Fastrack To Stay On Track

I just finished listening to a 1980’s hit Once In A Life Time by The Talking Heads. And a phrase from the song caught my attention “And I ask myself,  how did I get here?”

It’s been just over three months for me on the My Fitness Solutions “Fastrack” program. I am one who tried joining a gym (even had a year free full membership with a trainer) . I lasted 3 weeks. I am a skinnier then most guy and something inside me just paralyzed me from going to the gym. Afraid of the big guys and the fears set from childhood about Bodybuilders  scared me to stop going. One time while on Facebook I had made a new friend, a gentleman named Fadi Malouf . I liked the first name what can I say. That was in July of 2010. I so heavy in to drinking beers, smoking cigarettes I was nothing short of a train wreck waiting to happen. Fadi and I started started to really talk a few months later and I seemed to really enjoy his posts about health and fitness nutrition and his often words of wisdom.

We started talking mostly about nutrition at first. I was totally grasping it but I started it and then fell off track with it even stopped talking to Fadi for about a good six months.  Beers, staying up late drunk as ever every night and really not caring too much about my health. But hated the way I was feeling in the morning and in general about myself. Fadi one late night back in August of 2012  happen to be on Facebook or at least logged in. I said Hello and we started a really great conversation. He was always upbeat and never had one negative thing to say. After all that time of not talking it was like we were best friends who had just returned home from college break. I apologized to him for the nutrition thing not working for me. And he said something that changed me from that moment on. “You can go back to the way you were or move forward and never look back”.

And that’s what I did. He told me about a program he designed called “Fast Track” on My Fitness Solutions.  He told me about the free 30 day trial period and I should give it a try. The only thing it can do it better myself. If I didn’t like it no problem. And he told me about the amazing smartphone app to use when on the go or computer is down. That there was no excuse not to workout. And trust me I used every one of them and a few new ones. “The Cat ate my speakers” was not a legit excuse in Fadi’s book.

It took me a few weeks after that to really get into the swing of things.   But Sept 26, 2012, will live to be the day I leaped forward into what now I call the ” fast track to stay on track”

During our set up phone call (monthly phone consults come with the program).  Now Coach  Fadi asked me about my habits. Smoking and Drinking were talked about. That was my last day of a beer.Smoking I had to quit. (am currently working on that) He asked about my food consumption. Let’s just say you know how McDonald’s changed their dining rooms to look more like a cafe. I think that was due to my feasting their everyday. Ramon noodles and frozen foods were what I lived on with about 3 or 4 20.oz diet sodas a day. That was my last burger and diet soda. Ramon noddles out and frozen foods out also.  I told him about my fear of the gym and how I tried before just didn’t work. He understood and explained why this program would benefit me. It was based in my home with no gym contact required.   He had given me an assignment to do which was to write down and explain three things in an email that may derail me from the program. That made see what could stop me the most was me.

He set me up with a 10-minute exercise routine seeing I had no weights or equipment. Who would have thought using your own body as a weight, not me? I was impressed with the routine he gave me to do.  Four weeks later was another. I had seen on the site a workout called Boot Camp. I was in awe and so wanted to do that. He gave me the exercise routine and so eager was I to do it. As we getting close to our second monthly phone consult I had begun to want more. I wanted to do something that would be a challenge to me and would help me along. I wanted something with weights. I wrote an email asking him what was out there not to heavy in how it weighed seeing I lived upstairs apartment in an older home.  He had suggested trying Suspension Straps like TRX. I looked into it and found a similar version of TRX at a cheaper cost. That would be my next routine. Now working with Suspension training then  Kettle Bells as my next routine!!! Building my own home gym!!

I started to see results in my second month upper Arms were starting to form muscle on them. My skinny arms were getting guns!! (I called them bb guns, it was small but wow!!) The support I have received from my friend and family my Facebook friends was really growing.  My upper legs were starting to take shape as well. I had energy like never before and started noticing the self-confidence was getting stronger. I believed in myself I was walking with my head up for the first time. My job was more enjoyable and people around me say I smile more. My third month just past and I can see the difference from the days of Beer drink sitting around feeling depressed to now asking: What’s next?What can I do to get better? And the day I don’t exercise I feel like something is missing. I do not like rest days, but I have a lot of fitness friends who say the same thing. I was explained to that’s how you know your liking what you are doing and committed to doing it.

