BodyXchange Pittsburgh Personal Training is pittsburgh's premiere training facility. Scott Hayward and his team of Pittsburgh personal trainers break down weight loss with tips, reciepes and video's. Changing Bodies, Changing Lives

Weight Loss Articles by Pittsburgh Personal Trainer Scott Hayward

Pittsburgh Personal Trainer


By: Scott Hayward, Pittsburgh Personal Trainer

BodyXchange Fitness Center, Pittsburgh’s Number 1 Gym and Personal Training Facility

Even though it is virtually impossible to spot reduce, you can however do several things to speed up the process in changing the body, or in the alternative all but halt body composition change.

1. Relying on Abs-Specific Training:

For some reason, the misconception of spot reduction continues.  No argument has ever convinced me that you can lose fat in a specific area by contracting the muscle in that specific area.  Fat loss just does not work this way. Your body is in a lipolytic state (chopping apart of fat for energy), or a lipogenetic state (the storing and forming of new fat.) Yet for some reason, we see hundreds of people every day at the gym doing hundreds of crunches and situps and thinking that they are somehow burning fat from their abdomen, when in reality, they’re just wasting time! I guess if I didn’t care about actually helping people and feeding to their fallacies, I would do nothing but ab exercises for my clients – anyone that has ever trained with me, knows its not happening.

Fat loss is a systemic effect that takes place as your body morphs into a healthier you.  Fat storage patterns vary person to person according to hormonal levels, genetic fat storage patterns, myofascial restrictions, and inflammation.  Reducing body fat in those areas through exercise is only done if you are working to modify hormonal levels that have related fat storage areas, for example.

However, there has yet to be convincing evidence that you can do tricep presses, for example, and lose fat in the back of your arms… Just doesn’t work that way.  The same is true with your abs.  In this case, even if you do 3000 sit ups per day, you wouldn’t be doing much for fat loss.  Fat loss is about:

1.    Energy system training
2. Compound movements targeting many joints at once
3. Muscle balancing
4. Motor unit recruitment, and
5. Multi-planar movement

2.    Nutritional Programming

It’s impossible to add all of the above into an abs exercise, or even a series of abs exercises.  The goal is to tire as much of your body as possible, to a safe extreme.  This is referred to as momentary muscular failure, and it’s when lactic acid onset takes place.  Remember, lactic acid, which is what makes you sore, is a very good thing.  It means your body is working hard to reduce inflammation and repair.  You’re well on your way to rapid fat loss.  You’ll see incredible results when you accept this:
2. Low To Moderate Intensity Cardio For Long Duration:

Walking. Walking is more of a skeletal or structural movement.  There is little to no flexion of the hips and knees, thus meaning less overall muscle being used.  This, alone, simply won’t work for long-term fat loss results. It may work at first for somebody who is extremely obese and has been sedentary, but not for most people.  While I strongly believe in the benefits of walking for stress relief, personal time, reflection with movement, blood pressure and cholesterol modification, etc., I do not consider it a good method to lose body fat.

Losing fat is about shocking your body and stimulating a repair process.  Giving your body the chance to adapt to a demand over time doesn’t help you lose fat quickly.  Sure, you can see some initial results, often masked as ‘toning’, but in the end you’re turning your Type IIa muscle fibers (oxidative-glycolytic, or medium speed fibers) to Type I (oxidative, or slow muscle fibers that have great endurance).  The only trouble is that the Type II muscle fibers do a much better job of getting you lean.

By stimulating muscular strength (not necessarily “bulking”) you are enhancing your metabolism.  It takes energy to build and restore lean muscle tissue.  Allowing it to grow consumes a bit more energy, but you don’t have to bulk up to see great results.  Rather, just create a muscle repair process while stimulating your metabolism with fat-burning foods and you’ll see your results go wild.

After a full-body resistance-based alternation-style workout session, you’ll spike your metabolism for 2-3 days as your body re-uptakes the lactic acid from your bloodstream, restores oxygen to the muscle tissue you’ve worked, and repairs the micro-tears that took place in your muscles.  Supersets or circuits in full body workouts is one example of this, and interval training accomplishes this too, but what if we take things a step further and get you off a machine?

I suggest that we alternate body parts, directions, speeds, intensities, and muscle synergies, or pairs.  Alternation in any form, even when the intensity is a bit lower, is still a rapid fat loss signal to your body.  You’re sure to see wild fat-burning results once you start thinking about fat loss as “shocking the fat away”.
3. Caloric Restriction:

Caloric restriction = muscle starvation = fat loss grinds to a halt.

Remember this one thing : Dieting alone (major calorie restriction) is the BEST way to lose lean body tissue (muscle,) making your body a less efficient fat burner throughout the course of your day.  Remember, the more muscle you have the more calories you burn throughout the course of your day.

Muscle requires calories to grow.  Without some degree of muscle growth, it will atrophy under duress.  If you’re exercising intensely, which you should be, your muscle will be eating itself to survive.

It’s really important that you feed your system so it can grow and maintain its level of function.  Your body requires food for muscle repair, concentration, heart health, and digestive health.  Regular meals are best.  There are 2 schools of thought with eating for fat loss:

1. Eat 3 meals per day and up to 2 snacks.
2. Eat 5-6 small meals per day.

Normally, I recommend #2, because I find this is a great way to ensure you are not snacking on things that are bad for you, because you are eating healthy small meals often enough.  Also, I tend to never feel hungry when I’m eating on this schedule.  That’s very helpful for fat loss.

Contrarily, eating 3 meals per day seems like it should also allow you ample time to digest and re-spike your metabolism.  I believe there should be a small bout of exercise in between each meal if you choose this approach.  If thats the goal, let’s go at it.

Again, my recommendation is 5-6 meals/day, where you pre-plan your week’s meals over the weekend, cook many meals at once, and prepare yourself for fat loss.

Most importantly, make sure you are getting enough calories.  Yes, you do need a caloric deficit to lose fat over a certain time period, but taking your daily calories too low can reduce your metabolism and halt your fat loss. Restricting calories too much will result in your body perceiving it as a famine, and your body will do whatever it can to spare fat stores to have sufficient energy to last out the famine.  In extreme cases, the body will metabolize, muscle, and even organ tissue in lieu of fat stores.

Under no circumstance should an active female eat less than 1300 calories or an active male eat less than 1500 calories when trying to lose weight.  Within a few months of coaching, most of my female clients are eating 1800 – 2000 calories, and my male clients are eating 2100 – 2800 calories.  …and they keep losing fat faster and faster.  The goal should be to stimulate your metabolism to be able to eat more, not less.

In summary, there are 3 major fat loss mistakes you absolutely want to avoid:

1. Low to moderate intensity cardio for long duration – great way for your body to adapt to exercise and stop burning fat.  Plus, you’re converting your muscle fibers to the wrong type.

2. Abs-specific training – 3000 sit ups and no result?  That’s just depressing.  Train for full body systemic fat loss.  You’ll be glad you did.

3. Caloric restriction = starving muscle = no more fat loss; instead, make the goal to eat more and build more fat-burning muscle to ramp up your metabolism, permanently.

Remember, we have helped thousands of people meet and exceed their fat loss and body composition goals.  Give us a call at 412.481.FITT (3488) to schedule your complimentary trial session.

Check out some of our other success stories at and to receive some great information check out

Yours in health and fitness,


bodyXchange, pittsburgh personal training


Pittsburgh Fitness Center

5 common muscle building faux pas’ that slow down or halt muscle growth

By: Scott Hayward, Pittsburgh Personal Trainer

BodyXchange Fitness Center, Pittsburgh’s Number 1 Gym and Personal Training Facility


Muscle Building faux pas #1:

  • Training like a Professional Bodybuilder, more so Training with the one body part a day mantra:

This body part split was made popular in the 70’s and 80’s and is just as ineffective now as it was then, unless you are on massive amounts of anabolic steroids.

The volume of work per body part that pro bodybuilders use is not conducive to muscle stimulation but rather muscle annihilation unless you are on massive amounts of roids. The body cannot repair itself by laying down new contractile proteins fast enough to repair and recover with too much volume.

Over training or using significantly too much volume puts your body into a catabolic (or muscle wasting) state and not an anabolic (or muscle building) state.

Muscle Building faux pas #2:

  • Not using the body’s naturally occurring hormones , testosterone and insulin

In order to correct this problem, this can be done in several ways

  1.  Keep your workouts short and intense—no longer than 45-50 minutes.  Anything longer than that and your body’s testosterone production goes down and your body’s hormone cortisol goes up. Cortisol is a muscle wasting hormone (a stress hormone)

  2. Use big major compound movements / exercises that use legs—Squats, deadlifts and cleans are all major compound exercises that use the legs and causes the body to release and produce more testosterone and IGF-1 factor (insulin growth factor 1) hormones.

  3. Take in a liquid protein within 30 minutes of resistance training—this should be a combination of simple carbs and protein.  The perfect post workout drink is low fat chocolate milk.

Muscle Building faux pas #3:

  • Not Cycling Your Workouts Properly

Solution:  Every 4-6 weeks change your program


Work on macrocycles and microcycles.  Change your focus every 6 months or so but change your approach every4-6 weeks.  Use scientific principles, SAID (specific adaptation to imposed demands), FITT (frequency, intensity, time , type), and GPO (gradual progressive overload) when putting together your workouts.

Muscle Building faux pas #4:

  • Wasting Your Money on Expensive, Worthless Supplements

Solution:  Stick with whole food sources of nutrients and invest in a good protein powder and creatine

Fact: 98% of the supplements on the market today are worthless crap!

The only real source of supplements that will make any measureable difference will be a good protein powder and a good creatine.  All of the other vasodilators, extreme pump formulas and any other garbage are just that.  These supplement companies are selling supplements supposedly used by their models and 90% of the time the models don’t even use their crap they use large amounts of anabolic steroids.

Muscle Building faux pas #5:

  • Using the “Muscle Confusion Principle” and Not Having a Plan

Solution:  Have a clear cut precise plan of attack

This was another great bit of knowledge from the 80’s that has resurfaced by late night infomercials.

They advised that in order to “keep your muscles guessing” and to prevent your body from ever adapting to your workouts you should do something completely different every time you entered the gym.

With this type of training (without clear purpose or vision) you inevitably fail to reach your destination.  If someone said they wanted to get to a certain location and had no map, could they ever arrive?

You need to have a clear cut vision and purpose to your workouts.  You need to have a rhyme and reason for why you are going to the gym.  You need your road map to success.

The way to achieve this is to have a good split or routine that is biomechanically sound and is focusing on big compound movements for all body parts.

These are five common muscle building faux pas’ and solutions that will enable you to meet your goals faster than ever.

Scott Hayward is an exercise physiologist and owner of bodyXchange personal fitness training center located in Pittsburgh, Pa.  Hayward has trained sports stars from the NFL, NCAA, MLB, Hollywood Movie Stars and Rock Music Icons.  Hayward can be reached in his Pittsburgh, PA gym or by emailing him for consultations through his web sites and

Pittsburgh Personal Trainer

5 Steps to instituting life changing habits to ultimately change your life by changing your body.

By: Scott Hayward, Pittsburgh Personal Trainer

BodyXchange Fitness Center, Pittsburgh’s Number 1 Gym and Personal Training Facility

1) Focus on one habit to install into your life at a time. It’s tempting to pick up 3 or 4 healthy habits, but choosing just one new habit is realistic and doable.

Here are some healthy habit ideas:

•Do not eat anything white 7pm each night.

•Pack your lunch and take it to work instead of eating fast food.

•Exercise 5 times a week after work for 30-45 minutes each time.

•Eat a complete protein or have a protein shake for an afternoon snack.

•Get up early and exercise for an hour each morning.

•Work with a personal trainer 3 times a week.

2) Write your new habit down on paper. Also include your 3 main motivators for developing this new habit, the obstacles you’ll face, and your strategies for overcoming these obstacles.

Here’s an example:

•My new habit is to work with a personal trainer 3 times each week.

•My 3 main motivators are 1) to feel confident in my bathing suit this summer, 2) to have more energy, and 3) to fit into my skinny jeans.

•The obstacles I will face are 1) not having the energy to go to my session after work, 2) not having enough money to pay for sessions, and 3) not having my spouse’s support.

•I will overcome these obstacles by 1) doing my workouts before work instead of after work, so I have more energy, 2) cutting down on frivolous spending to ensure that I can afford it, and 3) asking my spouse to join me so we can get in shape together.

3) Go public- This could mean putting a post on Facebook, or simply announcing to a group of friends. Put yourself in a position where you’ll be embarrassed to give up on your new habit.  This will also keep you publically accountable.  Friends or family members can offer support or hold you to the fire if you falter.

4) Have a plan—Keep everything logged into a journal of sorts.  Everything – Nutrition, Resistance Training and cardiovascular training, this gives you a road map of where you are heading on your journey.

5) When you falter (and you will,) take comfort in the knowledge that a new day, hour or minute is the perfect time to start.  Get back on the horse, and recover.

Once your new habit becomes second nature, usually in about 30 days, feel free to add a second habit by going through the same 5 steps.

Having clarity of Focus by concentrating on one goal at a time is the most effective way to achieve it. By trying to implement too many changes all at one time will seem overwhelming and ultimately will lead to you failing.  You hit a point of diminishing return by trying to do too much at any one given time.   Remember a thousand mile journey begins with the first step.  After seven consecutive days of adhering to your new habit, reward yourself (in a small, non-self-defeating way.)

pittsburgh personal trainer

Top 10 Fitness Tips for Brides

By: Scott Hayward, Pittsburgh Personal Trainer

BodyXchange Fitness Center, Pittsburgh’s Number 1 Gym and Personal Training Facility

Tip #1- Set Realistic and Tangible Goals

Living with no boundaries for 20, 30 or 40 years with no governor on nutrition or exercise cannot be undone two weeks before your wedding.  You need a realistic, yet attainable goal to make sure your wedding day and night is all you want it to be.  Simply stating that you want to lose weight is not effective. Be specific. For example, I want to lose 5 pounds of fat by February 25th.

Tip #2- Measure Your Progress

If you do not have an accurate assessment of what your body composition is currently, you have no idea on what is working and what is not working in your program.

Take your base measurements and then re-take them on a regular basis. Remember, the use of a scale exclusively is not a very accurate way to determine your entire fitness picture.  The scale should be a part of the equation; however it is not the only thing that should be used.  Body fat %, circumference measurements, weight and ultimately how you look and feel in and out of clothes (not to mention how your fittings go once you try on your wedding dress.)

Tip #3- Log Your Workouts

Keeping a detailed log of your workouts has been shown to be one of the most effective ways to stay motivated and have success in your workouts.  Record everything; Reps, Sets, Weights, Cardio times and equipment used.

Tip #4- Mix Up Your Cardio Workouts

Variation is the key to your success.  By varying your workouts, you have the body continually using body fat stores for energy.  The reason some people become stagnant in the workouts and their progress all but stops is because the body becomes more efficient at performing the same amount of work over and over while expending less energy.

Cardio should be varied between modes used, duration performed and intensity.

Tip #5- Strength Training Is Not Just for Men

All brides are worried that lifting weights will cause them to get big and bulky and look like a linebacker.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  In addition to a minimum of the muscle building hormone testosterone, the calories needed to build linebacker type muscle would be far removed from anything you will be consuming.  Lifting weights not only deplete muscle glycogen (which improves body composition), but also expends calories during the lifting and also for a longer period of time post workout than does cardiovascular (aerobic activity alone.)

This all coupled with the decreased chance of osteoporosis and it makes resistance training a no brainer for any female.




Tip #6- Rest

Remember, you make your gains out of the gym not in the gym.  Your body needs adequate time to rest and to refuel itself which is used to repair muscle tissue and metabolic systems.

Get 6-8 hours of deep sleep each and every night. Also, taking one day completely off a week from the gym (active rest) is beneficial for making your greatest gains.

Tip #7- Warm Up

Warm up for 5-10 minutes before every workout session. You should feel a rise in your body temperature.  Remember you don’t stretch to warm up, you warm up to stretch.  Stretching a cold muscle only results in muscle strains or tears.  Once your core body temperature is adequately raised, then stretching is not only beneficial, but also advisable.

Tip #8- Cool Down

Muscle contraction gives off a by-product (carbon dioxide), if the CO2 is allowed to lay dormant in the muscle, it will raise the ph level too high in the muscle, and you will have DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness).  To minimize the chances of DOMS perform a light cool down after your workout.

Tip #9- Nutrition Is Over Half the Battle / Eat to Lose

You must eat in order to lose fat.  If you do not eat, or go on a ridiculously low caloric intake, your body perceives it as a famine and will do whatever it has to do in order to save fat.  The body will even use muscle tissue and in extreme cases organ tissue to make up for the inadequate amount of caloric intake.

Make complex carbs, complete proteins and healthy fats a staple in your nutrition plan.  Complex carbs cause a more gradual increase in blood glucose and keeps energy levels more constant throughout the day.  A grazing mentality of 5-6 small meals is much better for fat loss than 3 big meals.

Tip #10- Focus on Compound movements

Compound exercises (exercises which movement occurs at more than one join) are far more beneficial because more overall muscle is being used.  The more overall muscle you use per exercise and per movement, the more energy stores are depleted, thus resulting in a greater change in body composition. Example of a compound joint exercise would be sumo squats as opposed to hip abductor / adductor machine, or close grip pull-ups as opposed to dumbbell curls.  Remember; the more big muscle groups we use the faster, more efficiently and effectively you can change your body.

