We dread it, know it’s coming and try so hard to fight it, but the best of the season gets us. The temptations of decadent cakes, unlimited amounts of delectable food, hot beverages that fill to the brim, and delightful high received from holiday celebrations make it so hard to turn away. Many say that ‘holiday meals and desserts don’t count,’ but when January rolls around, we sneak a peek at our satiated bellies with the terrible after-effects of over-indulgence. To our horror, you guessed it: love handles, beer bellies, and unsightly bulges.
Then, the New Years’ resolutions start rolling in. Here you are, more determined than ever to make sure you stick to the same resolution you make every year. You tell yourself, ‘This year will be different from the last. This year, I’ll stick to the lifestyle changes, and I’ll look and feel more amazing than I ever did before.’ You don’t know how, but you’re determined to find a way. The question you might ask yourself is, “How do I keep myself from falling off of the bandwagon? What do I need to do to achieve what I want?”
Blufashion editor Susan discusses diet and fitness with professional-athlete-turned-fitness-instructor Mario Rigby about finding the right personal exercise routine, fitness myths, and achieving your best body yet.
Thanks for taking the time to sit with us. I understand you did a lot of modeling and was quite the athlete-now-turned-fitness-instructor. We’ve also heard you recently opened your fitness studio, Magnus. Can you share some of the secrets to your fitness success?
I believe most of my successful momentum came from my experience in Track and Field. I was a 400m runner, which in Track and Field is considered to be the least liked race since it is arguably the toughest race to train and compete in. Tremendous self-discipline, a well-thought-out training program that spans over 4 years, and a supportive team of coaches, chiropractors, physiotherapists, massage therapists, sponsors, and supportive friends and family were needed to help me achieve my goals.
Every time I tried to come up with an excuse to not go to practice, I would come up with twice as many reasons why I should go. It wasn’t easy. However, stay focused by making it a mission to say your goals out loud, in front of the mirror, to your friends, and work on your mini-goals that will inevitably get you to your end goal. You will become passionate about what you do, begin applying these principles to other parts of your life. I apply those principles to my group classes and to the growth of my business at Magnus Training.
There are so many workout programs, including yoga, hot yoga, Pilates, CrossFit, Flirty Girl Fitness pole dancing, fitness classes included with memberships. What’s a good way to build a plan and choose a program that works best for them?
These are all excellent programs to be a part of, all very effective in their own respect. Most concentrate on single-themed programs; for example, Crossfit workouts emphasize on rapid weight loss, strength conditioning, and endurance by high intensive training, while Pilate’s emphasis is on spinal and pelvic alignment, breathing, and developing a strong core center. Consider the variables, group class size, the intensity of training (is it relevant to your goal).
If you’re trying to rapidly lose weight, you probably shouldn’t be in a Pilate class, and a general intensive fitness class would work best. Another variable would be the vibe. Do you feel welcomed and respected by your instructor and other members? If not, move on elsewhere. Enjoying the experience and having results is what will keep you coming back. Most studios allow free tryouts, so take advantage and experience firsthand before locking down to a long-term contract.
It’s so easy for each of us to tell ourselves, “I’ll skip today and pick up from where I left off tomorrow.” What are some simple, short, and easy habits that can help people can stay motivated?
Avoid processed foods at all costs. Lean toward low-carb foods. If you can’t do a full workout, a quick and dirty 20-minute workout can be just as effective, if not more. Juice, even freshly squeezed juices, contain tons of sugar, so include them to your daily diet budget. Alcohol is a major contributor to gaining fat.
Fashion and beauty all tie in with feeling good inside and out. What are some healthy lifestyle changes that are good for the skin and waistline?
To get your skin to be at its best, you have to wear sunscreen and have minimal contact with the sun. However, you’ll need to be outside enough to collect a healthy dose of Vitamin Ds. Stay far away from foods that contain high amounts of high glycemic carbohydrates or simple sugars such as candies and processed; these foods help promote breakouts and irritation in your skin, so avoid these foods as much as possible, and in return, it will also help eliminate that muffin tuffin. Regular exercise (4 to 5 times a week) is crucial to reducing your waistline, while a proper diet is essential.
I know you have a boot camp program at your studio, Magnus. How is your fitness camp different from others? What does it focus on, and how is it effective?
I am very passionate about my vigorous workout programs with the intention that my clients get optimum results at the end of each class, bettering themselves mentally, physically and ultimately improving their overall lives. Safety, technique, and attention to each member are an essential part of each program.
Unlike other gyms that stick to the same exercises throughout their lifecycle, we at Magnus Training continually change the variables of our workout programs.
Each program we have has a theme, and that never changes. For example, an athletic kettlebell class will always be fast-paced include agility and stability in its workout routine for every class. However, the exercises themselves can change up. This sort of variable training will allow your body to continually improve, learn and rapidly lose weight.
What are some of the things in your boot camp that we can do at home?
Most classes include calisthenics, which uses your own body weight as a form of exercise (plank holds, push-ups, lunging). These are proven effective and can easily be done at home.
Just by doing Planks, push-ups, and lunges, you have worked out every major muscle in your body, including squats, burpees, and dips, and you’ve got yourself a well-rounded 20-minute workout. You can do time-based (30 seconds or 1 minute each) or rep range-based (15 or 20 reps). You will see improvements over time when you are able to increase your rep range over a shorter period of time. Good luck.
During the winter, it can be so hard to wake up early to do that morning workout, yet we want to feel more energized during the cold winter season. What are great fitness routines that not only help readers feel healthy but more energized?
