Top Level Tips

 June 2008

A newsletter with your interests in mind and heart
Welcome.  I hope you find something that you can use in this newsletter, because I have written it for you.  I choose subjects that I feel are valuable to your success, as well as issues that you have specifically asked about.  You may discover answers to things that
you didn't realize you misunderstood, and wouldn't have thought to ask.  So whether this helps you to fine tune an exercise that you may have been doing incorrectly, get an important nutritional tidbit that kick starts your fat loss, a new motivational perspective, or even just a little entertainment, then I've achieved my goal of making this a worthwhile endeavor for all of us.  As always, I am open to your suggestions and questions.  I want to make each edition better than the last, so please contact me with any special requests.
Start here.
Click on the underlined number to go directly to the article:

1.)    Motivational Quotes

2.)    Is It Possible To Spot Reduce?

3.)    The Phoenix Approach To Change

4.)    Exercise Of The Month (2 for 1 this month)


5.)    Video: "Fixing The Squat"

"Deliciously Ageless"

7.)    You Share; I Share

8.)    Contact Information

Read complete articles below

1.) Motivational Quotes

"Few people are capable of expressing with equanimity opinions which differ from the prejudices of their social environment. Most people are even incapable of forming such opinions."
~Albert Einstein

"So we went to Atari and said, 'Hey, we've got this amazing thing, even built with some of your parts, and what do you think about funding us? Or we'll give it to you. We just want to do it. Pay our salary, we'll come work for you.' And they said, 'No.' So then we went to Hewlett-Packard, and they said, 'Hey, we don't need you. You haven't got through college yet."
~Steve Jobs

"The greater danger for most of us is not that our aim is too high and we miss it, but that it is too low and we reach it."
~ Michealangelo

"It's never too late to be who you might have been."
~George Eliot

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2.)  Is It Possible To Spot Reduce?

Most women can't seem to get their thighs lean, and most men can't seem to get rid of the "pooch".  Here's the typical approach that most people take:  they do plenty of aerobics, some weight training, and watch what they eat.  It's no wonder that they get frustrated because these problem areas don't seem to show much change.  So let's say you're a woman who wants to loose fat in her legs.  What can you do?

First the truth . . . unfortunately there is no way to spot reduce.  It would be great if a few targeted exercises really took it off right on the 'ole problem areas.  Well, sorry . . . there is nothing you can buy on HSN or anywhere else that contains the magic bullet either.  Fat is "systemic" (think "whole body soup"), whereas muscles, although integrated are specific and defined.  So at least you can "spot build", but then that's not the concern in this article.  But don't give up just yet, because there is hope!  As you'll find out later in this article, it's those muscles that are going to help you burn the fat.

First of all, stop doing aerobics and start doing some interval training.  Doing too much aerobics will actually cause you to store more body fat in your lower body. That's because your body adapts to the aerobics by becoming more "calorie efficient," which means storing more fat to use for more aerobics  (think: "better gas mileage" in a 'calorie' sense ― exactly what you DON'T want).

Basically, here's what's going on.  Take the lower body for example; if you are doing 'fat burning' (that's 'fat burning' NOT 'strength training') activity using the lower body, the body will respond by storing more fat where it needs it most.  So what should you do?   First as far as "cardio," cut it back to 15-20 minutes of hard interval training.   For the weight training, increase your weight training and do a lot of multi-joint exercises such as lunges, squats and step ups. Challenge yourself with heavier weights that you can handle properly.  Gravity is your friend.  EMG studies have repeatedly shown a greater muscle (and therefore fat) activation of the inner thigh with movements like step ups, squats and split squats, as opposed to the inner thigh machine.  Get off the machines!  Focus your energy on the compound exercises, and you'll see greater results.  This means you should be lifting more weight every workout, that is as long as you are using proper form.  Remember, the more muscle you have, the more calories your body will burn! You must lift heavy!

Men, same for abs . . . focus on exercises that use the most amount of muscles per movement. These exercises will burn the most calories because: "more muscle = more fuel requirement".   So shorten your rest periods, and challenge yourself to keep tempo (think 'metabolism').  If someone wants to stop you to chat while you're on tempo, "give them your phone number and tell 'em your on a mission at the moment" (see previous sentence). 