The biggest tip would be to enlist a fitness professional with a sound knowledge in exercise physiology, anatomy, kinesiology and nutrition to help you navigate the waters of body composition, fat loss and exercise.  We here at bodyXchange personal fitness training center are here to help you get the body you have always wanted.  Please check us out on the web at:, ,, or become a fan on our Facebook page at  We look forward to giving you the body of your dreams.


Pittsburgh Personal Trainer


By: Scott Hayward, Pittsburgh Personal Trainer

BodyXchange Fitness Center, Pittsburgh’s Number 1 Gym and Personal Training Facility

  1. Use compound, multi-joint, multi-muscle exercises – like these


Straight bar, dumbbells, smith machine, any of these will help target the lower body

Clean and Press

This exercise works all the muscles of the body to include the most important muscle – the heart!

Deadlift – best overall exercise (uses the most muscle to perform)

You can move some big weights eventually with this strength builder

Chin Ups

Believe it or not a great abdominal exercise. Do these with a spotter holding the ankles over the gravitron or assisted pull-up machines that are so popular.

Bent over Row

Great back and bicep builder

Press Ups

Great shoulder, trap and tricep builder


Great for the chest and triceps

Bench Press

Best exercise for building a massive chest, but don’t forget about the incline version of this gem


A great leg builder that will also build explosive strength and the heart and lungs

  1. Use a Workout Log

You need to know where you are if you intend on knowing where you are heading

  1.  Set Goals

Don’t fly blind.  Set realistic, attainable, reachable goals that moves you out of your comfort zone and forces you into a call to action

  1.  Stay Hydrated

60-70% of your body is comprised of water not to mention that it is the body’s metabolic medium by which all functions occur.

  1.  Keep workouts brief and intense

Anyone that says they spend three hours in the gym isn’t working out hard enough for the time they are there.  Give 100% intensity and you shouldn’t be able to go any longer than an hour.

  1.  Warm up correctly

5-10 minute warm up moves your body from a sedentary state to one that is ready to begin your workout.  Warms up the muscles, connective tissues and metabolic systems.

  1.  Stretch after exercise

Remember you don’t stretch to warm up,, you warm up then stretch then workout then cool down.  Ask yourself the question;” can you take a rubber band out of the freezer  and pull it ?  what would happen?”

  1. Take one day a week off

Take one day to recuperate, and refresh your body and mind.

  1.  Keep varying your workouts

Don’t allow your body to plateau by continually using the same workout. Switch it up every 6 weeks or so.

  1.  Reduce Stress

Stress releases the hormone cortisol which is a fat storer.  It is the enemy of anyone trying to gain muscle and get lean.

  1. Pay the cardio piper

You must perform cardio in order to use bodyfat stores for energy

  1.  Switch Machines

Variation is the key to forcing your body to continually use bodyfat stores for energy.

  1.  Play with the intensity

When you continually run at 5.0 for 45 minutes your body becomes more efficient performing the same amount of work while uses less and less calories.

  1.  Do it in the morning

Performing your cardio routine in the morning on an empty stomach will massively

improve the session’s fat burning properties.

  1.  Wait at least 45 minutes before eating.

Waiting for at least 45 minutes after your cardio session before eating will massively

benefit your fat burning capabilities.

  1.  Eat more often

5-6 smaller meals consisting of complex carbs, complete proteins and healthy fats will keep your body a fat incinerating furnace.

  1.  Be in a caloric deficit

This is an obvious point but worth stressing. You CANNOT lose weight unless you

create a calorie deficit. That is burning more calories than you consume.

  1.  Eat more protein

Protein has a higher satiety index than does carbs.  Meaning that you fill full longer..

  1.  Eat healthy fats

Fats are very important to your diet, think oily fish however rather than saturated fats

from fried food.

  1.  MaKe exercise a constant in your day.

To change your body, you MUST regularly perform both cardio

and resistance training. Aim for three cardio sessions and three weight training

sessions a week.

  1.  Cut down on sugar

Sugar causes insulin spikes and those calories are predominantly stored as bodyfat.

  1.  Eat more often, do not starve yourself

Starving yourself will just prompt the body to slow down it’s metabolism as it thinks

there’s a famine so will store fat.

  1.  Keep your workouts short

If you are working out too long then you are not going intense enough.

  1.  Rest

Muscles grow when the body is asleep so get plenty of rest for maximum gains. They do not grow while they are working out in the gym.  The workout is the stimuli, nutrition and rest is when they grow.

  1.  Use correct technique

Bad technique leads to injuries and poor gains. Take the time to get the right

technique. If you’re struggling for form then the weight is too heavy.

Bonus tip**** Do not just lift weights

Lift and lower the weights.  You get more benefit from the eccentric (or negative) portion of a lift.

Pittsburgh Personal Trainer

Alcohol Against Fitness

By: Scott Hayward, Pittsburgh Personal Trainer

BodyXchange Fitness Center, Pittsburgh’s Number 1 Gym and Personal Training Facility

This is People Really Miss the Boat with their Training,

I know a lot of people who eat good and work out and then
drop the ball in this one little area… and it SCREWS

If you are on a diet, alcohol is bad for you. Bottom line,
plain and simple, no ifs, ands or buts about it…
except for alcohol butt if you’re a girl or beer gut if
you’re a guy.

For some, this might be more painful to
hear than “sugar is bad for you” and “fried foods are bad
for you,” but you can’t argue with science. When you
consume alcohol, your body uses that for fuel first, which
delays fat burning BIG TIME.

Alcohol also contains almost twice as many calories as
carbs and proteins. What’s worse, these are “empty”
calories, meaning that they provide no nutritional value.

When you down a few beers, your inhibitions are also
squashed, making it more likely for you to cheat on your
diet. A couple mojitos might be all that’s needed to break
down your willpower enough to think that eating a couple
friend chicken drumsticks is a good idea. Also, despite all
those calories you are consuming, alcohol actually increases
your appetite.

Every time you booze up, you also decrease your body’s
total testosterone level. Testosterone is a powerful fat
burner and muscle builder for men AND women. The less
testosterone you have, the slower your muscles build while
working out, and the slower your metabolism will be. And
the slower your metabolism is, the harder it is to lose
weight, no matter how disciplined you are in the gym.

Alcohol also wreaks havoc on your internal organs,
including your stomach and liver, which are important to
keep in good health if you want to see fat loss progress.
If your stomach isn’t working at its peak, your foods will
be digested less efficiently, which means more will be
stored as fat. Your liver needs to be in prime condition
because that’s the organ that turns fat into energy.

If you must drink some brews with your friends, try to
stick to light beer. The diet damaging effects of alcohol
are still there, but it won’t be as bad because there are
fewer calories.

Bottom lines, if you DO drink, control the amounts and drink
only on rare occasions. I’ve known more women so many women
who workout almost everyday, watch what they eat, then go
out drinking on the weekends and wonder where their muffin
top comes from. It’s the BOOZE.

Yours in Fitness,

Scott Hayward

BodyXchange Personal Training

Pittsburgh Personal Trainer

Call to Action

By: Scott Hayward, Pittsburgh Personal Trainer

BodyXchange Fitness Center, Pittsburgh’s Number 1 Gym and Personal Training Facility

Is this you?

•Your weight gain is getting out of control

•You’ve got bumps and bulges under your clothes

•You cringe when you look in the mirror

•You’re not getting any younger and you worry about their health

•You’re afraid of slowing down & not being able to do the things you did when you were younger.

•You have a closet full of clothes that don’t fit anymore and you want to get back into them

•You don’t feel desirable anymore

•You want to feel confident about yourself again

BodyXchange Personal Fitness Training Program will help you finally…

•Lose that weight you’ve been struggling to lose

•Get rid of that spare tire making you uncomfortable in your clothes

•Lose that unflattering pot belly

•Smooth out those thunder thighs

•Say goodbye to flabby arms

•Learn the importance of rest and recovery after every workout

•Learn proper intensity of resistance training

•Get in better shape physically, mentally and emotionally

•Sleep better and deal with stress easier

•Help you maintain a consistent mood

•Be more efficient at your job whether you’re a CEO of a major company or the CEO of your home

In as little as 30 days you’ll see your body transform into the new and confident person you’ve always dreamed of being!

Pittsburgh Personal Trainer

Cardio Intensity for Effective Fat Loss

By: Scott Hayward, Pittsburgh Personal Trainer

BodyXchange Fitness Center, Pittsburgh’s Number 1 Gym and Personal Training Facility

Continuing with our summer series of fat loss truths, this month we will look at cardiovascular training intensity and how it pertains to effective fat loss.  I think that everyone will agree that cardiovascular training is a crucial element in the battle of the bulge.  However, just as much confusion lies in what intensity and how long the intensity should be continued when performing your cardio workouts.  So, this brings us to the question at hand – which intensity is best for fat loss?  Low intensity long duration, high intensity short duration or an interval type of training.

First off, let’s look at the three aforementioned variations in intensity and durations.

  • For years the standard edict was low intensity long duration.  The reasoning behind this is that at 60-70% of your maximum heart rate (calculated by subtracting your age from 220), you burn a larger percentage of fat calories to perform the activity.  This sounds good; a large % of calories used come from fat, do your cardio for 45 – 60 minutes and in no time you are ready for the beach.  Right?  Not so fast my friend.  You do consume by far the largest % of calories used for the activity from fat stores, but the larger percentage is of actually a relatively small number.  Would you like to have 80% of one hundred dollars, or 10% of a million dollars?  So with this logic, we can’t just look at the higher percentage as a final measuring stick.

  • The second intensity level and duration is high intensity shorter duration.  We are talking about a heart rate that equates to 80-90% of maximum heart rate for an activity that lasts approximately 25-30 minutes.  This moves quickly from the aerobic (with oxygen) status to an anaerobic (without oxygen present) classification.  I know what you are thinking; “If you aint got no oxygen, you can’t burn no fat, capice” (all you Tony Sopranos wannabes).  Well to an extent you are right.  You will not use a considerable amount of fat (triglycerides) for the production of energy when you are in an anaerobic state.  However, you will still manufacture some of your energy from fat without oxygen present (remember, all three energy systems are constantly working, albeit in different ratios and proportions.  Based upon the intensity and duration of the activity.)  So in this scenario we still manufacture some energy from fat, however it is a smaller %.  Get this; it is a smaller % of an overall larger number.  Would you like to have 80% of one hundred dollars, or 10% of a million dollars?  Count me in for the 10% of a cool mill, and you?  Sounds like we solved the case, not so fast my friend, we aren’t done yet.

  • What if in this third scenario we took the best of both the intensities already mentioned and morphed them into one.  A period of time of high intensity, followed by a recovery period of a low intensity.  This sounds like it could be it.  You get an overall larger number of calories than low intensity long duration, and you get the benefit of using a large degree of calories from the body’s fat stores (triglycerides) during the low intensity portions.  An added benefit of this type of interval training is that your body will use more overall calories throughout the day, as it takes time to downshift from the back and forth of intensities and you burn more calories even after the activity concludes.  This has to be the answer, right?

I may have forgotten to mention one crucial element in all of this.  Your body adapts very quickly to cardiovascular activity.  The reason is this; your body is constantly searching for a point of homeostasis (or evenness).  To be more to the point, your body is perfectly happy with the fat stores you have saddled it with.  Even though personally I don’t believe in it, our bodies function under the premise of evolution.  It doesn’t know that there is a burger joint, pizza joint or Primanti’s on every street corner, it still thinks that we have to hunt, fish and gather for our food.  So it is constantly looking to keep any fat stores for an impending famine.  The second part of this is that since the body adapts very quickly to cardio, it becomes more efficient at performing the activity.  After time and again of being exposed to your 45 minute run at 10:00 / mile, the readout on the treadmill that states 400 calories used for your run (which is never 100% accurate anyway), is nowhere near 400 calories.  Your body has adapted by becoming more efficient at performing that activity at that intensity for that time.  So the 400 calories used on the readout is now really like 300 calories. As I am sure you would agree, not a very desirable effect for fat loss.

The answer lies in variety.  In order to keep your body in a constant fat burning state, vary your intensities between the three described in this article.  Do some of your cardio at a low intensity for a long duration (45 -60 mins),  perform some at a very high intensity for a short duration (25-30 mins) and finally do intervals, varying higher intensity with a recovery period of lower intensity for approximately 30 mins.  Changing between the three intensities each time you perform your cardiovascular workouts will keep your body from becoming a stagnant and less effective fat burner and you will be shredded in no time.

Scott Hayward, MS, CSCS, CPT, is a certified master and advanced personal trainer, sports nutrition specialist and a certified strength coach.  His fat loss techniques have been showcased on B94 FM and 660 AM radio.  His newest book “ABSESSION … America’s Guide to the Ultimate Six Pack” will be released later on this year and he is currently writing “Get FITT America, How to become your own Personal Trainer.”

Pittsburgh Personal Trainer

Corny Life?

By: Scott Hayward, Pittsburgh Personal Trainer

BodyXchange Fitness Center, Pittsburgh’s Number 1 Gym and Personal Training Facility

Unless you’ve been under a rock for the last year or two, you’ve undoubtedly seen the massive media campaign that the Corn Refiners Association (the CRA) has been running on TV commercials, online ads, etc trying to “clean up” the poor public image of high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS).

They have even tried a re-branding campaign trying to change the name to “corn sugar” instead of high-fructose corn syrup.

In addition, the TV commercials try to convince you that HFCS is “no worse than sugar”, and even try to imply that it is somehow ‘natural’, with this phrase:

“It’s made from corn, has no artificial ingredients, has the same calories as sugar and is okay to eat in moderation”

REALLY?  I’d say that it’s a downright LIE to say that HFCS has no artificial ingredients if you’ve ever seen how HFCS is refined and processed and the chemicals involved in that process.  Watch the entertaining documentary King Corn and you’ll see the NASTY chemicals involved in refining HFCS!

And let’s not forget that HFCS is almost always made from Genetically Modified corn.  Not so “natural” anymore huh!

In response to this CRA propaganda campaign to revamp the image of HFCS, Michael Jacobson, executive director of the Center for Science in the Public Interest stated: “High-fructose corn syrup starts out as cornstarch, which is chemically or enzymatically degraded to glucose and some short polymers of glucose. Another enzyme is then used to convert varying fractions of glucose into fructose… High-fructose corn syrup just doesn’t exist in nature”.

What about the debate:  Is High-Fructose Corn Syrup worse for you than sugar?

This seems to have been an ongoing debate for the last couple years, but I personally think it’s a stupid debate…  In terms of your health and your waistline, they are BOTH pure evil!  Over time, with excess consumption of either HFCS or sugar, they can both lead to diabetes, obesity, and other major health problems, including premature aging, and a bulging belly!

However, with that said, I personally avoid HFCS at all costs, but I don’t necessarily avoid sugar altogether. I minimize sugar greatly, but I don’t avoid it like I avoid HFCS.  Have I mentioned that I haven’t had a soda pop since I was a teenager… not one!  Two things that I try to avoid almost 100% are HFCS and trans fats… because they are easily two of the MOST evil food additives that cause the most damage from a biochemical standpoint internally in your body (keep that in mind when you’re about to eat or drink them, and it’s easy to say no).

The only HFCS I get is probably the minor amounts that I might get in ketchup at a restaurant (sorry, I’m not giving up my ketchup… but I do get organic ketchup at home, which has no HFCS).  But other than ketchup at a restaurant, I stay away from anything and everything with HFCS in it, including store-bought salad dressings which are often laced with high amounts of HFCS.  Instead, I make my own healthy lean-body salad dressings at home.

The reason that I avoid HFCS more than I avoid plain sugar is that there is just too much evidence at this point that your body DOES process HFCS differently than sugar… despite the propaganda that the Corn Refiners Association is trying to shove down your throat with their ads.

New Princeton Study reveals that HFCS can stimulate more weight gain than sugar

Leave it to those geniuses at Princeton to give us some good evidence that HFCS can make you fatter than sugar!  In a 2010 Princeton University study, researchers found that rats given water sweetened with HFCS gained significantly more weight than those given water sweetened with plain sugar, despite calorie intake being the same between both groups.

Princeton researchers also state:  “In addition to causing significant weight gain in lab animals, long-term consumption of high-fructose corn syrup also led to abnormal increases in body fat, especially in the abdomen, and a rise in circulating blood fats called triglycerides“.

And what about those claims by the Corn Refiners Association that HFCS is “no worse than sugar”?  Well, let’s get past the propaganda, and hear what an actual researcher has to say:

According to professor Bart Hoebel, who specializes in the neuroscience of appetite, weight and sugar addiction… “Some people have claimed that high-fructose corn syrup is no different than other sweeteners when it comes to weight gain and obesity, but our results make it clear that this just isn’t true, at least under the conditions of our tests.  When rats are drinking high-fructose corn syrup at levels well below those in soda pop, they’re becoming obese — every single one, across the board. Even when rats are fed a high-fat diet, you don’t see this; they don’t all gain extra weight.”

Princeton researchers also noted that the HFCS groups in the studies gained significant amounts of visceral fat around the belly.  As you might know, visceral fat is more deadly than subcutaneous fat and is a serious health concern as it releases inflammatory molecules into your system.

One reason that HFCS appears to cause more weight gain than plain sugar is that HFCS doesn’t trigger a leptin response in the body.  This means that it won’t signal the body to decrease appetite despite those HFCS calories that were consumed.

Another reason that HFCS affects our bodies differently is this… according to Princeton researchers, although HFCS only has 10% more fructose than table sugar (55% fructose content vs 50% fructose content in sugar), the fructose in HFCS is more sinister… According to Princeton, “as a result of the manufacturing process for high-fructose corn syrup, the fructose molecules in the sweetener are free and unbound, ready for fast absorption and utilization. In contrast, every fructose molecule in sucrose that comes from cane sugar or beet sugar is bound to a corresponding glucose molecule and must go through an extra metabolic step before it can be utilized.”

