Suns out guns out! Pool season is here and if you’re like most people I train, you’re slaving away in the gym to make sure you feel comfortable in your bathing suit this summer. Having a goal and training hard is always great—but my motto is that you cannot out train a bad diet. Most people push themselves to their limits in the gym but once they leave they don’t always make the best choices to help with their body composition goals. If you have a personal life, business life, family life or all three, it can be very difficult to find time to train, let alone follow a perfect diet. Realistically, nobody is going to be perfect at his or her diet 100% of the time. Here are some easy supplements suggestions that can help you fill in those gaps when you’re not perfect.

Multivitamin – This seems like a no brainer, but start with a good multivitamin. Almost all vitamins and mineral are involved in energy production for the body. In short, taking a multivitamin will produce more energy for you to attack your workouts but will also help you recover more easily.

How do you pick a good one? Find one that is broad based and isn’t packed with fillers. Avoid multi vitamins that contain additives, colors, or fillers. These are most often used in the “one a day” types.

Fish Oil – Fish has been long time classified as brain food. This is true due to the amount of DHA found in fish. DHA is a fatty acid that has been researched to show improvement in our cognitive development. Fish is also rich in another fatty acid known as EPA. EPA helps reduce inflammation in the body, which happens when we eat foods that are not good for us.

How do you pick a good one? Find one that has combination of both DHA and EPA and read reviews. If reviews say it has a “fishy” after taste it is most likely not a quality brand.

Magnesium – This little supplement can help with insulin sensitivity and sleeping patterns. Reduced insulin sensitivity happens with stress and illness so taking a magnesium supplement can help combat these daily stressors. Taking magnesium before bed can also help calm the brain inducing a much deeper and restful night of sleep. The better your sleep, the more you recover, and the more energy you will have to train the next day. It is nonsense to think you can consume enough magnesium from food alone. Help yourself and add a little supplement to your diet.

How do you pick a good one? Make sure the magnesium is in a chelated form. This means type of magnesium ends in –ate (ex. Malate, threonate, glycinate)

Vitamin D3 – More than 50% of the population is deficient in Vitamin D. Low Levels of Vitamin D are associated with obesity, both types of diabetes as well as over 20 different types of cancer. Taking this supplement will boost your immune system and your ability to burn fat. After all, you cannot build muscle if your immune system is not strong. One last thing—if you are properly supplemented in Vitamin D3 you are less likely to sunburn. This will come in handy when you are out at the pool with your friends!

There you have it—four supplement suggestions to help you improve your workout outside of the gym. Interested in learning more? Contact the team at FAST N. Central Phoenix to schedule a free assessment today!

High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) has recently made resurgence in the fitness world. You might be wondering what exactly HIIT is and how it can benefit you. HIIT requires an individual to perform at their highest intensity for a duration of time, followed by a timed rest. This process repeats several times. We keep the burst of energy short to ensure that we are always performing at maximum effort close to VO2 Max, the maximum oxygen our body consumes during exercise.

Exercising at this intensity burns calories not only during exercise, but your body continues to burn calories at a higher rate after exercise compared to traditional steady state cardio. Over time individuals will increase their metabolic rate, making their body more efficient at burning calories.

Studies have found that HIIT provides benefits to both your aerobic and anaerobic fitness. The muscle is impacted at a cellular level and provides the same benefits seen in traditional cardio, in less time. The reduced time makes HIIT a valuable method for many that don’t want to spend 30 minutes or more on a treadmill or stair master.

Now that we have gone over what HIIT does to your body, let’s go over how you can do it. One of my favorite methods is Tabata training. Tabata training is an all-out 20 seconds of work followed by 10 seconds of rest, repeating this cycle 8 times. The total time for this workout is 4 minutes. Although this is short, I guarantee it will be extremely tiring. This workout is a very stressful, so I recommend only performing it 2 to 4 times a week, depending on your fitness level and your body’s ability to recover.

Tabata is not the only HIIT method. If you want to work up to performing at that kind of intensity, try having a short bout of max effort followed by a longer period of rest to adjust yourself to the intensity. For example, as an introduction to HIIT, I like 1 minute of high-intensity exercise and 3 minutes of low-intensity exercise, such as walking. This allows your heart rate and rate of breath to come back down, and allows you to truly perform that 1 minute at maximum effort. There are many ways to use HIIT, just remember you want the exercise, or work, portion to be short, allowing yourself to reach maximum effort. This should be no longer than a minute. You also want both the rest time and the work time to be the same throughout the duration of the exercise.

Contact FAST to find a HIIT program that best fits your fitness level. You will quickly notice the difference in your body when you frequently perform exercise at a high-intensity.

There are many possible indicators of health problems, but you might not be aware of all of them. One such indicator that people are often unaware of (or overlook) is the quality of their bowel movements. It’s not a topic many people like to talk about, which is part of the reason it is so often ignored. But while it might be unpleasant, it can reveal important information about your health, and even alert you that something is wrong. It’s important to know what is normal, what’s weird, what’s healthy, and what’s not, because bowel movements can reveal signs of digestive problems, infections, or early signs of cancer.

Here are some things to know about the health of your bowel movements:

  • Water makes up about 75% of your bowel movements.
  • People are unique and so are their bowel movements. The size, shape, and consistency of a normal bowel movement changes from person to person, but if there is any inconsistency among your own, this might be cause for concern.
  • Normal stool is brown, but the color can range from light yellow to almost black. If stool is red, maroon, black, clay-colored, pale, yellow, or green, this may signify a problem.
  • Blood is a warning sign – if there is blood in your stool on a recurring basis, see a doctor.
  • Taking medication could be a cause of constipation; it is a common side effect of some drugs for pain, depression, and high blood pressure. If you are experiencing this problem, you might be able to change medications.
  • If you are dealing with constipation, a box of laxatives should not be the first remedy you turn to. Adding more fiber and water to your diet will usually solve the problem!
    Your mood matters – depression or anxiety can affect your whole body, including your bowels.

