Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Holidays and Alcohol: How To Watch Your Figure

I feel that it’s necessary to take a seasonal approach for this second installment of The Wonders of Alcohol. Large populations of people put emphasis on watching food calories but forget that many of our calories consumed throughout the day come from beverages.

While you spend the holidays hopping from party to party full of finger foods, awkward conversations and spiked eggnog there are a few things you should keep in mind. If you are constantly concerned about keeping your figure and don’t want to sacrifice all of that hard work in the gym on one weekend, then listen up. There are a few secrets that can help you maintain that sexy body while still enjoying yourself.

First of all, it is important to stay hydrated throughout a night of drinking. Alcohol is a diuretic which increases glucose levels in the blood thus causing frequent urination (which is why you’re constantly taking trips to the bathroom). With all of this fluid flushing out of your body, which may include healthy nutrients, it is crucial to drink one to two glasses of water between alcoholic drinks. This won’t make you lose your buzz if that’s what you’re concerned about, it will keep you hydrated and in better control of your body.

If you’re a beer drinker you may want to consider light beer as an alternative. Light beer typically contains 50 fewer calories than a comparable fuller beer (and when you’re downing 5 to 6 beers in a night, these calories add up).

Champagne is easy on the waistline as well, only weighing in at 20 calories per ounce. Although laced with a good deal of sugar, champagne isn’t as detrimental as some may think. A beverage that you should drink in moderation is dessert wine. Packing double the calorie count of a glass of red wine at around 270 calories for every 6 ounces, dessert wine should be enjoyed and put aside.

It is also important to be aware of what you are mixing your alcohol with. Alternatives such as low-sugar juices and diet soda can make a beneficial difference. A general rule of thumb is that the creamier the drink, the higher amount of saturated fats you will be consuming. This rule isolates Eggnog as one of the least healthy beverages for your holiday season. So it may be best to enjoy this drink in moderation.

Whatever your plans are this holiday season please remember to be responsible. I cannot stress enough how important it is to have a sober driver or the number to a taxi service. Most of our phones have applications or internet service that can help with this. Just head over to to find the number to a taxi service near you. Believe me; the cost of the cab is much less than the consequences of drinking and driving. So be safe and enjoy the holidays.

As always, feel free to post any additional calorie saving techniques in the comment section.


Thursday, December 9, 2010

Bulk like a Bear for Winter....Not Exactly.

As many people know, bears will gain as much weight as possible in order to hibernate for the winter. Most of the weight gained being fat, to be stored for food to be cannibalized during the long winter hibernation. When the winter is over and they come out of their dens, they are lean and wiry, hungry for their first meal.

In the realm of fitness, and much more narrowly in the area of bodybuilding theory and practice, those who would like to increase in lean muscle mass tend to “bulk” during the winter months. This means packing on the mass in order to shred as much fatty tissue as possible before the summertime. This practice is an emulation of professional bodybuilders who will pack on the pounds during an off season and then cut down prior to competition in order to have more muscle density, definition and size.

Here we have a proper bulk cycle.

However, the two processes are not to be confused. You do would not want to bulk like a bear. “Bulking” in terms of packing on body mass does not mean you gain lots of fat and then lose it later. The term bulking refers to packing on as much lean body mass as possible within a certain time frame while keeping the gains of fatty tissue down to a minimum. In other words you are not going to go out and have fast food for every meal and say you’re bulking. In gym culture this may be a pet peeve of the advanced and older lifters when new lifters start off, because of the prominence of “street knowledge” sometimes more commonly referred to as “bro-science” that is very hard to dispel and replace with solid backed information.

Once the bulking cycle is over, the person would then shift their workout program to higher repetition exercises with shorter rests in between sets. Focus is kept on burning as much fat accumulation while keeping the lean muscle gains from bulking.
A proper bulk would consist of working out as intensely as possible within a short amount of time, keeping rest times high enough to completely recover in order to hit the lift heavy for another set again. Once the workout is complete the rest of the day is focused on eating about every 3-4 hours with calorie dense healthy foods.

Now let’s not get the term “intensely” mixed up either. When working out intensely to stimulate as much growth as possible while bulking, you want to recruit as many motor units as possible by lifting very heavy and for low end reps. The common program being 5X5, five sets, five reps, with 2-5 minutes rest in between. When you lift this way you need to be lifting the most amount of weight you can handle for the 5 reps. Lifting without a spotter is not ideal as you would not be able to finish your repetitions with the amount of weight. You would also benefit from splitting your workouts as much as possible into days for certain body parts with no more than 5 exercises per body part. This way you can hit each muscle group hard and give it a whole week to recover, and grow from the stimulus received. Cardio is still essential only in moderation. No more than 3 time a week.

So this winter if you wanna pack on the mass remember these rules.

1. Eat clean calorie dense food, i.e. peanut butter, juices from concentrate, breads, pastas, grains etc.

2. Make sure you eat enough. Growth is done after your workout, eat plenty of clean foods and you wont have to worry about the fat packing on.

3. Don’t skip out on cardio, unless you have a super fast metabolism that necessitates maximum caloric allocation.

4. Don’t cut out your carbohydrates. They are the major energy source for what you’ll be doing in the gym. They wont make you big, but they will allow for the proper building of muscle by making sure it isn’t cannibalized.

-Turo Gamez

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Meet the Staff

Now you can finally put faces to these fantastic blog posts!

Keep following our blog as we look forward to bringing you more informative posts.


Thursday, November 18, 2010

The Almighty Avocado

Lately I've been going through avocados like I'm growing them in my backyard. I'm not of course, but I've been buying them with every visit to Stater Bros. (nice little plug for my favorite grocery store). I can incorporate them into so many meals and they add a nice finishing touch.

Avocados (or alligator pears as they are sometimes called) are a delicious and healthy fruit, yes I said fruit. Shaped like a pear, avocados are actually a large berry containing a seed that grow from trees throughout the world. You can view a map of native avocado locations here --->

High in monounsaturated fat, also referred to as the “good fat,” avocados can be a key element to any diet. According to avocados have the highest protein content of any fruit and also contain about 60% more potassium than bananas. Avocadoes also contain a nutrient called lutein which is important for maintaining healthy eyes. The country of Mexico is the worldwide leading provider of avocados with the state of California coming in second.

