Raspberry coconut protein truffles - Women's Health and Fitness Magazine

Treat yourself with these delicious raspberry coconut protein truffles by Heidi Cannon.

Ingredients (makes 12)

  • ¼ cup fresh raspberries
  • 1 cup shredded coconut
  • ¼ cup shredded almonds
  • 2 scoops vanilla protein
  • ½ cup coconut oil
  • 4 dark chocolate squares
  • Cocoa, crushed cacao nibs, crushed nuts or desiccated coconut (optional, for coating)

Method

Mash raspberries in mixing bowl.

Mix shredded coconut, almonds, and vanilla protein and add mashed raspberries.

Melt coconut oil in the microwave, and add to mixture.

Blend all ingredients, scoop mixture into small balls and place balls on the foil-covered tray.

Melt dark chocolate in bowl and pour over each ball. Roll in nuts, cocoa or another coating if desired.

Place balls in the freezer for 10 to 15 minutes and remove for a high-protein treat or recovery snack.

SOURCE: WOMEN’S HEALTH & FITNESS MAGAZINE

Target Body Part:
Abs

Equipment Needed:
Medicine Ball

Level:
Beginner

Step 1: Kneeling with one leg up on the foot and the other back on the knee, hold the ball in both hands near the hip of the rear leg.

Step 2: Twist through the trunk and shoulders to bring the ball across the body and over the opposite shoulder. Keep both arms straight during the whole movement. When finished with one side, switch to the other side.

Already have a membership subscription to Elite Fitness Pros? Yes? Well, you are all ready to take your membership features with you anywhere you go. Introducing the new Elite Fitness Pros Mobile app!! Take a sneak peak at a few of the awesome features below.

We are extremely excited to announce the extension of our online training platform by introducing our new subscription based memberships. See the preview below to get insight on all of the new and exciting features.

 

Weightlifting won’t get you bulky or turn you into a she-hulk. But you will gain confidence, self-esteem, and a bangin’ body.

Want proof? Six years ago Personal Trainer Jessie Hilgenberg, was a pudgy stay-at-home mom.  She had always been active, but for her, that really meant running, yoga, and the occasional “play with light dumbbells” session at the gym. She could never understand why she didn’t have the lean, athletic, feminine body she yearned for. Jessie spent hours at the gym and was always consistent.

Jessie Hilgenburg

The answer came to her in the form of iron, and since then, the iron and Jessie have been the best of friends. “I have a more desirable physique at 30 than I did at 20, and I feel better about myself in every conceivable way“, Jessie says.

While we at EFP, like Jessie, are blessed to coach and inspire many women around the world who appreciate and engage in regular strength training,  we aren’t ignorant to the fact there are still a lot myths and misunderstandings surrounding women and heavy weight training.

But before talking about why those ideas are myths rather than truths, let’s talk about the myriad benefits that lifting weights provides.

WHY IS IT SO IMPORTANT TO BE STRONG?

Metabolism and muscles: First, and perhaps most cogent, is the effect that lifting weights has on fat loss. The more muscle a woman has, the more calories she will burn at rest. So, basically, muscles speed up your metabolism, resulting in more effective fat loss.

Bone health: Many studies have shown that lifting weights regularly can increase bone density. Those of us in our 20s and 30s don’t think about this often, but someday you will. And won’t you be so proud of yourself that you lifted weights and cared for your bone density before you even knew you needed to?

Independence: Being strong makes everything easier. You know that furniture you need moved? Well, now you can do it yourself. How about those 15 bags of groceries? One trip from car to home—all you, girl.

I remember the moment I realized how important my strength was to my independence. I had just bought a twin bed for my son when he grew out of his toddler bed, and I didn’t have anyone to help me carry it into my apartment. I lugged it out of the back of my SUV and proceeded to carry it along the sidewalk, up the stairs, down the stairs and finally into his bedroom. It was exhausting, but I did it all by myself. To me, that kind of strength is priceless.” – Jessie Hilgenburg

Confidence: Strong girls exude a confidence that is intoxicating. I happen to believe that this comes from the knowledge that you can accomplish pretty impressive feats at the gym. When you realize your outer strength, you can tap into your inner strength, and that begins to radiate. Confidence is a very attractive quality, and that gym confidence starts to leak into every other aspect of life.

