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No, unfortunately there are no miracle creams or pills to stay young forever (yet), but exercise & healthy eating habits sure helps you in the right direction!

Exercise does far more than just keep your body humming—it can actually turn back the clock. More and more research shows that working out can help your brain, bones, heart, and skin look and act younger. “The secret to anti-ageing isn’t about creams and lotions, but about how to build a foundation from the inside-out with a strong body and a sound mind.

The kind of good news: according to the fitness experts at the American Council of Exercise, you can reduce the appearance of cellulite. You need to decrease overall body fat by doing cardio. Dr. Len Kravits, who holds a PhD in exercise science, recommends 20 to 60 minutes of cardio, three to five times a week.
Cardio alone will not decrease the dimples, though. Flaccid muscle can increase the appearance of cellulite, so strength training is highly recommended. You should work the muscles in the areas where the dimpling is occurring two to three times a week. This means doing lunges in all directions and squats for the thighs and glutes. Work your adductors to tone your inner thighs, and your abductors to tone the outer thigh. Just don’t skip your strength training.

Get started by increasing your physical activity every day. Walk more, get up more and just use your body. Then add in 30-minute periods that you commit to exercise. Do some strength, balance and stretching work. Find a time every day and commit to doing something that’s physical.
The benefits of regular exercise are well known, but what exactly are you getting in return for your efforts? A research a collaboration between the U.S.-based Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women’s Hospital and the National Cancer Institute has attempted to answer this question by quantifying how much longer people live depending on the levels of exercise they engage in.
The study analysed data from more than 650,000 subjects and followed them for an average of 10 years, analysing more than 82,000 deaths. From this data the researchers estimated lifespan gains for people over 40 who adopt different levels of physical activity and with varying body mass index (BMI) profiles (a calculation based on a person’s weight and height).
To sum it up, the more you do it, the longer you live. For example, 75 minutes of brisk walking per week equates to an extra 1.8 years of life expectancy as opposed to staying sedentary. Increase that to 150–299 minutes of brisk walking per week and the gain in life expectancy goes up to 3.4 years. Make it 450 minutes per week and the estimated life expectancy jumps by 4.5 years.
The study also found that people whose weight is above the recommended level still benefit from physical activity .
Men, women, normal weight and overweight people – all benefit from exercise in terms of longevity according to the study. However, it also indicated that the best results were obtained by those with normal weight who exercise. These people added 7.2 years to their life expectancy compared to people with a BMI of 35 or more (normal BMI ranges between 18.5 and 24.9) who undertook no exercise in their free time.

Exercise increases your overall health and your sense of well-being, which puts more pep in your step every day. But exercise also has some direct stress-busting benefits.
It pumps up your endorphins. Physical activity helps to bump up the production of your brain’s feel-good neurotransmitters, called endorphins. Although this function is often referred to as a runner’s high, a rousing game of tennis or a nature hike also can contribute to this same feeling.
It’s meditation in motion. After a fast-paced game of racquetball or several laps in the pool, you’ll often find that you’ve forgotten the day’s irritations and concentrated only on your body’s movements. As you begin to regularly shed your daily tensions through movement and physical activity, you may find that this focus on a single task, and the resulting energy and optimism, can help you remain calm and clear in everything that you do.
It improves your mood. Regular exercise can increase self-confidence and lower the symptoms associated with mild depression and anxiety. Exercise also can improve your sleep, which is often disrupted by stress, depression and anxiety. All this can ease your stress levels and give you a sense of command over your body and your life.

Exercise and sleep have a more complicated relationship than many people realize. The majority of people claim that they don’t exercise on a regular basis because they are too tired. Hmmm. Could that have something to do with sleep habits, perhaps? Chances are good that it does.
If there were a competition to determine which lifestyle habit would win the title of “best intention never acted on,” exercise would probably win. The reason we intend to exercise is that we all know how good it is for us. And research finds new benefits every day. Regular exercise improves heart health and blood pressure, builds bone and muscle, helps combat stress and muscle tension, and can even improve mood.
Add one more benefit: sound sleep. Did you know that exercise can help you sleep sounder and longer and feel more awake during the day? It’s true. But the key is found in the type of exercise you choose and the time you participate in it during the day.
What time of the day do you think exercise would best help you sleep? Morning? Afternoon? Evening? Right before bed?
Exercising vigorously right before bed or within about three hours of your bedtime can actually make it harder to fall asleep. This surprises many people; it’s often thought that a good workout before bed helps you feel more tired. In actuality, vigorous exercise right before bed stimulates your heart, brain and muscles — the opposite of what you want at bedtime. It also raises your body temperature right before bed, which, you’ll soon discover, is not what you want.
Morning exercise can relieve stress and improve mood. These effects can indirectly improve sleep, no doubt. To get a more direct sleep-promoting benefit from morning exercise, however, you can couple it with exposure to outdoor light. Being exposed to natural light in the morning, whether you’re exercising or not, can improve your sleep at night by reinforcing your body’s sleep-wake cycle.
When it comes to having a direct effect on getting a good night’s sleep, it’s vigorous exercise in the late afternoon or early evening that appears most beneficial. That’s because it raises your body temperature above normal a few hours before bed, allowing it to start falling just as you’re getting ready for bed. This decrease in body temperature appears to be a trigger that helps ease you into sleep.
The type of vigorous workout we’re talking about is a cardiovascular workout. That means you engage in some activity in which you keep your heart rate up and your muscles pumping continuously for at least 20 minutes. Although strength-training, stretching, yoga, and other methods of exercise are beneficial, none match the sleep-enhancing benefits of cardiovascular exercise.
Try to schedule at least 20 minutes of vigorous exercise three or four times a week. Choose whatever activity you enjoy. Walk to and from work, or walk the dog. Jog, swim, bike, ski, jump rope, dance or play tennis — just make it part of your routine.