So now that we’ve covered some fun facts about this magical fruit, let’s take a look at how we can incorporate it into our diet. I have been slicing up avocados and putting them into spinach salads, on hamburgers, on hotdogs and on omelettes. I also take the back end of a spoon, scrape the inside of the avocado and use that as a spread on tortillas. This spread can act as a great addition to any fajita or breakfast burrito meal. And of course, you have the traditional yet incredibly delicious guacamole dip. You can mix slices of avocados, bits of onions and any salsa together to get a simple and affordable guacamole concoction.

So give them a try! Pick up a few avocados next time you’re grocery shopping and experience this wonderful fruit. HomeCooking has some awesome avocado recipes here (

Avocados are even mixed into smoothies. ---->

If you’re still not sold on avocados or just want to explore deeper into the “alligator pear”, take a few minutes and check out this amazing link that notes several health benefits of avocados. (


Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The holiday season is already in full force, and Thanksgiving is quickly approaching. Many of us have plans to join our family around the dinner table. Let us keep in mind that not everyone is able to enjoy this time of year. The Bronco Fitness Center is currently hosting a food drive through November 23rd in order to help others who otherwise may be stressed due to Thanksgiving. A non-member will be able to enjoy a free gym session when he or she comes in with a member and brings in a food donation to the Bronco Fitness Center.

This time of the year also brings the thought of New Year’s resolutions, but you should not wait until January to begin caring for yourself. Members are already on the right track, and those who are able to get their friends to join the Bronco Fitness Center have the ability to get their January membership paid for. Members that refer one friend will receive $5 off their January membership, two friends is $10 off, and three friends make the month free for students at $15 off. This promotion will be going on until December 19th.

Since this article has been all about promotions, I thought that I would include another promotion that will be taking place December 3rd. Hangar 18, which is a rock climbing gym in Upland, will be allowing Cal Poly students to climb for free from 5:00pm to 9:00 pm. Feel free to check out their website


Sunday, November 14, 2010

Carbohydrates, Carbs, Sugars, Starches... Oh my!

Over the past couple of years carbohydrates have gotten a bad stigma and it seems that everyone is avoiding them in fear of losing their physique and adding inches to their waste. The fact of the matter is, no matter what kinds of foods you eat, if you eat more than what you need your body will store it! So before you continue reading this blog, get that notion out of your head if you hadn't already.

Let's quickly discuss what a carbohydrate is and where we can find them.

What exactly is a carbohydrate?
- Well depending on who you ask the definition will change a little bit. For the sake of simplicity and so we don't turn this into a chemistry lecture; carbohydrates are part of 3 different macro-nutrients which consists of fat, protein, and carbohydrates.

What foods are carbohydrates?
- Simply check the nutritional label to see how many carbohydrates a food has and if it doesn't foods high in carbs are usually rice, beans, cereals, fruits, potatoes, bread etc.

So why all this talk about carbohydrates? Because there is more to this fantastic organic compound then just how delicious it tastes.

A recent study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research studied the effect of a "low carbohydrate beverage with added protein on cycling endurance performance in trained athletes."

We all know that carbs during long endurance exercise helps, that's why Gatorade is so widely used now but what happens when you add protein to a carb drink?

According to the study "compared to a 6% [carbohydrate] supplement, a mixture of carbohydrates plus a moderate amount of protein can improve aerobic endurance at exercise intensities near the [ventilatory threshold], despite containing lower total carbohydrate and caloric content." (the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, Volume 24 | Number 10 | October 2010 | 2577)

So this begs the question, "How much did this really help?" The time till exhaustion in the group with protein and carbs mixed in their water was 19.3% greater than the group with only carbohydrates in their water.

On a side note the main point of this study was not to see whether or not protein made a difference, it was actually to see if a lower caloric carb + protein drink still made a difference in endurance. And it did.

So just to sum this all up, if you're dieting and are doing some really long endurance cardiovascular training and want to keep you're calories low, go ahead and spike you're low calorie Gatorade with some protein and sip on it throughout your workout. Your workout could be 19.3% better.

- Noel Cerda

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Keeping the Sniffles Away

Hello everyone!

We are getting closer and closer to that time of the year...the temperatures are dropping soon (although it may not seem like it after this past week) and we will be exposed to those pesky sniffles. Also, now that we are in week 7 there will be lots of projects and last minute assignments that "somehow" start piling up on us which tends to translate into less sleep. Our immune system can only take so much before it begins to slack on us.

Daily exercise can help you with weight loss, mood improvement, and maybe even add some years to your life. As a student in the health/fitness field I can't emphasize enough how important it is to hit up the gym. So how do the sniffles relate to exercise you ask? Well, "exercise is thought to boost the circulation of the virus-fighting white blood cells known as natural killer cells-the Marine Corps and Army of the immune system," says Nieman, a professor from North Carolina. The immune system is boosted for three hours, which may not seem like a lot, however, the numbers start to add up if you exercise on a daily basis. Also, endorphins (the feel-good transmitters/ runner's high), which are released during physical activity, are known to spike up these immune cells as well.

As a fellow student, I want to help YOU prevent the sniffles. The following are 8 ways to STAY SNIFFLE-FREE:

Here on campus the flu shot is available to us for FREE, so take advantage of it.

According to David Katz, MD, "diet is the fuel that runs the complex human machine and all of its parts, including the immune system."

  • High quality proteins such as fish, lean meats, and beans will help your body build white blood cells.
  • Bright colored fruits and vegetables will provide your body with antioxidants, which in turn, will boost the immune system.
  • Lastly, to balance it all out, intake some omega-3 fatty acids. Walnuts, flaxseed, and fatty fish are good choices.


