Ask Clifta #1- Pyramiding for Women- How do you Pyramid if You don’t feel Strong?

Published on Apr 26, 2016
This video is for women and women over 40 that exercise and lift weights to tone up and gain lean muscle mass.

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This video is for women who were wondering about pyramiding and if they are strong enough to add weight during their workout… and do they even need to add weight? The exercise used for this video is the flat bench press.

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This video is for women and women over 40 that exercise and lift weights to tone up and gain lean muscle mass.

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Clifta’s Fitness Workouts- Days 2, 3, and 4

Hi Everyone…

These are my other workouts for the week of April 18, 2016

Wednesday the 20th was light legs, which I already posted.

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Day 2- Thursday April 21st

-15 minute relaxing walk with my dog Ziva.

meandziva

-Then I did a 20 minute outdoor cardio session. (video footage coming soon)

IMG_0356 - Version 2  IMG_0355 - Version 2  IMG_0362 - Version 2

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Day 3- Friday Arpil 22nd -Upper Body circuit workout (Which I got sore from) (video footage coming soon)

4 Rounds

Burpees with a push up—- 8 reps

Incline DB Press———— 10 lbs. for 3 sets and 15 lbs. on last set x 12-15 reps

Lat Pulldowns————— 20 lbs. x 12 reps

Mountain Jumpers———- 10 reps

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Day 4- Saturday April 23rd -Leg Workout

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Leg Ext———- 25 lbs. x 15 reps (2 sets)

Leg Press (close stance) …… supersetted with…… Stationary Pop Squats

30 lbs. x 20 reps ………………………………………………… 15 reps

35 lbs. x 20 reps ………………………………………………… 15 reps

50 lbs. x 15 reps …………………………………………………. 17 reps

50 lbs. x 14 reps ………………………………………………… 19 reps

Lying Leg Curls——- 20 lbs. x 10 reps (4 sets)

IMG_0376

Leg Press Calf Raise—- 70 lbs. x 15 + 5 burns (4 sets varying positions)

 

 

Sexy Shoulder Workout with a little Legs added!

shoulders

This was my workout from Friday.

I will post a video soon!

Standing Single Arm DB Press
3 sets  of 15 reps with 10 lbs.- I did one side then the other and then went back and forth for 3 sets with NO Rest!

Double Side Laterals… with…. DB Punches
5 lbs. x 25 reps …………………………… 5 lbs. x 50 reps

Front Lunge/Front DB Raise… with…. Bent over DB Raise
10 lbs. x 10 reps ………………………………………….. 5 lbs. x 20 reps

DB Plank/Tap… with…. Ott’s over Bench
30 reps ……………………………. 20 reps

Are Your Hormones Out of Whack?

This is a good article by Dr. Oz….

 

By Dr. Mehmet Oz

470_2661688I think of the body’s hormones as musical instruments in an orchestra: Each plays its own part in creating a perfect concert–until the day one is out of tune and throws off the entire melody.

Although it was many years ago, I still remember one of the first patients I saw with a hormonal disturbance. She was a lovely woman in her early 40s who was a little heavy; despite having tried every diet under the sun, she couldn’t seem to shed the extra pounds. As we talked and she mentioned a few more of her concerns–dry skin, brittle hair, a lack of energy (even shortly after her morning coffee)–I realized I needed to test her thyroid levels. Sure enough, they were too low. With proper medication, my patient’s skin and energy improved, and she was no longer a prisoner to a simple chemical imbalance.

No one should have to live with an untreated hormone problem. Some require medical care, while others may be addressed with lifestyle adjustments, but almost all are treatable. Here is a guide to some of the most common signs of hormone imbalance–and what you can do to restore harmony.

Estrogen

The Clues
If you are overweight, you may have elevated estrogen levels; fat cells actually produce the hormone, so extra weight can lead to too much estrogen in the body. This can be a serious problem because excess estrogen can fuel breast and uterine cancers. During menopause, on the other hand, all women experience a natural drop in estrogen levels, along with side effects that range from hot flashes to headaches to joint pain.

What You Can Do
I know I sound like a broken record, but if you carry extra pounds, exercising and watching your diet are essential: Losing weight can improve your estrogen balance and simultaneously reduce your risk of cancer. (An overweight or obese postmenopausal woman who loses just 5 percent of her weight could potentially cut her risk of breast cancer by up to 50 percent.) I also suggest that women with too much estrogen avoid foods that are high in phytoestrogens (plant compounds that mimic the hormone), such as whole soy products.