Enjoy your extra, happy, healthy & fit life years!  🙂 


BMR and Daily Caloric Expenditure, step-by-step

Step 1:  Convert bodyweight from pounds to kilograms (1 kilogram kg = 2.2 pounds lbs)

Step 2:  Calculate equation to your gender

(Men:  1.0 x bodyweight kg x 24)

(Women: 0.9 x bodyweight kg x 24)

Step 3: Determine lean factor multiplier

Men Lean Factor Percent Body Fat Multiplier Women Lean Factor Percent Body Fat Multiplier
1 10 – 14 % 1.0 1 14 – 18 % 1.0
2 15 – 20 % .95 2 19 – 28 % .95
3 21 – 28 % .90 3 29 – 38 % .90
4 Over 28 % .85 4 Over 38 % .85

Step 4:  Calculate BMR

Number from step 2 x lean factor multiplier

Step 5:  Determine daily activity multiplier.

Average Daily Activity Levels
Couch Potato Range 1.30 = Very light 

Sitting, studying, talking, little walking or other activities throughout the day

1.55 = Light 

Typing, teaching, lab/shop work, some walking throughout the day

Fitness Buff Range 1.55 = Light 

Typing, teaching, lab/shop work, some walking throughout the day

1.65 = Moderate 

Walking, jogging, gardening type job with activities such as cycling, tennis, dancing, skiing or weight training 1-2 hours per day

Athlete or Hard Daily Trainer Range 1.80 = Heavy 

Heavy manual labor such as digging, tree felling, climbing, with activities such as football, soccer or body building 2-4 hours per day

2.00 = Very Heavy 

A combination of moderate and heavy activity 8 or more hours per day, plus 2-4 hours of intense training per day

Step 6:  Calculate daily caloric expenditure

BMR x daily activity multiplier

Total daily caloric expenditure = _______________ calories

Caloric Density of Some Major Nutrients
Nutrients Calories / Gram
Carbohydrates 4
Protein 4
Fat 9
*Alcohol 7
Water 0
Vitamins 0
Minerals 0
*Alcohol is often considered a nutrient because it provides calories in the diet

1 part Fat – 2 Parts Protein – 3 Parts Carbohydrates

(Example-  2400 Calories per day / 6 parts = 400 cal. Fat; 800 cal. Protein; 1200 cal. Carbohydrates)

(Fat calories: 400 / 9 = 44.4 gram;  Protein calories: 800 / 4 = 200 gram;  Carb calories: 1200 / 4 = 300 gram)

Starch Group

Food & Description Portion Size Calories Carbs Proteins Fat
Bagel 1 medium 157 31 6 1
Beans, dried 4 oz 157 27 10 1
Bread, White, enriched 1 slice 65 12 2 1
Bread, Whole Wheat 1 slice 61 11 2 1
Cereal, Corn Flakes 1 cup 104 24 2 0
Crackers, Saltine 4 49 9 1 1
Cornbread 2.5 x 2.5 inches 182 28 4 6
Cream of Wheat, Instant, Cooked ¾ cup 108 24 3 0
Danish Pastry Roll, plain 1 169 19 3 9
Graham Crackers 2 62 10 1 2
Hamburger Roll 1 110 20 3 2
Muffin 4 oz 350 58 7 10
Oatmeal, cooked ½ cup 128 29 3 0
Pancake, plain or buttermilk 1 62 9 2 2
Pasta 4 oz 159 32 5.5 1
Potato 1 medium 152.5 32 5 0.5
Rice, white, cooked ½ cup 128 29 3 0
Rice, brown, cooked 8 oz 250 52 6 2
Sweet Potato 4 oz 60 14 1 0
Tortilla, corn, enriched 1 69 13 2 1
Tortilla, flower 1 121 17 2 5
Waffle, from mix 1 (7 inch) 208 27 7 8

