Fit Tips

Resistance Training Improves Insulin Sensitivity in Young Overweight Men

February 5th, 2019 by Debbie Martilotta

New Findings:

Short duration resistance training results in early and progressive increases in muscle mass and function and an increase in insulin sensitivity.

Short bursts of high-intensity resistance training improved insulin sensitivity for relatively young, overweight or obese men.

A team of researchers from the University of Glasgow recruited 10 overweight men to carry out three sessions per week of 15-20 minutes of resistance exercise. The trial lasted for six weeks. Each session involved a single set of nine exercises which were performed until reaching muscle fatigue.

The participants were aged between 28 and 44 years old with BMI between 26 and 32 kg/m2. Their fitness levels, insulin sensitivity, and muscle strength were measured at the start and after each week of the study.

Insulin sensitivity is a marker for whether a person is at risk of type 2 diabetes. If the body becomes less sensitive to the effects of the hormone insulin, blood glucose levels can rise leading to prediabetes and type 2 diabetes.

A 16 percent improvement in insulin sensitivity was recorded along with improvements in muscle strength.

The study indicates that short bursts of exercise through the week, carried out on a regular basis, can have substantial effects on improving insulin sensitivity which could help reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

It will be interesting to see how a similar exercise regimen could benefit insulin sensitivity for people of both genders who have been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.

The findings have been published in the journal Experimental Physiology.


January 29th, 2019 by Debbie Martilotta

I love squats. I train my clients on squats, especially squat presses. I’m a stickler for proper form, and suggest going down slowly (think count to 3 or 5) and coming up strong. Here are some more thoughts on why I love squats:

• Squats are mostly known as a leg exercise, but they promote body-wide muscle building by catalyzing an anabolic environment

• Squats are also one of the best functional exercises out there, promoting mobility and balance and helping you complete real-world activities with ease

• Squats also help you to burn more fat, as one of the most time-efficient ways to burn more calories continually is by developing more muscle

• Squats have long been criticized for being destructive to your knees, but research shows that when done properly, squats actually improve knee stability and strengthen connective tissue

• Squats are one type of exercise that should be a part of virtually everyone’s fitness routine, as they provide whole-body benefits

Strength Training Tied To Better Heart Health Than Aerobic

January 21st, 2019 by Debbie Martilotta

A survey of 4,000 adults revealed that static activity, such as strength training, had stronger links to reduced risk of cardiovascular diseases than dynamic activity, such as walking and cycling.

The researchers point out, however, that any amount of either kind of exercise brings benefits, and that it is probably better to do both than to increase either.

Recommended amounts and type of exercise
According to the AHA, guidelines recommend that adults in the United States should be physically active for at least 150 minutes each week.

This activity should consist of at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity or 75 minutes per week of vigorous-intensity aerobic exercise, or a combination. It is better to spread the exercise across the week than complete it all in 1 or 2 days.

The guidelines also advise doing exercise that strengthens the muscles, such as resistance or weight training. People should do this on at least 2 days per week.

Even greater benefits accrue from 300 minutes of exercise per week, says the AHA. They also recommend breaking up prolonged bouts of sitting — even getting up and doing some light activity is better than just sitting, they add.

National Institutes of Health (NIH), advises older adults to do four types of exercise:

  • Endurance, or aerobic, exercises that increase breathing and raise heart rate.
  • Strength, or resistance, exercises that strengthen major muscle groups in the upper and lower body and improve their function.
  • Balance exercises to reduce the risk of falls and the disabilities that they can cause.
  • Flexibility exercises that stretch the body and increase a person’s range of movement.

Aerobic activity includes walking, jogging, cycling, swimming, gardening and all forms of sports, such as golf, tennis, and volleyball.

Push-ups, static rowing, resistance training, dips, arm, and leg raises, and hand grips are all examples of strength-building exercises.

Practicing Tai Chi and yoga can improve balance and flexibility as can simple exercises that involve the use of the body or everyday objects, such as a chair.

