Thursday, March 31, 2011

Eating right

Your diet should be filled with vegetables, with asparagus at the top of the list. This asparagus recipe is easy to make and tastes great. Serve it with a piece of white fish, chicken breast or other lean meat for a healthy meal. Servings: 4

Here's what you need:
  • 1 bunch asparagus
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil

  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons garlic, minced
  • dash of salt and pepper

  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Cut off the tough ends of the asparagus.

  2. In a casserole dish, combine the asparagus, oil, garlic, salt and pepper. Bake for 15-20 minutes, until tender.

  3. Remove from oven and mix in the lemon juice. Serve and enjoy!

Nutritional Analysis: One serving equals: 47 calories, 2g fat, 5g carbohydrate, 2g fiber, and 3g protein.

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Monday, March 28, 2011

7 Secrets to Maintain Weight Loss

If you've ever lost weight, you know how hard it is to keep it off. Ever wonder why some people are able to keep weight off, while others put it right back on? Read on for the 7 Secrets to Maintain Weight Loss. (And if you still have pounds to lose, these 7 secrets will help you too.)

Secret #1: Keep on Moving If you're serious about keeping the weight off, you need to be serious about your workouts. Keep your activity level high, both in and out of the gym. Your workouts should consist of both cardiovascular training and strength training. While out of the gym make an effort to move as much as possible by taking the stairs, going for walks or jogs and participating in recreational activities.

Secret #2: Be a Healthy Eater Sorry, you can't go back to eating at the drive thru and expect to maintain your weight loss. Focus on these 3 aspects of healthy eating:

  1. Keep calories low. Gone are the days of eating mindlessly. Be aware of everything that goes into your mouth, whether by journaling or simply keeping a mental tally.

  2. Be careful. Eat small portions, avoid high-calorie foods and check nutrition labels. You don't have to swear off chocolate forever, just eat it occasionally with portion control.

  3. Eat a balanced diet. Include a variety of fruits and vegetables, lean meats and whole grains.

Secret #3: Turn off the TV The average person watches a whopping 35 hours of television each week. People who successfully maintain weight loss, on the other hand, watch an average of 7 hours or less. TV watching encourages snacking and puts you in a sedentary position on the couch. Spend less time in front of the TV and enjoy longer lasting weight loss.

Secret #4: Keep it Simple While it is important to keep a variety of fruits and vegetables in your diet, your diet should be fairly simple. Create a repertoire of basic whole foods: fruits, vegetables, lean meats, whole grains, beans and nuts. When you cut down on your options it becomes easier to stick to your plan, making weight loss guaranteed.

Secret #5: Track Yourself Your biggest fear is gaining back every solitary lost pound, but don't be afraid of your scale. Weigh yourself at least once each week to monitor any gains. If the numbers begin to climb then reduce calories and increase your exercise.

Secret #6: Eat for the Right Reason Emotional eating is one of the top reasons that people are overweight. It's very important that you view food as fuel, not as an answer to deeper emotional needs. When food becomes more than just fuel, the pounds quickly add up. If you want to keep your weight under control, you're going to have to eliminate emotional eating.

Secret #7: Forget All-Or-Nothing No one is perfect – not even you! There will be days when you eat more calories than you should have. There will also be days when you miss a workout. Don't let small slipups send you into a tailspin of all-or-nothing sabotage. Simply get back to your healthy lifestyle rather than letting yourself backslide into your old habits. Don't be one of the many who skip these 7 secrets and instead return to life pre-weight loss. You worked hard to be where you are – you deserve to keep it.

I'm always available to help you achieve any fitness or weight loss goal or to answer any questions you may have. Call, email, or connect with me on Twitter @CPFITNESS and let me know how I can help you!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Everything you wanted to know about bootcamp!

A lot of you have been asking for more information about "Starving Artist Bootcamp" so todays post is just a little bit of background info and FAQ's about bootcamp.

The concept for my bootcamp came about when I was working as a bouncer in various bars around NYC. Almost every waitress was an aspiring actress, singer, dancer. As you can imagine it's a competitive business and since they all knew I worked as a trainer by day, they would always come to me for advice. Being that they were "starving artists", going to auditions by day and waiting tables by night, I knew they couldn't afford my regular 1-1 personal training but if I developed a group type workout, they could all get fit for a fraction of the cost.
The next aspect of the bootcamp was that it wasn't enough to make these women look good; every actress, singer, model, etc looks good. They had to look GREAT! The workout had to be designed to shed fat and sculpt lean and tone muscles and to do it quickly. The rest as they say, is history!

