Friday, December 30, 2011

Exercise recommendation

Balance is a component of all movements.

 Balance training has been shown to beneficial to improve joint stabilization during movement.

The following exercise is  very good for increasing balance and stability:

Single-Leg Balance

1) Stand with feet shoulder width apart and pointed straight ahead. Hips should be in a neutral position.
2) Lift chest, retract shoulders slightly, and tuck  chin.
3) Draw navel in, activate gluteus, and brace.
4) Lift one leg directly beside balance leg. Maintain optimal alignment, including level hips and shoulders.
5) Hold for 5 to 20 seconds
6) Slowly return to original position

*Perform 2 sets of 12 with each leg*

A little info about...

You might be surprised by just how healthy celery truly is!

Celery leaves has high content of vitamin A, whilst the stems are an excellent source of vitamins B1, B2, B6 and C with rich supplies of potassium, folic acid, calcium, magnesium, iron, phosphorus, sodium and plenty essential amino acids.

Nutrients in the fiber are released during juicing, aiding bowel movements. The natural organic sodium (salt) in celery is very safe for consumption, in fact is essential for the body. Even individuals who are salt-sensitive can safely take the sodium in celery, unlike table salt (iodised sodium) which is harmful for those with high blood pressure.

While many foods lose nutrients during cooking, most of the compounds in celery hold up well during cooking.

Celery promotes healthy and normal kidney function by aiding elimination of toxins from the body. While eliminating toxins, it also prevents formation of kidney stones.

Drinking celery juice every day for a week significantly helps lower blood pressure. A compound called phtalides help relax the muscle around arteries, dilating the vessels and allowing blood to flow normally. To be effective, drink the juice for one week, stop for three weeks, and start over.

Drinking celery juice frequently throughout the day helps curb your cravings for sweets and rich food!

Click on this link if you would like to know a little more about celery:

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

My version of a cleansing product...

After some review, I do not endorse the average cleansing product that are primarily sold in health food stores.

Why? Because many if not all of these products are a bit harsh on the stomach (in my opinion).

My version of a cleanse is: EAT MORE FRUITS, VEGETABLES and drink LOTS of WATER.

Here are a few links with a list of foods high in this will definitely cleanse the digestive system in a natural manner.

Cleanse: Increase Fiber and water intake!

Monday, December 26, 2011

Link of interest...


Quote of the Day...


Yes...mud...what is mud in relationship to fitness?

MUD is something that inhibits our chances of reaching our fitness goals.

MUD is an acronym, meaning: the mire of uncertainity and doubt; this is a vicious cycle! Be aware of it.

What is a good way to overcome becoming "stuck in the mud?"

Belief is the answer..that's right..belief.

Did you know that belief is one of the most powerful predictors of success?

People who belief in their ability to complete a task or achieve a particular goal use more effective coping habits such as humor, exercise and social support.

The mire of uncertainty and doubt keeps us from reaching our goals and living our lives tot he fullest.

If you are stuck in the "mud" you have clicked on a website that is designed to educate, motivate and inspire you to belief in your ability to adopt a lifestyle consisting of exercise and healthy eating habits!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Proper push-up technique

Here are the correct steps for performing a Push-Up with proper form and technique:

In preparing:

1) Begin in a push-up position with feet and hands on the floor slightly wider than shoulder-width apart.
2) Draw in navel and contract glutes

Movement sequence:

3) Keeping back flat, slowly lower body toward ground, by flexing elbows and retracting and depressing shoulder blades.
4) Stop at intial point of compensation.
5) Push back up to starting position, by extending elbows and contracting chest. Do not allow head to jut forward.


1) on knees
2) hands on bench, feet on floor
3) wall push -up


1) lower extremity on ball
2) hands on medicine ball
3) Hands on stability ball

Safety reminder:

A common compensation that often occurs when individuals are performing a push-up is the low back arching (stomach falls toward the ground). This is an indicator that the person possesses weak core stabilizers and the exercise must be regressed.

I strongly reccomend this exercise!

More about carbohydrates..

Carbohydrates provide multiple benefits to the diet. They contain fiber, which ensures regularity in digestion and can lower your risk of diabetes and heart disease.

There are healthy carbohydrates and those that are considered ‘empty calories’, providing very little nutritional value. To ensure you are getting the right nutrients, try to consume those carbohydrates listed in the chart below.

Why they are important: Carbohydrates are your body’s main source of energy. Also cause your pancreas to release insulin which aids in:
  • Regulating blood sugar
  • Storing energy
  • Repairing Muscles
  • Intestinal health and waste elimination
Daily Dietary Requirements*: 40% – 60%** of Caloric Intake

If your diet has too littleIf your diet has too much
  • Pancreas won’t release enough insulin, causing low energy, headaches, muscle cramps and diarrhea
  • Insufficient supply of blood sugar to the body, causing organs to malfunction
  • Ketosis, loss of sodium and dehydration
  • Often causes diets to be higher in fat, which can lead to obesity
  • Pancreas will release too much insulin, causing your body to turn calories into fat
  • May mean you are not getting enough high-quality protein for proper growth and body maintenance
Good Food Sources and Serving Size
  • Apples (1 medium)
  • Applesauce – unsweetened (1/2 cup)
  • Banana – 4″ (1)
  • Berries (1 cup)
  • Cantaloupes (1 cup)
  • Cherries (2/3 cup or 12 cherries)
  • Dried Fruit (2 T)
  • Grapefruit (1/2)
  • Grapes (12 – 15)
  • Juice – 100% fruit (4 – 6 oz)
  • Lemons (1)
  • Low-fat Milk (8 oz)
  • Oranges (1)
  • Pears (1)
  • Plums (2 small)
  • Prunes (3)
  • Soymilk – light (8 oz)
  • Watermelon (1/4 cup)
  • Yogurt – Low-fat and low sugar 

Make water more interesting!

