Weight Modification in Young Athletes: A Question of Nutritional Quality and Quantity By:Brett Klika

A frequent challenge with young (and old) athletes is gaining or losing weight in order to improve performance. Because it is an athlete’s most familiar medium, they often assume that exercise is the primary factor behind weight gain or loss. After all, every fitness magazine on every newsstand is touting the newest, best exercise program to lose weight and/or gain beautiful, bronzen muscle. And as we all know, magazines DON’T lie! While exercise is effective for improving movement, power output, body shape, flexibility, fitness, and a variety of other important aspects of health and wellness, it is very ineffective for modifying bodyweight without proper nutrition. When I sit down with a young athlete who presents this bodyweight challenge, the first question I ask is “What did you have for breakfast this morning?” The answers usually range from a “sheepish grin” to “a bowl of cereal”. As a matter of fact, I have NEVER in 10 years heard an answer to that question from a high school athlete that would qualify as legitimate for pursuit of their weight modification goal.

The intake of food is the primary way in which our body receives nutrients. Nutrients in food help facilitate nearly every metabolic function in our body. Major functions of particular interest to athletes are the creation and utilization of energy as well as tissue repair and growth. Calories from food provide fuel for these processes. Calories come from carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. Each one of these “macronutrients” has a slightly different affect on creating energy and repairing tissue in the body. Different foods are made up of different ratios of these macronutrients. Within these macronutrients are vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and other important “micronutrients”. Different foods have different densities of these micronutrients. The amounts of macro and micro nutrients in a given food are found on the nutrition label. You want to look for a high percentage of vitamins and minerals, a low (less than 2) number of ingredients, a low number for sugars, and balanced level of proteins, fats, and carbohydrates. The more nutrient-dense food you take in, the more potential for creating energy and repairing tissue.

While every youngster will have different demands for creating energy and repairing tissue, they all have a demand for nutrient dense food. It’s the amount of calories from macronutrients that may differ. With youngsters, the body’s physiological environment is designed for growth. Powerful hormones present during puberty drive the growth process for the transformation from a kid body to an adult body. During this process, there is a high demand for creating energy and repairing tissue. Couple this with rigorous athletic activity, you can see that the body’s need for nutrients from food is accelerated. If the body does not have an adequate amount of nutrients, the ability to create energy (important for weight loss) and repair tissue (important for weight gain) is compromised. Weight loss as well as weight gain is halted. As you can see, weight loss and weight gain is a matter of the right amount of high nutrient density food.

High quality, nutrient dense food gets into the body and acts like a navy SEAL team. It is effective and deliberate at what it does. It goes right to work and does it’s job providing the body with what it needs to perform at it’s best. The body recognizes these nutrients and in turn, uses them very efficiently. Nothing is wasted. When low nutrient density foods enter the body, they act more like a VW Bus full of hippies. No real place to go, no real things to do, they just take up space. The body doesn’t really recognize the processed chemicals that make up these foods, so it does not use them effectively. These foods render very little that can be used for energy, or tissue repair. Just like hippies, these foods have no real value, so they just “hang out” in the system. They are broken down and stored as fat or just excreted from the body. These foods don’t help the skinny kid gain weight; they don’t help the overweight kid lose weight.

In regards to food amounts, I still recommend referring to food quality when it comes to gaining or losing weight. I’ve never looked at a youngster’s initial nutrition journal and said “Aha! Here’s the problem! You eat too many organic yams!” The fact is, it’s hard to go wrong with “real” food (food that was born from the ground or was once alive) when it comes to gaining or losing weight. Eating real food aids both the processes of creating energy and repairing tissue for youngsters. Since your body knows what it is and is designed to process it, it’s harder to over-eat. For youngsters trying to gain weight, real food that is more calorically dense (usually meaning slightly higher in fat) packs a nutritional punch that will outperform many supplements. For either case of gaining or losing weight, eating real food in multiple meals (around 5) increases the efficiency of how the body uses the nutrients. For those trying to lose weight, this prevents the body from getting hungry and overeating. For those trying to gain weight, it provides a constant flow of nutrients to continually build tissue. Obviously, to lose weight each portion should be smaller than someone’s who is trying to gain weight. More food means more calories, meaning more possible energy. Unused energy is stored as fat. If a child’s activity level or genetic metabolism does not elicit a high rate of energy utilization, a large intake of calories ends up being wasted and stored as fat. They do, however, still need frequent doses of nutrient dense foods! Exact amounts needed to achieve individual goals differ. Consult a nutritionist for the specifics, but if you are eating real foods frequently, that’s all most youngsters need to see results!

