Diets are terrible for weight loss.  If you want to gain 5 more pounds, just start the latest trendy weight loss diet.  Here is how it works….

You put yourself on a new diet, and lose weight.  If you were not on a professionally established strength training program, some of the weight you lost was muscle, and this is a bad thing.  Because you cannot live with the weight loss diet forever, a number of weeks later you quit.  When you quit, you eat all the things that you were depriving yourself of. This calorie surplus gets processed into body fat, and you return to the weight you previously were, or maybe even 5 pounds heavier.  The problem is that muscle you lost when improperly dieting.  If you lost 5 pounds of muscle during the diet, and weigh 5 pounds more after you quit the diet, you now are 10 pounds fatter than before.

trainer posing in bodybuilding contestYou cannot live with a diet, because a diet is not a lifestyle.  A diet is temporary.  I used a diet to get to 3% body fat and win the Mr. Ohio competition.  This was a very strict 16-week diet.  And yes, even though I was on an ass-kicking strength training program, I still lost muscle as well.  But that was the price I paid to get even leaner, which enabled every muscle to be seen through my paper-thin skin at the time.  But this diet was not sustainable, and I quit it.  It was a temporary diet, as all diets are.

If you want to control your weight, you need to change your day to day habits.  Your day to day habits can also be referred to as a lifestyle.  A bodybuilding diet is not a lifestyle, and therefore, I did not look like that for long.  But my overall lifestyle is healthy, and that is why I look better than most at my age.  Sensible Fitness can help you achieve a healthy lifestyle with professional accountability and guidance.  But stay away from a diet!  They are the worst for weight loss.

Fat knees.  What can be done?

Ask a man about “fat knees” and he will give you a stare of being totally clueless, which I might add, is genuine.  Mention the same to a woman, and she will start nodding her head in agreement and understanding.

As the song goes…“Your thigh bone’s connected to your shin bone”, and this is what forms the knee joint, the union of the femur and the tibia.  Above the knee joint is the thigh muscle (quadriceps), which attaches to the kneecap (patella), and the patellar tendon attaches the kneecap to your shin bone (tibia).  This tendon is the one that the doc hits to test your reflexes.

With all the action that the knee joint gets in about every motion of your leg, the underside of the kneecap and the patellar tendon needs some extra cushion around them.  Well, our very thoughtful Creator put fat pads below the knee to help do this job. With your knee totally straight, you might be able to feel or see the fat pads, like mushy little pillows, on each side of your patellar tendon, which is actually below the knee joint.

Okay, your knee does have fat pads, and some may be bigger than others, but when visiting with numerous women about their fat knee issues, I have yet to have one point at the area of the fat pads.  With that said, I must share my experience of well over 30 combined years in physical therapy, personal training, and bodybuilding, I have never seen disproportionate fat storage around the knee.  Often the “fat knees”, come with matching legs.

On the other hand, I had a woman who was size 0 and thought she had fat knees.  We all have our perceptions, and although these feelings are valid, they sometimes are linked to self-image issues.

Realize the fact that we are all shaped differently.  Knees come in all shapes and sizes and the way your body stores fat around them is also unique.  This is called beauty and not imperfection. Our society often strives for the unrealistic perfection we see in magazines that have been run through hours of Photoshop.

If you store excess body fat in the knee area, the best thing to do is become leaner through a healthy lifestyle.  You will lose fat everywhere, but if you store a great deal in the lower body, this is where you should see the most change.

If you are thirsty, it is too late, as you are already dehydrated!

As the weather warms up and we become more active with outdoor activities, the concerns of dehydration get well-needed attention.  While most people rely on thirst as an indicator for the intake of fluids, it has been proven not to be an accurate indicator.

By the time you are thirsty, it is too late, your body has already experienced significant fluid loss.  Medical studies have shown that thirst is not well correlated to fluid status, which in my opinion is a design flaw in us humans. Throw in the mix a little sweat on the hot, humid summer days in Cincinnati, and it is easy to find yourself in a fluid deficit and in need of a hydrating stimulus package.

Fluid intake is huge for those trying to lose weight and a local hospital-based weight loss program recommends 80 oz. per day.  Patients of this program feel like they are swimming when they drink this much water, but it pales in comparison to the guidelines of other medically based resources.  According to the Institute of Medicine, it is recommended to have a daily water intake of 125oz. for men and 91oz. for women, this can increase to 336 oz. if activities with high sweat loss are performed, such as a personal training session.

