Z Fit Fitness Blog Entries

One of the foundational movements we love at Z FiT TRAINING is the KettleBell Swing. It is such an efficient movement and is very taxing! Dan John wrote an excellent article about the swing :

The Metabolic Swing
By Dan John

Kettlebell swings are one of the most under-appreciated exercise in life, sport, and your gym. In fact, if all I could do for an athlete is teach him a proper swing and encourage some form of deadlift, I'd be making a huge impact.

The metabolic hit of a correct set of swings is going to be shocking. It's one of the best conditioning exercises I know. 

According to a new study coming out of the University of Wisconsin, the kettlebell snatch – which is quite similar, metabolically speaking – is equivalent to running a six-minute mile pace and burns as many calories as cross-country skiing up hill at a fast pace.

 Set a rep goal. It might be as little as 75 swings performed three days per week.

I made a goal of 250 swings per day in January and everybody asked me about my diet. It was awful and I ate and drank too much. But I started looking pretty good from the 250 swings. Yes, swings work that well. - Dan John

Here is a study that was done by the Amercian Council on Exercise to see how demanding KETTLEBELL exercises on the cardiovascular system :

The American Council on Exercise (ACE) conducted a study in 2010 to see how demanding kettlebell exercises were on an athletes cardiovascular system. The study consisted of 10 volunteers (all experienced kettlebell users) ranging in ages from 29 to 46 years.

The first test given to the athletes was a five-minute kettlebell VO2 max snatch test to establish a baseline for their overall kettlebell fitness. Each athlete’s heart rate and oxygen consumption were monitored carefully during the test. Once the baseline was determined for the group, ACE put the athlete’s through a 20-minute kettlebell circuit while monitoring heart rates at 60-second intervals.

The average aerobic calorie burn for the 20-minute workout was 272 calories. Using a formula to estimate oxygen consumption, ACE was able to determine the athlete’s were burning 13.6 calories a minute aerobically. ACE also found that the athletes were burning an additional 6.6 calories per minute anaerobically. Overall, the athletes were burning 20.2 calories a minute, an amazing 1,212 calories an hour!

 With this information you can see why KETTLEBELLS are such an important tool in what Z FiT TRAINING does! So much so that we have started a 30 day KB Swing challenge called SWING 250. Rules are simple complete 250 two handed KB swings every day for 30 days. Men should use a KB weighing 35lbs or more and women 20lbs or more (these are suggestions). Enjoy, have fun, be safe and SWING AWAY!!!!


Posted May 10, 2013    |    View


Z FiT and Run For Speed...
Z FiT and Run For Speed have teamed up to bring you EXCELR8 PROJECT ELITE:

The EXCELR8 Project Elite Training Program is a collaboration between Run For Speed and ZFiT Training Camps. Together, we provide a complete fitness program with the sole purpose of helping you become fit, healthy, and the runner you aspire to be. The program combines the speed and endurance training of Run For Speed's highly successful EXCELR8 Program with the metabolic and functional fitness regiment ZFiT Training Camps have become known for. The EXCELR8 Project Elite Training Program is available in 3 packages:

Total Fitness Package:

  • 3 Sessions per week for 6 consecutive weeks attending EXCELR8 group speed and endurance sessions
  • 3 Sessions per week for 6 consecutive weeks attending ZFiT Training Camps group metabolic and functional fitness sessions
  • Access to online dietary and caloric food tracker

Speed & Fitness Package:

  • 3 Sessions per week for 6 consecutive weeks attending EXCELR8 group speed and endurance sessions
  • 3 Sessions per week for 6 consecutive weeks attending ZFiT Training Camps group metabolic and functional fitness sessions
  • Access to online dietary and caloric food tracker
  • 2 personalized One-On-One speed and endurance training sessions during the six weeks program (EXCELR8)
  • 2 personalized One-On-One metabolic and functional fitness sessions during the six weeks program (ZFiT)

Elite Aspirations Fitness Package:

  • 3 Sessions per week for 6 consecutive weeks attending EXCELR8 group speed and endurance sessions
  • 3 Sessions per week for 6 consecutive weeks attending ZFiT Training Camps group metabolic and functional fitness sessions
  • Access to online dietary and caloric food tracker
  • 4 personalized One-On-One speed and endurance training sessions during the six weeks program (EXCELR8)
  • 4 personalized One-On-One metabolic and functional fitness sessions during the six weeks program (ZFiT)
  • Individualized Track, 5K, Half-Marathon, or Marathon training plan personalized to work around your school/work/home life
  • Dietary consultation for the best possible training results
Call or email for program dates, enrollment availability, and pricing. 