Aha… very interesting!

Well, I hope that’s enough evidence for you to simply try to fully avoid HFCS from now on.  Again, this doesn’t mean eating loads of table sugar is good for you either (that should be obvious), but these studies clearly show that HFCS is at least one step WORSE for you than sugar.  And you also know that HFCS contributes to more abdominal fat, so with that said, why in the world would you ever want to touch another soda again!

You also now know that the deceptive advertisments by the Corn Refiners Association have basically been LYING to you with their propaganda that “HFCS is no worse for you than sugar”.  Yeah, right.

Pittsburgh Personal Trainer

Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness

By: Scott Hayward, Pittsburgh Personal Trainer

BodyXchange Fitness Center, Pittsburgh’s Number 1 Gym and Personal Training Facility

No pain, no gain. This is an age old adage that become popular during the seventies and eighties in an adverstising campaign for soloflex fitness equipment, but is this really the message that we are supposed to be sending and is it the best way to make the gains that you are looking for?   This is the adage that many of us work out by. If it’s not hurting we are not working hard enough. What causes sore muscles and what part does lactic acid buildup play?

There are 2 types of muscle pain. One is the burning that you feel in your muscles while you are working out, and this is commonly known as lactic acid build up. The second kind is the stiffness and soreness you may encounter for up to 2-5 days after you have worked out. This pain is referred to as delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS for short).

Lactic acid
is created when the body is not getting enough oxygen to break down the glucose required for energy. Lactic acid is produced at these moments of time of extreme anaerobic activity (such as weight lifting) as a defensive measure, forcing the body to slow down and catch its metabolic breath. The burning feeling you are experiencing is a sure sign that you are working out to your maximum. Once your body starts producing the lactic acid in high quantities the body can only continue that particular muscle use (rep) for another 1 -3 minutes. The lactic acid does not hang around in your muscles for too long, from several to twenty-four hours.

DOMS is the correct term for the pain, stiffness and suffering you may encounter when you try to get out of bed the day or two after the massive or new workout. This pain and stiffness usually peaks within the first 1-2 days and then subsides. The length of recovery time can depend on the muscle damage and subsequent repair necessary. Yes, you read right. DOMS is actually caused by the inflammation and damage of the muscles created by the workout. Generally, if DOMS is caused by a new workout routine, your muscles will soon adjust and you will find the DOMS will stop troubling you.

Tips for relieving muscle pain.

* Massage has been proven to reduce both the tissue swelling and the pain associated with DOMS after strenuous workouts. The theory is that the massaging motion helps clear the chemical build-ups in the muscles and surrounding tissues, allowing the healing process to start faster.

* Light exercise
again has been clinically proven to help alleviate some of the symptoms of DOMS. A light cardio workout is recommended first to warm up, followed by some stretches. If you are then able to do your usual workout that’s fine. However, if the pain is interfering with your routine, or the pain intensifies then this is your body signaling you that those particular muscles need more recovery time. It is important to listen to your body and not ignore severe pain.

* Heat packs and ice packs can both help with tissue damage and pain. Ice will help prevent swelling, and heat is generally found to be soothing for sore muscles and joints.

Does it really have to hurt to work?

The pain that is felt in the muscles after an intensive routine is the small tears in the muscles healing themselves. This is part of the muscle strengthening process. A little DOMS can be a great indicator that you have successfully pushed yourself. On the other hand, severe DOMS indicates that you have overexerted yourself. Lactic acid burn is a signal that your muscles are indeed working out.


The production of lactic acid is a process signaling that muscles in your body have run out of oxygen needed to clear out the chemicals created by an intensive workout. The build up of lactic acid is signaled by the feeling of muscle burn. DOMS, on the other hand is the pain and stiffness felt from anywhere between 1 and 5 days after a strenuous activity.

pittsburgh personal trainer

Effects of Alcohol on Fat Metabolism

By: Scott Hayward, Pittsburgh Personal Trainer

BodyXchange Fitness Center, Pittsburgh’s Number 1 Gym and Personal Training Facility

The main problem with alcohol is not the number of calories it contains, but

rather the effect is has on fat metabolism. A recent study, for example, has

shown that even small amounts of alcohol have a large impact on fat


In this study, eight men were given two drinks of vodka and lemonade separated

by 30 minutes. Each drink contained just less than 90 calories. Fat metabolism

was measured before and after consumption of the drink.

For several hours after drinking the vodka, whole body lipid oxidation (a

measure of how much fat your body is burning) dropped by 73%.

The reason why alcohol has this dramatic effect on fat metabolism has to do with

the way alcohol is handled in the body. When alcohol is consumed, it readily

passes from the stomach and intestines into the blood and goes to the liver. In

the liver, an enzyme called alcohol dehydrogenase mediates the conversion of

alcohol to acetaldehyde.

Acetaldehyde is rapidly converted to acetate by other enzymes. So rather than

getting stored as fat, the main fate of alcohol is conversion into acetate, the

amount of acetate formed is dose dependant on the amount of alcohol

consumed. For example, blood levels of acetate after drinking the vodka were

2.5 times higher than normal. And it appears this sharp rise in acetate puts the

brakes on fat loss.

The type of fuel your body uses is dictated to some extent by availability. By

severely limiting your carb intake your body is forced to rev up its fat burning

machinery, so that you become fat adapted, and increase the use of protein for

some of the functions, such as anaplerosis, that carbs are usually heavily

involved in.

In other words, your body tends to use whatever you feed it, and after a time

becomes adapted to the macro nutrient intake. Unfortunately when acetate levels

rise, your body burns the acetate preferentially, since acetate is basically the

same product of beta oxidation of fatty acids and glycolysis (glucose to pyruvate

to acetate), but it doesn’t require the metabolic work to produce.

So the body simply burns the acetate first, and with the rapid rise seen with

alcohol intake, basically pushes fat oxidation out of the metabolic equation.

Because acetate is readily formed from alcohol it can be worse than taking in

carbs as far as affecting fat metabolism. That’s because glucose has to be

sequentially metabolized through various steps to form acetate while acetate is

formed from alcohol in just a few steps.

Also alcohol, because it can be considered part way between carbs and fats, has

more calories than carbs. That’s why even the low carb beers contain less than

100 calories even though they only have about 2.5 grams of carbs and .5 grams

of protein. While the carbs and protein only make up 12 calories, the 12 grams of

alcohol make up the remaining 80 or so calories.

• 9 calories per gram of FAT

• 4 calories per gram of PROTEIN

• 4 calories per gram of CARBOHYDRATE

• 7 calories per gram of ALCOHOL

Alcoholic beverages contain alcohol, some or no carbs and calories but not much


In summary, it’s important to realize that even the odd drink or two can be

counter productive in the low carb phase of dieting for fat loss and

especially so in the induction stage of a new dieting plan.

Pittsburgh Personal Trainer

Exercising During Pregnancy

By: Scott Hayward, Pittsburgh Personal Trainer

BodyXchange Fitness Center, Pittsburgh’s Number 1 Gym and Personal Training Facility

Although you may not feel like running a marathon, most women benefit greatly from

exercising throughout their pregnancies. But during that time, you’ll need to discuss your

exercise plans with your doctor or other health care provider early on and make a few

adjustments to your normal exercise routine. The level of exercise recommended will

depend, in part, on your level of pre-pregnancy fitness.

Benefits of Exercising During Pregnancy

No doubt about it, exercise is a big plus for both you and your baby (if complications

don’t limit your ability to exercise throughout your pregnancy). It can help you:

• feel better. At a time when you wonder if this strange body can possibly be yours,

exercise can increase your sense of control and boost your energy level. Not only

does it make you feel better by releasing endorphins (naturally occurring

chemicals in your brain), appropriate exercise can:

• relieve backaches and improve your posture by strengthening and toning

muscles in your back, butt, and thighs

• reduce constipation by accelerating movement in your intestine

• prevent wear and tear on your joints (which become loosened during

pregnancy due to normal hormonal changes) by activating the lubricating

fluid in your joints

• help you sleep better by relieving the stress and anxiety that might make

you restless at night

• look better. Exercise increases the blood flow to your skin, giving you a healthy


• prepare you and your body for birth. Strong muscles and a fit heart can greatly

ease labor and delivery. Gaining control over your breathing can help you manage

pain. And in the event of a lengthy labor, increased endurance can be a real help.

• regain your pre-pregnancy body more quickly. You’ll gain less fat weight

during your pregnancy if you continue to exercise (assuming you exercised before

becoming pregnant). But don’t expect or try to lose weight by exercising while

you’re pregnant. For most women, the goal is to maintain their fitness level

throughout pregnancy.

What’s a Safe Exercise Plan During Pregnancy?

It depends on when you start and whether your pregnancy is complicated. If you exercised

regularly before becoming pregnant, continue your program, with modifications as you

need them. If you weren’t fit before you became pregnant, don’t give up! Begin slowly and

build gradually as you become stronger. Whatever your fitness level, you should talk to

your doctor about exercising while you’re pregnant.

Discuss any concerns you have with your doctor. You may need to limit your exercise if

you have:

• pregnancy-induced high blood pressure

• early contractions

• vaginal bleeding

• premature rupture of your membranes, also known as your water (the fluid in the

amniotic sac around the fetus) breaking early

Exercises to Try

That depends on what interests you and what your doctor advises. Many women enjoy

dancing, swimming, water aerobics, yoga, Pilates, biking, or walking. Swimming is

especially appealing, as it gives you welcome buoyancy (floatability or the feeling of

weightlessness). Try for a combination of cardio (aerobic), strength, and flexibility

exercises, and avoid bouncing.

Many experts recommend walking. It’s easy to vary the pace, add hills, and add distance.

If you’re just starting, begin with a moderately brisk pace for a mile, 3 days a week. Add a

couple of minutes every week, pick up the pace a bit, and eventually add hills to your

route. Whether you’re a pro or a novice, go slowly for the first 5 minutes to warm up and

use the last 5 minutes to cool down.

If you were a runner before you were pregnant, in many cases, you can continue running

during your pregnancy, although you may have to modify your routine.

Whatever type of exercise you and your doctor decide on, the key is to listen to your

body’s warnings. Many women, for example, become dizzy early in their pregnancy, and

as the baby grows, their center of gravity changes. So it may be easy for you to lose your

balance, especially in the last trimester.

Your energy level may also vary greatly from day to day. And as your baby grows and

pushes up on your lungs, you’ll notice a decreased ability to breathe in more air (and the

oxygen it contains) when you exercise. If your body says, “Stop!” — stop!

Your body is signaling that it’s had enough if you feel:

• fatigue

• dizziness

• heart palpitations (your heart pounding in your chest)

• shortness of breath

• pain in your back or pelvis

And if you can’t talk while you’re exercising, you’re doing it too strenuously.

It also isn’t good for your baby if you become overheated because temperatures greater

than 102.6° Fahrenheit (39° Celsius) could cause problems with the developing fetus —

especially in the first trimester — which can potentially lead to birth defects. So don’t

overdo exercise on hot days.

When the weather is hot, try to avoid exercising outside during the hottest part of the day

(from about 10 AM to 3 PM) or exercise in an air-conditioned place. Also remember that

swimming makes it more difficult for you to notice your body heating up because the

water makes you feel cooler.

Exercises to Avoid

Most doctors recommend that pregnant women avoid exercises after the first trimester

that require them to lie flat on their backs.

Unless your doctor tells you otherwise, it’s also wise to avoid any activities that include:

• bouncing

• jarring (anything that would cause a lot of up and down movement)

• leaping

• a sudden change of direction

• a risk of abdominal injury

Typical limitations include contact sports, downhill skiing, scuba diving, and horseback

riding because of the risk of injury they pose.

Although some doctors say step aerobics workouts are acceptable if you can lower the

height of your step as your pregnancy progresses, others caution that a changing center of

gravity makes falls much more likely. If you do choose to do aerobics, just make sure to

avoid becoming extremely winded or exercising to the point of exhaustion.

And check with your doctor if you experience any of these warning signs during any type

of exercise:

• vaginal bleeding

• unusual pain

• dizziness or lightheadedness

• unusual shortness of breath

• racing heartbeat or chest pain

• fluid leaking from your vagina

• uterine contractions

Kegel Exercises

Although the effects of Kegel exercises can’t be seen from the outside, some women use

them to reduce incontinence (the leakage of urine) caused by the weight of the baby on

their bladder. Kegels help to strengthen the “pelvic floor muscles” (the muscles that aid in

controlling urination).

Kegels are easy, and you can do them any time you have a few seconds — sitting in your

car, at your desk, or standing in line at the store. No one will even know you’re doing


To find the correct muscles, pretend you’re trying to stop urinating. Squeeze those

muscles for a few seconds, then relax. You’re using the correct muscles if you feel a pull.

Or place a finger inside your vagina and feel it tighten when you squeeze. Your doctor

can also help you identify the correct muscles.

A few things to keep in mind when you’re doing Kegel exercises:

• Don’t tighten other muscles (stomach or legs, for example) at the same time. You

want to focus on the muscles you’re exercising.

• Don’t hold your breath while you do them because it’s important that your body

and muscles continue to receive oxygen while you do any type of exercise.

• Don’t regularly do Kegels by stopping and starting your flow of urine while you’re

actually going to the bathroom, as this can lead to incomplete emptying of your

bladder, which increases the risk of urinary tract infections.

Getting Started

Always talk to your doctor before beginning any exercise program. Once you’re ready to

get going:

• Start gradually. Even 5 minutes a day is a good start if you’ve been inactive. Add 5

minutes each week until you reach 30 minutes.

• Dress comfortably in loose-fitting clothes and wear a supportive bra to protect

your breasts.

• Drink plenty of water to avoid overheating and dehydration.

• Skip your exercises if you’re sick.

• Opt for a walk in an air-conditioned mall on hot, humid days.

• Above all, listen to your body.

Pittsburgh Personal Trainer

Extreme Fat Loss Techniques

By: Scott Hayward, Pittsburgh Personal Trainer

BodyXchange Fitness Center, Pittsburgh’s Number 1 Gym and Personal Training Facility

Ken Kinakin recently wrote a book called “Optimal Muscle Training” which is all about biomechanics, anatomy, muscle testing, resistance training technique, and injury prevention. I consider it groundbreaking, because Kikakin did something rarely seen in the mainstream fitness literature: Rather than making sweeping generalizations about exercise safety or usefulness, he analyzed 125 popular weight training techniques and rated them according to risk and benefit. Understanding risks and benefits enhances your training experience by giving you clearer distinctions, providing you with more choices and helping you make better decisions. For example, some exercises have low risk and high benefit, making them excellent choices for almost anyone. Others have high risk and low benefit, which usually indicates a poor technique best avoided. There are also exercises with high risk and high benefit, which means the exercise, while risky, could have high value to advanced trainees under certain circumstances.
Here’s an example: If you asked a typical Personal Trainer at a health club whether it was okay to perform squats with your heels elevated on a board or wedge, 99% of them would cringe and scream, “That’s terrible for you! You’ll blow out your knees! NEVER do squats with your heels elevated – always do them flat footed.” This is a typical “good or bad” judgement, which neglects to acknowledge the risk to benefit ratio.

The risk is greater stress on the knees. The benefits include greater quad development, less hip involvement, more emphasis placed on the medialis portion of the quadriceps, a more comfortable position for those who lack flexibility, and a more upright torso with less stress on the lower back.

So what does all this have to do with losing fat? Well, I see the same phenomenon among fitness professionals and practitioners alike when it comes to judging the usefulness of fat loss techniques (training or dietary), especially today with the anti-aerobics pendulum having swung all the way to the right.

Many people take an all or none attitude, such as “You should NEVER do cardio on an empty stomach because that causes you to lose muscle” or, “cardio is completely worthless,” or “Low carb diets don’t work because they deplete your glycogen and kill your energy so you can’t train hard. Always eat plenty of carbs.”

A better approach would be to analyze each nutrition or training technique according to its risk to benefit ratio (rather than focusing only on risks, and denying that any benefits exist). Just like all strength training activities carry a risk, so do most fat loss techniques. What makes an exercise or Nutrition technique worth including in your program is whether the benefits outweigh the risk given your goals and situation.

What I’d like to do is review a group of aggressive, extreme and/or controversial techniques for fat loss which some bodybuilders and fitness enthusiasts embrace as safe and highly effective, while others claim they’re worthless, dangerous or counterproductive. By weighing the risks and benefits of each technique, you’ll be able to make a much more educated decision about whether to use these techniques yourself.


In Kinakin’s book, he outlined a simple three-point rating system with low (1), medium (2) and high (3) risk-benefit ratings, which I have adopted here for fat loss techniques. An exercise that is low risk (1), low benefit (1) might safely provide benefits to a beginner, but would do little for advanced trainees. An exercise with high risk (3) and low benefit (1) shows poor technique with high potential for negative effects (such as muscle loss, overtraining or injury), which are not balanced by any substantial benefits. Low risk (1) and high benefit (3) generally indicates an all-around excellent method with great benefits and virtually no downside. Techniques can also fall somewhere in the middle (medium risk and medium benefit).

