Learn how much protein you really need each day.

June 8th, 2021 by Debbie Martilotta

Proteins are the major building blocks of the human body. They are made up of amino acids and are needed to build muscles, blood, skin, hair, nails, and internal organs. Next, to water, protein is the most plentiful substance in the body, and most of it is actually in the skeletal muscles.

Foods that contain all of the essential amino acids are called complete proteins. These foods include beef, chicken, fish, eggs, milk, and just about anything else derived from animal sources.

If you’re an exerciser, your protein needs may increase since strength training can rapidly break down muscle protein. The general guidelines for endurance and strength-trained athletes from the American Dietetic Association and American College of Sports Medicine suggest consuming between 1.2 and 1.7 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight for the best performance and health.

I regularly help clients with their diet needs and challenges. The calculator below is a good way to calculate your protein needs individually. See me if you are looking to up your exercise program with specific goals in mind.

How to Calculate Your Protein Needs

Use these steps to find your protein need in grams (g)

  1. Weight in pounds divided by 2.2 = weight in kilograms (kg)
  2. Weight in kg x 0.8 = protein grams per day lower limit
  3. Weight in kg x 1.7 = protein grams per day upper limit

Use a lower limit number if you are in good health and are sedentary (i.e., 0.8).

Use a higher number (between 1.2 and 1.7) if you are under stress, pregnant, recovering from an illness, or if you are involved in consistent and intense weight or endurance training.

Example:

154-pound (lb) male who is a regular exerciser and lifts weights

  • 154 lb/2.2 = 70 kg
  • 70 kg x 1.5 = 105 grams protein per day

Calculating Protein as a Percentage of Total Calories

Another way to calculate how much protein you need is by using daily calorie intake and the percentage of calories that will come from protein. To do this, you’ll need to know how many calories your body needs each day. First, find out what your basal metabolic rate (BMR) is by using a BMR calculator.

Next, figure out how many calories you burn through daily activity and add that number to your BMR. This gives you an estimate of how many calories you need to maintain your current weight.

After you’ve figured out your maintenance calories, next figure out what percentage of your diet will come from protein. The percentage you choose will be based on your goals, fitness level, age, body type, and metabolic rate.

Most experts recommend that your protein intake be somewhere between 15 and 30 percent. When you’ve determined your desired percentage of protein, multiply that percentage by the total number of calories for the day.

Example:

For a 140-pound female, calorie intake 1800 calories, protein 20 percent:

  • 1800 x 0.20 = 360 calories from protein
  • Since 1 gram of protein = 4 calories, divide protein calories by 4
  • 360/4 = 90 grams of protein per day

The foundation of the DBM program, whether your goal is to lose weight or gain muscle, is a combination of strength training, cardio exercise, and a healthy diet that focuses on plants, protein, and healthy fats.


Are You In “Shape”?

May 10th, 2021 by Debbie Martilotta

Whether you are in shape or not is often based almost solely on how you look, or how your clothes fit. Yet, how your body performs with regards to strength and stamina as well as a range of motion is even more important. This is where I like to suggest you ditch your scale.

If you are seeing yourself as too lean or too pudgy, we can work on your diet. But weight alone is not the true story when discussing your level of fitness or health.

It seems counterintuitive but strength comes first. You may be thin but your engines may also be small thus weak. In the long run, you are not well protected from disease and aging. On the other hand, you may be “chunky” but have plenty of muscle to protect your organs and skeletal structure. I like to encourage strength and flexibility testing to establish basic fitness and better assess susceptibility to disease and age-related decay.

Strength training is my go-to for all clients. If you can lift heavy, complete 2 30-minute sessions per week aerobically and you are enjoying an active life, able to physically pursue your interests, then I’m confident you are fit. If your “shape” is not what you were hoping for, we can work together on your diet and nutrition.

It is true, we have a mental image of what “fit” looks like, but from my experience, not every client falls into that look.

 


Eat To Beat Chronic Inflamation

April 12th, 2021 by Debbie Martilotta

Inflammation is a naturally occurring process within the body, designed to help the body heal from injury or disease. The immune system triggers it in response to a perceived threat, such as a cut or an illness. Acute inflammation, which occurs over a usually short period, is a beneficial tool that helps return your body to its healthiest state.

However, chronic inflammation, which occurs over an extended period (and is often less intense), is the kind that is linked to autoimmune conditions, prolonged stress, and debilitating disease.