For women going through menopause, there is some evidence that herbal supplements such as hops and black cohosh may help alleviate symptoms. But if the symptoms interfere with your daily life, talk to your doctor to see if hormone replacement therapy is right for you.


Testosterone

The Clues
In the years preceding menopause, a woman may suffer from decreased testosterone as her ovaries and adrenal glands slow the production of sex hormones. This may explain why many women experience a drop in libido during this period of their lives. Excess testosterone, however, may be the result of a condition called polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS); possible symptoms include irregular periods, male-pattern baldness, a deepening voice, and excess body hair.

What You Can Do
If you’re concerned about low libido, try incorporating more zinc-rich foods–like oysters and sesame seeds–into your diet (zinc appears to be linked to an increase in testosterone levels), and ask your doctor about testosterone supplementation. To treat PCOS, your doctor might recommend taking birth control pills containing synthetic hormones that reduce the production of testosterone. It’s also important to avoid refined sugars and other carbohydrates in your diet (insulin resistance is linked to a boost in testosterone production) and to eat more fiber (which counteracts blood sugar spikes and promotes the excretion of excess sugars from the body).

Melatonin

The Clues
Low levels of melatonin, the hormone responsible for maintaining the body’s circadian rhythm, are associated with poor sleep and depression. Our bodies may produce less melatonin as we age, which could explain why some older adults have more trouble sleeping than children do.

What You Can Do
If you struggle to get enough shut-eye, try taking .5 milligram of a melatonin supplement one to two hours before bedtime. I’d also suggest drinking melatonin-rich tart cherry juice: In a pilot 2010 study published in the Journal of Medicinal Food, subjects who drank two cups a day experienced some relief from insomnia.

Ghrelin and Leptin

The Clues
Stomach growling? Thank ghrelin. Produced in the stomach, ghrelin cues the brain that you’re hungry. After you eat, leptin swoops in to tell the brain you’re full. If these two hormones fall out of sync, you may lose the ability to recognize when your body is satiated and overeat as a result.

What You Can Do
Try your best to get a full night’s sleep: A Stanford University study found that habitual sleep restriction (five hours a night as opposed to eight) raised a person’s ghrelin levels by nearly 15 percent, lowered leptin levels by 15.5 percent, and was directly associated with increased body weight. Other research has shown that exercise and stress reduction may help keep ghrelin levels in check.

Thyroid Hormone

The Clues
Thyroid hormone regulates how fast you burn calories. One in ten women doesn’t produce enough of it–a condition known as hypothyroidism, which can lead to weight gain, depression, and fatigue. On the other end of the spectrum is hyperthyroidism, in which the thyroid gland releases too much of its hormone, causing symptoms such as anxiety, a racing heart, excessive sweating, even diarrhea.

What You Can Do
If you have hypothyroidism, a daily thyroid hormone replacement pill can help correct the imbalance. You might also want to consider eating more onion. This veggie contains kaempferol, a compound that may kick-start production of the hormone. If you have an overactive thyroid, your doctor may prescribe one of several treatments, from radioactive iodine–to slow hormone production–to surgical removal of the gland; most patients respond well once they get the proper care.

Aldosterone

The Clues
Aldosterone regulates your body’s sodium-to-water ratio. But a condition called renal artery stenosis–a narrowing of the blood vessels that supply the kidneys–can trigger the release of the hormone, causing a surge in blood pressure.

What you can do
A heart-friendly lifestyle that keeps your blood vessels healthy can also be a kidney-friendly lifestyle. Minimize salt intake, follow a low-fat diet, get some exercise, and don’t smoke.

Cortisol

The Clues
When you’re under pressure, your cortisol spikes to provide the body with a quick dose of energy. Chronic stress, however, can keep your cortisol elevated continuously–a dangerous state, since the hormone can suppress the immune system and has been linked to the accumulation of abdominal fat.

What You Can Do
When I’m stressed, I close my eyes and breathe deeply for two to three minutes with one hand on my chest and the other on my belly; my chest stays still while my abdomen rises and falls. As you calm down, your cortisol should drop to normal levels.

