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You are what you eat…is this true?

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I have always wondered if this famous saying was true or incorrect. I would have to say that It is true. This statement is especially accurate if you have specific health goals or if you are an athlete. Why does the type of food matter? It is highly unlikely that you will see a track or cross country athlete consuming high amounts of red meats and or empty calorie foods. The food you consume is fuel and energy source for your body. This equation is just like putting gas in your car. You can’t drive a car with out fuel. Also, you can’t drive an 18-wheeler with the same type of fuel you would use for a Toyota Camry gas.  Foods that are lean and nutrient dense provide your body with the necessary nutrients and energy needed to carry out daily task whether these tasks are working out or just going to work. How does your body use food? Your body is just like a machine in terms of how the it breaks down the food and uses it. Some foods force your body to work that much harder to digest it (i.e. red meat). Unhealthy food consumption leads to an unhealthy lifestyle and or unhealthy body image. Unhealthy foods can also lead to serious health issues such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes to name a few. Athletes tend to consume high amounts of energy and nutrient packed foods such as lean meats, fruits and vegetables. This high consumption amount is due to the physical demand of their particular sport. If you are just your average gym patron you should still keep the same mentality.  Using Food to Change Your Health You are breaking your body down when you workout and your body needs the proper foods to repair those muscle fibers, cells, and tissues in order for the body to properly repair. If you are looking to gain or lose weight, certain types of foods need to be consumed for either scenario. In order to lose you weight you have to burn more calories than calories consumed. This is saying do not starve yourself. If you do not consume enough foods then your body will go into protection mode and hold on to whatever food you do consume and store it as fat in the body. Now on the other end of the spectrum if you are trying to pack on weight then you have consume more calories then you expend. What type of food is recommended? My recommendation when you are unsure of what to eat is shop on the perimeter or the grocery store aisles. Also, you want to eat foods that have the colors of the rainbow in them. Another key point to focus on is that if it wasn’t grown or killed then you shouldn’t eat it. Want more information? As the old saying goes, knowledge is power. The more you know about what type of food to consume and how to strengthen your body, the better the results will be! Become a WeightTraining.com PRO Member today to have instant access to exclusive workout plans, dietician guidelines and community support. Click here to learn more!
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Lose Fat Forever: Nutrition Made Simple

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Losing weight is a tricky subject. For some, it seems to come easy. For others, it seems like it's a struggle to see any change at all.  If you want to get serious about losing weight, skip the junk food. Start eating clean, and you might just be happy with the results you see from that simple change. To target fat loss specifically, it can get a little more difficult. Just remember, if it's not difficult, it's probably not worth doing. Here's what Vinny Caposio has to say about losing fat: Step 1: Modify Your Mindset You should be aiming to lose body fat, not body weight. Rather than judge your progress by the number on the scale, make judgments by how you look in the mirror, how your clothes fit, and how you feel and move. Newcomers to exercise could see a rapid increase in weight during the first few weeks. This is just your body responding to the exercise for the first time. The muscle growth during the beginning stages scares off many people, (women especially). However, this growth is just an initial response, and the more muscle you build, the fewer returns you'll see over time. Women, you won't begin to look like a man, and the lean muscle you do put on will help you burn fat even more efficiently, giving you that toned look you're after. Step 2: Calculate Your Daily Caloric Needs Avoid all fad diets and trendy supplements. There is only one way to effectively lose unwanted body fat, by eating the proper amount of calories daily. Your body requires you to take in a certain number of calories every day to supply energy for work. Eat more calories than required and you will gain weight. Eat less than you need and you will lose weight. It seems simple, but here's where most people mess up. Eat too little, and the weight you loose can start to come from your muscle. Eat too much, and you store energy as fat rather than building muscle.  Women: BMR = 655 + (4.35 x weight in pounds) + (4.7 x height in inches) - (4.7 x age in years) Men: BMR = 66 + (6.23 x weight in pounds) + (12.7 x height in inches) - (6.8 x age in year) You'll also want to adjust for your usual activity level during the day. Here are some modifiers to account for that: If you are sedentary (little or no exercise) : Calorie-Calculation = BMR x 1.2 If you are lightly active (light exercise/sports 1-3 days/week) : Calorie-Calculation = BMR x 1.375 If you are moderately active (moderate exercise/sports 3-5 days/week) : Calorie-Calculation = BMR x 1.55 If you are very active (hard exercise/sports 6-7 days a week) : Calorie-Calculation = BMR x 1.725 If you are extra active (very hard exercise/sports & physical job or 2x training) : Calorie-Calculation = BMR x 1.9 The equation has five variables; height, weight, gender and age and activity level. The only factor you can actually work to change is activity level. The more active you become, the higher your daily caloric needs become. Here's a calculator that makes it simple for you. In order to maximize fat loss while maintaining lean muscle mass, you should take in 250-500 calories less than your daily requirements. In order to maximize gains in lean muscle without adding fat, you should take in 250-500 calories more than your daily requirements. Step 3: Learn to Cheat Don’t be so uptight. Eating healthy is one thing; never treating yourself is another. Eat two - four cheat meals per week. This will satisfy your sweet tooth without sabotaging your progress. Just make sure your cheat meal doesn't become a cheat day!