After seeing how risks and benefits can be weighed against each other, the lesson becomes clear: Many high risk methods do have applications under the right circumstances – provided the benefit is also high. Kinakin used the skiing analogy to illustrate this point: Ski trails are marked with different colors and labels; the green circle for the beginner trail offers the lowest difficulty and lowest risk of injury, but offers the least benefit or gratification during the experience. The black diamond slopes are for expert skiers with the highest degree of difficulty and highest risk of injury, but they also provide the greatest benefit and gratification during the experience. A beginner to exercise and dieting who hasn’t even mastered fundamentals would not be any wiser to use the high risk, “advanced” fat loss or training technique any more than a novice skier would to take a plunge down a black diamond ski slope.

With risk management and careful tracking of results, high-risk Fat Loss techniques can often be used very successfully. The ratings of each technique that follow will help you decide which ones best apply to you.


Fasted cardio in the morning One of the most controversial fat loss techniques is performing cardio first thing in the morning on an empty stomach. This method is widely embraced by bodybuilders and recommended by many Personal Trainers and nutritionists. Other experts claim that the risk of muscle loss is too high and they argue whether workout timing makes any difference in the overall scheme of 24 hour energy expenditure. With low blood sugar and low glycogen levels on awakening, it appears that the body is in a perfect state to burn fat preferentially, but combined with high a.m. cortisol levels, it may also be a perfect state to burn muscle. Therefore, the benefit is high, but so is the risk. Body composition must be carefully monitored when using this technique.

RISK: 3 (high)
BENEFIT: 3 (high)

Cardio in the morning after protein consumption
One of the biggest concerns brought up by opponents of fasted morning cardio is the potential for losing lean body mass. One way to help combat the possible loss of lean body mass is to eat a small protein-only meal or to consume a protein drink (no carbs) immediately upon awakening, then perform the cardio shortly thereafter. This decreases the risk by suppressing cortisol and preventing muscle breakdown, while maintaining the high benefit by keeping your blood sugar and insulin levels low.

RISK: 2 (moderate)
BENEFIT: 3 (high)

Cardio at night
Many bodybuilders and Weight Loss seekers perform cardio late at night and then do not eat afterward in an attempt to increase fat loss. There are benefits to this method, but they are moderate at best, and the risks are high. Late night training may also keep you awake, disrupting your sleep cycle and recovery. Once you do fall asleep, your metabolic rate decreases rapidly, so you don’t reap the full value of the post workout metabolic increase that is achieved with exercise earlier in the day. Risk of muscle loss is high, so body composition must be monitored very closely.

RISK: 3 (high)
BENEFIT: 2 (moderate)

Short duration, high intensity interval training
One of the most popular trends in fitness today is high intensity interval training (HIIT). These workouts consist of short periods of high intensity work intervals followed by short periods of lower intensity recovery intervals. Generally, the intervals are 30 to 120 seconds in length and the total duration is in the 15-25 minute range. Research has shown that H.I.I.T Training causes a larger increase in post-exercise energy expenditure than moderate intensity, steady-state exercise, which keeps you burning calories at an elevated rate for an extended period even after the workout is over. There are risks, especially to the beginner, the deconditioned or the person unaware of his or her health status. However, because intensity is relative to each individual, risk is moderate and easily managed, while the benefits are high. For someone who is already highly fit, the risks are lower.

RISK 2 (moderate)
BENEFIT 3 (high)

Moderate duration, moderate to moderately-high intensity cardio
When cardio is performed for a moderate duration (approx 30 to 45 minutes per session) with the intensity held at the upper end of the “target heart zone,” (moderate to moderately-high), large amounts of body fat can be burned during the session. There is also a substantial post exercise elevation in metabolic rate, which, although not as high as that experienced from HIIT, also has a measurable impact on fat loss after the workout.

RISK: 2 (moderate)
BENEFIT: 3 (high)

Long duration, low intensity cardio
Long duration cardio (60 minutes per day or more) does carry the benefit of more calories burned from fat and a moderately high cumulative calorie burn. However, intensity and duration are inversely related, therefore long duration cardio, by nature, is low in intensity. Low intensity cardio, while having the benefit of burning more fat relative to carbs, does not burn as many total calories per unit of time, nor does it have much impact on post exercise energy expenditure. This makes long duration, low intensity cardio (such as walking) most appropriate as a fat loss technique for beginners who can’t achieve higher intensities yet. Furthermore, this method is not time efficient. A long walk can be a very good (if not ideal) fat loss method for someone who is unfit, older, overweight, or has orthopedic problems. It also provides great health and even mental benefits. But there is little point in doing an hour or more per session when you can achieve equal if not greater Calorie Burn and post exercise metabolic increase by doing briefer sessions with higher intensity.

RISK: 1 (low)
BENEFIT: 2 (moderate)

High frequency cardio (5-7 days per week)
Daily cardio performed at a sufficient intensity is considered by many to be a no-brainer fat loss technique for two reasons: First, total caloric expenditure is increased over the course of the week. Since fat loss is a function of calories burned versus calories consumed, increasing cardio activity from three days per week to six days per week, will in theory, double the rate of fat loss in that period. Second, frequent cardio helps maintain metabolic momentum and keeps the metabolism “spinning” by avoiding long periods of inactivity, resulting in metabolic slowdown. These two factors make the benefit of this technique high. There is moderate risk, however, of overtraining or muscle loss. Risk of aerobic adaptation also increases if the high frequency is maintained over a prolonged period of time. Risks increase relative to the duration of each session and the number of weeks the high volume is maintained. Brief daily sessions have an even more favorable risk to benefit ratio.

RISK: 2 (moderate)
BENEFIT: 3 (high)

High-density weight training (increased volume per unit of time)
Ironically, one of the fat loss techniques with the best risk to benefit ratio has nothing to do with dieting or aerobics. Most bodybuilders decrease their rest intervals between sets and exercises prior to competitions in order to boost intensity, increase hypertrophy, release more growth hormone and simultaneously Burn more Fat.
This is known as high-density training and the goal is to condense more work into less time. The risks are low because even beginners can use the technique, they simply need to adjust the amount of resistance to their strength level. Strength gains are compromised on this type of program, but assuming the goal is fat loss, not strength, that would not be considered a risk. Benefits are highest when the majority of exercises selected are multi-joint movements involving large muscle groups, and/or activating the core and as much of the body as possible. (Note: other forms of high density weight training include supersets, tri sets and giant sets).

RISK: 1 (low)
BENEFIT: 3 (high)

High protein, very low carb, very low fat diets
A very High Protein Diet that is nearly devoid of carbs AND fat can cause very rapid weight loss, but the risk of muscle loss is extremely high. An example of this diet is the meat/fish and water diet or the slightly less severe lean protein and green veggies diet. This can cause weight and body fat to come off at an alarming rate, but the risks are very high. Risks include loss of lean mass, loss of strength, low energy levels, nutritional deficiencies, impaired mental acuity, dehydration, and rapid weight regain with the reintroduction of carbohydrates.

RISK 3 (high)
BENEFIT 1 (low)

Ketogenic dieting (very low carbs, moderate or high fat)
By eating lean protein with high fat and keeping carbohydrates so low that you enter ketosis (usually 30-70 grams of carbs a day or less), many dieters report reaching levels of leanness they were not able to achieve with any other method. Reducing carbs drastically does seem to accelerate fat loss in virtually any body type, but seems to have greater benefits for those who were hypoglycemic and carb sensitive to begin with. Other people report only moderate fat loss but great losses of energy, weakness, flat muscles and loss of mental acuity. The benefits of low carb diets in general seem to vary from person to person and a major risk, in addition to those already mentioned, is the regain of lost weight with rapid reintroduction of carbohydrates. A slow transitional period into maintenance decreases the risks. Benefits may be higher if some form of “re-feeding” is employed (such as cyclical ketogenic dieting).

RISK: 2 (moderate)
BENEFIT: 2 (moderate)

Extreme calorie reductions
Many people still believe that severely cutting calories is the best and fastest way to lose body fat. While sharp reductions in calories may cause large and rapid losses of weight, much of the Weight Loss is often muscle and water, and the risk of long term damage to the metabolism, plateaus and weight re-gain is very high. Some people are consciously aware of the risks, yet they choose to employ severe calorie cutting anyway because they’re under time pressure to achieve a fat loss goal. However, the risks are so high and the benefits are so low, it would be more advisable to use a combination of other techniques that offer greater benefits relative to the risks.

RISK: 3 (high)
BENEFIT: 1 (Low)

Avoiding food for 2 to 3 hours before bedtime
Another controversial technique for accelerating fat loss is the avoidance of food for at least two to three hours before bedtime. Increased fat loss is achieved by increasing the length of the nighttime fast (which is broken by “break-fast”). Fat loss is also believed to be increased by avoiding food at a time when activity levels will be low (and the body will not be burning many calories), when glycogen may be topped off from a full day of eating, and when insulin sensitivity is lower. The potential benefit is high, but so is the risk. Body composition must be carefully monitored when using this technique.

RISK: 3 (high)
BENEFIT: 3 (high)

Tapering calories and or carbohydrates
Calorie or carbohydrate tapering involves decreasing carbohydrate portions and or total meal size as the day goes on. This technique works for the same reasons and carries the same risk-benefit ratio as the previous technique. Risk of muscle loss can be reduced by eating a protein-only or protein and fat meal close to bedtime. It’s also worth noting that carbs eaten before bedtime have also been shown to blunt the nocturnal release of growth hormone.

RISK: 2 (moderate)
BENEFIT: 3 (high)

Not eating after training
Some popular fat loss programs specifically advise not eating for a specified period of time (usually one to two hours) after cardio (and or weight training) in order to “maximize the Post Exercise Fat Burning effects of the cardio.” While this may accelerate fat loss slightly, the risk of inadequate recovery and loss of lean tissue is very high. The research is very clear on this point: There is a “window of opportunity” after training and the post workout meal (protein at the very least), should not be delayed, regardless of whether the activity is strength training or cardio training.

RISK: 3 (high)
BENEFIT: 1 (low)

Pittsburgh Personal Trainer

Build Muscle and Lose Fat

By: Scott Hayward, Pittsburgh Personal Trainer

BodyXchange Fitness Center, Pittsburgh’s Number 1 Gym and Personal Training Facility

There are more myths and misconceptions about strength training than any other area of fitness. While research continues to uncover more and more reasons why working out with weights is good for you, many women continue to avoid Resistance Training for fear of developing muscles of herculean proportions.

Other women have tried it and been less than thrilled with the results. Don’t worry, people say. Women can’t build muscle like men. They don’t have enough testosterone. This is, in fact, only partly true.

Many women, believing they wouldn’t build muscle, hit the gym with a vengeance and then wondered why, after several weeks of resistance training, their clothes didn’t fit and they had gained muscle weight.

The truth is, not everyone responds to training in quite the same way. While testosterone plays a role in Muscle Development, the answer to why some men and women increase in muscle size and others don’t, lies within our DNA.

We are predisposed to respond to exercise in a particular way, in large part, because of our genetics. Our genetic makeup determines what types of muscle fibers we have and where they are distributed. It determines our ratio of testosterone to estrogen and where we store body fat. And it also determines our body type.

A question of body type

All women fall under one of three body classifications, or are a combination of types. Mesomorphs tend to be muscular, endomorphs are more rounded and voluptuous and ectomorphs are slim or linear in shape. Mesomorphs respond to strength training by building muscle mass much faster than their ectomorphic counterparts, even though they may be following identical training regimens.

Endomorphs generally need to lose body fat in order to see a change in size or shape as a result of Strength Training Ectomorphs are less likely to build muscle mass but will become stronger as a result of resistance training.

Building just your heart muscle

One of the fundamental principles of strength training is that if you overload the muscle, you will increase its size. With aerobic training, the overload is typically your body weight. Activities such as step/bench training or stair-stepping result in changes in the size and shape of the muscles of the lower body. Increasing the height of the step or adding power movements increases the overload.

For those concerned about building muscle, it would be better to reduce the step height or lower the impact of the movements. While this may reduce the aerobic value of the workout, it also will decrease the amount of overload on the muscles, making it less likely that you will Build More Muscle.

Training by the rules

When it comes to strength training, the old rule still applies: to get stronger, work with heavier weights and perform fewer repetitions. To promote endurance, use lighter weights and complete more repetitions.

It’s encouraging to note that just like men, most women will experience a 20 percent to 40 percent increase in muscular strength after several months of Resistance Training.
Understanding your body type and how you might respond to exercise can help you set realistic goals and expectations. Avoid comparisons to others you see, at the gym or elsewhere, and remember that no two people are alike.

Focus on how good exercise makes you feel rather than how you would like to look. Accepting our bodies for what they are is a great way to get rid of the guilt or pressure we often feel to look a certain way.

Pittsburgh Personal Trainer

Life Time Weight Loss Guide for a Body Perfect Fitness Woman

By: Scott Hayward, Pittsburgh Personal Trainer

BodyXchange Fitness Center, Pittsburgh’s Number 1 Gym and Personal Training Facility

Are you tired of yo-yo dieting? Looking for real long-term weight loss results? Here are some of the best, most-proven tips for Losing Weight and keeping it off for good…

1. Eat big and bulky to become small and slim. When you choose “big” foods like fruits, vegetables, salads and soups, which are bulked up by fiber and water, you’re eating a lot of food that fills you up, but not a lot of calories. “Little” foods (lots of calories packed into tiny, unsatisfying portions) include cheeses, sugar-rich snacks, and dry foods like crackers and cookies, including fat-free varieties). They are small in size but dense with calories. Many studies show that hunger tends to be satisfied by a certain volume of food — about 4 to 5 pounds daily. And it doesn’t matter how many calories are packed into each pound. Once we’re full, we stop eating. “So the trick,” explains Pritikin dietitian Jeff Novick, “is to fill up without eating an excessive amount of calories. For about 400 calories, you can eat a junior cheeseburger or a big hearty bowl of pasta topped with two cups of roasted vegetables.”

2. Cheat smart. When you’re craving the fat-rich, calorie-rich stuff, you can use the low-calorie-dense foods to not only limit damage but also enjoy the food more. For example, cut down on the number of chips you eat by pairing each bite with lots of chunky, filling (but low in calories) fresh salsa. If you want a little fat, like olive oil or guacamole, balance it with foods like salads and other vegetables that are very low in calorie density.

3. Get hot first thing in the morning. Hot cooked cereal like oatmeal has one-fifth the calorie density of dried cereal. Hot cereal has 300 calories per pound; dried cereals pack in 1,400 to 2,000 calories per pound. Plus, hot cereal is more filling. It keeps you fueled well into late morning, helping you avoid the 10 a.m. munchies.

4. Start out with a big, satisfying salad. Scientists at Penn State recently found that volunteers who ate a big veggie salad before eating a main course ate fewer calories overall than those who didn’t have a first-course salad. But make sure to use a low-fat dressing or you’ll lose the benefit.

5. Eat, don’t drink, your calories. Calories in liquid form (sodas, alcohol, juices) are a lot more fattening than filling. “Rather than drinking fruit juice, eat your fruit,” advises Dr. Jay Kenney, nutrition researcher at Pritikin. Peel an orange. Finish off a big crisp apple. For the calories in one kid-size box of apple juice, you can enjoy an apple, orange, and a slice of watermelon. These whole foods have a lot more staying power than their liquid counterparts.

6. Dine on pasta rather than pizza. Pizza dough is dense with calories — about 1,250 per pound (without the cheese, sausage, and pepperoni.) When you’re dining Italian, a much better choice is pasta. A linguini puttanesca (olives, mushrooms, tomato sauce, fresh basil), arrabbiata (spicy tomato sauce) or vongole (clams with marinara sauce) takes you down to 600 or 700 calories per pound.

7. Triple the Veggies Often, a side of vegetables in a restaurant is really like garnish — a carrot and forkful of squash. When ordering, ask for three or four times the normal serving of veggies, and offer to pay extra. “I’ve never been charged,” says dietitian Jeff Novick, “and I’ve never been disappointed. I get full, not fat.”

8. Exercise Daily
Study after study has found that people who lose weight and keep it off commit to daily physical exercise. Dr. Robert Bauer, Medical Director at Pritikin, says “If you burn an additional 300 calories each day by exercising (about three miles of walking daily), and you don’t increase your caloric intake, you could easily lose 30 pounds in a year.”

9. Got 5 minutes? Use it and lose it. If your day is too busy for a full workout, slice it up into more manageable chunks — five minutes here, 10 minutes there. Take stairs. Park at the far end of the lot. Keep walking shoes at your desk. Walk while you talk on the phone or while you think. Several Short Bursts of Activity throughout the day really can help you burn calories and shed pounds. The Centers of Disease Control and Prevention say that if you spend 10 minutes a day walking up and down stairs, you could shed as much as 10 pounds over the course of a year.

10. Pump em’ up. To rev up your metabolism and burn more calories even when you’re sitting, start lifting weights. The good news: 15 minutes every other day does the job. New research has found that just one set of each Weight Lifting Exercise yields virtually all the muscle-building benefits of two or three sets.

Pittsburgh Personal Trainer


By: Scott Hayward, Pittsburgh Personal Trainer

BodyXchange Fitness Center, Pittsburgh’s Number 1 Gym and Personal Training Facility

While there are many different schools of thought on what Frequency, Intensity, Time and Type of Cardio is the ultimate best for fat burning, Pittsburgh Personal Trainer Scott Hayward has broken down each type of intensity for cardio and has outlined both some benefits and risks that are inherent with each.

Fasted cardio in the morning One of the most controversial fat loss techniques is performing cardio first thing in the morning on an empty stomach. This method is widely embraced by bodybuilders and recommended by many Personal Trainers and nutritionists. Other experts claim that the risk of muscle loss is too high and they argue whether workout timing makes any difference in the overall scheme of 24 hour energy expenditure. With low blood sugar and low glycogen levels on awakening, it appears that the body is in a perfect state to burn fat preferentially, but combined with high a.m. cortisol levels, it may also be a perfect state to burn muscle. Therefore, the benefit is high, but so is the risk. Body composition must be carefully monitored when using this technique.