Chronic disease stems from chronic inflammation within the body. There is sufficient evidence to show that this prolonged immune response can influence heart disease, cancer, type 2 diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, and even obesity. So by addressing the root cause, we begin to adopt a holistic, preventative approach to healing. And one of the best ways we know how to remedy and reduce inflammation in the body is with proper nutrition.

Are you looking to eat better to feel better? Maybe even to live longer? Then our top 5 foods to eat, and to avoid, to lower your chance for chronic inflammation is just for you!

5 of the Best Foods To Eat to Reduce Inflammation

#1 CACAO

The plant contains over 300 beneficial compounds, many of which are strong anti-inflammatories, and a single-serve is thought to contain 20 times the antioxidant power of blueberries. This is largely due to the presence of powerful and potent polyphenols, the naturally occurring antioxidants that are found in a wide range of foods (including wine)! In particular, cacao* is abundant in flavanols, which have been sought out for centuries due to their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects

CACAO VS. COCOA: What is the difference?
Raw cacao* is made from cold-pressing un-roasted cacao beans. The process keeps the living enzymes in the cacao and removes the fat (cacao butter). Cocoa looks the same but it’s not. Cocoa powder is raw cacao that’s been roasted at high temperatures. Sadly, roasting changes the molecular structure of the cacao bean, reducing the enzyme content, and lowering the overall nutritional value.

#2 BLUEBERRIES

The major antioxidant found in blueberries, anthocyanin, is what gives this berry its gorgeous deep blue color and is largely thought to be responsible for the antiinflammatory capabilities, along with the high fiber and vitamins A, C, and E content. But what makes this rich berry a powerful antioxidant lies in the essential monomers* when broken down in the body.

Monomers* are the building blocks of the basic macromolecules that make up the human body. So when digesting food and obtaining nutrients, the body breaks proteins, carbohydrates, and fats/lipids down into their monomers. From here, the body can use these to rebuild different structures it may need for survival. Studies show that blueberries protect the brain, prevent damage to our DNA, and inhibit cancer cell development. Emerging research has even shown that they have been proven to kill cancer cells and reduce tumor size, so make sure to grab fresh, organic blueberries next time you’re at the markets!

#3 FLAXSEEDS

Flaxseeds are a powerhouse seed rich in vital nutrients for health and wellbeing, including anti-inflammatory properties and a healthy dose of fatty acids. These seeds have been used in the human diet for over 5000 years. They are a fantastic source of dietary fiber, magnesium, potassium, and manganese, but they’re most famous for their high levels of plant-based omega-3 essential fatty acid.

While flaxseeds have a delightful crunch in granola or tossed through a salad, they are best-eaten ground for ultimate nutrient absorption, or in a quality cold-pressed oil.

#4 LEAFY GREENS

Dark green veggies, such as collard greens and spinach, are a rich source of vitamin C and magnesium. These are both important in converting tryptophan and tyrosine amino acids to serotonin and dopamine – the neurotransmitters responsible for making us feel joyful. A good dose of greens every day is a must!

Greens like kale, arugula, silverbeet, spinach, chard, and collard greens, offer a rich nutritional profile with high concentrations of micronutrients that reduce chronic inflammation in the body.

#5 TURMERIC

If it seems like turmeric is the answer to all of your health worries, that’s probably because it is. This humble root has been proven to reduce inflammation,  support cognitive function and prevent Alzheimer’s disease, improve skin health and conditions, and may even aid in fighting cancer.

Curcumin is the compound found in turmeric that helps the spice work its magic. In its whole form, Curcumin has been praised in studies for its anti-inflammatory, anti-tumour, and antioxidant properties. It’s also what gives turmeric its gorgeous, burnt orange color. Try adding black pepper to your turmeric recipes, it may help the body absorb curcumin more effectively.

5 Foods to Avoid for Inflammation

#1 GMO SOY PRODUCTS – As of 2007, 91% of the soy planted in the United States is genetically modified, making soy the largest genetically modified food source in the US. The US is also one of the largest exporters of soy. The health benefits of soy continue to be debated, but the best soy is again labeled clearly that it is organic and is fermented.