My life has changed due to the one simple saying “You can go back to the way you were or move forward and never look back” Coach Fadi and his team have made me feel as a welcomed member on the path to good health and fitness. I have learned so much about myself through his guidance  Coach Fadi will NOT make you feel like you are just another client. He will help you with any problem you may have. Trust me I have been getting better at shooting video clips of problem exercises and having him write me back telling me what I need to do to make that exercise right.  Never will you hear him say “Do what you want I don’t care”. He does care. I still have a way to go but loving every minute of it.  Oh, yea even if you are not a beginner  The Fast Track Program has an exercise routine for all levels of fitness training.

I look forward to sharing with you my achievements with the program in the coming months.

So now I ask myself “How did I get here”  The Fastrack way.

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Body By Groom

At 450 pounds, Jeff Groom could barely tie his shoes. His high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol, edema and heart issues were all contributing to a dangerous outlook for his health. Without making some major changes, Jeff was facing a life of limitations and significantly less time with those he loved. And his health was not the only thing affected. The weight threw a shadow of hopelessness on every aspect of Jeff’s life, including his interactions with friends, colleagues and family.   

The decision to change one’s life is often the outcome of millions of setbacks, and then one ultimate shove. For Jeff, that shove came at the beginning of January. He began his journey when he finally faced the negative impacts on his life from an unhealthy relationship with alcohol. Jeff knew he had to make a change, and could no longer endure the turmoil he was cultivating in his own life. He felt like he was slowly killing himself. One January morning, Jeff called a meeting among those he loved most, apologized for his mistakes and vowed to change his life, not only for himself but for them. 

“I had everything I could want but happiness,” Jeff says. And with that goal in mind he decided to get serious about losing weight. He had been working with Fadi Malouf, whom he had met through a friend, for about two years. When he decided to make a real change Jeff knew he would not only need Fadi’s expertise, but also his support. Jeff went through numerous trainers in the past and he knew he was not an easy client. This is why he needed someone who was more than just a trainer, someone who would push him, coach him and care for him like family.   

“I’ll pay you but I’ll fight you. I’m better at not doing what you tell me,” Jeff frankly told Fadi at the beginning. And Fadi accepted the challenge wholeheartedly. 

The first steps Jeff took in his journey were cutting out alcohol, cutting back his red meat consumption, increasing plants and lean protein in his diet, and working out. He began to enjoy lifting weights and becoming more active. Fadi pushed him in the gym and provided him with nutrition counseling to help Jeff fuel his body correctly. He also helped Jeff sort through the mental part of weight loss as his life coach.

With such a significant amount of weight to lose, Jeff decided to undergo bariatric surgery a couple months into his journey. This helped him immensely, but he still had a lot of work to do. 

“What people don’t often realize is that obesity is not the problem, it’s the solution to a deeper issue,” Fadi says, “Once I help clients identify the underlying issues and work through them, they can find the happiness they lost and care for themselves enough to lose the weight and be healthy long-term.”

Jeff recalls a difficult time at the beginning of his journey when he fell off the wagon and felt lost. He called Fadi in the middle of the night and told him he was struggling. Fadi dropped everything and went to be with Jeff and help him through his difficult time. Even though Fadi pushed him and they were usually sarcastic, this time Jeff needed the support of a friend. 

In 9 months Jeff has lost over 200 pounds. His outlook on life has completely changed. He found the happiness that was lost from his life before and for the first time in a long time, he is excited about the future. His friends and family have also noticed a change in his attitude. Jeff discovered when you care for yourself and foster self love, you in turn care for those around you more. 

For the future, Jeff is focusing on work and growing his business. In many ways he is promoting a healthier business, just like he did for himself- restructuring and not working with dishonest people. He is putting his family and company first. 

Jeff’s nutrition and fitness regimen now consist of portion control and working out when he can squeeze it in. Jeff attributes much of his success to working with Fadi. The program he followed was unique from what he experienced with dozens of trainers in the past. Jeff says he still eats things he enjoys, but it’s not about eating large amounts of food, but more about taste. Changing his overall relationship with food has led him to his success with weight loss.

Fadi could not be more proud of Jeff. Playing a role in someone completely changing their life has given him a huge sense of purpose.

“Personally, Jeff has been one of my most rewarding clients to work with. I’ve seen him transform entirely and he is so much happier now,” Fadi says. “I know we will be life-long friends.”

Jeff believes anyone who wants to lose weight and get healthier should give Fadi a shot. 

“The main thing about Fadi is he truly cares about the individual, not about the dollar amount. It’s a relationship and he really cares about people and their health.” 

