abs

Shameless Self-promotion

I'm on vacation!

simpson vacation

Happy New Year to All! Thanks for checking out the TrainRite website :) Just to give everybody a heads up; whether you're a regular here, or you've found the my site through a listing on Amazon, eBay, or Etsy.... I'm OUT!

It's -24C here in Toronto, and that's just about my threshold.

I'm on vacation until January 16th, 2015,  so I've temporarily closed all listings for TrainRite Fitness Journals. If you're looking to place an order, no worries I will reactivate all listings on the 16th, and will return to normal shipping times. (Did I mention I typically ship SAME DAY?!). So you can wait until then, or you can email me directly at: admin@trainrite.ca. I will check these periodically, and alert you upon my return!

Thank you all for an exciting and successful 2014!

-Matt Cronin

Tropical-Vacation

Meal Planning

New Journal! Introducing the TrainRite Compact Fitness Journal

As I mentioned a few weeks ago, I was working on a new journal format completely based upon the feedback from my users over the past year. Again, thank you all who took the time out to give me feedback and allow me to create the best product for you. I'm thankful for all of the positive feedback I continue to receive for my traditional TrainRite Exercise and Fitness Journal. :) So here it is: the TrainRite Compact Fitness Journal  - a truly collaborative effort from people like you. 

New Features:

  • Compact. Somehow more compact than the original, this version is also more a ‘traditional’ book shape making it strong and sturdy
  • More sets. Many of you animals wanted more than 4 sets per exercise as in the first journal, so you’re in luck – this book’s got 5!
  • More logging for cardio or classes. This version has 3 spaces per workout for cardio or other non-weight training activities.
  • We like notes. A space for notes! ‘Nuff said.

And as always…

  • No frills, no wasted pages.
  • Waterproof cover and backing
  • 10 exercises per workout
  • 90 workouts worth of logging
  • A planning chart for creating 12 unique workouts that is always with you

Want one? Amazon.com | Amazon.ca | eBay | Etsy

Exercise, Shameless Self-promotion

Fighting "Decision fatigue"?

the-globe-and-mail-leaf1

I like when the media attempts to coin new terms. "Decision Fatigue", as this Globe and Mail article calls it, is the idea that in any given day you only have enough energy to make a finite number of "tough decisions", before you just do what you would normally just...do. The types of "tough decisions" they mean mostly relate to making smarter choices for your health; I'm going to the gym and I’m not going to have that treat that I want to eat right now. It's an interesting hypothesis, and I don't really know what to make of putting a definite limitation ones ability to overcome being tired. What did certainly catch my eye though is how I initially interpreted it: consciously deciding you're too tired to get out for a run or make it to the gym well before it's actually time to do it. I do this. All the time. Especially when I'm not training very hard or out really of my groove - as is currently the case.

For myself and those of you like me, there's really only one solution. Grab a bag a Ruffles' Sour Cream 'N Bacon chips (my fav), and settle into the couch for the night. Yes? Of course not. It takes real grit to just get out there and do it. Hell, do it half speed. Take longer breaks between sets. Just get out there and do it. I've actually been following my advice this week (before I even happened upon this article), up at 4:30am every morning for the gym and a couple 5km runs in the evenings. You know what? The worst part was really just the thought of going out and doing it. When I'm finally in the gym or mid-run, it feels really good! When it's over I feel great and I'm ready for the next one.

You can take the points from this article, and they may be very valid for you, but really the biggest challenge for most people is fully committing to something and getting over the various daily excuses that stand in your way. When you fully commit to something, be it healthier meals or a rigid fitness routine, the route to get there is yours for the taking.

Check out the article here, of course I fully support the planning and scheduling advice!

