weight loss

Lunch / Dinner

Rice + Kale + Roast Chickpea Salad

Boom! I love these crazy simple recipes; the sky's the limit as far as what you can put in them. I made this for lunch for at work and really just tossed in what I had laying around. SO GOOD! This one's worth trying and customizing for yourself!

Shameless Self-promotion

I'm on vacation!

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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

Exercise, Shameless Self-promotion

New TrainRite Exercise and Fitness Journal covers!

Anybody starting to get their Christmas lists together? Check out some of the new covers for the holiday season for the ever popular TrainRite Exercise & Fitness Journal! All the same features as the traditional weight lifting log book, but with some fun new covers!

Available on Amazon.com, eBay & Etsy.

Exercise, Shameless Self-promotion

There's an even MORE compact TrainRite Fitness Journal coming soon!

Over the past year or so that I've been creating and selling Fitness and Nutrition Journals for myself and others, I've received a lot of great feedback! I want to personally thank each and every one of you who took the time to contact me and let me know how it's working for you, asked me questions about the best way to use the journals, or just general thanks and positivity. If you haven't yet, or have any questions, email me anytime - admin@trainrite.ca. As I've said before, my original intentions were never to sell these things, they were for me! I had goals that just weren't being met by "showing up". I needed to plan things out, and periodically review my progress. As people saw me using them, my progress and results - I kept getting asked where they could get them, and so TrainRite was born.

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There are a ton of other options out there for basic weight lifting, fitness and food journals. 99% of them (trust me, I've tried many), have SO much wasted space and just general 'filler' that I'd never use. I personally wanted a small physical book to log my weight/reps, my newest 5k run time, my weight, along with my complete exercise regimen somewhere in the book so I'd always know what I'm working that day. That's it! A few journals I've found are actually very similar to mine. Simple, easy to use, compact and so on. The key difference I strive for is listening to your experience and evolving into a product that's better for everyone - not just me.

In the next month or so I'll be rolling out a different version of the TrainRite Exercise and Fitness Journal

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So what's new? Based on feedback I've received:

  • Keep it 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

 So stay tuned!

- Matt 

 

Uncategorized

New TrainRite Logbook feature: Pre-planning Workout Guide!

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Hi all! I wanted to bring your attention to an exciting new feature that will ship with every TrainRite Logbook order!

The TrainRite Workout Guide  allows you to pre-plan a rotating 2 week fitness routine. This is a great addition to the logbook in the sense that you'll fill out the chart well in advance, so when you show up to the gym you've already done the hard work and know exactly what you're working that session.

I do this myself, and has been a critical step in creating well rounded workouts and meeting my goals. I've received an overwhelming request for this feature from current TrainRite users that I've shown my chart to. I rarely repeat exercises over my 2 week rotation, so my pre-planned routine can actually outlast my 90 day TrainRite Logbook.

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Top 3 reasons to pre-plan your routine with the TrainRite Workout Guide?

1. Saves you time. By spending the time and doing the  hard work upfront, you're never scrambling to dream up your workout while on the way to the gym.

2. Forces you to take a step back and get a birds-eye view of how effective your workouts are. You'll see which muscle groups you're overlooking, or overworking, and help you gear your workout routines to meet your goal

3. Expands your horizons. You'll take more time researching new exercises and training techniques while you fill out your guide. The more variations of exercises and techniques you use, the less "routine" it will actually be!

How do I use it?

1. Choose up to 6 days per week, and fill out the top row of the chart for each week. I workout Monday through Saturday, with Sunday's off for rest - so I'd fill out Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and so on to Saturday.

2. Then under each day, choose the musclegroup(s) you're going to target. A few examples from my own guide are Fridays I workout Legs/Shoulders and Saturdays I hit my Back/Core.

3. Now just fill out the exercises you're going to complete and the SETSxREPS of each. Over the two week rotation you can use the same days for similar muscle groups, but try to choose different variations of exercises to work those groups. This will help you build muscle and prevent you from getting bored with your workouts. The more variations, the longer you can keep using this same routine. And don't forget to choose additional rest days!

4. Peel off the backing and stick it to the inside the plastic backing of your TrainRite Logbook.

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Where do I get one?

When you order any TrainRite Logbook, you'll automatically be shipped one.  http://trainrite.ca/products/

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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.

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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

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.

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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...

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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.

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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!

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Meal Planning

Recipe: Pulled Chicken Lettuce Wraps

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Happy new year all! I'm making an effort to post as frequently as possible this year, and check back for some guest posts as well.

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This recipe was created by suggestion from a friend for creating caramelized onions in the slow cooker. I love caramelized onions, but somehow I didn't think the entire wrap filling in onion would be as appetizing. It’s a really simple recipe, and the majority of your time will be spent filling up the slow cooker. Aside from the butter, this recipe is really clean and any spices for the pulled chicken can be substituted, as any of the filling ingredients. Try not to do what I do every time I assemble a wrap: stuff as much filling as I can only to have the entire thing fall apart on first bite. Less is more people! Especially with the delicate lettuce leaves. Needless to say I ate these alone, face covered, what a mess. Enjoy!