#2 CANOLA OIL – This oil is a processed oil, which goes through multiple steps to remain shelf-stable. In fact, these production processes are tied to health concerns such as heart disease, inflammation, cellulite, stroke, Alzheimer’s disease, and asthma.
Where possible, it’s best to switch to an omega-3-promoting oil  such as;

• Grass-fed butter or ghee
• Extra virgin cold-pressed olive oil
• Coconut oil

#3 GMO CORN PRODUCTS – If you want non-GMO corn, look for the label, USDA-certified organic, as the only guarantee that your corn is not genetically modified.

#4 CONVENTIONAL FACTORY-FARMED ANIMAL PRODUCTS – It’s a general rule of thumb for a broad category of food, but if you’re someone who eats animal products, make sure they’re from free-range, ethical sources that adhere to health-promoting practices – because the health of the animal ultimately impacts the nutrient value of the food.

#5 MONOSODIUM GLUTAMATE (MSG OR E621) – MSG is a commonly used flavor enhancer. It’s what keeps you coming back for a second helping of takeout meals; it’s addictive, and it’s having dangerous impacts on our health.

Access our recipes here, and enjoy eating well again!

in part from FOODMATTERS.COM

 


Sugar Is Public Enemy #1

April 6th, 2021 by Debbie Martilotta

Congratulations! You’ve decided once and for all to ditch sugar in your diet.

There are three main sugar claims that you may find on food labels: sugar-free, no sugar added, and unsweetened. It’s a common misconception that they mean the same thing, but they’re vastly different. I’ll break it down here.

Sugar-free

When you see “sugar-free” on a product label, it means that the food contains less than half of a gram of sugar per serving size. This includes any type of sugar that could be found in the food. Obviously, the white stuff counts toward the total. So does maple syrup and honey. Naturally-occurring sugars count too, like lactose in milk or fructose in fruits.

Sugarless alternative sweeteners won’t contribute to the total sugar in a product. Those are allowed under a sugar-free label.

The term “sugar-free” is regulated, so if an item says it’s sugar-free, you can be pretty confident that it contains less than half a gram of sugar per serving, but watch your serving size!

No Sugar Added

“No sugar added” means that no sugar ingredients are added during the processing of foods, including sugars from syrups and honey, and sugars from concentrated fruit or vegetable juices.

That doesn’t mean you end up with a product containing zero grams of sugar. For example, a banana could bear a “no sugar added” label, but it actually contains around 14g of naturally occurring sugar.

Unsweetened

An unsweetened food is one that hasn’t been sweetened at all – no sugar, no artificial sweeteners, no natural sweeteners, no zero-calorie sweeteners, nothing that adds to the sweetness of the recipe.

Sneaky Sugar Labeling

That’s not all you want to look out for. “Sugar-free,” “unsweetened,” and “no sugar added” don’t tell the full story.

We tend to think that added sugar is mainly found in desserts like cookies and cakes, but it’s also found in many savory foods, such as bread and pasta sauce. And some foods promoted as “natural” or “healthy” are laden with added sugars, compounding the confusion. In fact, manufacturers add sugar to 74% of packaged foods sold in supermarkets.1 So, even if you skip dessert, you may still be consuming more added sugar than is recommended.

If you want real information about what’s in your food, the next stop should be your label. If your food has a label on it – you should read it! Better yet, eat food without labels by shopping the produce and meat counters in your grocery store and staying out of the packaged isles as best as you can. Click here for my DBM Strength Training eating plan.

The Sugar Science department at UCSF lists 61 Names for Sugar:

  • Agave nectar
  • Barbados sugar
  • Barley malt
  • Barley malt syrup
  • Beet sugar
  • Brown sugar
  • Buttered syrup
  • Cane juice
  • Cane juice crystals
  • Cane sugar
  • Caramel
  • Carob syrup
  • Castor sugar
  • Coconut palm sugar
  • Coconut sugar
  • Confectioner’s sugar
  • Corn sweetener
  • Corn syrup
  • Corn syrup solids
  • Date sugar
  • Dehydrated cane juice
  • Demerara sugar
  • Dextrin
  • Dextrose
  • Evaporated cane juice
  • Free-flowing brown sugars
  • Fructose
  • Fruit juice
  • Fruit juice concentrate
  • Glucose
  • Glucose solids
  • Golden sugar
  • Golden syrup
  • Grape sugar
  • HFCS (High-Fructose Corn Syrup)
  • Honey
  • Icing sugar
  • Invert sugar
  • Malt syrup
  • Maltodextrin
  • Maltol
  • Maltose
  • Mannose
  • Maple syrup
  • Molasses
  • Muscovado
  • Palm sugar
  • Panocha
  • Powdered sugar
  • Raw sugar
  • Refiner’s syrup
  • Rice syrup
  • Saccharose
  • Sorghum Syrup
  • Sucrose
  • Sugar (granulated)
  • Sweet Sorghum
  • Syrup
  • Treacle
  • Turbinado sugar
  • Yellow sugar

