burn FAT effectively

earlier this week, i got some help in the weight room from my professional basketball playing bro-in-law,


 he is also a trainer in his off-season.  can you tell?  he provided me with a fantastic upper body workout cause i need all the help i can get when i'm on my own.

we did a bunch of stuff! variety is so important in order to tone and grow the entire muscle group- i appreciated (but hated) them all.  s/n,  i'm looking forward to a nice, even tan.

hammer curls. i've ALWAYS wanted bulging biceps, especially when my arm is relaxed!!

lat pull downs with straight arms- great tricep/back/shoulder exercise.

afterwards, i did my cardio with a concentration on burning...


HR monitors have completely changed the way i workout.  up until i became a Lifetime Fitness instructor, i figured a super-duper sweaty workout = the BEST workout ever.  if i didn't achieve sweaty-mess status every single time i hit the gym, i didn't feel like i burned enough or did enough, and i'd leave feeling inadequate.  i soon learned that different zones burn different things.

i found Sonny's Polar FT7 on amazon.com as well as my own.  how it works:

1. put the wrist watch on (serves as a plain ol' watch as well)

2. strap on the chest transmitter, and make sure it's secure and close to your heart, literally.

3.  start the watch, do your workout, then stop it.  afterwards, you can look forward to seeing:

your average and max heart rates,

your total workout time plus the total amount of calories burned,


just how long you stayed in your fat burning zone! isn't that awesome?! love this thing. this is super important to me because my training focuses on staying in my fat burning zone, not so much my total amount of cals burned.  also, that was a very brief synopsis- you still need to read the directions :)

more convincing:

  •  not all gym equipment is up to date- some machines don't have those neat sensors on them you can hold to find your heart rate.  one of the machines i like to use in particular is the stairmaster, and the ones in my gym don't have sensors.  plus, i don't like to have to hold those side rails anyway!  having a HR monitor handy solves that issue.
  • even if you are on a machine with the HR sensors present, your chest transmitter syncs with the machine's signal and displays your HR without you having to grip them! i appreciate that.  sometimes those sensors just don't work correctly at all, or it will give me a crazy triple digit number that is clearly false.  and again, having to hold those sensors slows down my groove.
  • most watch models have a feature that beeps when you are out of your fat burning range to let you know whether you need to speed up or slow down. neat!


 this info is no secret and is available all over the net! follow these steps and you can't go wrong.

220 - age - resting heart rate x .60 + resting heart rate = bottom range
220 - age - resting heart rate x .70 + resting heart rate = top range
what's your resting HR?
 when you first wake up, check your pulse for 15 seconds, then multiply that # by 4.

sure, other zones burn other things, but i focused on fat for this post.  so ultimately, your fat burning zone is where your heart rate needs to STAY for the duration of your workout to burn MAXIMUM fat.


epic dad's day

Happy Father's Day to all fathers- earthly and the one and only heavenly!

since i am currently in competition mode, for once we didn't go out to eat to celebrate:(  it's crazy cause that's normally the very thing we do.  celebrations call for EATING in our house.  couldn't even do fro-yo :evil:  all in due time though.  we spent QT with our families and each other:

my two loves... big Nnamdi and little Nnamdi.

 i didn't make Sonny suffer completely- we went to my parents house to visit my folks and my mom cooked a nice T-bone steak meal for my dad.  for the first time ever, i could only smell and look but not touch or eat:

talk. about. torture.  mac n cheese is at the TOP of the list of foods i can't wait to eat again.

one of Sonny's gifts was a heart rate monitor watch- a black and gold Polar FT7!

just what he wanted! do you wear one when you workout?


if not, consider it.  there are soooo many makes and models, but a basic one is all you'll ever need, IMO.  i did check out some reviews first.  how they enhance your workouts:

  • accurate calorie counter- who doesn't want to know this info??  don't trust that elliptical or treadmill number :-|
  • ensure you are at an appropriate intensity level.  if your heart rate gets too high your activity can become counter productive;  too low and you're not pushing hard enough to gain any substantial health benefits.
  • find and monitor your target heart rate (50-85% of your maximum HR).  you can find this number *roughly* by subtracting your age from 220.
  • your watch will tell you which zones you are in so that you can burn optimal fat, carbohydrates, or sugar.
  1. fat burning 50-60% ideal for endurance and weight loss; the body uses stored fat as fuel.
  2. endurance 60-70% ideal for endurance and weight loss; the body uses stored fat as fuel.
  3. aerobic 70-80% cardiovascular and muscular strength and endurance; burns fats and carbs in this zone.
  4. anaerobic 80-90% enhances lung capacity; muscles become tired and breathing becomes heavy. working hard and burning sugar.
  5. V02 Max 90-100% helps enhance speed in athletes; can only exercise in this zone for a short period of time as the muscles go quickly into oxygen debt.
  • prevent overtraining - maximize the efficiency of your training while minimizing the opportunity for injury.
  • provides feedback on your improvements over time.

he can't wait to put it to use!  me neither cause i WILL be borrowing it.