1. What You Need to Know to Lose Belly Fat

    Fat-man-in-water.jpgSo you want to get rid of some belly fat.And you can’t help but be on the lookout for that magical exercise that will give you flat abs once-and-for-all.

    I’m sorry to burst your bubble of hope…

    But all the ab crunches in the world won’t make a dent in your belly bulge, as long as you continue with your unhealthy lifestyle.

    This isn’t a cutting edge discovery. In fact, by now it’s common knowledge that spot reduction is a myth.

    And yet, time after time, I’m asked to reveal the exercise, or exercise machine, that gets rid of stomach fat.

    There is no such magical exercise.

    The magic is found in altering your diet and exercise routine to promote fat loss from your overall body, including—but not limited to—your midsection.

    Here’s how to really get rid of that belly fat:

    Flat Belly Tip #1: Cut Out Processed Foods

    You know how Disneyland has the FastPass tickets that allow you to cut to the front of the ride lines?

    Consider processed foods as a FastPass ticket to belly fat.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if future studies show that the over-processing, chemical additives and high fructose corn syrup that are pumped into processed food specifically adds fat around your belly.

    If you want to lose pounds then stay away from sugars, sodas, chemically altered fats, processed, packaged, fried and preserved foods.

    Flat Belly Tip #2: Eat Fresh, Whole Foods

    Once you’ve cut the garbage out of your diet, fill in the void with fresh foods such as:

    • Green veggies
    • Whole fruit
    • Lean, high quality meat
    • Colorful veggies
    • Whole grains, in moderation

    While these foods may seem boring at first, stick with it long enough and you’ll grow to love the unadulterated flavor of real food.

    Eating a diet filled with the foods listed above will give your body all the nutrients it needs to shed pounds and lean out.

    Flat Belly Tip #3: A Consistent, Challenging Exercise Program

    The absolute best way to fight the battle of the belly bulge is with a consistent, challenging exercise program.

    • Consistent: You should exercise 3-5 times each week.
    • Challenging: If you want to see results then keep your body guessing with new exercises and varied intensity.

    My exercise programs are specifically crafted to get you into the best shape of your life.

    I’d love to hear from you. Call or email today to get started!

  2. Why You’re Gaining Weight (and how to stop it)

    Capture-3.JPGTired of gaining weight? Of course you are – none of us enjoy it when the number on our scale begins to climb. So why are you gaining that extra weight now?

    That is a valid and frustrating question. And the answer is often found in recent changes in your life.

    According to Edward Abramson, Ph.D. the author of Emotional Eating, “Any change in your life circumstances can produce changes in eating and exercise, which leads to weight gain.”

    Let’s dive into the major changes in your life that have caused that annoying weight gain…

    Life’s Fat Traps: We all gain weight for different reasons. You often hear about one-size-fits-all weight loss solutions that take little or no consideration of how the extra weight piled up in the first place. To experience true weight loss it is important to understand why you gained it in the first place.

    Think back to the time in your life when your weight was just right. Were you in your teens? Your twenties? Or maybe your thirties? Picture yourself as you were at your ideal weight. Now when did things change? Was it a gradual addition of pounds that accumulated over a span of multiple years? Or did you gain it all at once?

    Check out the following weight gain triggers and determine which one is responsible for your plight.

    College: The college years are some of the easiest for gaining weight. In fact, a recent study by Cornell University found that on average, college freshman gain about 0.5 pounds a week – almost 11 times more than the average weight gain among 17-and 18-year olds and almost 20 times more than the average weight gain among American adults.

    Marriage: There’s nothing like holy matrimony to encourage a barrage of calories to overtake your diet. Late night comfort snacks are always more enjoyable when you have someone to share them with—and who better than the person who pledged to stick by your side through sickness and health?

    Pregnancy: Talk about a great time to gain weight! And we’re not just talking about women here—most men admit that they gained ‘sympathy’ pounds right along with their wife. Hormonal changes along with strong encouragement from everyone you know to indulge in anything their heart desires leave most pregnant women with a feeling of entitlement when it comes to food.

    Career: Though you may not realize it, your career choice plays a major hand in your weight. Those who go from an active lifestyle to spending 8 hours a day behind a desk and another 2 hours commuting almost universally gain weight. Conversely, people who spend their 8 hours in constant motion find weight loss a natural byproduct of the job.

