How to Burn Fat, Day and Night

Michelle wants to lose body fat.

She asks her friends that go to the gym quite frequently and they say to "burn more calories than you take in". Ok, pretty simple, right?

She quickly agrees and buys a Fitbit, a new pair of running shoes, and a Nike workout shirt that says "Just Do It". Oh, she's gonna do it alright! 

The next day, Michelle has a hard boiled egg for breakfast and parks in the furthest spot away from the entrance of her work building. She has a big salad for lunch with grilled chicken and took the stairs instead of the elevator. She even hits the gym after work and walks on the treadmill for 30 minutes!

After a long day of activity, Michelle looks at her FItbit and sees that she burned a whopping 1,200 calories! She has a bowl of multi-grain pasta and goes to bed.

When Michelle wakes up, she feels weak, very sore, and her knees hurt her. She struggles to walk to the bathroom to step on the scale only to see the same number as the day before. But how?!

She moved more, definitely ate less calories, and she even went on the treadmill after work! Ahh! So frustrating!

Today's Lesson: Lower Calories Means Lower Energy. 

Hi all, Carl here and I'd love to tell you exactly what happened here. First and foremost, let me tell you a little bit more about our friend here "the calorie". The calorie has gotten a bad rap for many years now and it's time to scientifically and realistically, dissect this subject.

Lower calories literally mean lower energy. It's like putting gasoline in a car. You put a certain amount in, you burn the gasoline, and you get more when it's all gone. That's it.

With that being said, cutting back your "calories" is cutting back on energy that the body can use to expend. Why would anyone want to do that!? No wonder why Michelle felt so weak and sore the next day.

Michelle was so focused on reducing calories by restricting foods in her diet and burning more calories by moving more but little did she know that her body was at an extremely low caloric state, causing her to experience fatigue, increased muscle soreness, a slower recovery rate, and loss of muscle (a natural, fat burning tissue). She may have thought she had a successful day but I would put money that she wouldn't be able to continue that for 2 more days. She'll see a picture of a slice of pizza, rebel against cutting calories, binge eat, and start again when she feels like it.

This cycle of feeling success and failure, over and over, is not a sustainable way of eating. It's also not healthy, mentally. Focusing your diet strictly on calories leads to lack of energy, increased chances of binge eating, and ultimately leads to higher chance of storing body fat!

One of the first things to understand about food is that our body NEEDS calories because it constantly burns calories (mostly from fat) all of the time, most of it when you're at complete rest! It takes calories to sit down, to eat, to stand, lift a finger, and breathe. You're even burning calories right now reading this awesome post!

But what Michelle lacked was the knowledge of her METABOLISM.

The Science: Understanding Metabolism and Its Thermic Effects

There are three types of ways that your body automatically burns calories. When you completely understand how they work, you can turn your body into a never ending fat-burning furnace that ignites hot and fiery all day long!

#1 The Thermic Effects of Eating

Between 10 and 30 percent of the calories you burn everyday come from the simple act of digesting your food. Now that's pretty cool! Your body actually burns calories when you eat! Your body burns even MORE calories when it attempts to digest protein (about 25 calories burned for every 100 consumed). Just by incorporating more lean protein into your diet, like almond butter, Greek yogurt, grilled chicken, and ground turkey, you'll burn more total calories at the end of the day.

#2 Exercise and Movement

An added 10 to 15 percent of your total calories burned comes from simply moving your muscles, whether you were squatting a 25 pound kettle bell at the gym, catching the bus ride home, or stirring non-fat milk in your coffee. Moving the body costs calories or energy. Period.

In addition, when you gain 1 pound of lean muscle, it takes an extra 50 calories just to keep that muscle alive. So just by gaining 6 pounds of lean muscle, you can burn an extra 300 calories daily. How cool is that?!

#3 Your Basal Metabolism

Your basal, or resting, metabolism refers to the calories you burn when you're doing absolutely nothing. In fact, 60 to 80 percent of your daily calories are burned up just by sitting listening to your music, watching TV, driving to and from work, etc. This is because your body is always changing and is constantly in motion: your heart beats, your lungs are breathing, your cells are dividing all the time, your muscles are growing (when you feed it protein), you even burn calories when you sleep.

You'll begin to understand that most of the calories that you burn on a daily basis don't come from working out or moving more, they come from the physiological functions that you thought would never come from, the thermic affect of eating and your resting metabolism.

Some individuals do have the ability to burn more fat calories at rest. How? They focus on foods that keep their body burning calories all of the time. When they add intense workouts into their weekly routine, it only amplifies the thermic effect of their metabolism. With this approach, they can develop a hotter, fiery, supercharged, fat-burning metabolism! These individuals also probably never look at the calories on a nutrition label, rather they choose foods that will cause a higher and longer thermic effect so that their body continues to keep burning calories throughout the day. Wow, smart!

Yes, there are some people that are born with a genetically "faster" metabolism but that doesn't mean that your metabolism was dealt the crappy hand at birth. There are so many ways to fire up your metabolism and reach its peak before it begins to naturally decline with age.

The Application: How to Supercharge Your Metabolism and Burn Fat, Day and Night

#1 Change the Way You Exercise.

Studies have shown that although more calories can be burned during a 30-minute, steady state running session, individuals that lifted weights for the same time have a longer thermic effect that lasts almost up to 48 hours post workout! This phenomenon is called the after burn - where your body continues to burn calories in the hours and days after a weight lifting workout. Message here: lift weights more often if you want your body to burn calories all day, everyday.

#2 Change the Way That You Eat.

Many diets fail in the American society because they never focus on the single most powerful macronutrient for building muscle and firing up your metabolism: PROTEIN!