RISK: 3 (high)
BENEFIT: 3 (high)

Cardio in the morning after protein consumption
One of the biggest concerns brought up by opponents of fasted morning cardio is the potential for losing lean body mass. One way to help combat the possible loss of lean body mass is to eat a small protein-only meal or to consume a protein drink (no carbs) immediately upon awakening, then perform the cardio shortly thereafter. This decreases the risk by suppressing cortisol and preventing muscle breakdown, while maintaining the high benefit by keeping your blood sugar and insulin levels low.

RISK: 2 (moderate)
BENEFIT: 3 (high)

Cardio at night
Many bodybuilders and Weight Loss seekers perform cardio late at night and then do not eat afterward in an attempt to increase fat loss. There are benefits to this method, but they are moderate at best, and the risks are high. Late night training may also keep you awake, disrupting your sleep cycle and recovery. Once you do fall asleep, your metabolic rate decreases rapidly, so you don’t reap the full value of the post workout metabolic increase that is achieved with exercise earlier in the day. Risk of muscle loss is high, so body composition must be monitored very closely.

RISK: 3 (high)
BENEFIT: 2 (moderate)

Short duration, high intensity interval training
One of the most popular trends in fitness today is high intensity interval training (HIIT). These workouts consist of short periods of high intensity work intervals followed by short periods of lower intensity recovery intervals. Generally, the intervals are 30 to 120 seconds in length and the total duration is in the 15-25 minute range. Research has shown that H.I.I.T Training causes a larger increase in post-exercise energy expenditure than moderate intensity, steady-state exercise, which keeps you burning calories at an elevated rate for an extended period even after the workout is over. There are risks, especially to the beginner, the deconditioned or the person unaware of his or her health status. However, because intensity is relative to each individual, risk is moderate and easily managed, while the benefits are high. For someone who is already highly fit, the risks are lower.

RISK 2 (moderate)
BENEFIT 3 (high)

Moderate duration, moderate to moderately-high intensity cardio
When cardio is performed for a moderate duration (approx 30 to 45 minutes per session) with the intensity held at the upper end of the “target heart zone,” (moderate to moderately-high), large amounts of body fat can be burned during the session. There is also a substantial post exercise elevation in metabolic rate, which, although not as high as that experienced from HIIT, also has a measurable impact on fat loss after the workout.

RISK: 2 (moderate)
BENEFIT: 3 (high)

Long duration, low intensity cardio
Long duration cardio (60 minutes per day or more) does carry the benefit of more calories burned from fat and a moderately high cumulative calorie burn. However, intensity and duration are inversely related, therefore long duration cardio, by nature, is low in intensity. Low intensity cardio, while having the benefit of burning more fat relative to carbs, does not burn as many total calories per unit of time, nor does it have much impact on post exercise energy expenditure. This makes long duration, low intensity cardio (such as walking) most appropriate as a fat loss technique for beginners who can’t achieve higher intensities yet. Furthermore, this method is not time efficient. A long walk can be a very good (if not ideal) fat loss method for someone who is unfit, older, overweight, or has orthopedic problems. It also provides great health and even mental benefits. But there is little point in doing an hour or more per session when you can achieve equal if not greater Calorie Burn and post exercise metabolic increase by doing briefer sessions with higher intensity.

RISK: 1 (low)
BENEFIT: 2 (moderate)

High frequency cardio (5-7 days per week)
Daily cardio performed at a sufficient intensity is considered by many to be a no-brainer fat loss technique for two reasons: First, total caloric expenditure is increased over the course of the week. Since fat loss is a function of calories burned versus calories consumed, increasing cardio activity from three days per week to six days per week, will in theory, double the rate of fat loss in that period. Second, frequent cardio helps maintain metabolic momentum and keeps the metabolism “spinning” by avoiding long periods of inactivity, resulting in metabolic slowdown. These two factors make the benefit of this technique high. There is moderate risk, however, of overtraining or muscle loss. Risk of aerobic adaptation also increases if the high frequency is maintained over a prolonged period of time. Risks increase relative to the duration of each session and the number of weeks the high volume is maintained. Brief daily sessions have an even more favorable risk to benefit ratio.

RISK: 2 (moderate)
BENEFIT: 3 (high)

pittsburgh personal trainer

Fat Burning Secrets

By: Scott Hayward, Pittsburgh Personal Trainer

BodyXchange Fitness Center, Pittsburgh’s Number 1 Gym and Personal Training Facility

Dear Six-Pack Abs Enthusiast,

Thank you for requesting this indispensable report: 13 Untold Ultra-Fat Burning Secrets . I’m sure you’ve seen hundreds of other fat loss “secret” tips out there. They all say pretty much the same thing. Eat every 2-3 hours, drink plenty of water, avoid white flour, don’t eat refined sugar, don’t order dessert, don’t drink soda, use your fist to determine portion size, do cardio 30 to 60 minutes and build more lean muscle to speed up metabolism. These are all great tips but they are definitely not worthy being called untold ultra-fat burning secrets.

I have personally witnessed hundreds of my clients Kick 20 pounds to the curb and get a six-pack in 8 weeks using the exact information that I am about to share with you.

This fat melting knowledge has literally taken me 10 years of research and volunteering my own body as a guinea pig to perfect it. And now, here it is, for you – FREE!


Fat-Loss Secret # 1

1. The #1 make or break success factor is getting your mindset right! Looking back over the last ten years at my clients who have had the most Jaw Dropping, Eye Popping Extreme results, and they all had a certain mind set before every workout. No, they didn’t put on war paint and go commando (well some of them did). Simply put, before every workout, they committed to giving 100%. No excuses, No complaining. Believe it or not, once you practice this mindset a few times, it becomes an easy habit.

ü Mindset tip – before each workout, visualize what is most important to you. Being healthy for your kids, looking ripped at the beach, having girls want your body, being the hottest girl at the club, etc. Picture what inspires you and say to yourself– that’s me, that’s me, that’s me…

Fat-Loss Secret # 2

2. Technically, this does not burn fat, but it will make your waist look slimmer instantly. As I look around, I see endless clients with poor posture, which is the result of training programs which overly concentrates on working the chest and shoulders, combined with sedentary jobs where you are sitting at a desk or in front of a computer terminal all day. The result of this poor posture is rounded shoulders and a slumped forward appearance, which just pushes your belly out! To test this, all you have to do is stand up straight while drawing your shoulders back and instantly witness your stomach flatten. Strengthening the muscles responsible for maintaining an upright posture (lower back) and drawing your shoulders back (scapula retractors) will lead to a flattening effect on your stomach. Another quick remedy for bad posture is stretching your chest muscles.

ü Tip – A great posture improving and waist slimming exercise is “seated rows.” Sit up straight, extend arms forward all the way, pull back with your elbows against your sides and squeeze shoulder together.

Fat-Loss Secret # 3

3. Unless you want to spend hours and hours in they gym, have a fast-paced workout. Most people don’t have all day to work out (I sure don’t). By not resting in-between exercises, you can build muscle and burn fat at the same time. I have personally tested this by putting a heart rate monitor on clients and comparing a fast-paced, intense weight workout vs. taking a spin class. It was shocking to discover that they actually got more cardio in the fast paced weight workout than in the spin class. What could be better than saving time and melting more fat?

ü Tip – Maintain a vigorous pace. Keep moving from exercise to exercise. One trick is to bring a pair of dumbbells next to a treadmill. Run for 60 seconds on the treadmill then jump off and do a dumbbell exercise, then get back on the treadmill. Keep alternating throughout the workout.

ü Tip – Plan your workouts ahead of time. Don’t waste time and let your heart rate go down trying to think of what to do next. Spending a little time planning your workouts will save you a lot of time and yield better results in the long run.

ü Tip – Pick exercises that do not require a lot of time to set up. It’s all about pace and saving time.

Exercises that take more then a few seconds to set up let your heart rate go down and can add a lot of extra time to your workout.

ü Tip – Keep your routine flexible. If a piece of equipment that you need to use is occupied, don’t wait or ask to work in. Just move on to the next exercise and come back later. Keep the pace going and the fat melting.

Fat-Loss Secret # 4

4. Use “free” snacks and drinks that fill you up, curb your cravings but won’t add any significant extra calories. Eat and drink as many of these free snacks and drinks, as you want.

ü Tip – When you get the late night sweet tooth, try a delicious homemade Chai Tea. This is how I make it. Put two Yogi Mayan Cocoa Spice tea bags in a cup (I use a big 20 ceramic cup) of boiling water. Add a tiny dash (it’s very sweet) of KAL brand Stevia. Let it steep for a few minutes then add a little no sugar added Silk Soy Milk.

ü Tip – Cut up cucumber, Jicama or celery. Munch away all you want!

Fat-Loss Secret # 5

5. Don’t just work out aimlessly. Take pictures, measurements and weigh yourself before your next workout (or your first workout if you’re just getting started) then set a goal and a date, usually 6 to 8 weeks. If you can, get someone to agree to do the measurements to help keep you accountable. Over the years I discovered that when clients know they are going to get measured for progress on a certain date, they are less likely to miss workouts or cheat on their eating.

ü Tip – set a realistic goal so that you stay motivated and do not get discouraged.

Fat-Loss Secret # 6

6. A big secret to melting fat is to do exercises that work several muscles at once. This is important for two reasons: 1) Working several muscles at once burns more calories because it requires your heart to work harder to supply oxygen to the areas under stress. 2) It saves you time. Your workouts take a lot less time because you don’t have to do separate exercises for each muscle. You won’t see these super fat burning exercises too often at your local gym because most people just don’t know about them and their fat crushing benefits.

ü Tip – Do Dumbbell Squat Presses: Target = Butt, Thighs, Shoulders, Triceps and Cardio

Hold dumbbells level with ears in the press position. Squat down until thighs are parallel to the floor. Stand back up and then press dumbbells over your head. Lower them back down and repeat 20 to 30 times.

ü Tip – Do Walking Lunge Lateral Raise Curls: Target = Butt, Thighs, Shoulders, Biceps, Triceps and Cardio

With dumbbells at your sides, lunge forward with your left leg, then bring your right foot forward up to your left foot. Next Raise the dumbbells laterally out to your sides until they are level with your ears, and then lower them back to your sides. Next curl the dumbbells up and down with your palms up. Repeat, alternating legs, until 20 to 30 lateral raise curls are performed.

ü Tip Do Burpee Pushups: Target = Butt, Thighs, Shoulders, Triceps Chest, Core and Cardio

Do one push up. Quickly jump feet forward to a squatting position. Jump high into the air, raising your hands above your head. Land with feet shoulder width apart, on the balls of your feet and drop back into a squat. Jump feet back to a push up position. Repeat 20 to 30 times in a fluid motion.

Fat-Loss Secret # 7

7. Don’t work your abs…That’s right, I said it! Abdominal exercises do not burn fat away from your abs! I see so many people every day in the gym wasting their time crunching away then wondering why their body hasn’t changed after months. Working out the way I discussed in Section 3 and 6 is the way to melt fat and get lean and toned in a hurry.

ü Tip – you can incorporate a few stomach exercises like hanging leg raises and cable twists between exercises as part of your fast-paced workout.

Fat-Loss Secret # 8

8. Eat real food to get lean! Ever watch The Discovery Channel? See the tribes in the jungle. You never see anyone who is fat, even the elders have six-packs. Why? They eat real food and stay active.

Stay away from processed foods. The food companies strip out the good stuff like fiber and nutrients.

What you have left is a food that has way more calories then normal. Plus, the worst part is that they are high glycemic, which means your body treats it like sugar. The good news is once you cut out these processed foods for a couple weeks, you lose your cravings. I’m not saying to not have a life. I eat burgers, pizza or have a piece of cake from time to time.

ü Tip – watch out for foods and drinks that people think are “healthy” like bagels, pretzels and sports drinks like vitamin water. Consuming these is like eating table sugar.

ü Tip – Stick to foods like lean meat and fish, long grain brown rice, and fruits and vegetables.

Fat-Loss Secret # 9

9. Alkalizing the body sheds fat fast! The body is naturally acidic. However, the foods we eat add to this acidity and the fat in our body stores the additional acid, which results in overweight problems and an unhealthy body. To protect against acid buildup, the body begins to create and store fat. Even if you are on a weight loss diet and you exercise, your body will try to hold on to this fat because it is important for protection against acids. That is why many people whom restore alkalinity in their body find it incredibly easier to lose weight.

There are certain foods that are alkaline and help to flush the acid and fat from the body.

ü Tip – Most green vegetables are high alkaline. Some really high acid foods are: Fast food, milk, eggs, cream, cheese, pork and red meat.

Fat-Loss Secret # 10

10. Be prepared. Most of the time, clients eat poorly because they did not bring food with them or did

not prepare. Bring healthy snacks with you like apples and almonds. If you can, bring some Tupperware containers with healthy meals. Keep it simple. If you don’t feel like bringing food, then plan out some healthy restaurants or stores that you can patronize.

ü Tip – Get a rice cooker and keep some long grain brown basmati rice cooking on your counter. Also pre-cook some chicken or fish. It will only take a few minutes to prepare 1 or 2 meals and grab a few snacks to bring with you.

Fat-Loss Secret # 11

11. Warning: Artificially Sweetened “Sugar Free” Foods Make You FAT. Did you know that most foods labeled as “sugar free” or “low-carb” actually contain artificial sweeteners, sugar alcohols, and other additives that create a hormonal disaster inside your body, actually causing your body to STORE more belly fat and increase cravings! Also, foods labeled “whole grain” only have to contain a small fraction of whole grains, where the majority can still be refined starches and sugars that spike your blood sugar faster then a bowl of ice cream.

ü Tip – Stop eating foods with artificial sweeteners for two weeks, then try it again. It will taste like disgusting sweet chemicals.

ü Tip – If you really want to sweeten something, use an all-natural sugar free sweetener like Stevia or Xilatol.

Fat-Loss Secret # 12

12. Don’t cheat on your nutrition plan for 21 days. It takes the brain 21 days to reset itself and create a new habit. When you want to make a change, don’t tell yourself you are doing it for life; tell yourself that you are going to try it for 21 days. Now, when you have completed this for 21 days, your conscious mind has the choice of stopping it or carrying on, or so it thinks. Your neural pathways have formed already and you will more than likely continue with your new habit, you will have seen the benefits along the way your unconscious will want to continue if it has been beneficial.

ü Tip – Make it as easy as possible for you to have a successful 21 days. Use your day planner to schedule eating and workout times. Leave reminder notes to yourself.

ü Tip – Try working out first thing in the morning before your busy day starts and your workout gets put on the back burner.

Fat-Loss Secret # 13

13. For at least one week , write down everything you eat and drink. You have to write it down right before the food or drink is consumed. By writing it down first, you will have a moment to stop and think about whether this decision is going to melt belly fat or pack it on.

ü Tip – Have someone agree to review your food journal everyday. Make an agreement that for each day you do not give him your journal, you owe him $10.00 and every time you cheat you owe $1.00 dollar. Doing this will help keep you accountable.

pittsburgh personal trainer

Female Training Fallacies

By: Scott Hayward, Pittsburgh Personal Trainer

BodyXchange Fitness Center, Pittsburgh’s Number 1 Gym and Personal Training Facility

As a personal trainer in the Pittsburgh Area, I have been approached many times by clients or other women in the gym asking me questions on the best ways to “tone up, lose cellulite, get a butt that ‘sticks out’, get a sexy stomach…” the list goes on.  Almost every time that I bring up the fact that in order to achieve this it takes a three pronged approach of: cardiovascular workouts (aerobic training), sound nutritional plan, and resistance training, the woman cringes when I mention weight training.  First thing out of their mouths is ;”I don’t want to look like a linebacker!”  or “ I don’t want to get big and bulky!”  This article is to dispel some of the myths and folklore that has pervaded 50% of our society- Women!

Six Common Fallacies

Myth 1: Lifting Weight Will Make/Build/Develop Muscle Like A Man

We have all heard this one from some woman at one time or another. Ladies, no – lifting

weight will not make you develop muscle like a man. Quick lesson in anatomy:

Both men and women have hormones coursing through their bodies. These hormones

are testosterone, estrogen, progesterone and DHEA. For those of you who are not

aware, men and women share all of these; however men have a much higher number

of testosterone and DHEA than women do and women have a much higher

concentration of estrogen and progesterone.

Testosterone is a very powerful hormone, this is one (if not the) primary factor that

enables men to build muscle the way they do. Are there women in this world who lift

weights and look like men? Yes. Why? They take testosterone or other androgens to help them achieve that look. Does the average woman who wants to get in shape and attain a ‘sexy’ body have to supplement this way to achieve her goals? NO.

And, in all honesty, most women that attend the gym to get in shape or look good at the

beach do not lift weights that are nearly heavy enough to develop in this manner.

Myth 2: Eating A Lot Will Make Me Fat.

Eating a lot of cake and candy and cookies will absolutely make you fat. So can eating

a lot of pasta or chicken or bananas. There isn’t any one type of food that can be

blamed for unwanted fat gain in the body. What needs to be understood is that every

morsel of food that is ingested has calories (many also contain vital nutrients).

However, if you overeat anything at any point during the day the excess that your

body does not need will be stored as fat.

When a bodybuilder or fitness model, professional athlete or personal trainer stresses they eat frequently throughout the day they are not saying they eat “too much.” Eating small meals 6 – 7 times a day will increase your metabolism so your body is constantly burning calories and is constantly receiving the adequate nutrition it needs to maintain all bodily functions including building and maintaining muscle.