    New Habits: Close your eyes and go back to the fat trap that triggered your weight gain. What changed in your lifestyle? To help sort things out, I’ve broken things down into two specific behavioral categories.

    Eating Habits: Did your eating pattern change at this time in your life? If your weight gain occurred in college then maybe you went from eating 3 square meals to an all-you-can-eat buffet style cafeteria. Or if marriage was your weight gain trigger, then maybe you went from eating small meals to fattening comfort food. Pregnancy brings on the perfect environment for a change in eating habits. You go from eating normally, to eating ‘for two’, to munching on your baby’s snacks right along with him! Your job can also dictate your eating schedule. Long hours and early meetings may cause you to grab a donut or chips from the vending machine.

    Activity Level: The second category that leads to weight gain is your activity level. Simply put, what kind of exercise were you doing before your life changing event and how does it compare to your current exercise regime? Chances are good that you were doing more exercise before your weight gain began—which means that you are doing less exercise today! Go ahead, think back to the exercises or physical activities that you used to do and compare them to your schedule today.

    Your Transformation: You’ve figured out which fat trap in your life led to weight gain, and then narrowed down the exact behaviors that changed as a result, so this naturally leads us to a solution.

    It’s time to make a change.

    Call or email today to get started on a fitness program that will make you immune to all of life’s fat traps.

    Once you start working with me, those numbers on your scale will quickly change direction. Let’s do this!

  3. No More Excuses!

    People who don’t work out always have a reason why.  But except for a very few people who truly cannot exercise, these reasons are thin excuses.

    Working out is hard.  It takes time, energy and sometimes gut-wrenching motivation and will power.  Some days it is easy, but many days it is not.  Fit people work out when they do not want to.   And, they work out when they do not feel like it.  They have excuses not to work out too, but they look at those excuses and walk right over them on their way to the fitness room.

    Let’s look at a few common excuses for not working out and diffuse them.

    1.  I do not have the time.  This is probably the number one excuse that people give for not exercising.  It is true that we are busy.  Nearly all of us have more to do every day than we can possibly get done.  But why do some busy people find the time to exercise and other busy people do not?  It is a matter of priority.  There are people who are very, very busy who nevertheless find the time to take care of their health.

    It is important to realize that you will have to take the time to care for your health at some point.  You can put the time in now by working out and preserving your strength and health, or you can put the time in later, when you will have to clear your schedule for multiple doctors’ visits and medical procedures.

    Lack of exercise is one of the most significant reasons why people become ill with chronic diseases.  So it is not a matter of if you take time to take care of your health; it is a matter of when:  NOW or LATER!  The choice is yours.

    1.  It is not the right time.  This is a very deceptive excuse, because it will never be the right time.  There will always be reasons why it is inconvenient to workout.  You will always be too busy, too stressed, too tired, to distracted, too bored or too overweight.  Tomorrow never comes when you are waiting for the perfect tomorrow to start working out.  Start today; don’t wait for tomorrow.
    1.  I don’t have the energy.  When you are not used to working out, you will not have much energy to bring to the table when you begin exercising.  But putting off your fitness plans will not magically make more energy appear.  The way to get energy is to expend it.  Once you begin working out, you will steadily have more energy as your aerobic base increases and your muscle mass grows.

    It’s time to get rid of the excuses and get fit!


    Yours in Health and Fitness,

    Lisa G. Wright,


  4. Commitment

    Downloadable Mp3 File

    The missing component is commitment.

    I’m on my way back to Corpus Christi from a quick visit to Austin, to see my husband and my daughter and her family.

    It’s January the 18th and, I have yet to write a newsletter this year because, after all these years in the fitness industry I just feel at a loss for … how to motivate people. But … I stopped in to a Stripes to pick up a bottle of water and there was a conversation going on behind the counter regarding which is better, to run outside or to run on a treadmill? The cashier was engaging each customer as I was waited in line and (giggling) sure enough when it came to me … he just kept rambling about “you know,” his wife just bought a treadmill and sure enough she used it for 2 months and then it sat in his kitchen and never got used again for 2 years.

    and… I suspect that’s true and I suspect that had she run outside for two weeks and stopped running for the next 2 years that also would have been true. Except, outside and not running isn’t in your face like a treadmill sitting in your kitchen not being used. So, he asked me and I said, “The missing component is commitment” and he said “What, what did you say?” … I said “The missing component is commitment.”