Vegetable Group

Food & Description Portion Size Calories Carbs Proteins Fat
Asparagus, cooked 4 spears 20 3 2 0
Broccoli, chopped, cooked ½ cup 32 5 3 0
Brussel Sprouts 4 oz 60.5 10 4 0.5
Cabbage, shredded ½ cup 8 2 0 0
Carrots, cooked ½ cup 36 8 1 0
Carrots, raw 1 medium 32 7 1 0
Cauliflower, raw ½ cup 8 2 0 0
Celery, raw 1 stalk 4 1 0 0
Collard Greens, chopped, boiled 1 cup 40 8 2 0
Corn on the cob 1 ear 88.5 18 3 0.5
Corn, canned, drained ½ cup 77 15 2 1
Cucumbers, sliced, raw ½ cup 8 2 0 0
Eggplant, cooked ½ cup 12 3 0 0
Green Beans, cooked ½ cup 24 5 1 0
Lettuce, Iceberg, raw 2 lg. leaves 4 1 0 0
Lettuce, Romaine, raw ½ cup 4 1 0 0
Mushrooms, canned ½ cup 20 4 1 0
Onion, chopped, raw 1 Tbsp 4 1 0 0
Onions Rings, frozen, heated 7 rings 295 27 4 19
Peas, green, cooked ½ cup 68 13 4 0
Peppers, green or red, raw ½ cup 12 3 0 0
Potato, baked with skin 1 224 51 5 0
Potatoes, French fries 10 fries 160 20 2 8
Potatoes, mashed ½ cup 116 18 2 4
Radishes, raw 5 4 1 0 0
Spinach, cooked ½ cup 24 3 3 0
Squash, Butternut, cooked ½ cup 56 12 2 0
Squash, Summer, raw ½ cup 12 2 1 0
Tomato, raw 1 28 6 1 0
Tomato Juice ¾ cup 36 8 1 0

Meat, Poultry, Fish, Dry Beans, Eggs, and Nuts

Food & Description Portion Size Calories Carbs Proteins Fat
Bacon, cooked 3 slices 105 0 6 9
Beans, BBQ, baked ½ cup 137 26 6 1
Beef, Chuck, Arm Pot Roast, braised 3 oz 175 0 28 7
Beef, Eye Round Roast, braised 3 oz 136 0 25 4
Beef, Sirloin Steak, broiled 3 oz 158 0 26 6
Beef, Tenderloin Steak, broiled 3 oz 177 0 24 9
Bologna, Beef 1 slice 75 0 3 7
Chicken Breast, baked 3 oz 114 0 24 2
Chicken Thigh, baked 3 oz 147 0 21 7
Egg, fried 1 large 91 1 6 7
Egg, white 1 large 16 0 4 0
Fish Sticks, Finfish, frozen, reheated 3 oz 202 19 9 10
Frankfurter, Beef and Pork, cooked 1 frank 141 1 5 13
Ground Beef, extra lean 3.5 oz 256 0 28 16
Ground Beef, 10% fat, broiled 3 oz 207 0 27 11
Lamb Loin Chop, broiled 3 oz 172 0 25 8
Lentils, boiled ½ cup 125 20 9 1
Ham, baked, lean only 3 oz 70 1 12 2
Pork Chop, Top Loin, broiled 3 oz 167 0 26 7
Shrimp, broiled 3 oz 81 0 18 1
Tuna Salad ½ cup 379 19 33 19
Tuna, White, water packed 3 oz 110 0 23 2
Turkey, Breast, baked 3 oz 105 0 24 1
Veal Cutlet, roasted 3 oz 123 0 24 3
Whitefish, baked 3 oz 128 0 21 6
Tofu 3.5 oz 85 2 8 5

Dairy Group

Food & Description Portion Size Calories Carbs Proteins Fat
Buttermilk 1 cup 98 12 8 2
Cheese, American 1 oz 109 1 6 9
Cheese, Cheddar, shredded 1 oz 109 0 7 9
Cheese, Feta, crumbled 1 oz 74 1 4 6
Cheese, Mozzarella, skim, shredded 1 oz 68 1 7 4
Cheese, Parmesan, grated 1 Tbsp 26 0 2 2
Cheese, Swiss 1 oz 108 1 8 8
Cottage Cheese, creamed ½ cup 113 3 14 5
Cottage Cheese, lowfat ½ cup 95 3 14 3
Egg, large 1 73 0.5 6.5 5
Egg white 1 16 0.5 3.5 0
Egg yolk 1 57 0.5 2.5 5
Half and Half 1 Tbsp 22 0.5 0.5 2
Milk, Skim 1 cup 80 12 8 0
Milk, Lowfat, 1% fat 1 cup 107 12 8 3
Milk, 2% fat 1 cup 125 12 8 5
Milk, whole, 3.3% 1 cup 152 12 8 8
Sour Cream 1 Tbsp 58 0.5 0.5 6
Soy Milk 1 cup 76 4 6 4
Whipped cream 1 Tbsp 58 0.5 0.5 6
Whipped cream, light 1 Tbsp 45 0 0 5
Yogurt, fruit, lowfat 1 cup 231 42 9 3
Yogurt, Non-fat 1 cup 120 17 13 0
Yogurt, Plain, lowfat 1 cup 129 17 13 1