There is always the question of “supplements” with youngsters. Supplements like protein shakes are engineered to pack a nutritious punch, taste good, and be convenient. Real food is still better, but if these shakes are more palatable, convenient, and they contribute to the process of getting 5 or more small meals during the day, then go for it. A calorically similar portion of whole milk and/or a natural peanut butter and jelly sandwich would actually be more effective for a youngster, but you have to go for what is most realistic and repeatable. Youngsters do not need creatine, Nitric Oxide, or fat burners. Pubescent youth have the most potent muscle builder available literally coursing through their veins. Testosterone! Aside from genetics, food intake is one of the most influential factors on a growing youngster’s levels of testosterone.

In summary, nothing, not one legal option is more effective for body modification than eating real food frequently. It is the ONLY way. I will say it one final time, HEY YOUNGSTERS, IF YOU WANT TO CHANGE YOUR BODY, EAT REAL FOOD FREQUENTLY. Pair this with proper, well designed, supervised, intense training and you are on the road to unparallel success!

Coach Brett Klika is the Director of Athletic Performance at Todd Durkin’s Fitness Quest 10 in San Diego, CA. He specializes in youth fitness and athletic performance, overseeing a staff of 8 strength coaches developing programs for over 300 youth per week, both athletes and non-athletes. He presents around the world to both trainers and corporations with Todd Durkin Enterprises on a variety of health, wellness, and athletic performance topics. Brett contributes monthly to the award-winning “TD Times” newsletter. If you would like to sign up, you can do so by visiting www.FitnessQuest10.com or www.ToddDurkin.com.

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Trading In The Holiday Sleep For Holiday Sweat

Can’t find enough time this holiday season to get a workout in?  Have you fallen off your regular program?  The holiday stress can make anyone fall off his or her regular workout routine.  It happens to everyone.  But that doesn’t mean we have to loose track of our health and fitness goals just because we can’t get to the gym everyday.  Here are some quick tips to help your workout routine survive the holiday season:

Tip #1
I recently got a new dog for Christmas and although she has brought happiness to our house, she requires a lot of work.  One of the ways I had to accommodate her in to my life is waking up earlier and taking her for a walk.  It’s a little tough to wake up 30 minutes before I absolutely have too, but what benefits my dog is also benefiting me.

Try waking up 30 minutes earlier and putting your running shoes on.  By getting up and taking a brisk walk or run it not only prepares you for your day, but it also burns some extra calories.  Getting some kind of cardiovascular exercise in the morning helps elevate your metabolism through out the day and if you run out of time later that day you won’t feel like a lazy slob for missing your workout.  Just get it done the next day.

Tip # 2
Going to the gym or getting your “cardio” in can take a big chunk of time out of your day.  If you cant find the time to get your resistance and cardiovascular training, try combining them and increasing the speed at which you perform all the exercises.  In other words simply increase the intensity of your workout.  The faster and more intense your workout the less time you need to spend.  For example, take your planned workout, time yourself and go as fast as possible (while keeping good form of course).    Then remember your time and the next time you do your workout strive to beat that time.

If there is still not enough time to accomplish that, try this quick workout at home.

As many rounds as possible in 10 min:

20 body weight squats
15 pushups
10 full sit-ups

This is a great workout circuit that is guaranteed to get you results without learving your living room

Tip #3
Enjoy the holidays, have fun and keep everything in moderation…even moderation.

Happy holidays!!!!

