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Thursday, March 13, 2008

We've Moved

we've moved to

see you there,

Dan Grant

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Achieving a Successful Body Transformation: Part 2

In the first article of this series, I talked about taking responsibility, the power of choice and how you need to stop over-thinking if you want to be truly successful with your fat loss. Unfortunately, it doesn’t stop there. There are a few more important strategies and tips that you’ll need to incorporate into your life as well.

In this article I’m going to get you all set up for success. These points are just as crucial as the points in Part 1, in my opinion. So if you haven’t read Part 1 of this series yet, I highly recommend you do so before reading this article.

Set Your Goals

I think having goals are important, but just writing a bunch of goals down on a piece of paper isn’t going to make them happen. The first thing you have to do is be specific. Set a specific date that you want to reach your goals by. This is the time of year my phone is ringing off the hook for phone consultations because the snow is starting to melt and people realize summer is just around the corner. Your goal could be to lose 15 pounds of fat by May 10, 2008. Like I said, be specific.

You must be able to answer the question of why these are your goals and why they are important for you to complete. The more significant your ‘why’ the better chance you have of sticking to those goals and getting the results you are looking for. For example, your reason to lose 15 pounds of fat might be because your friend is starting a program. That’s not going to be as powerful to you as wanting to lose the 15 pounds of fat for a vacation or to decrease your risk of diabetes.

If your ‘why’ is about you, there is a greater urgency and focus to get the results you want. You won’t let minor temptations affect your progress. Everybody’s reasons will be different, and they will all have different levels of importance. That was just one example. I know people who have an amazingly high motivation because their goal is to fit into a lower size pair of jeans they just bought.

Don’t Forget to Set Boundaries Too

Now that you have a set of goals, you have to realistically sit down and figure out what choices you are currently making in your life that are going to hold you back from reaching your goals. This is another reason my phone is off the hook. To help people set their boundaries or rules. You are going to have to make a few different types of lists, too.

Usually it’s a work list, a home list and a social list. Maybe your work list will say to only drink one cup of coffee a day. You might write on your home list to only watch one hour of television a night. Your social list might say to only have one drink when you go out to dinner with your friends.

Every choice you make should bring you closer to reaching your goals. That’s why you set them in the first place. It doesn’t really make a lot of sense to set a bunch of goals and then do things that won’t help you reach them. So set some solid boundaries for yourself.

Keep Them Fresh

After you have all your goals and your boundaries written down you have to keep them fresh in your mind. If you just write your goals out and then put them in a folder where you won’t see them, your focus won’t be where it needs to be. Keep a list of your goals in your wallet, on your fridge or taped above your bed. Read your goals every morning when you wake up and every night before you go to bed. Make sure they are always fresh in your mind, so when you’re making decisions, you’ll know how those decisions will affect your goals.

one day at a time

Turn yourself into a new person each day. Say to yourself that for 24 hours all of the choices you make will bring you closer to your goals. After you’re successful for a day, then choose to spend the next 24 hours making the same choices. If you falter, then let it go immediately and get back on track. I’ve found this method to work extremely well with clients and it very well could bring you to your goals faster than you think.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Failing isn't actually failing

I was reading a book the other day called Your Portable Empire by Pat O'Bryan. It's about internet marketing so it's probably of no interest to you but I like to read different types of books every once in a while to see if I can pick up a fresh idea. The point, however, which I took from the book, was that all failure is just data.

I thought that was an interesting way to look at it. The more I thought about it, the more it made sense to me. It's hard sometimes to do something out of the ordinary because if you don't succeed the way you thought you would, you may think the whole world will think of you as a failure.

But if you look at it from the outside in, you'll realize that your 'failure' probably isn't even that big of deal in other peoples eyes.

Failure isn't really failing. It's just collecting the proper data to help you along your journey to succeed in realizing your goals.

Think about it. If you tried to get a six pack before and 'failed', what happened? What did you do and what could you have done better?

Make a list of the things you thought helped you and make another list of the things that you probably could have done a better job on.

Now take the list that you wrote of things you could have done a better job on and make a side list of how you are going to do a better job with those things this time.

So let's say that on your 'could've done better' list you wrote, "Had too many pizza and beer nights."

So on your 'how will I do better' list you might write, "have a pizza and beer night only 1 time a month because if getting a six pack is really important to me I know I must sacrifice and have the will power to do so."

