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 meatloaf is a solid recipe.  I love meatloaf that is juicy with a wide spectrum of flavor, and this has it all.

juicy meatloaf recipe

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!

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.

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.

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

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.


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.

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!

To see our Google post on 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!


To see our Google post, click here.

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!

To see our google post, click here.

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.

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.

If you want to shape, sculpt, or increase tone in your body, there is only one way to do it.  It happens to be the same thing that will increase your metabolism, which is the biggest calorie burn of each and every day.  In this 7th edition of Walking You Through Weight Loss, we are asking you to make a change to your habits, but only 2 or 3 times per week.  This alone will shower you with all sorts of great changes to your body.

Here is a big weight loss tip, especially during the winter months when the weather does not always cooperate.  This is lesson #8 in our Walking You Through Weight Loss series.  In this series, we ask you to make one simple periodic lifestyle change, that adds up to habits that make huge changes to your health and quality of life.

To see our Google post, click here.

Make small changes, over time, to your lifestyle and end up with big results.  Here is one more small change to your routine to make a habit!  Your habits are also known as your lifestyle, and if you live a healthy lifestyle it will reflect in the mirror and in your quality of life.

To see our Google post of this topic, click here.

Did you parents ever give you food to calm you down when upset?  How about a cookie to help that skinned knee?  Recent research show that instances like this lead a child to have an unhealthy relationship with food.  Saying that in fact, emotional eating is learned, not inherited.

This unhealthy relationship, or attitude towards food, can certainly lead to obesity.  And in cases where people eat less when emotional, can lead to anorexia or other disorders.

A recent study was done with both identical and non-identical twins, with half having obese parent, and half having healthy weight parents.  The results showed that environment had more influence that genes.

What do you do with this information?  If you are a parent, avoid using food to soothe your child.  Teach them another way to deal with emotions.  If you are an adult with emotional eating problems, this is empowering information to help you direct your efforts toward a healthier lifestyle!  Rather than beating yourself up with trendy diets….look at how you are feeling when you eat, and why you are eating.

The only feeling that eating will cure is hunger.

For more on this….

A doctor recently told me that in medical school, they only had a few days dedicated to nutrition, and less than that dedicated to the positive effects of exercise.  With some reports saying that 80% of medical conditions can be linked to lifestyle, why do doctors spend more time learning about medications than they do nutrition and exercise?

This lack of training for doctors, certainly steers them into the direction of prescription drugs, simply because they know about this topic.  Unfortunately, drugs do not change lifestyles, so when a person gets a pill, the underlying issue affecting their health is still present.  It is simply masked by a drug.  I have said in the past that prescription from a doctor is a “permission slip” to keep living an unhealthy lifestyle.

A big part of the problem is that some patients do not want to change their lifestyle, so a drug is required to improve their quality of life and reduce risk of death.  So the doctors can find themselves in no-win situation in this case.

The editor-in-chief for a major medical journal recently said that the same level of quality and scrutiny should be applied to research into preventative medicine (nutrition, exercise, etc.) as has been with prescription drugs.  This, in conjunction with added education on this topic in medical school would be a great start to a healthier population.

After working with thousands in the health and fitness arena you can easily begin to make fairly accurate generalizations. One generalization that I can make is that many people have two common misperceptions. One being a misperception of one’s true appearance, and the other being a misperception of what an intense workout really feels like. This generalization I make was recently reinforced by a study that showed that 70% of obese people think that they eat healthy and 40% feel that they exercise intensely. The study went onto to confirm that most of the people did not realize that they were clinically obese and they obviously did not know what intense exercise was.

Have you ever seen someone obese and say “how could they let themselves get that way?” I have said that on many occasions, but it is now easier for me to understand after seeing hundreds of people who think they are a little overweight find out through a body mass index that they are actually clinically obese. The body mass index (BMI) is the accepted test for obesity by those in the medical community (there is a free BMI at I have broken the pride of many with a BMI test, it is often a unexpected reality check for people.

I can share many experiences of those with misperceptions of their appearance, from the very thin person who thinks they are fat, to the 180 woman (grade 2 obesity) who thought she “looked like a ballerina” after losing some weight. My point is that it is very easy for someone to look at themselves in the mirror with rose colored glasses on, especially when the weight creeps on slowly over a period of years. You simply get used to seeing the added weight and grow to accept it. That is when a BMI test can be quite the reality check, “Oh my God! I’m obese?!”

Ok, so your vision may be a little distorted, and very few friends or loved ones have the guts to tell you how you really look. So what do you do to get an accurate answer? Take the free BMI test….just Google it!

Another misperception that exists among people of all fitness levels is an inaccurate perception of high exertion. More often than not a person may feel as if they are really pushing themselves during a workout, when in fact they are nowhere close. This leads to limited results in weight loss and plateaus with muscle tone in both men and women.

For a muscle fiber to increase it’s firmness or tone, you must have a properly established program executed at the proper intensity level. Many veteran exercisers have come to Sensible Fitness to learn how to break through a fitness plateau and are astonished that they not only have been performing the wrong program for years but they also have not been pushing themselves hard enough, the latter of which happens easily when training alone.

As a physical therapy professional I have used 5-pound dumbbells to strengthen the frail elderly in nursing homes and yet fitness videos and group exercise classes still try to create the illusion that the young and middle-aged population can sculpt a fit and trim body with them. Give me a break! A 5-pound dumbbell might be challenging for a novice female performing exercises for her shoulders, but that is the only muscle group. Lifting these light weights for a high number of reps, as done with videos and classes, may help a little with muscular endurance but it will have very little or no affect on gaining muscle tone or sculpting.

