Fit Mommy & Me Workouts launching in September with Baby College Cedar Square

Recently my wife and I welcomed our first child. As all new parents will know, this is an amazing, confusing, exciting and stressful time!

My wife, found the physical changes of having a baby quite tough.  She so desperately wanted to get back to exercising again to sort out those post pregnancy trouble spots but felt the tug & pressure of spending time with our little one as much as possible during her maternity leave.

After my wife went back to work, I also started taking our baby to Baby College for developmental classes and met more moms in the same position.  This is where the idea came to offer Fit Mommy & Me Workouts!

Fit Mommy & Me Workouts are fun, functional and effective training routines you can do with your little one. Some of the workouts also include movements that incorporate baby, so it is a great time for bonding too!

The aim of the workouts is to build up general physical fitness and restore core strength, so it can be done by moms of any fitness levels. We concentrate on low-impact exercises but can increase the intensity for fitter moms if need be. Baby College is also geared for babas of all ages, and the staff are on-hand to help any mamas if need be.

Because the Mommy & Me classes are in a group setting, moms also get to interact with other moms and a dad (me).

Class details;

  • Days: Tuesdays & Thursdays
  • Time: 10:30-11:30
  • Cost: R120 per class

I am very excited for these new classes and look forward to meeting and coaching all the new moms.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me; Phone of WhatsApp; 079 594 0902 or email nico.mentz.pt@gmail.com

 

Get your mind right, and the rest will follow

Multi-million Dollar industries are built on the desperate need for people to find some hidden secret/truth or shortcut to lose weight, build muscle and look like the best version of themselves in a few weeks. Fad diets, fad exercise machines, all claiming instant success – you could not be blamed for believing that an ultimate cheat MUST be out there somewhere! Sorry to burst your bubble, but it’s all is just marketing…

So what is the biggest reason some people are successful and some aren’t in their fitness/weight loss journeys, and well, life in general too? The simple truth is, no matter how many motivational Facebook/Instagram posts you look at, or fads you try, if you are not in the right set of mind, and in it for the long run, you will never do what you needs to get done, like getting to gym

A question I get asked often is “How do I get into the right mind space!?”. Hopefully these few tips that help me, can help you too…

 

Remember – start small, and continually improve in increments.

Committing to fitness is not just a switch you can turn on and off, or open up like a water tap. You’ve probably spent years doing what you are doing now right? These behaviors are deeply entrenched habits you need to break.

My wife always jokes that if she can just get her tekkies on to go to gym, the hardest part is over. The habit of getting our of her work clothes and into her training gear is a big barrier for her.  So she focuses on just getting her gym clothes on as quickly as possible when she gets home – strange I know, but it works (most days).

This process towards better decisions every day, is something that takes time to get in to.  It is a gradual process you will need to build on day by day, week by week until you have formed new, entrenched habits. Start small, and build in increments!

 

Get your mind right for the long run

Another thing is, people want overnight results, and not seeing these results as quickly as we want, makes some people just give up.  Sorry guys, just not going to happen quickly, so you need to wrap your head around the fact that this stuff takes time, so get your long-game face on.   Depending on where you are in your journey, it can take a few months to a few years to get where you want to be.  But like someone wise once said – Nothing in life that is worthwhile, is easy.

 

Reward yourself along the way too

Working to a huge goal is great, but what we often forget about are all the smaller milestones that need to be reached along the way to get to your ultimate goal.  These smaller milestones need to be celebrated and rewarded along the way.  I am a big fan of cheat days.  I see so many people being so hard on themselves for not being perfect with their diets or training.  We are human, we need to be kind to ourselves too – granted, you have been too kind to yourself in the past, which is why you are needing to get back to better habits, but a little bit of cheating goes a long way, ESPECIALLY if you’ve earned it.

Just imagine how that 4-tier chocolate monster of a cake slice is going to taste after you’ve worked a whole month to deserve it? I promise you, it will be the best slice of cake you will ever have!

 

It has got to be a lifestyle

The magic combination for change is Commitment AND Consistency.  The best way to get consistency going is to form daily habits.  Humans love routine, and if you can get it right to build your healthy habits in your day to day life, nothing will stop you!

 

Love the Process, not just the results

Many people I can imagine and visualize themselves as Rockstars, but few people are willing to spend hours upon hours practicing instruments, spending weeks or months away from home touring for gigs, sleeping in dodgy places and hoping for a record deal.