That's just an example, of course. You know better then I do what stopped you from reaching your goal.

The biggest thing to learn from all this is that you should NEVER quit because you didn't achieve your goal the first time around (or even your second or third time). Just take it as data that will give you a better shot next time.


Dan Grant

PS - The new blog is COMING SOON....there's been some delays (seems to always happen), but it is coming shortly.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Achieving A Successful Body Transformation: Part 1

Here's my latest article on The Soko.


Achieving A Successful Body Transformation: Part 1

Most people seem to want the quick fix solution. Over the years, they have gained more and more weight, and then all of sudden, a magical pill hits the stores that claims it can take it just once a day and change nothing else in their lives to lose inches and inches off their waist. They think they have found the answer.

It sounds so easy. Just take one little pill and bam! Your fat will disappear forever and you can still live the unhealthy lifestyle that got you to think about taking the pills in the first place.

There are a lot of ‘miracle’ products out there from pills to the latest ab equipment. The sad truth for almost everybody is that they don’t do what they are supposed to do. They just flat out don’t work.

Why? Because you can’t just snap your fingers and the weight is gone. There are some major lifestyle changes that need to be made and they are going to take some effort to conquer them.

The great motivational speaker, Jim Rohn has said, “For every disciplined effort there is a multiple reward.”

I’ll be honest, this will take discipline, but the rewards will be golden.

Take Responsibility

To become truly successful with your body transformation you must first take responsibility of your actions. It seems like a pretty simple idea, but hardly anybody actually does it.

If I asked you why you wanted to change the look of your body and why it got like that in the first place, what would your answer be? Would you answer that it was all your fault? Or would you have somebody or something else to blame?

Maybe you had a child. Maybe you started working more. Maybe your friend stopped working out with you. There are thousands of excuses as to why you got out of shape, but the reality is that it’s you, and only you, that could have prevented it from happening.

This is the first step, because if you don’t take full responsibility when something goes wrong (and something definitely will), you’re probably not going to move forward and try to beat the challenge. You will either quit or make excuses. I realize that this may sound a little over the top, but it’s not. It’s very real and once my clients have taken this mindset their results either double or triple.

Power of Choice

Once you’ve decided to take full responsibility for your transformation, it’s time to use your common sense to win. When you are offered dessert at your friend’s house after dinner, you will know to do what is best for your goals. Same goes for when you’re grocery shopping. You know that chips and pop are not good for you, so why would you buy them for yourself if you are actually serious about reaching your goals?

Everything you do is a choice -- plain and simple. So when it comes to your success with your transformation, you have to make sure that your choices are moving you forward towards your goals.

It’s a simple yet tough choice that we all have the capability of making. The obesity crisis continues to rise, proving that a lot of people just are not doing it.

Stop Over-Thinking

The more we complicate things, the harder those things are to accomplish. Fitness information is all over the internet and it’s really easy to get confused about what you should actually be doing. I’ve had clients who have hired me because they were so confused from trying to figure it out themselves that they just wanted answers.

I know people who have spent thousands and thousands of dollars on every new diet or ab product. You’ll hear me say this a lot in this article series, but there is no magic answer. That’s why new products have to keep coming out. Because if there actually was a product that solved everything, then you would know about it and I would be out of business.

more to come

I realize that this was a loaded article, but I feel it was a necessary article to write and share with you. Remember, once you take responsibility for your actions and make sure that every choice you make brings you closer to your goals, you will be well on your way to success.

To your success,

Dan Grant

PS - I had a MAJOR computer meltdown this week so if you've emailed me I WILL get back to you as soon as possible. Thanks.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Exercises, Reps, and how 3% isn't going to help you lose fat

Interesting things are happening in my life lately and you're
going to hear all about them in the next week or so. I'm going
to need your support and advice.

I wanted to do a little more critical thinking today as far as
exercises and reps.

Last week I talked about the fat burning zone and the benefits of
interval training and my email box was flooded with emails about
interval training and how jogging has caused so many joint problems.

Great to hear from you and keep 'em coming.

Ok let's get on with it...

When choosing exercises for your program you need to consider what
exercises are going to be most beneficial for your goals.