Only around 1 in 5 adults and teens in the U.S. meet the recommended 150 minutes per week of “heart-pumping” activity. With this in mind, perhaps the more pressing message  is that clinicians should encourage people to “exercise regardless.”

Dr. Maia P. Smith

Health Benefits Of Resistance Training

January 16th, 2019 by Debbie Martilotta

Resistance training (also called strength training or weight training) is the use of resistance to muscular contraction to build the strength, anaerobic endurance, and size of skeletal muscles.

Resistance training is based on the principle that muscles of the body will work to overcome a resistance force when they are required to do so. When you do resistance training repeatedly and consistently, your muscles become stronger.

A well-rounded fitness program includes strength training to improve joint function, bone density, muscle, tendon and ligament strength, as well as aerobic exercise to improve your heart and lung fitness, flexibility and balance exercises.

Physical and mental health benefits that can be achieved through resistance training include:

  • improved muscle strength and tone – to protect your joints from injury
  • maintaining flexibility and balance, which can help you remain independent as you age
  • weight management and increased muscle-to-fat ratio – as you gain muscle, your body burns more kilojoules when at rest
  • may help reduce or prevent cognitive decline in older people
  • greater stamina – as you grow stronger, you won’t get tired as easily
  • prevention or control of chronic conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, arthritis, back pain, depression, and obesity
  • pain management
  • improved mobility and balance
  • improved posture
  • decreased risk of injury
  • increased bone density and strength and reduced risk of osteoporosis
  • improved sense of wellbeing – resistance training may boost your self-confidence, improve your body image and your mood
  • improved sleep and avoidance of insomnia
  • increased self-esteem
  • enhanced performance of everyday tasks

It is important to pay attention to safety and form in order to reduce the risk of injury. As a Certified Personal Trainer, Debbie will help you develop a safe and effective program.

Removing Sugar From Your Diet Can ‘Starve’ Cancer Cells

January 9th, 2019 by Debbie Martilotta

Cancer rates are on the rise, and there are many factors that cause cancer that ranges from our environment to our emotions. But, food is everything, what you eat is what radiates out. There is a way to cut something out of your diet and make your body thrive.

Healthy, non-cancerous cells generate energy for the body to use through the oxidative breakdown of pyruvate, the end product of glycolysis, which leads to oxidized mitochondria. It has been concluded that cancer is really a mitochondrial dysfunction. The normal process of respiration of oxygen in the body is changed to the fermentation of sugar. If you remove the sugar, the body should not develop cancer.

The connection between sugar and cancer development is certainly not new.

Most people can easily remove the obvious culprits that are full of refined sugar – cakes, candies, cookies, etc. The problem is that many foods which are packaged and sold in the US and in other countries are full of refined sugar, but are hidden in the packaging labels. Products like ‘healthy’ yogurt, cereals, whole wheat or whole grain bread, and even ‘low-calorie’ items can be full of sugar.

The easiest way to eliminate unwanted refined sugars is to stop buying ‘convenience’ or pre-packaged foods, and at least temporarily, don’t eat out at restaurants – many dining establishments source their food from big companies that ‘season’ their food with lots of sugar and salt to make it more palatable after being frozen and shipped across the country in trucks.

Even just salad dressings can be loaded with sugar. To deal with cravings for sugary foods, increase your plant-based and healthy animal-based proteins (no red meat) and eat more nutrition-packed foods.

Read more at Get Holistic Health 

Best Diet For Your Brain And Body

January 3rd, 2019 by Debbie Martilotta
  • A diet rich in vegetables, whole grains, and healthy fats is increasingly being recognized as the healthiest for your brain and body.
  • This diet is known by many different names – from “plant-based” to “Mediterranean” – and can come in a range of variations. But at its core, it is focused on veggies, protein, and healthy fats.
  • US News and World Report recently ranked the Mediterranean diet as the best to follow in the year ahead.

In a world dominated by celebrity fad diets, many people don’t believe there’s a single best diet for your health.

But a growing body of research suggests that a meal plan focusing on vegetables, protein, and healthy fats has key benefits for losing weight, keeping your mind sharp, and protecting your heart and brain as you age.