Same with being fit or your ideal weight, everyone wants it, but few are willing to do what needs to be done to get there.  People who are successful in this not only want to achieve their vision, they love the process and the hustle of getting there too.  If you can find a way to find joy in the hard work you need to put in everyday, nothing will stop you!

 

So there you have it guys! I would love to hear your thoughts on this and also what you guys do to get yourselves motivated every day.

Until next time!

Nico

 

 

 

 

New product find! Sea Salt & Essential Oil Training Gels

Hi Guys

I wanted to tell you about a new product I found that I am loving at the moment.

My wife has started training again after having our first child, and of course, her muscles are sore and stiff. Unfortunately for her, she is highly allergic to the usual creams and gels available for muscle stiffness & pain relief, due to her sensitivity to chemicals etc.

We have been using bath salts from a company called Ocean Therapy for a while now, and absolutely love it. This is a small-scale manufacturer of ocean-salt based products, mixed with aromatherapy essential oils.  Good for the environment and for us!  They introduced us to their new range of gels for gym and the outdoors. We tried it, and they worked great – and my wife (with her sensitivities) can use the gels too – no problem.

Here is what the developers say about the product;

The gels have been created as natural alternative for the active community. It is directed towards the prevention of sports related injuries, muscle aches and pains.

It delivers the therapeutic qualities straight into the blood stream by absorption through the skin. The gel is made without any chemical fillers or shelf life enhancers like parabens etc. – all ingredients are plant based. The gel is water soluble and absolutely non-toxic.

We have taken advantage of nature’s remedies and used plant and essential oils to achieve the following outcomes:

  • Warms muscles prior to exercise by stimulating the blood circulation
  • Natural pain relief
  • Natural anti-inflammatory
  • Natural insect repellent
  • Natural anti-spasmodic
  • Improves joint flexibility
  • Spot treatment for muscle pain and swellings
  • Natural sun protection by boosting cellular protection against UV rays
  • Cooling menthol to keep fresh during rides
  • Nourishes & moisturizes skin
  • Soothes insect bites and minor sun burns

Ingredients: natural gel (made with edible plant based glycerine) and a blend of essential oils in Wheatgerm  and  Baobab Oil. Aloe Vera (soothing and calming for irritated skin, improves oxygenating of blood, pain relief for sore muscles) sea minerals high in magnesium

I’ve decided to sell these gels here on my website as they are not readily available in stores.  So if you are interested, please go on my online store/Facebook store and select the gels you would like to try out. Delivery around Sandton is free! (anywhere else courier costs will be applicable)

until next time!

Nico

A quick intro to HIIT – High Intensity Interval Training

Time to HIIT it? A quick intro to HIIT

HIIT has been all the hype in the fitness world for the past few years, along with body-weight and functional training.  HIIT workouts are popular because they are effective for weight loss and fitness, don’t take a lot of time, and can be done anywhere with no equipment.

In my own practice I have seen the benefits and results of incorporating HIIT workouts with my clients and I personally prefer this type of training for most of my clientele who all have busy schedules and want to work hard and see results faster.  With my advanced clients I like to add resistance and core workouts to make the sessions even more challenging.

There is a lot of information and studies out there on HIIT, but below I have summarized the crux of what you need to know to get you interested.

What is a HIIT workout?

HIIT, or high-intensity interval training, is a training technique where you have training intervals of all-out/maximum effort (80-90 percent of your heart’s maximal rate), followed by resting or recovery periods in-between. Workouts are structured with varying activities, with three to ten repetitions, depending how fit you are. The intervals of training vs. rest period can also differ, to suit the fitness level of the trainee.  Examples of HIIT workouts look something like this;

E.g.

  • Beginner: Time intervals of 30 sec high intensity, 30 sec rest, 5 activities, 3 reps
  • Advanced: Time intervals of 50 sec high intensity, 10 sec rest, 10 activities, 3 reps

A workout should not last longer than 45-minutes. Beginners can start with a 20-minute HIIT session.

HIIT routines are meant to be intense and short, as these place great demands on the heart.  HIIT workouts are generally considered safe, but if your heart health is not what it should be (i.e. you have been living a sedentary lifestyle, history of family heart problems etc.)  a doctor should be consulted first.  Generally, a basic level of fitness should be established before attempting proper HIIT programs, just to be safe.

What are the benefits of HIIT?