Here is a little creative tidbit:

If you have trouble drinking the reccomended amount of water...because of the lack of taste, no worries!

Try this: Flavor your water with strawberries, lime, or lemon, also try freezing whole blueberries and raspberries inside your ice cubes.

Go ahead make your water more interesting!

Did you know...?

Of the 2,500 known varieties of apples in the U.S, only about 100 are grown commerically. Only, a select 8 make up 80% of the country's production: Red Delicious, Golden Delicious, Granny Smith, McIntosh, Rome Beauty, Jonathan, York, and Stayman

Another link of interest...

Excellent source for self-monitoring which is essential for a successful weight management program.

Strawberry nutrition facts:

All nutrition information is based on 1 cup (8 to 10) fresh strawberries

- Calories: ca. 50
- Protein 1 g
- Fat 0.6 g
- Carbohydrates 11 g
- Sugar 7 g
- Fiber 3.5 g
- Iron 0.6 mg
- Sodium 2 mg
- Calcium 22 mg
- Phosphate 30 mg
- Riboflavine 0.1 mg
- Vitamin C 85 mg
- Potassium 240 mg
- Zinc 0.2 mg
- Niacin 0.4 mg
- Vitamin B6 92 mcg
- Folate 34 mcg

A law regarding weight reduction

Actually, it is called the Law of Thermodynamics and it simply states: weight reduction can only occur when there is more energy burned than consumed.

Sounds simple..right?! Actually, two powerful tools make this law easy to abide by: belief and motivation!

Be motivated and belief..and you will accomplish your goal and have fun doing it!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011


Fact: When pursuing body fat reduction, weight training provides an extremely potent means to burn calories when it is combined with cardiorespiratory training.

Fact: Stability training is essential when starting a resistance training program. Stability training prepares the connective tissues and muscles for the high demand that is to be placed on the entire body.

Thursday, December 1, 2011


On average, we need to consume 96 ounces of water ( 3 quarts) of water per day. For those individuals seeking weight loss an additional 8 ounces for every 25 pounds carried above ideal body weight

Adequate water consumption is important for the following reasons:  metabolic function, body temperature regualtion, liver functioning, also nutrient transport.

Fact: thrist alone is a poor indicator of adequate water consumption.

Fact: A fulid loss of 2% of body weight will adversely affect circulatory functions and decrease performance levels.

Fact: Adequate water intake is essential for feeling and functioning at our best!

Did you say you wanted to know about...

All about bananas!

Just click on this link:

A few good links to check out!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Putting the pieces of the puzzle together....

Very often I find it very helpful to use anaolgies when trying to bring together a point of interest.

So, here I go again...!

There are numerous factors to take into account when creating a game plan for achieving our desired goals; there are numerous "pieces of a puzzle," to put together to complete our mission.

All of these "pieces of the puzzle," must fit just so in order to get optimal results.

The obvious  pieces are: proper nutrition, adequate sleep, exercise ( cardio and resistence training) and motivation.

Quality personal training is also a piece to this puzzle because this allows you to achieve optimal results and getting there more efficiently.

Another piece tot his puzzle that you may not think of is simply understanding a little more about ourselfs, recognizing our character strengths; this allows us to use our greatest asset...our inner strengths and motivators!

Having a B.A in Psychology, I strongly believe in personality types and recogizing our strengths so we can use them to achieve our goals.

Throughout my educational process I used the following personality assessment test numerous times; this test is widely used and has proven to be highly regarded.

Just click on the link...Do it!

Have some fun....

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

A few carbohydrate facts....

1) Daily diet should include 25 grams of fiber.

2) They are our bodies preferred form of energy source.

3) Carbohydrates provide proper cellular fluid balance, maximazing celluar efficiency.

4) For fat loss or muscle gain, carbohydrates should make up the highest percentage of macronutrient calories.

5) Fiber is one of the biggest contributions made by dietary complex carbohydrates.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

More about me....

Since my first days of wanting to pursue a college degree, I knew that I loved to learn, I knew that loved to feel enriched from newly acquired knowledge.

In terms of my continuing my pursuit of fitness knowledge, I am learning little tidbits of information from multiple sources almost on a daily basis.

I am also beginning to study for my 4th personal trainer certification (National Academy of Sport Medicine). This certification is considered the best in terms of the latest cutting edge research based fitness programming.

Some may say..."Do you really
 need a 4th certification?" The answer is no..however I want to be as well rounded as possible in terms of my fitness knowledge. My view is, the different certifications all say essential the same thing in their overall programming, however each posses their own unique perspective. By incorporating different perspectives into my training style, it keeps the workouts fresh, fun and productive!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

How do I keep my workouts fun?

I make each and every workout fun because if working out is not enjoyable then we need to rethink what we are doing!

I keep my workouts fun by focusing on a variety of exercises, exercises that you enjoy doing.

I keep my workouts fun by getting results...results are rewarding, being rewarded is achievement and achievement is always fun!

Friday, November 4, 2011

Getting protein requirements from a meat light diet...

By making some choices it is very possible to meet your protein needs with the option of not eating meat.

It is a nice option to not have to rely on meat to meet all of our protein needs.

Here are a few options:

edamame : 1 cup = 17 grams of protein

tofu:  3 ounces=  9 grams of protein

kidney beans: 1 cup= 13 grams of protein

low fat, plain Greek yogart: 6 ounces=  18 grams of protein

About chickpeas...

The chickpea aka garbanzo bean is a tasty and verstile legume. It is possibly most known as the main ingredient in hummus. It is also seen in many popular dishes, including those of Greece, Italy, Spain and various other countries in the Middle East.