I always say, if you can crush it in the gym, you can crush it at life.

YOU WON’T GET BULKY. HERE’S WHY.

Hormones: Most women simply do not possess the level of testosterone necessary to support a bulky physique. Furthermore, any woman who does have a massively muscular physique is probably supplementing with hormones. While we all have different genetics, and some of us are prone to having more muscle density than others, as a general rule you have to train for bulk to get bulk.

Ask any bodybuilder and they will tell you that gaining muscle isn’t easy. You won’t turn into a she-hulk just because you perform squats with your body weight, but you will end up with a righteous backside.

Training model: Along those same lines as genetics, the way you train will play a significant role in determining how your body develops. Hypertrophy (increased bulk) is not as easy as you might think, and most bodybuilders work incredibly hard to make sure their training program supports maximum muscle growth in as short a time span as possible.

We train a lot of women, and not a single one has come to me with the complaint that they are too bulky. As a general rule, most women I train are put on 3-5 workouts per week consisting of full-body free-weight training (squats, lunges, deadlifts, pull-ups, push-ups, rows, presses), kettlebell training (swings, snatches), and interval training.

The key is to utilize as many compound, combination, and full-body movements as possible, so that we’re increasing lean mass and decreasing fat simultaneously, rather than isolating muscle groups to increase their size.

Of course, much of this is dependent upon your diet, and a bulking diet looks far different than a solid nutritional protocol for a woman on a fat-loss program. The bottom line is that the way you eat and train will determine how your body develops. A full-body training program and a diet rich in protein, veggies, and healthy fats is an effective path toward fat loss and strength for most women.

SO NOW WHAT?

Maybe we’ve convinced you. Perhaps now, you’re thinking you’re going to toss your three-pound weights, hop off the elliptical, and give this whole strength thing a shot. Where should you begin?

The following three-workouts-per-week program is a great place for beginners to realize their strength potential and start their body transformation. I recommend beginning each training session with dynamic mobility, glute bridges, planks, and Turkish get-ups. Now get up and get after it!

Day 1
CIRCUIT: 3-5 ROUNDS
CARDIO CIRCUIT: 5-8 ROUNDS
  • Elliptical Trainer Elliptical TrainerCardio Of Choice
    30 sec sprint, 60 sec rest or easy pace
Day 2
CIRCUIT: 3-5 ROUNDS
CARDIO CIRCUIT: 5-8 ROUNDS
  • Elliptical Trainer Elliptical TrainerCardio Of Choice
    30 sec sprint, 60 sec rest or easy pace
Day 3
CIRCUIT: 3-5 ROUNDS
CARDIO CIRCUIT: 5-8 ROUNDS
  • Elliptical Trainer Elliptical TrainerCardio Of Choice
    30 sec sprint, 60 sec rest or easy pace

The Simplest Weight-Loss Diet Ever!

Hardcore dieting can become a mess of food scales, portions, and hunger that very few survive. If you’re looking to lose weight without the stress, this article is for you!

From extreme calorie restriction, to sprawling “off-limit” food lists, to tracking every single morsel of nourishment, strict dieting can be a major turnoff. The so-called “best diet in the world” is useless if you can’t stick to it, and many popular restriction-based diets are downright hard to stick to!

If you want to lose weight without following a complicated rule book that dictates when and what you can eat, this article is for you. If you want to drop fat without feeling like you have to drop your social life, this article is for you. Simply put, if you want to shed excess weight and the stress that usually comes along with it, this article is for you.

Read these eight steps, start living them, train for fat loss a few days per week, and reap the benefits of a healthy diet without having to abandon the fun in your life.