Exercise aids in the stimulation of those immune cells that attack cold infections. Just don't overdo it! High intensity workouts- such as marathon training- may actually increase the risk of catching a cold.


Drink lots and lots of water and stay warm. Humidity kills viruses so keep your body warm and moist.


By bacteria I mean the good kind...Probiotics (microbes that help strengthen your immune system). You are looking for about 3 servings a day of foods such as yogurt with bacteria, kefir, kimchi (fermented food), etc.


Sleep, sleep, sleep! If you are sleeping less that 7 hours during the week you are 3 times more likely to develop respiratory illness than if you got eight or more hours Archives of Internal Medicine, 2009).


Wash your hands constantly for about 20 seconds (you should be able to sing "Happy Birthday"). If soap is not available use hand sanitizer.


Try and stay away from people who are sick. If this is not possible, help yourself and take Emergen-C or Airbourne.

I hope my blog was compelling enough to see more of you here at the Bronco Fitness Center because exercise really does help! I wish you guys all the best as we are nearing the home stretch of the quarter. Stay fit :)

-Stephanie Sandino

Friday, November 5, 2010

Creating the Ultimate Schedule

That exciting but dreadful time of the quarter is upon us, adding classes. We know that adding classes is sort of like winning the lottery, it’s hit or miss. But I have been here for a while and I realized that the problem wasn’t the classes I was taking but the way that I had scheduled them. There were quarters where I only had classes Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday but I was at school from 9 am to 8 pm. I was stuck at school all day and all there was to eat on campus was fast food places which is not a good look. I was focused on working out but I couldn’t because I simply had no energy due to lack of carbohydrates and protein which was substituted with sugars. It was a rough quarter for me and I knew I had to do something

So how can I avoid a similar situation where I am at school all day and feel like I just ran a 5 k by the end of the day you ask, it’s simple. Don’t wait till the day of your enrollment to look for classes and figure out you schedule for the quarter. Create a schedule that is flexible with school as well as your workout routine skipping a workout is like skipping a class, you have to make up your work or you stuck. Here are a couple factors that will help you create the painless schedule that would allow you to balance your fitness and school schedule.

1. Consider all other time consuming factors outside of school
a. Holidays, Girlfriend/Boyfriend Time, Vacation
b. Get your work schedule in advance
2. Allow time in between your schedule and bring the essentials needed
a. If you plan to work out between classes, have at least a 3 hour gap
b. If you plan to work out in the morning, have enough time to wash up after your workout and head to class
c. If you work out after your class, be sure to have your meals prepared, supplements, and other factors that will prepare your body for a workout. As well as have time between classes to eat and drink fluids.
3. Realize the amount of work is needed to be put in certain classes
a. Certain classes require more work, such as math classes, science classes with labs, and senior projects. Be sure to incorporate the time it takes to do your homework and study. This is the hardest part of creating a set schedule or routine.

Once you get in the flow of things it takes about two weeks to get on track and consider it a routine. Life is a lot easier when it is organized so might as well start here in college. Trust me the better schedule you create the happier you will be throughout the quarter and you will see that in your grades and fitness results.

And I am out

Drew Caustrita

Thursday, November 4, 2010


Hopefully you all survived the dreaded calorie loaded Halloween chocolate candies and caramel apples along with delicious physique destroying beer from the month of October. But it does not end there. The holidays are around the corner and you plan to keep a full set of abs or a flat stomach then you must, and I repeat, you MUST keep focused through the holidays.

Today's blog will be about all the different topics and themess that most Nutrition Articles are written about in November. I'll keep each one short because there are hundreds and hundreds of articles about each of these topics. But a good refresher is always good.

On a different note these next few months are perfect for utilizing those extra calories to add inches to your arms, chest, legs, calves, but hopefully not your waist. Feel free to pack on extra turkey on your plate for added protein. Be cautious of loaded baked potatoes for that complex carbohydrate source and opt for a plain or lightly topped baked potato instead. Also if you must, eat small amounts of simple carbohydrates especially the ones comming from pies and dessert. It doesn't stop here, drinks should also be taken into account. Not only does the average shot of alcohol have over 100 calories most holiday drinks are mixed and sugary cocktail juices are brough into the mix. Drinks like eggnog and hot chocolate are loaded with sugar so drink with caution and drink responsibly.

One of my favorites is the misconception about turkey and holiday drowsiness. Why does this happen? Nope, its not tryptophan. It is actually a combination of overeating along with a high consumption of carbohydrates causing blood-sugar levels to spike and drop drastically. Just a refresher insulin is a hormone released by the pancreas that regulates blood-sugar levels along with other things.

Finally we'll talk about why we overeat. With so much good food in front of your eyes how is one not to supposed to overindulge? Simple. It takes about 20 minutes for the hypothalamus to recieve the signal from the stomach to stop eating. Some of us an eat an entire days worth of calories in 20 minutes by binging on calorically dense foods like pecan pie. So we can avoid this by eating your portions. (See previous Article by Andrew) Then waiting and drinking a few cups of water. This is the time where we socialize and talk about how good your workouts have been going. Then after 20 minutes you're still hungry go ahead and go for 2nds but keep it clean and portioned.

-Noel Cerda

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Fat Burning Tip for All

Many of us think we understand the basis of a fat burning exercise. Others will admit that they may have an unclear understanding of fat metabolism in combination with exercise. Fat burning is obviously difficult, otherwise most of us would not find ourselves steadily gaining inches to our waistlines from the time we became freshmen in college. So what should you know if you are cardio training?

Lets talk about the two key components of fat used as a source of energy:

Tapping into your fat, otherwise known as "energy stores" takes TIME. When I say time, I am referring to long bouts of exercise lasting up to an hour. Also, understand that losing body fat does not happen in days or even weeks. It is best to look at these measurements in months for real progress. This can be discouraging but realize the accumulation of energy stores similarly occurs over time, not just from the diet, but by reducing your activity level.

Another key component is a LOW INTENSITY mechanism and resistance. In translation, choose exercises that can be done at low speeds so you can perform them for a longer period of time. With high intensity exercise, the body loses fuel more rapidly and cannot contribute to the duration required for fat stores to breakdown as an energy source.