Chickpeas are a good source of nutrition and are high in fiber and protein.

Chickpeas can be stored dry.

There are prominant types of chickpeas: the Desi and the Kabuli. Desi has a rough coat ,small darker seeds. Kabuli has a lighter colored, larger seeds and a smoother coat.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

A few egg facts...

 Eggs provide 13 vitamins and minerals in varying amounts, 70 calories per large egg. Eggs are a good example of a nutrient dense food.
Egg yolks and egg whites are good sources of high quality protein.

Most of the fat in eggs is unsaturated.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Key to Success!

There is not just one key to reaching you fitness goals; there are several.

However, you have come to the right place!

 It just so happens that I have a few of the necessary keys to success, beginning with the information that is provided on this website.

This website is only a month old. I can assure you that it will be updated on a regular basis, so stay tuned!

I provide free consultations at Snapp Fitness in Watertown, SD.

Lets open the door to achieving your fitness goals!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Fact of the Day

Health benefits of coconut water: No fat, low in calories, high in potassium and low in sodium.

Coconut water can be a refreshing replacement for water.

5 levels of cardiovascular training

Level 1: Low intensity training, provides metabolic and emotional health benefits. Training at this level can lower cholesterol and improves blood pressure. This level represents 50% to 60% of HR max.

Level 2: This level corresponds with low to moderate exercise intensity, burns more calories than performing at level 1. Individuals at this level are able to carry on a conversation without any problem. This level is performed at 60% to 70% of HR max

Level 3: This level requires the ability to sustain exercise over a long period of time without fatigue. Improvements at this level occurs by increasing mitochondrial density and improving fat utilization, thus resulting in more total calories expended per exercise minute. This level is performed at 70% to 80% of HR max. This level can be challenging.

Level 4: This level is performed at 80% to 90% of HR max. This level creates training changes that lead to improved aerobic capacity. This level is for more fit individuals, those wanting to improve speed for performance.

Level 5: This level is performed at 90% to 100% of HR max. This level requires near all out effort, thus can only be sustained for short periods of time. The lower end of level 5 can be sustained for 20-35 mins (5k race, for example) by well conditioned athletes. The higher end of this level can be sustained for only 2-5 minutes.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Did you know...?

Did you know that the American College of Sports Medicine and the American Heart Association recommend at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity cardiovascular exercise per week?

So...what is a serving size, anyway?

portion refers to the amount of food you choose to eat, whereas a serving is used to describe the recommended amount of food you should eat at a given meal. 

3 Features that I offer....

 Accountability: I strongly encourage my client to show up for the appointments at the gym and perform whatever exercises that I scheduled: benefit: keeps you motivated and focused on your fitness goals.
Result: you reach your goal faster and more efficiently.

New, fresh workouts: This keeps your body from plateauing which results in improved  confidence and continued fitness gains.

 Several fitness certifications: which provides you with the logical benefit of safe and effective workouts. Result: You will have peace of mind knowing that you are given proper instruction and are not doing anything that would possibly result in injury

Quote of the day...

BOSU Ball Training

The BOSU ball is a great tool for building everything from balance and stability to overall muscular strength. The things you can do with it are limitless. The BOSU ball was built to create stability with instability.  Every different exercise that you do with the BOSU ball helps your body in some way be it balance, coordination, mobility, stretch reflex cycle (plyometrics), etc…The BOSU ball is designed for all fitness levels.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Quotes of the day...

The greatest wealth is health.
- Virgil

Health and intellect are the two blessings of life.
- Menander

One must eat to live and not live to eat.
- Moliere

You can't do anything about the length of your life, but you can do something about its width and depth.
- Shira Tehrani

Fitness - If it came in a bottle, everybody would have a great body. 


"It is hard to fail, but it is worse never to have tried to succeed." Theodore Roosevelt

Quality is not an act, it is a habit.

Thursday, October 27, 2011


Have you checked out my links of interest blog? I ask because there are approx 25 links that are very useful and interesting.
Also, I am adding new links on a regualar basis.

Breakfast insights

Approximately 25% of the population do not eat breakfast. This has the potential to lead to a sluggish metabolism as the body shifts into a starvation response mode. Mental processes can also suffer, including feeling fatigued, less able to concentrate, headaches can also result.

Most people perform better, physically and mentally when haven eaten breakfast.

Many people do not realize that the body awakes in an energy deprived state. It is possible that a person's last meal prior to breakfast may have been as long as 10-15 hours.

Breakfast provides readily available calories for morning activity.

Breakfast can greatly help ensure an sufficient supply of vitamins, minerals.

I say, a healthy breakfast is essential to a productive and enjoyable day!

What is "AOC"?

AOC stands for Area of Concentration. This is a specific type of training designed to target a specific area that you may be having difficulty making gains in. We can have what I like to term stubborn areas, parts of our bodies that seem resistant to making improvements. For example, personally speaking my calves are underdeveloped. This is a specific area that I am currently calling my Area of Concentration.

Through the knowledge that I have acquired I have the "tools" to help myself and you meet the desired goals in our Area of Concentration!

Contact info:

Robert Kirby



Thank You!

A very powerful word...

quotes of day

Motivation will almost always beat mere talent. -Norman R. Augustine

The secret of getting ahead is getting started. -Mark Twain

Clear your mind of can’t. -Samuel Johnson

Apple facts

Researchers at the University of California, Davis Medical Center recently reported that adults who added apples and apple juice to their diet reduced an important marker for heart disease in only a few weeks. The UC-Davis study showed that daily consumption of two apples or 12 ounces of apple juice reduced oxidation of the "bad" low-density lipoproteins (LDL) in healthy men and women. The UC-Davis researchers note that their findings in this clinical study are similar to previously-published studies on tea and red wine that reported a similar reduction of oxidation

Apples contain boron, an essential trace element that helps harden the bones. Strong bones help prevent osteoporosis in women and men.