1. Eat Protein And Vegetables At Every Meal

Protein is the key player when it comes to muscle growth and recovery. But outside of its invaluable muscle-building benefits, protein slows down digestion, keeping you fuller for longer, which means you’ll be less likely to stuff yourself silly if you eat an ample amount of it.

To keep overall calories at bay, choose lean proteins at every meal, ball-parking around 30 grams. If you’re unsure which lean protein options to choose, keep this advice in mind: “The fewer legs, the better.” Think about it: Between fish, two-legged poultry, and the four-legged cow and pig, fat content increases as the number of legs increases. Of course, there are exceptions to every rule, but this is a solid starting place when you’re unsure.

Lean protein sources: Chicken or turkey breast (no skin), pork tenderloin, filet mignon, sirloin, tenderloin, egg whites, low-fat Greek yogurt/milk, bison, venison, soy protein, whey protein, casein protein

Vegetables contribute to your fullness because they’re high in both water and fiber. Water fills your stomach, and fiber slows down digestion, both of which can keep you from steering toward extra calories and sweets. Eating veggies is also a surefire way to increase vitamin and mineral intake, which is important for optimal health as well as cognitive and physical performance.

2. Eat Carbohydrates At Three Meals

Eat direct carbohydrate sources like oats, rice, and potatoes at three meals per day. Make sure that two of these meals include your pre- and post-workout meal. Carbohydrates are your body’s primary energy source, so consuming them at your pre-workout meal will help “top off” your fuel tank. This will help you give 100 percent effort during your training. In your post-workout meal, carbohydrates can enhance recovery and replenish your used fuel, so to speak.

Note: On nontraining days, when your activity is probably much lower, reduce carbohydrate-focused meals to two per day to account for the reduction in energy expenditure.

3. Choose Complex Carbs

Complex carbohydrates take longer to digest than simple carbohydrates, due to their high fiber content. Choose complex carbs over simple, quick-digesting options to enhance fullness and provide your body with longer-lasting energy throughout the day.

A quick way to identify complex carbohydrates is by observing the color of the carbohydrate. The darker, more brown in color, the better the option usually is. For instance, opt for brown rice over white rice, or whole-wheat bread over white bread.

Carbohydrate Comparison

  • Complex carbs: Oats, brown rice, quinoa, whole-wheat bread, whole-wheat pasta, fruits, vegetables.
  • Simple carbs: Cookies, cakes, chips, pretzels, sugar-sweetened beverages, candy.

4. Eat More Healthy Fats

Fat is a (ridiculously delicious) nutrient that promotes fullness because it digests slowly. Fat is very calorie-dense, so the type of fat you choose is critical. Eating primarily “healthy,” unsaturated fats has been suggested to improve blood cholesterol and triglyceride levels, blood pressure, and weight loss.[1-6]

The Fat Facts

  • Unsaturated Fats: Avocado, fatty fish, olive oil, canola oil, omega-3 fish oil supplements, nuts, seeds, nut butters, flax seed.
  • Saturated Fats: Coconut oil, reduced- and full-fat milk, cheese and yogurt, butter, egg yolks, animal meats.

5. Use Your Hands

Measuring out every morsel of food can be a real pain in the butt. Fortunately, you can absolutely lose weight without weighing all your food. Of course, portion control is still an important part of maintaining a healthy lifestyle, but there’s an easier way: Just use your hands!

Palm of protein: Consume a palm-sized portion of protein each time you eat. Choose complete protein options (animal, soy, or quinoa) for most of your meals to ensure you’re getting all the essential amino acids necessary to optimize muscle growth and recovery.

Fist of carbs: For both vegetables and more starchy carbohydrates like oats, rice, and potatoes, use your fist to eyeball the right portion size. You can always go over on nonstarchy veggies to get more vitamins, minerals, and food in your tummy.

Thumb of fats: For liquid fats such as oils, spreads, and butters, incorporate two thumb-sized portions 3-4 times per day, preferably not too close to your training session. For solid fats such as nuts and seeds, count out one serving according to the package, which typically provides around 15 grams of fat. (For example, 24 almonds is one serving.)

