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This is the first week of my Fitness Journey and here’s what I’ve been doing so far…

ABSOLUTELY NO RICE! Yes, that may seem like a walk in the park for many of you, but for an Asian girl like me who has rice every meal, every day… it is quite a challenge. My coach has brainwashed me into believing that rice is starchy, carby and high in calorie (which is probably true but I haven’t completely made my mind up about that yet). Instead of that extra cup (or 4) of rice with my meals I am now eating more green leafy vegetables & fruits along with my proteins.

When people hear the word “DIET” they think of boring, tasteless, rabbit food. But fortunately my coach knows how to put together a healthy, hearty, nutritious meal without compromising flavor.

Here’s an example of what my meals consist of:

Roast Pork Tenderloin with Spicy Togue (Bean Sprouts)

Can you believe this meal is only 400 calories!? OMGoodness…here’s the breakdown:

100 grams Roasted Pork = 250 calories

100 grams Spicy Togue (Bean Sprouts) = 100 calories

100 grams of Side Salad with Strawberry vinaigrette = 50 calories

Definitely not “rabbit food”…far from it actually and it was quite delicious. This is just a glimpse of my nutrition thus far. I’ve been eating like this for 5 days now and I feel lighter, less bloated and more energized. I never thought I could survive without rice…or noodles…or bread or any type of starchy carbs for this long. But I can…and it’s awesome.

Along with my healthy diet, my coach has me weight training 3 times a week and doing cardio sessions every other day. I’ve never “lifted” in my life unless you consider carrying 5 kilo bags of rice weight training :) The sessions were challenging and I sweated buckets but after every workout I feel stronger (and SORE, but stronger nonetheless). Here’s a little sneak peak of my gym shenanigans…this is what you call a Super Set.

My coach had me do Super Sets which is basically a combination of weights done right after the other with only a 1 minutes break after each set.

Dumbell Press-3 sets-(10-8-6 reps)

Dumbell Rows-3 sets-(10-8-6 reps)

Dumbell Overheads-3 sets-(10-8-6 reps)

During the rest of the session we also hit up lower body and did some HIT on the treadmill.

Well that’s it for now. If you missed the beginning of this journey you can read about it here. Until then, stay tuned for more Apple Cider’s Journey to Fitness!


How Long Does It Take To Lose Weight, Get A Six Pack or Build Muscle?

One thing I’ve noticed over the years is that people seem a lot more interested in how long it will take to reach a certain fitness goal than actually DOING what’s needed to reach that goal in the first place.

That’s probably why I get asked how long it takes to lose weight, or build muscle, or get a six pack almost as often as I do about HOW to reach those goals.

And this is reason #1,835 that people fail to get the results they want. They’re just too focused on time frames and making things happen fast that they never actually make things happen at all.

That’s why my answers to questions like these are always more sarcastic than useful. Something like “It will take you exactly 78 days, 14 hours, 32 minutes, 15 seconds” or “Infinity plus one” or “Longer than it would have if you didn’t waste time asking stupid time-frame questions first.”

Real mature, I know. However, since I still get asked these questions on a weekly basis, I figured I’d use this article to finally give my best non-sarcastic answers to them. Specifically:

  • How long does it take to lose weight?
  • How long does it take to get a six pack?
  • How long does it take to build muscle?

Since these appear to be the most common goals people want time estimates for, these are the questions I’ll try to give real answers to right now. Let’s begin…


How Long Does It Take To Lose Weight?

Well, on average, most people can lose weight at a rate of about 0.5-2lbs per week. That seems to be the sweet spot in terms of healthy, realistic, sustainable and permanent weight loss that doesn’t result in much (if any) muscle loss along with it.

Of course, the more specific answer to the “how long does it take to lose weight” question is that it depends on exactly how much weight you have to lose in the first place. Shocking, right?

Meaning, with effort levels and consistency being equal, it will obviously take someone with 100 pounds to lose a lot longer than it will take someone with 10. And the more fat you have to lose, the faster you can (and should) lose it.

So someone with A LOT of weight to lose might lose it at a rate of 2 pounds or more per week without any problem… especially early on. Someone with A SMALL amount of weight to lose might end up losing closer to 0.5-1 pound per week. Someone with an AVERAGE amount of weight to lose might end up losing between 1-2 pounds per week.

Which means, the more weight you have to lose, the faster you’ll lose it but the longer it will take due to the total quantity that needs to be lost. And the less weight you have to lose, the slower you’ll lose it but the sooner it will happen because there’s just not as much there to lose.