Dehydration caused by failing to replace fluids during activities also slows the body’s ability to dissipate heat, which can lead to a strain on the heart and possibly heat stroke.  It is recommended to replace fluids at the rate for which they are lost.  This can be accomplished by simply weighing yourself before and after your activity and replace the weight lost with the same amount of water.  One quart of water weighs about two pounds.

As we age thirst becomes an even poorer indicator of fluid status so adequate water intake is especially important for the mature adult.  We can survive losses of up to 40% of our body weight in fat, carbohydrate, and protein, but a water loss of 9% to 12% of body weight can be fatal.

One way is to monitor your fluid status is to look at the color of your urine first thing in the morning.  If it is more the color of apple juice than that of lemonade, you may be dehydrated.  Now you know why your pee is so dark after a night of boozing it up!

Of course, there are many fluids to hydrate with but since your body is 60% water, I personally believe plain water is king.  Working with the overweight population a great deal, I often hear “I hate water!”  If you are one of these people, I am worried about your future in the weight control department.  Diet sodas have been linked to weight GAIN, and if you need a flavorful burst every time you are thirsty, it is going to be tough to control the calories.

This orange chicken recipe is what I call “restaurant quality”.  It is dynamite, and one of our family favorites.

Orange Chicken Recipe

As of May 26, we will be open for all personal training services.  As usual, we will have social distancing and exceptional cleaning.  All other mandated safety measures will be followed.

Email to get back on the schedule or to make a new appointment.

We are now accepting Venmo as a payment option for your personal training.  This will avoid the service charge for credit card processing.  If you are interested in details, just shoot me an email and I will share details with you.

Ah, the nasty orange peel looking skin condition that women of all shapes and sizes try to rid themselves of.  It is never a welcome addition to a person’s appearance and creams, potions, and lotions are readily marketed as a cure.  Let’s look at the facts and fiction of cottage cheese skin syndrome.

The facts.  Cellulite is real, and it usually finds a home in the pelvic/buttocks region, along with the lower limbs of women.  The few men who suffer the condition are usually lacking a few hormones that make men, well, men.  It is said to affect 80-90% of all women to some degree and evidence suggests the structural differences in fat architecture between the sexes account for its appearance.cellulite on legs

The facts, continued:  Although cellulite is a benign condition, women often take drastic and often invasive measures to rid themselves of it, all for the sake of vanity.  The easy-way-out treatments for cellulite range from massage, to laser treatments, to medically questionable potions and lotions, to invasive injections and liposuction.  The health risks and other dangers of cellulite certainly come from efforts to lose it and not the condition itself.

Now the fiction.  Many of the products on the market have greatly improved and are now offering impressive results.  The lotions now available have been reengineered and because of their osmotic-based molecular structure, they now penetrate the skin deeply and break down the collagen fibers that cause the orange peel appearance.  Previously, a prescription would have been required for a product like this, but the FDA has now eliminated this requirement.

The fiction, continued:  Like the advances seen in lotions, the same holds true with most other treatments.  Medical and scientific progress has opened the doors to many other options, which is great news for many.  Massage, injections, lasers, and of course liposuction, are all now considered very effective, incredibly easy, and more importantly, instant relief from cellulite.

Back to the facts:  While a high body fat composition will certainly worsen the appearance of cellulite, even women with normal or low body fat levels might experience it, but to a much lesser degree.  Also, lowering your stress level may help as stress releases hormones that have been thought to worsen the condition.

To a large degree, it is human nature, to look for an easy cure to cellulite, but they simply do not exist.  According to the most recent medical research I could find, there is nothing that is more than mildly or temporarily effective at very best.  It looks like your best bet is to stick with a healthy lifestyle and keep body fat in control.

I had some fun with the music legend Little Richard in a video a little while back and wanted to share it!

Did you know that we have a continually growing selection of great recipes on our website?  I do not just pick random recipes and share them.  I have prepared every recipe and know that they are good.  Some are more healthy than others, but all are good.  Even desserts, because desserts are a part of a healthy lifestyle, on occasion.

I have all sorts of categories, including vegetarian.  Check them out here:

Healthy Recipes

Our prize wheel has 36 different abdominal exercises, which makes every spinner a winner.  And you are the next spinner!

I offered a free personal training session to the person who came up with the chosen name for the wheel.  I had a ton of ideas that were great, but this one grabbed me…The Wheel of Core-ture.

prize wheel

Carrie C. came up with the winning choice.  Carrie (pictured below) sent her husband, Jason, here on a gift certificate to rehab his knee after surgery.  He has since become a part of our family, and now Carrie gets to experience all the joyousness that Sensible Fitness brings to people!