In-part from Marksdailyapple.com


How To Cook Eggs Perfectly, Every Time

March 30th, 2021 by Debbie Martilotta

Scrambled eggs can be dry or watery, fluffy, or flat. That goes for other egg methods too – there’s a big difference between an overcooked hard-boiled egg and a perfectly jammy egg. So, here is a tutorial on how to cook eggs perfectly, every time.

Let’s start with the most intimidating of the cooking methods: poaching eggs.

How to Make Poached Eggs

For poached eggs, you want to use super fresh eggs. A fresh egg will have a firmer, tighter white that will stay together better when poaching.

Fill a pot with water no greater than 2 inches high, about the height of a teaspoon if you measure it from the tip of the bowl to the beginning of the spoon handle. Bring the water to just barely a simmer and add a pinch of salt. You should be able to see some bubbles at the bottom of the pot.

Using a meat thermometer, watch for your water to come to around 190 degrees. Then you’re ready to go.

When you can maintain 190 degrees, crack an egg into a small ramekin. Use a large spoon to swirl the water in the pot to break up any bubbles at the bottom of the pot.

Spin the water gently with the spoon in a circular motion around the inside of the pot to create a small vortex so there’s a still spot of the water in the middle and the rest of the water is spinning around it.

In this middle spot, gently press the ramekin into the water as you are pouring the egg into it. Watch your fingers – the water will burn! The lip of the ramekin cup should go under the water as you pour the egg in. The egg will swirl in the pot and the egg white will start to solidify. If the white part is loose and starts to travel around the pot, gently spin the water around the inside edge of the pot again with a spoon to encourage the egg white to stay together.

Set your timer for around 4 minutes. At the four-minute mark, use a slotted spoon to gently pull the poached egg out of the water. The egg is done when the yolk has a nice spring to it and still feels soft and liquidy in the middle, but the white is pretty firm.

Boiled Eggs

When boiling eggs to make hardboiled eggs, soft-boiled eggs, or jammy eggs, it’s best to use eggs that have been in the refrigerator for at least 2-4 weeks, as they will be easier to peel. (If you bought them at the grocery store, there’s a good chance they’re that old by the time they get to you.) Use the float test below to make sure your eggs are still good!

Fill a pot of water about half full with water and a pinch of salt and bring it to a boil on your stovetop.

Once the water is boiling, add your eggs and set your timer.

  • For jammy or soft-boiled eggs, set your timer for 6.5-7 minutes.
  • For hardboiled eggs, set your timer for 10-11 minutes.

Set up a bowl filled with ice and water. Once the timer goes off for your soft or hard-boiled eggs, use a slotted spoon to take the egg out of the pot and plunge them into the cold water. This will help the egg yolk stop cooking. Allow them to cool in the water for around 10 minutes.

Once the eggs have cooled, gently place the egg on a hard surface and roll it back and forth to help the shell crack in a bunch of different places. Carefully peel the cracked shell away. Sometimes running the egg under lukewarm water when peeling or using the back of a spoon helps.

For jammy eggs, slice the egg in half lengthwise. Enjoy as-is, sprinkle a little salt and pepper on top, or spoon out the silky yolk onto a slice of bacon or a salad.

For hardboiled eggs, pack for breakfast or snacks, or slice in half and serve alongside sliced avocado or crispy bacon.

How to Make Fluffy Scrambled Eggs

In a small bowl, whisk together 2-5 eggs and a pinch of salt and pepper if you’d like.

Heat a well-seasoned cast-iron skillet over medium-low heat. Once hot, add 1 tablespoon of avocado oil or grass-fed butter to the pan and swirl it around. After adding the oil or right as the butter is just melted, pour the eggs into the pan so they fill the entire diameter of the pan.

Just as you see the edges start to set against the side of the pan, use a silicone spatula to move the soft egg from the edges to the center of the pan. As you drag the egg from the edges to the center, some cooked egg will be pushed to the center, while the uncooked egg will be displaced to the edges, cooking the egg slowly.