Here is a suggestion for a low intensity, long duration exercise that any level of fitness (cardio trained or resistance trained) can perform:

Speed walking
This is actually a very wasteful use of energy and requires the help of your fat stores to preserve your blood sugar.

I suggest to modify this by walking uphill, using the incline on the treadmill, or hiking at Clairemont or Azusa trails. In walking fast, without breaking into a jog you can manipulate your metabolism to fat burn.

Finally, the best way to get results is not just by coming to the gym. Challenge yourself to increase your daily exercise habits, whether it be taking the stairs, parking farther away, or scheduling a ten minute walk three to six times a day. These strategies have all shown to be effective ways to reduce fat mass.

Please post questions or any comments you may have!

~Katie Sue

Thursday, October 28, 2010

It's Time To Train

I would like to take a moment and step away from my customary blog topic of nutrition and highlight some facts about personal training in general.

It is well-known that the personal training service has a direct correlation with disposable income amounts as this is a key external driver to purchasing personal training sessions. With disposable income amounts expected to increase in the next five years, so is the interest in fitness and the personal training service (I hope you're all ready). The fight against obesity and the focus on staying fit is what’s helping this industry grow.

Personal training itself is a very competitive industry due to the high amount of establishments and increasing number of trainers. This sheds light on the fact that each trainer must follow their own unique style and give their best work every session. Clients seek the knowledge of the trainer and pick up on their confidence. Truly an elite bunch, nationally certified personal trainers are terrific resources for anyone interested in fitness. (Here’s a link that looks at the top four certification providers)

According to IBIS World the personal training segment has seen exponential growth since the late 1980’s reaching 160,000 trainers nationwide. Composed of about 77% females, personal trainers possess the skills to help clients reach their fitness goals. According to SGMA International, back in 2001 personal trainers countrywide served over 5 million clients. With those numbers increasing each year it’s no wonder why competition is so high and potential trainers are recognizing the growth.

So while you’re in the Bronco Fitness Center, take advantage of our Personal Training services and talk to a staff member. All of our trainers are nationally certified and highly trained. Our job is to help get you on the right path towards meeting and exceeding your goals. Did I forget to mention that new members get two free personal training sessions? So now there’s really no excuse to not swing by the fitness desk and get connected with a trainer during your next workout. Let us exercise our knowledge and skills while you get in shape and find the results you’ve been looking for.


(ACE Certified Personal Trainer)

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Cardio Is Not the Only Way

Are you Big Bad Cardio Machine? I'm an avid runner myself, as it is a great stress reliever and calorie burner! But did you know that your workout can become complete by adding resistance training to it? Don't go away just yet! Many people do not consider resistance training to be essentail to meet their fitness goals as they come to the gym. But let me ask you some questions.

Are you trying to lose weight, and when I say weight I mean fat?

Are you looking to improve your body's physique?

Are you trying to improve your strength or endurance?

Is one of your goals to become healthier?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, resistance training is actually a fantastic way to accomplish these goals and can benefit you by integrating it into your weekly workout routine.

If you are a beginner in an exercise program you can receive benefits when using both aerobic (cardio) and resistance training (weight lifting) in a single workout session.

For more advanced gym goers who have trained in cardiovascular exercises for at least six months, beginning a resistance training program may help if you have reached a plateau in your improvements. Cardio training can be performed once or twice a week to maintain cardio fitness and resistance training will also aid in muscle gains.

For women, many fear they will "bulk up" or have a "manly looking" body. This is absolutely false. For one obvious reason, women are not men. Women have different hormone balances, body composition (typically higher fat %), and appetites/diets (this plays a relatively small role on this topic). Regardless, it is difficult for women to put on muscle mass. And with the right program, you can accentuate your muscle's potential and reach your goals with a well-rounded routine.

One last note for those who are considering resistance training! If you are not sure where to start, get comfortable with the weight machines. They are designed for most body types and are a great start for beginners, as well as those who are more advanced. Also, consider getting involved in a Group X class at the fitness center. Boot Camp, for instance, incorporates cardio training as well as resistance training exercises in a variety of ways for all levels. If you have any questions regarding machines, technique, or possibly a personalized program, talk to one of the Personal Trainers at the fitness desk on the weight floor.

Have a great workout!

Katie Sue (NSCA Personal Trainer)

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Sports Drinks vs. Water

I think that the majority of us can come to an agreement on the fact that water isn’t the best tasting beverage out there. We know that it’s the healthiest option, but it just tastes so…blah. That’s why the sports drink and vitamin water industry is booming with alternatives for those who would rather reach for something other than water.

Boasting to properly replenish your depleted body after exercise; some sports drinks live up to the hype while others simply fall short. There are a few sports drinks that do however benefit the body during exercise. According to the American Council on Exercise (ACE) “sports drinks formulated with 6 to 8% carbohydrates plus at least 100mg sodium per 8 oz replace fluids just as fast as water, improve performance, and help ensure optimal rehydration.”

So sports drinks do have hope! With the proper combination of carbohydrates (which our body uses for energy) and sodium (replenishing salt that our body sweats out during exercise) sports drinks truly can improve performance. Drinks that contain less than 5% carbohydrates don’t supply enough energy, and those that contain more than 10% may cause intestinal cramping, impaired absorption and diarrhea (that would be bad).

Check to see if your favorite Sports Drink has what it takes:


Carbohydrate Concentration (%)

Sodium Concentration Per 8 oz (mg)
















Vitamin Water Zero



Red Bull






Orange Juice






What do you reach for during a workout?

