Friday, March 26, 2010

Three Classic Weight Loss Stories

December 2009, I have an opportunity to expand my services outside the Sports Center again. This time it's an insurance company that has a fitness room in their building. Of the 90-some employees, six ladies sign up to train with me. My baseline and recurring test numbers revolve around simply a weekly weigh-in and 5-site circumference measurements. Could have gone more tech but a third party is doing the bodyfat percentages, besides women want to know two things with fitness results: weight loss & size or inches lost.

I tell clients in this demographic that one of three things will happen with embarking on a fitness/ weight loss program with me. The following are three distinctly different real world stories.


Started and ended at the same weight over the course of 2 months. Even though JD didn't experience an overall weight loss over the Christmas Holiday season she lost a total of 2 inches. What happened? JD was consistent in her workouts, She did the strength training and the interval running on treadmill as well as elliptical and recumbent bike. However, she didn't clean up her diet. Bright side was she lost inches primarily in the waist, didn't gain weight over the holidays, improved her stamina, balance, coordination and gained strength. Age mid 30's


Took off like a jackrabbit! She lost 5 pounds the first week. She did the same workout routine as JD (5 days a week, about 40 minutes each day). The difference. KB got serious about her eating habits. It became a lifestyle. Sure KB hit plateaus with weight loss and losing inches. But overall she steadily improved. After 3 months KB lost 20 pounds, lost a total of six inches on her body circumference measurements with the majority being in hips and thighs. I now have her on a 5K race training routine (keeping in mind she has exercise induced asthma) in addition to challenging her on strength training. KB proudly wears better fitting clothes- and she should be proud. Age just under 50.


The most classic story and such a great story to tell; JP made sure that I went easy on her. She gave me the laundry list of limiting conditions. Specifically, HER RUNNING DAYS ARE BEHIND HER, so just walk on treadmill and negotiate speed & elevation. With JP the workouts were modified to activities that were appropriate for her fitness level. The first six weeks JP gained 2 inches overall and gained 5 pounds. Her strength and stamina improved and arthritic knee pain was alleviating.

Here's what happened:

Increased activities stimulated increased appetite, but she didn't have the eating habits corrected yet (and yes it is a lifestyle change which takes time).

People new to strength training or re-introduced after a long hiatus will store more water in the muscles as it requires water uptake to allow the muscles to recover.

Together the increased appetite without diet modification and water intake for recovery makes for weight gain.

Next, JP turned the corner. She cleaned up her diet more than she thought she needed to… until we had some talks about the crap that is packaged and sold to us as "food" or rather belly fillers. As JP's weight began to drop and lost some inches, her confidence increased. Being in a group setting with colleagues who were also experiencing life changing results for the better, and a few ladies starting to run intervals or do the 5K training program I set up for them; JP had a "What-If" moment and tried running on the treadmill. She did just fine and the arthritic knee felt good. No flare ups. When I called JP out and reminded her what she said from the beginning about how I would not get her to ever do (RUNNING); She proceeded to reflect and we had this talk.

You know when you get to a certain point where you're at your heaviest and limiting health conditions arise, it's easy to hide inside yourself and accept that the days of fitness and being healthy are over.

It's only until you start thinking about how you take care of yourself directly affects everyone who is important to you. Being overweight comes with the burden of lack of self-esteem.

The paradox is it takes self-esteem to better yourself. This is why it is so difficult to start a fit & healthy lifestyle, in addition to the programming (habits) people have been submitting themselves to for so long.

Thankfully momentum works in both directions (like a pendulum). If you can muster up enough courage and self-preservation to commit to taking back your life, there will be immediate and encouraging results. And as the body adapts to the challenges of exercise along with eating to nourish, you will stop fighting your body and start to become in-tuned with yourself.

As JP said, "I have just experienced a new kind of freedom, realizing I can run again."

Wow! Fitness related to a feeling of freedom.

She followed up, "I was trapped inside my own body for so long." "Now it makes me wonder what else I can do." The whole emotional side of making the transition to a healthy lifestyle is that we need to address our self worth. Are you emotionally prepared to spend time and energy on improving yourself? You should be. After all you are worth it. And to put it bluntly, you are worthless to everyone else if you become so sickly out of shape that you become the one who needs cared for on a variety of levels. Contribute to others by contributing to bettering yourself.

In 3 months, JP lost 14 pounds and 6 inches. Age Lower 50's.