  • Metabolism booster
  • Burn fat even after the workout is over – the after burn effect / Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption (EPOC)
  • Quick, convenient and effective
  • No equipment needed
  • Improves stamina
  • Improves the body’s ability to use oxygen
  • Boosts cardiovascular health
  • Releases muscle-growth and fat-burning hormones
  • Improves body composition

So there you have it folks.

Like anything worth it in life, there aren’t any short cuts, but you can have a shorter, more intense workout and get awesome results.

If you have any questions around HIIT or want to see me for some personal training sessions, please email me on nico.mentz.pt@gmail.com.

Until next time!

Nico

My Top 5 Training Myths

Howzit guys

Something I’ve noticed quite a bit lately, is how many myths are out there doing the rounds when it comes to training.  How many times have you heard that only doing planks or crunches all day will give you a six pack? Or maybe you’ve heard that carbs should be avoided at all costs and that endless amounts of cardio is the secret to losing weight?

Well, here are 5 popular myths I’ve been hearing a lot lately that I am going to try and give a better solution to…

Myth #1– You can “spot reduce” fat.

What the myth sounds like; “I don’t like my thighs, so I’m just going to do squats to get my thighs thinner”, “If I only do sit-ups for a month my beer boep will go away.”

Exercising only the part of your body where you want to lose weight, will in fact, not let you lose weight in only that area. “Spot reducing” is simply not possible.  Everyone carries fat in different areas, whether it is in our glutes aka bum, backs, stomachs, arms or thighs.

You can go and do a 1000 squats a day and it won’t lean out your thighs to the extent you think it will. You as an individual will lose fat in different areas at a different pace to that of you sister, brother, aunt or anyone else out there.

So what’s the alternative? The biggest thing to do is check in with your diet! Nutrition has the biggest part to play if you want to lose weight. Remove all the processed food and eat nutritious whole foods.

You need to do full body workouts – then it is important to know your body, and to find out what types of exercises work for YOU. Your body is different to the next person, and you will lose weight in different areas at different speeds.

 Myth #2 – Cardio is the only answer to weight loss.

Running on the treadmill or on the road as if your life depended on it, is not the quick weight-loss fix answer you are looking for guys! Also, running is not for everyone.

I am all for it if it makes you happy, but for the everyday Joe out there that thinks huge amounts of cardio is the way to go for fat loss, think again. It just is not true. Rather focus on strength training sessions and combine it with HIIT workouts.

These are a lot more effective because your calories/metabolism will be boosted after the workout and it keeps burning calories when you are at home busy watching TV or sitting in traffic driving to work or home. (After burn effect) With Cardio, you burn the max amount of calories whilst you are doing the cardio.

SUPER important guys – it’s 70% what you eat, and 30% how you exercise. You simply cannot “out-excise” a bad diet.

Myth #3 – All Carbs are bad.

A lot of people out there are telling you that carbs are bad for you and you should stay away from every carb out there. It’s just Wrong, jip, with a capitol W!

We need energy and that energy comes from carbs. Energy to do work, think, live and exist. Remember those times that you might have felt confused and drained at the same time, or when you felt “down” and groggy?! It’s was probably because your brain needed more carbs to function properly.

To generalize that all carbs are bad is a silly thing to say. Fruits and veggies are carbs too. Healthy non-processed, non-refined carbs is essential to a healthy diet. There are healthy grains like quinoa and oats that are carbs and that carries fiber that keeps us fuller for longer. Moderation here is key.

Stay away from refined sugar – the cakes, pastries, white breads and donuts. Also one of the biggest mistakes people make is not checking what they DRINK – cut back on those soda drinks, fruit juices etc.  There is a mountain of sugar in those drinks!

Myth #4 – Planks/Crunches are the key to flat abs.

I overheard someone saying the other day, that if you want a flat stomach, you have to do planks and crunches the whole day.

It’s a recipe for disappointment!

Doing any ab exercise is great for strengthening your core and building muscle, it’s not the magic ingredient to an iron board stomach. In fact, flat, defined abs are made in the kitchen! Your body has to have a low fat percentage so that your ab muscles can show. Eating clean and incorporating a few HIIT workouts during the week is sure to get you that dream 6 pack.

Myth #5 – Girls “Strength training will make me huge and bulky.”

Some girls out there are scared to do strength training because they don’t want to get big or bulky. The truth is, strength training builds lean muscle and will decrease body fat. (muscles burn more calories during the day to function). By only doing cardio, you are actually losing muscle – and muscles is what we need to function in our daily lives.  Having muscle strength will let you live a healthier, more functional life.