    If a person is committed it’s really not about the treadmill or not about running outside, it’s about being committed to your exercise. He seemed surprised by that and he said, “WOW, that’s the truth.” … and it IS the truth and it’s hard. Commitment is hard. Whether it takes 21 days to change a habit or … uh…  seeing a therapist (hahaha). Oh, I don’t know, I’ve worked with people for ages and I work with them for 2 years and all of a sudden they’re committed. They make leaps and bounds and they really do change their body and whether it is commitment to mental health … your physical health or your spiritual health, to me it is still about commitment. Sometimes, it’s just about admitting powerlessness; that you just cannot do it on your own and that you have to let go. You have to be mindful and prayerful about letting a Power greater than yourself help you do for you what you cannot do for yourself.

    So, whether you’re taking care of your mental, physical or spiritual wellbeing this year in 2015 or all 3 and just seeking balance. I think it’s about commitment and, maybe it’s about committing to the fact that you just can’t do it without help.

    ….and, so…

    I heard on the radio, also, that a great New Year’s Resolution is just one word…how about just one word? The girl that was the radio DJ said her one word was “mindfulness” and I thought that’s a good one word or prayerfulness or what about commitment?

    Anyway, may your 2015 be filled with that one word that you can be aware of every day. One word that can keep you on track whether it’s eating right, sleeping right, working right, being right, I don’t even know … or just discovering what is right for you and Your Personal Best.

    Yours in Health and Fitness,

    Lisa Wright

  5. Push up Your Technique

    The push up is one of the easiest exercises to do anywhere you go.  The great thing about it is that anyone can do a push up and all you need is your body in order to do the exercise.  This blog is about learning the proper technique on how to do a push up and how improper technique can lead to injury and weaken the effectiveness of the exercise.

    Muscles at Work!

    Since a push up requires multiple joints to be used, it will take more than one muscle to execute the exercise properly.  Pushups are known to work the chest, triceps, and shoulders but require much more than that for proper technique.  Your abdominals and glutes are important in the exercise because they help stabilize and align your upper body with your lower body.

    Improper Technique

    Whether you are doing pushups from your knees or from your toes, it is very important to stay in alignment to avoid injuring your low back or shoulders.  One of the more common mistakes that people make is having their butt too high in the air or too low.  This will significantly reduce the effectiveness of the exercise and may lead to injury.  Two other bad techniques are arching your upper back or having your head in the wrong placement.  Both of these techniques will cause tension on a person’s neck and ultimately affect someone’s posture.  The last improper technique, which can easily be adjusted, is having the elbows out too wide.  This will cause the head of the humerus to nudge up against the clavicle and cause a sharp pain or discomfort.  A great fix for this is to just bring in the elbows.

    improper technique 1 improper technique 2






    Proper Technique

    Proper pushup technique will start from the head all the way through the legs.  You must first start off by having a straight head and neck position so that you do not get any neck pain.  Next, your shoulders should be back and stable while your hands should be slightly wider than shoulder width apart, and at chest level.  Your hips and torso should also be straight by keeping your core and glutes in tightly engaged.  Once you are in the start position, lower your body until your arms are at 90° so that you can avoid injury to your shoulders.  Now you can go lower that 90° but it all depends on whether or not your shoulders are healthy enough to handle that type of range of motion.  Whether you are doing pushups from your knees or from your toes you should always get a full range of motion and at a controlled tempo.  Doing a push up too fast can cause you to lose technique and not engage all of your muscles properly.

  6. The Tennis Ball Workout For Range Of Motion

    Fascia and Fascia Release

    Fascia 1Fascia is a connective tissue that surrounds muscles, blood vessels, nerves and organs.  Fascia binds these structures together and allows for them to slide smoothly over one another.  If the fascia surrounding the muscles is tight or dry, it will affect a person’s flexibility and even cause injury.