Apples are absolutely fat-free!

One apple provides as much dietary fiber as a bowl of bran cereal. That's equal to one fifth of the recommended daily intake of fiber

An apple packs more cancer fighting antioxidant capability than a 1,500 milligram megadose of vitamin C.

An apple a day can keep breast cancer away, according to a study in rats by food scientists. Cornell University has conducted the first-ever study on the direct effects of apples on breast cancer prevention in animals. In this study, led by Dr. Rui Hai Liu, Cornell Associate Professor of Food Science, the more apples consumed, the greater reduction in the incidence and number of breast cancer tumors. They found that tumor incidence was reduced by 17,39, and 44 percent in rats fed the human equivalence of one, three or six apples a day, respectfully over 24 weeks.

Cornell University food scientists have discovered that substances called phytochemicals, found primarily in the skin of New York apples, provide huge anti-oxidant and anti-cancer benefits. In an article in the journal Nature five years ago, Liu and his colleagues credited phytochemicals – antioxidants – in fresh apples with inhibiting human liver and colon cancer cell growth. Antioxidants help prevent cancer by mopping up cell-damaging free radicals and inhibiting the production of reactive substances that could damage normal cells.

“Studies increasingly provide evidence that it is the additive and synergistic effects of the phytochemicals present in fruits and vegetables that are responsible for their potent antioxidant and anticancer activities. Our findings suggest that consumers may gain more significant health benefits by eating more fruits and vegetables and whole grain foods than in consuming expensive dietary supplements, which do not contain the same array of balanced, complex components.” says Liu

A recent medical study of nearly 10,000 men and women in Finland over 26 years showed that those with highest consumption of apples were less than half as likely to develop lung cancer as those who ate few or no apples. The study, published in Fall, 1997 American Journal of Epidemiology focused on flavonoids, a plant compound known to have antioxidant effects. Apples are very rich in a flavonoid called quercetin, especially in comparison to other fruits.

Statistical analyses of the diets studied showed that those who consumed the most flavonoid-rich foods-apples and other fruits, juices, onions

, vegetables and jams-had a 20 percent lower incidence of cancer. Quercetin, a flavonoid found largely in apples, accounted for 95 percent of the flavonoids consumed by the study group.

*Information derived from New York Apple Association website.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

About your posture...

The quality of your posture can make a big difference in your life. Good posture can make you look and feel younger, stronger and more confident; and can help improve your breathing, advance your sports performance, decrease your risk of injury and improve your biomechanical efficiency. And, over the course of your life, good posture can prevent painful physical strain in your joints.

How can you tell if you need to improve your posture? Physical therapist Deborah Ellison lists these telltale signs: •collapsed arches in your feet
•an elevated hip or shoulder
•one side of the body rotated forward or back
•pelvis and hips tilted to the front, back or side
•rounded back
•drooping chest and shoulders
•head jutting forward
These are indications that your body has gotten locked into poor movement patterns for any of a number of reasons, including muscle imbalance, compensation for injuries, ergonomic problems or poor alignment during fitness and sports activities.

Changing Bad Posture Habits
It is possible to change bad postural habits. Developing proactive postural exercises and habits builds a foundation for a fit body that functions effectively, says Ellison. Try the following 10 tips to improve your posture:

1. Find Neutral. Your personal trainer can help you recognize what neutral alignment looks and feels like in your body. This is the position in which the spine is best equipped to deal with external stress and strain. You should be able to move into neutral alignment while sitting, standing and moving.

2. Remind Yourself Frequently. Suki Munsell, PhD, a registered movement therapist in Corte Madera, California, suggests that you create ways to remind yourself to improve your posture checks throughout the day, such as setting a sports watch to alert you hourly. Ellison recommends posting printed reminders on your desk or bulletin board.

3. Vary Your Position. Counter the damaging effects of constant sitting by standing as much as possible. Standing in correct alignment requires much less muscular effort than sitting with proper form does. Try using a drafting table so you can work standing; stand up or lie down frequently when you are watching television or talking on the phone.

4. Develop Your Hip Muscles. Weakness or inflexibility of the hip muscles that attach to the pelvis may impact the alignment of your pelvis and lower back. Seek an exercise program that includes flexibility training for the hip flexors, extensors, abductors, adductors and rotators.

5. Perform the Right Abdominal Exercises. Work with your personal trainer to learn exercises that train the abdominals to hold the pelvis in neutral alignment. Do more active stabilization training, rather than just traditional torso curls and sit-ups, which focus almost exclusively on the trunk-flexing function of the obliques.

6. Extend Your Back. Learn how to correctly perform back extension exercises--while standing, on hands and knees, prone on elbows or prone with arms extended. Research has shown that these exercises often improve or eliminate back pain.

7. Don't Ignore Your Upper Body. Seek exercises that help reintegrate the natural coordination and rhythm between the shoulder and shoulder girdle, and strengthen the scapular and arm muscles.

8. Consider Alternative Exercise Formats. Yoga and exercises based on the work of Joseph Pilates emphasize alignment and controlled movement of the spine, which can greatly improve your posture habits.

9. Visualize Your Posture. Munsell suggests that you visualize giant redwoods that stand erect with great dignity for hundreds of years; or imagine growing taller as you stretch your arms above your head. While you walk, concentrate on your posture and imagine yourself moving in perfect alignment.

10. Check With Specialists. Postural problems can have a serious negative impact on your health and quality of life. In addition to your personal trainer, you may want to consult with a podiatrist, an orthopedic specialist, a physical therapist or a chiropractor

* article retrieved from IDEA website.
© 2011 by IDEA Health & Fitness Inc

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

quote of the day!