Also ladies, don’t be afraid to lift weights because you are afraid of the muscle weight “gain” that will show on the scale. The real measure will be in the measurements and those before and after pics!

So guys, these have been the 5 popular myths I hope I’ve managed to discredit.

If there are any other myths/hacks you’ve heard about and want to know if these are valid or not – just drop me a mail.

All the best,

Nico

Nico Mentz is a personal trainer and fitness professional in Fourways, Sandton.

 

Is personal training for me?

We live in a country where we are fortunate enough to have wonderful weather and landscapes. It’s easy to go on a cycle or a jog and just enjoy being active.  There are many gyms to choose from and being sporty is a part of the South African lifestyle.  So, with all this abundance of active opportunities around us, can people really benefit from a personal trainer?

The simple answer is, hell yeah!

I can talk about this subject all day, and make a very long list. But to make it easy, here are my TOP 5 CONCRETE REASONS PERSONAL TRAINING CAN HELP YOU!

  1. EFFECTIVENESS – TRAIN SMARTER, NOT HARDER

One of the top reasons to get the help and guidance from a personal trainer is to maximise your benefits, with minimum time & risks.  Like many things in life, there is a wrong, right and smart way. With our busy lives and ever decreasing free time, it has become even more important to consider how to best spend our time – that includes the gym.

  1. EDUCATION

Knowing what exercise to do for your specific goal, and how to do it can make all the difference. This educational aspect to personal training is essential to reducing risk of injury as well.

The fitness industry is an incredibly dynamic and ever evolving industry, with new techniques and research constantly being published.  Personal trainers keep up to speed with the latest strategies and approaches.

  1. INDIVIDUALITY

Each person is different in terms of abilities, fitness levels, goals, requirements & injuries etc.  With the help of a personal trainer, you will be able to get the program and guidance you need to do the best to your unique abilities to reach your set goals.

  1. SETTING & KEEPING REALISTIC GOALS

One of the things most people have the wrong idea about, is how fast a fitness transformation can happen.  Many people want instant results, and then get discouraged and backslide when the impact cannot be seen as quickly as they thought it would happen.  Personal Trainers will help set realistic and achievable goals, and also help put the milestones in place to get you there.  Working with many different types of people, and bodies, at different fitness levels, gives personal trainers a realistic sense of what is achievable at different effort levels.

Consistency contributes tremendously to reaching your goals. Having a set appointment, with clear objectives and instruction, is a sure way to ensure you show up for your training every time over a long period of time!

  1. MOTIVATION & FUN

Training is hard work. It’s a commitment.  A personal trainer needs to understand how to motivate each client, and get them to their destination.  But in order to keep people motivated and coming back for more, exercise also needs to be fun and varied.

Smashing goals or doing something you never thought possible is incredibly exhilarating, and addictive. This is why, as a personal trainer, I know I have to keep pushing clients just that little bit extra each time.

All in all, if you are serious about reaching your fitness goal, getting professional help is the smart choice.

Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions about personal training, and to find out whether its right for you.

Nico

Nico Mentz is a personal trainer and fitness professional in Fourways, Sandton.

What is the quickest/best way to lose weight?

As a personal trainer, I get asked this all the time, and sometimes I think the real question behind this is…what is the easiest way to lose weight?

Cardio and burning fat seem to go hand in hand right? Low intensity cardio is usually the first port of call for most people who want to lose weight. People make the decision to lose weight and promptly proceed to dust off their tekkies or fight the cobwebs in the garage to take out the old mountain bike.

But to burn enough calories to really make a difference, takes a long time – at least an hour a day. (Remember – you can NEVER “out exercise” a bad diet, it’s 70% what you eat and 30% exercise)

Cardio and burning fat seem to go hand in hand right? BUT, who these days can afford spending two hours in a gym everyday? Also, only doing cardio will definitely help you lose weight, improve your overall health, heart health, lower blood pressure etc. but you also lose muscle.

So is there an alternative? Studies (and experience) shows lifting weights and HIIT training can actually be better than cardio at burning fat than cardio.

Here’s an awesome video I found that explains the science it much better than I could.

With my clients, I like to combine HIIT, resistance, body-weight exercises and a bit of cardio. I find that with HIIT the results do tend to come sooner than with just weight training. We do a lot more, in a lot less time.