This type of eating regimen is called by many names and comes in different iterations, from “plant-based” to “Mediterranean.” Some people on the diet eat eggs and dairy, meat and fish, or all of the above; others are vegetarian and abstain from meat and animal products altogether.

At its core, however, most of these meal plans are very similar and have two main characteristics: they are rich in vegetables, proteins, and healthy fats and low in heavily processed foods and refined carbohydrates like white bread.

In its annual diet ranking, US News and World Report ranked the Mediterranean diet as the best one to follow in 2019. (The plan was ranked at the top last year, too.)

Evidence supporting that recommendation can be found in the March 2018 issue of the Journal of Gerontology, in which scientists analyzed six recent studies on the Mediterranean diet and found that the eating regimen is closely linked with a variety of beneficial outcomes. Positive impacts include healthy aging, better mobility, a lower risk of chronic diseases like cancer and heart disease, and improved cognitive functioning.

Eating as you live on the coast of Naples or Athens sounds intuitively appealing. Meals could include fresh fish, vegetables drizzled in olive oil, nuts, beans, and whole grains.

Recent research suggests that diets like these, which are also low in processed foods and red meat, are great for your brain and body – both in the near-term and into older age.

To keep your energy levels up and help you feel healthy in the long term, your diet needs to feed more than your stomach. It has to satiate your muscles, which crave protein; your digestive system, which runs best with fiber; and your tissues and bones, which work optimally when they’re getting vitamins from food.

A plant-based diet’s combination of whole grains, fruits, vegetables, proteins, and fats accomplishes that goal. But plant-based diets aren’t just good for the body – they have key benefits for the mind as well.

So if your New Year’s resolution is to eat healthier or lose weight, the Mediterranean plan is worth a try. It may not even feel like you’re dieting at all.

Read complete Business Insider article here

Happy New Year

December 26th, 2018 by Debbie Martilotta

For most, the New Year is for resolution and new goals. Sometimes, for repeating goals that were set last New Years Eve.

But for me, it is another holiday, wonderful on its own, but another day of living the lifestyle I chose several years ago. I eat a strict diet of food my body needs to function at its best daily. I exercise twice a week for 30-minutes and focus on balance in my work and personal life, as best I can.

I gave myself this gift.

I too had my New Years resolutions over the years. I found that until I made my lifestyle fit my goals, I was destined to keep chasing those resolutions. So, as Christmas has just ended, you might wonder what my “lifestyle” looked like?

I worked out twice a week for 30-minutes each.
I kept to my diet of lean meat and fish and plants.
I avoided changing my lifestyle to “go with the flow”.
I drank water, not wine.
I ate from the veggie tray, not the dessert tray.
I declined invitations that overscheduled me.

My clients have varying goals. Some really want to be focused on building a strong, lean, body, and many want to be stronger and leaner. For all my clients, I am privileged to be their personal trainer. I will support their diet and fitness goals and champion their successes. But for all of my current and future clients, know that I also wish for you to find your own “lifestyle” that you can live each and every day, regardless of the holiday or the company you are in.

Stay true to your goals, hold tight to the vision you have for the best version of you, and let me support your daily resolutions in 2019!

Debbie Martilotta
Owner and Certified Personal Trainer 


An Inspiring Story of Fitness and Hard Work

December 11th, 2018 by Debbie Martilotta

Despite the constantly rising interest in health and wellness, we are plagued by an obesity epidemic; 67% of gym members never actually visit their gym, and 80% of us will fail our New Year’s resolutions by February.

We have more information available, more health products on the market, and more gyms than ever before,
so why aren’t we healthier and fitter than ever before?

As someone who has been involved with the fitness industry for five decades, I’ve spent a lot of time trying to answer that question, and I’ve only come up with one answer. The current health and wellness industry is failing us.

Hard work and sound science have been replaced by fads, false promises, and magic pills.
When you’re promised something like “rock hard abs in 28 days,” told one special tea is all you need to lose those last 10 pounds or bombarded with flashy advertisements passed off as legitimate information, it’s easy to see why so many people just throw up their hands and give up.