Posted February 07, 2013    |    View


Z FiT Your Way to Better Running
So those of you that know me also know that I am NOT a runner and really never cared to be a runner. I have nothing against runners, I actually admire the ability to endure countless hours of running and have no REAL reason to be running (like being chased by ZOMBIES, escaping a hostile group of angry monkeys, or trying to score a touchdown). I have always been into short bursts of speed used for sports such as soccer, basketball, football and ZOMBIE escape and never interested in any kind of distance running. I have however always thought that RUNNERS would benefit greatly from strength training, and there seems to be more and more research to back that up.

"A study conducted in 1988 at the University of Illinois, Chicago put runners and cyclists on a resistance-training program for 10 weeks three times per week. Not surprisingly, results showed that leg strength improved by 30 percent. What proved astounding was that, while VO2 max was not affected, quick bouts of running time improved by 13 percent and the athletes were able to ride an average of 85 minutes to exhaustion rather than the 71 minutes they could do before the training program." -  Runners World

"In another study published in 2005, researchers assigned participants different training schedules to be performed twice a week for 12 weeks. The groups included running endurance training on its own, strength circuit training on its own, endurance and strength training together and a control group. Lo and behold, the group that combined endurance and strength training improved an average of 8.6 percent in a 4K time trial, increased their V02 max by an average of 10.4 percent and ran to exhaustion 13.7 percent longer than the other groups. This study emphasizes the importance of concurrent strength and endurance training." - Runners World

With this information coming to the forefront and runners now realizing that strength training NEEDS to be a part of their training , Z FiT has been working with a couple of runners. We have worked on their strength using a 3 times a week protocol, that includes STRENGTH training, CORE work and FUNCTIONAL training, they have continued working on their speed and endurance work with "Coach B" Brandon T. Vallair at Run For Speed. One of them just completed a full marathon where she cut 32 minutes from her previous best and then a 5k the next day. She has remained injury free while gaining strength, flexibilty and increased speed. Coach B has also been working with us and he has already seen improvements :

"For everyone wondering when ZFiT Training Camps will begin to positively effect your running...it's only about 3 weeks! The first few weeks while attending his program and continuing your EXCELR8 speed sessions and running regiment, you will notice significantly higher Heart Rate and increased fatigue. Basically, easy runs won't feel so easy and nailing interval splits pretty much won't happen. Once your body becomes accustomed to the workload (and in the process turning fat to lean, fast muscle), you will begin to reap the rewards of the workouts. Caroline and I are great examples of this. Today was my FIRST run since I started ZFiT Training Camp that I was able to average a sub 8 minute easy-paced run to his training camp (have him kill me for an hour) and run back home. You also must remember, I run there with a full Nathan HPL20 Hydration Pack which holds 2 Liters of water! I can't stress enough the benefits of ZFiT and EXCELR8 speed sessions for significantly better fitness and faster race times." - Coach B

The importance of strength training is clearly evident and shown in the previous cases. At Z FiT we specialize in safe and effective training. This has also led to Z FiT and Run For Speed creating a product that will help RUNNERS achieve better times, time to exhaustion increase, and a more healthy and fit lifestyle. 