Continue dragging the edges of the egg toward the center of the pan and add about another ½ tablespoon of butter cut into small chunks to the pan. This part is optional, but it helps make the eggs extra creamy.

When the egg mixture is still a bit runny but beginning to firm up slightly, begin folding the egg with a silicone spatula by folding the edges of the egg towards the middle of the pan. This will encourage the egg to cook gently without breaking up into a bunch of tiny pieces. After doing this a few times, turn off the heat and continue folding the egg to the center of the pan to encourage light cooking. The eggs are finished when they are soft and silky. They should have a little gloss to them and be creamy, but still mostly cooked.

Remove the egg from the pan to stop it from cooking and place it on your plate. Top them with a pinch of salt and pepper and serve alongside your favorite breakfast foods. We served ours with an arugula salad and a few slices of crispy bacon.

How to Make a Perfect Omelet

In a small bowl, whisk together 3-4 eggs and a pinch of salt and pepper. Arrange any fillings you want to use in the omelet (we used chopped-up roasted broccoli and organic shredded cheddar cheese).

Heat a well-seasoned cast-iron pan over medium heat. Once hot, add a tablespoon of avocado oil or grass-fed butter to the pan and swirl it around. Right after adding the oil, or after the butter is just melted, pour the eggs into the pan so they fill the entire diameter of the pan.

As the egg cooks, you will see the edges of the omelet turn from translucent to opaque. Lower the heat slightly and watch the egg continue to cook. Once the egg begins to bubble and parts of it begin to firm up slightly, add your toppings to one-half of the omelet.

Carefully flip the half of the omelet without toppings directly on top of the half with the fillings. Allow the egg to cook for an additional 45 seconds to 1 minute.

Use a spatula to carefully flip over the omelet and allow it to cook for an additional minute or so, or until the egg is fully cooked and the cheese filling inside is melted.

Place on to a plate and cut in half, if you’d like.

How to Cook Sunnyside Up Eggs Evenly

Tip: Sunnyside eggs are a little finicky and the time to prepare one to another may vary based on the temperature of the pan, size of the egg, freshness of the egg, etc., so feel free to adjust the time it takes for the white to set.

Heat a well-seasoned cast-iron skillet over medium-low heat. Once hot, add 1/2 tablespoon of avocado oil and swirl it around. After swirling the oil around in the pan, gently crack an egg into the center of the pan.

Allow the edges of the egg white to set and turn from clear to white, but the egg whites around the yolk should still be very runny. When you see this, drizzle a tablespoon or two of water into the pan around the edges of the egg white.

Quickly cover the pan with a lid. Once you hear the water you added sizzle aggressively, turn off the heat. Keep the lid on the pan for 45 seconds to a minute or so, then take a peek at the egg. When the egg is finished, the egg white should be fully set but the yolk still liquidy. If the white around the yolk is not yet set, cover the pan again. If the yolk starts to film over with white, you’ve cooked the egg a little too long.

Serve your egg as is, or dip a piece of bacon or sweet potato fry into the yolk.

How to Make Over-hard Eggs (And Flip Them Without Breaking the Yolk)

Heat a well-seasoned cast-iron skillet over medium-low heat. Once hot, add 1/2 tablespoon of avocado oil and swirl it around. After swirling the oil around in the pan, gently crack an egg into the pan. If you are making multiple eggs at a time, use 1 tablespoon of avocado oil and crack a few eggs into the pan at a time, trying to confine them to different areas in the pan.

Allow the whites of the eggs to mostly set. You’ll see the whites begin to bubble as they firm up. Once the white is fairly set, carefully flip the egg over with a spatula. The whites near the yolk may still be shiny and not set yet, but as long as the edges are set and the whites are bubbling, you should be able to flip the egg over without an issue.

Allow the egg to cook on the other side. Use a finger to feel the yolk in the center of the egg. When it feels firm and no longer springy, the yolk is firm and fully cooked.

Repeat with more eggs, if desired. Serve with your favorite sides.

Tip: For an over easy or over medium egg, simply cook the egg for less time before removing it from the heat. For an over-easy egg, the yolk should feel liquidy when touched. For an over medium egg, the yolk should feel springy like a ball of fresh mozzarella.

Egg FAQs

What’s the Best Kind of Cookware to Cook Eggs?