"Exercise is to the body as laughter is to the soul!"

A picture of health!

I say...fruits and vegetables are so colorful because they are meant to attract our attention..saying..."Try me, you will be glad you did!"

Feeling good is about eating quality food...sounds is..but also profound!

Visit this section of your grocery will be glad you did!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Fruits and vegetables at a glance

Yes...the goal ia to consume nine total servings of fruits and vegetables, this is equal to: 2 cups or 4 servings of fruits and 2.5 cups, or five servings of vegetables.

How much is one serving?

Here are a few examples:
Vegetables: 2 to 4 cups equal: amount on salad bar plate
1 cups equals amount in side dinner salad

Fruit: one serving: one large grapefruit or 15 grapes, one small banana, 1 cup of pineapple, or blueberries or 15 cherries or grapes

Saturday, October 22, 2011


Potassium is very important to maintaining heartbeat. In a state of dehydration, sodium is lost along with water that is lost from the body, however more critical damage comes because potassium is lost from inside cells at the same time.

Potassium deficiency is dangerous because it affects the brain cells, making the person unaware of the need for water.

A lifelong consumption of foods that are low in sodium and high in potassium helps protect aganist high blood pressure.

A dietary deficiency of potassium is very unlikely, however high sodium diets that are also high in processed foods and also low in fruits and vegtables can make potassium deficiency is possible.

Potassium supplements should never be self-prescribed. Toxicity from potassium in supplement form is a greater concern than being deficient.

A few food sources of potassium:

Baked potato
Orange Juice
Lima beans
Kidney beans

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Why I strongly encourage stabilty training

Muscle imbalances are attributed to the following:

Tramuma (e.g.,injury, surgery or amputations)
Pathologies (e.g., arthritis)
Repetitive motion
Awkward postures/positions
Work environment

Basically, this is how it goes: muscle imbalances ultimately alters neurological properties which comprimises joint mobility. Dysfunctional movement results, undue stress is placed on joints and muscles often resulting in many aches and pains throughout the body.

Did you know about...?

Package labels, nutrition reports. There has to be a better way to make decisions about the foods you eat. Now there is: the NuVal™ Nutritional Scoring System.

The NuVal™ System does the nutritional heavy lifting so you don’t have to. Developed by an independent panel of nutrition and medical experts, the System helps you see – at a glance – the nutritional value of the food you buy.

How? The NuVal™ System scores food on a scale of 1-100. The higher the NuVal™ Score, the better the nutrition. It’s that simple. And it’s coming to every aisle of your favorite grocery stores – right there on the shelf tag. Now you can compare overall nutrition the same way you compare price. You can even compare apples and oranges.

For a brief overview of our system that's ready to print, check out our new brochure. For tips on how to use the NuVal™ System, visit Shop with the NuVal™ System. To find out which stores currently carry NuVal™ Scores, go to Where to Find the NuVal™ System.

How the Scoring Works

NuVal™ Scores summarize comprehensive nutritional information in one simple number between 1 and 100. Each NuVal™ Score takes into account more than just the nutrition fact panel. It considers 30-plus nutrients and nutrition factors – the good (protein, calcium, vitamins) and the not-so-good (sugar, sodium, cholesterol). And then it boils it down into a simple, easy-to-use number; a number you can trust to make better decisions about nutrition in just a few seconds.

There’s a lot more to the science behind the NuVal™ System than what we’ve explained here. To learn more about it – and the independent panel of nutrition and medical experts who developed it – visit The Science Behind The NuVal™ System

NuVal™ Scores are displayed directly on shelf price tags, so you can compare overall nutrition the same way you compare price. Learn more about how to Shop with NuVal™ Scores.

Some of the country’s leading grocery chains feature the NuVal™ System in their stores and more will be launching in the coming year.
*Information abstracted from Nuval website

Sitting on the fence...

I am sure we have all found ourselves "sitting on the fence," in regards to one issue or another.

However, when it comes to living healthy, exercise is a necessary element to living well and feeling well!

So, if you are considering making some changes in your life, such as a new training program, etc..."climb down off the fence of indecision and get on your

path to success!"

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Article of the Day

What can I do to reduce my risk of developing cancer?

Although a cure for cancer is still beyond our reach, we have the ability to make changes to assist in reduce our risk of certain cancers as well as other diseases.

The American Institute of Cancer Research estimates that up to one-third of all cancers can be prevented if we eat a nutrient-rich diet, maintain a healthy weight and participate in a minimum of 30 minutes of daily exercise. However, as we approach the winter season, our attitudes towards exercise and eating healthy may begin to change. Starchy, comfort foods coupled with less activity due to inclement weather or busy holiday time constraints often contribute to the average 10-15 pound weight gain we see between Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Yet the same premise for holiday weight management is the same for lowering one’s risk of cancer. Some of the core recommendations include:

Focusing on fruit, vegetables, and whole grains
Including beans and other fiber rich plant foods
Limiting saturated fats
Avoiding processed meats
The focus on plant-based nutrients gave rise to what we call phytochemicals or phytonutrients (from the Greek phyto or plant), meaning a substance naturally occurring in plants. These plant-based nutrients pack a one-two punch against cancer as well as other diseases through several widely believed physiological mechanisms:

Slow the cancer cell proliferation and growth rate
Stimulation of the immune system response
Prevention of DNA damage that can lead to cancer initially through their antioxidant properties
A Word on Antioxidants

Many phytonutrients are antioxidants, which are simply compounds within food that protect our cells from oxidative damage and stress. This protective measure is key in preventing changes to our immune system over time, which can lead to cancer and other diseases.