Protein, in proportion with foods from other groups, works in two primary ways. First, incorporating more protein in your diet cranks up the thermic effect of digestion by as much as one-third. Second, protein is the main building block for fat-burning muscle.

Studies have shown that consuming protein from lean meat, like tenderloin, burns up to 2 percent more calories during a 24-hour period than protein obtained from soy. Message here: lean animal protein burns more calories just to digest it than a protein coming from a vegetable source.

#3 Change the Way You Think About the Word "Diet"

I honestly hate the word diet. Diet to me means having rules to follow and restricting a nutrient from my food choices. If you're so restricted on what you can eat, you'll eventually act out like a rebellious teen and break all the rules. Rather than focusing on restricting your body of certain foods, focus on how to properly fuel your body to burn calories all the time.

The Take Away: Stop Counting Calories, Just Understand How To Burn Them All The Time

For years, maybe all of your life, you've probably had one notion about what dieting needs to be. Restrict your foods, eat like a super-model, sweat on a treadmill, and you'll lose body fat. In reality, those were the reasons why you couldn't lose the weight in the first place. Its the reason why you gained back what you lost.

Our approach to nutrition at Empyrea Group Training is to reprogram circuitry. You'll stop thinking of every calorie and start thinking about how to best burn calories all of the time. Once you master that, your body will be well equipped with all the tools it needs to fire on all cylinders, strip away unwanted body fat, day and night, and show off those sexy abs that lie underneath!

How to Take the Stress Out of Summer!

Hello Empyreans!

Carl Here and I'm here to shed some light on something that is putting more unwanted pounds on you faster than eating Moose Tracks ice cream smashed between 2 chocolate chip cookies (oh yea...) and that my friends, is STRESS.

Lets Go Back in Time Real Quick...

In the prehistoric ages (like cavemen era), there were only 2 known MAJOR stresses that the human body experienced and they were...

1. Don't get eaten by animals higher than you on the food chain.

Survival makes the body move.

Survival makes the body move.

2. Hunt enough animals lower than you on the food chain to survive long winters.

And Fast Forward...

Now, in modern society, we probably experience all different kinds of stresses every minute of everyday. If you live in America, you know that this is true. The same feelings of stress are now triggered by all different kinds of stress now!

For example, being stuck in traffic and the thought of being late for work, children and working your butt off to pay (a yearly increasing) college tuition, when you look at yourself in the mirror and wondering if you're in control of your health, paying rent or a mortgage, trying to be appreciated or desired, and last but not least trying to distress yourself for the summer and you find yourself working just as hard! The list can go on forever but when do you ever catch a break nowadays!  

The summer begs lazy days and trying to unwind. The reality is that we're working, balancing family obligation,s and trying to take vacations – which seem almost non-existent in corporate America. Some may even replaced the term "work-life balance" with "work-life integration." Their thinking? There is no more balance. We are working all the time, whether if its at the office or at the beach. 

Its hard to unplug nowadays!

Its hard to unplug nowadays!

The Magical Power of Visualization

The most effective and powerful communicators and leaders know how to decompress and find ways to release tension. These are some very simple yet incredibly impactful tips which can be applied to a host of business and life situations.

Let's say you're trying to leave on a seven-day vacation with your family. But at the office there are reports to be completed, clients to be updated, 200 emails to answer, and four more meetings than there are hours left in the day. Your to-do list is longer than your arm.

Stop and Try This

Close your eyes, take two deep breaths and imagine you are at the beach. Hear the surf, and feel the sand between your toes and the sun on your skin. Why the beach? The warmth of the sun, the white noise of the waves, the smell of the surf, the feel of sand between your toes. In other words, four of your five senses will become involved in this imaginary excursion. (If you want all five, imagine eating an orange, or something else juicy and delicious.)



Why do this? If you can truly put yourself in this imaginary "play" – your mindset will shift and hopefully put you in a different, less tense state. By enlivening the five senses, by shifting focus, by creating a mental image that engages the mental "body" summer vacation will come early.

Mind Over Matter

The ability to alter your mind to minimize the internal feelings of stress is a powerful tool for business and life. Recent studies have shown that it is not stress itself that is damaging to our health, but our opinion about stress. Those who think stress is bad have increased restriction in their blood vessels, which is indeed damaging over the long haul. But those who see stress as a part of life, a welcome challenge, nothing to be worried about, a strength or character booster seem to suffer far fewer physical effects.

We know so little about the impact of the mind on the body. I recall reading about a study years ago where a smell was associated with the delivery of a pain-reducing drug. Later, those who had associated the smell with the drug merely needed to smell the same scent for their pain to be reduced. I do not know, but have often wondered if perhaps they reached the point where just imagining the smell had the same effect.

Bring Summer, Wherever, Whenever

What I do know is we all tend to get stuck in the same mental ruts as we do physical ones. We think the same tired, and perhaps stress-inducing, thoughts over and over, and rarely give ourselves the time and space to play with our thoughts in the same way. For example, we'll give ourselves a break from routine by playing a sport. Why not?

Listen to this and play imagination!

Why not bring summer into winter? Why not spend a few solitary moments imagining sitting under your favorite tree, feeling a breeze, listening to birds and smelling the grass? Why not bring summer vacation a few days early? What might happen? You may just find that by allowing yourself a few moments of imaginary play, when you do reenter the stress of work and deadlines and meetings, they're not nearly as onerous as they seemed before.

Other Ways to Filter Stress

There are 2 other ways that can help significantly reduce stress.

