Some thoughts I’d like to share in the hopes that they help you along on your fitness journey and beyond.
How to get “unstuck” and back on the road toward your goals.
Bored? Lacking results, progress and even motivation? It starts in the grocery aisle.
It’s Summertime. And that means more outdoor activity, less restrictive clothing, and quite simply, more of a visible you. Hollis Liebman, author of COMPLETE PHYSIQUE (Hatherleigh Press, $21.95) has the following tips for anyone who wants to look their best hitting the waves or the pool this summer:
TAKE IT OUTSIDE
With the inviting sun and fun weather, it can sometimes be difficult to get to the gym for the usual routine. You can renew your mental and physical spirits by getting back to basics by simply taking it outside. Pushups and bodyweight squats, along with running or biking can all be performed amongst the elements. Additionally, bands, Swiss Balls and other portable peripherals can add variety and fun to a sometimes stale and stagnant workout.
DON’T IGNORE YOUR LINKS
Sure the chest and arm muscles receive a lot of attention, but the eye always travels. A flawless upper body that sits upon stilts is not a good look, nor does it add to one’s symmetry. The often neglected muscles such as the calves, forearms, posterior deltoids, hamstrings and even the core, will definitely detract from you being all that you can be. Although these muscles do receive some stimulation by acting as ancillary or helper muscles during certain movements, each requires its own attention. You’ll not only look more balanced, you will actually be more balanced in your daily performance in life.
EAT SMART FOR MUSCLE TONE
Many fat-loss programs require drastic caloric restrictions and extreme amounts of cardiovascular exercise. The problem is that most also do a pretty good job of wasting away your muscle mass at the same time. Regardless of what your fat loss goals might be, losing muscle tissue is never a good idea--it slows your metabolism to a crawl. Instead of following a low-calorie diet, follow a dietary plan that will enhance your ability to both build and preserve muscle, and rev up your metabolism in the process.
STRETCHING IS ESSENTIAL, BUT DON’T GO BALLISTIC
Have you heard of ballistic stretching? It’s a kind of stretch in which you move into a position and then bounce to stretch the muscle. An example would be bending to touch your toes and then bouncing to reach them. Ballistic stretching can do a lot more harm than good, tightening the muscle and leading to injury. Skip the bounce, because wearing an ACE bandage on the beach isn’t sexy. Also know when to stretch. During and after your workout are ample times to stretch as your muscles and warm and pliable, unlike at the onset of your routine when your muscles are cold and restrictive.
PLAN TO LOOK GREAT…AND FEEL EVEN BETTER!
The desire to look great in your swimsuit may be what’s inspiring you to get in shape, but remember that the results will be more than just cosmetic. As you build muscle and stamina, you’ll be able to excel at classic summer sports like beach volleyball, swimming, and surfing. The active habits that you form this summer will inspire you to stay fit year-round! You will not only be aesthetically pleasing, but functionally as well, and that leads to better living.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
HOLLIS LANCE LIEBMAN has been a fitness magazine editor, national bodybuilding champion, and author. He is a published physique photographer and has served as a bodybuilding and fitness competition judge. Hollis has worked with some of Hollywood's elite, earning rave reviews. Visit his web site, www.holliswashere.com, for fitness tips and complete training programs.
Summertime is here. It's a great time to reset your fitness. Hollies Liebman, author of COMPLETE PHYSIQUE (Hatherleigh Press, $21.95) has the following tips for anyone who wants to look their best hitting the waves or the pool this summer:
GET BACK TO BASICS FOR STRONG, SCULPTED ARMS
No matter what kind of swimsuit you choose, your arms are going to be out there for the whole world to see. And since you’re wearing so little, an extra roll or a bit of jiggle is even more noticeable. If you want strong, sexy arms this summer, it’s time to try an
old standard: the push-up. Push-ups strengthen your chest muscles, but they also work your deltoids (or shoulder muscles) and triceps. This makes them one of the most effective exercises around!