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3.)  The Phoenix Approach To Change

I'm not talkin' about "Arizona" here.  In mythology, the phoenix (or Bennu bird) ends its life-cycle by bursting into flame. From its own ashes, the fiery bird is reborn. Some of the titles of the Bennu bird were “He Who Came Into Being by Himself,” “Ascending One,” and “Lord of Jubilees.” The name is related to the verb “weben,” meaning “to rise brilliantly,” or “to shine.”

I've been helping people with their physical transformations for many years, and the pattern of success is clear.  Regardless of their primary physique goal — rapid fat loss, definitive muscle gain, or even to ward off ailments of aging due to inactivity and poor eating habits— those who ultimately succeed always begin the same way: they get fed up with the status quo.  They get so fed up that they arrive at the threshold where they make THE decision "down to their bone marrow" that they MUST change.

It's amazing how we can look in the mirror daily and yet never really see ourselves. We become hypnotized over time, and tend to focus on a few key points like face, hair, clothes, and a few other grooming details, while overlooking how we may have drifted from our optimal physical condition (kind of like looking at a tree without seeing the forest).

A good way to cut through these ego-defending mental blocks is to take some photos. So, strip down to the bare minimum and take three photos of yourself: one from the front, one from the back, and one from the side. Do not pose, suck in, flex, or manipulate the lighting.  Now look at them.  This can be a painful (and necessary) reality check that sparks the fire of change.

Another idea is to go to the doctor and ask for a full physical. Get "the works." Get tested and checked for everything.  Hopefully your doc won't find anything, but if he does, the "fix" for it usually involves an improved diet and exercise program.

The first stage of the Phoenix Theory occurs naturally. Something just happens to wake you up from your psychological slumber. Recognize it and take advantage of this powerful catalyst. Savor the flame.  Get angry that you've let yourself slip, and make a firm decision to change.  People who reach their goals don't do it accidentally or in a half-assed manner. No one has ever made a radical physical transformation by "kinda sorta" wanting it, "watching" what they eat, or "trying" to exercise more.

Real transformation involves laser-like focus, near obsession with diet and training, and a total disregard for what other people may think.  In many ways, you have to remove certain people from your field of influence in order to change.

Remember, the phoenix dies in fire and is reborn in fire. Self-directed anger is your fuel in this process. You must get mad, combust, and feed the fire until you break the old habits and rebuild new ones relevant to your physical goals.

This is often the difference between those who succeed and those who don't. The unsuccessful person has a weak moment in his diet, makes an excuse, and gives in to the craving. The successful person gets mad at himself, stokes the fire, and stays strong.

Do you REALLY want to reach your physical goals?  Do you really want to achieve what most people either can't or won't?  Then get ready to burn those old habits and begin a new way of living!   It takes 28 days of consistent practice to form a habit.  Start chiselin'.  

"A goal is a dream with a deadline."

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4.)  Exercise Of The Month: (2 for one this month) 

Thoracic Mobility: Foam Roller Extensions 1 x (3 x 5 sec)

Lie on a foam roller placed just below your scapulae. Spread your shoulder blades apart by pulling your elbows up. Use your hands to support your head. While keeping your butt on the ground and your core tight, arch your back over the roller. Hold this position for 5 seconds, then move the foam roller slightly up your back and repeat. Perform this exercise in 3 positions for 5 seconds each. All three positions should be within your shoulder blades (not too high up your neck or too low on your back). This stretch just feels really good. Don’t get spooked when you hear/feel your upper back crack, it will the first time, but the second and third time will be good stretches and feel really good on the stiff upper back.

Push-Up Hand Switches (2 x 10)

From a push-up position, lift on hand off the ground, shift your weight and place it on top of the other hand. Return to the starting position and repeat with the opposite hand. Make sure to keep your core tight throughout the whole movement! This exercise helps awaken some of the muscles around the scapulae that can become problematic from being in the same hunched over position for too long. 

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5.)  Fixing The Squat

Just when you think that you're good at squats, I'm throwing something your way to make you even better.  This little video by an excellent trainer in Boston elucidates some differences between the immature and mature squats. 

Does your squatting technique need a little tune up?  Do you ever wonder why I am such an advocate for the "overhead squat"  Take a couple minutes to watch the video, and you'll get some answers to these questions, and more.