Carrie and family

This is a favorite of mine.  Super easy to make and very, very good.  I hope you enjoy!

Chinese Noodle recipe

Can you enjoy wine and chocolate and lose weight? The answer is yes. Sounds to good to be true right? Well it is true. Watch this super short video to learn how.

Exercise and sexual performance in women is usually not a topic an ordinary personal trainer would address, but as we all know, I am far from ordinary.  A part of my physical therapy education was dedicated time to the pelvic floor musculature and this is a direct link to sexual performance.  Plus we are all adults, and I see no reason to be shy.

Great sex involves movement, lots of movement, including flips, twists, and for the lucky few a flying trapeze.  Regardless of what you are doing, if you are moving, it is because of muscle contractions and this is certainly true during sex.  Muscles that are active during sex not only need strength, but also endurance unless you are left disappointingly done in 2 minutes.  While the muscles of the pelvic floor, often trained with Kegel exercises, can enhance sex for both men and women, these muscles do not contribute to movement during sex.  The primary muscles a woman should focus on for sexual performance are those within the lumbo-pelvic-hip complex, which are the muscles surrounding the pelvis.

man and woman sex graphic

The muscles responsible for movement during sex, or the “prime movers”, are different depending on the position you are in.  If you are in the missionary position, different muscles will be engaged than if you are in the “doggie-style” position.  Many sexual positions require a woman to have strength and control of the muscles responsible for pelvic tilting to align the vagina and also for pelvic rocking or the “humping motion”.

The prime movers for the pelvic motion are the mainly the muscles of the low abs and low back that cause anterior and posterior tilting (rocking) of the pelvis.  For many women, these muscles are not only very weak but also are not well connected to the brain, meaning that they do not have proprioception or good conscious control of the muscles. Training these muscles will not only give you strength and endurance but also open the connection between the brain and body, to give you smooth and coordinated motion during sex.

The upper abs are the prime mover for a crunching or sit-up motion, but it is the lower abs that tilt the pelvis, and it is these that are more important during sex. As a knowledgeable personal trainer, I have developed specific protocols for targeting these muscles.  In order to target the low abs, you have to place the body in a such a way as to challenge the position of your pelvis, forcing the low abs and low back to engage.

The starting point for a sexual performance fitness program is mastering anterior and posterior pelvic tilts.  The posterior pelvic tilt is probably more in sexual positions, and is most easily understood in the missionary position, where this motion helps tilt the vagina to an angle in which a woman can easily and enjoyably accept her partner.

The beauty of exercising the muscles responsible for sexual performance is that they have carry over into your appearance as well.  The low abs, located from the belly-button down, are where a lot of women have a “pooch”.  Training the low abs will not only enhance sex for you and your partner but also help tone and flatten this stubborn area.

I have given much attention to the low abs in this article, as they are crucial, but you cannot neglect the other muscles of the lumbo-pelvic-hip complex.  Simply focusing on one area will create imbalances in strength and flexibility and this can be detrimental.  A solid personal trainer will have all the bases covered in your training program to keep you looking and performing your best!

bra bubbles caused by fat

Women know exactly what we are talking about here.  The fat that bubbles up over your bra around the back of your shoulder and armpit.  To rid yourself of bra bubbles you need a two-part attack, of toning the muscle and also leaning out the area.  With over 3 decades of personal training experience, this is one of the top desires of my female clients.

Our muscles are what give our body a desirable shape, and fat is it what gives our body an undesirable shape. Once we know the muscle that is responsible for giving a particular part of your body it’s shape, we can target this muscle to give it firmness, or increased tone. Then we look for ways to decrease the fat that covers this muscle, so its shape shines brightly.

While there are a number of muscles that make up the appearance of a toned back, the largest back muscle is called the Latissimus Dorsi. It is a fan shaped muscle that starts in your low back and then ends up just below your shoulder joint on your arm. It is an important muscle for the appearance of a man or woman’s back, as it gives our upper body a “V” look, with width at shoulders and narrowness at the waist.

The Latissimus Dorsi, or “Lats”, is responsible for motions of the arms such as pull-ups, or rowing. It is a very strong muscle and one of the many muscles that make up the “core”. Because this muscle is one of the stronger upper body muscles, many women do not adequately challenge this muscle. If you using small 3-8 pound hand-weights to tone your Lats, you are not stimulating this muscle enough. Even the weakest of women can usually perform a rowing motion with 12+ pound dumbbells, and you must challenge a muscle if you want results. Keep the small dumbbells for your shoulders, which is a small muscle group, but get the heavier ones out for the Lats!

