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!