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Work Out The Full Body

Work Out The Full Body

This is a workout that uses multiple muscles with every exercise! It’s important to mix up your workouts from time to time with a full body workout instead of focusing on the same muscle groups every other day. It made our team really sore which means it works! We’d love to know what you think about it! Check it out below and let us know your thoughts.

Warm Up: 5 minutes of cardio
Time: 45 minutes
Two repetitions per set

Set 1

Standing Side Crunches
Reps: 25 per side
Tips & Tricks: Stand with your feet hip width apart, knees slightly bent and the core engaged. Lift the right leg, bending the knee at a 90-degree angle turning the thigh out to the side. Place hands lightly behind head, elbows out. Crunch your right elbow to the right knee.

Incline Sit Ups
Equipment: Find an incline bench. This exercise will work best if you have a support bar under which to hook your feet as well.
Reps: 20 per set
Tips & Tricks: Lie down so that your upper body is facing downhill. Place your hands behind your neck or on the side of your neck. Make sure your abs stay tightened. You should rise up until your entire back is off the bench and lower back down until your shoulders touch the bench.

Set 2

Reverse Pull-Up / Reverse Chin-Up
Equipment: Pull up bar
Reps: 15 per set
Tips & Tricks: Inhale and pull the chest to the bar, keeping the body upright and puffing out the chest. The elbows should be pointing more-or-less forward (can use a stool or chair to make easier)

Bench Bridge/Hip Lifts
Equipment: Bench
Reps: 25 per set
Tips & Tricks: Lie on your back with your heels on the bench. Lift your hips to be parallel with the rest of your body and lower them to the ground, focusing on your glute muscles throughout.

Set 3

Opposite Arm Opposite Leg Extensions
Equipment: Bench
Reps: 25 per side
Tips & Tricks: Position yourself on your hands and knees on the bench. Slowly extend one arm and the opposite leg and lower. Repeat with the other arm and opposite leg.

Push Ups on Bench
Equipment: Bench
Reps: 15 per set
Tips & Tricks: Position hands parallel with elbows on bench, keep body in a straight line while lifting and lowering.

We’d love to know what you think about this and all of our other blogs!

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Building Muscle with Static Contractions

Building Muscle with Static Contractions

Performing weight training exercises that involve static contractions is a great way to create the most muscle mass and strength through the smallest amount of movement and time. Static training involves taking a weight and holding it in a fixed position for several seconds. Today’s workout will focus on incorporating this technique.

Warm Up: 5 minutes of cardio

Focus: Chest, Arms, Legs, Core

Time: 45 minutes

Set

4 repetitions 

Incline Chest Press

  • Equipment Bench; free weights
  • Reps: 30 seconds of reps; 30 seconds holding (for a total of two minutes)
  • Weight: Start with a manageable weight for the first set; increase weight by 5-10 lbs. after each set
  • Tips & Tricks: Hold the static contraction in the open position, where elbows are in line with the shoulders

Squats

  • Equipment:  Dumbbell
  • Time: 30 seconds of reps; 30 seconds holding (for a total of two minutes)
  • Weight: 15 lbs
  • Tips & Tricks: Hold the dumbbell to your chest as you squat down to a seated position and rise up; hold the static contraction in the seated position, with knees over ankles

Lateral Pulldown  

  • Equipment Seated Pulley Machine
  • Reps: 30 seconds of reps; 30 seconds holding (for a total of two minutes)
  • Weight: Start with a manageable weight for the first set; increase weight by 5-10 lbs. after each set
  • Tips & Tricks: Hold the static contraction and focus on isolating your lateral back muscles as you pull down

One Arm Row with Double Hold

  • Equipment:  Dumbbells
  • Time: 30 seconds of reps; 30 seconds holding (for a total of two minutes)
  • Weight: Start with a manageable weight for the first set; increase weight by 5-10 lbs. after each set
  • Tips & Tricks: Position yourself in a split squat with one leg bent and row with the opposite arm; on the static contraction, place feet together and hold the contraction with both arms at the same time

Cable Flies

  • Equipment: Pulley Machine
  • Reps: 30 seconds of reps; 30 seconds holding (for a total of two minutes)
  • Weight: Start at 30 lbs. or more; increase weight by 5-10 lbs. after each set
  • Tips & Tricks: Focus on the chest muscles and keeping the arms straight as you slowly pull them apart and together; hold the static contraction with your hands about two feet apart

 

 

 

 

 

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Chest, Back, Leg, and Cardio Supersets

This workout focuses on one muscle group weight training exercise, followed by a cardio exercise. You’ll repeat the two exercises three times before moving on to the next muscle group.