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/health-and-fitness/health-advisor/want-to-work-out-more-defend-yourself-against-decision-fatigue/article19872789/

Meal Planning

Breakfast showdown: Cottage Cheese vs Plain Yogurt

  both

Most mornings when I’m short on time I reach for cottage cheese for breaky. Low in sugar and carbs, high in protein – it keeps me full throughout the day. Slice up some fresh fruit, or go the savory route with chopped onion, red pepper, celery and black pepper – it’s extremely versatile and takes me about a minute to prep. But this morning I was out. Being far too lazy and short on time for a grocery run, I found some plain yogurt and went for it. It was delicious! Better than my usual cottage cheese and fruit breakfast I’ve been eating for years. So I thought to myself, what really is the difference between the two?

Here’s a comparison of Nordica 2% Cottage Cheese and Astro Original 2% Plain Yogurt per half cup.

 cott_yogurrt

I didn’t choose these brands for any particular reason, but most plain versions tend have similar nutritional values anyways.

Calories Yogurt is slight lower in calories than the cottage cheese (40kcal less, 36% lower). So if you’re strictly counting calories, yogurt can be your friend.

Protein Cottage cheese wins this one, and by a long shot (9g more, almost 300%). A few years ago I opted for a low carbohydrate focused breakfast to a high protein one. That’s why I started eating cottage cheese in the first place. I always found I was starving at work within a few hour of eating cereal, toast etc. Most mornings I work out before eating breakfast so that blast of protein afterwards is great. Plus I still replenish carbs with the fresh fruit I add.

Fat They’re both the same. You chose them at 2%. :P

Carbohydrates Surprisingly they’re both the same. I’ve seen some versions of plain yogurt that have significantly more carbs via sugars, but the Astro brand seems to be a good choice.

Taste I really liked the yogurt better. This may be because I’ve been eating cottage cheese for years straight, and the change up is nice. Both have very different textures, and different flavor. I’m leaning towards the yogurt!

Conclusion: I was honestly expecting to heavily favour the cottage cheese. I assumed the two would vary quite a bit and always thought yogurt was higher in sugars and carbs, so this is a pleasant surprise. I’ll definitely keep both in my morning routine. Keep in mind this is PLAIN yogurt, once you get into the Vanilla and other flavors expect lots of sugar and/or artificial sweeteners. If you add chopped fruits, you really shouldn’t need the flavored version anyway.

There are obviously other factors involved in making the right choice for you – some yogurts have higher calcium, lower sodium and Greek yogurt will have more protein. Yogurt also has bacterial cultures with proven benefits for your immune system and so on. For me, I’m more worried about excess sugars, and getting that higher protein content. I’m not afraid of fat either, and it can be your friend - although calorie dense. So unless you’re concerned about higher calories, go the yogurt route. If protein is what you’re looking for, go for cottage cheese. Otherwise – either are a great addition to your morning.

Which of the two do you favor? Or am I the only one who thinks this much about breaky?

Thanks for reading, Matt for TrainRite

 

Exercise, Shameless Self-promotion

Worldwide FREE shipping on Etsy, this weekend only!

This weekend only! Free shipping on all Etsy TrainRite Fitness and Nutrition Journal orders!Promo code: FREESHIP https://www.etsy.com/shop/TrainRite00

FREESHIPPING

Exercise

New Chest Variation: Neck Press

neck_press1

I just added this bench press variation into my workout routine: the Neck Press If you're like me who constantly has a tight chest, you will FEEL this exercise - and feel it quickly. This is not an ego boosting, heavy-as-you-can-go movement: GO LIGHT to start. Trust me, you'll feel it. I use this exercise before I do my regular sets of bench presses.

neck_press1

Take your basic bench press, but slide you body down low on the flat bench to allow you to lower the bar over your neck, rather than your chest. Bring the bar down slow, just until it touches your neck, pause, and bring the bar back up to your starting position.