If you’re curious about how much water your body needs daily check out one of my previous posts here. (shift+click)

-Andrew Reddish

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Work Your Way in to Shape and into the College Scene

The time is finally here, the start of the new school year. It’s a new beginning for freshmen and just another year for the older students. During the summer I worked for ASI, Associated Students Incorporated, as an orientation assistant and a Rec Center presenter. The incoming students had just met each other and it reminded me of my orientation. Freshmen year is a stressful year, getting use to living by yourself, no parents, and plenty of temptations. For upperclassmen, it’s just another year closer to graduating. In college, a lot of people date. One key component on dating and feeling good about your self is having self confidence. The best way to build up or sustain self confidence is simply to work out and live and active lifestyle. Plenty of men and women see it as a positive characteristic if they know that you workout. Here are some basic steps to start an active and healthy lifestyle.

Cardio Endurance -. It makes your heart strong and keeps your body going. Shoot for 3 or 4 days of cardio exercise like running, walking, swimming or any activity you enjoy.

•Muscular Endurance - If you're new to strength training, start with a basic strength workout 2-3 times a week or learn more about weight training to see how you can set up your own program.

•Strength - Strength is something else you'll need. Your basic strength workout will help you build more strength; just make sure you challenge your muscles with enough weight. You should use enough that your last rep is difficult, but not impossible and, if you're a woman, don't worry that you'll bulk up. Women don't produce enough testosterone to build big muscles, but you will build amazing strength. For more workout ideas, visit the BFC and talk to our Certified Personal Trainers.

•Flexibility - Try stretching after your workouts or incorporate a little yoga into your routine.
Yoga is also relaxing, which can help you reduce fatigue and get in the mood.

Experts say people who are mentally and physically fit are more likely to have a happier and fulfilled life.

"If you feel good about yourself, you are in a better position to feel good about relationships, including your personal life," says Karen Zager, PhD, a psychologist in private practice in New York City.

"When one is not feeling well, and is exhausted, it can certainly have a negative impact on the quality of one's intimate life," says Saralyn Mark, MD, a senior medical adviser at the Office on Women's Health.

The thing I noticed was that the more that I worked out, the better I felt in shape and healthy. Guys and gals go to the gym mainly to work out just for looks and they don’t realize that living a healthy lifestyle will benefit them in everything they do especially with their relationships and personal lives. Staying in shape seems like hard work for people who are not use to it. But you have to look at the big reward, which is to look and feel better. The bonus is that it will also improve your life and prevent any unhealthy obstacles later in life.

Coming to the Bronco Fitness Center or any other gym allows you to get to know people and interact with them as well. I have made a lot of friends through the different gyms that I was a member of. You can get a lot of different tips and advice from these people and even can find a guy or girl you really connect with with the possibility of going out on a date. Hopefully you will take some info from this and apply it to your workouts. Last thing is that bringing up an active topic such a working out, hiking, or biking is a great conversation starter.

And I am out, sincerely

Drew Caustrita

Thursday, October 7, 2010

What's the Best Exercise for (insert fitness goal)?

The human body is an incredibly efficient and adaptive machine, and will adapt to just about anything. In other words, when you exercise, your body is put under stress. Depending on what kind of stress, whether it be endurance, hypertrophy(bodybuilding) strength and so on, your body will gradually adapt. This would be why you would want to continually increase intensity, volume, reps and various other factors that will keep your body from adapting to the stress.

There is no one best exercise for losing weight. There is no best exercise for getting defined abdominal muscles. When thinking about providing stimulus to your body, you want to hit it from different angles. You want to catch your body off guard, and keep it off guard. Results come from your body adapting. Once your body adapts, results slow down and this is where plateaus happen.

As an example of the body adapting to outside stimulus rapidly in order to cope check, out http://http// for a bit more info on how the body adapts. For some more nutrition info check out some of our blogs by Noel Cerda and Katie Steen.

Doing multiple exercises that focus on different movements, up to 4-5 per body part, will ensure that your body gets varying degrees of stimulus this will slow down the adaptation process by continuously keeping your body under different stresses. Sometimes keeping a workout program fresh can be as simple as changing the amount of rest you get between exercise sets. If you've been doing 60 second rests, change it to 45 seconds.

Always keep in mind your goals. Your goals can be classified by three training methodologies.

  1. Strength: where you focus on recruiting as many motor units as possible by adding the most amount of resistance to your lift that you can do for 3-6 repetitions and 3-5 sets and 2-5 minute rests in between those sets. The most common form of a strength program would be the 5x5, which is generally used for bulking.

  2. Hypertrophy: where the principle of volume workouts come in and what is generally done for bodybuilding, and also prepares the body for strength. 8-12 repetitions, 3-5 sets, with usually 60 seconds of rest in between the sets.

  3. Muscular Endurance: This is the realm of athletics and peaking for competitions. Athletic programs implement this training method to hone their athletes into lean powerful machines that can last until the games is over and still have energy and fuel. Repetitions of 12 and up for 3-5 sets with a weight that gives failure around the 15-18 rep mark, with little to no rest in between sets. Keep in mind though, for athletics, the exercises performed are usually total body. This can be applied for cutting fat, just remember to not overdo it. 3-4 sets per muscle group should do the trick.

Keep reading for more weightlifting tips from Ryan Hasapes and I. If you need any held in the gym, feel free to ask any of our fitness specialists/nationally certified personal trainers on shift at the fitness desk.

-Turo Gamez NSCA-CPT

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Feeling Stressed? Here's a recipe for relief...

With workloads piling up and midterms just around the corner, it's no surprise to see stress levels are on the rise. Unfortunately, one of the first things to take a hit during this time is our health. Realistically speaking, working out typically is not the first priority on most of our lists; we have social lives, jobs, and classes to study for. However, jut as you would set aside time to sleep, it is equally important to set aside time to exercise. Getting in a good workout doesn't mean you ahve to spend hours in the gym. Thirty minutes out of your day isn't too much to ask for when it comes to you health- your body will thank you later!