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Using Periodization Programming to Destroy Plateaus

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Many gym and fitness enthusiasts often mention that they have hit a plateau whether it is with their strength gain goals or with their weight loss goals. Many factors can contribute to these plateaus. Plateaus are something that comes with the territory of trying to make improvements and can easily be altered or improved using slight modifications. First and foremost do not let these plateaus get you frustrated or discouraged. I will begin to explain several variable or modifications to help deal with this obstacles.  #1: Set Up a Workout Program First suggestion I would make is if you do not have a workout program set up, then experiment with one. Keep in mind that you have to try it for at least four weeks in order to see some results. I recommend six weeks personally. Certain workout programs practically lay out the sets and reps for you and also give you structure as well as proper periodization. This proper periodization structure will keep you on track and also gives you structure to your workout regimen. A prime example of a periodization structure would be the OPT Model that the National Academy of Sports Medicine has in their text. This particular format has the tempo variables, sets and reps, as well percentages planned out at each week for you. #2: Switch Up Recovery Times The next suggestion I would make is to switch up your recovery time in between sets or exercises. For example, instead of taking 60-90 second rest intervals, shorten those rest intervals down to 30-45 seconds. This will force you body to work harder as well as maximize your energy expenditure during your workouts. #3: Try Different Tempos Another variable suggestion I would recommend trying is the tempo at which you perform your particular exercises. Let’s use the bench press for example, you have three types of muscle contractions. These are Concentric, Eccentric and Isometric. The bench press variable could be to perform a pause rep once the bar touches your chest before ascending the bar back up to the starting position. This slight modification helps with control as well as power increase as the result of the primer movers (pectorals) experiencing a slight relaxation period during the pause. #4: Perform New Motions Another variable for this particular exercise could be to performing a 3-1-1 style rep motion. This is performed by lowering the bar or loading the prime movers on a three second count, pausing at the bottom of the exercise and then ascending back up through the contraction phase of the movement.  This slight variable adds more tension to the muscle fibers being recruited as well as places more demand and focus on the prime mover muscles.  #5: Do Pyramid Sets   Another variation change could be performing pyramid or drop sets. These can be done all at once. For example, begin the first with 15 repetitions, then next set be 12 repetitions, ten, eight, and six on the last set. This sequence takes you through a progressively lighter workload into a heavier workload. Once that last set of six repetitions is completed you can work your way back up in the same rep order with progressively heavier to lighter work loads depending on the exercise. This particular format can be very helpful in defeating those annoying plateaus. Drop sets or pyramid sets give you both the muscular endurance phase of strength training as well as the hypertrophy phase of strength training. So for your next workout give this few tips I mentioned a try and if done correctly you should see great improvements. Go kick down those plateau walls! Be sure to download the WeightTraining.com iOS app today! It is a great partner for beating plateaus!
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Can the Training of Athletes and Non-Athletes Have Similarities?