1. Exercising intensely at Empyrea Group Training.

2. Getting great sleep.

Exercising and deep sleep has been shown to filter stress hormones that have been built up through a long day and releases feel-good neurotransmitters, called endorphins.

Sleep is the only time our bodies has to recharge the batteries. If were are always running low on energy, we're always stressed about being tired. Try your hardest to get more sleep!

We Hate Stress!

Stress stinks, Empyrea works.

Stress stinks, Empyrea works.

Our workouts get pretty intense but the best part about them is that anyone can do them. Whether its your first time or you're just simply looking to take your workout to the next level. All of our exercises are modifiable for all fitness levels! Ask our clients!

If you want to relieve some stress, burn body fat, build lean muscle, and get better sleep; easily sign up to one of our classes here.

Always Dedicated to Your Success,

Carl Anthony Grande

Blueberry & Cucumber Smoothie Recipe

Hey Empyreans!

Justin Here!

I wanted to share with you this great Blueberry and Cucumber smoothie recipe.  This should taste great on a hot day, and will make you feel energized and healthy as well!


Blueberry Cucumber Smoothie Recipe

Serves 3


2 large cucumbers, peeled and diced

1 cup coconut milk

1 cup frozen blueberries

1 tbsp lemon juice


1 Scoop of Vanilla Whey or Flavorless Protein Powder 

Great for Pre or Post Workout with added protein!

All you ever need to prepare this smoothie is a good blender.

Throw all the ingredients in, blend until smooth, and your smoothie is ready to enjoy!

If you would like to discuss your OWN nutrition and feel like you are ready to make a positive change on your own lifestyle, contact me!

Here for All of Your Nutritional Needs!

Justin Marrone

To Caffeine or Not to Caffeine, That is the Question.

Hello Empyreans!

Carl here and I hope everyone has started the week off on a healthy foot!

With all of the hustle and bustle that comes with the fast paced lifestyle of the East Coast, tourists shouldn't be surprised why there is a Starbucks within every mile in New York City. Caffeine is what gets the people goin'!

Caffeine has also been shown to significantly improve performance during tough workouts. In recent studies, simply downing a cup of coffee before you lace up your kicks can help you get more out of your workouts by boosting your metabolism, fire you up into the right mindset, pump blood faster into working muscles, deliver messages faster to muscles from the brain, and delay time to onset fatigue according to a recent Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness study.

What is Caffeine?

Did you know that caffeine is actually classified as a psychoactive drug?! The FDA classifies caffeine as "generally recognized as safe" (GRAS). Caffeine is the world's most widely consumed psychoactive drug but unlike many other psychoactive substances, it is legal and unregulated in nearly all parts of the world.

Benefits of Caffeine

The first thing most Americans think of when they rise in the morning is having that first cup of coffee to start your day. I don't blame you! Indeed, the most commonly cited benefit of caffeine is its ability to make you more alert, improve your concentration, boost your energy, and improve your physical performance.

Caffeine is used to treat conditions, such as headaches and migraines, to temporarily relieve fatigue and drowsiness. In a review of the literature on the health effects of caffeine in the “IFIC Review,” the International Food Information Council Foundation reported that caffeine might help reduce risk of several chronic diseases, such as diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, liver disease and colorectal cancer. In addition, as an antioxidant, caffeine also might improve your immune function.

Side Effects of Caffeine

Even though there are many benefits that come from caffeine, there are some side effects when consumed in excess.

Excessive caffeine consumption can make you jittery, restless, anxious and irritable. Too much caffeine can also cause insomnia and poor sleeping when consumed late in the day. In some cases, too much caffeine can induce headaches and abnormal heart rhythms. Since caffeine is also a diuretic, you may make more trips to the bathroom than usual, and because of this, it can leave you chronically dehydrated. 

Caffeine Addiction and Withdrawal

Another side effect of caffeine intake is your ability to get hooked on the substance, which in turn causes severe symptoms when you stop taking it. Caffeine, “in the context of adrenaline and dopamine production,” provides senses of “lift and pleasure,” according to a paper published by Harvard Law School.


As caffeine metabolizes, adrenaline and dopamine diminish, causing fatigue, depression, and a craving for another dose. The cycle of repeated caffeine intake is called caffeinism, and can lead to adrenal fatigue. When you try to stop, you might endure withdrawal. As your caffeine levels drop, your blood vessels dilate, causing headaches as excess blood flows into your brain. You also might experience severe drowsiness and mood disturbances as you come off of caffeine.

 Here's a breakdown of caffeine levels of average servings and amounts of caffeine in coffee and tea.


Brewed8 oz. (237 mL)95-200 mg

Brewed, decaffeinated8 oz. (237 mL)2-12 mg

Brewed, single-serve varieties8 oz. (237 mL)75-150 mg

Brewed, single-serve varieties, decaffeniated8 oz. (237 mL)2-4 mg

Espresso, restaurant-style1 oz. (30 mL)47-75 mg

Espresso, restaurant-style, decaffeinated1 oz. (30 mL)0-15 mg

Instant8 oz. (237 mL)27-173 mg

Instant, decaffeinated8 oz. (237 mL)2-12 mg

Specialty drink (latte or mocha)8 oz. (237 mL)63-175 mg


Brewed tea  

Black tea8 oz. (237 mL)14-70 mg

Black tea, decaffeinated8 oz. (237 mL)0-12 mg

Green tea8 oz. (237 mL)24-45 mg

Iced tea  

Instant, prepared with water8 oz. (237 mL)11-47 mg

Ready-to-drink, bottled8 oz. (237 mL)5-40 mg

How to Get the Most Out of Caffeine

Up to 400 milligrams (mg) of caffeine a day appears to be safe for most healthy adults. That's almost having four cups of coffee everyday. Try to consume all caffeinated beverages before 5pm to reduce chances of delaying sleep unless you're working out at night and you need a little "pick me up" before stepping into the gym.