Fruit Group

Food & Description Portion Size Calories Carbs Proteins Fat
Apple 1 84 21 0 0
Apple Juice ¾ cup 84 21 0 0
Apricot 1 20 4 1 0
Avocado ½ medium 167 6 2 15
Banana 1 121 27 1 1
Blackberries 4 oz 64.5 14 1 0.5
Blueberries 4 oz 72.5 16 1 0.5
Cantaloupe ½ cup 32 7 1 0
Cranberry Juice Cocktail ¾ cup 108 27 0 0
Fruit salad, canned in heavy syrup ½ cup 100 25 0 0
Grapefruit, white ½ 44 10 1 0
Grapes ½ cup 60 14 1 0
Honey Dew Melon 3 oz 222.5 52 2.5 0.5
Kiwi 1 52.5 11 1 0.5
Mango ½ medium 78.5 18 0.5 0.5
Orange 1 68 16 1 0
Orange Juice ¾ cup 80 19 1 0
Peach 1 44 10 1 0
Peaches, canned in heavy syrup ½ cup 108 26 1 0
Pear 1 104 25 1 0
Pineapple 4 oz 62.5 14 0.5 0.5
Pineapple, canned in juice ½ cup 80 20 0 0
Pineapple Juice ¾ cup 104 25 1 0
Plum 1 42.5 9 0.5 0.5
Raisins, seedless 1/3 cup 164 39 2 0
Red Raspberries 4 oz 60.5 13 1 0.5
Strawberries ½ cup 20 5 0 0
Watermelon ½ cup 28 6 1 0



Tip #1 – Start with goals you have control over

“Carve out 6 pack abs.”  “Finish top 10 in next marathon.”  “Lose 10kg in 6 months.” Those are all great goals, but you don’t have direct control over any of them.  Rather than set yourself up for disappointment, focus on goals that you have direct control over.

Goals like “Workout 5 days a week”, “Prepare healthy meals for the entire week”, “Only eat out once this week”, are all great goals to focus on.  By focusing on what you can control, you’re less likely to get discouraged and throw in the towel.

Tip #2 – Split goals up between short term and long term

You should Start with simple goals that you have control over so you can see your progress and feel good about every step you’ve taken in the right direction.

At the same time, don’t be afraid to reach for the stars.  Just remember not to be discouraged if you don’t accomplish a really difficult goal the first time around.  That’s why it’s called a challenge.  (If it does not challenge you, it will not change you!)  Chances are,  if you didn’t knock down that goal the first time, you probably learned something valuable that will take you one step closer to achieving it the next time.  Just remember- “If you’ve never failed, you’ve never tried anything new”.

Tip #3 – Set a timeline for your goals

By setting a specific timeline for your goals, you’re more likely to stay on track.   Setting a timeline solidifies the goal.  It moves your thought process from thinking of the goal as something that may happen in the future to something that is actively happening right now.

Sign up for a triathlon, bodybuilding competition, or one of the popular themed races- where themes range from mud to zombies to princess tutus and everything in between.  Once you send in your registration, not only do you have something to look forward to and work toward, but you also have a solid date and timeline set.

Tip #4 – Be specific

“I’m going to eat vegetables with every meal” is much more likely to happen than “I’m going to eat healthier”.  By setting specific goals, you’re more likely to accomplish them since you know exactly what you need to do.

Tip #5 – Find your purpose

“Getting that summer body for the beach” may have been your initial goal- and that’s fine, but personally found that unless there is a greater purpose, the goal doesn’t mean as much – which may result in you abandoning it all together.

As for us at The Edge, we want to inspire you!  We do not want you to struggle, so that is why we are here for you – to talk to us whenever you feel like quitting or feeling down and demotivated.

We want a healthy lifestyle to be second nature for you.  Young children watch our every move and often mimic it exactly. We want you to help motivate our youth to also live a healthy, fit lifestyle. Every action has a ripple effect – and in fact – being healthier is a great one!!!

Tip #6 – Don’t dwell on shortcomings

We all have off days.  Sometimes you will forget to plan a week and meals, and then you dive into that fast food and eat whatever you want. And when that happens, own it – then move on.  Dwelling on your failures- or worse, making excuses for them, won’t help you move forward a single step.  Accept the failure, access why you failed, and move forward from there.