See this recipe here.

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Exercise, Meal Planning, Shameless Self-promotion

Final Week Complete

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This is my final week of the challenge I began on June 10th. While there definitely were some challenges (took 2 weeks off in the middle due to illness), I definitely made some progress. I’m nowhere near where I wanted to be by the end of this, but all in all I’ll take the progress. I’ll outline below some thoughts I have on the experience, and I plan on beginning some new training when I get back from some much needed vacation! Results: definite muscle development in shoulders/back, and <12lbs.

Positives: -          The planning was key, I used a solid plan with defined rules. This is the only way this type of thing would work for me. I need something to reference. My TrainRite log book is my bible! -          I was actually developing muscle while keeping a strict diet, and was increasing my weight almost regularly.This is extremely hard to do while trying to lose fat, and tells me I was probably taking in more calories than I should have while cutting. -          New 5KM run PR @ 18:08!!! Setbacks: -          illness really hurt me for 2 weeks, I wasn’t able to keep my routine or meal plan in check. -          Cheats: I don’t do well with them, I tend to stretch them out for more/longer than I should. Next time, I’ll avoid this altogether. This is likely why there was little visual fat loss in the toughest area: the gut! -          Fat loss seems insignificant, again – need to go with no cheats and firm portion sizes. I started straying towards the end with all the delicious summer BBQs :)

Now, time for a vacation!

Exercise

Great Nutrition and Workout talk on the Dr. Drew podcast

drcatherwood

Great Dr. Drew podcast this week regarding Health and Fitness. I’ve cropped out the best part.

listen HERE

Anybody who knows me well knows I love me some good podcast and  talk radio in general. I started listening to the Adam Carolla Show back when he was on radio, and followed him to his new podcast empire. My favourite Adam Carolla material is back when he was on Loveline with Dr Drew – their “chemistry” was phenominal. Adam holds nothing back, even reads his past social insurance statements in a series of episodes. Hilarious. Loveline also taught me quite a bit about myself, and others. Topics vary between everything from mental health to physical health (think dude who thinks it’s normal to dig up a human skull to place in his aquarium, to girl who calls in to find out if her rash is razorburn or herpes). Adam is so funny – this link (www.lovelinetapes.com) has the best archive of episodes.

So the audio I've posted here is from the two current hosts of the show – Dr Drew and Mike Catherwood. I don’t listen to the show anymore, but I do listen to Dr Drew’s podcast. I really enjoyed this section of the podcast when they talk about the simplicity of nutrition and workouts – take a listen!

Notable quotes:

On how often to workout: “The overwhelming majority of people (need to devote) 3 days a week… You can pare it down to like 4 exercises…deadlifts, chinups or pullups, dips, and maybe some overhead pressing work” -MC

“People waste so much time – they ask me how to train their biceps, and I’m like “how many chinups can you do?” He’s like “I can’t do any”. I’m like “listen, you shouldn't be doing any barbell curls until you can do chinups to like, at bodyweight, a grown man should be able to do 15 chinups.” -MC

"Find an intention, make a goal, and follow it. People get so crazy and mixed up they want to be able to run a marathon and (bodybuild) to benchpress 350lbs…. The two don’t mix." - MC

Drew: “How ‘bout diet, what are the basic diet tendants?” Mike “Uhhhh…people eat too goddam much. Too many calories, with too little nutrients. That’s the biggest problem with Americans today”

"Here’s the big thing: it IS inconvenient. To be truly healthy you have to focus you have to pay attention. Don’t confuse diet foods with health foods, and vice versa. There are things that are very healthy, that are not good for a diet. There are things that are very good for a diet, that are fuckin’ unhealthy. And don’t confuse the two. Low fat yogurt with a bunch of sugar that’s only 90 calories may be great for some chick that doesn’t eat a lot and wants to stay skinny, but it’s not very healthy. Half a bag of macadamia nuts is very dense and healthy, but it’s a terrible thing if you’re on a diet because it’s going to be around 3000 calories." -MC

Exercise

Happy 4 of July, you 'Mericans!

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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 

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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

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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

Meal Planning

Mens vs Womens Grocery Lists

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I thought this was funny - much like the guy I prefer to keep my diet really simple when trying to cut down. I don't really need the variety that many people (errr... women) tend to need. I could be perfectly happy eating just a small handful of differing meals as long as they taste good. Just like with many other aspects of my life I like consistency when I know things work - call me lazy. Anyway, I came across these grocery lists a few weeks back and think they're helpful for people who need a hand with the basics for meal ideas. I always forget about certain foods so these are good to print out and have handy when you find yourself out of ideas.

Men: http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/docs/2013/shoppinglist_craig33.pdf Women: http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/docs/2013/shoppinglist_karina3.pdf

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.

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

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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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