DON’T IGNORE YOUR CORE
The “core” muscles include those in your abs and back. They (along with a few others) keep your trunk stable and your posture upright. But many people ignore their core muscles when they start a workout program. When toning up for summer, don’t just focus on “problem zones” like your arms, glutes, and thighs. Weak core muscles can cause all sorts of injuries, like a bad back, a pulled shoulder, or a twisted knee—and the
time you take recovering from these injuries can seriously delay you in reaching your summer fitness goals.
EAT SMART FOR MUSCLE TONE
Many fat-loss programs require drastic caloric restrictions and extreme amounts of cardiovascular exercise. The problem is that most also do a pretty good job of wasting away your muscle mass at the same time. Regardless of what your weight loss goals might be, losing muscle tissue is never a good idea--it slows your metabolism to a crawl. Instead of following a low-calorie diet, follow a dietary plan that will enhance your ability to build muscle and rev up your metabolism in the process.
STRETCHING IS ESSENTIAL, BUT DON’T GO BALLISTIC
Have you heard of ballistic stretching? It’s a kind of stretch in which you move into a position and then bounce to stretch the muscle. An example would be bending to touch your toes and then bouncing to reach them. Ballistic stretching can do a lot more harm than good, tightening the muscle and leading to injury. Skip the bounce, because wearing an ACE bandage on the beach isn’t sexy.
PLAN TO LOOK GREAT…AND FEEL EVEN BETTER!
The desire to look great in your swimsuit may be what’s inspiring you to get in shape, but remember that the results will be more than just cosmetic. As you build muscle and stamina, you’ll be able to excel at classic summer sports like beach volleyball, swimming, and surfing. The active habits that you form this summer will inspire you to stay fit year-round!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
HOLLIS LANCE LIEBMAN has been a fitness magazine editor, national bodybuilding champion and published physique photographer. Hollis has also served as a bodybuilding and fitness competition judge. He currently lives in South Carolina.
January 20, 2018 from 2-4 pm at the Augusta, GA Barnes & Noble, speech and Q & A Complete Physique: Your Ultimate Body Transformation is now available:
Looking forward to seeing you at the Official Complete Physique book launch, Saturday January 20 from 2-4 pm at the Augusta, GA Barnes & Noble
And so here we are. It’s 2018 and this year, it has perfectly begun on a Monday. The start of not only an all new you, but this time we are aiming for the best you yet. We live in a very fast-paced society today. Whereas things of the past unfolded amidst a metered pace, today we want things sped up, extracted and given to us quickly and expediently. Fear not. This article will deliver just that, offer tips or secrets if you will, to you getting your perfect (for you) body. But remember, you still have to do the work. Or, as I like to say, adhere to the work. For it’s very easy to begin the journey. But will you continue it?
The first secret is cliche in that, there are no secrets. BUT, the thread or spine that I can offer you is need vs. want. Generally speaking, one will go much further in their pursuits when the brain sees what it is going after as an actual need. If you simply must have something, then you will not be stopped. When I need to get myself into top shape, such as when photographing for Complete Physique, I can not be deterred because my goal is to put out my absolute best and thusly help and inspire others.
Secret number two is to have a plan. If you go into a store not knowing what you came for, you may leave with more than your budget can allow. You want to increase your bench press. You want to decrease the circumference of your waist. These are definitive goals. And are keys to being programmed for success.
Know your role - blindly lifting because someone said to may lead to results, but you will not know why something is working or not working. Knowing that the function of your chest is to draw the arm across implies that a movement replicating such movement, like a chest flye, should be a part of your workout.
Know when to floor the pedal. Excessive or very intense cardio can lead to food cravings. Resistance training should be performed intensely (in order to break down the muscle tissue so that it grows back stronger) and cardio moderately (to increase your overall metabolism).
Breathe - so basic, yet we forget sometimes to do it. Inhale on the stretched or lowering portion of an exercise (extension downward of a barbell curl) and exhale on the positive (upward motion of the barbell curl). Proper breathing will not only keep one moving, it will enhance performance, and that means more gains.
Eat ahead - those with the lean and fit bodies generally pack food with them. Sure, one can find a healthier solution in just about any eatery, (and those choices are within Complete Physique) but packing ahead ensures that you know what you are eating.