* Just prior to posting this, I happened to visit with JD. She is working out on her own now. The eating habits are still an issue. But she is now off of her cholesterol lowering medication. Next goal is get her blood pressure under control and go off those meds. She replied she's not sure if that will ever happen because it's genetic (whole family has high blood pressure).

My response, "JD don't play that card!" High blood pressure, cholesterol, diabetes... all of these are reversible. Just need to follow the white rabbit to a new world of thinking.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Fitness During Pregnancy

This topic is so big and so very important that I recruited an expert to guest write. Erin is a nutritionist as well as a nurse and proud mother of a charming 1 yr old.

Erin Blackwell Igo

Fitness in pregnancy can be challenging thing. You are not only responsible for your own well-being, but now you are entrusted with the sole responsibility of growing another human being. For some people, pregnancy can be a very difficult time. We spend our entire adult lives trying to be "fit" and maintain an ideal weight. Then one day, we wake up pregnant and are told we must gain weight, let our abdomens grow so we can't see our toes, and buy new HUGE clothes. This can be a struggle in two different ways:

  1. We are so excited for it to be socially acceptable to gain weight that we take "eating for two" literally and gain too much.


  1. We know that we are supposed to gain weight, but have such a hard time giving up our normal jean, that we decide to restrict our diets which can cause substantial harm to the baby.

    The International Organization of Health has set the following pregnancy weight gain guidelines:
    Underweight women- 28 to 40 lbs
    Normal weight women- 25-35 lbs
    Overweight women 15-25 lb
    Obese women 11-20 lbs (although, this is under scrutiny as many studies are showing that obese women can have healthy babies without gaining any weight).

    This weight should not all be gained in the first week. We shouldn't pull out the ice cream claiming we need to gain 35 lbs. In fact, in the first trimester weight gain should only be about 2-5 lbs and caloric intake does not need to be increased. If you are hungry- you are lucky! Eat! But continue to make wise choices. Because calcium and protein needs are greater during pregnancy (protein needs increase to 60 g/day), choose to have a glass of skim milk or opt for a protein snack. After the first 16 weeks, weight gain should average one pound per week and you can increase your calorie intake 300 calories per day. Once again- this shouldn't be seen as opportunity to eat a candy bar everyday because there are 300 extra calories to consume. Add two healthy snacks a day- yogurt, cottage cheese, a handful of nuts, or even a tablespoon of peanut butter.

    Some people follow another train of thought. Instead of "I get to gain 30 pounds??? Bring on the bacon!" they think "I have to be fat and gain how much??" This is normal. In my first trimester I gained 5 lbs, couldn't fit in to any of my clothes, and felt like a fat slob. I knew that the fetus weight was about an ounce at this point and had a really hard time justifying how large I was getting so quickly. But, this is how the weight gain plays out by the end:

    8 lb of baby
    3 lb of amniotic fluid and placenta
    2 lb of uterus
    4 lb of extra blood
    3 lb of extra breast tissue
    5-10 lb of "maternal stores"

    So even though that fetus is 1 oz and you have gained 5 lbs, that is 5 lbs of extra fluid and tissue that is being laid down to appropriately create and develop another organism. The hardest part to swallow is the 5- 10 lbs of "maternal stores." It is a pleasant way of saying "fat." This is necessary, though (unless you are already overweight or obese.) The belief used to be that this fetus was a parasite- it took everything first and mom got the leftovers. This is true in terms of vitamins and minerals, but not calories. Studies have shown that if mom doesn't have a high enough body fat percentage, the baby will break down mom's muscle tissue to use as energy while mom's body uses the calories consumed to increase her body fat. This is not good for your baby's developing brain. While you aren't looking forward to laying down 5-10 lbs of fat, it is good for your baby. Also, if you cautious not to lay down more than that- you will be able to easily get rid of it by breastfeeding and chasing your baby around within the first year.

    The last thing is exercise. It is important to exercise during pregnancy, but I cannot stress enough that every person is different. Some women can run marathons while pregnant (although, I don't recommend it), while some can't find the energy to walk down the block. I am an avid runner and before I was pregnant I ran about 20 miles per week. By the 4th month, I had stopped all together. I was TIRED, and the extra weight made me feel like I was running through mud. So, I switched it up. I walked a lot, I did prenatal yoga, and most importantly- I did what felt right. If your body is screaming, "Stop! This is too much!" then it probably is. As you gain weight, the activities you do burn more calories. Therefore, you can take it down a notch and still have an equally as effective exercise routine. Also remember, the point of exercise during pregnancy is not to lose weight- it is to be healthy.