While there is some less toxic non-stick cookware out there compared to the past, we think a well-seasoned cast-iron skillet is a great option. It is durable, heats evenly, and cooks eggs quickly. For boiling and poaching, a stainless steel saucepan works best.

How Do I Choose the Best Quality Eggs?

Whenever possible, opt for pastured eggs. Chickens that are pastured have the best chance to eat not just packaged chicken feed, but also bugs, roots, and other scraps that make their yolks rich and nutritious. Here’s an article on how to choose the best eggs for your family.

How to Tell the Difference Between a Store-bought Egg and a Farm-fresh Egg

You can often tell the difference between a store-bought and farm-fresh egg by looking at the yolks side by side. A fresh egg yolk will have a rich, deep yellow to orange color, while mass-produced eggs are a much paler yellow. Keep in mind that farmers can add items like marigolds to chicken feed, which artificially turn their yolks more golden or orange.

Do You Have to Refrigerate Eggs?

Eggs in the United States are refrigerated because their protective shell layers are washed off in preparation to be sold. If you get eggs from a farmer or your neighbor, ask if they’ve been washed.

How Long Do Eggs Stay Fresh?

Unwashed eggs are shelf-stable for about two weeks, and they keep for up to three months in the refrigerator.

How Do You Know Whether an Egg Has Gone Bad? The Float Test for Egg Freshness

Eggs have a decent shelf life in the fridge, but how do you know if an egg is still good to use? Oftentimes, eggs can be used beyond their sell-by date, but to be sure, I use the float test.

Fill a large jar with water and carefully place the egg into the water.

  • If the egg sinks to the bottom and rests on its side horizontally, the egg is fresh.
  • If the tip of the egg points directly downward so the egg is vertical in the water, the egg is older and should be used up right away (these are great options for boiling).
  • If the egg floats in the water, it’s spoiled and should be tossed.

If an egg has spoiled, you’ll know the second you crack it. The rotten egg smell is so strong that there’s a good chance you’ll have to open your windows and leave your house until it clears. When in doubt, use the float method. It’s not something you want to experience.

Egg Freshness and Cooking Methods

The freshest eggs aren’t always the best option for every egg preparation.

  • For soft or hard-boiling eggs, opt for slightly older eggs. These will peel more easily.
  • For poached or sunnyside-up eggs, opt for more fresh eggs. This will keep the white tight.
  • For any other cooking methods, you have the flexibility to use whatever eggs you have on hand.

Egg Nutrition Information

For 1 Large Egg:
Calories: 70
Fat: 5g
Saturated Fat: 1.5g
Cholesterol: 185mg
Protein: 6g
Carbs: 0g

From MarksDailyApple.com


Tumeric Tea

March 8th, 2021 by Debbie Martilotta

Most pain and disease are caused by unwanted inflammation in our bodies. Drink this anti-inflammatory turmeric tea for lasting pain relief and protection.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup coconut milk (or almond milk) 
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/8 tsp nutmeg
  • Dash of cayenne pepper
  • Optional: Stevia to taste

Directions

  1. Put coconut milk, spices, and honey in a saucepan and heat up slowly on low heat. If you put it on high heat the coconut milk will get too thick.
  2. Pour and enjoy.

More Tumeric recipes here

Read the complete Food Matters article here


5 Basic Bodyweight Moves To Hit Every Muscle

January 25th, 2021 by Debbie Martilotta

Wondering what to do in between sessions and group classes at DBM Strength Training?

These 5 exercises are trainer favorites because they target multiple muscles at a time in both your upper and lower body, which means that all you really need to do to get an efficient workout is put them all together.

Scroll through to find out why these moves have become such strength-training staples, and why each and every one of them deserves a spot in your routine.

1. Planks

You’d be hard-pressed to find a bodyweight workout that doesn’t include some sort of plank, and there’s a reason why trainers love the move so much: When it comes to working all 360 degrees of your core, it’s the best you’re going to get.  In addition to firing up your abs, planks also hit your glutes and shoulders, and are a great way to turn on your muscles at the beginning of any workout.

2. Push-ups

Push-ups became the unofficial workout move of quarantine, thanks in large part to the fact that they pack a whole lot of bang for your buck. At their core, push-ups are really just moving planks, which means they’ll give you the same benefits as the static version of the move while also hitting your upper body harder.

