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Archives for October 2013

There are many reasons that prevent people from losing weight, but ultimately, they all boil down to the thoughts that become habitual.

In other words, we need to make a few shifts in our mindset.

Here are the two mindset shifts that encourage weight loss:

  • Patience v long-term persistence & consistency
  • Consensus thinking v advice based thinking

Lack of patience v long-term persistence & consistency

In reality, you never really know close you are from achieving your goals.

It doesn’t matter if you want six pack abs, wants 10 pounds of muscle, or want to 10 pounds of fat, the same principles apply. Many of us throw in the towel right as we are turning the results corner.

So, be patient and persistent, and remember that anything worthwhile takes time. If your goal is to lose weight, realize that you didn’t gain the excess weight overnight, so you can’t possibly lose it all overnight.

Stay the course, be consistent, and you will see results.

Consensus thinking v advice based on proven results

Unfortunately, conventional fitness advice has hindered the dreams of many people.

Many people give up on their dream body because they exercise and diet so hard, for weeks or months, without seeing any real results…

I know this feeling first hand. It’s almost a feeling of betrayal (I did everything I was told, and ended up with nothing).

This was me for a long time. I was bouncing around from program to program, doing what I was told by the experts. And I got only minor results.

Conventional wisdom tells you to do a lot of cardio. Right! The treadmill is your best friend.

And…Eat 6 small meals a day, making sure to keep your total calorie consumption as low as possible.

Here’s where reality steps in. It’s simply NOT sustainable.

Sure, if you run for hours and eat like a bird, you’ll lose weight…  But who has the time or means to do that forever?

The reality show, “biggest loser” is a good example. Take a look at the past contestants. The commonality is that many of them have put on plenty of weight since the show.

This is a common theme for many people who lose weight. In fact, it’s so common that it has been termed the “yo-yo” effect. Weight comes off – then it goes back on.

A simple mindset shift means you can avoid this weight loss pitfall. Avoid following the conventional advice, and look at health and physique of the person who is offering an opinion. It doesn’t stop there.

Ask yourself, “what do they have to gain by telling me this”? Be cautious and question everything, even the advice you get from me.

Bottom line… I want you to get into a habit of this. Do your own research.

To sum this up…

1. Practice persistence in your life. You can do this every day, and your ability to persist will grow stronger.

2. Don’t follow conventional fitness advice. Find someone who you can trust in the fitness world. Find someone (or a few people) who provide you with honest information, and walks the talk. Support is important to not only losing weight but to keep weight off. HIIT MAX™ ELITE can help you get this support by providing you with a community of like-minded people and continual workouts and advice.

Making these simple shifts in thinking will have a big impact on your results. Remember, it all starts with your thoughts. Don’t underestimate the power of them.

In this post and video, you’ll learn:

  • How to know if your training for mass, strength or endurance
  • Why TUT matters
  • Why you need to vary your workouts
  • Ways you can apply TUT

What’s your fitness goal?

Want to get bigger, stronger or leaner?

If so, then the “time under tension” concept is something that you need to pay attention to. This is something very rarely talked about in fitness circles.

By just focusing on the total amount of time during each set, you can train your muscles to respond in the appropriate way.

The more you make this a habit, the quicker you will reach your goal (either weight loss, strength building or muscle mass).

The obvious next question is:

How to know if you’re training for mass, strength or endurance

Well, you can do this by manipulating rest, reps and set time. However, there is also another more powerful way. In simple terms, this is done by changing your set timing technique. This is what’s known as “time under tension”.

TUT is a way to calculate the total amount of work that you place on your muscles. It also refers to the amount of resistance you place on your muscles for a given set.

For example, you have the concentric phase of a movement and the eccentric phase (see the video for a clear example). If both phases took 3 seconds to complete, the TUT time for that repetition is 6 seconds.

So, if your set includes 10 reps, then each set contains 60 seconds of time under tension. Obviously, if you work faster, then the TUT will be shorter (and give you different results).

⚡ Related: Learn How to Gain 10lbs of Muscle in 8 Weeks

Why TUT matters to you

It is important so that you train in the right range to meet your goals (either building muscle mass, strength or muscular endurance).