A very good example of how an antioxidant works is to think of what happens when you cut into an apple. Within about 30 minutes, that apple slice will begin to turn brown from oxidation. However, if you squeeze on a bit of lemon juice immediately after an apple is sliced, the Vitamin C contained in that juice acts as an antioxidant preventing the apple from oxidizing and consequently, turning discolored.

Just as certain foods need antioxidant protection, so do our bodies. Choosing foods higher in phytonutrients can help to ensure we stay healthy.

Suggestions for Increasing Your Phytonutrients


Whole grain cereals
Vegetable bean soup
Stir-fry dishes

Veggie omelet
Whole grain bread sandwiches
Lean cuts of meat and fish

Whole wheat toast served with nut butter
Mixed garden salads served alongside frozen entrées.
Fresh fruit desserts

*Article abstracted from American Council on Exercise website

Do you really need a personal trainer, lets be honest?

The simple answer is most likely no..thats! You do not need a personal trainer to perform daily functions, it least most people do not.

However, by virtue of being human, we are all complex with wants and goals.
We need to ahieve our wants to ultimately be happy. For example, if a person has not exercised in years and would love to get back into shape as they were in college, start competing in small running events, achieving these goals would bring a sense of fulfillment..thus happier. Was this an example of a need or want...? The point is: we are all striving to live as fully as we can, as happy as we how ever you want to think of personal training as a need or a want, personal training and weightmangement councling can benifit you!
Here are a few proven benfits to personal training:
goals are achieved more quickly, reduces the risk of injury to the client, provides more structure to one's workout, increases motivation and consitency, utlizes clients time more efficiently

I ask you to think about some fitness wants that you have been wanting to achieve but may not have been to achieve on your own...

Let me assist you on your path to success!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

On the Road to Success!

If you have fitness related goals, I can help! I offer the following services:
1)      Individual Personal Training
2)      Small group classes (discounted) current class: Circuit Fit
3)      Postural, balance and flexibility programming
4)      Lifestyle and weight management coaching
5)      In-Home Personal Training
6)      Body Composition Testing
7)      Low-back pain reduction exercises

Current small group class: CircuitFit: CircuitFit is a unique program that I developed with two primary goals in mind: 1) To achieve positive individual results and 2) To maintain a program that is fun through a variety of exercises.

So..let me help you on your road to success in achieving your goals!
Circuit Fit : a progressive 4 week program
Let me tell you what circuit fit is and why it is so appealing!
Circuit Fit is a unique program that I developed with two primary goals in mind: 1) To achieve positive individual results and 2) To maintain a program that is fun through a variety of exercises.

Circuit Fit is a popular exercise format that can be utilized with all populations and fitness levels, especially those in weight loss programs. Nine to 12 stations comprise the circuit that alters cardio with but machines, hand held weights, elastic resistance and body resistance. This type of workout promotes greater energy expenditure and gets the blood flowing to the working muscles!

Robert Kirby
*Contact info: 605-690-9258
roberts fitness insights

Saturday, October 15, 2011

What is Your Formula for Success?

To succeed you need to develop self-awareness, recognize/acknowledge ambivalence and your current status, and then take responsibility (take charge of your fate). I can help you on this journey by helping you
1)      Identify strengths and weaknesses (what holds you back?)
2)      Learn ore about fitness, wellness, and nutrition (recognizing additional benefits)
3)      Identify obstacles and challenges (internal and external)
4)      Commit to change and start planning
To take Action together we need to:
1)      Create the experience
2)      Build self-efficacy through manageable, but successful tasks
roberts fitness insights

Frequently asked questions

roberts fitness insights

How long should I wait to exercise after eating? 
In general, about 3 hours after eating a full meal before engaging in a strenuous exercise programs. Exercising before food has had time to empty from the stomach can cause cramps and additional abdominal discomfort. But people respond differerntly and there is no set amount of time to wait. If you exercise in the morning, a quick carbohydrate-dense snack might help provide some energy during the workout without a lot of discomfort. Carbohydrates are generally digested in approximately an hour, while protein takes about two hours and fat takes about four hours. But remember most foods are a combination of three types of macronutrients.

What should I eat before my workouts?
The food should be something that is relatively high in carbohydrates to maximize blood glucose availability, relatively low in fat and fiber to minimize gastrointestinal distress, moderate protein. Most people do well with approximately 2 grams (8 calories) of carbohydrate per pound of body weight.  For morning workouts, eat a small amount of rapidly digestible carbohydrate, such as a slice of bread or a banana, 30 to 60 minutes before exercise. If you exercise in the afternoon or evening, you may want to have a light snack right before a workout, especially if it has been more than 3 hours since your last meal.

What should I eat after a workout?
For optimal recovery after an endurance workout, it is important to eat carbohydrates to replace the stored energy (glycogen) that was utilized doing the workout. For best results, the American (ADA) recommends aiming to eat approx.. 1.5 grams of carbohydrate per kilogram of body weight within 30 minutes of finishing the workout and then every two hours for four to six hours. A little bit of protein will also help to repair muscles, which is especially important after a résistance training workout. Of course, the amount of refueling needed depends on the intensity and duration of the workout.

Which is better for weight control: consuming three square meals or eating five to six small meals spread out over the day?
Weight control is achieved by balancing the number of calories consumed with the number of calories burned.  Therefore, it doesn’t matter if the calories come in the form of three larger meals or five or six smaller meals. However, some people find that they’re better able to control their calorie intake in one way or the other.  Further instance, people who consume three or fewer meals per day may find that long periods between meals leave them feeling famished, which leads them to overeat to compensate. Eating smaller meals throughout the day may help some individuals with caloric control. On the other hand, someone who eats five to six times a day may forget to a make them small meals and instead consume more calories than he or she would with three meals. In the end it is a matter of preference. It is important to note that people who have diabetes should consume five or six equally small sized meals to maintain healthy blood sugar levels throughout the day.