Q. Is it hard?

A. Yes! It's hard because it has to be. It's a results oriented class. See my previous blog post regarding the Overload Principle. You must give the body more than what it is accustomed to in order to make it adapt.

Q. Just how hard is it? Do I have to get in shape to come to bootcamp?
A. Quite frankly, it is hard for EVERYONE. We have people that have been coming to bootcamp for 3+ years and it's still hard for them! Reason being is that you will be pushed according to your existing fitness level. If you run a 12 minute mile, you'll be pushed to run an 11 minute mile. If you run an 8 minute mile, you will be pushed to run a 7 minute mile. I don't expect the same ABILITY from everyone, I do expect the same EFFORT from everyone!

Q. Is there a lot of running?
A. The amounts of running vary from class to class. If you are a "runner" looking for a "running class" this isn't for you. If you are a runner looking to cross train, then this is for you. Generally speaking, we will never be running more than one full lap around the reservoir at any one time. Some days there may be very little jogging but lots of sprints. Days where the lawns in Central Park are excessively wet usually result in us doing "True Bootcamp Style" where we run for a couple of minutes, stop and do exercises, run some more, etc. The Central Park Conservancy won't allow us on the lawns under wet conditions (red flags on the lawn).

Q. I have a few nagging injuries, is bootcamp safe for me?
A. One of Central Park Fitness mottos is "Work Smarter, Not Harder" Bootcamp is designed to improve your body's functional capabilities as well as your overall fitness. Injury prevention is paramount.

Q. I'm not a "starving artist", I'm a banker. Can I participate?
A. Of course! Starving Artist Bootcamp is for anyone that wants Hollywood fitness at an off-Broadway price!

Q. What kind of results can I expect?
A. Your existing fitness level and regularity of attendance as well as attention to your nutrition will determine your exact results. If you have a significant weight loss goal, you will be on the fast track to achieving it. If you are simply trying to shed the last couple of stubborn pounds, you will do it. If you are happy with your weight but looking to get quicker, faster and stronger. You will do it. Most importantly, if you are just looking to put the FUN back in your workouts, Bootcamp is for you!

Q. Is it only for women?
A. No, Bootcamp is for men and women. Guys, you won't be doing 1980's styled aerobics moves and ladies don't worry, you won't be doing brute squad barbaric lifting movements.

Q. I am seriously obese (50+ lbs overweight), can I do bootcamp?
A. The short answer is yes, just about anybody is capable of doing bootcamp. All of the exercises in bootcamp can and will be modified for the skill levels of each individual. With that said, if you have any major medical or physical conditions, we should discuss them and you may be required to provide clearance from your doctor prior to participation.

Q. The fitness classes at my gym are all so cliquey and the people so catty, I want to try classes but I'm afraid to rock the boat.
A. NYC is a melting pot and I'm proud to say that so is bootcamp! We have people from all over the country from all sorts of backgrounds; bankers, fashion professionals, actresses, waitresses, moms. Everyone is friendly and supportive of one another and comes together over their love and desire to live a healthy life!
(bootcampers have been known to get together after hours for a beer or two every now and then but you didn't hear that from me!)

Q. Is there a place to store my valuables?
A. Unfortunately, no. If you absolutely must bring a bag with you, make sure you bring a backpack, not a duffel bag so that in the event we have to run around the park, you can wear it on your back. (you will get an extra good workout that day!) Otherwise, try to carry a small hip pouch or wristlet with your phone, keys, metrocard, etc. Most days we setup in an area of the park around the Great Lawn or the Pinetum and stay in that area. On days where we may be running a lap of the reservoir, the instructor stays behind to look after everyones small valuables.

Q. Are there bathrooms in the park.
A. There are some bathrooms in the park near the Delacorte Theater, however, we aren't typically near the bathrooms so try to plan accordingly. Also, there are some water fountains in the park, but we recommend bringing your own bottle because the fountains aren't always in close proximity.

Ready to take the next step to have the body of your dreams? Sign up today!

The Starving Artist Bootcamp is the ultimate total body conditioning workout! Moderate running, body sculpting strength exercises, fun speed & agility drills, relays and a healthy dose of abs make for a fast fun filled hour of fitness. Bootcamp meets at the following days/times:
M,W 7pm Sat 9:30am
View From Belvedere CastleSouth Gate House of The Reservoir

Cost $25/class
$125/6 classes
First time participants can try it out for just $10!

Bootcamp Instructor Unlimited Monthly Classes 3x/wk
(M,W,Sat) $159

Friday, March 18, 2011

What you don't know...