Let’s look at what the recent studies show us:

  • If your goal is strength – aim for 1-6 reps per set, with 20 seconds of less TUT.
  • If your goal is muscle mass – aim for 8-12 reps per set, with 60 seconds TUT.
  • If your goal is endurance – aim for 15-30 reps per set with 90 seconds TUT.

If you are not falling into the right rep range, then you will actually be training your body for another goal. For obvious reasons, you need to know what you are doing in each rep, so you can adjust your TUT for your stated goals.

As such, you can see that this information is very valuable to ensure you stay on track and hit your goals. TUT will let you train for your specific goals.

This means you will need a stopwatch or to use a partner to keep track of time.

On caveat: Always vary your workouts

If you have seen my other videos, then you will know that I advocate muscle confusion. I like to say: “keep your muscles guessing – keep your muscle growing”.

This means that you still need to make changes to your workouts as you progress. Never simply stick to one type of workout program, as your body will soon adapt.

In terms of TUT, you should vary the time and the rep numbers, but stay within your target range.

Start Applying TUT in your workout

Start to think about the amount of time your muscles are under tension. This can be done during every repetition that you work through.

If you start to focus on a specific number of seconds for each rep, you will find your muscles respond in a much more specific way (in line with your goals).

For more challenging workouts, check out HIIT MAX™, a training program based on high-intensity interval training, designed to show you real results!

Let’s get fit together!

I’m sure you’ve heard the calories in vs. calories out argument.

It goes something like this…

If you want to lose weight, all you need to do is create a calorie deficit. To do this, simply eat fewer calories than you burn each day.

I hear this all the time, even by many so-called health experts.

But this statement is not completely true. In fact, it neglects to mention a very important part of the weight loss process.

You see, it is vital that you take the source of the calories into account. No one can claim that the calories from a cheeseburger are equivalent to the calories from a bowl of fruit.

And yet, this common mantra persists.

As a side note, the proponents of the low-fat diet make the same mistake, which is something I will address in another blog post.

For now, realize that a label with “low calorie” printed on it does not make any indication of health or nutritional quality. Many times, food manufacturers like to use these labels, as they know people will confuse them as a sign of health.

Not all calories are created equal

Various studies have shown that not all calories are alike. It is very important to know that the quality of the calories you eat will determine the number of calories that you burn.

This is because the calories that are digested have a major impact on the body’s metabolism. For example, calories from protein will increase your metabolism, leading to more fat burning potential.

Eat calories that increase your metabolism

Keep in mind – you want to eat calories that increase your metabolism, allow your body to burn calories efficiently and keep off the excess pounds. You should also look at foods that prevent a surge of blood sugar when digested (as this will avoid a spike in insulin – which leads to fat storage).

As such, the best foods in this regard (and coincidentally the most healthy) are healthy fats, fruits, vegetables, eggs, nuts, seeds and lean meats.

⚡ Related: Learn How to Easily Calculate How Many Calories You Need

Certain calories slow your metabolism

As noted above, what you eat will affect your metabolism. Foods with a high glycemic index will eventually lead to a slower metabolism, meaning weight gain (the glycemic index measures the rate of digested food and how quickly it converts to glucose, before entering the bloodstream).

So, if you want to lose weight and burn fat from your body, you MUST remove processed foods, refined carbohydrates, and sugars from your diet.

Doing this will ensure that the majority of your calories are from whole foods, which are nutritious and healthy. This will help to build a lean body and you will notice weight loss each week.

In summary, don’t fall into the calories in v calories out fallacy. In fact, you don’t really need to count calories at all if you simply eat whole, natural foods.

I get the frustration as you begin to try and figure out what you should and shouldn’t be eating to get to your desired goals, so let us take care of that for you. Let one of our expert nutritionists design a Custom Meal Plan based on you and your needs.

the-1-reason-people-fail-to-lose-weight-banner

Here’s a quick question for you:

What’s the #1 mistake that prevents people from losing weight?

In my experience, the answer is simple.

Keep reading after the video to learn how you can progress:

  • Exercise
  • Repetition
  • Resistance
  • Rest

Progression (or lack of it)

Here’s the deal… So many people work out every day, yet they don’t get the results they want. Why? Usually, it’s because of a misunderstanding of one vital element – progression.