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Everyone trains for different reasons. Athletes want to perform better in competition, bodybuilders want just the right physique, and just about all of us want to look better in some way. There are so many styles of training out there! What is the best way to go? Whether or not you'd call yourself an athlete, personal trainer Vallice Ford believes there are plenty of benefits to training like one. Here's what he has to say: I often get asked about my training style or primay focus with my clients. First, I like to point out that all my clients start out at different levels. For example, if I have a stay-at-home mom who played soccer in college, then her workouts would be totally different from what I plan for a retired 57-year-old secretary with a hip replacement. So, can you train athletes and non-athletes similarly? I say Yes, it is possible. You may find it interesting to read that I have put some clients - men & women - through some of the very same workouts that I did numerous times when I played college football. Progression and Variation There needs to be a progression to everything. I do my best not to limit or categorize my training style or my client’s progression and abilities. As a trainer and strength coach, I am sought out to motivate and challenge people who may have never been physically challenged before. Challenging and motivating my clients keeps them excited about training and also keeps me fresh and innovative on new exercises and concepts. Monotony can be brutal; I’ve been there. Todd Durkin says that the manner in which he trains Drew Brees and other Professional Athletes is not that far from the average client. What do you think about that? Athletic Moves Work I had the opportunity of taking a client who was a Pathologist in a hospital, smoked cigarettes, and drank wine frequently during the week to the point where she purchased her first pair of running shoes and now is in the process of training for 5K races.  Even though she was fairly active at work, she never thought she would see herself doing the kind of agility drills and plyometric box jumps that athletes perform.  Might I also mention that she dropped 15+ pounds in the first few months after changing eating, drinking and smoking habits?! She stopped smoking and drinking wine completely, and trained with me three times per week. She also walked to the gym instead of driving as long as it wasn’t a monsoon outside. As a fitness professional, you live for moments and success stories like this one. Why Training Matters To know that you can greatly impact somebody’s life in this particular manner is more rewarding then any monetary compensation. Trainers: don’t be afraid to try new exercises with your clients if they are at the skill level to perform them! Also, clients: do not be afraid to make these kinds of suggestions to your trainer. If they really care, they will always have your best in mind. When in doubt, Keep It Simple Stupid (K.I.S.S). I try to follow a pattern that my client will not see the same exercise in a two-week period. This may seem hard, but a small modification as far as the angle of the range of motion or the tempo can make this very creative and interesting. Get Started Today! Are you looking for something to ramp up your fitness routine? You can train with workouts from one of the best in the business - Tony Gentilcore! Join his Workout Group and get started today!  Want to start getting more from your workouts? With advanced workout stats, workout plans, diet plans, and a huge community of supporters, our PRO membership includes all the tools you need to reach your goals! Click here to see all of the benefits PRO membership!
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Eating Clean With Terry the Trainer

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  Clean eating - does it really make a difference as long as you train hard enough to burn those extra calories? Is watching what you eat worth it when you're pressed for time and running on a tight budget? We caught up with @TerrytheTrainer, a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist and owner of The League Elite Training Facility in Houston, TX, to get his view on dialing in your diet to reach your workout goals. Here's what he had to say: How important is my diet with it comes to training? Your diet is very important when it comes to training. I'd even go so far as to say that it's critical to your success. As I often tell clients, your body is like a car. If you want it to perform well, you've got to give it quality fuel. We can't expect a high-end sports car to perform to its best potential on regular unleaded gas, and the same is true about your body on processed foods. Go premium & chase quality nutrients! You will have more energy during workouts & noticeably better results in getting leaner and stronger. What exactly does "eating clean" mean? To me, eating clean means eating simple. Taking in foods that aren't tainted with additives like high fructose corn syrup, excess sodium or trans fats. Simply put, I believe we should prioritize lean, unprocessed meats, organic fruits & vegetables, and whole grains.  