So, figure out how much weight you’re trying to lose and do some basic math to figure out how long it should realistically take you. But the second you figure it out, make sure 100% of your focus shifts into actually DOING what needs to be done to make it happen. You know, this: How To Lose Fat

How Long Does It Take To Get A Six Pack?

The answer here is actually damn near identical to my previous answer.

You see, the reason you don’t have a six pack is rarely EVER because your abs aren’t developed enough or being trained properly. And it sure as hell has nothing to do with special ab workouts, magical abdominal exercises and fancy infomercial machines.

It’s simply because you have too much ugly body fat on your stomach, and it’s covering your pretty six pack.

This means that actually being able to see your six pack requires losing that fat. So how long will that take? See my answer from above regarding how long it will take to lose fat in general. The same thing applies here, with the only difference being that we don’t all lose fat from the same body parts in the same order.

I mean, we all lose fat the exact same way (that darn caloric deficit). But, our individual genetics predetermine the exact order and pattern it will happen in. And no… it can’t be changed.

All you can do is just start eating and working out in a way that effectively causes fat loss, and your body will eventually lose that fat from the specific area you want it to the most (in this case, your stomach). So while it’s easy to say you can lose X pounds of fat per week, it’s impossible to say where those X pounds will come from.

The more it comes from your stomach, the faster you’ll get your six pack (or technically speaking… the faster you’ll be able to see/uncover your six pack). And the more it comes from some other body part first, the longer it will take.

But again, there’s nothing you can do in your diet or workout routine to change this fat loss pattern. All you can do is just start losing fat as effectively as possible and wait for everything to take care of itself. At some point, you’ll have your six pack.

Additional details here: How To Get A Six Pack & Lose Belly Fat

How Long Does It Take To Build Muscle?

Based on my own firsthand experience, all of the real world results I’ve seen, and various research and expert opinions looking at the rate of muscle growth, here’s what I can tell you.

The average MAN can expect to build between 0.25-0.5lb of muscle mass per week. The average WOMAN can expect about half that.

But just like with weight loss, this is really just the general answer to the “how long does it take” question. The more specific answer again depends on you.

For example, a beginner to weight training will be able to gain more muscle much faster than someone who is advanced and has already built a significant amount of muscle. Someone with amazing genetics will be able to build muscle faster than someone with crappy genetics. And of course, someone using steroids will be able to blow everyone else away completely.

So while these individual differences play major roles in predicting exactly how long a certain amount of muscle growth will take, the majority of men can probably expect to gain (on average) about 0.25-0.5lb of muscle per week, and the majority of women can expect around half that.

For further details, read this: How Much Muscle Can You Gain & How Fast Can You Build It

How Do I Reach These Goals As Fast As Possible?

Now that you have a general idea of how long it will take you to lose weight, get a six pack or build muscle, there’s one last important point that needs to be mentioned: all of these time estimates are based on the best case scenarios.

Meaning, it assumes you’re using a diet and workout routine that is designed as effectively as possible for that specific goal. It assumes you’re as consistent as possible and working your ass off. It assumes you’re doing everything right and not screwing up along the way.

And especially of note for someone reading this article (that would be you)… it assumes you’re putting 100% of your focus into making all of this happen rather than just wasting time and energy obsessing over how long things will take and when you can expect to be done by.

Whatever super fast time estimate you’re looking for, you’re not going to find it. It’s always going to be a slow and gradual process, and anyone telling you differently is just trying to take advantage of your unrealistic expectations.

So, the moral of this story is simple. If you truly want to get the best results as FAST as possible… spend less time worrying about how long it will take, and more time just making it happen.





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5 Great Benefits Of Cardiovascular Exercise!


Cardio, short for cardiovascular exercise, is any movement that gets your heart rate up and increases blood circulation. Learn 5 key benefits of performing cardio right here!

Cardio. For some it’s a dreaded word and for others it’s a passion they can’t get enough of. Either way you look at it though, cardiovascular exercise is one of the key components that should never be left out of a fitness plan.

Cardio, short for cardiovascular exercise, is any movement that gets your heart rate up and increases blood circulation throughout the body. There are various forms and methods of performing cardio exercise – all which will have specific benefits and guidelines.

Most individuals performing cardio are using it as a way to burn off excess calories and since you are moving the body, it is going to increase the need for energy. Some forms are slightly better when strictly speaking of fat loss but all cardio, regardless of form will burn off calories. Since fat loss does depend on calories burned versus calories consumed it is a step in the right direction.

The reason to do cardio does not end with fat loss though; there are a wide variety of health benefits you receive from a regular cardio program.