3. Burpees

While you might think you need to step outside for a run or hop on a spin bike to get your daily dose of cardio, burpees prove otherwise. This exercise combines planks, push-ups, and jump squats, and by the end of a single set, you’ll be dripping in sweat.

4. Mountain climbers

Another core-burning cardio move trainers can’t get enough of? Mountain climbers—aka planks, but make ’em cardio. This exercise involves holding a plank while quickly pulling your knees to your chest, which spikes your heart rate and forces you to engage your abs. You can slow them down for a lower impact burn, or twist them from side to side to fire up your obliques.

5. Squats

Traditional squats hit every muscle from your waist to your toes, and mastering their perfect form requires you to stay focused and brace your core for the entirety of the move. To do them properly keep your chest up, tuck your pelvis in, and lower your butt to a 90-degree angle from your knees.

Click here to read the original Well + Good article and watch their  “Big Five” videos

 


How to Do a Lateral Band Walk

January 19th, 2021 by Debbie Martilotta

My personal training clients have noticed a new warm-up exercise – lateral band walks, and yes, they warm you up fast!

Bands allow you to apply resistance to your body where weights might otherwise be awkward. Each time you step your feet together, your glutes have to eccentrically control the motion of your knee, which can help correct knee valgus (inward collapse of the knees).

How to Do the Banded Lateral Walk With Perfect Form

  • Fit a looped resistance band around your legs just above both knees, and stand with your feet together.
  • Keeping your back flat and abs engaged, push your hips back, bend your knees, and lower your body into a squat, shifting your weight toward your heels.
  • Maintain the squat as you simultaneously raise your hips several inches and step your right foot out to the right, then lower your hips fully.
  • Again raise your hips several inches as you bring your left foot together with your right, and lower again fully, maintaining tension in the band so that your knees don’t cave inward.
  • Repeat to the opposite side, alternating sides for reps. Perform equal reps on each side.

Benefits of the Lateral Band Walk

The lateral band walk strengthens the glute medius, which is an important stabilizing muscle that often gets overlooked and underutilized. By targeting this muscle (you’ll feel it fire after just a few steps), band walks can help improve your gait and promote better motor control, while helping to correct some injury-causing imbalances and movement dysfunction, including knee valgus, a.k.a. “knock knees.”

This simple yet challenging movement also gets bonus points for its booty-boosting capabilities. The lateral band walk is also a great way to build a fuller, firmer butt. As a warm-up, it targets the largest muscles in your body. This gets clients breathing deeper and their blood moving within minutes, and ready for our 30-minute strength training session!

Read more on OpenFit.com or watch their band walk video here. Contact me at DBM Strength Training in Cascade, MI, I’ll get you stronger!


THE DEAL WITH SQUATS

December 28th, 2020 by Debbie Martilotta

When it comes to working your lower body – while burning fat and torching calories — there’s nothing more effective than the squat. Squats engage your body’s largest and most powerful muscle groups, a.k.a the glutes, thighs, and hamstrings, while working your core and giving you a cardio boost as well.

  • 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

New Group Class Policy

December 17th, 2020 by Debbie Martilotta

Starting in January 2021, Group Classes are pre-scheduled and prepaid, just like personal training sessions.

Pre-planning your group classes should help you stay on track with your weekly fitness goals. As your personal trainer, supervising your training is essential. Making sure every client has enough room and the right weights to maximize their class participation, whether we are in the studio or on Zoom, is my goal. Knowing in advance who is attending and that a group class is not overbooked makes us both more successful!

To make this easy, just text me (616-901-6247) your name and the class time you are scheduling for and if you do not have a punch card of 10 prepaid classes to use, I will send you my Venmo* link for payment.

*Venmo is my preferred app as PayPal sometimes involves a fee
that neither you nor I can always control.

So, let’s say on Tuesday you plan to participate in the 9 am Saturday class. You would text me to register and if you do not have a punch card on file, I will text you back my Venmo link. You use that link to either pay me $10 for the single class or $100 for a new class punch card of ten classes. Voila – you train on Sat am and I am ready for you.

On the other hand, a friend asks you to take a walk, watch their kiddo, or something else, and you do not join the class at 9 am on Saturday. I have still reserved your space and have not filled it with another client. Just like my session policy, a 24-hour notice is required for cancellations. If less than 24 hours is given, you will be charged for the class.

As your trainer, I hope to encourage you to “plan your work – and work your plan”