Isn't eating clean very expensive compared to processed foods and fast food prices? Surprisingly, no! Expensive healthy eating is what happens when we make healthy eating too complicated. If you only go to the stores with imported, fancy, over-scientific stuff, you'll pay the price for it. I stand for shopping simple and smart, using your local grocery store. We can visit average stores and simply make smarter decisions there. For example, fruits and veggies are never very pricey per pound. We can easily stock up on a week's worth of produce for just a few bucks. Also, items like lean chicken breast and ground turkey meat make for good, cheap buys. When it comes to whole grains, this one typically shocks people, but whole grain brown rice actually costs the same as the nutritionally inferior white rice, and 100% whole wheat bread is typically only a few cents more pricey than white bread. Items like these are almost always cheaper than boxed, processed, over fatty meals that come already prepared. What's the best way to prepare nutritionally for a tough workout? My best call here is whole grains! Good complex carbohydrates like brown rice or oatmeal break down slowly in the body, fueling muscles with long-lasting sustainable energy to power you through a rigorous physical bout. My favorite preworkout snack is a chicken breast sandwich on whole wheat bread. What's important to eat for post-workout recovery? This is where you want protein! Research shows that within 45 minutes of your workout's end, your body does it's best work in breaking down and absorbing protein. Lean meats are a good call here, or if you're in a bind for time, this is where a whey protein shake can come in handy. What's your favorite healthy snack for on-the-go? I've got to go with Greek yogurt on this one! I like to get the plain unflavored kind because it has nearly no fat in it, and to add a little taste to it, I top it with fresh fruit or granola. So good! Looking for more clean recipes? Clean Creole Cookin' is an eBook written by Terry Williams, which can be purchased from the store on his gym's web site, TrainwithTheLeague.com. This book celebrates famous flavors with fewer fats, diving into Southern classics and revising-age old recipes with your health in mind. It might take a little extra prep work, but we think that everyone should give clean eating a shot! Our PRO members have unlimited access to Diet Plans from a Registered Dietitian, to take the guesswork out of eating clean for a whole month. Each Diet Plan contains a shopping list, nutrient breakdown, and plenty of options to satisfy even the pickiest eaters. Why not give clean eating a shot today?!
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How Fitness Benefits the Rest of Your Life

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You know what chaps my hide? The term “muscle head.” Why those of us who hit the gym with gusto on a regular basis get classified as dopey is beyond me. In fact, my Monday-through-Sunday workout crew are some of the most literate, intelligent folks I know. (And trust me, in my line of work I have the opportunity to meet some extremely smart people.) They make smart life choices. They eat nourishing, whole foods. They endeavor to help the people around them. They make the most of their lives.   Maybe the general public just choses to focus on those few, misguided gym rats who work out purely for aesthetic purposes—those guys who stand around and stare in the mirror at their pecs all day.  But the lion’s share of us exercise for other reasons.  Why do we work out? We work out because it makes us healthier—not just physically, but mentally and emotionally. We work out because it makes us part of a community of strong people with whom we can do extraordinary things. We work out because it's fun and makes us better. I have yet to meet someone who received this same level satisfaction and fulfillment from sitting on the couch watching sports. Not that there’s anything wrong being the occasional spectator. I’ve watched my share of bowl games—but it’s a form of relaxation and recovery for me, not the main focus of my life. Simply put, people who exercise aren’t just smart—they’re making themselves smarter. In fact, working out benefits your brain on several levels. How does working out benefit us? As explained at length in John Ratey’s book about the intersection of fitness and the brain, Spark (and slightly more succinctly in my new book, The Big Picture) it’s well established that exercise makes you a happier person by boosting levels of the feel-good hormones norepinephrine and serotonin in your brain. It also increases brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), which improves learning and memory by building stronger connection between neurons. And new studies show even more benefits. A 2013 Princeton study in The Journal of Neuroscience shows that exercise can increase the release of GABA, a stress-relieving neurotransmitter that keeps you level-headed and able to make more intelligent choices in difficult situations. You "slow twitch" athletes get brain-boosting benefits too. Another recent report appearing in The Psychonomic Bulletin and Review found that aerobic exercise has an array of brain-sharpening benefits for folks ranging from school kids to older adults. Get Healthy - Make Friends Another great thing about exercise is that it tends to be a social activity. I know this