From my personal experience as someone who frequently encounters stress, I cannot begin to express the value of exercise as an outlet for stress. Stress to a degree is important because it motivates us to perform better and allows us to react to dangerous situations. However, it can become counterproductive when its levels are too high. While stress is nearly impossible to avoid altogether, it is manageable and can be reduced if the appropriate actions are taken early on. It may seem like a hassle to set aside time to hit the gym, but with persistance and consistency, you'll soon find that it becomes a part of your daily routine, much like eating and sleeping.
If left unmanaged, over time stress may cause physical, chemical, and hormonal imbalances in the body. What goes on inside that we cannot see? As a part of our body's response to stress, the hormone cortisol is released. Ever wonder why during midterms and finals we have a tendency to eat unhealthily? Research has shown that cortisol is linked to high caloric fatty and sugary food cravings as well as the relocation of fat from the blood to storage areas in the deep internal abdominal area ( While cortisol is necessary for everyday functions such as fuel regulation, it is important to engage in exercise in order to reduce and prevent stress-induced obesity. So what can you do to manage stress?

If you haven't already done so, swing by the Bronco Fitness Center and check out one of our heart-pumping group exercise classes (for more info on class offerings and times, scroll down to Ryan's post). If a high-intensity workout isn't your forte, perhaps you may want to consider an exercise program like yoga or pilates. These types of programs may not leave you dripping with sweat, but don't let that deceive you- they are just as effective!

Maintaining a good diet, sleeping pattern, and exercise regimine are vital to reducing and preventing stress. For more helpful tips on managing stress, continue checking back with us!
- Christina

Adjusting to School Life can be Stressful

Its that special time of year again, school is back in session and our first round of midterms are just around the corner. The adjustment and transition from a care free summer to a five class schedule can be very taxing and weight heavily on the soul, body and mind. Not to worry! There are many ways to reduce stress and ultimately achieve a greater happiness. Lets explore some simple ways to reduce stress.

Exercise: Stress on the mind is stress on the body. My favorite way to alleviate stress and just feel better as a whole. Anything from weight training to running and swimming can help you get that project coming up off of your mind. Whenever I'm down or need a break from reality, I reach for gym shoes and spend an hour at the gym sweating away the stress.

If you aren't a common gym go-er, there are always personal trainers around to help anyone who might have any questions. They are national certified and with every membership comes 2 free personal training sessions. They will assess your strength and cardio limits and on your second visit will provide you with a workout.

Diet: If I'm not working out, chances are I'm eating. If I'm eating, chances are its a delicious and healthy choice. The first step to a healthy diet and healthy stress free mind is breakfast. Easily the most neglected meal of the day, this meal in the morning is what will feed your mind and body with important nutrients. This will help give you mental clarity and the energy you need to function and be focused all day. What you eat though is very important to how you will feel through out the day. An ice cream sundae for breakfast and a large pizza for lunch with a bag of chips and dip for dinner won't get you much more than mind wretching sugar rushes and crashes, along with some gnarly indegestion. Food high in sugar and fats will act negatively on the body and can enhance things like stress.

A few of my recommended favorites for snacks include:
Power/Granola Bars - They're great because they're cheap, easy to take aroudn, low in calories and high in nutritional value
Peanut Butter Sandwich - One of my favorite snacks, this mini meal is a great source of protien and is high in fiber when the use of wheat bread is substituted for white.
Trail Mix - A great snack that keeps you guessing and can be altered to have whatever you prefer.
Beef Jerky - One of the tastiest snacks I know, a great low calorie and high protien snack that is always a guarenteed deliscious meal.
100% Fruit Juice - Always a great choice, no matter the hour. The nutrients from this low calorie liquid is great. Orange juice and Grape juice are two of my personal favorites

This is just a short list of many great healthy and affordable foods you can relie on that will help your soul body and mind.

Time Management: Playing the clock right and managing your priorities can be huge in avoiding forgotten appointments and assignments. By planning out my week in advance and writing reminders for when I should study and do work can make my life a lot easier. I spend my time more efficiently and finish my projects ahead of time by simply planning ahead. Using something as simple as a phone calendar to set reminds can be all you need to make life a bit more fluid and a lot less stressful.

Its a new school year here at Cal Poly and I hope these tips are useful to you readers.

-Aaron Holder

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month!

As many of you probably already know October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Susan G. Komen for the Cure reports that every 69 seconds a woman dies due to breast cancer, and 1 out of every 8 women in the United States will be diagnosed with breast cancer at some point during their lifetime. There are various ways to help contribute towards a cure. One very easy way to participate is by changing your Facebook profile picture using an application provided by SC Johnson. If you visit their Facebook page and “Pink” your profile picture during the Month of October the company will donate a dollar to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.

Mammograms can also be provided with your help!! The Breast Cancer Site is donating money in order to offer free mammograms. If you visit their website the front page has an option to click to give. All you have to do is click on the pink square and funds will go towards providing mammograms. Both Dannon and Yoplait participate in breast cancer donations, so if you eat yogurt you can help! Dannon requires you to fill out the number off of the lid at by November 30th resulting in a 10 cent donation for each lid to the National Breast Cancer Foundation. Yoplait will donate 10 cents to Susan G. Komen for the Cure for every lid mailed in by December 30th.

If you feel like actively participating in an event that funds breast cancer research there are numerous events. Run 4 Her Life is a 5k/10k race that will be taking place in Century City on October 24th. The proceeds from this event go towards research at USC. There is also a concert after this event!! If running is not for you, Trek and The Breast Cancer Research Foundation are sponsoring a ride this coming weekend on October 9th. There rides are taking place at various locations, so I am sure there is one near you!

As you can see taking part in Breast Cancer Awareness month is EASY!!

Jessica Clark

Monday, October 4, 2010

Get Social and Motivated with our Group X Classes!

How's it going Bronco Fitness members? We want to remind our new members as well as all the returning members that we do offer group exercise classes at the Bronco Fitness Center.

It is quite common to feel confused when you first join any gym. It is also common for many members to always feel self conscious when they work out. We want you to know that you are not alone and we can take care of any concern you may have. That is what we personal trainers are here for - to assist and help guide you through any questions or conerns you may have.

We want to encourage you to participate in our Group X classes as it is a great alternative! Many gyms, including the Bronco Fitness Center have been effective in satisfying member needs when they incorporate Group X classes because it is such a great outlet for all members. It is a perfect opportunity to meet the trainers of the class as well as meet fellow Bronco members.