The Hormone Factory

A brief tour of your body’s finely tuned endocrine system

1. Pineal Gland
Named for its pinecone shape, the pineal gland is tucked between the two hemispheres of the brain. It’s still a bit of a mystery, though we know it produces the sleep hormone, melatonin.

2. Pituitary Gland
Known as the master gland, this pea-size organ releases hormones that stimulate the other glands to, in turn, release their hormones.

3. Thyroid Gland
Think of this gland as the thermostat for your metabolism: It can increase or decrease the rate of calorie burn by releasing more or less thyroid hormone.

4. Adrenal Glands
Perched atop your kidneys, these glands secrete hormones that control your “fight or flight” response to stress (cortisol and adrenaline) and your blood pressure (aldosterone), among others.

5. Ovaries
These organs produce more than eggs; they manufacture and release the most important hormones for female development: estrogen, progesterone, and–yes–testosterone.

Adjust Your Weight-Loss Strategy With Age

I thought this was a great article. :)

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Adjust Your Weight-Loss Strategy With Age

Learn how aging affects weight loss and the best ways to modify your fitness plans to adjust to changes in your metabolism.

By Madeline Vann, MPH

As you get older, your body doesn’t respond the same way to weight-loss efforts. This aggravating phenomenon occurs primarily because your metabolism is slowing down and you need fewer calories each day. Here’s how to adjust to get back on track.

Weight Gain and Aging: What’s Going On?

“The 40s are very different from the 30s, and the 50s are very different from the 40s as far as your metabolism,” observes longtime dieter Frances Simon of New Orleans. Simon turns 55 this year and says that number is causing her to get serious about achieving her weight-loss goals. “It seems like it’s harder and harder. But, boy, I remember when I was in my 20s — admittedly I was a lot more active, but I had a lot more energy then, too. I would go out dining and drinking a lot when I was in my 20s, but now in my 50s there is no way I would do that. It’s easier for the weight to come on than to try taking it off.”

Simon’s experiences are not unique. With menopause you may find your waist expands a bit, your muscles lose their tone, and you get new fat deposits. Researchers have yet to uncover the reason for these physical changes, but suspect that rapidly shifting hormones affect your body’s makeup.

While the factors that lead to weight gain as we age are the same for men and women (with the exception of menopause), national health data shows that men over age 65 are slightly more likely than women to be overweight. In fact, 76 percent of men ages 65 to 74 are obese, compared to 71.5 percent of women in that age group.

Weight Gain and Aging: Your Changing Body

Here are some of the contributing factors to your unwanted weight gain:

You’re burning less energy. “As you get older, you don’t need as many calories. Part of that is a little bit slower metabolism, but part of it is you’re not rushing around as much. You can’t believe how many calories you don’t need,” says Donna L. Weihofen, RD, MS, health nutritionist at the University of Wisconsin in Madison.

Weihofen says that learning to adjust your diet to your body’s changing needs is a gradual process. She gives her clients guidelines like switching to smaller portions and sharing at restaurants, especially if dining with a spouse who is having his own problems with weight gain.

You’re less active. Many people find they have less energy as they age, but you may also find that life is less demanding than it was in earlier years. Simon says that eating a Mediterranean-style diet, with an emphasis on fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and healthy fats, keeps her feeling full and gives her more energy to exercise.

However, she notes that there is another significant barrier to exercising for older women. “For people my age who want to exercise or get started exercising, I think it’s discouraging to go to a gym where there are lots of younger people,” she says. Simon’s goal is to attend Jazzercise three times a week, a class she enjoys because the participants are her age and older. “Some of those 60-year-olds look pretty fine, too!”

Weight Gain and Aging: How to Fight Back

A study of weight gain prevention in 284 women showed that women who maintained a healthy weight over a three-year period were more likely to:

  • Carefully monitor food intake
  • Avoid a loss of control of their diet (binging, for example)
  • Not feel hungry

The strategies for combating weight gain as you age are the same you’ve used before:

  • Count your calories
  • Eat a hunger-busting diet rich in fruit, vegetables, whole grains, and healthy fats
  • Keep fat intake below 30 percent of your calories
  • Be physically active, at least 30 minutes a day, five days a week (more if possible)

Aging doesn’t mean you are destined for weight gain — just step up your diet and exercise routine to stay on track!

Stressing Out, Gaining Weight, and Finally Losing It

A GREAT article that explains what happens to our bodies when we are stressed. I found this very interesting because I’ve been more stressed this last 6 weeks and it does affect you. This article explains how.