sounds a little strange coming from a guy who made a name for himself with in-home exercise products like P90X, P90X2, P90X3, and 10 Minute Trainer, but these programs were never intended to turn you into a fitness hermit. They’re intended to improve your body, inform your mind, and inspire your spirit, putting you in a position to get out there and try new activities; meet new, interesting people; and make the most of this bag of muscles, tendons, blood, and bones we call the human body. They’re indoor training for the outside world. Gain Strength: Mentally and Physically Strive for emotional and mental improvements in addition to physical ones, and then take the whole package out into the world so that you can make the most of your life while improving the lives of others. If you do, you’ll start to understand what The Big Picture is all about. It’s about taking the fitness and nutrition lessons us “muscle heads” have already learned and applying them the rest of your life.  For example, we all know the value of pushing our bodies to crank out that one, extra rep; that one, extra pull-up; that extra five-minutes on the track. But are you digging deeper mentally and emotionally, applying that same intensity to your relationships or your career? I guarantee that when you go big in other aspects of your life, people will notice—and then they’re inspired to go big, too. Balance is Key For those of you who already have intensity mastered, how’s your balance?    I’m not talking about how to walk on a slackline or workout on a BOSU ball. I'm hoping you already balance aerobic/anaerobic sessions and upper/lower body workouts.   But what about the rest of your life? Are you giving yourself enough down time? How’s work balancing with play? Are you managing gym time with family time? There's an easy fix that you can implement with the same, basic tools you use to stay physically healthy and keep your diet in check.   (Hint: if you need a little guidance on this one, it’s all in my new book.) The more I think about it, the less the term “muscle head” bothers me. The brain may not be a muscle, but it certainly acts like one.  It gets stronger the more you use it and if you treat it right with proper fitness and nutrition, it prospers and allows you to do amazing things. Proud to be a Muscle Head So, yes, I am a muscle head. I’m saying it loud and proud! I take care of my body and my mind and I do my best to use them both to their full potential. So get out there! Do your best and forget the rest, my fellow muscle heads. There’s a whole world waiting for you. The Big Picture awaits.
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WeightTraining.com V2 iOS App Giveaway Winners

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Now that things are finally slowing down around here after an awesome Launch of v2.0 of our iOS App (which is still in the Top 25 for Health & Fitness apps - woohoo!), it's time to give away some cool stuff! If you're one of the winners, look for an email or Tweet from us soon for instructions on claiming your prize. Our winners are posted below: 5 Starbucks Gift Cards: Facebook Winners: Cubdude Theraptor Twitter Winners: Kat Graham (@kzg86) Scott Bithell (@ScottBithell) Yung Geezy (@xola_amour) Beats Headphones: Winner: AmyD1231 iPad Mini: Winner: Turnerfwashin What's Next? Congratulations to all of our winners!!! Thank you to everyone who participated. We hope you enjoyed it, and we're looking forward to more giveaways when it comes time to release our Android App. If you're enjoying the App, please help us spread the word by leaving a rating and your feedback on the App Store - we would really appreciate your help. :)
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The Harsh Truth About Extreme Workouts

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Lately it seems like new workout programs are popping up left and right. And they always promise the same things- buns of steel, six pack abs and toned thighs.  The infomercials on these products usually show these super intense workouts. Then some ripped fitness “expert” says, “If you do this workout six to seven days per week you will look like me!”  Now, would working out in this way provide you with results? The answer is yes but a more important question you should ask is, will working out in this way put me at risk for injuries?  100% yes! I mean, what is the point of getting “ripped” if you end of with an injury that takes you out of the game for two months.  I can’t imagine how many injuries these intense workout programs cause every year. A lot of the people ordering these things have never worked out a day in their life!  Most people have no business trying these workouts but especially those who have never worked out before.  Another negative that comes with working out six or seven days per week is the time commitment. Dedicating this amount of time is tough in general.  Add in a husband, wife, significant other, kids and work and your workouts no longer seem sustainable.  Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying that your workouts should be easy or that they shouldn’t require some dedication. They should be hard but you don’t want them to be so hard you get injured or just simply end up hating it.  