Tip #7 – Celebrate small (and big) victories

No matter how much you think you’ve failed, there’s always something you did right.  Focus on that when it feels like all else has gone wrong.  Giving up on your fitness goals after a bad day is like slashing three of your tires because you got one flat.  Celebrate your small victories – they’ll be the ones keeping you on track with your goals- so before you know it, you’ll be celebrating the big ones.

That’s it, that’s all we’ve got for now.  Go set goals.  Knock ‘em down.  But also remember that at the end of the day, all we can do is our best,  and if that wasn’t good enough today, there’s always tomorrow.  Just never ever give up!!!



by Ashley Conrad


This may shock you, but you can actually see better results when you train for shorter periods of time. The key is maximizing your time and effort during your training sessions. Even when you’re in great shape, you only need to train for about 30-45 minutes. Training with intensity for short periods 4-5 days a week and eating smart is all you need to see results.  Strenuous bursts of activity help increase your body’s production of growth hormone and testosterone, the hormones that support muscle growth while burning body fat. This is increasingly true for both men and women. While a woman might not think that her goal is to ramp up testosterone levels, the truth is that doing so naturally will help her get lean and actually look more feminine. Men will also gain advantages, like adding more muscle mass while reducing body fat.
Another reason to keep your workouts short is because, once you’ve managed to elevate you anabolic hormones, you ideally want to get into recovery and growth mode as quickly as possible. While long training sessions can increase your endurance, they do so at the expense of your physique goals: They may break down muscle tissue to use for energy.
Not sure where to start with your training? Take a look at my weekly schedule:
Monday: HIIT/VO2 max training
Tuesday: Full-circuit workout
Wednesday: Rest
Thursday: HIIT/ VO2 max training
Friday: Full-circuit workout
Saturday: Active recovery
Sunday: Rest


I’ve used high-intensity interval training (HIIT) techniques for years, but I’ve always referred to them as VO2 max training. I think my term is more accurate because the purpose of this type of cardio is to increase the maximal amount of oxygen your body can use, known as your VO2 max, which allows you to train harder and harder in short bursts.
Once your energy is spent by, say, a minute of intense training, you should wait until your heart rate returns to a comfortable but accelerated rate before performing another VO2 max interval—typically somewhere between 15-30 seconds, depending on your fitness level.
Then you should perform your next set or circuit. You only need to do this for about 15-20 minutes total, and maybe 30 minutes maximum when you’re in really great shape.
You should emphasize more than one type of cardio within workouts or from one session to the next. You can use a rowing machine, treadmill, stationary bike or any other piece of equipment that allows you to train with all-out cardiovascular intensity followed by a short recovery period.
Here’s a sample workout:

Stationary Bike / Elliptical Trainer – 5 minutes

Rope Jumping
5 sets of 60 seconds work, 15 seconds rest

Box Jump
5 sets of 30 seconds work, 15 seconds rest

Treadmill Sprints
1 set of 60 seconds work, 60 seconds rest

Rowing Machine / Treadmill – 5 minutes


Most people understand that training with weights helps build muscle tissue, but they don’t always fully appreciate its effectiveness for burning body fat. Having more muscle tissue boosts your metabolic rate, or the number of calories your body burns at rest. While your body doesn’t turn fat into muscle, increased muscle mass does help you turn stored fat into energy.  “WHILE YOUR BODY DOESN’T TURN FAT INTO MUSCLE, INCREASED MUSCLE MASS DOES HELP YOU TURN STORED FAT INTO ENERGY.”
I keep my weight-training sessions as short as my HIIT training. I like to group exercises together into circuits, or include bodyweight movements like burpees that have multiple planes of movement. While I don’t follow a traditional body-part split, I do focus on different muscle groups from one workout to the next. I really like the cadence of performing a circuit of 3-4 moves followed by a short rest period.
Here’s a sample workout:

Stationary Bike – 5 minutes

3 sets of 15-20 reps

3 sets of 15-20 reps

Rope Jumping
3 sets of 45 seconds

Walking Lunges
3 sets of 15-20 per leg

Lateral Raise
3 sets of 14-20 per leg

Bench Step-Up
3 sets of 10-20 per leg

Shoulder Press
3 sets of 15-20 reps

3 sets of 15-20 reps

Biceps Curls
3 sets of 15-20 reps

Rope Jumping
3 sets of 60 seconds

Treadmill – 5 minutes

The number of reps per exercise within circuits can vary quite a bit based on your fitness level. Choose a number that you can complete for each circuit with minimal rest. Rest for 30-60 seconds between circuits.