By: Tom Cox

Tom Cox is a Strength and Conditioning Coach at Fitness Quest 10 in San Diego, CA.  He is C.S.C.S and is an ACE certified Personal Trainer.  Tom got his Bachelor’s Degree in Kinesiology with a concentration in fitness and wellness from Chico State University and continues to further his education.  He specializes in athletic performance, strength training, weight loss, and total body functional training.  Tom loves motivating and inspiring people to reach their personal and fitness goals.  To Read More visit www.FitnessQuest10.com or https://fitnessquest10.wordpress.com/category/tom-cox/ or https://fitnessquest10.wordpress.com/2009/12/22/count-calories-not-crunches/

Who Are YOU? By: Hayley Isaacs,M.S.

Being in the fitness industry, we are consumed with bodies! Our own bodies, those of our clients, you name it. So the question I pose to you is this: “If your body as you know it were taken from you (function, appearance etc.), would you know who YOU are? How would it make you feel? Could you love yourself even if your body wasn’t loving you?  Would your ‘self’ be lost with that body?

I raise this issue of body identification as it can be very destructive to your quest for happiness and ultimately your LIFE.  Of course we must take supreme care of this temple we have been given, by moving it and feeding it well.  But the degree to which we base our identity in our body determines our level of contentment or suffering.  And that lies in the mind.  Not to be a downer, but sooner or later your body will begin to wear…induced by illness or simply nature’s course.  Are you prepared? It may sound morbid, but this is about YOUR life, your happiness.

So do yourself a favor and ask the question, “WHO AM I?” Let it marinate a little. Words will begin to pop into your head… write them down…”trainer”, “dad”, “mom”, “doctor”, “teacher” etc. Once you have exhausted your word supply, you’re done!  Congratulations!  And guess what? You have now compiled a list of everything you are NOT!  Crazy, I know!  Those are roles that you play in this drama of life, activities you perform.  So I urge you to continue this self-exploration process.  When you are stumped, realize that your true essence is that which exists in the quiet, still space behind those words.

So make this beautiful holiday season a time of discovery.  Dive deep beneath the waves of the material world into the calm ocean below, and experience the birth of the real YOU.

Peace, Love, & Joy…

Hayley Isaacs, M.S. (Intern)

Top Gym In San Diego Helping San Diegans Lose 2,010 lbs. For A Great Cause!

For Immediate Release:
December 23, 2009
Kyle Sandsmark
Director of Marketing, Fitness Quest 10
Phone: 858-271-1171
Fax: 858-271-4181

Top Gym In San Diego Helping San Diegans Lose 2,010 lbs. For A Great Cause!

San Diego, CA – Fitness Quest 10, owned by Todd Durkin, personal trainer to many NFL and MLB superstars including LaDainian Tomlinson, NFL MVP candidate Drew Brees, and several San Diego Padres including Chris Young and Tony Gwynn Jr., is hosting a contest to help San Diegans lose weight.  Fitness Quest 10, voted a top 10 Gym in the U.S. by Men’s Health Magazine in 2009, is inviting all San Diegans to participate in our quest to help San Diego lose 2,010 lbs in just six weeks by joining the “Biggest Winner, Ultimate Thinner” weight loss contest and help transform lives across San Diego.  Teams of 5 will compete for a Grand Prize of $5,000 CASH.  The team that loses the highest percentage of their starting body weight will take home the Grand Prize.

Teams will be coached and motivated by Todd Durkin and his expert staff to start the New Year off right.  Todd says “As we celebrate our 10th year of doing business in San Diego, we want to do something very special year for our community.  This contest is going to help people lose a lot of weight, fight off obesity, help prevent disease such as Type II Diabetes, and help people feel great again.  We want to help people get in the best shape of their lives and are excited to motivate San Diegans to make major transformation in their life.  We are giving out a ton of free, great items throughout the contest such as FREE massages, personal training sessions, metabolic testing, and fitness classes. Our entire team is fired up to make a huge impact in San Diego beginning in just a few weeks.”

When: The contest kicks off on January 6th and goes until February 21st. (Weigh-ins start Dec 28th and go until January 5th).  The winning team will be announced on Monday, February 22nd at our Grand Finale Party!

Where: Fitness Quest 10, 9972 Scripps Ranch Blvd. San Diego, CA 92131

Cost:  $50 for entry (without coach)

Connie Joy, a contestant from last year’s competition states, “I lost 51 lbs doing Fitness Quest 10’s 6 week Biggest Winner Ultimate Thinner contest. The contest gave me the motivation and tools to lose weight and get in the best shape of my life. Ever since the contest ended, I have continued to use Fitness Quest 10’s philosophies and to date have lost over 100 lbs.”