Stay well,


Posted January 03, 2013    |    View Comments (1)


A pound of mucle weighs more than a pound of fat.... REALLY????
I hear this too many times to count and each time it blows my mind. It goes to show that when it comes to nutrition and fitness the general population goes brain dead! How can someone actually believe that 1lbs of fat actually weighs less than 1lbs of muscle? I believe this is result of someone trying to justify their weight gain during their fitness journey. The truth is 1lbs of anything will weigh the exact same as 1lbs of anything else! Fat vs. Muscle is NO exception. Don't get bummed out though there is good news coming, I think the misinformation is actually just a twisted version of the actual reason you may see in increase on the scale.
Muscle takes up MUCH less room than fat pound for pound!!! So that means that you can be losing fat and replacing it with lean muscle mass, which can lead to your clothes fitting more loose and at the same time your scale showing you heavier! Do not despair, getting caught up in the number on the scale can drive you crazy! I recommend you go by bodyfat % and also by how you look, feel and how your clothes are fitting! 
So next time someone tells you "I gained a couple of pounds but it's because MUSCLE weighs more than FAT" just nod and smile and let them continue to pacify themselves with that wives tale! Remember bodyfat testing is a service that we offer to all current clients for free! 

Posted October 29, 2012    |    View


Is your mind right?
I am about to let you in on a HUGE secret... Are you ready? I am going to tell you why so many people do NOT reach their fitness goals! It is going to blow you away, so I hope you are sitting down! It is an incredibly powerful force and something that we MUST NOT take lightly, it is our MIND!!!! (I know I just altered your Universe right?)
Seriously though, our MIND has so much power over us and we can learn to control that and make that work for us. How many times have you been faced with a situation where you immediately said "I can't do this!"? Probably more times than you care to remember. Just by uttering or thinking those 4 words you have effectively created another obstacle in your journey.
I can't tell you how many times I have been working with a client or a group and I hear someone say "I can't do that" and guess what THEY DON'T DO IT! 
Often when I hear this I will tell that person to TRY it anyways and more times than not they do it. Your mind is your biggest enemy and your strongest ally... you need to learn how to GET YOUR MIND RIGHT.
You will physically become weaker if you are allowing the negative thoughts to take over and in turn you will either quit, get frustrated or both! Overcome this first hurdle in your fitness and STOP saying I CAN'T... If you try something and fail then you can change I CAN'T into I AM CURRENTLY UNABLE to do this and then work your butt off to be able to say I DID THAT!!!! LET'S GOOOOOO!

Posted October 22, 2012    |    View


Why Food Logging is Critical for Weight Control?

Food Logging – A Powerful Weight Loss ToolYou may surprised by the fact that losing weight is not the main challenge for most people. Keeping it off is much more of a struggle. In fact, only a small percentage of those who lose at least 10 percent of their initial body weight manage to sustain their results.1 The remaining majority regain all of the weight lost within three to five years.2,3 This is likely due to the way many individuals go about losing weight – short-term, or fad diets. The issue with diets is that they tend to be a temporary fix and the eating rules are difficult to sustain. Although you lose weight initially, once you resume your old habits, the weight comes back and often more. It is simply unnatural to cut out whole food groups and drastically cut calories - our bodies will fight it. For you to lose weight and keep it off for good, you’ll have to adjust your food choices and activity level permanently. That means the changes you make should be something you can see yourself doing for the rest of your life. And they don’t have to be earth shattering. Perhaps you switch regular soda for diet and save 200 calories a day. And maybe you add a 15 minute walk twice a day and burn 200 more calories, but the bottom line is they’re doable for life. Remember, the only proven method to lose weight is to burn more calories than you take in, and research shows that different eating patterns, whether high-carb, low-carb, low-fat or high-fat, can all yield results as long as you burn more than you take in.4 Only you can determine what works best for you.


So how do you change or adjust your eating and activity habits? You must first be fully aware of your body’s needs and what you’re doing now – and you probably aren’t. Studies show that most people:


Don’t know how much to eat to maintain their current weightBelieve  they eat less than they actually doHave no idea they take in extra calories in different situationsSlowly gain 1-3 pounds a year during adulthood until they are overweight or obeseThe solution to becoming aware of your food choices and how much you’re eating is to simply pay attention by tracking everything you consume. When you track what you eat, you can’t help but notice the types of foods you’re eating, the calories in those items, and how your choices affect your weight, appetite and energy levels. Your dotFIT online program shows you the number of calories you should eat daily to reach your goal, and by tracking your calories it becomes clear when you need to make an adjustment. Without knowing what and how much you’re eating – it’s difficult to make educated decisions. For example, if your daily calorie budget is 1,600 and you eat 1,000 for breakfast, you know you have 600 left for the rest of the day. At this point it’s clear that you’re probably eating too many calories at breakfast and it’s wise to adjust your food choices. You can adjust the portion size of that meal or the choose different foods that have fewer calories and hopefully more nutrients. Again, it’s your decision.