How many calories should I eat and how often should I exercise for optimal weight loss?
Several formulas have been developed to estimate caloric needs for weight maintenance. One that is particularly useful is Miffin- ST Jeor equation:

Moderately,  active people are generally advised to consume approximately 1.5  to 1.7 time the calculated resting metabolic rate (RMR). Convert pounds to kilograms by dividing by 2.2. Convert inches to centimeters by multiplying by 2.54  To lose 1 pound of fat, a 3,500 calorie deficit is required. Keep in mind losing weight is not the hard part. The hard part is keeping the wait off.

The USDA  Dietary Guidelines suggest that adults seeking to maintain weight loss accumulate 60 to 90 minutes of moderate physical activity most days of the week. This goal, which may seem overwhelming, can be reached gradually over time by starting with 15 to 30 minute bouts of exercise activity.

Is it true that food eaten late at night is more likely to turn into body fat?
Ultimately, it is not when you eat, but what and how much.

Do I have to stop eating all of the foods that I enjoy to lose weight?
The most successful approach to weight loss and weight loss maintence is to make permanent lifestyle changes that include healthful eating plan and ample physical activity. A diet-which implies short term and hard to adhere to changes-is not the answer. A healthy lifestyle allows for all foods in moderation. This means that less healthy foods can be eaten, as long as they make up only a small portion of the total daily calorie intake.
Should I be taking a supplement to obtain adequate nutrition?
The science on multivitamins is inconclusive. In 2006, a National Institutes of Health (NIH) panel convened to evaluate all of the research on multivitamins and develop recommendations for the public. The panel concluded that insufficient high-quality research has been done to assess whether vitamins help in chronic disease prevention. Two exceptions are the strong indications for folic acid supplements for all women of child bearing age to prevent neural tube defects in the developing baby, and fish oil/omega 3 fatty acid supplements for the prevention of heart disease in people who are at risk. In general, most dietitians

I’ve tried a million diets and have lost a ton of weight, only to gain a ton back, only to regain more back. How much weight should I lose? And how do keep it off?
The key to permanent weight loss success is to make lifestyle changes that include a healthy eating plan and ample physical activity. The changes need to be doable enough that you can maintain them indefinitely and not feel deprived and unhappy. A realistic goal for someone who is overweight or obese is to aim to lose 7 to 10% of starting weight over a six month to one year period and then to keep the weight off for at least six months before trying to lose more. This amount of weight loss will provide significant health benefits, including decreases in blood pressure, cholesterol, and the risk of developing diabetes. Also, weight loss is more easily maintained when the weight is lost slowly (about one to 2 pounds a week).

I don’t have a lot of time. How can I fit a healthy exercise and nutrition program into my busy schedule?
Small changes that do not take much extra time, such as taking the stairs instead of the elevator and parking in one of the far away slots at the grocery store, can add up. Also, most fast food and take out restaurants now offer healthier choices, such as grilled chicken, salads, and kids meals (that adults can order too) with fruit and milk. Visit for numerous tips on how to incorporate healthy living into a jam packed schedule.

What are some general nutrition guidelines for clients with diabetes?
It is especially important for people with diabetes to balance nutrition intake (particularly carbohydrate intake) with exercise and insulin or other diabetic medications to maintain a regular blood sugar level throughout the day. Because most people with type 2 diabetes, which is linked to an increased risk for cardiovascular disease, a heart healthy eating plan including vegetables, fruits, and whole grains is key. While advocates of popular low carbohydrate programs such as South Beach,  Atkins, and Zone diets claim that consuming a carbohydrate –restricted diet is better for people with diabetes, to date research as not supported any long term cardiovascular benefits of low carb diets versus a MyPyramid- like, moderate to high carbohydrate diet. However, it is prudent to recommend that clients limit consumption of simple sugars and carbs with little nutritional value as these foods cause a spike in blood sugar. However, people with type 1 diabetes (insulin-deficient by definition) should carry hard candy or other sugary items to eat if their blood glucose drops to low.

What are some general  nutrition guidelines for clients with hypertension ?
Research has demonstrated that the DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension ) eating plan is effective for the treatment and prevention of hypertension. The DASH plan emphasizes a diet low in saturated fat, cholesterol, and total fat that consist largely of fruits, vegetables, and low fat dairy products. Fish, poultry, nuts, and other unsaturated fats and whole grains are encouraged as heart healthy foods, while red meat, sweets, sugar containing beverages, and high salt foods should be limited. The best precaution for all Amercians is to limit salt intake to no more than 2, 400 mg per day. For more information about DASH eating plan refer to:
Information abstracted from: ACE Lifestyle&Weight Management Coach Manual (2nd ed).
roberts fitness insights

The Seven Ingredients for Happiness

roberts fitness insights

Control: Internal Control, Control over one’s environment
Optimism: Positive outlook- expect the best, treat rejection as a challenge
Faith: Belief in God, A sense of purpose, commitment to something other than one’s self
Meaningful Activity: Anything that challenges you:,sports, hobbies, work, etc. Happiness is a side-effect of doing other things
Close relationships: Good social support

Humor: Even acting happy has the ability to make a person feel happy

Fulfilling Work: Finding employment that is satisfying to the individual

An interesting piece of research...

roberts fitness insights

The following piece of research is brought to you by American Council on Exercise
Lifestyle Fitness Activities
Researchers have begun to study the role that daily spontaneous standing, walking, and fidgeting movements play in combating weight gain and obesity. From this research, scientists have defined a new component of energy expenditure called: non-exercise activity thermogenesis (NEAT) (physiological processes that produce heat). NEAT represents the energy expenditure of daily activities- all activities that are not considered planned physical activity in a person’s daily life. Researchers were looking for lifestyle physical activity clues that might explain why 10 non-exercising lean men and women varied from 10 non-exercising mildly obese men and women.