So there is some food for thought – let me know what you think and if you have any questions!

Best of luck with your 2017 fitness and health goals!
Nico

Hello world! Welcome to my new blog & website!

Hello and welcome to my blog & website! My name is Nico Mentz and I’m a personal trainer in Fourways, Johannesburg, with a passion to help people just like you.  Whether it’s losing weight, improving your overall health or confidence.

I wanted to start this blog to share my insights, experiences and valuable tips picked up from helping other clients and the industry. Hopefully this will help you to achieve your goals and get the results you are after!

Don't let your current circumstances

New Year kick-start

January is always a month that signifies new beginnings, a fresh start and as people we get the sense we can get a do-over from last year.  Unfortunately, new-year’s resolutions are statistically proven to fail / not be kept after the first three months of the year…UNLESS…

You really REALLY, really want it and you put strategies and support in place to help you succeed.

Losing weight or getting fit is always one of the top resolutions people have. We see it at the gym that is packed over this period.  But why do people get off to a great start and fizzle out?

To put it simply…it’s HARD (but not impossible) to lose weight, and it will require work, dedication and huge changes to the way you approach food, routine and commitment.  These fad diets and “lose weight quickly” claims give people false hope of a quick fix, and when they don’t see the results, they get despondent.

So let’s put the facts on the table shall we? If you are really, truly serious about your fitness goals this year here are some key things you need to understand and do to set yourself up for success:

Every Accomplishment

GET YOUR HEAD RIGHT

Attitude is one of the greatest assets in your fitness journey.  I see it time and time again, people who come to my training sessions with a positive, work-hard attitude do great with their sessions. They leave the session feeling tired, but also great and amped for the next one.

Then there is the group that HATE coming for training. They are masters at making excuses, or not doing that extra rep.  These guys generally work hard, but this mind-set is self-defeating and they end up only training for a short time.

Number one advice I can give is to get your head in the game and try to have as much fun as possible!  This is a long-term commitment with loads of sacrifices, but also great rewards.   If you find a way to enjoy the work, you will succeed.

You’ve got to want it more than you want to breathe!

PUT A DEADLINE & A GOAL IN PLACE

Nothing worth doing was ever achieved in a comfort zone where little or no commitments thrive. Do the words “Tomorrow is another day” or “Just this last time” ring a bell?  Maintaining your motivation by having a clear purpose and deadline is key to success.

I find that clients with clear deadlines, goals or a purpose are the most successful in actually achieving their vision. Whether it is to run a marathon, or lose weight for your wedding, wanting to look good at a big event, wanting to get healthy so you can be around for your kids for a long time you need to find that one thing that is going to make you get yourself off the couch, away from temptation and the comfort zone to go hit it hard.

Nobody is too busy

FOOD IS FUEL, NOT REWARD OR COMFORT

In today’s stressful, time-starved life, it is so easy to go for the quick-fix or turn to food for some comfort. The number 1 enemy in my opinion is sugar.  (but I will write more about that later!)

A hard fact is, you cannot outrun or out train a bad diet.

You need a mind shift from looking to food as reward or comfort, to seeing that food is what fuels your body. Quality food = quality of life.  We all know the old adage: “You are what you eat.” Well I want to add to that saying with “so don’t be fast, convenient or fatty!”

Losing weight is 70% in the kitchen and 30% in the gym.

BE REALISTIC

I get a lot of people wanting to lose too much weight in a short period.  The truth is, weight loss is not a straight forward journey.  You will lose and gain weight consistently, but over time, the loss will happen.

It’s critical to put down clear, defined short-term goals that are achievable and SAFE.  Losing too much weight too quickly can do a lot of harm to your body.

Taking the pre-assessment to put down achievable goals, and keeping track of your body measurements (body fat percentage, body measurements, weight) is key to keep yourself motivated.

The true test

All this said, congratulations on taking the first step towards your journey. By reading this post it’s obvious you are hungry for information and getting tools or tips to ensure you succeed.

My wish is that you will be brave enough to commit to your goal and start reaping the rewards and benefits of leading a healthier and more active life.  Once you start feeling better, looking better and thinking better the sky won’t even be the limit to you.

Here’s to a fitter, happier, healthier 2016!

If there is anything you would like me to write about just comment on my blog or Facebook page.  To get in contact with me for personal training please fill in the contact form so I can get in touch with you.

Nico