Try this chest routine:

3x12 Neck Press superset with Pushups to exhaustion (no rest between) 3x12 Bench Press (superset with another muscle group) 3x12 Smith Press (superset with another muscle group) 3x12 Flat Bench Cable Flyes (superset with another muscle group) **I always try to superset with another muscle group to maximize a workout

Now tell me you don't feel that? You won't be able to lift the same weight after the Neck Press x Pushups, but still try to safely lift heavy sets to finish the workout. Keep your rest times short as you can.

Happy lifting

Matt for TrainRite

 

Exercise, Shameless Self-promotion

New workout routine finally complete!

This thing took a week to plan, but I really needed to try something new. It's good to change up the routine often, but I like to plan mine out well in advance so I run them for quite a while. Lots of variation, and I play with different set and reps depending if I do a heavy or lighter weight that week. It also forces me to research new movements and different ways to do an exercise. I did a quad/chest day this morning and I'm in tough shape!

Check it!

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Meal Planning

Deconstructed Taco! (....salad)

Tacos are great! So in an attempt to recreate a healthier version... I came up with this deconstructed salad.It's also great. Honest. You may miss the taco shell and cheeses - but you have to make sacrafices sometimes, right? This was satisfyiing enough for me anyway :)

It may look like a ton of ingredients, but a lot of that is spices that can be left out/exchanged. The majority of your time will be chopping fresh vegetables. Enjoy!

See the recipe here!

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Meal Planning

Soup's OK - but it's no main course...

Photo 1-28-2014, 7 08 13 PM

I like soup. Ok, I kinda like soup. I just never want it for dinner, you know? It just doesn't seem satisfying at all, almost a solid food's garnish. Admittedly I've never actually made my own soup, until today. It was actually really good! Heavy on the garlic, so I''ll tone that down next time. I love posting recipes on my site for you, but it's really for myself too. I've made so many dishes in the past that were simple, healthy and really good... all to be forgotten. Selfish? Not entirely! I get many of my recipes online and try to tweak them for my own liking, or to cut out ingredients I either don't have, or think is excessive. So if any look familiar that's because they're all out there :)

Take this Butternut Squash & Asian Pear Soup Recipe - heavy cream? Not necessary when you have the squash. I used almond milk instead, but I'm convinced water would have been fine. The curry addition is a good idea too.

Check out the recipe here - feel free to use as a based and adding your own flavour! Just don't eat is your main dish.

Photo 1-28-2014, 7 13 39 PM

Photo 1-28-2014, 7 08 49 PM

Exercise, Meal Planning, Shameless Self-promotion

What I DID Wednesday

So a friend of mine so politely suggested that maybe I should post more often. I like hearing suggestions from fellow readers and anyone really, so I figured I could start today. I’ve been asked this question fairly often, and this was actually her suggestion to me: What does your typical day look like as far as exercise and meals go? Well my dinner tonight isn’t really typical - I’m expecting to eat as many wings and drink as much beer as I can handle on a “school night”- but the rest really is. On a typical weeknight for dinner I’ll more than likely have some sort of meat (lean steak, chicken breast/thigh, salmon etc.) with salad, steam veg or similar.

Portion control isn’t really my strong suit, so I try to eat before 6:30pm so I don’t feel so full for the early morning workouts.

5:30am Workout: Glutes, Chest, Core (all superset)

Barbell Step-ups – 110lbs x   20, 17, 16 (these are the worst) Pec Fly Machine – 190lbs x 12, 12 ,12

Glute Kickback Machine – 170lbs x 12, 12, 12 each leg Incline Dumbbell Press – 2x70lbs x 10, 10, 9

Barbell Hip Thrust - 185lbs x 12, 12, 12 (looks so suggestive…) Cable Press - 110lbs x 12, 12, 12

Leg Raise with Dumbbell - 25lbs x 12, 12, 12 Torso Twist Machine - 190lbs x 15, 15, 15 each side

Horizontal Sit-up - 45lbs x 12, 12, 12 Sitting Oblique Twist (with Plate) - 25lbs x 25, 25, 25

Finished it off with a 5K run! Now I’m ready for Wing Night!

FOOD:

Before Workout (5:15am) – 5g BCAA, 1 scoop protein powder

Post Workout (7:00am) ­– 5g BCAA, 1 scoop protein powder

Breakfast (7:30am) – Overnight Oats

Snack (10am) – Broccoli & cauliflower

Lunch (12:30pm) – Pulled Chicken Lettuce Wraps (I made tons - I'm eating this all week)

Snack (2pm) – Hardboiled egg & Tandoori Masala Roasted Chickpeas

Dinner (6pm) – Wing night…. So wings and beer! (lots)

Exercise

Happy 4 of July, you 'Mericans!

image

Finishing the week strong, after a very slow start... Has anybody else come down with this dirty summer cold that’s been floating around the city?? I’ve missed so many training sessions this week. Today is my first day back, and I’m trying to condense the muscle groups that were missed in the past 4 days or so into today and tomorrow’s routine. It felt good to rest a few days, the cold really knocked me on my ass.

It actually feels nice to switch it up a bit from my typical training style of 2 muscle groups per day, superset with one another (mostly to save me time in the morning in an attempt to get to work on time! ;) ).

July 4 

image2

Lats/Chest Wide grip pullups, 4 x exhaustion Bench press, 4x20 Lat Pulldown Machine, 3x12 Incline press, 3x12 Pushups, 3 x exhaustion

Bis/Tris Barbell curls, 4x20 Skullcrushers, 4x20 Alternating dumbell curls, 3 x exhaustion Dips, 3 x exhaustion Cable curls (bar), 3x12

July 5

image

Legs/Various Leg press, 4x20 Lower Back Extension, 4x20 Glute kickback, 3x12ea Decline bench dumbell pullovers, 3x12 Hamstring curl, 3x12ea

Core/Shoulders Cable crunch, 4x20 Smith shoulder press (heavy), 4x6 Hanging wipers, 3x15 Double cable lateral raise, 3x12ea Decline bench swiss ball swing, 3x25

Exercise, Meal Planning, Shameless Self-promotion

2 MONTH SHRED CHALLENGE: WEEK 1 COMPLETE

Just a quick update (full results here): Well, after one week I don't expect to see much of a change, so here's a quick summary.

I followed my workout plan down to a tee, and did 3x5Km runs on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Friday, you’ll notice, is also leg day for me… causing the run to be a little on the slow side (poor hammys!).

At mealtime I did fairly well too – adjusted to the side-plate portion size and tried to avoid just piling high instead. This needs work haha. Luckily much of my meals have been veg and chicken so I don't feel so bad. Here's another example: shallot, mushroom, and herb scrambled eggs with tomato and avocado. So good.

herbscrambleeggs

Saturday Cheats: glass of Red, and mom’s Rhubarb pie. Def worth it!

rhubarb

Adjustments: I don’t think I felt anything need fine tuning quite yet. I may not run on Friday’s and shift the days to Tuesday, Thursday, and Sunday… it’s really awkward to run right after a leg workout!

Results: I’m not expecting any real results photos-wise, but my weight did drop. This is NOT a typical drop, likely due to me cramming as much dirty food in my face as I could right before I embarked on this journey!

Starting Weight: 176.2lbs

Week end: 171.8lbs

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Exercise, Meal Planning, Shameless Self-promotion

My 2 Month Shred Challenge

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So recently I decided to start a 2 month shred challenge for myself, to try and cut down some of the extra weight I’ve put on this spring. I tend to… how you say…. “eat like an asshole” when I decide to have dirty cheat meals, and then these easily turn into “cheat weekends”. Recently I've had a lot going on so these have been pretty abundant. Last November I did a 6-week challenge, and my reward was our family Christmas trip to Mexico. That challenge was really effective, I cut down to 158lbs with some great definition - I was really pumped with the results. I didn’t really take any photos for that challenge, as it’s somewhat out of my comfort zone. Also, our travel agency unfortunately cancelled the trip via email on Boxing Day (Canadians - never book with Nolitours!!), so I didn’t feel any satisfaction for of it. This time I’ll be posting weekly “selfies” to showcase the results I’m seeing. If you follow me on Instagram, you know I’ve come out of my shell a bit with the photos.