Monty Moran's Notes

Thanks Erin. In addition, I would recommend the protein intake increased to at least 60 g and up to 120 g per day depending on your lean body weight. More lean body mass requires more protein. Go with whole milk, there is a reason why it started out that way… more proteins and healthy fats that all work together to nourish the body. Obviously omit if milk allergies are an issue and those with diabetic conditions definitely need to stay away from skim milk because it's basically white colored sugar water. Healthy fats are vital for baby's development and NO – healthy fat in meals does not beget fat moms.

After bouncing some theories off of Aaron Jones (a chiropractor here in the Fargo-Moorhead area) we agreed I should address a few more things. With exercise, I wouldn't recommend starting a running routine during 2nd trimester and on. However if you are a runner, keep these things in mind as you progress through your pregnancy term:

You will gain weight which obviously adds a form of resistance training to your running.
Your center of balance will change which will change your running mechanics.
Like Erin said, you may not have the energy to run like you did and may need to either cut the mileage back or cut the frequency down to recover between runs.
There are other options or complimentary activities such as yoga, Pilates, strength training, biking and so on.
With strength training, the same issues apply. Weights may not be as heavy but higher reps can suffice. Certain exercises will not be comfortable to perform for obvious reasons.
Luckily, maintaining a fitness routine is somewhat easy as it is a way of your life, your body changes gradually and fit people are more in tune with their bodies and know what works or as Erin said, "I did what felt right."

As far as taking vitamins & minerals consult somebody who knows what they're talking about, mega vitamins are not the answer. Quality, absorbable, well balanced, non-toxic vitamin/mineral supplements should be sought after – with that said, by all means don't go shopping in the Wal-Mart aisles for anything health related.

If you are not in a fitness routine and want to start (even during pregnancy) consult your OB/GYN and a competent fitness professional to put you on the right track and monitor your progress.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Client Performance Results

In the attached pdf's are two compiled data sheets for overall results of my clients.
It's brutally honest. Some are some amazing numbers. While the high school boys typically re-tested during the first two weeks of their sport starting, resulting in down numbers from fatigue of coming in right after practice to test out. Oh well.

If you are looking for results in performance, I can deliver.
Personal records and phenomenal increases in strength, vertical and speed happen all the time with me and my clients.

Cormax West Personal Training Client Performance Results- Overall

Cormax West Personal Training Client Performance Results- Age groups

Oh and let me know when you are ready to get serious and train with a real pro, ME!!

P.S. When Emily Gunkelman came out of college basketball and decided to train for the WNBA with me she went from a 12" vertical to 24" in 4 months. I went with the younger girl for most improved because... well I don't know ?? My bad, Em.

Dedicated to your performance

Monday, March 15, 2010

Myofascial Release Principles Using Foam Roller

Changing it up.
Instead of talking about health, nutrition, exercise, motivation and showing crazy fun videos - Here's a recovery technique that you can do yourself and really tune into body to heal it.
It's boring, but is good on the instructional/ informational aspect.

The foam roller can be your cheapest and most effective way to "take your therapist home with you!"
In this video Scott van Niekerk of Wholistic Physical Therapy in Brewster, NY. shows this highly effective self treatment tool using Myofascial Release Principles as taught by John Barnes to release pain, tightness and tension from the shins, legs - quads, ITB, Pelvis, back shoulders and neck.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Monty’s Boot Camp

Spring is here!

Once again the top personal trainer in Fargo-Moorhead is holding a Saturday morning one hour bootcamp for 10-weeks this spring.

We have five different outdoor locations, where we meet and get a great workout. Each weekend is a different location. It doesn't matter which gym you belong to or never go to a gym, there are no gym membership fees involved with us. Whether you are physically fit or seriously out of shape, everyone gets an appropriate workout adjusted by Monty Moran who is a seasoned fitness professional with 15+ years experience of training all age groups and fitness levels.

Starting Saturday, April 17 through Saturday, May 15

8:00AM- 9:00AM

$100 / 5 weeks

Rotating outdoor locations each week

Intense, challenging workouts that will give you results – without going to the gym

Suggested Items to bring:

*Wear layers for hot/ chilly mornings and rain/ snow gear

*Appropriate shoes (running shoes, cleats for agility, snow)

*Work/ workout gloves for tires and playground

*Water Bottle

*Sunglasses, sunblock, towel

* I'm notorious for changing things up so be flexible for change in plans

*Let's have fun, and play hard

Text to sign-up: 701-261-9636


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Registration Form: Download & Fill Out


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