Myth 3: Carbs Are The Enemy!

Ladies, forget Dr. Atkins please! In fact, try to stay away from all the fad diets on the

shelves at Barnes & Nobles that promise to give you a bikini-perfect body if you do

ridiculous things like stand on your head and eat nothing but Oreos.

There is no secret trick and no magic in a bottle. Cutting carbs and eating nothing but

steak and bacon are not going to get you closer to having a firm butt and thighs. Sorry,

but that’s the truth. The Atkins diet and calorie restriction diets are excellent starting

points for obese individuals that need to lose weight quickly for health reasons. They are not conducive to building muscle. The macronutrients needed for a well-rounded nutritional program are carbs, protein and fat. All three of these are necessary and have important functions within the body. I am not going to go into complete detail here as a complete breakdown of macronutrients and their function is extremely lengthy and would be better suited in an article on nutrition which I will write at another time. The basic reasons are carbohydrates are necessary in rebuilding muscle. They are also an excellent source of energy within the body. This is not just energy to run five miles, thisalso means energy required to keep your heart beating, maintain the digestive process and even ensure cellular respiration can occur. (Fancy terminology that means your body does much more than what you make it or ask it to do.)

Myth 4: Working Out Turns Fat Into Muscle.

No, working out does not turn fat into muscle. Nor can you change apples into oranges by juggling. Think about it, muscle and fat are two completely different things. Fat is made up of triglycerides and muscle is made up of amino acids. How can one turn into the other? The reality is that building muscle will in turn help you burn fat. The more muscle developed the more calories the body will burn even while at rest. The transformation will not occur over night – it can take months or even years.

Likewise the theory that 1 lb. of muscle weighs more than a 1 lb. of fat holds absolutely

no water. 1lb equals 1lb no matter what that pound is made up of. However, muscle

takes up less space within the body than fat does. Because of this someone who is

extremely muscular but the same height and appears to have the same amount of body

mass as an individual that has a softer physique can weigh more.

Myth 5: Drinking Too Much Water Will Make Me Bloat.

Actually the opposite is true. Not drinking enough water can make you bloat. Women are especially vulnerable to this. If an adequate amount of water is not consumed

during the day the body will actually hold onto whatever water it has stored in the

muscles in an effort to maintain necessary hydration for metabolism and other bodily

functions. This can give you a bloated appearance. I say women are especially vulnerable to this because of the high fluctuations we experience with hormonal levels (and yes, that ‘time of the month’). These factors make our bodies more sensitive to maintaining adequate hydration so it is necessary to drink at least a gallon of water a day. (The exact amount of water necessary for an individual will vary depending upon the sport / activity she is involved with as well as her weight etc. This is another performance nutrition factor that will be addressed another time.)

Myth 6: I Don’t Want To Train At The Gym Because People Will Look At Me.

Many women have said this during the years that I’ve been weight training. There is a

common misconception that you must be blonde, busty, and extremely fit before you

can walk in a gym and weight train. This is not the case. To be honest, most people are not looking around the gym gawking at other people while they are working out. They are too focused on their own form, staring at themselves in the countless mirrors scrutinizing their own bodies and what needs to be improved.

Nobody is going to notice you in your sweats pushing through your personal workout.

They are too focused on themselves. Don’t get me wrong, there are some people at the

gym  who are social butterflies and like to walk around and talk to everyone but nobody is judging you.

Please call me at your earliest convenience so I can answer any questions and so we can set up a free trial workout.  412.481.3488

Check out some of the amazing results bodyXchange personal training has given some of their other clients at

Check Out the links below..

Yours in fitness,


bodyXchange personal training

412-481-Fitt (3488)

Pittsburgh Personal Trainer

Functional Fitness

By: Scott Hayward, Pittsburgh Personal Trainer

BodyXchange Fitness Center, Pittsburgh’s Number 1 Gym and Personal Training Facility

Functional fitness has gotten a bad rap do the trainers that have some of their clients (that are obvious fat loss clients) balancing on a ball on one foot like a seal all for the sake of working the “core muscles.”  I laugh at these idiot trainers every time I see them at the local LA’ FATNESS (people actually get more out of shape with many of their trainers.)  Anyway, onto more important things, Functional fitness is really just using the body and its muscles more in line with everyday type of movements / activities it would experience in everyday life.  It is not about circus tricks but using the body’s muscles many at a time, by combining movements and planes that incorporate changing planes, big muscles combined with smaller muscles using compound movements.

Ask yourself this question, “When are you ever going to need to be in a bench press position and push 300 plus pounds off of your chest for eight or nine times?”  The answer should be a resounding never I hope.  This can be done by pushing sleds (which i do with all my clients, even the grandmothers I train), pulling sleds, using kettlebells in big arcing movements while performing sumo deadlift motions, using a water filled pvc pipe, plyometric jumps, monkey squat jumps, side lunge shelf stockers, tire flips, and big box jumps, just to name a few (and only a few.)  These movements and many like them can mirror everyday activities from pushing the overloaded grocery cart, to picking up the grandchildren, to climbing the ladder to wash the outside windows on their house to everything else in between.

I guess what I am saying is; if you really want personal training that effectively changes your body and a level a fitness that will blow your mind bodyXchange fitness in Pittsburgh PA is the only answer.

BodyXchange fitness is a training supercenter located in Pittsburgh, PA and is under the ownerships management of Scott Hayward.  Scott is an exercise physiologist and personal trainer that has worked with numerous NFL, NCAA, NHL and MLB players, Hollywood actors, doctors, lawyers, CEO’s , stay at home moms and every walk  of life in between.  He holds several degrees and numerous certifications.  His techniques for fat loss have been showcased on Television, print media and radio.  Call bodyXchange today at 412.481.3488.  If you are not living in the Pittsburgh, PA area but are looking for major fat loss, and muscle gain, Scott Hayward is available to come to on sites to your city for extended stays to design and implement a health and fitness program for your needs and goals.

Check out our videos on our website at

Or like us on our Facebook page at

Pittsburgh Personal Trainer

Weight Lifting

By: Scott Hayward, Pittsburgh Personal Trainer

BodyXchange Fitness Center, Pittsburgh’s Number 1 Gym and Personal Training Facility

A personal fitness plan is just that- personal. However, there are some undeniable truths that remain the same for everyone. Knowing the TRUTH can help you win the war on fat.

The fitness myth and folk lore that have pervaded our society is really one of the major reasons why people train yet don’t seem to make any improvements in their physique. Month after month, year after year, their bodies remain the same. The reason is – they have never forced their bodies to adapt,  thus causing it to change. One of the fitness myths that has been ingrained in our psyches is the famous; “I really want to cut up, so I’m lifting real light weight for many repetitions.” I can’t count how many times people in the gym have said this to me. If I had a dollar every time somebody said that to me, I could be a rich man. Little do these people know that they are missing the mark with this philosophy. I’m going to explain the TRUTH about what’s happening and ultimately what’s not happening while weight training.

First of all, the body produces energy either anaerobically (without the use of oxygen), or aerobically (with oxygen present). By its very nature, weight training is an anaerobic activity. The constant starting and stopping just reinforces this without oxygen label. A big reason it is considered anaerobic is that it is predominantly fueled by glucose and glycogen (the body’s stored form of carbohydrates). In order for triglycerides (the body’s stored form of fat) to be broken apart and used to produce energy the activity must be aerobic in nature. Bottom line is (in my best Tony Soprano voice): “You don’t have no oxygen, you don’t burn no fat – you got me? Capice??

I’m not saying that weight training isn’t a valuable tool in your arsenal for the war on fat. Anyone that would come to that conclusion would be greatly misled. What I’m saying is; “it is what it is.” Allow weight training to do its job. Its job is simply this- provide a stimulus for building muscle.  Obscenely light weights, for mind numbing amounts of repetitions are not going to produce the stimulus needed  or muscle growth. It will make the muscle more efficient at using oxygen, but it will not make you appear more cut. A good example of someone that would benefit from this light weight for high reps mantra would be a marathon runner or a person competing in a triathlon. This would cause the muscles to adapt and become more efficient at using oxygen for longer periods of time (a very beneficial adaptation for endurance type athletes). The popular phrase “being cut” (referring to good muscle definition and low amounts of muscle obscuring fat) is achieved with a sound nutritional program (comprised of low glycemic carbohydrates, complete protein and healthy fats), a consistent cardiovascular program (alternating days of longer duration lower intensity activity with days of shorter duration higher intensity activity) and lastly a weight training regimen focusing on large body parts using multi-joint, compound exercises (like squats, deadlifts, military presses, bench presses, rows, etc.) for repetitions of failure or near failure in the 8-12 repetition range.

So, if you really want to achieve that lean, toned, tight body you’ve always dreamed of the answer is simple. Use weight training for what it is intended for; to provide the stimulus to build lean muscle. Remember, the more muscle you carry on your body, the more calories your body burns throughout the day (even at rest). Manage body fat levels by following a nutritionally sound meal plan, and tap into the fat stores by performing cardiovascular activity a minimum of 3-5 days a week at varying levels of intensity, as the body adapts very quickly to aerobic activity. There you have it, your game plan to win the war on fat, Good Luck!

Scott Hayward, is a certified advanced personal trainer, sports nutrition specialist and a certified strength coach.. If you have any questions, send them to Higher Reps…. Do higher repetitions really get you cut??

Pittsburgh Personal Trainer

“How to Not Get Fleeced By a Personal Trainer”

By: Scott Hayward, Pittsburgh Personal Trainer

BodyXchange Fitness Center, Pittsburgh’s Number 1 Gym and Personal Training Facility

If you’ve ever tried to lose fat on your own you know how challenging it can be.

Have you ever quit your exercise routine because you became bored with it? And going to the gym seemed like a chore?

Have you ever struggled to lose just a few pounds, even though you were going to the gym and eating a bunch of boring healthy foods?

The sad fact is that most people who try to do it on their own fail. Very rarely does their body seem to change much, even when they try their hardest.

By far, the absolute best solution to this problem is to get a personal trainer. They can guide, direct and motivate you to a better body. Personal trainers can help to change someone’s physique like nothing else on the planet

But, many times this isn’t the case and the trainer ends up being more problems than they’re worth…

You see, often times when someone hires a personal trainer the only place they end up trimming any extra fat away is in their bank account. Your body continually gets “fatter and fatter”, your bank account dwindles and the trainer gets more of your hard earned money without your desired results.

Have you ever known anyone who hired a trainer and got NO results at all?

Have you ever been working out in a gym and actually observed the trainers?

If you have, I bet you probably could tell right away that the trainer is just doing a job, and has no emotional investment in seeing the client get results.

If you’ve ever hired a personal trainer yourself you know what a crap shoot it can be to try and find the right one.

If you’ve had friends who’ve hired personal trainers it’s no doubt you’ve heard the horror stories… The flakey trainers who are always late and missing their appointments, the trainers who promise everything yet produce nothing in the way of tangible results and the trainers who go on and on about their personal lives the entire workout all on the clients dime!

If you’ve ever done a trial workout with a trainer you know that many of them can give great sales pitches, but how do you know if they’re really the best trainer for you?

Keep reading and you’ll find out…

The Problems with Many Personal Trainers…

One of the problems with many of the personal training programs in Pittsburgh, PA  is that the trainer and client spend a lot of time talking about their personal lives, and frankly, the trainer wastes a lot of time just standing around counting reps.

Why pay good money for someone just to count your reps? You could easily hire someone for minimum wage to count your reps if that’s what you’re looking for.

And if you’re looking for someone to talk about your personal life with for an hour then a therapist might be more what you’re looking for, not a trainer.

Perhaps a clergy member

Or marriage counselor

Here are a few of the types of problem personal trainers that are giving the rest of us a bad name:

The Selfish Trainer… who’s motto is if it works for me it will work for you – This is the trainer who doesn’t take their clients goals into consideration when designing a routine.

This is why it’s common for a female to hire a personal trainer and then 3 months later she looks all buffed out like she’s been taking steroids.

Or why you’ll see people in the gym working out with a trainer doing some really ineffective and funky exercises.

You see, while the clients goal might be to lose fat and tone up, the trainer will put the client on one of “his” favorite exercises, which won’t do anything but add a couple of yards to your golf swing… but if you want to lose fat, who cares about improving your golf swing! Just cause the trainer’s a golfer and finds that doing a lot of functional sport training routines helps him improve his swing and impress his buddies on Saturday morning doesn’t mean that’s the same workout his clients need to reach their own fitness goals.

But the Selfish trainer doesn’t see this. Because he’s completely self-absorbed and self-obsessed and what his clients want really doesn’t matter to him.

So it’s very important when hiring a trainer that you let them know EXACTLY what your goals are.

Make sure the trainer knows that you have no interest in improving your golf swing, unless that’s your goal.

If you’re a female and don’t want to get big and bulky, make sure you tell this to the trainer before you sign ANYTHING, and ask the trainer to see before and after pictures of his clients, so you can make sure he’s not turning women into bodybuilders.

Watch out for the Selfish Trainer who just puts his clients on “his’ favorite exercises, with no consideration for the client’s goals.

The Amateur Psychologist Trainer – One of the biggest problems in the industry is personal trainers trying to be amateur psychologists.

They’ll happily give out financial advice even though they’re broke.

They’ll happily dish out marital advice, many times as a way to get into their clients pants! (I’ve seen this one more times than I can count).

They’ll talk to you about your inner child; right after they just snorted a few lines of coke in the gym bathroom (cocaine and steroid addiction is a giant problem in the personal training industry).

The truth is many of these pop-psychologist personal trainers live lives that are an absolute mess. And it’s easier for them to dish out information about how their clients should live their lives than it is to fix their own.

Watch out for the personal trainer who wants to play “psychologist.”

The Know-It-All Trainer – It’s impossible to know EVERYTHING about exercise. There’s just so much to learn. Science is rapidly finding the best ways to go about losing fat and toning muscles that to know it all would require a hundred lifetimes and a university-sized library of knowledge.

Any personal trainer who claims to know it all is dangerous! If a client comes to this kind of personal trainer with an important question regarding their body or health, if the trainer doesn’t know the answer many times the “know-it-all trainer” will just dish out any old line instead of admitting they don’t know the answer and going and finding the best answer or solution for that individual client with the clients best interest in mind.

A true fitness professional will keep their clients best interest at the absolute forefront of their mind at all times, and won’t be scared to say “I don’t know”

An amateur will THINK that by admitting that they don’t have the answers to everything that it’s a weakness, so they’ll tell a boldfaced lie to the client and dish out possibly harmful information just to protect their own ego.

Beware of the know-it-all personal trainer

The Rep-Counter The Rep-Counter is the most harmless of trainers yet also has the worst track record for getting results.

You see a lot of personal trainers just train for the money and look at it as job.

In fact gyms are filled with unqualified personal trainers who could give a damn about their client’s goals and only care about bringing in a paycheck.

Here’s a typical situation of how this kind of personal trainer gets hired:

In this case we’ll call our trainer Jonny.

A local gym puts and ad in the newspaper or online saying they are hiring for Personal Trainers, Sales People, Front Desk Staff and Custodians.

Jonny is fresh out of high school and needs a job so he can afford his weekly sack of weed, gas money and the $25 a week he pays his parents for rent to live in their house.

While looking through the classifieds, at the strong urging of his mother, he sees a job listing for “Personal Trainers”.

This catches Jonny’s eye because he’s heard trainers get a lot of “chicks” and Jonny kind of looks like a trainer. Not because he works out, but because he’s young, has good genetics and took P.E. in high school for the past four years… he looks like he’s in good shape.

So Jonny applies. And since many gyms will hire just about ANYBODY to be trainer, he gets the job. They make him go to a two-day certification program that the gym offers which amounts to one day on how to train people, and then another day split in half between how to sell personal training to people who don’t want to buy it and how to up-sell their clients on the line of crappy supplements that the gym offers, allowing the trainer to make a 5% commission.

Jonny loves his job because he quickly realizes that all he has to do is sell packages of personal training and count reps and his boss is happy.

And the fringe benefits are, while Johnny’s on the job, he can check out “chicks”, go on and on about his personal life, and even possibly sleep with a few of his unhappily married Allegheny County housewife clients.

A common disguise for this kind of trainer is the stop watch and clipboard, which will many times only serve as “costume” for making them look like they know what they’re doing

Shocking yes, but common…

When searching for a trainer, be sure and avoid “Jonny the Rep-Counter”

Two-Routine Trainer Another common situation that gives personal trainers a bad name are the trainers who put clients on one of two workout routines.

Routine #1 is where the trainer will stick the client on a treadmill for half the workout while the trainer either blabs about his personal life to the captive-audience client on the treadmill or while the trainer hangs out and chats with his trainer buddies at the “trainer desk”. All while the client is forking over good money for the hour.

Routine #2 is where the trainer knows how to do one workout (usually the one he learned in that two-day certification program) and he puts his clients on this routine, EVERY TIME THEY COME IN THE GYM.

What the trainer didn’t learn in his two-day certification program is that this not only will get clients very little in the way of results due to the “Law of Physical Adaptation,” but this will cause pattern overload syndrome, which will ruin the clients joints and cause them to have that horrible-rounded-shoulder- head-poking-forward-posture that will make them look like a caveman.

Do NOT hire the “Two-Routine Trainer” unless you want to end up paying high dollar to walk on a treadmill while you turn into a hunchback.

The Genetically-Gifted, Steroid-Freak Trainer The last kind of trainers I’m going to warn you about is the “genetically gifted” and the “steroid freak.”