Because your Lats are responsible for many motions of your arms and trunk, there is not a single exercise that is a cure-all for bra bubbles. You must have an arsenal of exercises to target the muscle from various angles. As a personal training client at Sensible Fitness, you will not repeat the same back exercise for many weeks.  This prevent plateaus in your appearance and consistently produces results.

As you are putting a bunch of effort into toning your back, you will not get rid of bra bubbles without leaning out.  That means losing the fat that is covering the muscle.  I probably do not need to tell you the importance of healthy eating habits along with an active lifestyle.  There simply are not shortcuts here.  You cannot be hitting the wine and chocolate multiple times per week and expect the bra bubbles to disappear.  Sorry.  The truth hurts, but in all my years as a personal trainer, I have always pledged to maintain honesty.

Chicken wings are awesome, but we all know that if you enjoy them too much, you will add inches to the waistline.  Try this recipe for healthier chicken wings.  While you are still eating the skin on the chicken, which has a higher fat content, the wings are oven roasted instead of fried.  This recipe has the wings coming out fairly crispy as well.  Toss them in sauce of your choice and you are golden!

Healthier chicken wing recipe

This vegetable bowl with a protein boost recipe has some kick to it with the addition of hot sauce.  A great combination of flavors come together with solid nutrition from veggies and bulgur, which is a hearty grain.  You will not be disappointed with this recipe, I promise.

vegetable bowl with protein recipe

Many people start cutting carbs for weight loss, and this may not be the right thing to do.  Knowing where your carbs are coming from and also the amount of them is important in making the right weight loss decisions.  Watch my video and it will all start making sense and then you can be on the right path.  Click here for other great advice for weight loss.

Sitting, or being sedentary, is now being labeled the “new smoking” by health professionals.

Replacing 30 minutes of sitting with physical activity can result in a 17% lower risk of early death.  If this activity is vigorous, it ramps up to a 35% lower risk.  That is huge.  It does not necessarily have to be all performed at one time.  If you have a 5-minute break at work, go up and down the stairs a few times, or take a brisk walk.

In fact, Dr. David Kirlin, our awesome resident oncologist personal training client, just shared a separate study about physical activity and cancer. Physical activity can lower your risk of multiple cancers, according to the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

Dr. David Kirlin
Dr. David

Here are some of the numbers for various cancers:

Colon, 8-14% less risk in men.

Breast, 6-10% lower risk.

Endometrial, 10-18% less risk.

Kidney, 11-17% less.

Myeloma, 14-19% lower risk.

Liver, 18-27% lower risk.

Non-Hodgkin lymphoma, 11-18% less risk in women.

weight loss choices

With many people putting their attempts to lose weight “on hold” during the holidays, a recent study shows that that average American will gain 6 pounds during the season.  Was this you?

In fact, 44% of people said they ate more than one Thanksgiving dinner on the same day, with 30% saying they ate so much they were sick to their stomachs.  A personal trainer like myself simply loves the job security the holidays bring!

Adding insult to injury, half the people in this study said they were not planning to exercise until the beginning of the new year.  Of the group that already had their New Year’s resolution, exercising more and eating healthier was the most common choice.

I commend all of my personal training clients for remaining dedicated to your health throughout the holidays.  I put on some weight, and you should have too, but your healthy lifestyle will prevail and it will drop off.  Remember it is now until Thanksgiving that dictates the waistline.  That is 11 months of lifestyle.

This is from my client, Jerry.  Great stuff…

“I take Metformin for the diabetes caused by the Hydrochlorothiazide I take for high blood pressure which I got from the Ambein I take for insomnia caused by the Xanax I take for the anxiety that I got from the Wellbutrin I take for the chronic fatigue which I got from the Lipitor I take because a healthy diet and exercise are just too much trouble.”

Person pinch the fat around their waist

I sometimes find that vegetarian dishes do not leave me feeling fulfilled.  Not the case with this vegetarian polenta casserole recipe.  It has a ton of mushrooms that really gives it a distinct flavor and the polenta leaves you with your hunger being satisfied.  It is easy to prepare, and because I used instant polenta (by accident), the cooking time was trimmed back considerably.  I will certainly make this vegetarian recipe again.

Vegetarian Polenta Casserole recipe

overweight person pinching fat around waist

Many people question if the Keto diet or Mediterranean diet is best for weight loss. Maybe a better question is which is best for you, as everyone has differing likes, dislikes, dedication to cooking, free time for meal planning, etc.  Let us give you a quick overview so that you can determine the best choice for your weight loss diet.