Look, progression in exercise means you’re increasing the difficulty of your workout by manipulating one or more of the following:

1. Exercise

2. Repetition

3. Resistance

4. Rest

The progressive overload principle states that in order to make progress (bigger muscles, more strength or a more efficient energy system) your muscles must be continually challenged with new training stimuli, or they’ll cease to adapt.

So, we all need to learn to be comfortable with the uncomfortable and to get outside of our comfort zone.

This could translate into lifting more weight, do more reps, implement harder exercises or simply perform them faster.

Once that becomes comfortable, get uncomfortable again. Once you start to get comfortable with your workout, that means it is time to modify it so that it stays effective. This is what training is all about —continuous progression and muscle confusion.

With this in mind, never ever sacrifice proper form. This is non-negotiable. Sacrificing proper form can result in injury and

Here’s the slogan I love to repeat to my clients:

“Keep the muscles guessing, keep the muscles growing”.

Here are some simple methods to ensure you’re always progressing toward your health and fitness goals.

1. Progress Your Exercises 

As obvious as this one may be, it’s often overlooked. When progressing your exercises they should gradually become more and more challenging.

Performing the same exercises week after week isn’t going to have the same impact as switching them up to make your routine more challenging.

So, if you want to lose more weight or build more muscle, switch things up.

2. Progress Your Reps

When progressing your reps, first make sure you are using proper form throughout each and every set. Sometimes just tweaking your form is enough to add just the right amount of difficulty to your routine.

After you have reached a near perfect form, only then begin to slowly add reps based on your current physical limitations.

It’s recommended that you add 1-2 reps to each set while keeping the weight and rest periods the same.

3. Progress Your Weight

This is the most common method of progressing from one workout to the next.

This big problem here is that many trainees do it wrong. The problem isn’t the eagerness to move more weight, instead, their form hasn’t been perfected at the lower weight yet.

“Practice does not make perfect. Only perfect practice makes perfect. – Vince Lombardi”

Make no mistake, for successful results and a lower risk of injury, it’s best to perform full-range-of-motion reps with lighter weight than performing sloppy reps with a heavier weight.

The general rule of thumb when increasing resistance is to complete two or more repetitions above the desired repetition range, but do this in the last set, in two consecutive workouts for any given exercise.

Once this has been accomplished, you can increase the weight by 2%-10% depending on your physical capability.

4. Rest (Time in between sets)

When decreasing your rest in between sets, keep the weight and rep/set scheme the same. This increases the difficulty of the exercise as you’re challenging your body to recover faster.

After you have successfully made this progression then increase the weight as well as the rest periods and start over with this progression.

⚡ Related: Learn Why Taking A Rest Day is So Important

Summary

Progression is vital in your weight loss journey. In my experience, it is the #1 mistake that prevents people from losing weight.

Use the steps given above to analyze your own workouts, and then see where you make one progression today. If you do this, you will begin to see your physique transform.

If you want a workout that progresses, check out HIIT MAX™ and HIIT MAX™ Volume II, my fitness programs that are both challenging and progresses so you can continue to lose weight.

Let’s get fit together!

 

7-snacks-that-ignite-your-metabolism-banner

We all get hungry between meals. But, instead of reaching for cookies, you can snack on healthy foods that will actually help you burn the flab.

Sounds too good to be true?

Well, here’s the science behind these foods: certain foods contain a high thermogenic effect (the way it allows the body to generate heat or energy as it is digested). This results in a much higher metabolism over a period of time.

Best Healthy Fruits To Ignite Your Metabolism

Lemon 

Lemon helps with fat loss because it’s a digestive aid and it helps to cleanse the liver. Besides this, it comes with a list of other health benefits.

Lemon is antibacterial, antiviral, and contains tons of immune-boosting powers.

Snack options: I eat it throughout the day, and so can you. I drink a lot of water and so should you. Squeeze into your ice water. Add it to chicken and fish dishes. I also add it to any juices I blend.

Hot Peppers

Capsaicin is the compound in chili peppers that give them their kick. They essentially heat up your body, allowing you to melt away some extra calories. A perfect snack option when you’re on the run.