Often times this trainer comes in a combination of both and is actually a hybrid, which I call “The Genetically-Gifted, Steroid-Freak Trainer”

Due to either steroid usage or genetics or a combination of both, these trainers can do just about anything and be in perfect shape. Any kind of exercise they do will make them look like Greek Gods, even if they live on cheeseburgers and onion rings.

Now that’s great for them, but the problem is these trainers think that since whatever they do in a gym works for them, then it must work for everyone else.

And their clients believe it too because any trainer in that kind of shape MUST know what he’s doing.

Unfortunately, most of us weren’t blessed with perfect genetics, nor are we willing to order black market pharmaceuticals from third-world countries online and then inject them into our tush just to get six-pack abs.

There is so much science behind what it truly takes for the average person to get into incredible shape, and what works for “Genetically-Gifted, Steroid-Freak Trainer” will not work for the vast majority of the population.

But “Genetically-Gifted, Steroid-Freak Trainer” doesn’t need to keep up on this science because hell, anything works for him!

The truth is that this is an extremely dangerous breed of trainer because often times they are so amped up on the roids that they can perform near superhuman feats in the gym. And the harder the feat, the better the results.

Yet the real problems start when they give these kinds of routines to their client’s.

Not only will these routines put the client into an over-trained state which will actually cause their bodies to lose muscle and hold onto fat, but they risk seriously injuring the client as well

Avoid “Genetically-Gifted, Steroid-Freak Trainer” like the plague, they are the most dangerous of all trainers!

And to make matters worse…

Did you know that many trainers make the majority of their income by keeping their clients out of shape and dependent on them?

They know that once they get you into great shape you probably won’t need them anymore.

They also know that if they give you just enough results to where you see a small change in your physique, you’ll probably keep coming back in hopes of really getting into shape.

And they know if they keep you uneducated that you will most likely completely rely on them to get into and stay in shape. This means big bucks for the trainer yet a feeling of dependency for you.

Bottom Line…

It’s extremely important when looking for a personal trainer that you are (or stay) on the lookout for these kinds of trainers and avoid them at all costs.

There are a lot of great trainers out there but there are also a lot of scam artists who will take your hard earned money and then throw you on a treadmill for the entire workout.

Or they’ll make you do the same unproductive routine every time you come in for a workout.

Their sales pitch might be great, but the only place you’ll lose any fat is in your wallet.

Make sure you state your goals and what you’d like to achieve before you make a commitment to any trainer.

There’s nothing worse than seeing a female get all buffed out because of her personal trainer, or watching a guy get a nicely developed upper body from workouts but get stick-figure-twig legs that all his friends tease him about.

The sad fact is that 93% of personal trainers just look at training as a job.

So make sure you find one of the 7% who love to help people get into shape, find a trainer who trains people because that’s his or her passion in life.

When you first meet the trainer, ask him or her why they decided to become a trainer in the first place.

Asking this question could save you thousands of dollars and countless hours working out with the wrong trainer.

Make sure you can try at least one workout before making any financial commitment to a trainer. Many will just want to do a quick consultation and then sign you up. So remember to make sure and really taste the goods before you buy… Insist on a trial workout.

During this trial workout your job is to see how well the trainer motivates you.

Do they push you to do your best while still showing you respect?

If not, I would run away, not walk, RUN from that trainer as fast as you can.

Immediately after choosing your trainer, make sure and go home and clear out your fridge and cupboards of any junk (it’s been my experience if there’s junk in the house, it will eventually get eaten).

Then go buy the foods your trainer tells you to buy. This will ensure you will lose fat as quickly and safely as possible. Eating the right foods is extremely important.

So What Do You Do Now That You Have This Information?

Armed with this information you’re now one of the most savvy and educated consumers in the entire world. You now know instantly how to differentiate a good trainer from a bad one.

Also, I want to let you know that I’ve hand-picked a team of what I believe to be the best 1% of personal trainers in Pittsburgh, PA.

Not only do these trainers bring a tremendous amount of passion and experience to their training, but they are all down to earth, good human beings with a proven track record for getting people into incredible shape.

I urge you to learn more about this unparalleled team of personal trainers here

Click here to learn about the BodyXchange  Personal Training Team

Yours in Fitness,

Scott Hayward

Pittsburgh Personal Trainer

pittsburgh personal trainer

The Bikini Diet” Tips

By: Scott Hayward, Pittsburgh Personal Trainer

BodyXchange Fitness Center, Pittsburgh’s Number 1 Gym and Personal Training Facility

  1. Don’t drink fruit juices or juice-based products while “dieting”. Get your nutrition from calories you chew rather then swallow.  The simple sugar (fructose) combined with artificial sweeteners can cause havoc to your bikini body.

  2. Shoot for 25 to 35 gm of fiber per day. Fiber gives a feeling of satiety and will keep you full longer than simple types of carbohydrates.

  1. If you get hungry, eat a few ounces of protein to tide you over until your next meal.  Protein is a major building block of muscle and has a low glycemic level.  By avoiding the spikes in blood glucose these calories and normally not stored as bodyfat.

  2. Eat at least two servings of fish per week to get healthy fats.  Remember what good is it if your body rocks and your skin, nails and hair are out of sorts.  The healthy fats in fish enable your body to repair and restore nutrients that enable your  hair, skin and nails to look their best.

  3. Spice up your food with red pepper, which boosts metabolism.

  4. Drizzle sugar-free syrup over cooked carrots for a sweet treat.

  1. Drink green tea liberally – it helps burn fat. The health effects of green tea  on the body have been well documented.  Green teas thermic effect also aids in fighting the battle of the bulge.

  2. Try no to let yourself get bored, stressed out or depressed, if possible. Try yoga, meditation, and herbs such as kava and ginseng for stress. Regular exercise, journaling and supplements such as fish, St. Johns wort and 5-HTP can help alleviate depression.

  3. Outwait your food cravings. They generally last no longer then 10 minutes.

  4. Distract yourself with a nonfood related activity, such as exercising, reading, pursuing a favorite hobby, listening to music, writing letters, surfing the internet (like you are now) or soaking in a hot bath.

Pittsburgh Personal Trainer

Is it Weight, Repetitions or T.U.T. (time under tension)

By: Scott Hayward, Pittsburgh Personal Trainer

BodyXchange Fitness Center, Pittsburgh’s Number 1 Gym and Personal Training Facility

Time under tension is a critical element in every exercise program. It ensures that you are

giving your body the correct instructions in the form of muscular contractions to receive

the results you desire. The human body is similar to a computer in the way they both

interpret instructions. When you are giving a computer a command you have to be exactly

right, if you are off even by a little bit in your command you can hit enter all day long and

still not get the results you want.

Our bodies make specific adaptations to imposed demands. If for example you are the

average 19 year old male who wants to increase muscle mass to get buff for the beach you

have to put the correct demands on your musculature to receive the adaptation of

increased muscle mass (hypertrophy). Scientific studies have shown that the most

effective way to gain muscle is to progressively overload the muscles using contractions

to momentary failure between 30 and 60 seconds per set.

Now most young males who want to put on muscle lift heavy for 10 fast reps per set

which usually correlates to 20 seconds of muscular tension or less. This form of training

is telling your body to increase power with limited hypertrophy. Which is fine if your goal

is to improve power, but in the example above the males wanted to increase muscle mass.

This reinforces the importance of goal setting. You have to know where you are going to

get there, and to make sure you are not misplacing your time and energy you have to

know how to get there. Good intentions will only take you so far. The males in this

example would achieve their goals faster if they used an appropriate weight to fatigue

their musculature within the correct program framework.

Another common mistake is to go for the largest weights you can handle and throw

momentum into your reps. Manipulation of momentum does have a vital role in sport.

But, if you want to educate your muscles to promote the correct changes in your body you

have to challenge them with the appropriate time under tension, not just heaving big

weights around. Every moment that momentum is bringing the weight up is taking away

from the muscle stimulus of the contraction making the exercise less effective. Instead of

using a weight that is too heavy for you to control try a more appropriate weight which

allows you to squeeze as much tension as possible out of every repetition in the targeted

muscles maximizing your precious work out time.

Time under tension really is a simple concept to grasp when you take a second to think

about it. That is one of the reasons why it is often overlooked in many exercise programs.

No one can escape the passage of time, even if you are not paying attention to it.

Remember if you cannot contract your muscles at the end of every movement’s range of

motion you have used momentum not muscular contractions to get there. A set is constant

tension, if the tension is relieved at any point the set is actually over. So if you follow the

pattern of doing a rep then taking a break you are performing a lot of single rep sets. With

a lack of muscular contractions comes a lack of instructions to your body, which

translates, to a lack of desired results. Time under tension is the key to clear

communication with our bodies.

After reading this brief summary of time under tension you might say you already use

good form with slow and controlled contractions. If this concept interests you there is a

self-check to test how much tension you are giving your musculature with your current

exercise program. All you need to do is watch the clock during your next work out to time

how long it takes you to perform your work sets. A good baseline tempo for a slow and

controlled repetition is 4 seconds (2sec eccentric & 2sec concentric). If your current

program calls for 2–3 sets of 10–15 reps it should take you 40–60sec to complete those

reps (does it?). This 4-second tempo is also a minimum for quality muscular contractions.

Once you get started with this time under tension concept there is a great deal of variety

in the tempo of the repetitions, which can maximize the effectiveness of each exercise.

pittsburgh personal trainer

Tips and Tricks for Body Transformation

By: Scott Hayward, Pittsburgh Personal Trainer

BodyXchange Fitness Center, Pittsburgh’s Number 1 Gym and Personal Training Facility

The bottom line

The bottom line is that this nutrition and exercise plan works and will yield astounding results if you put the plan into action.

Use your watch!

Keep resistance training workouts to no longer than 55 minutes and use the varying durations and intensities for the cardiovascular (aerobic exercise)

Be a planner.

Have a PLAN when entering into your exercise mode.

Plan when you are going to exercise, plan which exercises you are going to perform, plan which weights, reps, and sets you are going to perform, plan what you are going to eat.

Stay organized.

It makes it so much easier for me to follow the program when I’m organized. Organization is the key for your ultimate success for not only this program but for life.

Keep setting new goals!

This is what keeps you alive!

Whether it’s starting a new Challenge, running a marathon or interviewing for a new job, you have to constantly be setting goals

Include a partner!

If you know someone else who would be interested in making the 12-week commitment with you, get them involved. One of best ways to ensure success is to have another person that you can be accountable to and hold them accountable.

Focus on the positive!

Focus on the positive changes this is going to have on your health, your appearance, your energy level and your life.

Keep a record of your journey either on paper or online.

Take a few minutes and write down some daily thoughts.  This will not only make it easier to write your essay at the end of the challenge but will serve as a sounding board to get your inner most thoughts out.

Use a log.

Begin a log and plan well ahead. Decide when and how to get your workouts into your schedule. Establish priorities and be honest with yourself.

Focus on each workout.

There is only one thing and one thing only you can focus on when you are working out – that workout!

Clear your head of the day’s worries, or family anxieties, or whatever may be in there. Focus exclusively on this workout.

Be creative on vacation!

A vacation does not mean a vacation from your workouts!

Vacation often involves travel. Don’t let yourself use the excuse that once you are away from home, the workout routine must stop. Use your creativity to get it done!

You have to rest.

Women want to do cardio so much, but they start tearing their muscles down and looking emaciated. I tell my girlfriends: “Just 20 minutes and it’ll work. I promise.”

You can run anywhere!

The world is your cardio theatre!!

Cardio can be done anywhere on planet earth. You can always go for a run or walk, stair climb, jog in place, etc. to help increase your heart rate.


Before you lie on that bench for that press, visualize yourself performing the exercise. Focus on every motion of each rep.

Rest during exercise!

Make sure you take your full minute rest between sets. Use a stop watch or clock to keep track.  Any more than one full minute will reduce your intensity.  Remember we are in the gym for a clear purpose.

Plan your exercises.

I filled out what exercises I was going to do and what weights I planned to use in my journal. This helped save time, so I could get in there, get out, and stay on schedule for the rest of the day.

Follow the Program.

This program is not one of deprivation or starvation.  It is about making wiser nutritional choices 90-95% of the time.

Don’t starve yourself.  Follow the program and you will be providing essential nutrients your body needs to be fit, healthy and strong.

Simply remember to eat and drink sensibly.

Be sure to drink plenty of water.  Water is a necessary part of fat loss.  Water helps hydrolyze fat molecules and enables them to be used for energy.

Instead of a cheat day have a cheat meal once a week.

It is ridiculous to think that we can have a whole day to gorge ourselves with whatever we want. Instead have one meal a week (after a week of good eating) to indulge within moderation.

It’s not about eating less, it’s about eating smart!

You can’t expect to see results if you aren’t feeding your body what it needs to change.

Always refuel after weight training!

The best post workout drink is low fat chocolate milk.  It contains the perfect three to one ratio of simple carbs and complete protein.

Stick to the list!

Plain and simple, stick to the foods on the list and you can’t go wrong.

Take a cooler.

On the road, I always have a cooler in the trunk, with healthy food ready at a moment’s notice

Be smart when eating out.

If we do happen to eat out on a non-Free Day, we tend to order salads with dressing on the side, grilled chicken, fish or sandwiches, and we substitute salad and steamed veggies for fries.

Don’t slack while traveling.

Life must go on when you travel. With just a little planning, you don’t have to sabotage your health while on the road. Find hotels with exercise rooms. Go for a jog or to the local gym. Pack foods that you can use in a pinch, such as apples, protein bars, ready-to-drink shakes, whey protein powder to mix in a shaker, pre-packaged tuna and cracker snacks.

Know why you’re doing it!

“Why am I doing this?” is a question that should be answered thoroughly and definitively BEFORE you ever start your program. In fact, it should be the first step of your Challenge. I can promise you that without a strong enough “why” you WILL NOT reap the results that you desire. But the wonderful news is that with a good “why” in the bag, you will never lack the motivation and desire to press on through the tough times and your goals will always be in sight.

Count down to your goal.

84 days is not a long time.  Mark it out on a calendar, put reminders on your phone, have the end date circled in red, do whatever it takes to create a sense of urgency.

Know your goals!

You can’t attain your dreams if you don’t know what they are.

Keep doing it!

There’s definitely going to be ups and downs during the Challenge, but every day you stay on track, you’ll wake up feeling even better the next day. It’s the biggest motivator to keep doing it.

Confront your fear of failure.

By confronting my fear of failure and changing my habits and outlook, I’ve developed my character along with my body and health.

Surround yourself with positive people.

Find an accountability partner – someone who encourages you to keep your commitment – and challenge each other to do better.


The body transformation challenge is based on scientific principles that use science not voodoo to enable your body to continually adapt and change.

Choose to not use an excuse.

The bottom line is everyone has an excuse, it is a matter of whether they use it or not.

Make the time.

A lot of people say, “I just don’t have the time.” Make the time and give it 100%. It will become a part of your daily routine. It’s like brushing your teeth or taking a shower.

Follow the Program.

Muscular rest and rejuvenation is as important to development as the actual resistance exercise itself. There are many very smart people who spend their professional careers figuring this fitness and exercise puzzle out for the rest of us. Going through the Challenge lifting more often or running longer sessions is not helping you achieve your goals.

Mix it up!

With weight training and cardio, avoid doing the same exercises too often. Use variation in exercises, exercise order and modes of cardio to continually causing your body to respond instead of becoming stagnant.

Use your body.

If you don’t have a weight set and cannot afford a gym membership, use body weight exercises, use things around the home, gallon of milk, five gallon bucket of sand etc.

Schedule your weight-training days.

I always try to decide which days during the week I’m going to have more free time, and I schedule three of them as weight-training days

Don’t skip meals!

Cutting out meals or limiting calories with the hopes of speeding up weight loss is a mistake. The intention may be well meaning, but research shows that your body needs an energy supply in the form of carbohydrates and a rebuilding supply in the form of protein to stay energized and “fueled.” Follow the Program.

Eat right!

It truly is amazing how eating right can make you feel better. Something as simple as portion control, and changing a few things around like using leaner meats, whole grains and proteins, can lead to weight and fat loss and a healthier lifestyle.

Use your “Before” pictures and a picture of what you want to look like as motivation.

Put your “before” pictures on the refrigerator and the cupboards. Those pictures can help destroy even the most intense cravings when you’re looking for junk food. Next place your desired after picture in a place where you will be faced with it daily.

Be consistent.

Keep the plan in place.  Eat your meals, do your workouts, not every once in a while, but every day you are scheduled and every meal you are supposed to eat.

Think ahead ( use a prep day for your weekly meals)

Turn your kitchen into a production line. On Sunday evenings, make at least five big salads and store them. Grill a few chicken breasts and cut them up and store them so that you can easily add them to salads, wraps, or rice. Not all meals or food are safe for eating after being held for 5 days in the refrigerator the usual rule is after 3 days throw it away.

Keep it simple.

A lot of people try to make it into rocket science, and all it takes is eating a fist-sized portion of carbohydrates and a palm-sized portion of protein.

Get the whole family involved.

Finding meals that everyone in your family enjoys makes it easier to follow the program. Protein pancakes and protein smoothies are a big hit at my house.

Create Menus and shopping lists

Have a plan in place when you go to the grocery store.

Create menus for the week with a shopping list of everything you’ll need to coordinate with those planned meals. Take the list with you and buy everything you need at once. This saves multiple trips to the store and cuts back on staring blankly into a barren fridge with limited meal options.

Don’t Dream it, Do it—Be committed!

