The Weekly Burn

Common Workout Myths

When it comes to working out and getting fit, it seems like everyone has their “expert” opinion. Unfortunately much of what’s out there is false or inaccurate. And with the sheer volume of information it can be hard to sift through to get to good, sound fitness advice. Here are some common workout myths to be aware of.

Myth: You have to workout every day to get in shape.

Truth: While you should do something to get your body moving each day, you should not go all out seven days a week. Your body needs time to recover from strenuous workouts and exercising intensely every day can do more harm than good. Shoot for two days of recovery per week to do only low intensity exercise like walking or gentle yoga.

Myth: For women, working out with weights will make you bulk up.

Truth: This is probably the most common fitness misconception out there. The truth is, women don’t have the chemical makeup to bulk up from the average strength-training routine. They produce far less of the hormone testosterone than men do. In fact men have about 30 times more testosterone than women which is why they tend to put on more muscular size than their female counterparts.

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5 Reasons Why New Year’s Resolutions Fail

The beginning of a new year is a prime time to commit to making a change in your life. By January 1st holiday festivities and the temptations that go with them are behind you and the 365 days that lie ahead are a blank slate. Enter the New Year’s resolution. According to research published in the Journal of Clinical Psychology, 50% of the population makes them each year with a pledge to get in shape, lose weight, exercise more, etc. But of those millions, only 8% actually keep their resolutions. The rest start out like a firecracker but fizzle out like a sparkler by February.

Why is it so hard for people who start out with the best intentions to stick to their resolutions? While the specific reasons will vary from person-to-person, research has shown that in general most people fail because of the following:

  1. Their resolutions are not specific. Losing weight is among the most popular resolutions people make. But this is an excellent example of one that is far too vague. If losing weight is your resolution, how do you measure your success? If you’ve lost five pounds have you fulfilled your resolution?

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Synergy Holiday Swap Outs

Welcome to week 5 of Synergy’s Maintain Don’t Gain Holiday Challenge. This week as the holidays are in full swing, we’re focusing again on strength training.


For many, the season of giving is also the season of getting over indulgent with food and drinks. And while we’re all for allowing yourself to enjoy the holidays and the festivities that go with them, we know it can be a slippery slope. So, consider these easy swap outs to keep yourself from veering completely off track from your health and fitness goals.
Instead of… Spiked Eggnog
This classic holiday party beverage packs upwards of 500 calories and an incredible 60 grams of sugar!
Have… Wine
Most red wines clock in at about 110 calories per serving. And, if you opt for a dry white such as sauvignon blanc, you’ll come in at under 100 calories. That’s a swap-out of almost 5 to 1!
Instead of… Creamy Dips and Chips
Who doesn’t love a creamy spinach and artichoke dip with tortilla chips?

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Ready to Burst?

We’re going into the third week of the Maintain Don’t Gain Holiday Challenge at Synergy Personal Fitness Training. This week we are shifting the focus from high rep or endurance training to training with intermittent aerobic bursts.

Fitness experts used to recommend 45 – 60 minutes of moderate intensity exercise as the best way to lose weight, condition your heart and stay in shape. Following this, many people logged hour after hour on the treadmill, elliptical or stationary bike and some never got the results they were looking for. But newer research suggests this approach is not nearly as effective as peppering your workout with short bursts of high intensity aerobic exercise. This approach aims to push your heart rate up to 85 percent of your maximum for short spurts followed by longer periods of moderate exertion and rest.

The benefits of this approach are substantial.

  • It increases your metabolism. A study published in “Applied Physiology, Nutrition and Metabolism” showed that high-intensity training increases your body’s ability to metabolize fat and carbohydrates. And, this boost to your metabolism continues up to two hours after your workout is over.

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Using High Rep Workouts to Get Great Results

Congratulations! We’re on to week 2 of the Maintain Don’t Gain holiday challenge at Synergy Personal Fitness Training. This week we’re switching our focus from strength to endurance or high rep training. That means we’ll be going for high rep sets of 15 or more repetitions using lighter weights in our resistance training.

There’s a long-standing misconception that any kind of weight training will make you “bulk up.” So, too often people are reluctant to incorporate resistance training into their routines for fear of adding size or gaining weight. But, according to the American College of Sports Medicine, high rep training comes with some pretty attractive benefits.

Training with lighter weights (30 – 60% of your one rep maximum) for more reps will actually:

  • Decrease your body fat as you add lean muscle to your body – A study examined the results people got from lifting heavy weights vs. lifting lighter weights for higher repetitions. It showed that those who worked with lighter weights saw a notable increase in muscle tone and definition with a decrease in body fat percentages.


  • Increase your muscle strength –

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Is Sugar Really Bad for You?

The recent consensus among the health conscious crowd is that sugar is bad for you. It’s blamed for everything from expanding waistlines to cardiovascular disease and diabetes. In fact, some are even shying away from eating fruit because of its sugar content. But is sugar really bad for you?

While some might say that sugar is sugar — especially in low-carb or Paleo circles — the truth is that all sugar is not equal. Although at a molecular level glucose, fructose and sucrose is the same whether it’s in table sugar or fruit, the way your body processes it is not the same at all. So, what accounts for the difference? It’s all about the source and whether the sugar is natural or refined.

Let’s take fruit for example. The first distinction is that the sugar in fruit is naturally occurring. It is not manufactured or refined. In addition to sugar, fruit also contains hearty amounts of fiber and water that help to fill you up. So, you are not likely to overeat on apples or oranges or bananas. Contrary to what some might have you believe, a study published by the National Institutes for Health showed that eating whole fruit actually decreases the risk of obesity and diabetes.

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The Power of Protein

High protein diets are the rage. With people following diets like the Caveman Diet, the South Beach Diet and the Atkins Diet, grocery shelves are stocked with everything from protein shakes and protein bars to protein chips and protein pancakes. Numerous studies have proven that eating a high protein diet is good for you. In fact, an article published in the National Institutes of Health’s national library of medicine suggests that protein is the “single most important nutrient for weight loss.” So, what’s so great about protein that has everyone singing its praises?


  • Protein keeps you feeling fuller longer. It takes your body longer to digest protein than other nutrients which means you’ll be more satisfied from eating it and less likely to overeat.  
  • Paired with carbohydrates, proteins will slow down your body’s sugar absorption. This wards off blood sugar spikes and dips which almost always lead to sugar cravings and eating more than you should.  
  • Here’s a fun fact — once you’ve eaten proteins your body burns more calories digesting them as compared to carbohydrates and fats. So, even your digestion gets supercharged when you eat protein.  
  • Protein is essential for muscle repair and growth.

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Don’t Let Back to School Stress Derail Your Fitness

Nowadays, it’s not just kids who are getting the back to school jitters.  It’s parents too!  A recent survey conducted by revealed that 55 percent of parents feel more stressed during the back to school season and more than 30 percent experience significant anxiety over it.  

By September, bonfires, BBQs and beach days are just warm memories of a great summer.  For many the fall means rigid schedules, new logistics to juggle and heavier workloads.  And, with about 70 percent of kids participating in extracurricular activities according to Pew Research, family schedules can fill up so quickly that it can seem almost impossible to have time for anything else.

For anyone trying to stick to a fitness routine, back to school can be especially challenging.  It’s easy to put off working out in favor of another activity or event that may seem more important.  Of course you can’t be in two places at once and sometimes something has to give.  But skipping multiple workouts can put you on a slippery slope that’s hard to climb back up.  

Follow these guidelines keep your fitness on track:

  • Schedule your workouts:  Choose a time for your regular workouts and stick to it.  

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