If you still need a reason to track your calories, here it is – you’ll get twice the results. A large study spanning almost 3 years showed that people who kept tabs of their daily food intake lost twice as much weight as those who didn’t.5 In this day and age where food is everywhere any time of day and in very large quantities, you can’t afford to be unconscious of your choices. By paying attention to portion sizes, calories and nutrients in foods, you become equipped with new knowledge and therefore, new power to reach and maintain your goals. It is true that knowledge is power, but only if you use that knowledge by taking action.  Take action and start logging your food today.


[1] Wing R, Phelan S. Long-term weight loss maintenance. Am J Clin Nutr. 2005. 82(suppl):222S-5S


[2] Wadden TA, Phelan S. Behavioral assessment of the obese patient. In: Wadden TA, Stunkard AJ, eds. Handbook of obesity treatment. New York: Guilford Press, 2002;186-226.


[3] Dansinger ML, Tatsioni A, Wong JB, Chung M, Balk EM. Meta-analysis: the effect of dietary counseling for weight loss. Ann Intern Med. 2007 Jul 3;147(1):41-50. Review.


[4] Sacks FM, et. al. Comparison of weight loss diets of different compositions of fat, protein and carbohydrates. N Engl J Med. 2009. Feb 26;360(9):859-73.


[5] Svetkey LP. Comparison of strategies for sustaining weight loss: the weight loss maintenance randomized control trial. JAMA. 2008 Mar 12;299(10):1139-48.

Posted October 04, 2012    |    View


Can Supplements Help You Achieve Your Weight Loss Goals?
Z FiT TRAINING has partnered with dotFIT to provide our members the best nutritional support out there. Please read this article and learn how supplementation can help you achieve your weight loss goals....

It’s possible.  Depending on what you categorize as supplements, they can be the difference between success and failure for many people. Just look at the success statistics of people using meal replacement bars and shakes to assist in weight loss compared to non-users, especially in long-term weight control (see Figure 1).

Before we start down this road of dietary supplements and weight loss, let’s remember that supplements alone are NOT a weight loss program, whereas diet and exercise alone can be. But properly used and formulated supplements can accelerate progress and make the chore easier, giving users a greater chance of sticking with their chosen method of weight loss. And on that note, let’s look at dotFIT s position on dietary supplements and weight loss.

dotFIT Worldwide’s position on the use of dietary supplements for assisting weight control

The goal of incorporating a dietary supplement (or drug) into a weight loss program is to assist the user in complying with the daily routine that leads to weight reduction. The supplement ingredients must have safely demonstrated the potential to act in one or more of the following ways:
  • Help create and maintain a calorie deficit by increasing daily calorie expenditure when compared to a non-supplemented state
  • Raise energy levels that may make one more active throughout the day
  • Reduce the drive to consume food
  • Decrease calorie absorption

The user would cease supplementation once the weight goal is reached or when they have their daily routines under control to continue making progress without the supplements. Dietary supplements are appropriate for 1) people with aggressive goals such a time limit (e.g. special events on set dates, making a certain weight class for sport or competition, etc.);  2) athletes preparing for competition that may require/demand very low body fat;  3) people who have failed multiple times at reaching or maintaining weight goals.

Translation: weight loss supplements are intended to help you comply with whatever course you chose to pursue weight loss while living your busy, normal life – i.e. create an easier path to your goal. And they can actually do this by 
  1. Helping your body create and maintain a calorie deficit by burning more calories without having to add more activity, and giving you an energy boost so you’re more active throughout the day;  
  2. Curbing appetite;
  3. Helping you feel full sooner;
  4. Decreasing the calories you absorb so you get the satisfaction of eating without all the calories.
  5. All in all making it easier to stick to a reduced calorie diet or exercise plan.
What we know works
Supplements that mimic the actions of successful drugs used for weight loss and meal replacements bars and shakes are the only supplements that actually work.

