girlfriend who served as inspiration and encouragement.
She was basically his cheer leader & believed in him 100% and let him know on a regular basis.
The rest of the accomplices consisted of a camera man, a wire building expert, & a guy with intricate knowledge of how security worked at the Twin Towers so they could sneak into the towers to pull off the coup.
Phillippe relied heavily on his accomplices in order to position himself to pull off the coup, but ultimately he made the final call when it came to whether or not he would move forward when things seemed to be going wrong.
So with all these pieces in place.
He made his decision, selected his date, assembled his crew, then took action.
The rest is as they say history.
So today, I invite you to become a wire walker in your own life.
You know there is something that you were born to leave the world.
That is your why.
You have something that you are supposed to do.
How will you do it?
# 2 Pick a date that it will be done by
# 3 Make your plan
# 4 Assemble your team that includes a support group and people who you respect and trust enough to give you sound advice as it pertains to your goal.
# 5 Allow no barrier to stop you. Become a professional problem solver and solve each and every problem that presents itself. If you don’t know how to solve the problem, then rely on your team to help you solve it.
# 6 Trust yourself to make the final decision when it comes to your life.
# 7 Take action and make history.
Have an awesome day!
Coach Sykes Out!
Impossible is nothing,
Meaning all things are possible
One of the many lessons that I absorbed by witnessing the greatness that was Ali.
This man was a living testament of all things being possible.
He was a kid from Louisville Kentucky that lived the American Dream.
He wasn’t born with a silver spoon in his mouth, yet he became the “Greatest Of All Times!”
What’s more American than that?
As I learned of the passing of Ali I began to reflect back on why he had such an impact on so many people.
I thought Ali’s story is the story of the black man in American and his influenced over the entire world.
The influence far reaches simply sports accomplishments, unmatched charisma, and artistic gifts.
The social and political influences are well documented and undeniable.
Ali represented that thought, that voice, that behavior of men like my father.
Men that were unapologetically BLACK and fearless.
Men able and capable of sports performances that would thrill the world all while narrating the events as if they were a rapper creating a sound track to a block buster movie.
Ali personified the confident decisive black man.
I recognized those characteristics at a young age as it had been to a large degree modeled by my own father.
So when I watched Ali in a sense it was like watching the best of my father & many other handsome, charismatic black men that I had met in my childhood.
In fact, other than my dad, Ali my first hero, teacher, & mentor.
He had so many characteristics that all black men aspire to.
Strong, talented, & successful.
Most of all he was mostly true to his core values and never once hesitated to speak truth to power.
I learned from that man.
I learned how a black man or any man should conduct himself in a dignified respectful manner.
Yet, make it look so smooth and effortless.
He was Billy D Williams, Jackie Robinson & Jack Johnson all rolled it to one.
I learned so much for mimicking the " Greatest"
I copied his style of boxing, I learned what hard work looked like and what it could get you, and I learned that the smartest most charismatic, and toughest man on the planet was a BLACK MAN!
I saw that in my own household growing up.
I related to that.
I was inspired by his greatness and felt comforted that he was not pretending to be something other than he was.
A strong, confident, man that happened to be black.
A man that pushed past all the barriers that this country threw at him.
A man that held close to his personal faith & views yet evolved to the degree that his love for his people never got misunderstood as racism towards other people.
Just cause a man loves his own race, doesn’t mean that he has to hate others.
I learned that from Ali.
I could go on and on about the great lessons that I learned from witnessing Ali.
Although not a perfect man in any sense of the word, I’m sure he made his mistakes, but other than my dad Ali was the #1 most influential male in my life.
Thanks for the Lessons!
Many times we get so caught up in the thought of what it actually will take for us to reach that goal of having that dream body (you know the one that you imagine I your minds eye when your alone), that we become paralyzed and take NO action.
We know that we can have that lean sexy look that turns heads, but we think "I don't have time to exercise today" or some other excuse that allows us NOT to put in the work.
As a result we are constantly living out of regret and pushing our goals further & further into tomorrow.
Well, unless we take action tomorrow will come and go and we will remain the same.
The one thing we can do TODAY is decide that tomorrow will be different.
In making that decision we will have changed our tomorrow.
The moment we decide and take a step toward our goal, we are on our way.
Now, the essential part is to take action in the right direction toward our goal.
What has worked for me and my clients is to have a proven fat burning program that we do 3-4 times per week.
We then fuel that program with precise fat burning nutrition, a healthy mind set, and surround ourselves with supportive people.
This is the proven way to success.
I hope you found some inspiration in this BLOG.
Have a great rest of your day!