    When a person is experiencing pain in a certain area of the body, it usually means that your body is compensating in one way or another which will lead to pain.  Fascia release is tissue therapy of skeletal muscle immobility and pain.  The therapy aims to relax contracted muscles, improve blood circulation, and stimulate the stretch reflex in muscles.  In essence, it gives you better flexibility and range of motion to move throughout the day or to try and engage more muscles just before your workout.  The better range of motion a person has, the less compensating the body will do, the less pain you will have!

    Do I Need Fascia Release?

    Yes, fascia release is recommended for everyone except people who are hypermobile, but highly recommended for people who have tightness throughout the body.  If you go throughout your day with movement like getting in or out of a chair, bending over to pick up the paper, tie your shoes, or even using the bathroom then yes you need fascia release to avoid injury.

    When is the best time to do this?

    Since mobility and flexibility is important in our everyday lives, you should use fascia release every day in order to avoid injury.  This is especially true right before a workout.  Since fascia release improves your flexibility and range of motion, doing it as a warm up before your workout will allow for you to engage more muscles during the exercises.  On the days you do not exercise, do it early in the morning to get your day started because that is when the muscles in your body are “achy” and need a good warm up to get going.

    Tennis Ball Magic!

    Fascia release can be accomplished in many ways with a number of different products.  One of the best tools for fascia release is using a simple tennis ball.  There are other products to use but a tennis ball is pin point and accurate.  Depending on where the tightness is at, there are a number of exercises that must be done in a sequence leading up to the area of tightness in order to make sure your body isn’t compensating anywhere else.  Just because the pain is in a certain area, that doesn’t mean that is the cause of the pain.  Our bodies will compensate and the cause for the pain will be coming from a different area.  So if your low back is tight, we would give you exercises that start all the way at the bottom of the foot then work on the calf, the quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes, and finally the low back.

    Another reason why we like to work with the tennis ball is because you can take it with you anywhere you go.  So don’t make any excuses on why you cannot do these simple but effective exercises.

    Here are 4 fascia release exercises you can do with a tennis ball.

    For more information please get a hold of either Juan Guerrero or Lisa Wright at YPB Training Studio.

    Fascia 3


    Ganfiled, Lisa. “Myofascial Therapy for the Treatment of Acute and Chronic Pain.” Spine-health. 20 Feb. 2007. Web. 3 Dec. 2014. <http://www.spine-health.com/treatment/physical-therapy/myofascial-therapy-treatment-acute-and-chronic-pain>.

    Vogel, Adam. “Beginner’s Guide to Self Myofascial Release.” Pure Performance Training. Web. 3 Dec. 2014. <http://www.pureperformancetraining.com/blog/a-beginner039s-guide-to-selfmyofascial-release>.

  7. Are You Afraid to Squat?

    I am often told, “Squatting hurts my knees” and yet, we can’t avoid this fundamental human movement. Think of how many times you do these movements during the day.

    • squatGet up from a chair, couch or the potty
    • Pick something up off the ground
    • Get out of a car
    • Get out of bed

    Being able to do this motion is quite important for quality of life and independence as you age. This is why I regularly have my clients practice squatting. When done repeatedly, it’s a great strengthening exercise that uses the larger muscles in the legs.

    Aging client is practicing squatting facing the wall. Sometimes I put a chair behind the person if they feel that they might go backwards. This awkward way to squat REALLY takes care of the knees and teaches the person to push their rear end back keeping the knees in proper alignment over their toes.

    Listed below are a few other common mistakes people make when squatting:

    Common Squatting Mistakes Explained

    Bringing Knees Together
    Knees should line up between the hip and foot when viewed from the front. As you start moving upward, try not to let your knees come together

    Favoring One Leg
    Try not to shift your weight when you are squatting. You should feel like you have equal pressure on both feet and feel the muscles of both legs doing an equal amount of work.

    Many of you have had an injury or surgery on a hip, knee, or ankle. While the bad leg was healing, you shifted more of the workload onto the good leg. Unfortunately, this pattern became so engrained that you continue to squat this way even after your injured leg has healed.

    If you continue to do this, you’re always going to have one leg that’s weaker.

    Looking at the Floor
    I tell my clients, “You are going to GO the direction you are looking!”