Snack options: I have been adding peppers to all sorts of dishes. I am not a spicy-hit freak, so I add them sparingly. But, peppers of all kinds add fuel to your metabolic fire.

Freshly Diced peppers are the best, but at the very least, try adding some cayenne pepper to your beef and poultry dishes.

They will keep your metabolism revved up.

Green Tea

Many studies show that green tea extract increased thermogenesis. Credit EGCG (a compound in green tea brew) responds by speeding up your metabolism.

Snack options: drink it either hot or cold, depending on the time of year and your climate. Another tip to turbocharge its fat burning effect is by consuming it first thing in the morning, before anything else. It will wake you up too.

To increase your intake, keep a jug of iced green tea in the fridge (at work and at home).

Lean Meats

Lean meats have a high thermogenic effect due to the protein. In fact, you’ll actually burn 30% of the calories that the food contains during digestion. In other words, if you eat a chicken breast containing a few hundred calories, your body will burn 90 of them during the digestive process.

Snack options: I try to consume some meat at every meal. I recommend high-quality lean meats. I usually tend to eat more grass-fed beef & cage free organic chicken. However, this certainly isn’t an all or nothing proposition. Do the best you can.

Special mention: Steve’s original sells a quality grass-fed beef stick that I eat almost every day.

Almond Butter

Almond butter is rich in omegas, high in riboflavin, folate, vitamin E, and niacin.

I probably eat more of this than I should. Thankfully it’s good for me. It doesn’t speed up your metabolism but it’s a great source of high-quality fats and protein, and a little goes a long way.

Here’s why I have included it in my top 7: most of us would admit to giving into our sweet tooth, at least a few times a month. And almond butter satisfies that craving for me.

It’s leaps and bounds better to have a little almond butter, which has virtually no sugar and very little carbs, as opposed to snacking on candy.

Snack options: I drop a tsp. or two on a few apple wedges, and presto!

However, my favorite variety is nuts n more cinnamon raisin almond butter. It’s the best I’ve ever had. It’s all natural with no added sugar, and they pack it full of extra protein, omegas, and flax. Winning!

Do your body a favor and reach for the almond butter instead of the horrible sugary products that give you an instant high, followed by a sickening low.

Berries

This one is for all those sugar addicts out there. Yes, you can burn body-fat by eating berries and enjoy the experience. Berries can be also be taken anywhere (just throw them in a plastic container).

Berries are the way to satisfy a sweet tooth. They are extremely rich in antioxidants and relatively low in carbs compared to other fruits.

Snack options: Aim for a 1/2 cup of berries every day. Look, you could even throw some almond butter on them… Shh… Don’t tell anyone I told you. Giving away all my secrets. 🙂

Eggs 

Studies show that eating eggs in the morning can help you manage hunger and help to decrease calorie consumption throughout the day. Don’t worry about “the great yolk debate”, it’s good for you despite what some may claim.

The yolk actually contains the majority of the healthy nutrients such as omega 3s, folate, vitamin A  & D and potassium.

Snack options: I eat eggs all day long, and always in the mornings. More often than not, I toss a few eggs into the skillet along with some greens, onions and some lean meat.

Call it a smorgasbord if you will but I absolutely love it. I love it so much I often have more for dinner. I’ll toss a couple eggs and some greens in with some grass fed lean ground beef. Try it. You’ll love me for it.

Hard-boiled eggs are a great snack option too… Easy to make a dozen at once and save them for the week.

Summary

So, now you have lots of snack ideas that will help you burn fat, feel full and energetic. They are all easily found in any supermarket or local store. Nothing too complicated here.

Start adding these fat burning foods to your diet and daily routine. Throw some of them in your bag when you head out to work or school (eggs, berries, apple wedges with a little almond butter, a bottle of green tea).

With these snacks ready to go, you stay on track with your goals, get lean while you work and never feel deprived again.

Of course, what you eat is only part of the equation. You must also be working out to stay healthy and this is why I created my training programs, such as HIIT MAX™, which comes with both a training guide, as well as a nutrition guide.

Let’s get fit together!

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