Try to switch caffeinated beverages every now and then. Green tea has shown to have a small amount of caffeine in it. If you're looking for that night time caffeine fix, go for a cup of less potent hot green tea instead.

If you're consuming caffeine before a workout, have it at least 30 minutes before. This will give ample time for the benefits of caffeine to rev up (and time to go to the bathroom) just in time for your first set.

Replace the same amount of your caffeinated beverage with water right after to prevent chronic dehydration. This is a helpful tip to replace the water the caffeine will dispose from your body.

If you're a coffee drinker, drink your coffee through a straw to prevent staining your teeth. Coffee is very acidic and it will start to kill the help enamel that keep your pearly whites, pearly white. The straw will also cool the coffee as it reaches your mouth resulting in NO MORE BURNT TONGUES!

Caffeine the Savior!

Caffeine is a stimulant. It will make you more alert, give you the perception of high amounts of energy, increase your blood flow and focus, delay fatigue, improve your mood, and the list goes on.

Too much of anything is bad for you but when you consume caffeine in safe amounts it can benefit your health, support fat loss, and elevate the performance of your workouts.

See the difference in the outcome of your workout with some caffeine pumping in your system. Big difference!

Always Dedicated to Your Success,

Carl Anthony Grande

The Cost of Getting Lean: Is it REALLY Worth it?

Hey Empyreans!

Justin here!

I hope you are all having a healthy week! 

I wanted to take a moment to share with you some incredible information about the different stages and phases of "getting lean", and all of the physical, psychological, and behavioral changes and sacrifices that each level requires. 

This piece was written by Ryan Andrews and Brian St. Pierre of Precision Nutrition. Alongside Precision Nutrition co-creator, John Berardi, PhD, these two contributors (Ryan Andrews and Brian St. Pierre) are a wealth of knowledge from the vast amounts of research they have conducted over the years. Ryan Andrews holds two Master's degrees and is a Registered Dietitian to top it off. Bottom line: They know what they are talking about.

Please click on the link below to read all about what it really takes to become lean, and hopefully you will walk away from this with a new perspective on your own goals and lifestyle habits.

The Cost of Getting Lean - CLICK HERE TO READ

If you want to speak with me about the Empyrea Nutrition Program, please email me! I learned from the best - Precision Nutrition. 

Here for All of Your Nutritional Needs!

Justin Marrone

5 Habits That Hurt Your Sleep and Make You Gain Weight

Happy Humpday Empyreans! Carl Here!

“You snooze, you lose” takes on a whole different meaning when it comes to losing unwanted body fat.

Sleep is essential for your muscles to grow and function properly, and if you’re like most Americans, you’re not getting nearly enough. According to a national survey, 75 percent of Americans aren’t getting enough sleep—5.68 hours of restful sleep on average—and 58 percent of people polled wish they knew how to increase those nighttime numbers. Maybe that’s why recent numbers have 66.3 percent of our population categorized as overweight or obese.

Stressed out all the time?! Sleep!

Stressed out all the time?! Sleep!

There is good news: getting more sleep can help you drop unwanted pounds of fat and gain considerable amounts of muscle mass. If that’s not as simple for you as crawling into bed a little earlier, these bad habits might be keeping you from getting the hours you need to shake those stubborn pounds clinging to your frame.

Adjust your evening routine and get plenty of healthy weight-loss foods, and you’ll be dropping pounds in no time!

1. Eating a Big Meal Before Bed

While you shouldn’t go to bed starving (that presents its own sleep-busting problems), you also shouldn’t hit the sack completely stuffed. When you eat a large meal before bed, your body is working to digest it long into the night — and if your body is still worked up, so are you. The later you fall asleep, the less rest you’ll get, and you’ll wake up feeling groggy and more likely to reach for calorie-dense items like these unhealthy breakfast foods.

Healthy Tip to Avoid Late Night Binging:

  Instead of eating a monster meal for dinner, try to keep portions about the same as your breakfast and lunch, especially if you eat dinner on the later side. “Dinner size will vary per person, but aim to eat more slowly to allow your stomach and brain to communicate the message that you're full and it's time to stop eating,” says Isabel Smith, MS, RD, CDN, registered dietitian and founder of Isabel Smith Nutrition. “You want to eat your last meal at least an hour or two before going to bed,” she adds.

2. Eating Chocolate

Don’t get us wrong; chocolate has a lot going for it. In fact, any bar that contains at least 70% cacao is one of our favorite low-sugar snacks or desserts because of its high concentration of antioxidants and stress-busting abilities.

Unfortunately, if eaten too late that chocolate could be the reason you can’t fall asleep. Dark chocolate contains caffeine, which can prevent your body from shutting down when you want it to if you’re sensitive to the compound.

Healthy Tip to Avoid Being Wired:

Chocolate bars have varying amounts of caffeine, but an average two-ounce, 70 percent dark chocolate bar contains around 79 milligrams. For reference, an eight-ounce cup of coffee contains around 145 milligrams. If you know you’re sensitive to caffeine, but don’t want to ditch the dark chocolate completely, try savoring your sweet treat earlier on in the night or cutting down on portions.

3. Exercising Too Late

Regular workouts have been found to help ease sleepless nights, but hitting the gym too late can mess with your body clock. Exercising close to bedtime—within about two hours—can energize your body so much that it may not be able to wind down when it’s time to call it a night.