Stressing Out, Gaining Weight, and Finally Losing It

Your phone is ringing, breakfast is sizzling, and you’re trying to get the kids off to school — all the while getting ready to go to work yourself. Sound familiar, or are you stressed out just by reading these words? If you’re a living breathing human being, chances are you experience some type of daily stress. And it’s true: Stress can cause you to gain weight.

In fact, a recent study conducted by Susan J. Melhorn and colleagues from the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, found that not only can stress can take a daily toll on you in terms of physical and psychological well being, but it can cause weight gain. According to recent studies, social stress — public speaking, tests, job and relationship pressures — may cause overeating and weight gain.” But you probably already knew that; stress makes many of us want to eat more.

You gain weight for two reasons:

Biological Interference: Biologically your body is designed for a “fight or flight” response to stress. So when you’re stressed, your body releases hormones to help you do either. And since you’re most likely not being chased by a saber tooth tiger, this response is not exactly helpful when your boss sends you a stressful email or you have an argument with your spouse.

What happens (in the most basic terms) is that your body releases chemicals when you’re stressed. The brain sends out a stress hormone called cortisol, which regulates energy by tapping into the body’s fat storage and protein, converting it into glucose and bringing it to muscles and to the brain. Additionally, it can move fat from storage depots and relocate it to fat cell deposits deep in the abdomen; researchers have shown that the abdomen is the best place for fast energy retrieval.

Cortisol may linger in your body long after the cause of the initial stress has passed and trick your body into thinking it has done something active in response to a perceived ‘threat.’ What’s even more surprising is that cortisol acts like a biological green light, which sends signals to your brain to refuel your body as soon as possible.

Eating Comfort Foods: When things are stressful, what can we do? How can we feel better? How about brownies, donuts, candy, ice cream, pizza, mashed potatoes, and fried chicken? This type of comfort food is always quick to the rescue in our time of need. Over the past year we’ve comforted ourselves by gravitating toward this kind of food, thinking, “You only live once, so I might as well enjoy myself now.” When tension and anxiety are high in one aspect of life, it’s not unusual for other areas to seem trivial or less important.

Why do we crave these foods? First of all, it’s what we’re used to having in times of discomfort. Parents gave you ice cream when you had a bad day at school. I know my parents did. I do it for my daughter. I can’t help it — she feels better.

Secondly, carbohydrates make you feel better by releasing the hormone serotonin, which is a brain chemical that makes you feel good. So those are the reasons, now what?

Here are a few tips to relax and stay healthy during stressful times:

  • Create a “Stress Snack Eating” Kit. Assemble an actual kit that has healthy snacks. Keep this kit around your office or at home and break out when needed. Make sure that you have portion controlled foods in there that are low in calories in case you over-indulge. Also put in a few non-food items, such as an iPod loaded with comedian sketches, a jump rope.
  • Keep Away Unhealthy Snacks. This becomes very important when you know you’re going to have a stressful day. Researchers have shown time and time again that snacks in sight are snacks that are eaten.
  • Enjoy Healthy Comfort Foods. My favorite is popcorn (made in a pan or air popped) made at home with a bit of butter spray, salt, and garlic. You can find more recipes in my column, Healthful Comfort Food Recipes for Rough Times.
  • Exercise the Stress Away. Yes, go out for a walk, take a spin class, go for a run — research shows that a bit of exercise can help you fend off unhealthy eating and reduce stress.

Article by… Charles Stuart Platkin, PhD


** 2 Supplements that I’ve found that help with stress and controlling your cortisol levels are… Estracort and Glutamine. I use these 2 supplements and they DO work really well.


Clifta Coulter Perez

Reno Personal Fitness Trainer

Winners of the 1st PHAT Physiques Body Transformation Challenge

Thank you and CONGRATULATIONS TO ALL OF YOU who participated in the “1st PHAT Physiques Body Transformation Challenge”!!!!! I was very impressed with the changes that all of you made! Wow! Great job!