My take on nutrition is that what you don’t eat is nearly as important as what you do eat. When you’re trying to cut body fat and keep or add muscle mass, you still need plenty of calories and a balanced ratio of macronutrients: protein, dietary fats, and carbs.
But where you get them is what’s most important to me. One of the first things I do when I’m helping a client is recommend that they cut the following from their diets: gluten, dairy (with the exception of whey protein isolate), and red meat (except for organic, grass-fed, hormone-free beef once or twice a month). It goes without saying that you should also remove all processed foods: cookies, crackers, and anything else that is prepackaged.
The key is to cut chemicals and exogenous hormones from your diet. Toxins are becoming more prevalent in our food supply, but you can still eat smart. Here’s what you should emphasize in your diet:
Organic meats like chicken and turkey (white and dark meat)
Wild-caught fish
Vegetables and fruits (emphasizing organic, particularly for those with permeable membranes)
Oils (coconut and olive)
Certain grains and starches including quinoa, yams, and white rice
I also recommend using coconut water with whey protein isolate around your workouts to drive amino acids to working muscles and support recovery. For my protein product, Clutch Protein Powder, I sourced my whey from New Zealand where antibiotics are illegal for raising cattle, because I truly believe that what you eat matters.
Even though debates rage on about meal frequency, I also recommend that you take in a small meal every 2-3 hours. I recommend keeping protein intake to about 25 grams per meal, and no more than 35 grams for ease of digestion and to promote absorption. Amounts beyond this, taken in frequently, may go to waste.  WHEN YOU’RE TRYING TO CUT BODY FAT AND KEEP OR ADD MUSCLE MASS, YOU STILL NEED PLENTY OF CALORIES AND A BALANCED RATIO OF MACRONUTRIENTS: PROTEIN, DIETARY FATS, AND CARBS.
Ultimately, my goal is to have you consume more calories from these sources per day. That’s because the exercise programs I recommend encourage your metabolism to speed up, allowing you to get leaner while supporting muscle growth. This sets the groundwork for a nutrition and exercise program you can sustain for the long term. You’ll never be hungry because you can eat as much as you want, as long as you’re consuming the right foods.


Dieting and exercise can increase stress on the body, often for the better, but things go south when people become chronically stressed. Daily life stresses out many people already, causing a release of hormones such as cortisol, which may lead to increased stored belly fat. Cortisol also has a catabolic effect on the body, which can lead to muscle breakdown.  I RECOMMEND PEOPLE TAKE SUPPLEMENTS THAT SUPPORT MUSCLE-BUILDING, INCLUDING AMINO ACIDS, BUT AVOID CENTRAL NERVOUS STIMULATORS (CNS) SUCH AS CAFFEINE.
I recommend people take supplements that support muscle-building, including amino acids, but avoid central nervous stimulators (CNS) such as caffeine. In support of this idea, many pre-workout products, including my own, don’t include stimulants. The Clutch pre-workout contains amino acids that support greater energy expenditure without overtaxing your CNS.
I also recommend taking in creatine to help increase muscle strength, beta-alanine to buffer fatigue, and arginine and ornithine to support nitric oxide (NO) production. NO is a gas molecule that allows your blood vessels to relax so more blood, oxygen, and nutrients reach working muscle tissue. These are the natural, physiological responses you want your body to have while you’re training, rather than an overload of stress hormones.
Armed with the above info, you should now be ready to crush your fitness goals! Weight loss doesn’t have to be overcomplicated. Train intensely, lift weights, cut junk and nutrient-deprived foods from your diet, and support your efforts with smart supplementation.
By taking these simple steps, you’ll be well on your way to a fitter, happier, healthier life! And that’s clutch!



Here’s your 18-week map from here to “weightlifter!”
(Ref: Bodybuilding.com)

Everyone has to start somewhere. Even the fittest of the fit had to walk into a gym a little wet behind the biceps. Fortunately, you’ve already put your best foot forward by educating yourself before you start training. When it comes to building muscle, losing weight, and getting fit, it’s far easier to go wrong than it is to blindly stumble onto the right formula.
When you’re a total novice, the best thing you can do is ease into training. If you strain so hard that the veins in your forehead read like a road map, the next day you’ll feel stiffer than the Tin Man after a dip in the Pacific. Yes, it’s only natural and expected to experience a little post-workout pain, but you shouldn’t be bumping up the share price of your favorite ibuprofen. This is not the route you have to take.
The following is the most basic muscle-building plan for the every man. If you have any injuries, see a professional to figure out whether you can do these moves. You should expect to feel comfortable with all of these exercises. Some trainers may argue that these are advanced exercises and that novices should use machines first. However, these exercises involve essential, everyday actions (performed with a weight) that even a 5-year-old can do with a smile.
If you can’t perform these exercises, see a medical professional about fixing your imbalances before you start any kind of exercise program. If you have a persistent, irresolvable injury, simply leave out the exercises you can’t do and replace them with the nearest machine equivalent that your gym has to offer.
In less than four weeks you’ll probably have to fork out some money for a few new shirts. It’s a small price to pay for sleeve-splitting arms and a more muscular frame.
Getting Started
Perform the following workouts 2-4 times per week and perform a different workout each day. You don’t need to do the workouts on the days of the week listed here—these are included just as an illustration—but make sure to do 2 days in a row with a rest day afterward, or alternate between rest and training days. Rest for 60-90 seconds between each set.
Figure out during the first two weeks what weights you’re capable of pushing. After this, try to increase the weights by 3-7 percent each week. In a few short weeks you’ll be the proud owner of a newly refurbished body made of box-fresh muscle.