What you want to do during your workouts is use as much muscle as
possible. That means multi-joint exercises (squats, bench, pullups,
deadlifts, rows, presses) are best because they will work more
muscle then a single joint exercise (bicep curl, tricep kickback).

Take into consideration the size of your muscles as well. For
example, doing squats are far more beneficial then bicep curls. Why?

Well your biceps are roughly only 3% of your entire muscle on your
body. Doing the squat works over 50% of your total muscle.

So when you're thinking from a fat loss perspective, working out
your bigger muscles will build you an overall greater lean muscle
growth. The result of that is a higher metabolism, which is of
course, what you want because you'll burn a higher amount of fat
throughout the day.

Do I have my clients perform bicep curls? A little bit. Most of
time we'll stick to 3-6 sets a week and actually push it kind of
heavy for 6-10 reps.

Same thing applies with tricep specific exercises, EXCEPT we'll do
10-15 reps because I've found that the stress put on the elbow joints
doing a heavier weight under 10 reps increases the risk of injury by
a fair bit.

Generally we'll stick between 6-12 reps for most exercises but I'm
going to mention that in the next email.

hope that helps,


Dan Grant

PS - Remember, look at the pros and cons of what you're doing. If
it's increasing the risk of injury then re-evaluate. That's why
i rarely do long cardio with my clients and it's also the reason
we stick with over 10 reps for lying tricep extensions.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Super Quick Workouts For Your Busy Schedule

Have you ever had those days, weeks or even months that just seem to be so out of control that getting a workout in is the last thing on your mind?

Just because you feel that way, does not necessarily mean that there is not time for a solid, fat burning workout. Here are some ideas I use with my clients that will help you out, even if you only have 15 minutes to spare. As a bonus, you won’t need any of your own equipment to do these workouts, although they can be done in a gym too.

There are many ways to incorporate these short workouts into your day. If you are feeling tired and need an energy boost during the day, the 4-minute workout below will get your blood pumping and your energy high in no time.

The Fastest Workout Ever

Got 4 minutes? The following workout is based on research done by a man called Dr. Izumi Tabata. It’s called the Tabata Protocol.

What you do is pick 2 to 4 bodyweight exercises. For this example, we will choose bodyweight squats and pushups.

For 20 seconds, perform as many bodyweight squats as possible, safely. Then rest for 10 seconds. Once the 10 seconds is up, immediately do 20 seconds of pushups. Then rest for 10 seconds and then go back to 20 seconds of squats, and so on, until you have completed 4 minutes (or 8 intervals).

If you repeat that process 2 to 3 times you are going to be shedding fat in no time.

Here are a couple pointers for performing this style of workout. If you have weights that you would like to use, then set your intervals up so that you are doing an upper body exercise immediately after a lower body exercise, and vise versa.

If you are only using just your bodyweight, add in full body calisthenics movements, such as jumping jacks, running on the spot, burpees, etc.

The Race to 100, 200, 300 and Beyond

If you are super short on time, but need to get your workout in, then my advice is to race yourself. Pick a challenging amount of pushups, squats and an abdominal exercise of your choice. See how many of each you can do in one minute and then multiply that number by 2 or 3 depending on how much time you are going to have or depending on your experience level.

Let’s say you can perform 25 pushups in 1 minute, 50 squats in 1 minute and 30 crunches in 1 minute. If you are a beginner or really crammed for time, multiply those numbers by two.

So your goal is to perform 50 pushups, 100 squats and 60 crunches as fast as you can. This will be how the race works. Perform as many pushups as you can. Then immediately try and perform as many squats as you can. Then try and complete as many crunches as you can. Then repeat the cycle until you have reached your desired target number of each exercise.

You can take as many breaks as you like. Keep track of your time so you can observe your progress.

Fun at the Playground

If you find some of your time is spent with the kids at a playground then why not join in on some of the fun yourself. If you are a little shy about getting out there, then hold a race with your kids. Make it a game.

Include pushups, pull-ups (courtesy of the monkey bars), sprints or laps around the playground, etc. Be creative and have some fun. You can also create an exercise game in your backyard. It’s great fun and it will keep everybody healthy and happy.

short doesn’t mean easy

Just because you are strapped for time doesn’t mean that you can’t get an intense and challenging fat burning workout in. Remember to perform the exercises with proper form the whole time to ensure you remain injury free.

Have a great workout! :)


Dan Grant