You read it right. A graphic/web design firm offering advice and tools to help you achieve your fitness goals. Why? This started off as our families and friends were asking. . .How do you get in shape? What do you eat? Then clients, people at the gym, etc. . . . So, rather than telling it over and over again, we decided to provide a public service and list it on our site. Physical conditioning has and will always be a large part of our lives, and with sooooo many "New diets" and health crazes, we decided that through our personal experience, we could cut through the garbage and put it all into plain, simple english.

This page will continue to be modified and updated as time progresses. (Bodybuilders? A separate page will be added soon although you can still learn from what's below. You just need to eat . . . a lot.)

The following are tools which can be used to calculate your body. In order to LOSE weight you have to consume at a rate LOWER than what you expend. If you know what your specific body's caloric needs are, the greater chance you have of calculating precisely what you need to eat, and how much you need to exercise.

Male Body Calculator

Body Mass Index Calculator

Basal Metabolic Rate Calculator

Not-So-Brief Overview - There are 3 factors that are involved in a healthy body. (feel free to print and share)

1. DIET - YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT (So, are you lean muscle, or doughnuts?)
Look at the foods you consume in a day. (and the amount) Break them down to what they really are. How about chicken? A piece of chicken is what? Meat? (go further) In it's simplest form meat is a MUSCLE. Doughnut? Fats and sugars. There's no alchemy here. Your body will take what you eat, and turn it into. . . what you ate. If you are eating muscle, then your body has the ability to turn that into muscle, providing you are following step 2. Fat cannot be turned into muscle, nor vice versa. You can increase and decrease the levels of both.

LOOKING FOR A 6 or 8-pack of ripped abs? You won't get them doing thousands of crunches. what you'll have is a ripped set of abs underneath a sweet layer of fat. You have to lower your body fat percentage to see them. ABS ARE MADE IN THE KITCHEN!!!!!!

Metabolism - some are blessed with a high metabolism and shed pounds quickly. Others, not so much. There's a secret though. (psst - YOU CAN CHANGE YOUR METABOLIC RATE!) The frequency in eating is key in enhancing your metabolic rate. If you eat once a day, you're going to have a slow metabolic rate. Why? It's your body's way of holding onto every morsel you have eaten in order to FUEL you throughout the day. Eating proper portions and selections of food every 3-4 hours is what will get that metabolic rate cranking.

2. EXERCISE - You have to exercise. FACT - You should only work out hard for 1 hour (so quit talking and train - 90 seconds max between sets) After an hour of intense training, testosterone levels (hormone that increases muscle and burns fat) will drop, and cortisol rises. (the hormone that DESTROYS muscle and promotes fat storage) So, if you're training really hard for long hours and not seeing any progress, this is probably why. This is all set up according to your specific goals, but again there are lots of misconceptions about what you should do. Weight training is the only way to re-shape your body. Increasing muscle size increases metabolic rates.

When should I work out? First thing in the morning on an empty stomach. You will burn 300% more body fat at this time. Your body is out of carbohydrates because it fed on them all night. Now it has to go to the storage facility to get you some energy to burn. This storage facility is called your triglycerides (or fat stores = Adipose tissue =BODY FAT) Also first thing in the morning your natural growth hormone levels are at their highest.

Hate mornings as much as me? 3 hours after your last meal.

Any so called "Expert" that says aerobic exercise is best for the perfect physique, should be tied to a tree and beat with a wet noodle, released from said tree and educated properly, than tied to the tree and taunted a second time!

Here's why.

Aerobic Exercise - Cardio - walking, treadmill, bicycle, eliptical, stair stepper, swimming, rowing machine. Even Tae-Bo, P-90x, or Jillian Michaels workout videos that raise your heartbeat to the fat burning zone etc.
This type of exercise uses OXYGEN as it's main fuel source (obviously there's a ton of oxygen for your body to burn up) This is a good way to accelerate the fat process when used in conjunction with weight training. NEVER as a substitute.
In order for cardio to be effective it must be done in the fat burning zone.

FAT BURNING ZONE = (220-Your AGE)x(.75)
Stay within 10 Beats per Minute of that formula to burn fat

- First thing in the morning you instantly hit the fat stores (= 20 minutes of Cardio, that's all!)
- Any other time you will have to work out for 20-30 minutes JUST TO GET TO the fat burning stage, then you need to be burning for approximately 20 minutes. (totaling 40-50 minutes)
- So, try and do it first thing in the morning or 3-4 hours AFTER you last ate
- Goal should be 3 Cardio sessions a week at 20-40 minutes each
- Competitive bodybuilders -
depends on your body, but no more than 6 sessions at 40 minutes

Anaerobic Exercise - Weight Training - This will permanently INCREASE your metabolic rate.
This type of exercise uses GLYCOGEN as it main fuel source (ok but what the heck is glycogen?) STORED CARBOHYDRATES - after 60 minutes, again - you run out of this fuel
- Rest between sets = 90 second maximum
- Sets 8-15 repititions, (15-25 for abs and any muscles below the belt)
- 3 exercises per muscle group
- Be smart, work opposing muscle groups. Ex: Chest & Back, Biceps & Triceps, on one day, Thighs & Hamstrings, Calves & Shoulders (ok so the last one isn't opposing but we needed to put it somewhere) ABS you can do at home (remember high reps) When you work your chest, your back muscles are also partially engaged, when you work your biceps, triceps are engaged. Work smart, and hard.
- Increase weights often or do one more rep than the last time you performed the exercise
- Vary your exercises
- Breathing - exhale during the concentric phase (muscle contraction - squeezing) Inhale during the eccentric phase (negative - or going back to start)

3. SLEEP - 8 hours and 15 minutes of sleep every day. I'm timing you. (ok 7-9hrs) but 8:15 is optimal. If you're not sleeping, your body will stop producing anabolic hormones, (Makes muscles, loses fats) and increases cortisol. Not to mention, you're tired and cranky, and I don't want to be around you. So GO TO SLEEP.