6. Eat More Frequently

Let go of the traditional three-meals-per-day mindset and provide your body with the fuel it needs every 3-4 hours to stay full and maximize protein synthesis (MPS), which is the body’s muscle-building process. Whether you have big meals or small snacks, you should have protein every time you eat! Eating protein every 3-4 hours will help you maintain that precious, hard-earned muscle while on a fat-loss diet.

Around 20-30 grams of complete protein turns on muscle protein synthesis for approximately 90 minutes, and then MPS returns to baseline within three hours. By eating every 3-4 hours, you “turn on” your body’s ability to build muscle as often as possible throughout the day.

Also, keep in mind that the longer you go without food, the more likely you are to indulge in a high-calorie, high-sugar option. This is because your brain recognizes sugar as a rapidly available fuel source. Hello, cravings! Even more, long periods without food will reveal your hangry side, which nobody likes—not even you.

7. Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate

Staying hydrated is one of the easiest ways to keep hunger under control. Filling up on fluids stretches your stomach, which is a satiety signal in and of itself. Additionally, your brain and muscles prefer to operate in a hydrated state, so you’ll avoid common consequences of dehydration such as increased irritability, decreased focus, and suboptimal strength and power.

Make sure you choose calorie-free fluids. A bottle of your favorite soft drink or sweet tea can easily contain over 200 calories! If you’re trying to cut back on calories, there’s no better place to start than with liquid calories, especially alcohol. Stick with water, diet beverages, and calorie-free additions.

If you’re ever feeling randomly hungry, don’t just dive into your candy drawer. First, try consuming 12-16 ounces of fluids before eating, and then re-evaluate your hunger situation 15-20 minutes later. You’ll be surprised how often you feel hungry when you’re actually dehydrated.

8. Cheat Occasionally, But Consciously

Chances are you’re not prepping for a photoshoot anytime soon, so there’s no reason to ramp up restriction or remain glued to your Tupperware every day. Break up your weekly routine with an occasional “free” meal, whether it’s eating dinner at your favorite restaurant or enjoying larger portions than usual.

A weekly indulgence will mentally solidify the idea that this isn’t a diet—it’s a way of eating to feel good and perform well. Enjoying the food should be your top priority, but make sure you still get your protein in at this meal!

SOURCE: BODYBUILDING.COM

Thrash Your Chest With Frank 'Wrath' McGrath

After pushing himself to the limit for competitive glory, Frank McGrath launched his offseason with a chest workout as classic as the gym he performed it in. Get ready to feel like a bodybuilder.

Anyone who has ever been onstage at the peak of leanness knows that the triumph of being in competition shape comes at a steep price. You may look like the best version of yourself for a day, but you probably won’t feel like your best self for a while.

On the contrary, in the weeks leading up to the event, the basic rituals of the fit life, like training and eating, can become immense challenges. You may even have to force yourself to do things that used to be automatic. Even chewing can be a battle.

But then, as quickly as a round of applause, it’s all over. The trophies get handed out, the sweats go back on, and the tan washes off. You have a meal (or several), carb up, and finally—there you are. Time to wake up again, live again, and yes, even train again.

Frank McGrath went through the wringer to prepare for his first major show in three years, and he detailed every step of the process in the video series Frank McGrath: The Making of an Animal. Then, five days later and 10-15 glorious pounds heavier, he headed to the legendary Ed Ryan’s Gym in Glenolden, Pennsylvania, for his first training session of the offseason.

With the cameras rolling and Ed Ryan himself in the house, this IFBB pro and fan favorite trained—what else?—chest. Think you can hang?

Feeling Like A Bodybuilder Again

If you watched Frank’s take on intuitive back training, you know that this pro likes to structure his workouts around a combination of the familiar and the impulsive. He has favorite movements that almost always make the cut in one form or another, but he always leaves himself open to a unique machine, a new handle, or a long-forgotten move.