Drugs and weight loss
All studies show that drug therapy combined with calorie restriction is more effective in both losing weight and maintaining loss when compared to conventional methods. Successful drugs are designed to block calorie absorption and speed metabolism: e.g. Orlistat (Alli), Sibutramine & Phentermine. 

The proof 
In 19 studies, participants using weight loss drugs that prevent dietary fat calorie absorption and speed metabolism, combined with a dietary/lifestyle regimen, significantly increased total weight loss when compared to subjects using the dietary/lifestyle regimen and placebo.   The treatment groups on average had a three-times greater chance of losing more than 5% of their total body weight and a four-times greater chance of maintaining the weight loss after two years. The problem with drug therapy is that prescription weight loss drugs should not be used for extended periods of time because they bring along known side effects. Therefore, the goal is to deliver safe, natural alternatives using dietary supplements that have the similar mechanisms of action but without the side effects.

Validated safe and effective alternatives
The following products contain the ingredients that have been shown in human clinical trials to significantly accelerate body fat/weight loss when compared to placebo users following the same routines (see below for summary of results).

Fat Release (reduces fat calorie absorption and appetite): adds support for the body’s most active fat burning organ, your liver; helps block dietary fat from entering the body and induces fullness faster and longer (click here for all the science)

CarbRepel (reduces carbohydrate calorie absorption and appetite): helps block carbohydrates/sugars from entering the body and being stored while also working to keep food in the stomach longer in order to deliver an early and longer feeling of fullness (click here for all the science)

ThermAccel (increases calorie burn while reducing appetite): a natural stimulant to help increase your metabolism and induce you to move more by increasing energy levels while sending energy signals to your appetite center to help reduce intake (click here for all the science)

Meal replacements and weight loss

In all studies, meal replacements bars and shakes have been shown to be an extremely effective aid to weight reduction and, in almost all cases, more effective than conventional methods of dietary restrictions. Additionally meal replacements have been shown to be just as effective as dietary restriction combined with drug therapy.i Most importantly, continuous use of meal replacements may be the most effective means of all treatments when it comes to maintaining weight loss (see figure 2 below).

Meal replacements are generally used to replace one or two meals a day and allow freedom of choice for the remaining allotted foods/calories. 

Meal replacements allow:
  • Between meal snack as an energy boost or hunger killer
  • Portion control: people generally attempt to consume meals to completion, therefore meal portion size significantly impacts a person’s total calorie intake.  Overwhelming evidence validates that the smaller the portions, the fewer daily calories consumed and vice-versa – i.e. people tend to “eat with their eyes not their stomachs”. Use of portion-controlled meals has proven to yield greater weight loss than conventional diet therapy alone. 
  • Accurate calorie counts of total daily food intake when compared to having to estimate the calories of self-prepared or unmarked meals

Figure 1: In all six studies the groups using meal replacements (PMR) as part of their overall calorie intake lost significantly more weight than subjects using the reduced calorie diet (RCD) alone. Heymsfield SB (2003)

Figure 2: In a 1-year follow-up in the groups that were tracked, the subjects still using meal replacements maintained significantly more weight loss than the RCD group. Heymsfield SB (2003)

What happens when you stop using supplements

Meal replacements: properly formulated meal replacements or meal supplements (as they may be called) are food, just in more convenient forms for specific times. You will always eat traditional foods daily but in today’s hectic world, meal replacements should remain part of everyone’s caloric intake to help satisfy hunger between meals and/or replace at least one large meal daily. This allows freedom of choice for other meals such as lunch and dinners.

Dietary supplements: once a user reaches the weight or body composition goal, there is no longer a need for a caloric deficit. The dieter can now increase their caloric/food intake to a maintenance level, which would relieve the need for supplementation.

So there you have it, effective supplements can make the difference especially when it only takes a little help to make things easier. Use meal replacements regularly to curb hunger, allow greater choices for traditional meals and save on your grocery bill. Use dietary supplements to ease the chore and stay motivated by accelerating weight loss and assisting in appetite control.

Simply use our dotFIT program to find out exactly how to use effective supplements within your daily routine and you are on your way to long-term success. And for those of you using the exerspy, well, that makes it too easy because with the exerspy, you can cheat to win!