Instead of completely killing yourself, you should do workouts that leave you feeling energized, not dead.  If you want to get fit while also spending less time at the gym, here is something important to remember: When it comes to working out... LESS is MORE! I am sure this is contrary to what you have ever heard about exercise. The actuality is, you should do the least amount of exercise possible to produce the results you’re after.  Honestly, many times it is actually a lot less than we think. To give you an example, I recently took two weeks off due to traveling. When I got back into the gym I was actually able to lift more weight than before!  I know this sounds counter intuitive, but if you structure your workouts properly, you can indeed come back stronger after a break. The most important reason the “less is more” strategy to fitness works so well is because it allows you to become fitter and stronger without wearing your body down. Excessive wear and tear will keep you from being fit for a lifetime.  Now you might be wondering, “How much is too much and how little is too little?” The answer to this is going to be a little different for everyone but here are a few things that I can recommend across the board.  Kill The Cardio Cardio can really kill your workouts if you do too much of it. To give you an example, I have worked with a lot of ultra-marathon runners and, believe it or not, their overall health is pretty poor.  Rather than doing cardio five to seven times per week for an hour at a time, cut back to one to three times per week for about ten to twenty minutes. The cardio I recommend is interval training.  Interval training in a safe way for you to train at a high intensely. Working out in the way will allow you to workout for shorter periods of time without sacrificing the results you want.  Interval training is essentially a mix of high intensity cardio training coupled with bouts of low intensity training. Studies have shown interval training is better for burning belly fat, reversing Type 2 diabetes and improving cardiovascular fitness than a sixty minute continuous jog.  Lift Weights…Intelligently My second recommendation is to make sure you are strength training. In my opinion this is the most important thing you should do consistently.  Specifically, you should be lifting heavier weights for a low number of repetitions (think six to eight reps.)  This is my recommendation for both men and women. If you are a woman please don’t worry about bulking up! This simply won’t happen to.  You should be doing two to four, twenty to thirty minute strength training sessions per week. There are a lot of different ways you can strength train but the one thing I really want you to understand, is no matter what method you choose and as long as you stick to the guidelines I have described above… LESS is MORE.  Something else to point out is you can couple your cardio and strength training together. Essentially, this means you can get fitter and stronger with only two or three sixty to ninety minute workouts per week.  Yes, I truly believe, if you do three well planned workouts per week you will get just as fit as you would working out six or seven days per week only with less risk of injury.  Just remember when it comes to working out, quality has much more of an impact than quantity. Get Started Today Are you ready to start a new workout regime but need help with where to begin? Check out WeightTraining.com's PRO Membership. You'll have exclusive access to workout plans, nutritional guidance and community support. Get your life back today!  
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iOS 2.0 Press Kit

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App Store Link: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/weighttraining.com-free-workout/id559019054 What's New in Version 2.0 Detailed Profile Pages in App New Drawer Design Better UI in Workout Logger Access to Ask-a-Trainer, Groups, and Challenges Suggestions in Workout Logger based on Workout History Rest Timers w/ Alerts Custom Workout Plan Support Save Workouts as Favorites Expanded Customizable Settings Screenshots of Our App in Action Click the link below to download the EPK for WeightTraining.com iOS 2.0 App screenshots. Better Data = Better Workouts We're launching some major upgrades with Version 2.0 of our iOS App! This is a complete re-design with all new navigation accessible with a single tap via the main Drawer. We listened to feedback from the community and included custom workout plan support and also a vibration alert for when your rest timer ends. Beginners can have instant access to hundreds of pre-made, trainer-approved, workout plans with a variety of  fitness goals from which to choose. Our database of over 2,000 exercises includes demonstration videos, step-by-step instructions, and tips to help take the guesswork out of exercise technique and make for a safer time at the gym and better results over time.  Experienced lifters can build their own workouts with a quick exercise search and input their time, distance, and sets / reps as needed. Both exercises and workouts can be saved as Favorites for even easier access in subsequent workouts. The logger will also update with suggestions based on past workouts. Set specific goals, visualize your progress, and optimize your workouts to improve your health in 2014!