    When getting out of a chair, pick a spot out in front of you that is about four or five feet high and fix your eyes on it as you get up. Looking forward in this manner will ensure that your head is up and your body goes the direction you intended.

    Feet Too Close Together
    Wider legs are more stable. Get your feet at least ten inches apart before you try to stand up. This is a simple fix and will result in much greater stability.

    Plopping Down
    When you are squatting for exercise, remember that you are strengthening your muscles both on the way up as you move against gravity, and on the way down, as you try to control your descent. Gravity wants to pull you down into that chair and make you PLOP.

    Other Tips
    You may already be too weak in the legs to do the squat correctly from a chair. You can still improve your leg strength over time. Try the squat from your bed; it may be higher than most chairs.

    Action Plan
    To strengthen your legs using the squat, you can do 1 or 2 sets of 8-15 squats 2 or 3 times per week. Become aware of your squat form every time you get up from that chair!

    Yours in Health and Fitness,

    Lisa Wright – ISSA Fitness Professional
    Your Personal Best Training Studio
    Owner/Director of Operations


    PS For more info visit this link http://www.seniorexercisesonline.com/how-to-squat.html

  8. The Inchworm!

    Ever wonder where we get some of our exercises?  The inchworm is an imitation of an actual worm moving up and down from point A to point B on a flat surface.  This exercise is great because it involves your full body and requires no gym equipment.  It’s good for your arms, core, chest, back and even adds some flexibility for your legs.

    INCHWORMHere are the 5 easy steps to perform the inchworm:

    • First align yourself with your feet hip with apart and palms by your side.
    • Hinge forward at the waist and put your palms on the ground close to your toes while keeping your legs as straight as possible. You can bend your knees if you have to.
    • Slowly start to walk your hands forward until all of your weight is on your hands and toes. At this point, you should be in a pushup position and your hands should be right under your shoulders with your body in a straight line.
    • Hold this position for a few seconds, then start to walk your hands back towards your toes slowly.
    • Once you have reached a point where you feel you can’t walk your hands any closer, then stand back up. You have now completed one full inchworm!

    Focus on keeping your core in tight and not round your back or rotate your core.  Instead, bend at the knees to relieve some of that pressure.  Remember that this exercise is not a race and technique is key in performing this exercise successfully.

  9. Exercise Routine To Build A Better Body For Cycling

    Spending countless hours in the saddle is not really enough anymore to cycle in the top third of your pack or take a turn leading the pace lines on long distance rides. Fact is, what you do indoors is just as important as “time in the saddle” outdoors.

    To get in the best biking shape this spring, do these five exercises from top pro cyclists in the nation.

    First, consider working out your core for a better biking body


    Perform these favorite gym moves from world-class pro cyclists to jump start your season and get in kickass cycling shape.


    Cyclists say: “Sprinters generally have more muscles”— just put a sprinter next to a distance cyclist and you’ll immediately see the difference.

    Crunches: Forget modern-day abs machines. Try good old crunches right on the floor. Lie on your back and clasp your arms behind your head. Slowly curl your torso toward your knees; bringing your shoulders four to six inches off the ground (don’t sit up). Hold for a few seconds, pressing your lower back into the mat. Return to start. Do 200 to 300 crunches every other day.



    Cyclists Say: “Preparing your legs in the gym is so important—it makes the biggest difference on the bike” – When just focusing on legs, do leg curls to strengthen the back of our legs.

    Lying leg curls: Lie face down on an angled leg curl machine after you’ve adjusted it to your height and preferred weight resistance (Consider working at 60 to 70% of your maximum). Place your legs (a few inches below the calves) beneath the padded lever. Grab the side handles of the machine, and as you exhale, curl your legs up as far as possible without losing contact with the lever. Hold for one second, and then lower down as you inhale. Repeat for three sets of 20.




    Cyclists Say: “My weakest point is my back because of the position I’m in for hours on the bike” –

    Dead Lifts: Bend at your hips and knees and grab the bar (A standard barbell in the gym is 45-pounds) using an overhand grip. Slightly arch your lower back while keeping your arms straight. Without allowing your lower back to round, stand up very slowly with the bar. Hold for a second, then lower the bar, again slowly (using a controlled motion), to the floor. Do three sets of 20.