Might not hurt you, but it can sure keep you from making progress. Today I wanted to share with you a little bit more of the science behind training to help you understand why trainers do some of the things we do. Some of these are principles are things that a trainer would learn VERY early on in his education for pretty much ANY of the major personal training certifications that are offered. I find it ironic that we learn them early on, yet they continue to not be spread to the masses.

1. The SAID Principle SAID stands for "Specific Adaptation to Imposed Demand". Simply put, this means that your body will make specific adaptations based on the amount of demand that is placed on it. Are you that girl that brings a magazine to the gym, hops on the bike, pedals on level 1 at 40 RPM? Well your body isn't going to change, there is no demand being placed on it. In this case, you literally would be burning more calories STANDING UP to read the magazine than you would sitting and pedaling that slowly. The SAID Principle is very important for those who participate in sports and need to train their body SPECIFICALLY for that sport, but it also applies to everyday people looking to improve fitness.

2. The Overload Principle The overload principle goes hand in hand with the SAID Principal. It simply means that in order to create a positive adaptation, we must give the body MORE than what it is accustomed to doing. Are you that guy that goes to the gym, jumps on the treadmill, puts it on 6.0 and runs for 30 minutes every day and then wonder why you can't lose those last 5 stubborn lbs? Well, when you started your workout regimen and hadn't run in a long time, that 6.0 was a hard effort for you and your body changed. But then you get to a point where that stimulus becomes the norm and the body treats it as such.

3. The TUT Principle TUT or Time Under Tension is what trainers are truly having you shoot for when prescribing you "sets and reps". The fitness mags all tell women "do 15-20 reps to tone" and the men "do 8-12 reps to build mass". Well there is a little bit of truth in that but it only scratches the surface. You may have heard of the different muscle fiber types Type 1, Type 2a, Type 2b. Depeding on the muscle groups you are training you need to do a variety of differnt amounts of sets and reps. For example, "Core" muscles are predominantly Type 1 Endurance type muscle fibers. The main job of Core muscles are to hold the spine in place hour after hour day after day. Attempting to train those muscles with heavy weights and a low rep range thinking your are going to get super strong abs is counter productive because those muscle fibers don't respond to that type of training. Also, everybody has different natural tempos, typically dictated by their personalities. When I train high energy excitable people, they almost always move the weights much faster than calmer mellow personalities. It make take the first person 3 seconds to do 1 rep of an exercise while it takes 5 or 6 seconds for the calmer person. If person 1 does 12 reps thinking they are "toning" the muscle, they really aren't. they haven't kept it under tension long enough, they probably need to go closer to 20 reps. For the person that moves it slower, they may only need to do 10 reps which conventional wisdom says builds muscle mass but not for this person.

Moral of the Story: There are people who do workouts and there are people who train. I'm always happy to see people come to the gym, but if you don't know what you are doing, you are probably dooming yourself to failure. Aimlessly moving weights around is a workout; intelligent planning and program design is TRAINING. Begin to think about what your specific goals are and begin to assemble a training program around that.

Need help? Drop me an email comment below and I'll be glad to help! Do you live here in NYC? I start all new clients with a 3 session introductory package which is designed to give you a thorough assesment of your current fitness level, discuss what your actual goal are, and then begin to put the framework of your TRAINING program together. "Like" Central Park Fitness on Facebook and click the "Personal Training" link on the side and for a limited time you can get this assessment package for $99! You can come to my private facility on the Upper East Side or if you have a facility in your apt building I can come to you. As the weather gets nicer we can even do our sessions in your local park!

Dave duCille


Central Park Fitness

Monday, March 14, 2011

Ask a Trainer: Healthy Choices for Kids aka The Biggest Loser post!

After the great response to my last blog post I invited everyone to send questions on ANYTHING and EVERYTHING fitness related for me to give my take on. You can be sure that I'll give it to you "straight, no chaser!" Today's question comes from an old high school classmate, Charlene!

"My daughter is 8 years old and unfortunatly doomed by genetics to be obese, not overweight but OBESE. I had Gatsric bypass along with just about EVERY female in my family,(ALOT of ...women) she is I'm told by her pediatrician considered obese, I try SOOO hard to get her to make healthy desicions and be active, like I just signed her up for swimming and diving, but it's so hard to tell your child "you can't have that piece of cake because it's not healthy" so give me some advice on this one. THANK YOU SO MUCH!"