Get ready to focus on your largest muscle groups, and mix in some cardio.

  • Warm Up: 5 minutes of cardio
  • Focus: Chest and Back
  • Time: 45 minutes

Set 1

3 repetitions 

Lateral Pulldown

  • Equipment Pulley Machine
  • Reps: 15 per set
  • Weight: Start with a manageable weight for the first set; increase weight by 5-10 lbs. after each set
  • Tips & Tricks: Keep the arms and back straight; focus on isolating your lateral muscles as you pull down

High Knees

  • Reps: 50 per knee
  • Tips & Tricks: Focus on lifting the knees up and down rapidly, rather than moving forward quickly.

Set 2

3 repetitions 

Dead Lift

  • Equipment: Dumbbells
  • Reps: 25 per set
  • Weight: Females: up to 35 lbs.; Males: up to 50 lbs.
  • Tips & Tricks: Keep a slight bend in the knees as you lower the weights just below the shins.

Dead Lifts with Row

  • Equipment: Dumbbells
  • Reps: 25 per set
  • Weight: Females: up to 35 lbs.; Males: up to 50 lbs.
  • Tips & Tricks: Keep a slight bend in the knees as you lower the weights just below the shins. Keep the back arched at the bottom of the dead lift and bring the arms up parallel to the sides and slowly back down for the row.

Set 3

3 repetitions

Incline Chest Press

  • Equipment Bench; free weights
  • Reps: 15 per set
  • Weight: Start with a manageable weight for the first set; increase weight by 5-10 lbs. after each set
  • Tips & Tricks: Keep wrists in line with elbows and elbows in line with shoulders; slowly straighten and lower one arm at a time

Squat Jump

  • Reps: 25 per set
  • Tips & Tricks: Start in a squat position, immediately jump upwards and reach upward as high as you can with your hands as your feet leave the floor. Land in the same position you started in. Swing your arms back and immediately repeat jump up again.

Set 4

3 repetitions

High Row

  • Equipment Pulley Machine
  • Reps: 20 per set
  • Weight: Start with a manageable weight for the first set; increase weight by 5-10 lbs. after each set
  • Tips & Tricks: Keep the arms and back straight; focus on isolating your lateral muscles as you pull down

Split Squat Jumps

  • Reps: 25 per set
  • Tips & Tricks: Position yourself into a staggered stance with the rear foot elevated and front foot forward. Begin by descending, flexing your knee and hip to lower your body down. Maintain good posture throughout the movement. Keep the front knee in line with the foot as you perform the exercise. At the bottom of the movement, drive through the heel and jump up to extend the knee and hip to return to the starting position.

 

 

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Pyramid Workout: Legs

Pyramid Workout: Legs

Pyramid Workout: Legs

We started with a pyramid workout for chest and back, and now we are graduating to the legs.

Just like with the chest and back exercises, with each exercise below, you will start with 10 reps and then decrease to nine reps, followed by eight, seven, six, all the way to one. Once you get to one rep, you’ll increase all the way back to ten, stacking the reps on top of one another.

As you decrease your reps, you’ll increase your weight. You should be at the heaviest weight, truly challenging yourself on reps 1-4.

  • Focus: Hamstrings, Quads, and Glutes
  • Time: 1 hour
  • Warm Up: Five minutes of cardio

Here are the three exercises to focus on for the legs:

Dead Lifts

  • Equipment: Dumbbells
  • Reps: Pyramid (10,9,8,7,6,5,4,3,2,1,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10)
  • Weight: Females: up to 35 lbs.; Males: up to 50 lbs.
  • Tips & Tricks: Keep a slight bend in the knees as you lower the weights just below the shins.

Hamstring Curls

  • Equipment: Leg Machine
  • Reps: Pyramid (10,9,8,7,6,5,4,3,2,1,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10)
  • Weight: Females: up to 35 lbs.; Males: up to 50 lbs.
  • Tips & Tricks: Keep your back straight and focus on one leg at a time

Step Ups

  • Equipment: Bench (or stair)
  • Reps: (10,9,8,7,6,5,4,3,2,1,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10)
  • Weight: Females: up to 35 lbs.; Males: up to 50 lbs.
  • Tips & Tricks: Focus on the glute muscle; do not lock the knees as you step up one leg at a time

 

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