Body weight Squat
3 sets of 15 reps, rest 60-90 seconds

Dumbbell Bench Press
3 sets of 15 reps, rest 60-90 seconds

3 sets of 15 reps, rest 60-90 seconds

Dumbbell Deadlift
3 sets of 15 reps, rest 60-90 seconds

Dumbbell Lateral Raise
3 sets of 15 reps, rest 60-90 seconds

Hammer Curl
3 sets of 15 reps, rest 60-90 seconds

Triceps Push-Down
3 sets of 15 reps, rest 60-90 seconds

Bicycle Crunch
3 sets of 15 reps, rest 60-90 seconds

Jog, Walk, Elliptical Trainer, Row, or Cycle
5-15 minutes


Dumbbell Incline Bench Press
3 sets of 12 reps, rest 60-90 seconds

Bodyweight or Dumbbell Step-Up
3 sets of 12 reps, rest 60-90 seconds

Dumbbell Bent-Over Row
3 sets of 12 reps, rest 60-90 seconds

Bodyweight or Dumbbell Lunge
3 sets of 12 reps, rest 60-90 seconds

Dumbbell Seated Shoulder Press
3 sets of 12 reps, rest 60-90 seconds

3 reps of 60 seconds, rest 60-90 seconds

Jog, Walk, Elliptical Trainer, Row, or Cycle
5-15 minutes


Dumbbell Split Squat
3 sets of 15 reps, rest 60-90 seconds

Power Clean
3 sets of 15 reps, rest 60-90 seconds

Parallel Bar Dip
3 sets of 15 reps, rest 60-90 seconds

Incline Reverse Flye
3 sets of 15 reps, rest 60-90 seconds

Lying Leg Raise
3 sets of 15 reps, rest 60-90 seconds

Seated Calf Raise
3 sets of 15 reps, rest 60-90 seconds

EZ-Bar Curl
3 sets of 15 reps, rest 60-90 seconds

Close-Grip Bench Press
3 sets of 15 reps, rest 60-90 seconds

Jog, Walk, Elliptical Trainer, Row, or Cycle
5-15 minutes


Dumbbell Squat
3 sets of 12 reps, rest 60-90 seconds

3 sets of 12 reps, rest 60-90 seconds

Dumbbell Chest Flye
3 sets of 12 reps, rest 60-90 seconds

Dumbbell Upright Row
3 sets of 12 reps, rest 60-90 seconds

Single-Arm Dumbbell Row
3 sets of 12 reps, rest 60-90 seconds

Good Morning
3 sets of 12 reps, rest 60-90 seconds

Jog, Walk, Elliptical Trainer, Row, or Cycle
5-15 minutes

– Please feel free to ask one of our EDGE trainers for assistance with this program or any other programs and diets.



by Cynthia Sass, MPH, RD

As a sports nutritionist, I’m always on the lookout for research about how various foods can enhance athletic performance, speed recovery, and build muscle mass. When I pass this info on to my clients, they often feel the effects quickly, and I relish remarks they share like, “Wow, what a difference!” or “I feel 10 years younger.” Here are 11 foods currently on my “eats for athletes” list, the research behind why they deserve a place on your training table, and simple, healthy ways to take advantage of their benefits.

Recent research shows that this ruby red root veggie may be more effective at boosting energy than caffeine, or nearly anything you’ll find in the supplement aisle. When UK researchers asked male athletes to down either 16 ounces of organic beetroot juice or a placebo, those who gulped the real thing cycled for up to 16% longer, an effect scientists say isn’t achievable by any other known means, including training. To bolster your performance, invest in a juicer and grab some fresh beets, which are in season year-round. Or look for bottled beet juice, which can be sipped straight or blended into a pre-workout smoothie.

Research conducted at the University of Memphis Exercise and Sport Nutrition Laboratory found that consuming honey before exercise provides “time-released” fuel to give athletes steady blood sugar and insulin levels over a longer duration. This natural sweetener also boosted power, speed, and endurance in competitive cyclists who downed it prior to and at 10-mile intervals throughout a 40-mile race. For quality and purity, I recommend USDA Certified Organic raw honey. Enjoy it straight off a spoon, or mix it into a pre-workout snack like oatmeal.