2:30am ...better than being at a bar and drinking booze!

2:30am ...better than being at a bar and drinking booze!

Healthy Tip to Avoid Exercising Too Late:

If you’re not a morning person, try to exercise right after work or midday if your schedule allows. That way, you can head home, eat dinner, and relax knowing you’ll be able to fall fast asleep when the time comes. If you’re stuck at the office really late, you’re better off skipping your workout for the night and hitting the hay early. If your body gets the rest it needs you’re more likely to stay on track with your healthy eating and workouts in the days that follow.

4. Late Night Screen Time

Let your phone charge, so you have a chance to recharge, too. The light from screens on your phone or tablet actually suppresses the sleep-inducing hormone melatonin. Resist turning on the tube, too. Watching your favorite late night shows stimulate your mind and can make it harder for you to shut down.

Try dimming your phone’s brightness as much as possible to minimize melatonin suppression!

Try dimming your phone’s brightness as much as possible to minimize melatonin suppression!

Healthy Tip to Avoid Excessive Screen Time:

If you can’t stop trolling Instagram before you attempt to nod off, try dimming your phone’s brightness as much as possible to minimize melatonin suppression. However, the best thing you can do is put the device away and limit your time spent using it before bedtime. Start by shutting down at least 20 minutes before bed, and if you can, increase the time gap between screen time and bedtime each night until you put the phone away one to two hours before you turn in.

5. Not Packing Your Lunch

Preparation is what weight loss plans rely on, and failing to plan ahead could be why you can’t shake those pesky pounds. Forgetting to pack your lunch or high-protein snacks the night before means you have to navigate the office cafeteria or surrounding casual food spots when the lunch hour hits — and hope they post nutrition information...

Healthy Tip to Prep Food:

Use your Sunday evenings to cook food for the week ahead, or at least the next few days. Things like chicken breast, grilled veggies, or lentil and quinoa salads are easy to make in big batches, and you can spread them out throughout the week. To make things even easier, portion the food out into containers as soon as you’re done cooking so that you can grab one and run in the morning.

6. Pouring a Glass of Wine

Wine is touted as the “healthy” alcoholic drink due to its resveratrol content—a plant compound that has been linked to heart-healthy benefits. However, what you may not realize is that your evening glass of wine is considered a high-sugar beverage according to Smith, and drinking too much can hinder your ability to snooze. Alcohol in general negatively influences sleep quality. It may feel like that nightly glass of wine is relaxing you and helping you fall asleep faster, but it actually prevents your body from fully indulging in its REM (Rapid Eye Movement) cycle, which is where truly restful sleep and dreaming occurs.

Drink herbal tea, like chamomile, to relax and wind you down before bed, not alcohol!

Drink herbal tea, like chamomile, to relax and wind you down before bed, not alcohol!

Healthy Tip to Control Wine Drinking:

Try swapping out your glass of vino for a soothing cup of herbal tea before bed — your waistline will thank you, too. If you can knock the alcohol a night, you’ll slash quite a few calories from your total for the day, which will lead to even greater fitness gains. But if you can’t ditch the wine all together, try to enjoy a glass earlier in the night—about two hours before bedtime—to avoid sleep disruption, and close the home bar after one or two glasses — tops.

7. Eating Spicy Foods

Spicy foods may rev up your metabolism, but they’re also ruining your chances at falling asleep. According to Smith, spices like cayenne and Tabasco not only boost metabolism, but also get your blood flowing, which can be bothersome for some before bed.

Healthy Tip Around Spicy Foods:

Eat your spices earlier on in the day and stick to flavoring with herbs at night. Or, if you leave a few hours between your last meal and bed—especially if it’s on the spicier side—you’ll be able to avoid issues when you hit the lights later.

There You Have It!

Try your very hardest to avoid or greatly reduce these 5 habits if you feel like you do them on a daily basis. Sleep is very important for many reasons. Its the only time when the body can shut down and truly recharge itself. If these habits suppress this process it will be very hard to reach any fitness goal regardless of how well you eat or how intense your workouts are. Always remember this saying:

"Muscles are torn in the gym, fed in the kitchen, and grown in bed."

You'll see a big difference in size, energy, and mood when the appropriate amount of sleep is acquired every night. Sleep, besides exercise, is the only true way your body can buffer out all of the fat-storing, stress hormones that get built up in the body throughout the course of the day. So do us a favor PLEAZZZZ and catch some ZZZZZZZ's.

Always Dedicated to Your Success,

Carl Anthony Grande

11 Things You Didn't Know That Are Sabotaging Your Results!

Happy Saturday Empyreans!

If you’ve hit a plateau and are no longer seeing results from your workouts, it’s not because you ate too much at lunch, or because you are just not an early riser.

Sure, diet and exercise consistency matter, but there may be other habits that are interfering with your goals. Habits that you don’t even realize are sabotaging your efforts. To make sure you’re getting the most from each sweat session, watch out for these 11 things that are sabotaging your results!

1. You're... Too Monotonous

If you find yourself doing the same workout routines—with the same weight—and spending hours in the gym with no results, it’s time to take it up a notch. There are plenty of ways to change up a routine without creating a brand new one.

For example, one way is to limit rest periods between each set. If you're taking a 2 minute break in between sets, shorten them to 1 minute,,, or even 30 seconds!  Or you can also superset exercises; meaning doing 2 different exercises that target the same muscle group. This will really get that burn your looking for, ensure maximum blood flow to the working muscles, and improve your cardiovascular system all at the same time.

Limit your rest time between sets and feel the difference during and after your workout!!

Limit your rest time between sets and feel the difference during and after your workout!!