Great question Charlene! First and foremost, I'm going to be blunt, I'm not a fan of bariatric surgery. Anyone who has ever watched "The Biggest Loser" has seen numerous people get ZERO results from various procedures. Its a classic example of treating the symptoms, not the cause. There are two big issues here, the first one is your statement "doomed by genetics". In my opinion too many people confuse genetics with "environment". We've all seen overweight couples walking around with overweight kids and hear them say "I've got bad genetics". Well the reality is that mom and dad ate like crap, didn't exercise, and raised their kids in a house eating the same crap and not encouraging exercise. Thats not genetic, thats environment. Because I'm in the fitness business, people are always wondering what I think about shows like The Biggest Loser. In a nutshell, there are a lot of things about the show I don't like but they are all outweighed by one important fact. 10 seasons and counting The Biggest Loser continues to illustrate that ANYBODY CAN LOSE WEIGHT THROUGH BETTER NUTRITION HABITS AND EXERCISE. It's as simple as that. I'm well aware that not everyone keeps the weight off but of those who put it back on they all readily admit to falling back into old bad habits. Thats not genetic, thats environment. Typically, most people with serious obesity issues have other underlying emotional issues that are the root of the problem (another thing The Biggest Loser does a great job of addressing) and when this isn't addressed, no surgery is going to fix anything. Kudos to you as I've seen your Facebook pics and it appears your one of the success stories for bariatric surgery.

Now to answer your actual question! 8 year olds aren't decision makers or at least in my opinion, they shouldn't be. At this stage in the game, you as a parents are the decision maker about what goes into your daughters mouth. Unfortunately, this means being the bad guy sometimes but I firmly believe that it's your job as a parent to do so. Now this does not mean that you should NEVER allow your kids to have unhealthy foods. I'm also a believer that if you deprive kids of something or tell them not to do something, you are only going to make them want it that much more. You have to be the one in charge of your kids but at the same time RESPECT their intelligence! Kids minds are so amazing and they pick up on so much and sometimes as adults we forget that. So even though the kids might be upset or might not like the decisions your making, usually somewhere deep down it will register with them, especially if you are consistent with the message. Don't just simply say "you can't eat that" and don't make it a fat issue, make it a health issue. "Don't eat that because it will make you fat" should be replaced with "I don't want you to eat that because it does bad things to your body and over time it won't make you FEEL good about yourself, I love you and I always want you to feel good about yourself". Finally, you MUST set the example by your ACTIONS as well as your statements. You can't tell your kids to eat healthy while you sit around and eat junk food yourself.

I think it's great that you signed your daughter up for swimming and diving! We constantly hear how kids are getting more and more obese and video games, internet, and television have taken the place of getting out and being active. It's SOOOO important to encourage kids to get out and be active ESPECIALLY young girls. We all know what happens when girls hit the teen years; they want to be cool, dress nice, and getting sweaty in gym class is soooo not cool. Finding physically active activities that your kids enjoy and taking an active role in them as early as possible in life gives you the best chance at assuring your child grows through their teen years and into adult years living an active healthy lifestyle.

In the interest of full disclosure, I don't have kids so some might question my credentials on giving you this advice. I give this advice to you as someone who grew up in a single parent home with a dad whose parenting skills were far from good. I give you this advice reflecting back on what things I would have wanted my father to have said but more importantly DONE. His mantra was "do as I say, not as I do". If he were alive today, I would tell him that is the biggest load of crap I've ever heard! As I said earlier, kids are brilliant, many times I think kids are SMARTER than adults! They pick up on EVERYTHING, and they will pick up on your actions every bit as much as your words so always be conscious of the example that you set. Talk to your kids, really get to know whats going on in their world. Yes you are the boss, but that doesn't mean you can't be their friend too. Too many kids are entering adulthood with way too much emotional baggage and turning to drugs, alcohol and food to treat those symptoms and taking way too many years to actually get down to fixing the problem. Never allowing those problems to happen is half the battle. Childhood should be a fun and exciting time of life. The last thing I would add is that this message also needs to be given to anyone that spends a lot of time around your daughter. If there is a friends house that she goes to a lot and eats junk food, have a discussion with the parent about what your trying to do and keep the focus on HEALTH not on weight. You've got 5 years before she becomes a teenager, at which point she will probably not listen to a DAMN THING that you tell her until the age of 20 when she begins to realize that you were right about everything but don't worry, thats a natural and normal part of life! Have fun and let me know how things progress!

As always, I'd love to hear your comments and if you've got other advice for Charlene please share! If you'd like me to answer your question on fitness, email me at or you can ask away directly on my Facebook page!

Dave duCille


Central Park Fitness

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

"What are you doing? Trying to be HEALTHY?"