They found that the lean participants were standing and moving for 153 minutes more per day than the obese subjects. Amazingly, this extra movement by the lean subjects equaled 36.5 pound reduction of fat in one year!

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has established a “Get Active” website (

Crossover Concept

roberts fitness insights

Brought to you by the American College of Sports Medicine

It as been observed since the early 1900s that exercise intensity influences the relative reliance on fats and carbohydrates for energy. In the mid-1990s, the term crossover concept was coined, and a new debate about its meaning emerged.

 An important adaptation of regular aerobic exercise is skeletal muscle’s increased ability to break down fat. After training, a person can more readily use the energy stored in fat. However, regardless of one’s state of training, fat cannot  supply ATP at the rate needed to sustain high-intensity exercise.

The recognition that lower-intensity exercise is more reliant on the breakdown of fats is sometimes used to encourage people to engage in low-, rather than high, intensity exercise for weight loss. Evidence suggests that total caloric expenditure, rather than the percentage reliance on fats, is the most important factor influencing weight change. Certainly, low-intensity exercise can be used to create a caloric deficit, but the time devoted to exercise must be expanded to allow for the same expenditure of calories that can be achieved with moderate or vigorous activity. The good news is that individuals wanting weight loss can choose the intensity and type of activity that best fit their fitness, time, and enjoyment requirements.

Article derived from ACSM


Athletes need fats and carbohydrates to supply their energy needs during training and competition. Individuals who are aerobically trained and can resupply ATP more rapidly from fats may have an advantage in avoiding glycogen depletion. Although this increase in the ability to use fats as a source for ATP increases with training, the intensity at which most competitive events occurs will require that athletes have an exceptional ability to supply ATP from carbohydrates. As you might expect, trained athletes have enhanced ability to break down carbohydrates without oxygen (glycolysis) and with oxygen (oxidation).


Fats and carbohydrates are the primary sources of energy during exercise. The energy stored in fats and carbohydrates is
released as these substrates are broken down. This energy is captured in the form of adenosine triphosphate (ATP). ATP is then used by cells for many purposes, including muscle contraction. Although each gram of fat stores relatively more energy than a gram of carbohydrate (9 kcal vs. 4 kcal, respectively), the rate at which ATP can be formed is higher for carbohydrates than for fats.

At rest and during light to moderate activity, fat breakdown can supply the majority of the body’s need for ATP. To sustain higher exercise intensities, the body needs to resupply ATP more rapidly. Thus, for vigorous aerobic exercise, carbohydrates become the primary supplier of ATP. 

An effective tool

I use the SPORTS principle!

This principle takes the guesswork out of training
Specificity, Progression, Overload, Reversibility, and Training Effect

Please inquire further if you are curious about any of my training techniques.

Carb:Protein:Fat Ratio?

Acceptable Macronutrient Distribution Range for percent of totally calorie intake:
  • Carbohydrate: 45% to 65%  
  • Protein: 10 to 35%   
  • Fat:  20 to 35%

certification validation

Fit Fact

Physical capacity decreases dramatically with age in non-strength training adults due to an average of 5 pound per decade of loss of muscle tissue.  Therefore those who want to maintain their physical capacity and performance abilities must make resistance training a regular component of an active lifestyle.

What happenes to your body when you exercise?

roberts fitness insights

When you begin to exercise, your cardiorespiratory and neuromuscular systems and metabolic energy pathways are stimulated. Muscles contract and, to meet their increasing demands for oxygen, your heart rate, blood flow, cardiac output and breathing rate increase. Blood moves faster through your arteries and veins and is gradually routed to working muscles.

Your blood temperature rises and oxygen is released more quickly, raising the temperature of the muscles. This allows the muscles to use glucose and fatty acids to burn calories and create energy for the exercise. All of these processes prepare the body for higher-intensity action.

Specifically, a gradual warm-up:

·       Leads to efficient calorie burning by increasing your core body temperature
·       Produces faster, more forceful muscle contractions
·       Increases your metabolic rate so oxygen is delivered to the working muscles more quickly
·       Prevents injuries by improving the elasticity of your muscles
·       Gives you better muscle control by speeding up your neural message pathways to the muscles
·       Allows you to comfortably perform longer workouts because all of your energy systems are able to adjust to exercise, preventing the buildup of lactic acid in the blood
·       Improves joint range of motion
·       Psychologically prepares you for higher intensities by increasing your ability to focus on exercise
Where to Begin
Your warm-up should consist of two phases:

·         Progressive aerobic activity that utilizes the muscles that you will be using during your workout
·         Flexibility exercises

Choosing which warm-up activity to use is as easy as slowing down what you will be doing during your workout. For example, if you will be running, warm up with a slow jog, or if you will be cycling outdoors, begin in lower gears. An ideal intensity for an aerobic warm-up has yet to be established, but a basic guideline is to work at a level that produces a small amount of perspiration but doesn’t leave you feeling fatigued. The duration of the warm-up activity will depend on the intensity of your workout as well as your own fitness level.

After the aerobic warm-up activity, you should incorporate flexibility/stretching exercises. Stretching muscles after warming them up with low-intensity aerobic activity will produce a better stretch, since the rise in muscle temperature and circulation increases muscle elasticity, making muscles more pliable. Be sure to choose flexibility exercises that stretch the primary muscles you will be using during your workout.

Make the Time
To fully reap the benefits of the time you are spending exercising, you must warm up. Taking those extra few minutes to adjust to increased activity will ensure a better performance from your body and, in turn, will make your workout more efficient, productive and, best of all, enjoyable.
Article abstracted from American Council on Exercise Website

Additional Resources