Click Here if you are unable to see the full content or animation of this eNewsletter  



     The Official eNewsletter of TODAY! Fitness

vol. 2010 issue 6



Calorie Competancy

Another great article that I liberated from Tom Venuto of  It really makes you think about the mindset that you need to have to make a serious commitment to fat loss!

Why is it that any time you hear the words "calorie counting," people start running for the hills? If creating menus, counting calories and keeping a food journal are research-proven, effective tools for nutrition education, awareness, motivation and accountability (they are), then why is there so much resistance to it?

One reason is because it's perceived as work and hard work doesn't sell!  Another reason is that skeptics say, "What about intuitive eating?" "What about people who lose fat without counting calories?"

Sure, you could choose not to count calories and eat what you "feel" your body is asking for, but if you do, that's called guessing. If you guess correctly and eat the right amount, you lose weight. I would call that luck! Would you rather roll the nutritional dice or bet on a sure thing?

Nutrition journaling and menu planning replace guesswork with precision. Perhaps even more important, they're also crucial parts of the learning process to raise nutritional consciousness. There's only one way to truly understand food and how it affects YOUR body: You have to go through all four stages of the learning process:

Stage 1: Unconscious incompetence:  You are eating the wrong foods in the wrong amounts and you're not even aware of it. (You don't know what you're doing and you don't know that you don't know what you're doing)

Stage 2: Conscious incompetence:  You are eating the wrong foods in the wrong amounts, but for some reason, you now become aware of it. This is often because of a "hitting bottom" experience or an "I'm not gonna live like this anymore" epiphany. (You don't know what you're doing and now you know that you don't know what you're doing!)

Stage 3: Conscious competence:  You educate yourself and begin to eat the right foods, but it takes a lot of thought and effort to eat the right things in the right amounts. (You know what you're doing, but you have to think about it and work very hard to make it happen because you're using willpower and still learning)

Stage 4: Unconscious competence:  You've made the conscious effort to eat the right foods in the right amounts and you've counted calories and kept a nutrition journal for long enough and with enough repetition that these behaviors become habits and a part of your lifestyle. (You know what you're doing and you do it easily and automatically without having to think about it).

I think the concept of intuitive eating has merit. If we listened to our body's true signals, I believe that our appetite, our activity and our body weight would properly regulate themselves.

The problem is, in our Western, technologically-advanced culture with an obesogenic environment, a sedentary lifestyle, social pressure and food cues tempting us at every turn, our intuitive bodily wisdom constantly gets short-circuited.

In our modern society, being able to eat by instinct and successfully guesstimate your nutrition or trust your feelings of hunger and satiety are not things that come naturally or easily.

The only way to reach that hallowed place of unconscious competence where eating the right foods in the right amounts becomes automatic and you truly understand YOUR body, is by going through the conscious nutrition education process.

Two simple ways to "count calories" and get this nutrition education you need are the meal plan method and the nutrition journal method.

The Meal Plan method:  Create a menu plan meal by meal, with calories, macronutrients and serving sizes calculated properly for your goals and your energy needs.  You can create 2 or more menu plans if you want the variety.  Then, simply follow your menu plan every day. Weigh and measure your food portions to make your actual intake matches your written plan.

With this method, you really only need to "count calories" once when you create your menus. This is a method I use and recommend in my Burn the Fat Feed the Muscle program (

The Nutrition Journal (Food Diary) Method:  Another way to track your nutrition intake is to keep a nutrition journal or food diary, either on paper or with an electronic device, software or website. This is more like "calorie counting" in the traditional sense.

Throughout the day, after each meal, you log in what you just ate, or at the end of the day, you log in all your food for the entire day. The former is the best option, since people seem to get really bad cases of "eating amnesia."

I recommend that you count calories and keep a nutrition journal at least once in your life for at least 4-12 consecutive weeks or until you achieve unconscious competence. At that point, it becomes optional and habit (the unconscious mind) takes over.  You can come back to your meal-planning and journaling any time in the future if you slip back or if you have a very important goal you want to work on. It's a tool that will always be there for you if you need it.

Counting, tracking and journaling is NOT something you have to do forever. But if you're a beginner or if you're struggling with excess body fat, there is no substitute.  Don't "wing it!" Trying to start your fitness journey or trying to break through plateaus by guessing is a recipe for failure.

Ref: Tom Venuto



Partner Bodyweight Exercise of the Month!