The Keto diet.  The Ketogenic diet is a born-again Adkin’s diet from the early 2000s.  This high fat, low carb diet dates back to the 1950s but was popularized in 2003 when Dr. Adkin’s wrote a book.  With this diet your carbs are restricted to around 50 grams per day, which is what the brain needs to survive.  When your body is not getting carbs, it is forced to use fat for energy, a state called ketosis.

The upside is that you will lose a considerable amount of fat fairly quickly.  For the knuckleheads, this is all they need to hear and will not read the rest of this article.  The downside is that because this diet is unrealistic for most people to sustain for a long period of time, people will quit and gain back all the weight plus more.  If you are using the Keto diet and not strength training to promote healthy muscle mass, you will actually diet away some of your muscle.  This means when the weight comes back, you will actually be fatter than when you started.

You have to ask yourself if this is realistic for you.  Can you live your life without eating a slice of birthday cake at a celebration?  No chocolate, no wine, no beer, no pizza, no chips….the list is very long.  It is not realistic for most.  Another consideration is the health implications of a high fat diet, and on that pretty much eliminates the foods that contain nutrients for your health, like those seen in fruit, vegetables, and whole grains.

The Mediterranean diet.  There really is no distinctly classified Mediterranean diet for weight loss, but it derives from countries along the Mediterranean Sea and the traditional foods that are a part of their lifestyle.  Keep in mind that people in these countries also embrace being physically active.

This diet has a strong foundation of fruits, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats.  While it is acceptable to enjoy red meat on occasion, most of your protein will come from fish, legumes, eggs, and some poultry.  Fat is an important component of your nutrition and your fat will come from healthy sources such as olive oil and fatty fish.  Dairy is not eliminated, but is limited.  Low fat yogurts (plain or Greek) are acceptable, as well as small amounts of cheese.

overweight man

This diet can be healthy and a great way to achieve weight loss.  The foundation of this diet is solid, healthy foods, and ones that need to be cooked.  Cooking your own food from scratch is one of the best habits you can have if you want life long weight control.  The Mediterranean diet does not overly restrict, but rather says to “limit” or use in “moderation”.  This is great advice.  And it includes red wine!

Conclusion.  You will lose weight faster on the Keto diet, but you are a fool to believe that this is a good way to jump start your weight loss.  “I will start with this to lose weight fast and then switch to a healthy lifestyle”.  Uh…no you won’t.  And you will just be fatter in the end.  I recommend the Mediterranean diet because it revolves around a sustainable lifestyle.  If you want permanent weight loss, you do not need a “diet”, you need a lifestyle change.  People just don’t want to hear the truth.  They want a magic diet, and they will try the latest diet book of the month, lose weight, then fall back into their poor lifestyle and gain it all back.  Take the time to evaluate what is best for you personally and let this guide you to the right choice between the Keto diet or Mediterranean diet for weight loss.

We have heard for many years that red meat and processed meats can cause cancer and/or heart disease.  Now, there are medical professionals that are saying “not so fast”, or at least saying “maybe not”.  The November edition of the Annals of Internal Medicine, which is a highly respected peer reviewed journal, spotlighted a review of this topic.

This was not an article based on 1 or 2 studies.  This was a review of 61 rock solid studies that included more than 4 million participants.

We all know what red meat is, but processed meat can be a wide variety of products.  In this review, processed meats were identified as “mammalian meat and white or red meat preserved by smoking, curing, salting, or adding chemical compounds (for example, hot dogs, charcuterie, sausage, ham, and deli meats)”.

red meat and processed meat

Like any in-depth study, there is a bunch of technical data to sort through.  Luckily because this article is a review, someone else has done this.  If you like technical data, below is a chart that summarizes some outcomes.  I highlighted the outcomes.

Summary of data on red meat

Basically what was found is that there is no absolute certainty that red meat or processed meats are evil.  There is not definitive evidence that it causes cancer or heart disease.  Now remember, that medical professionals many years ago said the opposite, so stay tuned for more studies to follow.  But you can be assured that eating a burger several times a year will not kill you.

I have always told my clients to enjoy all foods in moderation.  Whether it be a juicy steak, or  chocolate chip cookies, enjoy them.  If you live a healthy lifestyle, red meat or chocolate chip cookies do not have a significant impact on your health or waistline.  If you do not live this lifestyle, it will worsen both.

This Thanksgiving stuffing has a lighter texture than the traditional moist stuffing served on the holiday.  Still packed with all the goodies and flavor that you would expect on the holiday.  A nice change and something that I would repeat on Turkey day!