Not only will you get the job done quicker, you'll also create a longer lasting, fat burning effect that continues long after you complete your workout!

2. You're... Doing Workouts You Hate

We highly recommend to never attempt a workout you hate because you feel like you have to workout. If your schedule is filled with workouts you don’t like, the chances that you end up skipping them (and injury) increases greatly!

There are so many different types of effective exercise programs and classes out there (swimming, rock climbing, dancing, one-on-one training, boxing, Spinning, yoga, etc.) so find something—or better yet, a handful of things— you love and get your sweat on! And don’t totally neglect one type of training just because it’s not your favorite. Instead, find a way to do it that feels good for you.

3. You're... Starting with the Wrong Mindset

Many folks psych themselves out before their workout regimen even begins. The ‘I’m not ready yet,’ or ‘I have to get fit before I can go to the gym,’ mentality is the biggest saboteur that I’ve encountered in my professional experience. There is no "perfect" time. If you wait for the "perfect" time, most likely it will already be too late. The "perfect" time is right now.

Conversely, other folks jump out of the gates too hard and fast. In an attempt to make up for lost time or to make quick gains, they find themselves overworked and often times injured thereby relegating themselves back to the sidelines.

If you find yourself thinking these things, remember to remind yourself one day at a time, one gain at a time.

4. You're... Always Taking the Same Class

If you have one hour to dedicate to working out, don’t do the same thing every day. Your body ends up adapting to the same routine and you stop seeing results. Instead, find workouts that are constantly varied and incorporate both strength and conditioning, like our HIIT classes, which will maximize your results with quick bursts of all-out effort.

Every workout is different and programs change monthly. The only thing that doesn't change is how awesome the workouts are! Boom!

Every workout is different and programs change monthly. The only thing that doesn't change is how awesome the workouts are! Boom!

Yoga and mobility classes also help with flexibility and can keep you injury-free. Participate in workouts that challenge your body and take you to higher fitness levels, like ours!

5. You're... Winging It

If you want to see results and maintain them, consistency is key. Your long-term fitness relies on regular exercise, not just a few hardcore weeks before a beach vacation.

To make your workouts add up to real results, make a plan. You wouldn't go on a long road trip without a map or GPS, right? You need a plan or some sort of direction to keep you on track. It's also perfect for times you start to fall off track for a bit. At least you know where and when on that plan you can jump back in.

Winging it will increase the chance that you'll give up entirely, leading to more wasted time and efforts.

6. You're... Only Thinking About the Exercises

I cannot stress how important it is to fuel your body for your workouts—pre-workout, post-workout and throughout your day. Think of your body as a machine that needs fuel to run and it’s your job to pump it with efficient nutrition.

A good way to think of your nutrition is as a complete lifestyle change rather than ‘dieting’. Consistency is what gets results—with nutrition and workouts—and that turns into a lifestyle. We have to set ourselves up for success and that starts with fueling properly.

"You ate whattttttt??" hahaha love this picture! Our nutrition expert Justin Marrone giving one of our clients an awesome nutrition consultation. This guy is the best!

"You ate whattttttt??" hahaha love this picture! Our nutrition expert Justin Marrone giving one of our clients an awesome nutrition consultation. This guy is the best!

That's why we strive to have the best nutritional guidance included with our training because we know the importance of exercise nutrition and why you'll need to make it a lifestyle change in order to really SEE the results you want.

7. You're... Skipping a Warm-Up

I can honestly say that the warm-up before a workout is sometimes almost as important, if not more, important than the workout itself! Why? Well for one thing you wouldn't roll out of bed and start doing push ups, right? It's the same concept when you hit a workout without warming up.

The warm up needs to be a transitional phase from "rest" to "physical activity". Warming up will get your mentality on point and focused, it will improve blood flow throughout the body, ready the muscles to receive impact, and increase your overall core temperature to fire up the metabolic effects of working out.

Here at Empyrea, you'll never catch us at a workout without a proper dynamic warm up to start it off!

8. You're... Treating Yourself Post-Workout

It's ok to treat yourself after working out, if that was the intended plan. Don't treat yourself after every workout, especially if you're trying to hit a fitness goal!

Hahahaha love this!

Hahahaha love this!

Instead, use your post-workout treat as a reward for when you've reached a short-term goal or when you've been really consistent with your workouts. At least now, while your enjoying those slices of pizza or pint of ice cream, your caloric deficit will be deep enough to not harm your results. If it's after every workout, you'll just stay exactly the same and waste a lot of time and precious efforts.

9. You're... Not Logging Enough Sleep

One of the biggest obstacles I see with my clients—and admittedly, often myself—when it comes to overall health, is lack of sleep. Most of my clients live very busy lives and sleeping often gets pushed to the back of their lengthy to-do lists.

Sleep is a HUGE part of seeing amazing results. No sleep, no GAINZ!

Sleep is a HUGE part of seeing amazing results. No sleep, no GAINZ!

Then they wonder why they feel so fatigued during and after their workouts, why their performance is declining or why they are getting injured. Sleep is critical for strength and recovery. You need to give your body a chance to rest, reset, and recover in order to get stronger and stay consistent.

10. You're... Failing to Be Present

One of the greatest things about exercising—but also one of the most essential and commonly forgotten elements—is that you can leave your day at the door. When you’re at the gym you should be focused on your workout, but that’s easier said than done when you’ve got something intense going on at work or in your relationship.

Talk about grinding my gears! Don't be  that  person... please.

Talk about grinding my gears! Don't be that person... please.