Ed Ryan’s Gym is packed with old-school curiosities galore—after all, Ed has run it and kept it intact since 1960—so Frank had plenty of choices for this particular chest beating.

“It’s almost like a warp back in time to when bodybuilding was real bodybuilding,” Wrath says of his session that day. But before he started exploring, he knew it was time to get reacquainted with the simple incline bench press, one of his staple moves to build an Animal chest.

“It wasn’t too heavy,” Wrath says of the workout. “I just competed a few days ago, so I didn’t want to go too crazy. Just getting a few more reps in, getting the squeeze, stuff like that.”

With the Band-Aid now pulled off and the offseason officially under way, Wrath decided it was time to play. He knocked out a few sets on a rattling old universal press machine with a bicycle-bar handle, followed by cable crosses using chain cables, and finally, some dips on a small station attached to the press machine.

Four moves, a mean pump, and he was done. This wasn’t some grueling trial-by-fire workout. It was about feeling good—and Wrath felt great.

Aftermath Chest Training
1
Barbell Incline Bench Press Medium-Grip

3 sets, 8-12 Reps

2
Machine Bench Press

3 sets, 8-12 Reps

3
Cable Crossover

3 sets, 8-12 Reps

4
Dips – Chest Version
3 sets, 8-12 Reps

It would be easy to say that a workout like this is as big a reward as the show itself. After all, in Wrath’s words, “It takes nothing to get a pump, and it’s like the best time ever. You go to the gym and you don’t even use heavy weight, and you’re just blowing up.”

Everyone who has ever competed has looked at themselves in the mirror during one of these workouts and said, “If I’d only looked like this at the show, I would have killed it!”

But a seasoned competitor like Wrath knows better. He knows this workout is only possible because of the deprivation that’s directly in his rear-view mirror. So no, this workout isn’t exactly the prize. It’s just a small gift from the bodybuilding gods, to ensure he’ll transform again, push himself again, and risk it all again.

He’ll be back. Will you?

SOURCE: BODYBUILDING.COM

trainerize-myfitnesspal-nutrition-tracking

We are delighted to announce that Trainerize now connects to MyFitnessPal, the world’s most advanced and comprehensive calorie tracker app! One of our all-time most requested features is finally here and it will empower fitness and nutrition professionals to provide better nutrition guidance to clients by using the MyFitnessPal integration in Trainerize.

With access to valuable micro and macro level nutrition tracking data, the new MyFitnessPal integration will allow fitness and nutrition professionals to gain a stronger understanding of their clients’ health and provide enhanced nutritional guidance. Both trainers and clients will get access to a brand new nutrition dashboard that is going to make it very easy to see and evaluate their training and nutrition metrics in one platform for the first time.

“Medical studies show that keeping a food journal and logging meals can double a person’s weight loss! That means more results!”

By getting access to both MyFitnessPal and Trainerize workout stats, fitness professionals will be able to create highly personalized workout programs and meal plans that fit their lifestyles while holding them more accountable and keeping them motivated. With the new integration, trainers can now track what their clients are eating and understand how their diet is affecting their progress.

WHAT’S NEW?

Every meal tracked by clients syncs in daily calendar. View daily macro and micro stats and keep track of how they are making progress towards their goals. Both trainers and clients can see tracked meals in the Calendar view and can keep track of their goals in the “Plans” view.

ADD A MEAL. We’ve added a way for clients to quickly log a meal from the “Add to today” bubble menu. “Meals” will open the MyFitnessPal app for clients to start recording their food intake.

SET NUTRITION GOALS. We’ve added the option for trainers to set macro and micro goals for clients in the “Meal Plan” tab. Nutrition goals are connected to both custom meal plans and Evolution Nutrition meal plans. After adding a meal plan you now get the option to setup and adjust the nutrition goals you want your clients to follow. Viewing how they fulfill their goals will get you a better understanding of what changes they need to make to their eating habits and where you’ll have the most impact.