Thanksgiving stuffing recipe

A whole turkey can be too much food for a small gathering, but a turkey breast can be perfect.  This turkey breast with gravy recipe is cooked in a Dutch oven and turns out to be mouth watering.  It goes great with our green bean recipe.  Try them both!

turkey breast recipe

If there is one thing I like with a recipe for veggies, it is simplicity.  This one was super easy and green beans with toasted almonds are delcious.  I have prepared this on a number of meals, as it compliments many different main dishes.  It is great with turkey on Thanksgiving. Enjoy!

Green beans with toasted almonds

When most people think of a roasted veggie recipe, they wrinkle their nose and think it would probably be healthy but not taste great.  Not the case with this one.  When the veggies are caramelized, they become incredibly sweet and flavorful.  I am not really a brussel sprout fan, but I ate every last one in the roasted veggie recipe.  I had these veggies with a glazed pork loin and they went together wonderfully.

Roasted Vegetable recipe

This pork loin recipe has an array of flavors that I loved.  It has sweet and it has heat (if you want!).  The mix of different flavors that came together wonderfully really made this pork loin recipe a treat.  I accompanied this will roasted veggies, which also have sweetness when carmelized as directed.

Pork loin recipe

Low back pain can have a variety of causes, and also different avenues for cures as well.  This video spotlights some of the more common causes of low back pain, and explains a complicated topic in easy to understand terms.  While surgery is sometimes required, this is not always the case, and should be the last resort.  There are always risks when you go “under the knife”, so this should be done when all other attempts of eliminating back pain have failed.

You also may be interested in these lessons:

Low Back Muscles

Low Back Skeletal Anatomy

Lower back muscles need to be understood if you want to figure out what is causing you lower back pain.  This video takes a complicated topic and makes it easy to understand.  It comes from our 3-time award-winning TV show.  After watching this lesson, you will have an understanding of lower back muscles and understand how easily they can be injured.

If you have lower back pain, first educate yourself with the anatomy of the spine and the muscles surrounding it. This lesson from Sensible Fitness Personal Training is on the skeletal anatomy of the spine.  The video seen here puts everything into easy to understand terms and is taken from our 3-time award-winning educational television program.

Mainville personal training client Colleen
Colleen, Mainville, OH

Colleen is a semi-private personal training client from Mainville that has Multiple Sclerosis but it does not stop her from achieving a higher quality of life.  Here is her story….

My husband Marty and I started working with Sensible Fitness back in February and my main goal when I started this journey was to improve my overall health.

I was apprehensive when I started because I have MS and really wasn’t sure what I was going to be able to handle. I am not someone who let’s my disease define me but never pushed myself when it came to exercising and fitness. With help of my personal trainer, it turns out that I was a lot stronger than I thought. While my 25 lbs weight loss isn’t anywhere close to Marty’s 70 lbs, I do see changes. Over the past couple of weeks, I had a couple of events that validated my progress and commitment to this lifestyle. The first was during a business trip to NYC, I was able to climb to the top of ‘The Vessel’. ‘The Vessel’ is a new tourist attraction in NYC that you can climb to the top to get great views of the city and is 18 flights of the stairs to the top. I would have never had been able to climb to the top if I hadn’t committed to changing my lifestyle back in February. The second was during a family event where I had so many people mention that I looked great and for the first time in awhile I actually liked how I looked in the pictures.

I can’t wait to see how I feel and look after the next 6 months. Thanks for having such a positive impact on my life.


Jared walking

Many of you that came into Sensible Fitness in the morning got a chance to meet Jared Lorenzen.  Jared was a superstar quarterback with Kentucky Wildcats, and went into to the NFL and played with the NY Giants, where he earned a Superbowl ring.

Jared started with me a number of months ago to gain control of his health and quality of life.  It is incredibly sad for me to report that Jared became ill with multiple health issues and passed away as a result.  He was a super nice guy and incredibly quick witted.  I loved bantering with him.  He will be missed dearly.  He was 38 years young and had 2 children.

personal training client Marty, holding dumbbell

Personal training client, Marty, has lost over 50 pounds and 5 pant sizes since he started with us, less than 6 months ago!  When he started, his ankle arthritis was a huge limitation to his quality of life.  It was difficult to even walk without pain.  Today he is walking 30 minutes a day, and being encouraged by his personal trainer to start bumping up the speed and incline on the treadmill.

Congratulations on your weight loss and improved quality of life Marty!

Personal training client Ryan with parents

Congratulation is in order to personal training client Ryan Davis!  He just graduated college with a degree in Civil Engineering from Valparaiso University.

