Category Archives: Fitness Tips

Everyone should consider personal training, especially here at Elite Fitness in Boca Raton.  People are always looking for personal trainers or gym to help them get in shape.  A lot of people will always try to convince you about a new quick weight loss program.  No matter what you decide you can never escape exercise.  We’re going to give you 4 reasons why exercise is important.

 1.  Reduces blood pressure.

With the correct weight loss plan you can reduce your blood pressure dramatically.  Blood pressure is known as the silent killer and if not treated correctly can lead to a stroke or worst death.  Working with a personal trainer at Elite Fitness along side your doctor, we can help monitor your health and reduce your blood pressure.  With the right amount of training and cardio we can ensure a reduction in blood pressure.

2.  Lower diabetes risk.

Diabetes is one of leading causes of death in the country.   A lot of complications of adult-onset Type 2 diabetes pose a serious risk to your physical wellbeing.  With proper exercise and personal training you can help with the dependency on medication.

3.  Boost your energy

By having your body functional at its optimal level you’re able to provide more oxygen to fuel your body’s cells.  Here at Elite Fitness in Boca Raton Florida, we’re able to take advantage of going to the beach and enjoying outdoor activities.  Even though going to the gym seems to take a lot of energy, once you develop a routine for your weight loss it seems less tiresome.

4.  Improves mood.

People who regularly exercise generally have a lower risk of depression.  We live in a culture where pills seem to fix everything wrong with us.  Exercise is the best behavioral treatment there is.  There are natural endorphins in our bodies to help us feel better about ourselves.  Finding the right gym, personal trainer, or weight loss plan can help with this transition.

* Disclaimer: Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary. Exercise and proper diet are necessary to achieve and maintain weight loss and muscle definition.

For all my alcohol loving clients, read this article from Fitness Expert Phil Kaplan.

Daily alcohol consumption will slow or stop your results. The drawbacks are probably going to far outweigh any health benefits. Your liver can’t metabolize alcohol and fat at the same time. It will always get rid of the toxic substance (alcohol) first. That means that as long as there’s alcohol in your system you won’t be burning any body fat. If you have one or two drinks, you might stall your fat loss for about 12 hours. If you have quite a few drinks, it might be as long as four days before you’re metabolizing fat again.

Drinking also dehydrates you, raises cortisol levels (goodbye muscles), raises estrogen levels (hello hips), lowers inhibitions (pizza anyone?). Combine that with the fact that alcohol promotes abdominal fat storage (of all places!) and it’s really not worth it, not even on free day, not if you’re serious about making a major transformation.

The Effects of Alcohol on Fat Burning…

What most people don’t realize is that drinking has a far more damaging effect than you can predict simply by looking at the number of alcohol calories in a drink. Not only does alcohol reduce the number of fat calories you burn; it can also increase your appetite and lower your testosterone levels for up to 24 hours after you finish drinking.

The infamous “beer belly”

According to conventional wisdom, the infamous “beer belly” is caused by excess alcohol calories being stored as fat. Yet, less than five percent of the alcohol calories you drink are turned into fat. Rather, the main effect of alcohol is to reduce the amount of fat your body burns for energy. Recent research published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition reported that fat metabolism can be reduced by as much as 73% after only two drinks of vodka and lemonade in a one hour time period. What this tells us is that the primary effect of alcohol on the body is not so much how much of it gets stored as fat, but how it shuts down the body’s ability to access your fat stores for energy.

Alcohol in the body is converted into a substance called acetate. In the previous mentioned study blood levels of acetate were 2.5 times higher than normal after only two drinks. And it appears that this sharp rise in blood acetate puts the brakes on fat burning. Unlike a car that uses primarily one source of fuel, the body is able to draw from a number of different sources (carbohydrates, fats and proteins). To a certain extent, the source of fuel your body uses is dictated by its availability. Consequently, when your blood acetate levels rise, your body simply uses more acetate instead of fat.

Summary of alcohol metabolism after only two drinks
* A small portion of the alcohol is converted into fat.
* Your liver then converts most of the alcohol into acetate.
* Other acetate is then released into your bloodstream, and replaces fat as a source of fuel.

Alcohol increases appetite

The combination of alcohol and a high-calorie meal is especially fattening, mainly because alcohol acts as a potent appetizer. A Canadian study shows that an aperitif (an alcoholic drink taken before a meal to increase the appetite) increased calorie intake to a greater extent than a carbohydrate-based drink. In fact, the more you drink the more you tend to eat. And unfortunately, having just two drinks in an hour will leave your liver struggling to convert the alcohol into acetate, which means that other foods are more easily converted into fat.

Alcohol affects testosterone levels

Not only does alcohol put the brakes on fat burning, it’s also one of the most effective ways to slash your testosterone levels. Just a single bout of heavy drinking raises levels of the muscle-wasting hormone cortisol and increases the breakdown of testosterone for up to 24 hours. The damaging effects of alcohol on testosterone are made even worse when you exercise before drinking.