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6.)  "Deliciously Ageless"

From Prevention Magazine, May 2008 article titled,: "Deliciously Ageless" based on Cheryl Forberg's new book, "Positively Ageless" Glowing skin, silky hair, and taut, toned muscles over age 40? Absolutely! Cheryl Forberg is redefining what aging looks (and feels) like in her new book, Positively Ageless. Here, she shares how to harness the stay-young power of food.

As you age, Forberg says, your skin's protection drops; eating a diet rich in colorful fruits and veggies can help protect against wrinkles. There are hundreds of antioxidant nutrients, but the most important include vitamins C (found in tomatoes, citrus fruits, and bell peppers) and E (nuts and avocado), polyphenols (natural cocoa powder and berries), quercetin (onions and broccoli), and carotenoids (leafy greens, sweet potatoes, and other bright orange vegetables).

As you get older, our sense of thirst naturally becomes less acute, making you more vulnerable to dehydration. One of the first side effects is a loss of skin elasticity, a major contributor to fine lines. Eight glasses of water a day is a good goal. If you're not a fan of water, sip green tea, fat- free or low-fat milk, and the occasional cup of coffee, and look beyond the glass. Fruits and vegetables are naturally packed with fluid -- it's what gives the crispness. Boost their anti-aging potential by serving broth-based soups at lunch or dinner. At breakfast, whip up a fruity smoothie.

After age 30, your muscle mass dwindles by approximately 3 to 8% per decade, causing you to lose strength, not to mention calorie-burning power. The antidote is a regular strength-training regimen -- and dietary protein. Higher intakes of animal protein in particular help preserve muscle in women over 50, suggest several studies. Protein is also a key to warding off fatigue, maintaining a steady blood sugar level, and promoting cellular repair and growth. Forberg recommends getting 30% of your daily calories from healthy protein sources such as lean meats, poultry, seafood, legumes, fat-free or low-fat dairy products and traditional soy foods.

Stock your pantry with a variety of antioxidant-packed whole grains, she advises. Wild and brown rices, bulgur, farro, millet, quinoa, and oats are all good options. Whether you're serving a simple side dish or preparing a meat loaf or meatballs, don't automatically reach for white rice or plain bread crumbs. Think whole grain, and you'll be rewarded with better flavor, additional fiber, and more ant-aging nutrients.

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7.)  You Share; I Share

I publish this monthly newsletter to share what I feel to be enlightening information, so that my clients and friends are able to improve their understanding of exercise and health, and therefore live life to the fullest.  I read a lot and study a lot, (and ponder a lot), so I have a lot to share.  I also try to add a little "entertainment" to my news delivery (those who know me know that I just can't help it -- yuk-yuk).  But another reason I share this letter, is to market my beliefs in this science and art form.  I do it in order to gain exposure, in hopes that more people will become aware of me, and maybe, just "maybe" they may decide that they would benefit from my style of training.

So where am I going with this?  It's this: If you help me to gain exposure by referring new subscribers to my newsletter, I will reward you too.  For everyone who refers 5 subscribers before my July newsletter goes out (and by the way, subscription is FREE on my website), I will reward you with a free training session that you can either use for yourself, or give to a friend or relative.  And yes, that applies to multiples: refer 10 people who subscribe, and receive 2 complementary sessions (etc.).

In order to claim your referrals, just include their names to me in an email message.  I'll prepare your "presentable" certificates for training sessions as soon as the names are confirmed from my site.  It's this simple . . ."You share; I share . . . it's all free"   And by the way, "thanks".

If you enjoyed this newsletter, and would like to share this edition with your friends. 
Just copy the highlighted link below, and paste it in an email message:

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8.)  Contact Information

Bob Keyser
Tampa, Florida
Phone: (813) 229-5929
Email:  Bobk@strongobjectives.com
Web page:  http://www.toplevelfitness.com/

A proven, effective, "non-hype" approach to fitness and fat loss!

Based upon over 30 years of practical experience I design and implement fitness programs to help people achieve exceptional results. Specialties include: Fat Loss (the "best" way for long term results), Joint Health (get rid of pain, increase range-of-movement, and develop substantial connective tissue), Muscle Quality (strong, lean, sinewy, and balanced), Performance Enhancement (functional power improves your game and makes life's tasks easier), and Energy (for being yourself—at your best).

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Bob Keyser - Tampa, FL
Phone: 813-229-5929 | Email: bobk@strongobjectives.com     Web: http:// www.toplevelfitness.com





































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