Why do member love the BFC's Group X classes?

For one, we offer a great variety of classes. We offer everything from martial arts, to body tone, to cycling and spinning, to kickboxing, to yoga, to pilates, to zumba, to cardio craze, and even absolution. All the trainers that lead their classes have their certification in their area of expertise.

Second and probably the most influential reason as to why many participate in Group X classes is that it is a great way to socialize with fellow gym members. You don't have to work out alone anymore! The other members in the class are there for the same reason you are. It is an awesome way to interact with other members taking the class, as well as make a few new buddies. Something as simple as taking an exercise class can help establish relationships outside of the gym and in your life. Think about it. How many relationships have you made with those you have met through your educational classes (from grade school up to present)? Group X classes can help boost the self esteem of any individual at any level of fitness! So we encourage everyone to take advantage of the classes, participate, and meet your fellow members!

Third, it is an awesome and fun way to learn! The Group X leaders are there to help motivate you and push you. They are very approachable and are there for YOU. Take the opportunity to ask them any questions you may have or any additional tips to help you reach your goals.

And the best part...
It comes with your membership! No additional cost!

-Ryan Benito

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Cardio Freaks gotta Eat

A primary reason to have a cardio based workout program is to kick up caloric expenditure. This is considered a negative calorie balance as you utilize more calories for energy compared to your typical diet. With long term training, your body will help you preserve certain energy souces in exchange for others, which can be considered more expendable, like fat. Even when you're not working out, such as when you're sleeping, your body will metabolize fat more readily. How exciting! But listen up. Don't skip out on meals in some low calorie diet! If you want to get down and sweaty on the cardio floor you should be eating consistently to assure your body it has the calories to support its needs, let alone give you the high boosted workout you look forward to. And after your exercise session, your body is going to demand a sufficient amount of nutritents to replesnish what it lost. This is important for your next day's activity.

A general rule is to stay away from eating at least an hour before exercise. In the case of a cardio workout, it could be suggested to wait 2 hours. One reason I feel comfortable sharing is what is called the hypoglycemic effect. This can occur when you consume foods with sugar such as a soft drinks, candy, or fruit/juice. The effects lead to low blood sugar, which is an important fuel source to the physiological needs of your active muscles. It can leave you feeling tired and lethargic-not optimal running conditions I'd say. Also, exercise just after eating can leave you with a full stomach as it reduces the digestive process. Some folks will vomit since the stomach doesn't like to be trapped holding undigested food.

If you eat 2-4 hours prior to an exercise session, it is recommended to have between 250-500 calories (or 65-125g) from carbohydrate. (Usually something high in carb, low in protein.) Here's a link for some food ideas (this is only a visual for those not comfortable with reading labels)

Also, some people like to work out in the morning without eating first. That's cool too. Actually, it can be beneficial for burning fat, but if you are dizzy you should think to eat first and wait. Spending so many hours fasting in your sleep can limit your energy sources, impacting your pace and duration.

Within less than 1 hour of working out, only water or fluid replacement (like Powerade or Gatorade) is practical.

After exercise, consume carbohydrates within the first 30 minutes of finishing. This is important as it will optimize energy (glycogen) stores (25-100g of carbohydrate is sufficient). This is equal to a cup of milk, 1/2 cup of juice, or a smoothie. These values are for a regular exercise session and not for competitions. Replenishing energy stores can take up to 20 hours, so remember it's just as important to rest as it is to exercise.

I hope for some of you this information was helpful. A message to take away from this is that eating in combination with exercise is necessary for weight loss. This is just another way to integrate your health knowledge and practices for a great school year!

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Protein Packer

As costs pile up with textbooks, class fees and rent we all need to be conscious of our spending. According to an article (shift+click) over at suggestions for food spending should range from 5% to 15% of your monthly budget. There is a certain affordable spread that happens to be a fan favorite for most. Both creamy and crunchy, the super food in question is peanut butter.

Slap some peanut butter down on a slice of wheat bread and pair it with another slice smeared with jelly and you have a cheap and appetizing snack. Just ask our Intramural Supervisor Joshua Pullens what’s on his menu, and he’ll always reply “peanut butter and jelly sandwich.”

Peanut butter is an inexpensive purchase at the grocery store and can last a long time in your cupboard. Helping contribute to what I refer to as “ballin’ on a budget,” peanut butter and jelly sandwiches have always come through in a time of need or financial constraints. But you don’t always have to enjoy this amazing mixture in a sandwich, there are plenty of other possibilities.

An astonishing statistic noted by Men’s Fitness Magazine reports that 90% of American kitchens have peanut butter. You can enjoy peanut butter with celery sticks; slap it on your pancakes or make delicious cookies. According to “peanuts are rich in monounsaturated fats, which help reduce the risk of heart disease.”

Peanut butter is also a great source of protein and contains 100 calories per tablespoon. Suitable for all meals, this versatile food is a must-have for any kitchen or dorm room. Feel free to add any peanut butter recipes you have in the comments section.

-Andrew Reddish

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Wearing the Fivefingers...

Hey everyone!

It recently came to my attention this past summer that there is a new craze in running...running "barefoot" or using the innovative Vibram Fivefingers. Once I laid eyes upon these "rubber soles" I couldn't resist but buy them. I gave them a trial run while training on my summer packet for soccer and definitely fell in love.

According to, the shoes will benefit you in the following ways:

#1 Strengthens Muscles in the Feet and Lower Legs-wearing Fivefingers will stimulate and strengthen muscles in the feet and lower legs, improving general foot health and reducing the risk of injury.

#2 Improves Range of Motion in Ankles, Feet and Toes-no longer 'cast' in a shoe, the foot and toes move more naturally.

#3 Stimulates Neural Function Important to Balance and Agility-when wearing Vibram Fivefingers, thousands of neurological receptors in the feet send valuable information to the brain, improving balance and agility.