Make it routine to hop out of bed and do anything active, pushups, squats, stretch, 10-minute yoga, etc. It will be a chore first; it just becomes a part of your lifestyle after a while. Have water as soon as you wake up. After 6 to 8 hours of sleep, your body is thirsty for a drink. You’ll be re-energized and ready to prepare breakfast.
Most of us want to work towards getting abs, obtain a firm butt, and tone our arms. What are some effective exercises you teach that can help us target these hard-to-obtain areas?
Include these exercises to any one of your workout programs:
- Butt: Heavy squats, tons of lunges, jumping, skipping
- Abs: Planks till you drop, Russian Twists, Toe Touches, Deadlifts, Squats
- Arms: Bicep Curls, Tricep Extensions, Battle ropes, punching, pull-ups
If the goal is to reduce overall body fat, which type of exercise is more effective? Can you provide us with a few examples and tips?
Intensive weight training coupled with functional training is the best way to reduce overall body fat. Weight training builds muscle; even when you are sleeping or resting, your body will continue to burn calories.
Cardio exercise or endurance training is catabolic to muscle growth, meaning that your muscles reduce in strength and size, leaving the body susceptible to a low metabolic state (your body’s ability to convert calories into energy efficiently), and injury can occur due to weakened muscles and bones.
Cardio, of course, should not be excluded. There are many forms of cardio, long runs, cycling, circuit classes, and weight training programs that have minimal breaks between reps and sets. All that is required for a good cardio workout is keeping your heart rate consistently at a higher than normal level.
Women often worry about “bulking up.” What contributes to muscle bulkiness? What type of exercises helps women tone without bulking up?
A well-rounded fitness program includes endurance training, strength training, flexibility, and core conditioning. Lack of focus on any of the four, and your body will experience imbalances that can cause major repercussions.
Some of the benefits of strength training for women include offsetting or preventing osteoporosis in your bones. This is very common amongst women; it burns additional calories while you’re resting. Best of all, you’ll feel self-confident about your body and state of mind.
Everyone’s body types differ. There isn’t one sure way to tone without looking too bulky. Women tend to look at female bodybuilders in magazines and compare their incremental muscle growth to that of the professionals.
You’re very unlikely to reach a bulk mass that is above average unless you train every day for 5 years with special dieting plans specifically designed to maximize your muscle growth and perhaps some aid from muscle growth hormones. Most women who say that they are getting too bulky have one thing in common. They all have gained muscle but have not reduced their overall fat percentage.
Lots of women get cellulite. Is there any way to combat getting it? Or reducing it through exercise? If so, how?
Exercise doesn’t reduce cellulite; despite what you’ve heard in the media, exercise plays no role in the reduction of cellulite. However, exercise can tone your body, and the esthetic emphasis would be drawn to the muscular curvature of your body instead of your cellulite.
Women hate wearing a well-fitted dress, and a flat stomach is important. What’s a great way to target the stomach and get a flat stomach?
Here’s a quick and effective shortcut to a flatter stomach that works within 2-3 days. Don’t eat ANY starchy foods, processed foods, or any sugary foods, do have healthy fatty foods, protein-rich (Protein supplements, Tempeh, Quinoa, fish, steak, and chicken). Reduce liquid intake to water only. Combine cardio and weight lifting with core conditioning.
What are 5 things fitness and health tips that you feel you absolutely must share with our readers?
I’m going to put these in point form in no particular order:
- If it grows, eat it; if it’s manmade, leave it. Next time you shop at the grocery, stick to the perimeter walls of the store. Middle isles are usually packed with sweets and processed foods. Avoid these sections like the plague.
- Sleep, rest and relax. Take to really rest; with adequate sleep, your body metabolizes the calories you’ve consumed and turns them into muscle (simply said). Without rest, the calories you consume won’t metabolize and turn into stored fat. The other benefits, of course, are; feeling less stressed, less lethargic, more energetic, stronger, ability to focus more, among many more benefits associated with proper rest.
- Change up your workout routines often. Your body becomes accustomed to repetitive exercises and hits a plateau, meaning nothing really changes anymore. You don’t have to invent new exercises all the time, for example, do a cardio-based workout one (boxing class, running outside, cycle class, etc.), then the next day does a heavy lift workout routine (Any heavy-weighted exercise like squats, deadlifts, dumbbell curls, etc.).
- Limit Portion Size. Just because it’s healthy doesn’t mean you can eat 3 times the amount. Put your meals on smaller plates, drink out of shorter cups, and eat throughout the day (at least 5 small meals a day). This will prevent you from binge eating.
- Enjoy the process. Have fun with it all, learn how to cook your favorite meals, and actually make it and tweak it often. You will become more attached to the foods you put into your body which in turn makes you better aware of what you are consuming. Enjoy your workouts, try many different boot camps, classes, and fitness clubs, even fun activities such as rock climbing, kayaking, or tree planting can be a ton of fun. It’s a great way to meet new like-minded individuals who want to maintain healthy and fit lifestyles.
About Mario Rigby:
With more than 8 years of unparalleled experience in the fitness world, elite athletes and fitness enthusiasts alike turn to him when they can’t leave their performance to chance. Always contributing, Mario has taught biomechanics of running at the Running Room seminars and continually writes articles for blogs, websites, and magazines. Mario is also an accomplished CrossFit trainer, fitness model, and Track & Field athlete, formerly representing his country, Turks & Caicos Islands.