beach body

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"?

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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

Quinoa Salad

So I just wanted to post a quick photo of what I've basically been eating all week. It's so simple to make and an amazing side to a protein (I prefer fish) and some steamed veggies. This recipe makes quite a bit if you're eating it as a side like I do. I'm new to this quinoa business...but I really like it. I've also made some quinoa burgers which I'll feature separately. Recipes will all be posted under the "FOOD!" section...

Find this recipe HERE!

Meal Planning

"Mmm Sauce" and more...

mmm sauce

I really like this recipe rubbed into kale leaves, but it can be used as a general sauce for anything really. It has a cheesy flavour, and a little heat if you opted for the sriracha. I make 4 batches at once, because I can’t get enough! This recipe can also be a great base – just add other spices/flavors as you want! Side note: I wish I had a better name for this recipe.

Check out my "food!" section! I'm going to try to post at least one recipe per week that I make. These recipes I'll keep as clean as I can, but delicious at the same time. Enjoy, comment if you try them!

mmm sauce
mmm sauce

Meal Planning

Breakfast showdown: Cottage Cheese vs Plain Yogurt

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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

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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

 

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

Meal Planning

Favourite Snack: Tandoori Masala Roasted Chickpeas

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photo 1 This is a great snack that I usually make once a week, and bring in my lunch.

They don't take much effort to make at all, just a little bake time. You can literally exchange any of the spices for something you like better; like garlic/chive/dill, cilantro/lime, sea salt and pepper, and so on. Many people do sweeter versions with cinnamon and sugar...so there are endless combinations. The process is the same for each.

Find the recipe here, and enjoy!

photo 2

photo 3

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)

Meal Planning

Sunday morning Protein Waffles...mmmm

Just wanted to post a quick recipe we tried out early this morning. It turned out really well, I'll definitely be making these again! Protein Waffles with Berry and Peanut Drizzles

Find the recipe HERE or under my "Food!" section.

Enjoy!

Photo 2013-07-28 7 40 47 AM

Photo 2013-07-28 7 55 00 AM

Photo 2013-07-28 7 51 48 AM

Exercise, Meal Planning, Shameless Self-promotion

My 2 Month Shred Challenge

flex

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)

 

Meal Planning

My favourite breakfast on run days - Overnight Oats

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My favourite breakfast on run days - Overnight Oats Here's a quick breakfast I have about 3 times a week: Overnight oats! I'll post the recipe under the "food!" section of my blog, but it's comprised of: oats, protein powder (Cellucor's Peanut Butter Marshmallow is my personal favourite), chia seeds, ground flax, almond milk and banana.

Exercise, Shameless Self-promotion

Your Workout "Routine"

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We've all heard that in order to get the most out of your workouts, they should be anything but 'routine'. Varying your workouts by trying  new exercises, varying sets and reps, increasing and decreasing rest periods and intensity are all great was to do this. So what if you're like me? Lack of time to research, plan and tweak new workout sessions used to be my largest hurdle for making new strides in personal fitness. So I wanted to share exactly how I do accomplish this, and I think it's worth a look for anyone who feels like they're own workouts are getting stagnant. Yeah, you know who you are... doing the same routines daily for months isn't working. I did that for almost two years with no results or reward.  I want to state up front that there are a myriad of ways to effectively train your body and create an effective workout. This is just one way I've found to be effective for myself.

First things first, I'm at the gym by 6am to get my training in before work. I'm in no shape to be dreaming up new routines. So yes, in order to follow what I'm going to tell you here you will need to put in some hours on a Sunday or a slow day to plan ahead. What I do is I plan workouts on a two week rotation. I go to the gym usually 6 days a week. So basically up front you'll plan 12 days of workouts (6 days x 2 weeks). Now if you go to the gym 3 or 4 days a week you only have to plan 6-8 days worth. The key is to I rotate through this routine for up to three months - and probably even longer. If you do a great job of researching new exercises and don't repeat any, you'll only really be doing the same exercise twice a month! Sounds like it's worth a day or two or up front planning right?

The picture I posted is my current workout routine - and due to an injury I haven't really been able complete it a month straight - but I'll post any updates in how effect it is over the next few months. I should note as well that I do some outdoor runs around 3 times a week on top of this (hence the early morning workout sessions). I choose 2 muscle groups per session, 5 exercises each. The sets and reps vary.

I know I'm shorting you on some of the details - if you want to know more about my regimen, please comment below!

Self promotion alert: This workout will perfectly align itself with a TrainRite logbook. Get one, try it out. I can't stress enough how taking the time to plan out your fitness activities has been the key to my own results.

Get your logbooks here:

https://www.etsy.com/shop/TrainRite

www.trainrite.ca

admin@trainrite.ca

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