Less is more and more equals less - while many are over performing cardio already in the 2018, and eating little in the way of calories, 3-4, 30-minute low impact cardio sessions per week will do more to rev up your metabolism than hour long sessions which can often result in excessive eating. Additionally, do not hesitate to eat enough of the right calories in order to support your fat-loss program.
Take imperfect action - you get up, you stumble, you may fall, and then you get up again. It’s the overall journey, not just one perfect day. Have fun, be in the moment and enjoy the process.
With 2018 nearly upon us, many will enter the gym for the first time. Let's face it, the gym can be an intimidating place for the neophyte lifter. But it needn't be. For the gym is the great equalizer. Whether you are a corporate CEO, or entry level service worker, all of us are made equal in the gym. We can't buy our physiques, we have to earn them.
Yet that first day can often set up a pattern and a lifetime of good. My first introduction to the gym came in the way of nautilus (remember them?) machines. A maze of machines with predetermined pathways of motion and a pin to change resistance was my first foray into a world in which we have the power to change our bodies. I didn't know where to begin. But I did know that the gym was an absolute good place. A place of improvement. A place to work on oneself. And I felt as a then beginner than I had as much right as anyone else there. It certainly didn't hurt that the best built guy could see my budding interest in bettering myself, and took to offering me some words of encouragement and tips from the beginning.
But it isn't like that for everybody. Often some are so intimidated by the gym, that they skip resistance training altogether and keep to the cardio area where they won't have to interact with anyone and can listen to their music, check text messages and watch the latest TV offerings. Aside from not taking full advantage of all the wonderful toys most gyms have to offer, you may have limited your full potential, until now. This article will explore how to get the most from your gym experience.
The first key is to be yourself. If you're feeling confident great, if not, then who cares? Believe me, most people are too busy checking themselves out and seeing how they stack up against everyone else in the gym, rather than to pick apart your flaws. The gym is a place of work, of bettering you, and that goes for each and every one of us. Walk in, check in and get to work. Before you know it, you'll be too busy to think or care what anyone else might be wondering about you and you will have concluded your workout.
Support yourself. In any way that feels natural or organic. I once trained an individual who used to wear skin tight shirts that were definitely not complementary to his body. And he was aware. But he did so because he was determined to one day look good in those shirts. And he did. I am not suggesting to wear clothing that doesn't enhance the current you, but I am suggesting to wear something that is comfortable and allows you to perform without restrictions. You've got to love yourself to improve yourself.
The next tip is of course, to have a plan. Know where you're going or want to go. If you drive just to drive, you never know where you may wind up. But if you follow a map and know where your point B is, then you stand a far greater chance at getting there from point A. Blindly going from machine to machine, is definitely not the most linear path toward results. Complete Physique is your ultimate plan.
Always be kind. You never know who you may meet (in between sets of course), in the gym. If someone is on a piece of equipment you wish to use, always ask them politely how many sets they have left. If it's one or two, wait. If more, ask to work in. If they won't let you, move on and be the person to allow others to work in when the time comes and you are asked. For you may need them and vice versa to spot you one day while under a heavy barbell load.
Proper gym etiquette is to re-rack your weights at the end of a set or to unload the plates from the machines when you're done. Leaving an army of 45's on the leg press for someone else to have to take off, is simply rude. If you took the time to lift it, then you can take the time to re-rack it.
No sweat angels. Some of us sweat more than others, but should your head leave behind a giant wet-mark after your bench press, take a moment to spray and/or wipe it up. Would you want to lay in someone else's sweat?
Keep your valuables on your person. Almost every gym I've ever been in has had at one time or another, a break in and theft. If you can't afford to lose it, keep it on you and be mindful of where you place your belongings and phone.
Always, always, always respect the gym equipment in front of you. Not only will the equipment last longer and your favorite machine will have less of a chance of wearing an out of order sign, but you can actually prevent injuries by placing and not throwing weights around. Believe me, a dumbbell dropping on your foot is not a good time. Always lift with care. A little targeted aggression in the gym is good. Complete anarchy is not.