When our minds start to drift back to whatever is weighing on us, the muscles stop engaging as deeply as they should. So when it comes time for working out, try your best to focus on what’s happening in the moment. Put on your headphones, play your favorite playlist loud, and get the job done! Or join our classes where we do all of that for you! All you have to do is show up!

11. You're... Forgetting to Cool it Down

The number one thing I see clients doing that sabotages their workouts is skipping a cool-down. The purpose of your cool-down should be to help lower your heart rate and to stretch the body while the muscles are still warm after a workout.

This will assist your body in recovering more quickly and efficiently, which translates to higher chances of consistency and better athletic performance. We also recommend foam rolling post-workout to break down any scar tissue and muscle adhesions that get built up from working out. Don't know what that is? Try Empyrea out for a MONTH and find out because we always stretch and foam roll after every workout! 

You can get 1 massage every month at a Massage Envy or we can show you how you can give yourself the best massage you've ever had... every session.

You can get 1 massage every month at a Massage Envy or we can show you how you can give yourself the best massage you've ever had... every session.

There You Have It!

Yes, your exercise routine and nutrition are super crucial, don't get me wrong, but there are so many other little  things that you can change to your current routine that will give you great results. A sound training program and nutrition plan will only accelerate the whole process. At Empyrean, we have that sound training program and nutrition plan you need to SEE the results you desire.

See, feel, and know the difference with Empyrea! No selfies here, all business!

See, feel, and know the difference with Empyrea! No selfies here, all business!

Feel free to try us out for a whole MONTH and see why it really is the BEST!...Oh yea, every purchase is backed with a 30-day Money Back Guarantee so if you don't like it or its not for you, we'll gladly give you back every penny because we're cool like that ;)

Always Dedicated to Your Success,

Carl Anthony Grande

5 Reasons Why Your Muscles Are Disappearing - And How to Stop It!

Hello Empyreans!

Carl Here!

So you hit the gym (pretty) regularly. You eat clean (most of the time). But when you look in the mirror, you notice drooping skin and fat where you once saw firm upper arms and sleek thighs.

As dismaying as it is, shrinking muscles are more than a vanity issue. Diminished strength equals a decreased quality of life. Minus strength, everything is more difficult: Doing chores, going for walks—simply living life to its fullest becomes a challenge.

Though it doesn't command headlines the way osteoporosis does, a condition called sarcopenia causes muscle mass to slowly shrink with age—to the tune of about 1% per year after age 40, says Doug Paddon-Jones, PhD, a professor at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston. And certain things you do (or don't do) in the kitchen, at the gym, or between the sheets can accelerate the process.

Here, 5 surprising muscle-wasters, and how to reverse them before it's too late.

1. You're Back-Loading Your Protein.

Imagine, for a minute, heading up a home construction project. How successful would you be if your building supplies arrived on the last day? When you start your day with high-carb choices like toast or a sugary breakfast cereal and cap it off with a huge serving of meat or plant protein at dinner, you're essentially waiting till the last minute to provide your body most of its key muscle-building materials.

In a small study published in The Journal of Nutrition, Paddon-Jones asked a group of participants to consume 90 grams of protein per day, split two different ways. When they ate 30 grams each for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, they showed a 25% greater increase in protein muscle synthesis—the first step toward repairing and building new muscle—than when their protein intake was skewed to later in the day (10 grams at breakfast, 15 at lunch, 65 for dinner).

Try replacing some of the carbs in your breakfast with Greek yogurt or eggs to help spread your protein more evenly throughout the day, suggests Paddon-Jones. No time to cook in the morning? Try one of these 7 Classic Breakfasts Turned Into Smoothies, instead. And plan to get some protein—say, 10 to 15 grams—within 30 to 60 minutes of your workouts to maximize their muscle-building power.

2. You're Passing Over the Produce Aisle.

Protein reigns supreme as a muscle-building macronutrient. But protein-rich foods such as meat, fish, and cheese—along with refined grains and salt—create acids inside your body that can start to eat away at muscle over time, notes a review article on diet and sarcopenia in the journal Osteoporosis International.

Fortunately, Mother Nature has provided a cure, says study co-author Ambrish Mithal, MD, of Medanta Medicity in Gurgaon, India. Fruits and vegetables supply potassium and magnesium that buffer these acids and protect your muscle tissue. What's more, antioxidants in leafy greens and bright berries fight reactive oxygen species that can damage muscle fibers over time. Aim for at least 3 cups of vegetables and 2 cups of fruit per day, Mithal advises. (Start with these 26 in-season foods and tasty ways to eat them.)

3. You Aren't Stepping Up Your Body Work.

You know you need some type of strengthening exercise to build muscle. But lift the same 5-pound dumbbells day after day, week after week, and you’ll plateau or even backslide, as the effects of age take over. "Muscles need continual overload to respond and get stronger," says Paul Gordon, PhD, professor and chair of health, human performance and recreation at Baylor University in Waco, Texas and co-author of a recent research review on resistance training and aging in The American Journal of Medicine.

It's what exercise experts call "progression," and it means increasing the difficulty of your workout as you get stronger. If you're brand-new to strength training, start with one day a week of moves that target your major muscle groups—legs, hips, back, abs, chest, shoulders, and arms—using weights that you can lift comfortably 15 to 20 times, Gordon advises. That way, you'll learn the motions safely.

Over time, increase the frequency and intensity of your workout until you're hitting every major muscle group twice per week with weights you can lift only 10 to 12 times. Once that 12th rep feels easy, you'll need to increase the challenge, says Gordon: Choose heavier dumbbells, body bars, or ankle weights to preserve your results. Be sure to include these 5 Essential Strength-Training Moves Every Woman Needs in their workout routine.