The first one is an improved condition of your heart. Your heart is a muscle just like any other and in order for it to become strong it must be worked. If you fail to work it, it will weaken over time and this can cause a variety of negative health effects.

By getting the heart pumping at a faster rate on a regular basis you will keep it in shape and healthy. Too many people are getting winded just performing simple exercises such as walking up the stairs and the primary reason for this is because they are neglecting to work their heart muscle.


Another reason to perform cardio is for its effects on the metabolism. Along with speeding up your heart rate, cardiovascular exercise also increases the rate of various other processes in the body, also known as your metabolism.

Generally speaking, the more intense the cardio session, the more noticeable increase you will see with regards to your metabolic rate. Intense interval sprints (also known as HIIT) increase the metabolism; the highest with a process called EPOC (Excess Post-exercise Oxygen Consumption). An increased metabolism means an easier time maintaining your weight (or losing weight as the case may be).


Performing cardiovascular exercise also changes the hormonal profile in your body considerably. It releases ‘feel good’ hormones that will help ease symptoms of depression and fatigue as well as releasing hormones that decrease the appetite.

Individuals who partake in regular cardio exercise often have a much more positive outlook on life simply because they are getting the stress-relief benefits from these hormones.


Certain types of cardio exercise, usually lower, more moderately paced forms, can decrease your recovery time too. If you have just performed a hard session in the gym, hopping on the treadmill for a walk or light jog will help to remove some of the by-products that were created during the lifting session.

This will help to reduce your DOMS (delayed onset of muscle soreness) and help bring more oxygen rich blood to the muscle tissue improving in the repair and rebuilding process. To you, this translates to your being able to get back into the gym quicker and work the muscles again.

Building muscle mass is a combination of an overloading stimulus and sufficient rest to allow the muscle to heal itself. If you skew this balance either direction, either working out too much or providing too much rest in between, you aren’t going to get optimal results.

The more frequently you are able to work a muscle though (assuming full recovery has been achieved) the faster you will add additional new muscle. Cardio helps you do this. Just don’t take this too far as excess cardio or cardio done at such a high intensity that it places additional strain on the muscles is going to actually hinder recovery rather than aid it.


Lastly, for those who have diabetes, cardiovascular exercise helps them manage this condition. By performing the exercise you will increase your muscle’s ability to utilize glucose. Those who exercise regularly tend to have better control of their blood sugars and do not see as many blood sugar swings as those who don’t. For diabetes this is increasingly important as they are extremely sensitive to changes in blood sugar levels.


Those are just a few of the benefits that you will see with regular cardiovascular exercise.

If you are just getting started, first focus on simply finding an activity that gets you moving and gets your heart rate up. Those are the two key components to what cardio is. Any form of exercise will do, whether it is going for a walk, a bike ride or performing in an organized sport.

The important thing is to keep your body moving. Weight lifting, unless done in a circuit style fashion, would not be considered aerobic cardio exercise since you are not moving continuously. It would be anaerobic and would use a different energy system than that of cardio (the ATP-CP system).

As you build up your fitness level, then you can concentrate on performing more advanced forms of cardio such as interval training, tempo training, HIIT sprints and so forth. First get started on building a solid cardio base though and then work from there.

Cardio is one thing you do not want to overdo in the beginning because spending hour upon hour on a machine at a moderate pace is really not going to give you any further benefits than someone doing a more moderate volume.

Once you are able to do 30-45 minutes 3-5 times a week then step it up a notch and look at those advanced principles. It’s usually better to increase the intensity of your cardio, rather than the volume (unless you happen to be training for a long distance even such as a marathon for example).


So now that you know the basics of what cardio is, the benefits of including cardio and how to go about starting it (or progressing from where you currently are). Put this knowledge to good use in your workout program.





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7 Reasons to Add Strength Training to Your Workout Routine

Every workout plan should include strength training — and building muscle is just scratching the surface of the health benefits you’ll reap.


If you knew that a certain type of exercise could benefit your heart, improve your balance, strengthen your bones, and help you lose weight as it made you look and feel better, wouldn’t you want to get started? Well, studies show that strength training can do all of that and more. Strength training is not just about bodybuilders lifting weights in a gym. It can benefit people of all ages and may be particularly important for people with health issues such as arthritis or a heart condition.

Strength Training: The Benefits

Yes, strength training will add definition to your muscles and give men and women alike more fit and toned bodies. But working out with weights does so much more:

1. Strength training helps keep the weight off for good. 

Not only does strength training aid in shedding pounds, it helps maintain weight loss, too. A recent study revealed that women who followed a weight-training routine 3 times a week increased the amount of calories burned in normal daily activity (in addition to those burned during exercise), helping them to maintain their current weight.