Many of my long-term clients have seen Ryan grow up before their eyes, as he came to Sensible Fitness as a freshman in high school when he started personal training to prepare him for football.  Those that have been around Ryan know that he is a motivated and ambitious man.  Before he even graduated high school, his list of accomplishments is longer than what most people acquire in their entire life.

~ Rescue scuba diver

~ Eagle Scout

~ Lettered in 4 years of high school football

~ Award of Courage from the National Football Foundation

~ 2nd place in power lifting at the World Dwarf Games, competing at age 16 against men of all ages.

And now he is a graduate of  Valparaiso University!  He will be working for Michigan Department of Transportation, and living in Kalamazoo.

Tax deductible personal training in Cincinnati

You can have tax deductible personal training in Cincinnati.
If you are overweight and have a medical condition because of this (high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, the list is long…), the IRS allows you to pay for a weight loss program (your personal training program) through your health savings account.  You may also be able to pay for your personal training through a health insurance policy if you have a flexible spending account, or a cafeteria plan.
Clients in the past have gotten a prescription for a “weight loss program” from their doctor and submitted that with a receipt from Sensible Fitness Personal Training for reimbursement.  We cannot bill the insurance company.  You need to pay for your program and then get reimbursed.
Details of this are seen in Publication 969 from the IRS.  It is only a “weight loss program” that can qualify for tax deductible personal training in Cincinnati, and not training desired for other reasons.


Greg has joined the personal trainer team at Sensible Fitness.  Greg has a bachelors in Physical Education, along with personal trainer certification since 1999.
He is a big Red’s fan and enjoys summer days at Great American Ball Park.
He and his wife, Robyn, have 3 children all under the age of 5 and live in Montgomery.
Welcome to Sensible Fitness Greg!

Bobby after losing 50 pounds

Bobby Revis is pictured here after losing 50 pounds.  He left us for awhile but emailed me a few days ago and said he was in a hospital bed getting ready for surgery the next day for a broken femur he suffered in a fall.  He was asking to return to Sensible Fitness after his surgery and continue his journey to better health.  I told Bobby that we would make the rest of his life, the best of his life.  Sadly, Bobby died from a blood clot after this surgery, just hours after he emailed me.

Bobby will be remembered by myself and others for his huge heart and comical nicknames he had for a variety of exercises.  “Rolling Thunder” was the bag flip, pulling the tire was a “Drag”, and the list goes on.  I always called Bobby “Champ”, and he was just that.

Here is an anatomy lesson featuring the triceps and the bones that they are attached to.  This comes straight from my TV show and is the most complimented segment on the show.   Enjoy…

arm fat aka arm flab

We have all been guilty of it at one point or another. Doing a few extra arms exercises to help get rid of arm flab. Although your gut feeling may tell you that blasting the arms with exercise will burn the arm fat, reality is that this theory is far from the truth. Spot reduction is a huge myth that is alive a well!

The fat that accumulates on the arms, or any other part of the body, is stored energy and to get rid of it you must burn the stored energy. While strengthening exercises can add significant muscle tone, the amount of calories this type of exercise expends is very limited. You can perform endless arm exercises and never see the muscle tone you are gaining, unless you lower your calorie intake or burn the fat that blankets your arms.

Research has been done with tennis players who get much more exercise with one arm than another and when the amount of body fat is measured in each arm, they are equal. When your body burns fat for energy, it grabs it from throughout your body but you will notice the most reduction where you store it the most, which for many is the midsection. You must create a deficit of 3500 calories through exercise, diet, or more easily a combination of the two, in order to burn one pound of fat.

It’s really a catch-22 that applies to every part of your body. If you have firm muscles that are covered by a layer of fat, you will have a soft and sloppy appearance. But at the same holds true if you fail to exercise, because exercise is what gives muscles a firm appearance. You must eat clean and exercise to have a lean and tone look. Sorry, no way around it!

Depending on your fitness goals, targeting any muscle 2-3 times per week with strength training of proper intensity (this means tough workouts!) will offer considerable improvements in strength, shape, and firmness. Hitting the arms with a variety of different exercises it best. This variety sculpts the muscle from many different angles, which enhances its appearance greatly!

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Sensible Fitness TV show

Sensible Fitness is dedicated to community service and broadcasts two fitness educational programs since 1999. Sensible Fitness and Real People, Real Fitness can be seen throughout the Greater Cincinnati area on Spectrum Cable and Cincinnati Bell Fioptics.  To see the airing schedule, click here.