And lastly, keep to a path of closest resistance. That is, your workout should take place in relative proximity as you move from exercise to exercise. Let's say you just finished the incline press for chest. It would make little sense to walk to the other side of the gym to do a machine flat press and then all the way back to the free weight area for flat flyes, and then off again elsewhere for cable crossovers as you zig and zag across the gym. Keep it all in proximity as you methodically make your way through your workout.
Remember, the gym is a safe and fun place. It is your time to better you. Enjoy doing so by being safe and ever reminded of why you are there in the first place: to better the image in the mirror.
With the 2017 holiday in full swing and this year's resolutions a distant memory, you might be looking toward 2018 and really getting after and making those new year's resolutions truly stick, this time. Sure it's not yet 2018, and you're still going to the gym, still doing the cardio, still taking the classes, still trying to make better choices on the menu. But you may not be going quite as deep on the squats, or fitting as well into your gym clothes. And who can turn down a Halloween cookie, or Thanksgiving leftovers or Christmas drinks? In short, 'tis the season to pull back the throttle. After all, you know what to do and how to do it and when the time it right (2018), it's most definitely on! Right?
Yes my fitness friends, every year many tend to over promise and under deliver. In January, the gyms are packed. iPods, Lu Lu Lemon and Nike are in full effect, oh my! But in early February and Valentine's Day looming, resolutions are often, placed on reserve. But why? Why is every year going to be "the year", while often missing the high expectations we have previously set for ourselves and burned into our brains?
It starts with putting off the promise and the work. If it were easy having the perfect body, everyone would have it. But the truth is, while we can buy most things in life, a body to be proud of, forged in the gym and at the dinner table, can not be bought. It must be earned. A tailor can make a suit to your exact specifications, for a monetary price. And you can forge your body to look exactly as you want, for a price paid through taking consistent and imperfect action.
That's right, I used the word "imperfect", for consistency will yield better results over perfect. And so the first step toward Resolving Resolutions, is to look at things differently. Instead of training perfect, eating perfect, breathing perfect, living perfect, let's take it meal by meal, rep by rep and day by day. Let's do our personal best in every day laying down a solid brick. Just a brick a day. For those bricks add up and one day there will be a house, your house, the body you built by taking imperfect action.
The next step, is reinforcement, as in positive reinforcement. Whichever your dominant bodytype, Ectomorph, Endomorph or Mesomorph, perhaps find a picture of one whose body you wish to emulate, and have it on your phone or on the fridge or anywhere that you might see it and remember that, hey this is what I am working toward! It could even be a picture of you, perhaps at a time when you like how you looked. When I get myself ready for a book shoot, I look back at my previous photos with the goal of bettering myself.
Which leads to my next point. Focus on the image in the mirror. You have no control over the person on the station next to you with the bigger bench press. Or the guy lifting his shirt in front of the mirror with the six-pack abs. Or the girl with the full and perfectly round derrière. But you can build your own, bigger bench. And showcase your own, rippling midsection. And build a butt you can bounce a quarter off of.
Being prepared by having a plan puts out into the universe your intentions and gives you something concrete to focus on. Without fail, every year I type up a list of my projected annual goals, print it out and hang it up with a magnet on my refrigerator door so that each and every day I am reminded of what I am going after. When I competed in bodybuilding, I wrote down my routines and target sets, or sets that were personal bests on my way to making gains and improving myself for the stage and ultimately, victory. Weights, reps and even food was recorded. I would update the entries on contest day itself to show what worked and what didn't. Write it down. It's worth the extra few minutes of investment that it takes to yield a progressive and constructive plan over time.
Arsenal of methods of advancement. What does that mean? With so many tools easily accessible to chart your progress today, it's a disservice not to enlist them. When it comes to achieving your goals and resolutions, and keeping them, winging it simply does not work. The scale, how your clothes fit, the mirror, photos and videos, show real world progress that isn't confusing such as real news and fake news can often be. It's actually news, of how you're improving over time. I used to set up the video camera in the same spot every week as I practiced my bodybuilding poses and it was really cool to fast forward as fat would seemingly be melted from my body and muscles bulged from everywhere. If only it were that easy!
