The Official eNewsletter of TODAY! Fitness

vol. 2008 issue 3



You CAN Take it With You

...pretty much anywhere!  Whether you are going on a business trip or vacation, or you just don't have time to get to your gym, if your fitness goals are important to you there are ways to get your workouts in to keep you moving forward.  Fitness is a very portable thing.  The main ingredient is you and your willingness to stress your body a little in order to receive the benefits of making it stronger, healthier, and more fit. 

However, I realize that not everyone is used to working out, nor do they have the exercise background to put together a program.  Sometimes it just comes down to the fact that people like to be told what to do... that's one of the things that keeps personal trainers in business. 

I have been repeatedly asked about a good overall workout to do while you are traveling, on the road, away from a gym/club and the equipment.  Providing you are a healthy person approved for exercise, I am going to give you an example of a good "hotel room workout" and explain some of the principles behind it. 

Exercise 101:  A balanced workout program will include flexibility training (stretching), cardiovascular training (aerobic), and resistance training (anaerobic).  Some people incorporate all 3 components into a single workout, while others will break it up into separate workouts based upon desire and time availability.

Cardio is a no-brainer, right?  Take a brisk walk, jog in place, do jumping jacks, run stairs... there's plenty of options to choose from.  Another method of getting a cardio workout in addition to resistance (muscle toning) is to do circuit training.  Circuit training is basically completing a series of exercises in succession with little or no rest between each exercise.  The workout below is meant to be performed as a circuit, although you can eliminate the cardio exercises, or extend your rest between sets, if you wanted to focus purely on muscle toning.  Unless otherwise stated, perform 10 repetitions of each exercise with a controlled pace and good form.

slow jog & stretch WARM-UP 5-10 minutes
Squat Thrust cardio / total body

Push-up chest, shoulders, triceps

4-count Jumping Jack cardio

Table Row back & biceps

Quad Box Run cardio

Bench Dip

(or tricep blast)


Quad Box Hop cardio

Dive Bomber Push-up chest, shoulders, triceps

Squat Thrust cardio / total body

Bicycle Crunch abs & obliques

4-count Jumping Jack cardio

L-sit Raise abs

Quad Box Run cardio

L-sit Crunch

Quad Box Hop cardio

Full Crunch abs

Squat Thrust cardio / total body

Split Squat legs & butt

4-count Jumping Jack cardio

Alternating Lunge legs

Quad Box Run cardio

1 Leg Chair Squat

(or Step Up)

legs & butt

Quad Box Hop cardio

Bodyweight Squats

(try to finish
with 50!)

legs & butt

slow jog and stretch COOL-DOWN

 5- 10 minutes

So you wanted a longer workout?  Well then do it again!  Otherwise, you can simply add more exercises and keep alternating with cardio in between.  I have also done a similar workout using stairs as the cardio.  Run up a flight of stairs and back down and then do push-ups, run up and down and then crunches, etc...  If this workout is too challenging, or not challenging enough, you can simply substitute another exercise in place of the one that you want to replace.  You will get out of it what you put into it.

Elite Bodyweight Exercise of the Month!

Squat Thrust


The squat thrust (sometimes referred to as a burpee) is a great total body exercise that will really burn some calories due to the number of active muscles that are required to perform the exercise.  I regularly have my wrestlers rip out 20 or so of these at the beginning of practice, often the 6-count variation with a pushup thrown in (pictured below).  These are great to incorporate towards the end of your warm-up since you get the blood pumping to both your upper and lower body, thereby preparing your body better for exercise.  Click here if you are interested in more burpee variations from


Target:  total body exercise (legs, abs, arms)

Count:  4 count

Description From standing, 1) squat down and place your palms on the ground.  2) Jump your legs out so that you are in a push up position.  3) Jump your legs back up to the squatting position.  4) Stand back up to starting position. 
[The 6-count would add a push-up after step 2].