Exercise is a science. It involves chemistry, physiology, kinesiology, and more. Too many people are establishing their workouts from fitness magazines, from “monkey see monkey do” at the gym, or from what they did in high school 20 years ago. Medical science has proven that the intensity of your workouts should be dictated by your fitness goal. A specific intensity (reps, sets, rest, and overall volume) is prescribed if your goals are to increase muscle mass, to increase muscle tone without gaining mass, to increase strength maximally, etc. The majority of people are not educated in the field of exercise science and are putting their blood, sweat, and tears into a misdirected workout. This leads to a misperception that one is exercising intensely, when actually they do not know the proper intensity level for their fitness goals.

To understand what a properly established workout “feels like”, it takes a personal visit to a knowledgeable trainer. It will cost you less than a round of golf or a trip to the hair stylist, but it will forever give you the education needed to give you the optimum results for your time spent exercising.

Before you blame being overweight on genetics, you first must consider that genes do not change over a few generations.  So if your distant relatives are thin, chances are your genes are not to blame.  We often learn the foundation of the lifestyle we live at a young age.  Things like what types of foods we eat, how we cope with emotional highs and lows, rewarding good behavior with food, getting ice cream when you fell on your bike and scraped your knee, the list goes on!!!

In order to succeed with weight loss, it is best to get an accurate diagnosis of the problem.  Is it genetic, or lifestyle?

To see our Google post for this, click here.

I am asking you to make one lifestyle change per month…only one!  If you do this…YOU WILL BE SKINNY!

To see our Google post, click here.

Even though experts have long told us that a health diet can help prevent things like obesity, cancer,  and heart disease, we still do not get nearly enough.

Here is an interesting article from the Guardian:

Only a sliver of Americans eat enough fresh fruits and vegetables, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Just 12% of Americans eat the minimum daily fruit recommendation of one and a half to two cups per day, and only 9% consume the minimum daily vegetable recommendation of two to three cups per day, according to the study, published on Thursday.

“The study confirms years of data demonstrating that Americans do not eat their veggies,” Marion Nestle, a professor of nutrition and food studies at New York University, told the Guardian. “Assuming this result is close to reality, it suggests the need for taking much stronger action to make it easier and cheaper to eat fruits and vegetables.”

The study, which broke out groups of Americans by state, class, race and gender, found some subgroups were even less likely to eat enough produce.

Men, young adults and people living in poverty all had especially low rates of fruit and vegetable intake. While 15.1% of women eat the recommended amount of fruit each day ,just 9.2% of men do the same. Similarly, 11.4% of wealthy Americans eat enough vegetables, but only 7% of poor people did the same.

Because a poor diet is linked to cancer, obesity, heart disease and diabetes, public health authorities have long endorsed a diet rich in fruit and vegetables.

Sarah Reinhardt, a nutritionist and food systems analyst at the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS), said there was a growing awareness about the importance of healthy foods. “We have a lot more work to do to make sure they reach every corner of the country,” she said.

The CDC’s findings also showed the disparities in fruit and vegetable consumption by state. For example, just 2.2% of South Dakotans between 18 and 30 years old eat the recommended daily serving of vegetables.

People in West Virginia, which often tops lists of the least healthy and poorest US states, were the least likely to get enough vegetables on average – just 5.8% of West Virginians ate the recommended amount.

Residents of Alaska were most likely to eat the recommended amount of vegetables, though the percentage is low – only 12% of adults there eat enough.

Improving these rates is particularly challenging because just 2% of US farmland is devoted to growing fruits and vegetables, according to UCS. Reinhardt said farmers would need to grow almost twice as much produce just for Americans to get the recommended amount of servings.

“The food industry is not exactly working with public health on this, there’s a multimillion-dollar industry working to get people to eat [processed foods],” Reinhardt said.

The new research comes from the CDC’s 2015 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, which looks at how Americans eat and behave. Researchers called American adults’ landlines and cellphones and asked how often people eat beans, dark greens, orange vegetables, “other” vegetables, whole fruit and fruit juice.

The Lancet, a medical journal, published some interesting lifestyle factors that can contribute to dementia.  Some of these caught me by surprise.  Here are things that can add to the risk of dementia…

~Mid-life hearing loss

~Failing to complete secondary education

~ Smoking

~Failing to seek early treatment for depression

~ Lack of physical activity

~Social isolation

~High blood pressure

~ Obesity

~Type 2 diabetes

Your body needs sleep, and here is a quick list of reasons why.

~ We are told to get 8 hours for a reason.  Both under and over sleeping is linked to poor health.

~ Poor sleep habits have been linked to obesity, high blood pressure, heart disease, and diabetes to name a few.

~ When you don’t get enough sleep, you are robbed of certain “stages” of sleep that are very beneficial.

~ People with disturbed sleep cycles get sick more often.

~ Studies actually show that we are no more sleep deprived than generations before us.

~ Phones are keeping teens awake and they are at risk of becoming sleep deprived from the start.

~ More light exposure during the day and less at night can actually affect your “body clock”, which prepares you for sleep.

Here is a interesting graphic:

number of hours of sleep

See entire article.

Page 1 of 51 2 3 5

Sensible Fitness Personal Training
© 2015 All Rights Reserved

11145 Luschek Drive, Cincinnati, OH 45241
513-530-LEAN (5326)

Follow us: