4 Secrets to Weight Loss (STUDIES)

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From the outside looking in, weight loss can look easy. We see transformation pictures of 1-2 months and people are down 20, 30 sometimes 40 pounds. When we try it for 2 months, we don’t always seem to get anywhere. It seems simple right? Eat healthy and go to the gym, I will magically lose weight, right? Well sometimes we get cravings (which is completely normal) and it is hard to stop those cravings. It can sometimes be a lot harder than you think because of everyone being different. Some have a faster metabolic rate than others, some have something that holds them back mentally and they need to find a way around that. I am bringing you 4 weight loss secrets that will send you on your way to losing weight! Look no further because the I have you covered in the article below.

 

Secret #1) Bring stress levels down

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Stress is one of the most common things all of us go through from time to time, but do you actually know how much it can affect you? I read into a study that I would like to share with you.

One study (Statistic Brain Research Institute, American Institute of Stress, NY) set out to find out just how many of us live with stress and what it does to us. A U.S. Stress Statistics study showed that 77% of Americans had regularly experienced physical symptoms caused by stress. One symptom was fatigue which came up at a whopping 51%. People in the study that were going through psychological symptoms had experience a lack of energy, guess what that percentage was…? 45%.

Do you see a pattern here? The stress levels are not only very high in the U.S. but negatively effect our bodies when going through it. These symptoms that I have mentioned are the last thing you want when you are trying to lose weight. They can lead to a lack in self confidence which in my opinion is the most important tool to keep using during a transformation.

So how do we get rid of stress??

Well there are multiple ways of decreasing stress levels. When these levels are going down, your self confidence is going up! Here is a list of some of the best stress relievers you could try:

  • Working out– this is a given but we will have to tackle this from a different angle so our performance in the gym does not suffer. If we just go to the gym without trying to resolve the problem then we still have a lack of energy and focus when we are at the gym which rapidly decreases performance which can lead to no results.
  • Meditation & Yoga– these will work on breathing techniques that can help you relax. It is great for flexibility and just unwinding the mind some. Try it!
  • Eating the right foods– foods and snacks high in sugar may not help so try dropping them. Instead if picking up a pop tart, grab a banana or some other fruit that will stop that sweet tooth.
  • Lying against a wall with legs straight up– so I know this sounds weird but I read an article while back somewhere on the internet that was explaining a pose you could sit in that would help decrease stress. Find a wall, place you butt where the wall starts at the floor. Place your legs straight up onto the wall so that you are in about a 90 degree angle. Feet straight up and back flat on the floor. What this does is lets the heart relax a little bit. The blood flow decreases slightly from the legs, meaning that the heart does not have to work so hard to pump blood to the legs. Work on breathing while you sit and relax for a few minutes. I do this one a lot.
  • Have the right workouts set up– when people feel stressed their nervous system can do some weird things. It can sometimes cause slight dizziness, head aches and muscle tension. On days it may be bothering you more, simply try going for a bike ride or run. Try some extra stretches or throw in yoga! If you feel more comfortable in the weight room doing some curls then try it. Sometimes doing an activity like running or biking can take your mind off of the symptoms and relax the brain.

 

Secret #2) Try counting macros

When I offer my training packages to clients, the macro counting introduction can be included in the package to help the client learn how to count macros and get on track with what they are eating. It has helped millions of people with meeting their fitness goals so why not try it! I was never a huge fan at first then I tried it. I got away from it for a while but counting macros seems to be one of the main things I come back to, to help me. I will not go in depth about counting macros today but will say that there is an app in the App Store on your phone called “My Fitness Pal” it is free. It is a macro counter that has a scanner on it and everything. Just scan the package and put the serving size and it will keep track of it!

Counting macros can be extremely beneficial because once you know what your maintenance calories are then we can work on either increasing or decreasing them. They will usually need updated. If you find your maintenance calories then just reduce 200-400 calories in everyday for a while. Not 200-400 calories day one the 400-800 the next day just 200-400 everyday for a while. Like I said, I can write another article on this topic for you because this can help BIG TIME.

Secret #3) Hit the gym like you mean it/ Switch it up!

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Don’t just go through the motions. You go in and hit the same workout you’ve been doing for 3 months now.. NO. Switch things up, I am not saying that the workout program you are following isn’t working but our nervous system and body will get used to a stimuli when it is brought face to face everyday for months. Switch it up so you keep the body guessing. It won’t know what to do if you do 15 minutes of swimming instead of 25 minutes of running for a few days. By doing this one simple secret, you are also keeping yourself interested in the gym and keep the excitement rolling.

When I create a workout program for my clients wether its online clients or in person, I always like to keep their body guessing. I usually will not do the same workout program more than 4 weeks AT MOST. For some clients, everyday is a new day.

Now don’t get me wrong, having a set workout program is a solid idea but like I said, I change them every 4 weeks. You could get away with doing a workout program 6 weeks straight but I like to keep my clients on their toes and keep having them hit their goals.

Secret #4) Grab a friend or trainer

When you are training with a friend or if you have a trainer that keeps tabs on you then you are now kept accountable to something. When your buddy misses a 5am workout, its can get frustrating so thats why we try to keep that gym partner accountable by getting them there to make them better. Wether its calling or sending a message. If they still aren’t getting there then find someone else that will show up. It’s not always easy nor will everyone want to do it. Sometimes you have no other option but to do it yourself for a little while. Don’t forget that there are trainers in gyms for a reason.

The importance of a good training partner or group is so underrated. I’ve had some of my best training sessions when I was with a group because we are all trying to compete against ourselves and each other. It can be a solid game changer especially if you need motivation to lose weight. So pick up your phone, hit up your friend and meet them at the gym.

 

Conclusion

I hope you all liked this article. I put a lot of effort into this to help those who wish to lose weight so do me a solid and share this with your family and friends. I have content on here that will help everyone no matter what your goal is. We are all out here trying to get better so why not help each other out. Thank you for your support, have a great Thursday!

P.s this is article #99… Might being doing a giveaway for #100!

                 -Alex Costa-

 

NEED TO LOSE WEIGHT?

Training with Alex:  I am taking more online clients. Some spots opened up so email me at costafitness1@gmail.com to set up your training! I am also taking a limited number of in-person clients for speed and agility as well as weight loss.

Email me!

costafitness1@gmail.com

Resourses:

http://www.statisticbrain.com/stress-statistics/

http://dailyburn.com/life/lifestyle/chronic-stress-wrecking-workouts/

1 Stretch That ALL Athletes Need To Do

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When it comes to training my athletes, flexibility and mobility are a couple of the main components I want to increase for them. As any athlete probably knows by now, the more flexible and mobile you are, the less chance of suffering certain injuries. In todays article, I would like to show all of the athletes 1 great stretch that they should be performing.

As I have been dealing with more athletes over the last few months, I have heard a good majority talk to me and ask about tight hips. When tight hips occur, there can be 1 of many different problems but easily one of the most common problems is that the athlete may not always be warmed up the best or perform the right stretches to prepare his or her body. This stretch I am going to show you is more of a dynamic routine than a static hold. This simply means that instead of holding this stretching pose for 30 seconds, we will hold at each spot for about 1-2 seconds to get an increase in blood flow and get the target muscles ready.

Now that does not mean you can’t make it a static stretch and hold it for 20-30 seconds. If you do so, try to do that at night time before bed or after activities such as practice or training.

This stretch is not only getting the legs ready to go but it increases mobility in the spine, core, glutes and upper body as well. It really gets all of the main muscles you use when running ready to fire.

With all of this being said, let me explain how you will perform this stretch. I will break it down into 3 steps. Each position will be held for 1-2 seconds. You can do 2-3 sets of 8 repetitions each leg. There is different names for this stretch but I will call these lunge openers for now.

Step #1) Push up position

Everything here is pretty simple. Start off in a normal push up position with hands shoulder-width apart. (image below)

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Step #2) Spiderman lunge

We are now bringing our right foot up to the outside of the right hand. Dig the heel into the ground so that it stays planted. Try to keep somewhat of a neutral spine like I do below. My back isn’t arched or hyperextended, it stays in that neutral position. Also try NOT to dip the hips, keep them a little high which will lead to a little more of a stretch in the hamstring. (image below)

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Step #3) Open upper body

From here, we our going to take our right hand and point it to the sky. This will rotate the torso toward the right side opening the shoulders, chest, core and mobilizing the spine for a more fluent movement when running. After doing this side you can either alternate and go the other way or hit all of your reps on that side first then come to the left. (image below)

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I believe this can really be a great tool to throw in with your training as a warm up or a stretch after. I hope you all found this article helpful, if you did then share it with your teammates, fellow coaches, training buddies and anyone else that can use this!

Sorry for not posting as much these last 2 weeks. Football has been picking up and our season has officially begun. We won our first game 30-0 so we are off to a good start. I will keep everyone updated on my teams performance as the season goes on. Thank you for the support all around the world! Have a great Wednesday!

                       -Alex Costa-

 

3 Fast & Healthy Recipes for College SStudents

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With college classes starting up, this can mean you will exhaust yourself very quickly. Let me give you 3 healthy snack recipes that you can prepare within minutes! These nutritious snacks will provide an extra layer of energy to keep you going in class!

For incoming freshman, you are about to be welcomed to a whole different level of stress and self accountability. It can get frustrating very quickly and you will find yourself running on empty either in class or when you are trying to catch up on studying. When you do not get the right food into your body, you are just beating a dead horse now. Fast food will not help either will soda and sugary foods loaded with bad stuff. Think of your body like a machine or a car. You can only go so far before you need to refill the gas with fuel. The fuel is the food you are consuming. If you consume bad stuff then your body will react by not reaching its full potential. On the other hand, when you place the right fuel into the machine then you can perform at a higher level mentally. So focus up and take something away from this article so you can take all the information in clearer in class.

RECIPE #1) Banana boats

These will provide an energy boost as well as give you a dose of protein! This will take you about 2-3 minutes to get ready and it is very convenient for dorm life as well. Take a banana, split it straight down the middle, spread peanut butter or a butter spread of your choice like almond butter, coconut butter, cashew butter,etc on the inside of the slices. From there, you can place toppings of your choice  on the butter spread such as cracked sun flower seeds, raises, flaxseed, chia seeds, cranberries, etc.

 

RECIPE #2) Loaded Ezekiel bread

Again, here is something that you can prepare in seconds!

Just take a slice of Ezekiel bread, use some cottage cheese to spread out on top. Afterwards, you can dazzle your tastebuds by placing pineapple and sliced cashews on top!

Here is some side notes to read for this recipe:

  1. Ezekiel bread is NOT in the normal bread section. It will be in the refrigerator section. It is to stay cold because it is a sprouted bread unlike normal wheat or white bread. Just take a piece out and let it thaw a little. I will sometimes place a piece in the toaster for a very short amount of time. It has less preservatives in it so when you bring it home, clear a space in the fridge for it!
  2. Cottage cheese is becoming a very popular, nutritious item on the food market. Cottage cheese is something that like everything else on the list is easy to store in your dorm and grab when you need it. It has a good amount of calcium in each serving which is good for bone health.

 

RECIPE #3) Fruit rice cakes

It doesn’t get any easier than this! Go to the store and pick up any of your favorite brands of yogurt. I would personally recommend a low sugar Greek yogurt for this. Greek yogurt has probiotics which can help your immune system which is CRITICAL during school. The more class you miss, the further you will be behind! Plus it is a good source of protein. Then pick 1-3 different pieces of fruit. Last but not least, stop by and grab some rice cakes! I would do a plain flavor for this.

Step one is simple, grab a rice cake and put some yogurt on the top. Spread around on the top so it evens out.

Step two is to cut up some of the fruit you purchased from the store and then place it on top of the rice cake!

This is a nice treat if you have a sweet tooth. It provides natural sugars from the fruit and yogurt depending on what you grab.

The fruit will provide a natural energy boost and give your body extra vitamins depending on what fruit is picked.

Conclusion:

In this article, I have provided 3 very easy and quick to prepare snacks that will deliver energy to your body. This is the perfect formula for ANY college student! Not to mention every item on the list is not expensive. These items are also convenient for dorm life as well. So go out and grab a few items from the store and try these out when you are needing that extra energy boost!

Thank you for reading this article, I hope you were able to find something that could help you! GOOD LUCK TO ALL OF THE NEW COLLEGE STUDENTS! If there is any other topics you would like to see covered on Costafitness then let me know!

              -Alex Costa-

 

VLOG #21 SOLAR ECLIPSE-my eyes were almost melted..

 

August 21st, 2017 was the big day of the solar eclipse! I had no glasses and heard the whole town was sold out! I make some calls and find out how I can get my hands on some. I also have a blonde moment and look at the eclilpse without my glasses… I hope you guy were able to experience this breathtaking moment! Have a great day and enjoy the week! The next eclipce is supposed to be in 2024!

Tell me all about your experience in the comments below and in my messages!

                -Alex Costa-

VLOG #20 CLEVELAND!

 

Welcome to vlog #20! Taylor and I made a trip to Cleveland this past weekend to visit the rock and roll hall of fame. There was a clip here and there that was deleted unfortunately. I love doing vlogs like these ones so I hope you enjoy it and find some entertainment in your day!

Have a great Tuesday!

       -Alex Costa-

1 Core Exercise You Need To Be Doing!

I want to start you off this week with 1 core exercise you should be implementing into your workouts for maximum strength and stability. This one will rock your world! haha

This exercise is called a long lever pelvic tilt plank, kind of a mouth full. The difference between a normal plank and this one is the elbow positioning. The elbows will come up to about eye level.  As you can see in the image below, a normal plank will have about a 70-90 degree holding position with the elbows. This will mean that with the elbows being practically right underneath of the heavy part of the body, it will be the easiest of the plank positions to hold up. I am not saying a plank is easy because if you have a weak core then you will think otherwise.

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Now, with the long lever pelvic tilt plank, (image below) you will see how our elbow positioning will make about a 100-110 degree angle. This will lead to less stability underneath the base of our body in this exercise. Which in turn leads this to a more difficult exercise to perform. This leaves your core shaky and begging for a break because of how tight you have to keep the core. This will also leave the core in a very slight stretched position compared to a normal plank. This is an isometric exercise so usually the muscle will be neither stretched nor relaxed, it falls into the middle.

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This is an exercise that will active all areas of the core. Lower, upper, internal/external obliques, transversus abdominis, rectus abdominis. That is what I really like about this exercise, it hits the WHOLE core area even the lower back.

Try this out for a few weeks! If you only do it once, you won’t want to do it again haha so make yourself stronger and do it for a few weeks. I do about 3-4 sets of 30 second holds. You can do this exercise as many days as you want due to it being an isometric exercise, you won’t really be as sore as if you were to do a normal crunch with a complete eccentric and concentric movement.

I hope everyone is having a great Monday! Have an awesome week and hit me up if you have any questions!

-Alex Costa-

3 Exercises That Will Increase Your Vertical Jump

Today I would like to dive into a big topic.. Your vertical jump.

The number of athletes that have started to follow me has increased so with that, I would like to give you in my opinion one of the best pieces of content yet for athletes. With no further ado, lets jump into this article!

What is a vertical jump and how can it make me a better athlete?

Okay so there is a few different jumps I like to cover when training certain athletes. We have your vertical jump which is the main jump that is used in most sports. Vertical jumping is straight up and down. There is horizontal jump training, I like to use this to build more lateral explosion. Then we also have broad jumps, which is used as a testing point in football combines. This will usually give you an idea of how strong and explosive your legs are. In a broad jump, you stand in a spot then proceed with a jump out in front of you linearly for distance. We will utilize some of these to help increase your athletic ability and vertical today.

Now if you want to know how training these can make you a better athlete then listen up on this part. When you train to increase speed and increase vertical jumping skills, you work a lot of the same muscle fibers. This means not only can you get faster from a speed workout but sometimes you can actually increase your vertical as well. Vise versa, so if you are using this article to increase your vertical then you will most likely increase the speed as well. Now if you don’t know how that can help you as an athlete then think about this. An athlete that is fast and can jump high will have a better chance to make more plays happen. So I 100% believe no matter what sport you play, this article can help you out!

Exercises we will be performing:

Pop up to a jump- This is an exercise I did when training for football. I remember watching this and thinking this would be a hard exercise but it was actually quick easier than I thought. I made a video that is added in towards the bottom to help you see how to do these 3 exercises. When training, I would try these 4×4.

 

Pop up to a broad jump- This is another variation of the first exercise but with a broad jump instead. I like this because you are training to make a move in a direction after the jump. It really works on activating the quads, hamstrings, glutes and calves. It should be quick and explosive. This drill will help football players training for broad jumps in combines as well. When training, I would try these 4×4.

 

Linear toe jumps over cones- This is a unique exercise that a lot of people don’t think about doing. The reasoning behind this exercise is that the calfs play an incredibly large part of jumping and even sprinting. If you read one of my previous articles called 3 Stretches That Will Increase Speed then you will know that ankle dorsiflexion is an important part to work on. The calves can act as a loaded spring and thats exactly what this exercise is going to look like. When performing this exercise, you will be loading the calves. The dorsiflexion stretch from the article linked right above would be good to perform before this exercise to get the calves ready. When jumping over the cones like I explain in the video below, you will have minimal knee bend. I had quiet a bit of knee bend but I believe that is because I was not warmed up and the calves were tight when I shot the video. DO NOT keep the knees locked out the whole time. Try to get only a slight bend as you are trying to absorb the ground reaction force into the calf muscles and have those calves trained to use the absorbed energy to process a good output that will increase the height of what you jump. When training, I would use 3-4 cones and do 8 times through total.

 

3 exercises that you will be performing – video 

 

 

Jump Kit-Training Package

These 3 exercises made a crazy impact on not only my vertical but other clients vertical jumping ability as well. I expect all of you that try it to see improvements within as little as 2 weeks! If you are interested in taking your vertical jump to a whole different level then send me an email at costafitness1@gmail.com and ask me how you can get a jump kit training manual! In this training program, you will get the stretches necessary to get all of the right muscles ready to fire. You will get strength training exercises that will increase strength and power. You will also get all of the jump training drills I coach to all different athletes including a couple of D1 college basketball players. Hit the following link to email me about increasing your vertical TODAY! —- EMAIL ALEX

 

Thank you for checking out todays new article. I really hope you all liked it and found some new drills to try. If you like this content then please share it with some friends and family that you think would also find it helpful! Hope everyone is having a good week!

-Alex Costa-

Get Abs With These 3 Training Tips!

Costafitness

Wondering if there is anything you can do to get those abs to pop for the rest of summer?

Don’t worry, I am going to give you 3 tips to help show those abs off before summer is over!

TIP #1) Are abs really made in the kitchen?

I’m sure you’ve heard the old saying “abs are made in the kitchen”? This is true but only to a certain point. First of all, they are not “made” I the kitchen, nutrition and cleaner eating will only help reveal the abs. Let me explain, you may see people that are able to scarf down 3 cheeseburgers and still have abs. Let me say that this could just be genetics or that they have such an incredibly fast metabolism that the moment they start eating, it seems to start burning. With that being said, you can see that some abs can be “made without a kitchen”. Now don’t get this thought in your head that you can eat whatever you want and have abs, a clean diet with less sugar and less bad fat can help reveal those abs quicker than you think.

I have always noticed a better set of abs when my diet and nutrition is in check. I notice when my fat intake is a little lower than normal, I notice better results. Do not cut ALL fats, just get rid of bad fats you have in the diet and drop the number very slightly. Healthy fats play a big role in your health like keeping your heart healthy.  Healthy fat is also a crucial part of every cell in the body. There are more benefits but we can cover that in a different article.

So in conclusion I want to state that tip #1 is if you want to reveal those puppies then the eating has to be clean.