A healthier, fitter America starts with you. There is no gimmick. There is no shortcut. There is no magic pill. Everyone’s fitness journey will be unique, but a healthy lifestyle takes commitment, patience, and motivation.

I can already hear you saying, “Easy for you to say, Arnold. Fitness has always been your life and you’ve always been in top shape.”

But I had to work my way back from the bottom this year, and I learned a lot along the way. After I underwent open-heart surgery this spring, I had to use a walker. I had to do breathing exercises five times a day to retrain my lungs. I was frustrated and angry, and in my worst moments, I couldn’t see the way back to my old self.

Three months later, I returned to a film set to star in a new Terminator movie, and you probably know that there is no such thing as a weak Terminator. I’d love to tell you it was because of a certain product or workout or diet, but it wasn’t.

I just kept walking. I kept breathing. I kept trying. I was lucky; I had a huge team around me supporting me the whole way. Eventually, I got into the gym and went through the motions without weights at first. I upgraded from walks around my backyard to bike rides. I didn’t worry about six-packs or bench pressing 500 pounds. My only goal was improving a little bit every single day, and eventually, all of those small improvements and all of that support brought me back to a strong, healthy place.

Going through that process showed me that many people put too much faith in big moments, believing they’ll suddenly flip a switch and be healthier. There’s no such thing. A healthier future is every tiny step we take, or every little rep, that ultimately leads us to our goal. We all think we can do it alone, but no one does anything alone. As I always say, no one is self-made. We all need support — even Terminators.

So here’s my challenge to you:

Don’t wait for New Year’s Resolutions. Don’t wait for your own heart surgery or emergency. Start right now.

I’m not asking you to reject all the delicious food you’ll see this holiday season because I would never do that either. I’m simply asking you to be better tomorrow than you were today, every day, and to inspire someone you care about to join you. It’s a simple resolution and it’s not as sexy as having a six-pack, but it’s the key to fulfilling the unfulfilled promise of our fitness crusade and repairing this broken industry.

Don’t chase the next big thing. Be better. Today. That’s all. If you and your training partner walked 5,000 steps yesterday, walk 5,001 today. If you ate one vegetable yesterday, eat two tomorrow. If you did a pushup for the first time today, do two tomorrow.

If you can join me in celebrating the small wins and supporting each other, we’ll create a healthier America, and our fitness crusade will be a success. And in January, when everybody else is scrambling, we’ll already be well on our way.

Let’s do this. Be better together. Today.

by Arnold Schwarzenegger

Protein And Aging: Everything You Need To Know

December 11th, 2018 by Debbie Martilotta

Your diet tends to evolve along with the number of candles on your birthday cake. For example, in your hard-training teens and early 20s, you could probably eat at Taco Bell several times a week and still remain fairly lean. That changes during your 30s and 40s. After turning 50, many people start dropping their calories in response to an ever-slower metabolism.

While reducing calories may help you maintain your body weight, is lowering your energy intake the best option for overall health?

Not necessarily, especially if your calorie cutting involves consuming less protein. Protein supports muscle health and growth, which helps your body stay functional at all ages. It’s also what helps support proper tissue health, including hair, teeth, and fingernails. Protein subunits called amino acids are integral components of signaling molecules and represent half of all hormones.

Research suggests that increasing protein intake as you age can support weight management and body-fat reduction. This is due to the enhanced metabolic rate and better satiety that occurs with consuming enough protein.

Father Time Does Not Like Muscle, Unfortunately
In your 30s, your muscle mass begins to naturally decline; after 50, this decline only accelerates. However, adequate consumption of protein, paired with resistance training, dramatically decelerates age-related loss in muscle mass and increases strength in individuals of all ages.

How do you know if you’re getting enough protein? 

At DBM Strength Training, we recommend .8 grams per lb of body weight. (a 130lb female would consume 104 grams of protein daily, a 180 lb male would aim for 144 grams daily).