A sound plan, in terms of architectural renderings, is one of your greatest assets in achieving your physique goals. Bought that new TV? Leased that new car? Picked up the latest smart phone? Surely you've looked through the instructions to get the most from your experience. Complete Physique has got you covered. No matter your sex, experience or current state of physical being. When you walk into the gym with Complete Physique, you're being accompanied by a friend, a friend that supports you, and a friend that's been there.
Planning ahead will lead to results. We all have the same 24-hour clock. The art of learning how to eat out in restaurants and the real world while supporting your goals (included in Complete Physique), is certainly part of it. But it really doesn't take much time to prepare healthy and fulfilling meals at home. You can microwave some yams or potatoes while grilling chicken breasts and then tossing in frozen vegetables with the other two in Tupperware, thusly preparing in minutes, meals for the day. Protein powder can be scooped into shakers and raw nuts placed in baggies. Simple and effective.
By following the above list, you will not only achieve your physique goals, you will resolve your resolutions and the often yo-yo, up and down win/lose scenario of achievement.
My dedication and unyielding love and admiration for my father, Bruce Phillip Liebman. January 26, 1947 - October 12, 2017
With the holidays approaching fast, it's time to take action.
My pics are real. No drugs. No photoshop. Just hard work and a plan. Join me.
What exactly does it take to achieve the body transformation you've always dreamed of? Read on.
1. A finish line - a wedding, photoshoot or Bar Mitzvah - you can run toward something when you know what you're running towards
2. Do not look at the big picture - be aware but not obsessed with perfection. Take a step every day, not a leap.
3. Be selfish with your goal but not self-absorbed - to get somewhere you've got to focus. You're allowed to go on a date and stick to the food plan and not feel guilty.
4. Take before pics - because afters are so much fun and pairing them together (as seen in mine above) are the ultimate in satisfaction and achievement
5. Start now - not after the vacation, not after the deadline at work, NOW!
6. Find time - no-one is that busy that they can't workout at some point in a given 24 hour time-period. I work with weights 4 hours per week in total!
7. Beware social media - with its rippling abs year-round. One can leave with a pretty dismal sense of self. Stop comparing you to others and compare you to you.
8.Trust in you - the mirror, your clothes and your eye will tell the truth - be honest with yourself
9. It's okay to not be perfect - missed a meal, missed a workout, had a cheat meal? Okay and then continue back on as best as you can.
10. Action defines character - it's not what you say, it's what you do. I may be posting these before and after pics and tips, but believe me I am putting in work. Are you?
Message me for coaching, personal training and online personal coaching.
The Holidays are once again upon us.
Here's a quick list of action items to help keep your gains this holiday season.
1. Mondays are a continuance not a do-over - keep the momentum going
2. Be regular - get your workouts in each and every week, the days may shift, but the sessions should remain constant
3. Pre-pack small meals and snacks to take with you to work - less temptation to negate your progress
4. Know what you can safely order when dining out - you can get something clean to eat almost anywhere
5. Picture - on your phone or in your kitchen - a visual aid for where you want to take your physique
6. Accountability - tell your friends of your fitness journey and inspire each other
7. Social Media - post your progress pics, but also the tough days for added motivation
8. Schedule a cheat - meal that is, once or twice weekly, not a day but rather a meal or treat
9. Less is more - hours of cardio and training are inferior compared to a well-executed plan short on time but big on results
10. Bring recruits - that new pair of pants, sneakers or music on your iPod at the gym can keep you enthused about those holiday workouts
Become the change that you want to see!
Message me for coaching, personal training and online personal coaching 💪
Yours in fitness,
We all have setbacks. It's time to refocus and rise.
Today, we are joined by Hollis the trainer extraordinaire, and be prepared to hear one of the most heart stories of the week. An exclusive, only on Sunday Morning with Elizabeth Espinosa.
Lucy Loves Marty ❤️ is available in both regular editions and pawtographed 🐶 by Lucy herself.
Ages 5 - retirement - on Amazon
Wise and highly personal stories and life lessons from The Momma. This is the longest video I was lucky enough to capture.