Check out www.zfit.dotfit.com for more info.

Posted October 04, 2012    |    View


Swing Not Squats!

It is probably no surprise to any of you that I spend a lot and have spent a lot of time in the gym. I have witnessed a wide variety of things some good and a lot BAD! A lot of the bad stuff I see is due to the fact that people have never been shown the correct technique for the movement they are doing. Deadlifts for instance, that lift seems simple enough and people hear that it is a GREAT lift to add to your program however there are some very important points in that lift, one of them being to NOT round your back! I see rounded backs on 90% of the people doing this lift! However the number one and most noticeable problem I see has to do with the KETTLEBELL!!!

People are mesmerized by this CANNONBALL WITH A HANDLE, there is a raw and powerful presence emanating from them.  The problem is that as gyms are bringing these tools of METABOLIC DESTRUCTION in they are not providing any instruction. There are a ton of exercises you can do with a KB and all are effective, but the one that is most popular is the SWING. This is the one you see most people attempting at the gym and the one you see most people doing incorrectly. The swing is a HIP HINGE MOVEMENT not a SQUAT movement. This means the knees are staying slightly bent and the hip is acting as a hinge. The swing can be a phenomenal exercise when done right. If you are doing what I see most people do and that is squat instead of HINGE you are going to get fatigued sooner and you are going to kill the momentum that you would normally have doing this with a hinge movement. Another thing to remember is that it is the hip movement what creates the KB momentum so if you are not using your hips then you will compensate with your shoulders to bring the KB up. Trust me when done correctly you will feel the swing in the shoulders and CORE … you don’t need to muscle it up! Bottomline here is that if you don’t know then ask somebody and if they don’t know then ask somebody else or look up Pavel Tsatsouline and learn from him!

Performing exercises correctly is a vital thing in improving your quality of life through fitness! Make yourself a more efficient, flexible, and stronger person through correct execution of movement!


Posted July 13, 2012    |    View



So I learned a lesson yesterday and I thought I would share it. Ever since training with the TRX suspension trainer I have wanted one. They have them set up at the gym I go to and I have been hooked since the first workout! I wanted to purchase one so I started looking online and found someone selling a brand new one for half the price so I jumped on that and bought it.

I got it home and put it to the test, it was great. I packed it in the carrying case and went to bed. The next day I logged onto the TRX website to register it and that’s when I found out I bought a FAKE! You see TRX has had a big problem with counterfeiters making and selling their product so they started sewing a serial number and hologram on the straps in a certain location. The TRX I bought did not have that, BAM I HAVE BEEN BAMBOOZLED!

I was fortunate in that I was able to scare the guy who sold it to me with the that of contacting the company. He refunded me money and said that someone gave him a couple of them to repay a debt and he did not know they were fake! Ya right!
Bottom line is I should have known better and should have just bought it straight from TRX. I got lucky and got my money back but others might not.

Lesson learned but it worked out okay… I just did not feel safe training on or training someone else on a counterfeit piece of equipment!

Coach Z

Posted July 13, 2012    |    View


Random Rant

Nothing really prompted this post, I really just felt like writing. Today was a non workout day and in the past a non workout day would = a super depressed and sad day for me! However now that I am using Metabolic Resistance Training as my foundation I turn my non workout days into my PREP FOR MY WORKOUT DAY.

I like to use these days to do what I like to call the THREE R’s:

REGENERATION - Foam Rolling, this helps decrease the muscle density prior to a workout to provide for a better warmup. Done after and on off days it helps aid in working out lactic acid and reducing soreness.

RECOVER - Light stretching after foam rolling… studies show that static stretching cold muscles actual works to lengthen the muscle which in turn helps increase flexibility.

REST - Just as it says… I rest, I don’t do any high intensity working out… maybe go for a walk outside or on a treadmill but not necessary. It’s more about just getting the body to relax and prepare for the workout the following day!

During my THREE R’s I am visualizing and also getting excited about the upcoming workout and getting my mind right. When you are excited to workout you will attack it with greater intensity and get the most out of your workout! #ImproveDaily

Coach Z

Posted July 13, 2012    |    View