Plyo Hop-over and Plank

Although this exercise is great for explosive hips and legs, I use it mostly for cardio.  At the beginning or end of the wrestling practices, it's not uncommon to throw in sets of 30-60 seconds each.  The plyo hop-over can be performed solo while jumping over a low hurdle, sandbag, or cone... but adding the partner portion challenges the jumper to be a little more careful... cause you don't want to jump on someone who gets to do it next : )


Target:  legs and cardio (quadriceps, gluteals)

Count:  2 count

Description:  While one partner assumes a push-up position (up on their hands) or a plank position (on thier forearms) the other partner jumps explosively over them from side to side... limiting ground contact time.  Beginners should start over the ankles, while more advanced people can hop-over the waist or back.

Learn the Ropes

I'm always looking for new and different fitness equipment and exercises.  Although I have seen them around for several years now, I recently decided to get into "battling ropes".  For those of you that haven't heard about them yet, it's a fairly simple concept, yet the workouts can be seriously intense!

I remember when I managed a health club a few decades go and we had those UBE machines (upper body ergometer).  These are basically a bicycle for your arms.  We'd mess around against each other on these machines and I can tell you that the cardio from those things were tough.  I compare the battling ropes to them... only better.  The independent, mult-planar, range of motion allows for countless exercises to be performed while challenging strength, endurance, and cardiorespiratory systems.

Benefits include

Increased aerobic and anaerobic capacity

Increased power and strength

Increased power and strength for longer durations

Increased motivation and mental endurance

Increased performance in all aspects of your life

The Battling Ropes System is a complete strength and conditioning program different than most available. This system was created by John Brookfield, a multiple world record holder and author of "Mastery of Hand Strength".  He developed the battling ropes system to enhance his own strength and stamina, despite the fact that he was nearly 50 years old.

There are hundreds of exercises that John has created as well as many variations. Drills may be performed independently or with a partner. Traditional strength exercises like pressing and squatting drills may be performed as well as exercises unique to the ropes themselves. The wave system drills are a good example. The athlete doubles a length of 50' rope around a pole or immovable object creating two 25' lengths. Holding an end in each hand the athlete swings the rope up and down creating large waves in the rope. This sounds like nothing but I guarantee 99% of you reading this would have quite a bit of trouble lasting a mere 30 seconds! It's that tough!

Battling Ropes drills will improve grip strength, improve your ability to create power and sustain the power output for longer periods of time, improve your aerobic and anaerobic capacity, teach the muscles of the entire body to work together to maximize performance, and add fun new twists to your workout.  The system allows the world-class athlete or competitor to push their limits to the point of failure in a safe manner. It also allows the average person wishing to lose a few pounds and get in better shape a user-friendly workout as well. Simply put, the Battling Ropes can be used by anyone regardless of their goals. The reason for this is because you control the system, it does not control you.

The power that Battling Ropes trains is a combination of strength and explosiveness. This maintaining power will carry into any arena, whether you are a swimmer, martial artist, runner or a football player.  You will not only generate more power, but maintain the power over a longer duration, allowing you to perform at your highest level for a longer period of time.

click here to view/order (w/ shipping)

or email for pickup in Northern Delaware

It's Go Time!

Ah June... the kids will be out of school, the weather is prime, and energy is abundant (if you know where to look for it).  There are charity walks, runs, and cycling events just about every weekend if you're looking to commit to fitness while raising money for a good cause.  Something to think about if you want your efforts to be rewarding on multiple levels!

Make time, not excuses!  If you can't make it to the gym, at least get out and DO SOMETHING... something active preferably.  Grab a friend, the family, or just get some quality time for yourself... as long as there is sweat involved along with an elevated heart rate, you'll be doing yourself some good!  It's a heck of a lot easier to get the ball rolling now, then to wait until it's cold and dark out again!

For prior issues of this eNewsletter, to subscribe, or unsubscribe, please visit the following link -->

Exceed Your Potential!

Pete Mazzeo, CPT

"Lead From The Front"

youtube of the month --> Homemade Chin-up Bar
This video is actually one of mine, but I've gotten so many emails and comments about it, I thought I'd spotlight it. | Personal Training | News | Tips & Tools | Fitness Stuff




Get Toned!   Get Fit!   Lose Weight!   Feel Great!


TODAY! Fitness, LLC. , Bear, Delaware