    Cyclists Say: “Strength training, especially after the off- season, helps rebuild muscle without bulking up too much” – Rather than move statically or linearly using gym machines, a dynamic workout with free weights is preferred.

    Reverse lunges: Grab a set of dumbbells that are about 10 to 15% of your body weight. Standing with your feet hip-width apart, step backward with your left leg into a reverse lunge (creates less stress on the knee than the standard forward lunge). Be sure to keep your back straight and shoulders level the whole time. Come back up and repeat. Perform three sets of 20 with each leg.



    Cyclists Say: “The agility ladder is a great combo of cardio and strength training” – Try this speed and coordination drill on your NEXT workout.

    Agility ladder moves: Using a resistance band wrapped around your ankles, shuffle from side-to-side through the ladder for 100 back-and-forth moves. Or, if you have access to a Jacobs Ladder (an angled, self-paced, ladder-like piece of equipment) at your gym, climb up and down (that’s one rep) for 100 reps.

    quads 1          quads 2

    – See more at: http://www.mensfitness.com/training/endurance/5-exercises-to-build-a-better-body-for-biking?page=5#sthash.u5yFezfp.dpuf

  10. A Training Program for Water Sports

    Surfing requires strong shoulders and arms for paddling out to the waves, and core strength and balance for riding them back to shore. Do these five exercises three times a week for a month before your trip. On alternate days, try to get in at least 20 minutes of swimming and 20 minutes of jogging/rope skipping for aerobic conditioning.

    YPB PIC 1Medicine-Ball Jackknife

    Holding a medicine ball with your hands, lie flat on your back with your legs straight and your arms extended past your head. Tighten your abs and slowly bring your legs and arms up at the same time until your body forms a V. Try to touch the ball to your feet without bending your legs. Hold for one count, and then slowly return to the starting position. Build to three sets of 15 repetitions.


    YPB PIC 2Stability Ball Pullover

    Sit on a Stability ball with your feet flat on the floor and a medicine ball in your hands. Slide forward on the ball and slowly lie down on it with thighs and torso parallel to the floor. Contract your abs to raise your torso as if you were throwing the ball. Hold for one count, and then return to the starting position. Build to three sets of 15 repetitions.

    Dumbbell Flat Rotation Push

    With a 25-pound dumbbell in each hand, lie flat on your back on a bench. Hold the weights next to your chest, with your palms facing your feet. Quickly press the weights up, extending your arms and rotating your hands to finish with your palms facing inward. Hold for one count, and then slowly return to the starting position. Build to three sets of 15 repetitions.

    Dumbbell Shoulder Rotation

    YPB PIC 5Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, knees slightly bent, and a 5-pound dumbbell in each hand. Raise your arms out to your sides at shoulder level and begin moving your hands in slow, controlled circles. Do 20 circles, and then switch directions for 20 more. Next, drop your arms to your sides and slowly swing your right arm back and over as if you were paddling. Do 20 repetitions, and then repeat with your left arm.

    YPB PIC 6

    YPB PIC 7Medicine-Ball Coil Jump

    Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and hold a medicine ball in both hands. Extend your arms so the ball is straight overhead. Bend your knees slightly, then explode upward, bringing your knees up toward your chest as you jump. Try to land softly and spring back up as fast as you can. Build to three sets of 15 repetitions.

    For more information – http://www.menshealth.com/fitness/5-surfing-exercises




    Leg squat progression exercises

    YPB PIC 8Here’s a split squat into a single leg BOSU squat progression. Remember with all these leg exercises keep your ankle, knee and hip in alignment. Look for any differences between left/right sides of your body. Keep challenging yourself and have fun with it.

    These strength/balance exercises are great to add into your program. They are a Big Bang for your buck exercise perfect for taking your surfing to the next level.

    • Week 1 Split Stance Squats. Build to three sets of 15 repetitions each leg.
    • Week 2 Split Stance Squats with back leg on bench. Build to three sets of 15 repetitions each leg.
    • Week 3 Single Leg Squats on Box top or Ledge. Build to three sets of 15 repetitions each leg.
    • Week 4 Single Leg Squats on BOSU Ball. Build to three sets of 15 repetitions each leg.

    For more information – http://surffitness.tv/leg-squat-progession-exercises/

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