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I am very skeptical of trendy weight loss schemes, as they result in just that, trendy weight loss.  Trends end, and so does your weight loss with these schemes.  The term “detox” has been in the spotlight for awhile now, and I have not endorsed a detox program until now.  I have found the detox that has shown incredible success, both in the short term and the long term.  I am surprised that no Hollywood stars have jumped on this one and made a million, as it is the only detox that has been medically proven.

To see the Google post of this, click here.

Sensible Fitness on Local 12 News

Recently the local news station invited Sensible Fitness down to not only spotlight the incredible success of Susan Ernst (client), but also to show the viewers some exercises for your butt and gut.

The footage of the exercises start at the 14:00 mark!


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Personal training in Blue Ash resulted in weight loss

Cancer survivor, Susan Ernst, came to Sensible Fitness to become healthier and to live a higher quality of life.  The side effect of every day healthy habits is weight loss, and as you can see the results are dramatic.

Local 12 news picked up on her story and invited us down to the studio so her story could be shared with others.


I have talked about the misleading information seen on food labels.  If something is portrayed as healthy, that is an immediate red flag to check out the ingredients label and make sure you are not being lied to.  Surprisingly, a bottle of water is no exception.  There are often many additives in your water.  And if a water claims to be a “nutritional compass” as this one did, I am instantly skeptical.  Manufacturers will do anything, even deceive, to get you to buy their product.  It all comes down to capturing the money in your wallet, and not your health or well-being.

Watch this video and see what I mean!

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Last year I had a “Walking You Through Weight Loss” series, in which I asked you to make periodic changes to your lifestyle.  The small changes, by year’s end, would end up being realized with the huge differences a healthy lifestyle brings.  This video is a recap of those lifestyle traits.  Remember that weight loss, muscle tone, higher energy, etc. etc….is a by-product of a healthy lifestyle.  Quit chasing trendy diets and workouts.  Focus on changing your lifestyle and your weight loss goals will be realized permanently.

When three current preindustrial societies in Africa and Bolivia were studied, they found that they slept better, but less than current industrialized societies.  These people did not have computers, streaming video, or even electric lighting.

It was found that these groups had an average of 6.4 hours of sleep each night, with and extra hour during winter months.  These people also never nap, and nearly no one suffered from insomnia.  In none of their languages is a word for insomnia!  And most slept outside or in huts.

While we in America have sleep number beds, memory foam, and 10,000 thread-count-sheets, we are terrible at sleeping.  Some experts say that it is not the hours of sleep that you get that are important, but rather that you feel rested.  They also said it was not the change from day to night that affected sleep patterns as much as the temperature change.  And with our climate controlled homes, this can be difficult unless you program your thermostat accordingly.

While this study was only performed on 94 people, who were quite healthy, there was much to be learned from these “primitive people” by modern societies.

At Sensible Fitness, we have often spotlighted the sugar that are added into foods.  This added sugar becomes the enemy of weight loss, because of its high quantity in what some would think are reasonably healthy foods, like blueberry muffins.

When blueberry muffins were looked at by Action on Sugar and the Obesity Health Alliance, they found a blueberry muffin can have up to 8 teaspoons of sugar.  This is a full day’s worth of sugar.  They also found big variations between muffins sold in supermarkets, and those in convenience stores which had much more sugar.  A blueberry muffin can have as much sugar as a chocolate bar!

Part of the problem is that food labeling can sometimes be lacking at times.  Reading a food label is a mandatory part of a healthy lifestyle, as you simply cannot trust food manufactures.  If something is labeled as “healthy”, this is a warning sign to read the ingredients and confirm.

There are muffins that can have under 20 grams of sugar, which is not bad.  Remember that some foods naturally have sugars, like blueberries, but it is the added sugar that really needs to be watched.

Muffins will not help weight loss

Kathy has lost well over 100 pounds!

New research is showing that lifting weights can give the heart a bigger boost of health than does cardio.

Looking at more that 4,000 people indicated that both forms of exercise are beneficial, and resulted in 30-70% decrease in cardiovascular disease risk factors, but strength training can often have a more intense oxygen expenditure and thus be more beneficial.

The most important thing is emphasized…make sure you are performing some form of physical activity.

To read the entire article, click here.

To lose weight, you need to live a healthy lifestyle, and enjoying a treat without guilt is a part of a healthy lifestyle.  So eat a cupcake!  When the vast majority of your habits are healthy, when you slip in something unhealthy, it does not have a big impact on your weight.  However, if you eat a treat and beat yourself up with guilt or shame, that is unhealthy and these issues need to be addressed…because a diet with not fix these feelings.

To see your Google post on this topic, click here.

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