Just so you know… This has been a VERY HARD decision to make because you ALL have done a great job the past 16 weeks! I’ve gone over it and over it as to who should be the winner because the top 3 were VERY close! You all had one different thing that was equally a little better than the other. I even thought of a 3 way tie, but figured you would want to see 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, & 5th, huh? And I also figured… if you didn’t win this time… you have a chance to win the next challenge… and it will give you something to work and push for. 🙂

Out of the top 3… Each of you sent in all of your pictures, but I had one that didn’t join the challenge until half way through. So I thought, should I count off for that because this person didn’t go the full 16 weeks? But then this person and one other of the top 3 sent in goals and not only reached their goals, but made even new goals and went even farther than they thought they would! Then I had another person that had GREAT before and after photos, but the percentage of weight loss wasn’t quite as high as one of the others. Whew… what a decision!

So since the top 3 were that close… I decided to go with who had the highest percentage of weight loss.

The 4th and 5th place winners also made great changes as well and should be VERY PROUD of themselves. Part of the reason that they weren’t considered in the top 3 is that they didn’t send in all of their photos throughout the challenge, so although they made great changes… sending in photos during the challenge when they were due, counted as part of the judging.

Are you guys ready to see the Placings?????

The top winners in the first “PHat PHysiques Body Transformation Challenge” are….

1st Place… Nicole Augustine

Nicole is the one that didn’t come into the challenge until April, which was about half way through, but lost the highest percentage of weight in the shortest time! She reached her first set of goals and then had to change them and kept on going. She even enter her first Bikini Divas Contest before the challenge was over. She joined PHAT Camp in April and started with a weight of 121.2 lbs. and ended up at 107.8 lbs. That’s a 13.4 lb. loss, making her percentage of weight loss 11.06% ! Good job, Nicole!

2nd Place… David Duyvejonck

David started the challenge from the beginning and sent in all his photos and made great changes in each set of photos that he turned in! I was very impressed with the difference from his first set of photos to his last set! David looks awesome and has good shape and ALOT of GREAT, quality muscle! He had a starting weight of 207 lbs. and ended with a weight of 185 lbs. That’s a 22 lb. loss, making his overall percentage of weight loss… 10.63% ! Great job, David!

(No before pictures for David, but he had an awesome transformation!)

3rd Place… Emily Eckstein

Emily is so INSPIRING and has worked so hard since I’ve known her. I met her in November when she first joined PHAT Camp and has lost over 30 lbs. since then! She had just started running a month or two before then and could barely make it 2 miles without having to walk. Since then she’s done several races, even including a Half Marathon! Her motivation is so contagious… I’ve done a couple races because of her example. She’ll be getting ready for her second Half Marathon next month and is now thinking of doing a Triathlon maybe next year! For this challenge… Emily had a starting weight of 183.4 lbs. and ended with a weight of 167 lbs. That is a 16.4 lb. loss, making her total weight loss percentage… 8.94%! Good job, Emily!!!

4th Place… Rachel Sanchez

Rachel is another very inspiring person who is also a runner and very active. I can’t believe all that she does… She Runs, Weight trains, & does my PHAT Camp every week! Rachel is also getting ready to do a Half Marathon in about a week! Running is just sooo easy for her. She has worked hard to get the results that she’s gotten in her before and after and should be very proud of herself. And… she’s even thinking about doing the next Bikini Divas Contest in August with “Team PHAT”! Rahcel had a starting weight of 144 lbs. and ended at 135 lbs. That’s a 9 lb. loss, making her total weight loss percentage 6.25% ! Good job, Rachel!

5th Place… LeAnne Quinn

LeAnne is an amazing woman that I met on YouTube! She saw the challenge on my YouTube Channel and wanted to join in. She was getting ready for the Nevada State Bikini Divas Competition that was held on June 5th. I went to the show to cheer her on and she looked soooo good! I don’t know her stats as to what her weight loss was, but I know she worked really hard and made some great changes! LeAnne is the one I haven’t heard from yet about her ending weight and if it’s ok to post her before pics, so I’m just going to post one of her after pictures that I’m sure she’s proud of. Good job, LeAnne!

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I’d like to say… “CONGRATULATIONS to the rest of the Challengers! Thank You ALL for participating in the “1st PHAT Physiques Body Transformation Challenge”! You ALL did an Awesome job and should be PROUD for making a commitment to Yourselves, Sticking to it, and Changing your Physiques!

You all deserve a BIG… “Way to Go”!!!”

Clifta Coulter Perez of… PHAT Physiques

Reno Personal Fitness Trainer

Reno Bootcamp Instructor

775-996-7183