Joining the Challenge is just the first, small step toward the new you. Now you must make the decision to do it, not just dream about doing it. The real difference between a dream and a decision is simple: commitment. A dream is based on wishes; things that you hope will occur. A decision is the initial step in an active pursuit of something you truly want. A solid decision leads to commitment; commitment leads to success.

Don’t get hung up on the numbers on the scale

The bathroom scale is just one, I repeat one measuring stick as to your progress.  Use the clothes test (how do they fit), use the mirror test (how do I look) and use the body awareness test (how does my body feel as I move through space – kinesthetic awareness)

Expect to stall out slightly.

It doesn’t happen overnight, it is the cumulative effect of 84 days of work.

During your program, you may experience a period where nothing seems to be happening. Don’t be alarmed! Remember that you are replacing fat weight with healthy, lean muscle! Although your scale weight may not show it, you’re probably experiencing substantial progress in your body composition. Women in particular may notice the most dramatic changes occurring after week seven. Again, the best way to determine your progress is through body composition assessments and how your clothes fit.

Set specific, realistic, attainable goals.

Gauging progress is much easier when you know exactly what you are trying to accomplish. Set goals that are specific, realistic and attainable. It may help to identify long and short-term goals. The long-term goal would be exactly what you want to accomplish by the end of the 12 weeks. Short-term goals could be weekly, bi-weekly or monthly checkpoints for evaluating your progress. For example, let’s say your long-term goal is to drop 24 pounds of body fat. Your short-term goals may be to finish each week without deviating from the Program, check scale weight every two weeks, and get new pictures and a body composition assessment each month.

Share your decision with others.

Tell everyone your decision to get involved with the body transformation challenge.  It puts it out there and holds you accountable to many people – especially yourself.

Eliminate obstacles.

Pre-plan your way around known obstacles to increase your chances of success. Learn to say “no” (respectfully) more often to those who drain your time each day. Be willing to train early or late in the day around your responsibilities. If food temptations are too great, eliminate un-authorized foods from your pantry! Eliminate the need/desire to consume fast foods by cooking volumes of food such as chicken breasts and rice and storing them in containers. Two or three microwaveable containers with a chicken breast, rice and a vegetable are portable, convenient and “Authorized”.

pittsburgh personal trainer

Top Ten Exercises for Revealing those lean, rock hard abs

By: Scott Hayward, Pittsburgh Personal Trainer

BodyXchange Fitness Center, Pittsburgh’s Number 1 Gym and Personal Training Facility

I decided to write the top ten exercises for revealing your long sought after lean, trim waistline and rock hard abs.  After reading them you will notice two things a) there are no conventional or ab specific exercises on the list, and b) every motion is a compound movement and often times including two exercises into one.

  1.  Cardio – you cannot reveal any abs with mounds of flab covering them. 3 sessions a week of alternating levels of intensity should do the trick.  One day go long duration / low intensity, next time go short duration / high intensity the last session use intervals for moderate duration.

  2. Deadlifts—the king of all exercises.  This exercise uses the most overall muscle; hence it depletes the greatest amount of energy stores.  This exercise works; calves, hamstrings, glutes, low back, abs, traps, shoulders, forearms and the most important muscle – the heart.

  3. Squats- another exercise that allows you to work a lot of muscle while at the same time working the heart itself by continually changing planes with the body – a must have in any exercise program.

  4. Pull-ups—this exercise is far superior to that of lat pull downs (even though bio-mechanically they are the same), because the pull-up uses more overall musculature.  Don’t be fooled and use those assisted gravitron type machines, these minimize the synergistic or stabilizer muscles. Get someone to help you by holding your feet and use them as your pivot point.

  5. Kettlebell clean and presses—Even though these are done unilaterally (meaning one side at a time), by doing these they work a considerable amount of muscle.  In addition to all the skeletal muscle, they also work the heart muscle due to the up and down nature of the exercise.

  6. Incline barbell presses—Most people would say the flat bench; however I opt for the incline barbell chest press.  Reason being if you do this motion first in your chest / upper body workout, eventually you will be able to handle the same or about the same amount of weight as on the flat bench.  Most people do not have an overdeveloped upper third of their pectoralis major (chest) and this move enables you to build the upper third of your chest to match the lower two thirds.

  7. Military presses with barbell—this exercise hits the deltoids, traps and triceps it allows the exerciser to use a heavier weight than just dumbbells and really builds that upper body strength.  For more muscle used, try the standing version.

  8. Lunges—performed with a set of dumbbells.  Make these traveling.  As you move across the floor, these work all muscles of the lower body and your abs, traps and low back.  Perform these in an alternating style.  Do not rest and bring legs together but rather make it a continuous rhythmic motion by stepping through and right into the next lunge.

  9. Sumo Deadlifts into an upright row—this exercise can be performed with a Kettlebell, a barbell, or an ez curl bar.  By rotating the femur bone outwards and pointing your toes at a 45 degree angle you hit not only your calves, hamstrings, glutes and quads, but also you hit your hip abductor and adductor muscles for the lower body and by including the upright row as you stand, you engage your traps, abs and the medial head of your deltoid.  Once again by the continual up and down motion while under load you also tax the heart muscle.

  10. Monkey squats with a plyometric component—this exercise is performed with dumbbells.  With the dumbbells in hands and hanging at your sides feet hip width apart, perform a squat.  As you stand back up you will not only pull the dumbbells upward along the outside of your body (like a fireman pulling up his pants), but you will also jump upwards.  As you start to descend from your jump go into the next repetition.  This exercise works all the muscles of the lower body, traps, deltoids, abs, low back and heart muscle.  By putting the plyometric component of jumping and continually going into the next rep you get the benefits of quickly lengthening and shortening the muscle again and again which leads to greater muscle growth and explosive power.

Well there you have it, my top ten exercises for revealing those long sought after rock hard abs and lean tone mid-section. These exercises are heavy on compound movements, and multiple muscle groups / body parts being used.  Remember the more overall muscle that is being used the better it is for changing our bodies and ultimately changing our lives.

Scott Hayward is a Pittsburgh based exercise physiologist and master fitness trainer.  He has trained thousands of people from all walks of life.  His revolutionary and cutting edge workout programs have been used by NFL, Hollywood actors, Music Icons, Corporate executives, Doctors, Lawyers and stay at home moms.  Call him today to discuss how he can transform your body into the body you were meant to have.  He owns bodyXchange fitness training and performance center in Pittsburgh, PA.  He can be reached at 412-481-3488.  Contact him today.  Check out his Facebook page at bodyXchange fitness center or on the web at

pittsburgh personal trainer

Vinegar and Fat Loss

By: Scott Hayward, Pittsburgh Personal Trainer

BodyXchange Fitness Center, Pittsburgh’s Number 1 Gym and Personal Training Facility

Studies have shown that you can consume two tablespoons of vinegar to reduce the body’s response to a high carbohydrate meal. The vinegar slows the rate at which the body absorbs the carbohydrates.  You can also try dipping high-fiber bread (Rye is among the best) into a similar dip: Balsamic Vinegar, Extra Virgin Olive Oil, basil, pepper, and oregano. You can also experiment with other herbs for variety.

Rye bread has always been known as one of the healthiest bread choices. A recent Finnish study of people who suffered constipation reported that those who consumed about 6 slices of whole grain rye bread per day had more frequent and less stressful bowel movements.  The average American consumes only 11.2 grams of fiber per day. This is the lowest consumption of fiber of all countries and is believed to be one of the reasons why the USA has the highest Colon Cancer rates in the world! By comparison, West African nations consume approximately 150 grams of fiber per day and have virtually no colon cancer. The USA RDA for fiber is 25-35 grams of fiber per day. Not only does whole grain rye provide much needed fiber, but a compound found in rye: Arabinoxylan may enhance the growth of critically important bacteria in your colon. In addition, rye has long been known to improve digestive health.

You can also try vinegar as a marinade: i.e. The English version of “Fish and Chips”, only try baking instead of frying the potatoes to keep the fat content down. New research from Wake Forest University on sleep patterns and weight gain confirms previous research: TOO MUCH OR TOO LITTLE SLEEP CAN ADD EXTRA POUNDS!!!The study was conducted on adults under the age of 40 and did not mention whether the participants exercised or their exercise activity. Athletic levels of activity may mean the need for more sleep. The researchers tracked participants for 5 years and found that people who slept 5 hours or less each night gained nearly 2 ½ times as much abdominal fat as those who slept between 6-7 hours/night. Participants who slept 8 or more hours per night added nearly twice as much abdominal fat as the 6-7 hour per night group. The researchers believe that people with sleep deficits tend to eat more (and use less energy) “because they are tired all-the-time! The researchers believe that people who sleep longer than 8 hours per night may be less active. Though the research seems to indicate that 6-7 hours per night is ideal, my personal opinion is that highly active athletes, training hard, may require 8 hours night and sometimes more often highly intense training or for younger, “growing” bodies!  If you would like learn more about complex carbs and the body’s response to them, check out other articles on nutrition and fat loss.

pittsburgh personal trainer

What is Metabolism?

By: Scott Hayward, Pittsburgh Personal Trainer

BodyXchange Fitness Center, Pittsburgh’s Number 1 Gym and Personal Training Facility

Metabolism is the amount of energy (calories) your body burns to maintain itself. Whether you are eating, drinking, sleeping, cleaning etc… your body is constantly burning calories to keep you going. A person’s metabolism is directly influenced by body composition.

 Body composition is the amount of muscle you have versus the amount of fat. The percentage of fat vs. the percentage of muscle, organ, bone etc. make up your body composition. Muscle uses more calories to maintain itself than fat. People who are more muscular (and have a lower percentage of body fat) are said to have a higher metabolism than others that are less muscular. For example, let’s say you have two people who are the exact same height and weight. One exercises on a regular basis with weights, in addition to aerobic exercise, and has a low percentage of body fat. The other never exercises and has a higher percentage of body fat. The first person who exercises will have a higher metabolism than the second person. What this basically means is that person #1’s body will use more calories to sustain itself than person #2.

How can I Increase My Metabolism?

Begin to exercise and start a true, sound nutritional program. Studies have shown that dieting alone is the best way to lose lean tissue (muscle) and put any weight back on and then some after the dieting is over. If you’ve never exercised before, make sure you see a doctor before beginning a new exercise program, a sedentary lifestyle leads to an increase in adipose tissue and decreased muscularity. The more muscle a person has, the more calories it takes to support metabolically those muscles.

This can be accomplished in two ways: one, first start on a resistance training program immediately. Lift progressively heavier weights that cause you to hit failure or near failure between 8-12 repetitions. The exercise selection should be focused primarily around compound movements, and minimize the use of single joint movements.

The second way is to decrease body fat stores by performing cardiovascular activity and vary your intensity and duration of the continuous rhythmic movement. By varying your intensity and duration, your body is forced to continually use body fat stores as energy.

Begin to exercise and stop dieting. If you’ve never exercised before, make sure you see a doctor before beginning a new exercise program.

How can I tell if I have a low metabolism?

After the age of 30, your body gradually begins to lose muscle. If your activity level stays the same and the amount of calories you eat stay the same, you will gain weight because your metabolism has slowed down, due to the fact that you have less muscle that needs those calories in order to be maintained. If you exercise with weights and do some type of aerobic activity on a regular basis, you probably won’t notice much of a change in your metabolism as you age.

Symptoms of slow metabolism include fatigue, feeling cold, dry skin, constipation, a slow pulse and low blood pressure. These symptoms could be the result of a medical condition rather than low metabolism – MAKE SURE YOU SEE YOUR DOCTOR to rule out any type of medical problem. If you eat a very low-calorie diet, your metabolism will slow down in order for your body to survive (the body perceives it as a famine.)

Does genetics play a role in determining my metabolism?

Depending upon your somatotype (body type) mesomorph (naturally muscular), ectomorph (naturally skinny) or endomorph (the naturally chubby) your metabolism can be naturally higher or lower. It only stands to reason the naturally muscular guy would have a higher metabolism.

Does type of exercise play a role in metabolism?

Your metabolism is elevated after short bouts of high intensity exercise. It is not clear cut as to how long the elevated state occurs. The benefit is well documented. Weight training has been shown to elevate metabolism more so than low intensity aerobics. Short run bursts or sprints have been shown to keep metabolism revving higher and longer than low levels such as walking.

You can keep your metabolism elevated and keep your lean physique you grew up with. There has to be a three pronged approach of: resistance training, cardiovascular exercise and sound nutritional programming. Keeping all three of these approaches on line will ensure you have the metabolism of your youth.

pittsburgh personal trainer

Why Drinking Water really is an Important

By: Scott Hayward, Pittsburgh Personal Trainer

BodyXchange Fitness Center, Pittsburgh’s Number 1 Gym and Personal Training Facility

Key to Weight Loss

Don’t roll your eyes! The potion for losing that

excess body fat is all around you. It covers two

thirds of the planet. If you eat right and exercise

at the intensity, frequency and duration proper

for you, but still can’t get rid of a little paunch

here and there, you’re probably just not drinking

enough water.

No need to get defensive. You’re actually quite

normal. Most people don’t drink enough water.

Most people are also carrying around a few more

pounds than they would be if they did drink

enough water. If you can’t seem to get that

weight off, try drowning your sorrows in nature’s

magical weight-loss mineral. It works, and

here’s why:

“What on Earth is ‘metabolism‘, anyway?”

People use the term all the time, but ask them

what it means and you’ll get all kinds of

answers. Merriam Webster defines it as, “The

process by which a substance is handled in the

body.” A little vague, but that’s really all it


There are many forms of metabolism going on in your body right now, but the one

everyone is talking about it the metabolism of fat. This is actually something that the liver

does when it converts stored fat to energy. The liver has other functions, but this is one of

its main jobs.

Unfortunately, another of the liver’s duties is to pick up the slack for the kidneys, which

need plenty of water to work properly. If the kidneys are water-deprived, the liver has to

do their work along with its own, lowering its total productivity. It then can’t metabolize

fat as quickly or efficiently as it could when the kidneys were pulling their own weight. If

you allow this to happen, not only are you being unfair to your liver, but you’re also

setting yourself up to store fat.

“I’ve tried it and I couldn’t stand it!” The problem is that, though many decide to

increase their water intake, very few stick with it. It’s understandable. During the first few

days of drinking more water than your body is accustomed to, you’re running to the

bathroom constantly. This can be very discouraging, and it can certainly interfere with an

otherwise normal day at work. It seems that the water is coming out just as fast as it’s

going in, and many people decide that their new hydration habit is fruitless.

Do take heed, though. What is really happening is that your body is flushing itself of the

water it has been storing throughout all those years of “survival mode”. It takes a while,

but this is a beautiful thing happening to you. As you continue to give your body all the

water it could ask for, it gets rid of what it doesn’t need. It gets rid of the water it was

holding onto in your ankles and your hips and thighs, maybe even around your belly. You

are excreting much more than you realize. Your body figures it doesn’t need to save these

stores anymore; it’s trusting that the water will keep coming, and if it does, eventually,

the flushing (of both the body and the potty) will cease, allowing the human to return to a

normal life. It’s true. This is called the “breakthrough point.”

One recent finding, as irresponsible as it may be that caffeine increases the body’s fat burning

potential has many people loading up on coffee before going to the gym. This

finding may hold some degree of truth in it, but caffeine is, in essence, a diuretic, and

diuretics dehydrate. Caffeine may increase the heart rate, causing a few more calories to

be burned, but this is at the expense of the muscles, which need water to function

properly. So, if coffee or tea is part of your day, you will need an extra glass of water for

each caffeinated beverage along with your required amount of water.

Water is the best beauty treatment. You’ve heard this since high school, and it’s true.

Water will do wonders for your looks! It flushes out impurities in your skin, leaving you

with a clear, glowing complexion. It also makes your skin look younger. Skin that is

becoming saggy, either due to aging or weight loss, plumps up very nicely when the skin

cells are hydrated.

In addition, it improves muscle tone. You can lift weights until you’re blue in the face, but

if your muscles are suffering from a drought, you won’t notice a pleasant difference in

your appearance. Muscles that have all the water they need contract more easily, making

your workout more effective and you’ll look much nicer than if you had flabby muscles

under sagging skin.

“Eight glasses a day? Are you kidding?!” It’s really not that much. Eight 8-ounce

glasses amount to about two quarts of water. This is okay for the average person, but if

you’re overweight, you should drink another eight ounces for every 25 pounds of excess

weight you carry. You should also up this if you live in a hot climate or exercise very


This water consumption should be spread out throughout the day. It’s not healthy at all to

drink too much water at one time. Try to pick three or four times a day when you can

have a big glass of water, and then sip in between. Don’t let yourself get thirsty. If you

feel thirsty, you’re already becoming dehydrated. Drink when you’re not thirsty yet.

Do you think water is yucky? Drinking other fluids will certainly help hydrate your body,

but the extra calories, sugar, additives and whatever else isn’t what you need. Try a slice

of lemon or lime in the glass on occasion for a treat.

“How cold should it be?” This is debatable. Most experts lean toward cold water,

because the stomach absorbs it more quickly. There is also some evidence that cold water

might enhance fat burning.

On the other hand, warmer water is easier to drink in large quantities, and you might

drink more of it without even realizing it. Do whatever suits you, here. Just drink it!

When you drink all the water you need, you will very quickly notice a decrease in your

appetite, possibly even on the first day! If you’re serious about becoming leaner and

healthier, drinking water is an absolute must. If you’re doing everything else right and still

not seeing results, this might just what’s missing.

For more information on weight loss or to talk to one of our personal trainers about scheduling a consultation, please contact BodyXchange Fitness Center at  412-481-FITT (3488)