TIP #2) Getting enough abdominal activation

Eating clean will NOT grow abs, it will help reveal them like I explained in tip #1 above. Training in the gym will be how you develop the abs. Training abs can be something that is boring and most of us just want to get done and over with. Like any other exercise and workout, it will take time to develop an area of muscles. With that being said, it is important that we pick out good ab exercises that will make up a good workout. Some of the best ab exercises with the most proven abdominal activation are

  • Crunches (full range of motion. See in tip #3)
  • Weighted crunches
  • Ab wheel
  • Hanging leg raise
  • Cable woodchoppers

Now these are just some of the best exercises based of of some studies I have seen and based off of experience and advice from fitness professionals. The studies were listed on ncbi.nlm.nih.gov links in Jeff Nippard’s abdominal science video on youtube. I have these exercises in the Vault of Gainz section on the website if you don’t know how to perform them. These would be a good spot to start if you are looking for efficient ab exercises!

Pick some out and get to work!

 

TIP #3) Get a full range of motion and contract the muscle

Tip #2 brings me to this tip right here. This can sometimes be the make or break point on having abs! A muscle will not grow as efficiently if you do not get a stretch in the muscle. I see this mistake so often in the gym but it is confused because it still burns when hitting half reps. I am not saying you can’t do short range of motion exercises but remember, you are reading an article on getting abs so a full stretch and squeeze will benefit you 100% here. Let me explain a little more with an example in this video below.

 

 

 

Thank you for checking out todays article. Please let me know if you have any questions.

1 on 1 online fitness coaching available  – email me at costafitness1@gmail.com

-Alex Costa-

VLOG #19 SHE SAID YES!!

There’s going to be another Costa wedding!!

So for all of you that do not know, my brother has asked his girlfriend to marry him! This is awesome, and I am very happy for them. I just want to make it clear that I am not the one getting engaged, again it is MY BROTHER that is engaged haha. I just didn’t want any confusion. Also I would like to apologize for my delayed vlog, the beginning of this vlog started about 3 weeks ago I believe. I have been having trouble editing and uploading my videos so I am going to try and have it looked at and see what other options I can try.

If you have any ideas or suggestions on new software I should try then just leave a comment below! Other than all of that, I hope you all have an amazing day and enjoy the week! Do a random act of kindness today and help others.

CONGRATS NICK & ERIN!

-Alex Costa-

Basketball Workout- Jump Trainer

If you are looking to add some height to that vertical of yours then listen up and try this workout! I thought I would give the basketball players some love today! haha

On a real note, I am posting a quick video to help increase your vertical! This workout will be revolved around jump training to help produce more bounce. I like the way this workout is designed because I made it to max out power with the box jumps, then work a little more fast twitch fibers with the alternating lunge jumps. Note that you will see I incorporate a basketball so that basketball players can add an “in game” scenario. If you are not a basketball player, you can still benefit from these movements but keep an eye out for a big article coming up on increasing your vertical soon! Like, maybe next week;)

Okay, lets get to the workout! As I always stress with my athletes and clients, start of with a warm up, preferably a dynamic warm up. Then we start with our first exercise, front squats with dumbbells. If you do not know how to do these exercises, don’t worry! I have a video at the bottom to help you. We will perform this exercise for 4×10 reps. I want this to be an explosive movement on the way up! Check out the form and how I hold the dumbbells for this exercise in the video.

Next will be alternating lunge jumps with dumbbells. This will be done for 4 sets of 6 each leg (12 total). Don’t let the form break down, keep the chest up and explode through this movement.

3rd exercise is where we will need a ploy box. We have box jumps with a pivot step. WATCH THE VIDEO AT THE BOTTOM and you will understand. Make sure you make the pivot strong and jump up to the box after. We will do this 4 x 4, this will ensure you can get a little power out of the jumps.

The last exercise we will complete is box jumps with a reverse pivot step. These box jump variations are perfect for post players in basketball but as I said earlier, it will still benefit you as well!

 

I hope this helps you basketball players and coaches out there for a quick, efficient workout. You can do this 2-3 times a week for faster results. I hope you all have a great Friday and enjoy the weekend!

If you are interested in my 1 on 1 personal training & online training then please contact me and we can discuss details and how we can get you to where you want to be! I am taking athletes of all sports and gym goers as well.

Contact me through email:
Costafitness1@gmail.com

-Alex Costa-