NEW CLIENT DASHBOARD WITH NUTRITION STATS. Client profiles now include comprehensive nutrition stats in one place. Check up on your clients’ tracked macros and calories at a glance, by viewing daily and 4-week stats. If you want to analyze the data further, switch to the calendar tab and take a look at individual nutrition stats.

THE NUTRITION MACRO WHEEL. As your clients track their food intake in MyFitnessPal, you’ll be able to see and understand their body composition. Macro statistics such as Protein, Carbs and Fat percentages will show you if your clients are hitting their nutrition goals. Tap on any daily metrics and open up the macro wheel with all the nutritional details for the day. This is a great opportunity to engage with clients who are not drifting away from their set goals by sending them messages at the right time.

EASY FOR CLIENTS TO CONNECT. Your clients can start tracking their meals in Trainerize by connecting to MyFitnessPal in a few quick steps.

SOURCE: TRAINERIZE.COM

Target Body Part:
Abs, Butt/Hips, Legs – Thighs

Equipment Needed:
No Equipment

Step 1

Starting Position: Stand with your feet together and your arms raised in front to shoulder height; elbows straight. Pull your shoulders down and back toward your hips. Engage your abdominal/core muscles (“brace”) to stabilize your spine.

Step 2

From the starting position, imagine that you are standing on a clock facing 12 o’clock. With your right foot, step across your body (both feet remain pointed forward) to the 3 o’clock position. Once the right foot is firmly placed on the floor, begin to bend at the hips. Push the hips backwards as you shift your weight over your right foot. Continue shifting your weight until your shinbone is straight up and down and your right knee is aligned directly over the second toe of your right foot. Your left knee is bent and the left heel is off the ground.

Step 3

As you lunge, rotate your arms and torso in the opposite direction of the lunge movement. This increases the load on your glute muscle group. Firmly push off with your front leg, activating both your thighs and butt muscles to return to your upright, starting position.

This series of multi-directional (multi-planar) lunges are intended to activate your glutes, which protect your knee during walking, running and jumping-type activities. As many of us have weak glutes, this exercise can be performed as part of your pre-exercise warm-up. Given the moderate degree of complexity of the three movements, we recommend learning this exercise first without your arms and only progress to the arm drivers as you feel comfortable. It is suggested you first learn how to perform single leg-stands on the ground and forward lunges before performing these glute activation lunges.

SOURCE: AMERICAN COUNCIL ON EXERCISE

 

Quinoa Salad

Looking for more healthy lunch ideas? This quinoa, chicken and feta salad has it allI.

Ingredients (Serves 4)

  • 2 tbsp chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 tbsp chopped mint
  • ⅓ cup lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 500 g skinless chicken tenderloins or thigh fillets
  • 200 g quinoa, rinsed, drained
  • Olive oil spray
  • 1 bunch broccolini or asparagus, cut into 4cm lengths
  • 250 g reduced-fat feta, crumbled
  • 4 spring onions, thinly sliced
  • 50 g baby rocket leaves
  • 1 pomegranate, seeds removed

Method

Whisk together parsley, mint, lemon juice and oil; season to taste. Pour half of the dressing over the chicken and allow to marinate while cooking quinoa. Reserve remaining dressing for salad. Boil quinoa for 12 to 15 minutes, or until just tender but still firm to the bite. Drain well, and transfer to a large bowl. Set aside to cool. Spray chicken and broccolini or asparagus lightly with oil, BBQ or char-grill over high heat until cooked through and tender.

Rest for five minutes and slice chicken. Add the sliced chicken, broccolini or asparagus, feta, spring onions, rocket and pomegranate seeds to the quinoa and drizzle with reserved dressing. Toss to combine and arrange in a serving platter. If preparing this salad ahead of time for a work lunch, omit the rocket and refrigerate. Toss through the rocket at the last minute to prevent it from wilting. 

SOURCE: WOMEN’S HEALTH & FITNESS MAGAZINE