The Rules:

-          Generally a low carb, low sugar diet. On run days I’ll have a higher carb intake (usually through oats and fruit) -          Nothing with added sugars (this includes dried crans and sweet rice cakes) -          No breads, pasta, rice -          Snacks: fruit on run days only, vegetables otherwise -          3 runs per week -          6 workouts per week -          Meals on side plates only -          No alcohol -          No snacking on almonds as I get out hand with these. I’ll use them as part of meals only. -          Any cheating will be fessed up to

Workout Plan:

I've just begun a new workout routine utilizing my TrainRite logbook. Love this thing; I never have to think about what I have to workout each day – I did all the pre-planning. I actually began this regimen a while back, but due to a neck injury and illness I never got into the full swing of it. Now that I’m 100%, I’ll use it for the entire 62 days. 6 days a week and one rest day. Here’s the breakdown:

Sunday: Rest Day Monday: Lats/Bis Tuesday: Legs/Core Wednesday: Chest/Tris Thursday: Various*/Core Friday: Legs/Shoulders Saturday: Back/Core * “Various” refers to exercises that use a multiple muscle groups, or muscles I couldn’t classify with the other days

Cardio: 3 runs per week – Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday (generally quick 5km runs)

Supplements: -          Protein shake immediately before and after workouts -          5grams Creatine on workout days (taken with the aforementioned protein) -          10grams BCAAs, daily -          Daily men’s multi vitamin -          Daily fish oil

Exceptions: -          1 Cheat item per week (NOT a whole meal) -          1 alcoholic drink per week *I’ll adjust any of these that I deem effective or not as I go.

Keeping Track: Call me lazy, but I’ve found that the best way for me to track my results are weight and photos. A lot of people do measurements, but I don’t really think it’s necessary for me. Does anyone else have a method they’ve used before?

So here we go! Today is Day 1 of my challenge. This time I have a trip booked Aug 11th, which gives me 62 days. The last challenge I did was extremely strict, this time I’m going to give myself a few rewards along the way.

If you have any comments or suggestions I’d love to hear them! I’ll keep track of my progress here, but I’ll also post weekly updates.

Thanks for tuning in!

Day 1: Monday, June 10, 2013

Weight: 176.2lbs

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Exercise, Shameless Self-promotion

New Section: User Appreciation Pics

Hi all, So I've added a new section to pay my gratitude to all TrainRite Logbook customers!

A few photos have been trickling in and I think it's great! Keep 'em coming if you're a customer and you'd like to be featured on the page. I'm always amazed to see where my orders come from; Canada, USA, Singapore, Finland... all over.

Here it is - a big thanks to everyone!

Get one here! Facebook, webstore, Pinterest Instagram: @TrainRite00 Email: admin@trainrite.ca

Alex Patton - Sports Nutrition Specialist (Winnipeg, MB)

 

Exercise

Twig legs & no bum cure: sumo squats

legday1

legday2 So this is the reason I fall when I try to sit down today.... all thanks to sumo squats.

I wanted to share one of my 4 leg-day routines. This is my attempt to cure my chicken-leg syndrome. I superset each leg set with a core routine. I've just started, so I can't comment on the results. One of the trainers at my gym mentioned I need to consume a ton of calories to put good mass on  my legs... but I'm not prepared go that route yet.

SUMO SQUATS - 8 x 20

BULGARIAN DUMBBELL SQUATS - 3 x 12 (ea)

WALKING DUMBBELL LUNGES - 3 x 20

SEATED CALF RAISE - 3 x 12

legday1