2. Strength training protects bone health and muscle mass.

After puberty, whether you are a man or a woman, you begin to lose about 1 percent of your bone and muscle strength every year. “One of the best ways to stop, prevent, and even reverse bone and muscle loss is to add strength training to your workouts,” advises Troy Tuttle, MS, an exercise physiologist at the University of Texas Medical School in Houston.”

3. Strength training makes you stronger and fitter.

Strength training is also called resistance training because it involves strengthening and toning your muscles by contracting them against a resisting force. There are two types of resistance training:

  • Isometric resistance involves contracting your muscles against a non-moving object, such as against the floor in a push-up.
  • Isotonic strength training involves contracting your muscles through a range of motion as in weight lifting.

Both make you stronger and can get you into better shape. Remember that with strength training your muscles need time to recover, so it should only be done on alternate days. Always take some time to warm up and cool down after strength training.

4. Strength training helps you develop better body mechanics.

Strength training has benefits that go well beyond the appearance of nicely toned muscles. Your balance and coordination will improve, as will your posture. More importantly, if you have poor flexibility and balance, strength training can reduce your risk of falling by as much as 40 percent, a crucial benefit, especially as you get older.

5. Strength training plays a role in disease prevention.

Studies have documented the many wellness benefits of strength training. If you have arthritis, strength training can be as effective as medication in decreasing arthritis pain. Strength training can help post-menopausal women increase their bone density and reduce the risk of bone fractures. And for the 14 million Americans with type 2 diabetes, strength training along with other healthy lifestyle changes can help improve glucose control.

6. Strength training boosts energy levels and improves your mood.

Strength training will elevate your level of endorphins (natural opiates produced by the brain), which will make you feel great. As if that isn’t enough to convince you, strength training has also been shown to be a great antidepressant, to help you sleep better, and to improve your overall quality of life.

7. Strength training translates to more calories burned.

You burn calories during strength training, and your body continues to burn calories after strength training, a process called “physiologic homework.” More calories are used to make and maintain muscle than fat, and in fact strength training can boost your metabolism by 15 percent — that can really jumpstart a weight loss plan.

Strength Training: Getting Started

“Please don’t limit yourself to thinking that lifting weights, expensive machines, or gym membership is the only way to do strength training,” says Tuttle. “Pushups, jump squats, lunges, and mountain climbing are all examples of exercises that provide strength training.”

If you have any health issues, ask your doctor what type of strength training is best to meet your needs and abilities. You can also work with a fitness expert to design a strength-training program that will be safe and effective for you.

Who doesn’t want to look better, feel better, and live a longer, healthier life? So what are you waiting for? Get started now with a complete workout program that includes strength training.





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11 Beginner Strength Training Tips for Women


This article is for women who are just starting out strength training or want to get serious about it. (Be sure to check out The Women’s Beginner Strength Training Guide to Lift Like a Girl & Look Absolutely Awesome for everything you need to start working out properly and achieve amazing results).





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Apple Cider’s Journey To Fitness

Sponsored by

Hi I’m Apple Cider and I want to be LEANER and STRONGER…

It’s time for a change.
It’s time to be healthier.
It’s time to be a better me.

Why Do I Want This?

I want to inspire, motivate and encourage others who want to create a more quality life. I want to show everyone that despite the flaws, the imperfections both inward and outward, there is and will always be an opportunity for change. For progress. For greatness.

For me, that time is NOW!

This is me now.

I have weak and unconditioned muscles, flabby abs and not-so-firm butt.


Height: 153 cm (5 ft.)

Weight: 49.7 kg (109.6 lbs.)

Waist: 63.5 cm (25 in.)

But not for long…

Soon I’m gonna have those flat abs, that firmed butt, those toned arms and strong legs.

And this is how I’m gonna do it…


– Exercise 6 days a week.

– 3 days Strength Training/Weight Lifting

– 3 days Cardio

– Diet 1500 calories/day

– Less Sugar & Carbs, MORE PROTEIN

– More fruits & vegetables

– No more SODAS! (R.I.P. Coke) :-/

– Drink 8-10 8oz. glasses of water a day

– Get at least 6-8 hours of sleep everyday

Can I do it?



Join me on my journey to a leaner, stronger and healthier me.

-Apple Cider



Calorie Burning Full-Body Workout


We tapped CityRow for a workout that will sculpt you from shoulders to calves, not to mention take your fitness to the next level. Time to get rowing!