Nutrient deficiency

As previously mentioned, too much alcohol prevent fat burning and reduce your testosterone levels, but it also can affect the body’s ability to break down proteins, carbohydrates and fats. Too much alcohol in the blood can lead to a deficiency in Vitamins B1, B2 & B3, as well as magnesium and zinc. These nutrient deficiencies can eventually cause weakening of the heart muscles, poor skin, arthritis and prostate gland disorder.

The bottom line

Drinking will not only put the brakes on your fat loss efforts; it will also prevent you from building muscle tissue. The bottom line is that alcohol and a leaner, stronger body just doesn’t mix. Our bodies were never meant to have alcohol put into them. It is poison for our bodies and should be eliminated. Any client that has done this has seen dramatic changes in their health and fat loss. I am sorry to be the bearer of bad news. All I am doing is reporting the facts as I have researched them. Sorry…..:)

Well, don’t get mad at me, Phil wrote this, and I am simply the messenger. But, I do hope that you have a great night tonight, just be a bit more careful and remember to have someone help you drive home safely!

* Disclaimer: Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary. Exercise and proper diet are necessary to achieve and maintain weight loss and muscle definition.

An Appalachian State University study led by Jeffrey McBride found that stable exercises are superior to unstable exercises for overloading the muscles in our bodies including CORE muscles. Being on solid surfaces, one can use heavier loads, shorter tension times, and higher speeds than on unstable surfaces. Ground-based exercises have the same force, velocity, and core-stabilizing elements required in most sports and movement skills. The take-home message is to stay grounded for better results. (International Journal Sports Physiology Performance, 5:177-183, 2010)

* Disclaimer: Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary. Exercise and proper diet are necessary to achieve and maintain weight loss and muscle definition.


America is a high stress society in which most people don’t get enough sleep. We could be paying for it with our health.Sleep deprivation is linked to obesity, heart disease, arthritis, diabetes and cancer. A seven year Finnish study of nearly 9000 people, led by Peppi Lyytikaine, found that people who developed sleep problems during the experiment gained more weight than those with normal sleep patterns. Trouble falling asleep, waking during the night, or trouble staying asleep increased the risk of weight gain by more than 50%. Night time snacking is common in overweight people with sleep disorders. The body produces powerful signaling chemicals during sleep deprivation that promote overeating. Chronically sleeping less than six hours per night is linked to obesity and Type 2 Diabetes. (International Journal of Obesity, published online June 8, 2010)

* Disclaimer: Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary. Exercise and proper diet are necessary to achieve and maintain weight loss and muscle definition.


A University of Connecticut study found that men who combine weight training with a well balanced diet lost abdominal fat rapidly. Weight training increases muscle mass, which boosts metabolic rate and promotes fat loss. Men should do resistance training at least three to four days a week, working the major muscle groups.

* Disclaimer: Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary. Exercise and proper diet are necessary to achieve and maintain weight loss and muscle definition.

By now you know FLEX’s stand on static (reach and hold) before weight lifting – don’t do it. That’s because research shows that this form of strecthing can decrease muscle strength. So do it after your workout. New research from Florida State University (Tallahassee) shows that stretching before running also slows you down. However, they found that when trained runners strecthed before running, they burned 5% more calories during a 30-minute run. So if you run for performance, keep the stretching for after the run. However, if you run to burn off more body fat, consider stretching before you run to burn more calories and therefore more fat.

Jim Stoppani, PhD

* Disclaimer: Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary. Exercise and proper diet are necessary to achieve and maintain weight loss and muscle definition.


We recommend caffeine as part of the pre-workout regimen, but how much you take can have a huge impact on muscle strength and power. Make sure you’re getting in enough of this strength builder and fat burner before every one of your workouts to maximize your result in the gym.

THE STUDY researchers from San Diego State University recruited healthy, college-aged men who were daily caffeine users to participate in their study. The subjects took either about 165 milligrams of caffeine or about 415 mg of caffeine one hour before being tested on a leg extension and leg curl machine.

THE RESULTS As reported in a 2010 issue of the Journal Medicine and Exercise in Sports and Science, only when the subjects consumed the 415 mg dose of caffeine did they experience a boost in muscle strength and muscle power of about 5% as compared to when they took a placebo.

THE DOSAGE The San Diego researchers did not look at doses between the lower level (about 165 mg) and the higher one (about 415 mg), so it’s hard to confirm whether a lower dose than the 415 mg would produce similar results. FLEX recommends that to get the most strength and power benefits from caffeine before workouts, be sure to take a minimum of 200 mg and up to about 400 mf of caffeine one hour before workouts.

– Jim Stoppani, PhD

* Disclaimer: Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary. Exercise and proper diet are necessary to achieve and maintain weight loss and muscle definition.

 People often like to take the easy way out, right?

Why work hard if you can win the lottery? Why eat right and exercise when you can get gastric bypass? While some peoples’ circumstances are worse than others, there are many who use gastric bypass, or the less intrusive version, Lap Band surgery, to lose a drastic amount of weight.