If your stool has become pencil thin and hard to pass, this could be a sign of colon cancer. In certain types of colon cancer, the bowel narrows and so do your bowel movements. If this occurs it does not automatically mean cancer, but you should consult with a doctor.

By now you should know what seems like a healthy bowel movement, and what could be a warning sign about your body’s health. So what can you do to boost the health of your bowels?

Here are a few tips:

  • Drink plenty of water
  • Eat probiotic foods as they contain good bacteria that aids digestion
  • Eat fiber. The Institute of Medicine recommends 25 grams per day for women and 38 for men.
  • Get plenty of exercise. This improves overall health and blood flow, which also benefits the digestive system.
  • Perform activities that will help decrease your stress levels. Even something as simple as taking a walk, meditating, or listening to music you enjoy can help. Decreased stress has many positive impacts on the body and has been shown to reduce constipation.
  • Limit caffeine and avoid alcohol consumption

Hopefully you have learned something new about your body, and will be able to use this information to have a healthier digestive system! Again, while you might not enjoy discussing this topic, it is important to see a medical professional is you suspect anything is not quite as it should be. However, if you follow our tips to keep your bowels healthy, you should be good to go!

FAST is a group of training facilities in the Valley that helps your body become healthier and stronger in every aspect. We create individualized plans for our athletes that allow them to reach peak performance in their sports. For anyone interested in Phoenix personal training or sports performance services, we offer a free assessment of your abilities and needs, which can be scheduled online here. For more information and advice about overall health and training, check out our blog!

Post Attributed to Shane Anderson (North Central Phoenix Location Facility Manager).

Post Attributed to Shane Anderson, FAST Facility Manager (North Central Phoenix location).

Foothills Acceleration and Sports Training is a group of Phoenix personal training facilities that can help you reach your highest athletic potential. We use hands-on training techniques and personalized work-out plans that will allow you to reach your goals, whether they’re related to a specific sport or health in general. You can schedule a free assessment with a trainer today by simply going online here. For more personal training tips and advice, follow our blog!

Shane Anderson is the facility manager of our North Central Phoenix location. He has a bachelor’s degree in health science, as well as experience playing football for the University of Nevada, and working with ASU sports teams. After years as an athlete and personal trainer, he has learned how to balance an ideal, nutritious diet. Here he explains why eggs are the perfect food to start off your day.

As a strength and conditioning professional, my clients look to me for guidance on weight training, supplementation, and nutrition. I enjoy giving people advice on these subjects, but recently I have been getting some puzzled reactions when I talk about eggs. I’ve come to realize that people have many different misconceptions about what constitutes a healthy breakfast.

Let’s just agree now that breakfast is, indeed, the most important meal of the day. Eating in the morning will give you more energy, help your brain focus and complete daily tasks at work, and set you up for smarter meal choices later in the day. A complete breakfast is more likely to keep you full so you avoid binging on junk, and choose healthy foods throughout the day. When people eat a bad breakfast or no breakfast, they often don’t plan for the rest of the day and can end up eating whatever they want, not what is good for them.

Eggs contain vitamins and minerals, and they are one of the most complete proteins you can consume. Eggs also contain a ton of essential amino acids, which are building blocks for lean muscle. They have the same antioxidant potential as apples, and include a nutrient called choline which helps improve attention span. Not only is consuming eggs healthy, it’s smart!

When people ask me what I eat for breakfast, I do not hesitate to tell them that I have 5-6 raw eggs with 1/3 cup of nuts every morning. Yes, you read that correctly — I eat raw eggs. A few eggs mixed with nuts and almond milk is a great way to get the day going. The nuts provide some protein and (more importantly) good fats, and consuming uncooked eggs actually stimulates dopamine neurotransmitters in the brain that naturally put you in a good mood. It’s how I learned how to become a “morning person.” When you cook eggs, you also lose about 22% of the protein content. I try to get the most bang for my buck when it comes to protein, so raw is a great way to go for me, although it might not be for everyone.

There are many online articles and forums that discourage people from eating eggs, but these are simply not true. Here are some common myths and facts about consuming eggs.

Myth 1: You will get salmonella poisoning

Fact: Salmonella is present 1 in every 20,000 eggs. The key to avoiding salmonella is to avoid eggs that come from a highly industrialized source. Large factory farms stack chickens on top of each other for mass production. This causes more chicken manure to be present and increases contamination of eggs. Opt for eggs that come from cage free hens or organic farms. Be sure to keep your eggs refrigerated, because changes in temperature can increase risk of salmonella as well. Cooking eggs thoroughly also destroys salmonella.

Risk 2: Your cholesterol levels will go up

Fact: Yes, there is cholesterol in eggs. However, there are good and bad types of cholesterol. Eating eggs will increase your HDL (high-density lipoprotein) cholesterol levels, and you actually want a higher number of these. High HDL levels decrease your risk of heart disease, and they help your body get rid of bad cholesterol.

Risk 3: Eating the yolks isn’t good for you

Fact: Many people will only eat egg whites, but that leads to getting less nutrition out of your egg. The yolk contains many essential B vitamins, Vitamin D, and iron. Do not miss out on essential nutrients you can get in a natural diet. Eat the whole egg!

Hopefully now you realize how important breakfast is for a healthy and productive day, and you can start to work more eggs into your diet. For more information about nutrition and personal training, feel free to contact us at

Foothills Acceleration and Sports Training (FAST) is empowered by Foothills Therapy Partners (FTP).