If you belong to a gym or do CrossFit, you’ve seen a rower. Now get ready to make it your new favorite workout machine. “It ranks above and beyond any other piece of fitness equipment,” says Jared Stein, a lead instructor for CityRow in New York City, a studio that blends rowing intervals with strength-training moves. That’s because it uses more than 80 percent of your muscles with every stroke, Stein says, and burns some 540 calories per hour with minimal impact. (And science shows more muscles pitching in equals more fat burn than other forms of cardio, like spinning!)

Rather than just rowing steadily (snooze), take on Stein’s body-transforming workout, shown here. You’ll push at different intensity levels—to reach various distance and time markers—and hop on and off the rower for inventive body-weight moves that use the handle, seat, or base of the machine. The beauty of using the rower for the strengtheners, Stein notes, is that it allows you to experience a greater range of motion and to hit more angles so you can work more muscles more deeply.

And you can’t cheat through it. There’s no resistance knob to turn down, no push button to autopilot your pace, no handles to hold when you get tired. “Your input directly correlates with your output,” Stein says. (And for a step-by-step breakdown, check out the full workout of the moves!)





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5 Benefits of Kettlebell Training


Kettlebell training is becoming increasingly popular with fans of CrossFit as well as becoming a simple workout from home that has a wide range of benefits. Not only is kettlebell training fun, but you have enjoy a vast array of fat-burning, muscle building benefits with a few very simple workouts.

Here are some of the Top 5 Benefits of Kettlebell Training:

1) Fat Burning – Kettlebells activate many muscle groups at the same time at the right level of intensity that helps melt off the fat.

2) Muscle Strength Increases – The intense activation of the muscles for sustained amounts of time a great catalyst for quick muscle strength increases.

3) Multiple Workouts Options – This simple weight with a handle allows for a great amount of variety in how you use it from squats, to rows, to arm lifts, and the list goes on and on.

4) Great Core and Back Strengthening – One of the most popular reasons people pick up kettlebells in the first place is the amazing benefits it has for your entire core and back.

5) It’s Fun! – Because of the amount of different exercises you can do, and the nature of having fun swinging the weight around, you get bored less often and the trade off from the amount of time you use them to the vast benefits keeps you picking up your kettlebells time and time again.





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Anti-Diet Mainstream Brands



Mainstream diet brands may not seem to have much relevance for the wellness-focused modern woman, but they’re going to try really hard to change that in 2016. This fall, Lean Cuisine introduced a campaign called #WeighThis that asked women to weigh their accomplishments instead of their bodies, and Weight Watchers introduced “Beyond The Scale,” a major revamp of its program that de-emphasizes weight loss to include other healthy lifestyle components like fitness for the sake of feeling good, and self-care components for “inner strength.”

Weight Watchers’ chief scientific officer Gary Foster says the changes were a direct response to feedback from consumers. “Rather than, ‘I’ve got to lose…some fixed number [of pounds]’,” he says, “it’s ‘I want to be healthier, I want to feel better, I want to look better, I want to be confident.” Both brands also revamped their plans or meals to focus more on whole foods and ingredient quality, and less on calorie counts. Is Jenny Craig going to start providing health coaches armed with motivational mantras and Vitamixes, next?





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Top Fitness Programs in 2016



Fitness reboots aren’t just for January resolutions. Intense fitness programs, which incorporate additional lifestyle elements such as nutrition and health coaching, are getting more popular as a way to ramp up and recommit to health and fitness, with the added gratification of achieving measureable results (like muscle gain, and lost inches). Barre3’s Amy LeClerc says the 100-studio brand sees “steady month-over-month growth in our 28-to-Great program,” which offer a fitness-nutrition combo platter, and their bi-annual Challenges sees the largest influx of new clients “with thousands of people committing to exercise, an eating plan, and other healthy behaviors that go way beyond the month they’ve committed to.”

AKT’s “Transformation Program,” created by founder and celebrity trainer Anna Kaiser, is an 8-week fitness and lifestyle reboot, with participants working out 6 times a week, cleaning up their eating habits with the help of an in-house nutritionist, and learning new skills at special weekly sessions. Other popular programs include Barry’s Bootcamp Academies, Flywheel’s Power Up, and Equinox Training Camp (ETC), a program that combines nutrition, goal-setting, and high-intensity workouts three times a week with the same group of people. In addition to tools for healthier living, these programs also provide the support and accountability that helps people create healthier habits, which is what makes this a hit far beyond the month of January.


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