The mere thought of dieting an exercising to lose an extreme amount of weight is exhausting in itself. However, the quick fix comes with its share of risks: “Gastric bypass surgery has the potential for numerous side effects, including blood clots, dumping syndrome, gastric leaking and even death. Dumping syndrome causes food to move too quickly through the digestive track. Gastric leaking is the leaking of gastric fluid at the incision site,” according to

In gastric bypass surgery, the stomach is reduced to the size of a walnut. As a result, one can only hold about an ounce of food at a time. For Lap Band surgery, which is actually reversible,

In addition, The American Heart Association (via Dr. Oz’s website) states that “bariatric surgery should be reserved for patients who have severe obesity” and only when medical therapy has failed and surgery is a safe option.

As a final note given by, “dieting without gastric bypass should truly be exhausted before attempting a risky surgery. People looking for a quick fix will soon be shocked to discover that gastric bypass surgery requires lifelong dieting. In choosing a diet, avoid quick-fix diets that involve extreme fasting, eating only one food or exclusion of entire food groups. Diets like those almost always fail in the long run. Instead, the Agricultural Research Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture suggests that choosing a diet that can be followed long term and permanently changes your eating habits will result in greater weight loss. Any amount of weight lost by fasting can easily be regained with the return of old eating habits.”

All in all, surgery can be a great temporary fix, but if you are not prepared to change your lifestyle, nothing will change. Old habits will return and your body will adapt to the way it used to be.

* Disclaimer: Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary. Exercise and proper diet are necessary to achieve and maintain weight loss and muscle definition.

When looking to lose weight, our common sense tells us to eat less, move more. Some people, however, take that bit of information and take it to the extreme. Prime example: Starvation.

We all want to be able to have a baby and lose all of the weight (and then some) in a week, like the celebrities do. But that just isn’t realistic, is it?

According to Christy Bowles, a writer for, “when your diet restricts the amount of calories you consume you body will automatically adjust to conserve energy. If you stop consuming food and starve yourself in order to lose weight, your body’s metabolism will slow down.” That right there will jeopardize your weight loss. The key to healthy weight loss and maintaining that weight loss is to speed up your metabolism, not slow it down. The best way to speed up your metabolism is to eat less, MORE often.

While rapid weight loss sounds by starvation may sound appealing, it will do more harm than good. Consult with a doctor or dietitian regarding healthy weight loss goals and your personal caloric intake for a successful weight loss program. A balanced diet with controlled levels of calories, fat and sugar is the best option for long-term weight loss success.”

Symptoms of starvation include: gallstones, brittle nails, thinning hair, skin problems, mood changes, heart rhythm changes and, in extreme cases, death.

All in all, the key here is to make healthy eating and exercise a lifestyle. Anything to the extreme is never permanent. Any decisions you make, think to yourself, “Can I do this for the long term?”

References: Mayo Clinic: Fast Weight Loss; What’s Wrong With it?; Donald Hensrud ; June 11, 2011

* Disclaimer: Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary. Exercise and proper diet are necessary to achieve and maintain weight loss and muscle definition.


Not only can exercise improve your health, but an increasing body of research is finding that exercise benefits your memory. The advantages may be as diverse as reducing the risk of cancer, spurring the growth of new brain cells, and preventing Alzheimer’s.

In a study published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences in 2007, researchers found an improvement in participants’ blood flow to a memory-related brain area as well as increased scores on memory tests after a three-month-long workout program.

Another study, conducted at Cambridge University in 2010, showed that running stimulates the brain to grow new cells in the hippocampus, a part of the brain associated with memory. Mice were given rewards of sugar if they nudged a square to their left, and nothing if they nudged a square on their right. One group then had access to running wheels, and after their exercise they outperformed sedentary mice’s ability to pick the right square by nearly fifty percent. Tissue samples also showed that they had hundreds of thousands of new brain cells.

Many similar studies cited the same effect of exercise on promoting brain cell growth. One of them, published in 2011 by Dr. Kirk I. Erickson, showed that exercise actually grew adult participants’ hippocampus by two percent, effectively reversing brain cell loss by one to two years.

An exercise program does not have to be drastic in order to achieve memory benefits. In a study led by Beckman Institute researcher Arthur Kramer, people with sedentary lifestyles were assigned a six month walking regimen. It started out gradually and eventually increased to 45 minutes of brisk daily walking. Memory tests after the six months showed an eleven percent improvement while the control group’s test scores were slightly worse than before. The study also found positive changes in two brain regions associated with spatial attention.

Now researchers are focusing on how exercise can help reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease, which currently affects 5.4 million Americans and is expected to increase significantly as the population ages. Four studies presented at the 2012 Alzheimer’s Association International Conference addressed the positive correlation between targeted exercise, like resistance strength training, and how it can possibly prevent or slow the effects of dementia and Alzheimer’s.

Scientists are still unsure of why some people benefit more from exercise than others and what is the best type of exercise for improving memory. The effects of exercising are complex, perhaps more so than previously thought, but they do show a general enhancement in the ability to remember. All the more reason to get moving!

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* Disclaimer: Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary. Exercise and proper diet are necessary to achieve and maintain weight loss and muscle definition.