#4 Improves Proprioception and Body Awareness-those same neurological receptors heighten body awareness, sending messages about body mechanics, form, and movement.

#5 Eliminates Heel Lift to Align the Spine and Improve Posture-by lowering the heel, our bodyweight becomes evenly distributed across the footbed, promoting proper posture and spine alignment.

#6 Allows the Foot and Body to Move Naturally, Which Just FEELS GOOD.

For any of you interested in Vibram Fivefinger's it is recommended that you GRADUALLY break them in just for the simple reason that they are so different, it will be a very unique experience when you first start wearing them. Start with your high cushioned shoes and progressively move down to shoes with less and less cushion. For my fitness lovers, this is a great way to spice up your routine! Believe me your gastrocnemius and soleus will be feeling it the next day. I've done quite a bit of research on these and there are some pro and con articles out there. These may not work for YOU, however, it is a matter of physically going to a store and testing them out for yourself.

Here are a couple of websites to look at that will give you some more info on these awesome shoes:

Have a great first FULL week of school everybody! Hope to see all of you get your "fitness" on at the Bronco Fitness Center :)

-Stephanie Sandino

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Bulking Bulking Bulking!!!

Summer has been officially over for a few weeks but with classes starting today and The Office season premiere tonight, fall is here. So what does that have to do with Bulking? Everything. Fall signifies the beginning of the season where gym rats gain massive amounts of muscle and the truly dedicated use holiday eating to their advantage to gain inches in their arms, chest, shoulders and legs.

Of course I just can't tell you what you can do right? What help would that be? You want to know how to do it, right? Well besides resistance training and following the weightlifting tips from Ryan H. and Turo along with one of our many NSCA Certified Personal Trainers; you'll have to follow some basic rules of nutrition.

Well first of all we have to understand that when the human body has a surplus of energy (calories) the body does a few things with it. It either A. stores it as fat and/or B. stores it as muscle. There are also a few other things that I wont mention such as replenishing glycogen sources but telling you why and how this happens is beyond my scope of knowledge. We can just ask Katie a bunch of questions when she's on shift.

One misconception or a mistake that people will make is that they will eat massive amounts of food that are way beyond the necessary caloric surplus to achieve muscular hypertrophy. This is because our body's ability to build muscle is limited. If this were not the case everyone would pack on 50 pounds of muscle overnight and only have to workout for a day, assuming they had enough calories to support this growth. According to the NSCA's Essentials of Personal Training a caloric surplus of 350-700 Calories (big 'C') will support a "1 to 2-pound weekly gain in lean tissue as well as the energy requirements of the resistance program." (134) Protein requirements are also estimated "to be 1.5 to 2.0 grams per killogram of body weight per day" (134). And just for clarification a caloric surplus means that you are eating more than what is required daily for your body to maintain its weight. Check out to figure out what your caloric needs are. It is also important to note that everybody is different and these are only estimates.

So if a 150 pound person would like to gain some lean tissue mass how much protein would he/she need?
150lbs = 68.18 kilograms and then
1.8 x 68.18 = 122 grams of protein.
2 x 68.18 = 136 grams of protein.

So the answer is between 122 to 136 grams of protein a day. But weight (spelled wrong on purpose) there's more. One cannot eat 135 grams of protein and expect to gain muscle mass. He/she must also have an adequate amount of calories coming from carbohydrate and fat sources to have energy for the body to function normally as well as use extra energy to build muscle. Which was explained earlier.

So there you have it. Bulking broken down without all the broscience. Feel free to comment. I don't write blogs but I do now.

Thanks for reading.

Noel C.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Weight Lifting Tid Bits

Hey Everyone!

Who's ready for the quarter to start back up? I'm pretty sure, even though my summer break was looooong, I'll be complaining about just how much I want school to be over once it starts back up. But, at least we all have one thing to look forward to: COMING BACK TO THE BFC!

From here on out, my goal will be to periodically inform you, our BFC gym members, of different exercises to try out in the gym, and tweaks you can apply to your daily workout routines to make them more effective, safe and enjoyable!

Looking forward to seeing you all back here on the 23rd,


Tuesday, August 17, 2010

The Wonders of Alcohol

Ahhh alcohol. Some steer clear of it, while others have made it a part of their daily routine. We know how it makes us feel, but what is it actually doing to our bodies?

You know that your favorite alcoholic beverage is loaded with calories, but what else? There are many other effects of alcohol that you may have never considered. has a great article on these specifics and breaks the issue down nicely. Click here to view the article.

From dehydration to increasing the risk of breast cancer, alcohol has a wide range of effects that we should all be aware of. This entry is not intended to put a damper on your partying habits or hinder your enjoyment of a few adult beverages. Instead it is intended to help you become aware of what is actually going on with your body when you consume these "adult beverages."

-Andrew Reddish

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Size Does Matter

As we currently live in the time of counting calories and inspecting food labels, one may propose the question “What is a serving?” We always hear that we need so many servings of fruit each day, and a number of veggie servings…but do we really know how to measure them?

Now you can get a better idea of how many servings you are consuming with this detailed list from the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA).

Ø Bread: one slice of bread, one small muffin, or dinner roll

Ø Cereal: 1 ounce (28 grams) ready-to-eat cereal or ½ cup cooked cereal

Ø Pasta and Rice: ½ cup cooked

Ø Raw leafy vegetables (lettuce): 1 cup

Ø Other vegetables: ½ cup

Ø Fruit: one medium apple, orange, or banana, or ½ cup canned fruit

Ø Juices: ¾ cup

Ø Milk: 1 cup

Ø Yogurt: 1 cup

Ø Cheese: 1 ½ to 2 ounces (42-56 grams)

Ø Meat: 2 to 3 ounces cooked (56-85 grams)

Ø Equivalent to 1 ounce of meat: one egg; ½ cup dried beans, cooked; 2 tablespoons peanut butter

Now the question arises, “how much of each food group do I need each day?” Feel free to head over to for a cool interactive food pyramid that provides recommendations for a balanced diet.

-Andrew Reddish