For more information please call 858-271-1171 or Kyle Sandsmark at 858-229-0178


Count Calories… Not Crunches

Have you ever seen those info commercials that guarantee a thinner midsection after doing 3 weeks of AB exercises?  Or maybe thinner arms after shaking a weight for only a few minutes a day?  Maybe you are someone who has actually ordered and used one the many devices that promise the same results.  I’m not discrediting you or any of these products (because I don’t want to get sued), however as much as I want to say they work…they don’t and here’s why.

A big misconception in the fitness world is the idea of spot reducing.  Spot reducing is the thought that a person can loose belly fat by just isolating the Abdominal muscles, or triceps extensions will reduce the amount of fat in your arms.  Unfortunately this is not true in any way.  When exercising your body mobilizes fat cells as fuel and those fat cells are put into the blood stream and then transported to the muscle in need.  So when you are doing crunches, there is no guarantee that the fat you’re using as fuel is from your belly.

Where your body stores its fat is genetically determined, that’s why men typically have larger stomachs and women typically have larger hips.  If you go into a workout determined to loose fat in a certain area, you’ll most likely become overdeveloped in one muscle group, which can lead to an unbalanced muscular system and potentially lead to poor posture or injury. For example, if you do crunches and sit-ups after every workout because you feel your six pack is getting more defined, it’s not going to happen.  I’m not saying don’t do crunches, that’s fine, but if that’s all your doing to flatten your belly, you’re probably going to end up with the same sized midsection and a spine that doesn’t like you anymore. That’s why it’s important to work large muscle groups and attack the whole body instead of one muscle at a time.  For example instead of crunches, try planks, they not only target the abdominal muscles, but they also incorporate almost every muscle from feet to fingertips forcing more fat cells to be mobilized.

Everyone is born with a six-pack, or a well-defined muscular system, however body fat is preventing most of us from seeing them.  Instead of buying a so called “easy way to a firmer body” try elevating your heart rate for an extended period of time, eating the right amount of calories throughout the day and doing multi-jointed exercises.

If you want to find out how many calories a day your body requires or you want to figure out your optimal plan of attack for loosing weight, please check out our services at Fitness Quest 10 (www.FitnessQuest10.com).  We offer metabolic testing which will show you your resting metabolic rate and will show you your optimal zones for burning fat.

Remember when your ultimate goal is loosing fat, don’t count crunches…count calories.

By: Tom Cox

Tom Cox is a Strength and Conditioning Coach at Fitness Quest 10 in San Diego, CA.  He is C.S.C.S and is an ACE certified Personal Trainer.  Tom got his Bachelor’s Degree in Kinesiology with a concentration in fitness and wellness from Chico State University and continues to further his education.  He specializes in athletic performance, strength training, weight loss, and total body functional training.  Tom loves motivating and inspiring people to reach their personal and fitness goals.  To Read More visit www.FitnessQuest10.com or https://fitnessquest10.wordpress.com/category/tom-cox/

Health editor turned ‘Miss Fit:’ One and done? By: Jennifer Reed

Jennifer Reed, an editor from San Diego News Network took the MISS FIT boot camp challenge with Fitness Quest 10’s Anna Renderer.  She has been writing about her experience since day one . Below is her last and latest entry about her MISS FIT experience! ENJOY!

Day eight: December 14, 2009

The end is here.

I can see it, I can taste it and I can feel it in all of my worked limbs.  I had come a long way already, and as I exhaustedly entered my fourth week of boot camp, I knew it would all be over soon.

Then again, would it, really?

I couldn’t help but think of the other ladies.  There were only two rookies, myself and another woman.  For a handful of others, this was just Round 2 – and they showed no sign of stopping.  To the rest, boot camp was simply a part of the morning routine.

Although I never felt any pressure along the way to commit to any more than these four weeks (though Anna would nudge me gently with maybes), I was slowly beginning to realize that this wasn’t meant to be a one-time thing.