Those of you who know my girlfriend Rachel or have heard me talk about her know that she is VERY detail oriented and organized. So today when I got an email from her that did NOT have anything in the subject, I was worried ;-) So I open it up expecting to get reminded to do something that she told me do hours before like drop my suit at the cleaners but instead, I get this:

"I have the topic for your next newsletter.

Why is it that when I have a salad or something healthy for lunch, people accuse me of "trying to be healthy", as if to say that I would rather be eating something else. When in reality, that's what I actually wanted to eat. If someone is having burger king for lunch are they "trying to be unhealthy"? what's up with that? seriously

First of all,

Your taking your life into your hands messing with my GF! You don't got to worry about what I'm gonna do to you, you better be worried about what she'll do to you! (just kidding)
This is a great question and not something I ever really thought about before but i knew I just couldn't let it wait until next weeks newsletter to address it. It's like a form of adult peer pressure! It's definately been said to me in the past and I've probably been guilty of saying it about myself when I go out and eat something other than my usual meat and potatoes! Why is it that eating natural foods that don't come processed or out of a cardboard box is considered to be a big deal? Is it jealousy? Envy?

Well when all else fails, blame it on the media! Lets face it, the marketing of food in this country is insane. Rachel and I were watching Super Size Me a few weeks back and at one point an expert makes the comparison that a family can sit down together for 3 meals a day of healthy food and that puts 1000 images of healthy eating options in front of their children over the course of a year. That same kid can turn on the television each night and probably see dozens of commercials for all sorts of terrible food items. This amounts to 10,000 plus images over the course of a year. No matter how good of a parent you are it's awfully tough to fight that battle. Media marketing has conditioned us to associate fun and good times with food. We are all guilty of it! I don't think I eat Buffalo wings once outside of football season but somewhere along the line, that became football food just as a hot dog is "baseball food".

Well guess what? The beautiful thing about this Facebook and Twitter generation that we live in is that now you and I have become the media! We can be more in charge of what images are seen and what we portray. We have more access to more information than we could ever dream about! We have access to support and networks of people that fall in line with our desires and don't have to be as susceptible to whatever junk gets forced our way. An old friend and fellow trainer is using social media to show what he eats every day and to document his workouts as he works towards getting himself back in tip top shape. I'm working with a client and having her use her smartphone to take pics of EVERYTHING she eats each day so that she can hold herself accountable to me to support her in her fitness journey as well as receive feedback and knowledge on the choices she is making.

If you've ever trained with me you know I always say "there is no try"; you either ARE healthy or you AREN'T healthy. Many people that see Rachel seem to think that she's only fit because she dates a trainer or that I somehow pressure her to stay in shape. Couldn't be further from the truth! When we met, she was already a healthy eater and was into working out but didn't really know how to work out properly. We went to work on a routine to kick up the intensity in her workouts and to train SMARTER not HARDER. When the spring time hit, she joined me in my Starving Artist Bootcamp which she still attends along with several other "goddesses" (shameless plug, bootcamp is going on now indoors and will be moving back to Central Park in April so if you want to look and feel like Rachel, I suggest you sign up!) Rachel doesn't eat salads every single day. Rachel likes trips to Dinosaur BBQ (pictured) as much as i do! Rachel has NEVER seen a desert menu she didn't like either! But the difference is that Rachel values the way a healthy lifestyle makes her look and more importantly FEEL, not only physically but mentally as well so she is careful about the choices that she makes. It's kind of like being on a budget. The unhealthy person is constantly making withdrawls and finds themselves overdrawn while the healthy person makes deposits and has plenty in their account for the occassional withdrawl!
So if it is jealousy and envy that make people question Rachel's "healthy" ways, they shouldn't. Any of you reading this can be like Rachel. I'm not going to lie to you and tell you that it's easy to do all the time. I don't have a magic pill. I don't promote bullshit "as seen on tv" workout gadgets full of false promises. The people that come to my bootcamp and/or train with me absolutely BUST THEIR ASS or get it busted by me. While your still in bed hitting snooze, they are in the gym with me at 5:30am. While your at happy hour, they are running 40 flights of stairs. Your eating Burger King, they're eating salads. They have committed to a LIFESTYLE of health. Some are fitter than others but all of them are HEALTHY. But don't be fooled, my clients aren't robots! They are human! There are times when they are out at happy hour, there are times they aren't eating the healthiest of foods but ultimately it's all about balance and everything in moderation.

So what do you guys think? Why do people accuse others of "trying to be healthy"? I'd love to read your comments below and I'd love to make this a regular segment so if you've got a fitness question, peeve, comment or whatever, feel free to email it to me at and I'd be more than happy to address online or personally back to you via email.

Dave duCille
Central Park Fitness