What Are The Recommendations For Older Active Adults?
Keep in mind, these recommendations do not reflect changing macronutrient needs associated with age, nor do they consider the additional protein needs for those individuals who exercise regularly. General sports nutrition recommendations for athletes are approximately 1-2 grams per kilogram of body weight per day or 82-164 grams of protein per day for a 180-pound adult. Knowing all this, it seems safe to say that older adults could benefit from higher protein intake, especially if they are physically active, including regular exercise.

Do Aging Women Have Different Protein Needs From Aging Men?
The overall need for more protein in later years is even more pronounced in women. Research including more than 300 elderly participants (average age of 72) indicates that women who consume between 0.8-1.2 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight per day tend to have fewer health problems than those consuming less than 0.8 grams per kilogram of body weight per day.

Protein intake is a modifiable risk factor for sarcopenia—loss of muscle mass—in aging individuals. Protein also contributes to enhanced bone density, greater strength, and improved overall health. Since osteoporosis a bigger concern for aging women versus men, enhanced bone density and strength would be additionally beneficial on top of maintaining muscle mass and overall health.

Are There Risks Associated With A High-Protein Diet, Particularly For Older Adults?
The primary objection to increased protein in the diet is the concern that the elevated amino acid intake will stress or damage the kidneys. It’s true that individuals with impaired kidney health should avoid excess protein consumption. However, research conducted on healthy individuals with normal kidney function of varying age, sex, and training status does not seem to support the fear that high protein intake will lead to kidney damage. In addition, investigations aimed at evaluating fitness, performance, and muscle function in over-50 populations consistently supports an increased intake of protein.

What Exactly Does This Mean For You?
It’s difficult to pinpoint exactly how much protein any specific individual needs in a day based solely on ranges, which is why aiming for a precise goal (number of grams) of protein each day can be a more productive way to support your body composition goals, especially after age 50.

Are Protein Shakes Safe For Older Adults?

Yes. In fact, protein supplementation can provide tremendous benefit to aging individuals who struggle to meet target protein intake levels with whole foods alone. As we age, reduced appetites can also make it difficult to meet protein goals through diet alone—another reason why it may be necessary to supplement using protein powders and protein shakes.

Which Protein Powder Is Best For Older Adults?

A range of protein supplements can help individuals meet their specific protein needs. Finding a protein supplement that fits your lifestyle and diet can take some effort. But if the alternative to protein supplementation is consistently failing to meet daily protein targets, adding a supplement is highly advised.

When searching for supplements, seek reputable brands with ingredient lists that are short and understandable. You should be able to recognize and understand what a protein powder is made of. We are happy to make suggestions and assist you with planning a daily diet through the gym.

Read the complete article at

Is Self-Care Selfish?

November 28th, 2018 by Debbie Martilotta

Self-care is not an indulgence. Self-care is a discipline. It requires tough-mindedness, a deep and personal understanding of your priorities, and a respect for both yourself and the people you choose to spend your life with.

For example, self-care is:

  • Turning off the TV instead of watching another episode of “The Crown” because the alarm is going off at 5 am so you can get to the gym.
  • Declining the second drink at the office holiday party. It might even be declining the first drink.
  • Choosing organic food and cooking for the health of your body.
  • Saying “no” to the thing you don’t want to do even if someone is going to be angry at you.
  • Maintaining financial independence.
  • Doing work that matters.
  • Moving your body and maintaining your physical strength and health.
  • Letting other people take care of themselves.

If we are being honest, self-care is actually kind of boring. This is why self-care is a discipline. It takes discipline to do the things that are good for us instead of what feels good in the moment. It takes even more discipline to refuse to take responsibility for other people’s emotional well-being. And it takes discipline to take full and complete responsibility for our own well-being.

Self-care is also a discipline because it’s not something you do once in a while when the world gets crazy. It’s what you do every day, every week, month in and month out. It’s taking care of yourself in a way that doesn’t require you to “indulge” in order to restore balance.

It’s making the commitment to stay healthy and balanced as a regular practice.