Fitness, for me (and probably so many others) has always been kind of a one-time thing.  I tried yoga once.  And another couple of times after that.  I received tennis lessons once.  I took dance lessons once.  And once upon a time, I occasionally used the elliptical at the gym.

Nothing ever stuck, but I could feel that this time was different.  I wasn’t exactly excited about another round (or seven) of boot camp, but I knew that working out, in some way, shape or form, was something that I needed – and probably for the first time, wanted – in my life.

Would I continue boot camp?

I began to feel more and more weight on that question as time went on.  Sure, I was doing this for a story.  Journalists will do just about anything for a story.  But I was also doing this for me.  Didn’t I owe it to myself not to give up?

Almost every morning I had to get up before the sun, I cursed the day I signed up for this endeavor, counted down the days until Christmas and promised myself a post-work nap.  But every morning when the sun rose over our stretching bodies, when I could feel the burning in my muscles and cooling sweat on my back, I thought, God, this feels great.

My conscience was in full working mode as I pondered my decision.  The devil on my right shoulder reminded me of the sleep – and the pudding cups – I’d get back.  The angel on my left told me I’d lose my newfound energy and strength in no time.  I’d come so far, she reminded me.

Last week, I missed Wednesday’s class.  I jolted awake in the dark and looked at my cell phone.  5:16 a.m.  Forget it, I said, and happily slept in.  When I woke, I was thrown.  There was no sense of time or energy.  Something was missing from my body.  I felt guilty for skipping class, but the strange thing was, I really missed it.

Would I miss it after this week was over?  Could I really keep it up?  Could I make this a permanent part of my schedule?  Would it make me lazy if I didn’t?  Would it kill me if I did?

There were so many questions and not enough answers.  Trying out the boot camp was a challenge.  It was a chance for me to really look at my health.  It was an opportunity to be honest and a time to laugh at myself.  But anyone can do that for four weeks.  The thing was, would I continue?  And the truth was, I really wasn’t sure.

While I may have gotten on board with this whole thing to ditch my muffin top, the reality was that it wasn’t that simple.  Muffin top would find me again.  So would flabby arms and jiggling thighs.  Slowly, but surely, I knew that I would no longer feel guilty for hitting the late-night drive thru or indulging those brownie cravings.

This was going to be a lifestyle choice, and to be honest, it wasn’t really one I thought I’d ever make.  It just didn’t sound like me.  Getting up at 4 a.m. wasn’t me.  Running wasn’t me.  Even the words “boot camp” weren’t me.  Those who knew me in my previous life must have found the whole thing laughable.

I was never a jock or a sports enthusiast.  I had never really even cared about fitness at all.  I went to high school football and basketball games because the guys I liked were on the team.  And let’s face it, I hadn’t really worked out since 2001, anyway.  If you would even call trying to avoid the ball at all costs in third period gym “working out.”

Left to my own resources, I might never work out again.  I would likely try here and there, make a New Year’s resolution or two, but what I really needed was the accountability.  Anna kept me honest about my fitness goals and those women who showed up with me every other day were a part of my team.  It was clear that I wasn’t good at encouraging myself – but they were.

I should stay, commit, continue.  I knew that much.  But where would it end?  Would I be in boot camp forever?

What started as an experiment had turned into a real life challenge, one that I will be considering heavily in my last week as a first-time “Miss Fit.”

If you like what you read…Check out these Related articles: Health editor turned ‘Miss Fit:’  Time heals all lapses in nutrition judgment | Health editor turned ‘Miss Fit:’ Feeling good, eating bad | Health editor turned ‘Miss Fit:’  Feeling the burn – and the burn-out | Health editor turned ‘Miss Fit:’  Addressing my inner emotional eater | Health editor turned ‘Miss Fit:’ Getting out of the ’skinny’ state of mind

Improving Vertical Jump

Looking to jump higher and generate more explosion? Then this circuit is for you. Todd Durkin, owner of Fitness Quest 10 (www.FitnessQuest10.com) and Head of Under Armour Performance Training Council (www.underarmour.com/TNPTraining) gives you his top 5 exercises to increase your vertical jump. With help from Boston Red Sox Brian Anderson, you will see some great exercises to increase your vertical jump and build strength for any sport.  Watch the entire circuit and incorporate these exercises in your workout at home.