Pea protein powder has been generating serious buzz in the sports nutrition community for some time now. The reason: it’s rich in branched chain amino acids, compounds that have been shown to delay fatigue during exercise. The arginine in this powder (which is made from yellow peas) has also been shown to enhance immunity, while the lysine boosts calcium absorption and decreases calcium losses to help maintain strong bones. One scoop can pack more than 25 grams of lean protein, which can be whipped into a smoothie along with almond milk, a dollop of almond butter, cinnamon, and frozen cherries or berries.

To test the anti-inflammatory and recovery effects of blueberries, researchers at Appalachian State University recruited well-trained athletes and fed them about 9 ounces of blueberries daily for six weeks, plus another 13 ounces an hour before a two-and a-half-hour run. The results were impressive. In addition to a reduction in inflammation, blueberry eaters experienced a boost in natural killer cells, a type of white blood cell that plays a vital role in immunity. When fresh blueberries aren’t practical, reach for dried or freeze dried options to stash in your gym bag.

At the University of Vermont’s Human Performance Laboratory, researchers asked men to drink either 12 ounces of a tart cherry juice blend or a placebo twice daily for eight days. On the fourth day of the study, the athletes completed a strenuous strength-training routine. Two weeks later, the opposite beverage was provided, and the training was repeated. Scientists found that the cherry juice had a significant effect on pain reduction. In addition, strength loss averaged 22% in the placebo group compared to just 4% in the cherry group. Fresh tart cherries are only in season in late summer, but frozen and dried options are becoming easier to find, as is 100% tart cherry juice.

The omega-3 fatty acids found in fatty fish like salmon have been linked to a laundry list of benefits, from fighting heart disease to staving off type 2 diabetes. But animal research shows it may also be a potent muscle booster. Compared to steers fed cottonseed and olive oils, those that consumed fish oil showed improved muscle development: their bodies used twice the amount of amino acids to build new protein tissues, especially skeletal muscles. Include wild salmon in meals a few times a week, or try salmon jerky as a portable snack. If you can’t or don’t eat seafood, look for an algae-based source of omega-3s.

Recently, Spanish sports medicine scientists discovered that watermelon juice helped relieve muscle soreness when about 16 ounces were consumed an hour before exercise. The effect is likely due to citrulline, a natural substance found in watermelon that’s been tied to improved artery function and lowered blood pressure(it’s even been dubbed “nature’s Viagra”). I’m starting to see bottled watermelon juice popping up all over the place. And when you eat it fresh, be sure to bite into the white rind a bit—that’s where citrulline is found in higher concentrations.

The antioxidants in pomegranate have been linked to enhanced memory and brain activity, and now researchers at the University of Texas at Austin report that pomegranate juice helps improve muscle recovery. Researchers recruited volunteers who were randomly assigned to maintain their normal diets and add 4 ounces of either pomegranate juice or a placebo twice a day. Both groups performed resistance-training exercises, but those who gulped pom experienced significantly less muscle soreness and reduced muscle weakness for up to 7 days. Pomegranate is a winter fruit, but you can find frozen options year-round. Just thaw and add to oatmeal, parfaits, or garden salads. Small shots of 100% juice are also a good option.

A recent study published in theJournal of Applied Physiology found that glycogen, the body’s storage form of carbohydrates, is replenished more rapidly when athletes consume both carbs and caffeine following exhaustive exercise. Compared to carbs alone, the combo resulted in a 66% increase in muscle glycogen 4 hours after intense exercise. That’s significant because packing more fuel into the energy “piggy banks” within your muscles means that the next time you train or perform, you’ve upped your ability to exercise harder or longer.

A recent study published in theBritish Journal of Nutrition found that watercress, a peppery green from the mustard family, effectively countered the “wear and tear” effects of exercise. Healthy young men were given about 3 ounces of watercress daily for eight weeks, and asked to participate in treadmill workouts that included short bursts of intense exercise. Another exercise group did the workouts without watercress as a control. The men who missed out on watercress experienced more exercise-induced DNA damage, and the benefits were seen after just one dose. In other words, those who ate the green for the first time just two hours before hitting the treadmill experienced the same benefits as those who had munched on it daily for two months.  Watercress makes a wonderful salad base and, like spinach and kale, it can be whipped into a smoothie.

Numerous studies support the myriad benefits of dark chocolate and new research published in theEuropean Journal of Nutrition adds exercise protection to the list. In the study, healthy men were asked to eat 3.5 ounces of 70% dark chocolate two hours before a two-and-a-half-hour bout of cycling. Compared to a control group, the chocolate eaters experienced higher blood antioxidant levels and reduced markers of exercise-induced cell stress. Enjoy a few individually wrapped squares of dark chocolate daily, melt and drizzle it over fresh fruit, or mix it into oatmeal, smoothies, or parfaits.


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