Calories and Weight Loss

Let's review:  3,500 calories equals roughly 1 pound of body weight.  So if you spread that out over a week, that would mean cutting an additional 500 calories per day through diet, exercise (roughly 250-300 calories per 1/2 hour of cardio), or both.

Ok, fair enough, but how many calories do you really need?  Below is the Mifflin-St Jeor resting metabolic rate formula that will help you to answer this question in 3 steps.

Step 1

(weight in lbs x 4.5) + (height in inches x 15.88) -
(age x 5) - 161 = Total 1

Step 2
Multiply Total 1 by the appropriate percentage below

Sedentary 20%
Lightly Active 30%
Moderately Active 40%
Very Active 50%

Total 1 x above percentage = Total 2

Step 3
Total 1 + Total 2 = Daily Calorie Total

Next Step - Plan on a way to cut 250-500 calories from that number through diet, exercise, or a combination of the two.

There are a few different formulas out there for calculating daily calorie requirements.  I have another web-based version of a calorie calculator on (click here).

Eating certain foods will not increase your metabolism.  In order to boost the rate at which you burn calories your going to need to eat small meals throughout the day.  This means 3 meals and 2 snacks daily, or 5 mini meals.  Try to eat every 3-4 hours.  Not eating can slow your metabolism!  When you don't eat, your body perceives this as a threat of starvation and, as a result, will slow your metabolism in order to hang on to whatever calories you do consume. 

The real key to firing up your metabolism is exercise.  In addition to cardiovascular/aerobic exercise, any increase in muscle mass will mean that your body will burn more calories, even at rest.

To shed pounds, eat a reduced-calorie, balanced diet, and be selective about your foods.  Opt for the whole-grain carbs, and try to go for heart-healthy sources of fat such as olive oil, avocado, and nuts.  Protein takes longer to digest than carbs and fats and therefore will keep you satisfied longer so don't forget to add some chicken or tuna to your salad or you'll be hungry again real soon!  One of the problems with some of those low carb diets is that when you eliminate or cut way back on the carbohydrates, you also reduce your intake of filling fiber which will also leave you hungry.  Besides the hunger issue, your body needs those carbs for energy. 

After 2-4 weeks of dieting, you should start seeing some real fat loss.  Realistically, you can expect to lose about 4-6 pounds of fat in the first month.  However, weight fluctuates naturally, and people's calorie calculations are often imprecise, so don't be disappointed if the scale doesn't show an immediate response.  On the other hand, if you happen to drop several pounds in the first week, don't get too excited.  This is typically water weight and not fat.

Although these guidelines apply to most people, let's also not forget that individuals often react differently to weight loss.  Your body composition and general genetic make-up will determine how and when you lose weight, and where the fat will come off first.  Find what works for you, get into a rhythm, and keep it up.  Remember, it's not about diet... it's about making a "lifestyle change" that you plan to keep up from now on.  Plan your work and work your plan!

It's Go Time!

So did you see Big Blue take it to the Patriots!  That was AWESOME!  I don't think the Brady Bunch knew what hit them.  There was one word that stuck with me after reading about the Giants attitude prior to the game, during the game, and on the sidelines right down to the end... "BELIEVE".  Now that's a powerful word, and let's face it, a necessary one!  The goals that you set for yourself don't mean a whole lot if you don't "BELIEVE" in them and your ability to accomplish them. 

Sure, it's easy to set a big goal for yourself based upon a desired end result (ie. I want to lose 30 pounds).  There's nothing wrong with that.  However, if you don't break that goal into smaller pieces (ie. 10 pounds in six weeks, 2 pounds this week, etc..) then it will be harder to believe in it and motivate you to work hard towards achievement.

If you want to change what people think about you or say about you, or you just want to change the way that you feel about yourself, then prove it!  Step up your game and do what it takes.  Whether you're an underdog or not, become obsessed with your goals and what you need to do to accomplish them.  Think about them every day.  BELIEVE!

For prior issues of this newsletter go to  

Good Luck!

Pete Mazzeo, CPT


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