4. You're Skimping on Sleep.

Pumping iron is just part of the equation: You also need downtime afterward so your body can repair and build new muscle. Most of this recovery happens during sleep, says Matthew Edlund, MD, director of the Center for Circadian Medicine in Sarasota, Florida, and author of The Power of Rest—especially the deep stages, when your body releases muscle-building human growth hormone.

Guidelines just released by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine advise adults to log at least 7 hours per day. But some people need even more. If you conk out the minute your head hits the pillow, you're not getting enough, says Shelby Harris, PsyD, director of the Behavioral Sleep Medicine Program at Montefiore Medical Center in Bronx, NE. Count backward from when you need to get up and book your bedtime like you would any other important appointment, setting aside the hour beforehand for quiet time so you can wind down.

Harris suggests a family electronic curfew during that hour—even going so far as to put phones, laptops, and tablets in a box and creating a relaxing routine with books, music, or a warm bath instead.

5. You're Heading Straight to the Bar After Barre.

A demanding sweat session can leave you feeling like you've earned that beer or glass of vino. But taking a belt immediately post-workout can interfere with your body's recovery process, meaning you might not reap the rewards of all your hard work.

Booze can disrupt the flow of hormones that prompt your body to produce new muscle proteins, says Matthew Barnes, PhD, of Massey University in New Zealand. Plus, it can interfere with the normal inflammatory process your body uses to repair and strengthen muscle fibers.

You don't have to teetotal to preserve muscle mass, Barnes says. Just wait an hour or so—or toast first with a non-alcoholic beverage and a post-workout snack containing protein and carbohydrate—so that your body has a chance to begin building new muscle. Once you've rehydrated and refueled, you can celebrate with a glass of the good stuff.

Kind of Makes Sense Now Right?

Look, the past is in the past, what's done is done.

The question is what are you going to do better tomorrow?

This is your journey. Not your mom's, not your sister's, not your best friends', it's yours. Of course some things may seem hard to do or you just think that you can't do it.

Well let me tell you something, that is all false and it's made up through the perception of your mind. It's not real. It's fake. You made that up and you're keeping it on replay. Most likely, you didn't even try yet. So try!

Moral of the Story:

Nothing changes for the better until you have a conscious will to try to be better.

Always Dedicated to Your Success,

Carl Grande

Why are Vitamins and Supplements Important?

Hello Empyreans!


Justin here! We know the world of supplements and vitamins can be overwhelming - but we have tried to make it easy for you! Please read below!

Vitamins and Supplements 101

Below is a list of essential supplements (vitamins, minerals, meal replacement, etc.) that you should always have on-hand. These will help “fill in the gaps” on days or weeks that you do not have ample amounts coming in from your diet or that your body cannot produce on it’s own.

Even if your diet is impeccable, it’s likely that you’re still missing out on some key nutrients. Food today is often grown in nutrient-poor soil, then highly refined and processed before hitting the supermarket shelves. Add in the stressors of modern life which, when they become chronic, can deplete essential nutrients.

Fortunately, the following supplements can fill in nutritional gaps and optimize your body’s ability to thrive no matter what life throws your way.


·      Multivitamin – Gives you all the critical nutrients you need. Helps body convert food you eat into better, more stable energy. Significantly lowers the risk of a heart attack. Improves wellbeing. Provides energy. 

Empyrea Recommends "Ultimate Man & Ultimate Woman" from Vitamin Shoppe

Empyrea Recommends "Ultimate Man & Ultimate Woman" from Vitamin Shoppe


·      Omega-3 Supplement – Boost brain function, modulate mood, protect heart and arteries, fight wrinkles, protect vision, and lubricate joints (Fish or Krill oil).

Empyrea Recommends "Mega Red 1,000mg Krill Oil"

Empyrea Recommends "Mega Red 1,000mg Krill Oil"


·      Green foods/Alkalizer powder/pills – Only 10-20% of adults get the recommended 9 servings of fruits and vegetables per day. This powder will help balance out your bodies Ph levels and eliminate toxins. It’s filled with antioxidants, enzymes and pre/pro-biotic, all of which help the body in maintaining immunity and defense, and aid in digestion. (Empyrea recommends Garden of Life “Perfect Food” – Energizer – Raw Organic Green Super Food). 1-2 scoops in a shaker bottle with water per day for all of the benefits.

Empyrea Recommends "Perfect Food Energizer" by Garden of Life

Empyrea Recommends "Perfect Food Energizer" by Garden of Life


·      Vitamin C – Protection against immune system deficiencies, cardiovascular disease, prenatal health problems, eye disease, and skin wrinkling.

Empyrea Recommends "Vitamin C 1000mg" 

Empyrea Recommends "Vitamin C 1000mg" 


·      Vitamin D – Builds strong bones and teeth, enhances immune function, reduces type 2 diabetes risk, arthritis, cognitive decline, depression, and some types of cancer. Up to 50% of adults are deficient and twice as likely to die prematurely than those with higher blood levels of the vitamin.

Empyrea Recommends "Vitamin D3 5000"

Empyrea Recommends "Vitamin D3 5000"


·      Zinc – Zinc deficiency can greatly impair immune system function. Zinc helps to fight cancerous cells, properly synthesize DNA, and help heal wounds. Zinc helps prevent osteoporosis, AMD, and vision loss as well.  It can also prevent or treat pneumonia.

Empyrea Recommends "Zinc 50mg" 

Empyrea Recommends "Zinc 50mg" 


·      Protein powder – This is essential for success in reaching your fat loss and muscle building goals. Whey protein (our recommended version of protein which comes from milk) helps build and preserve lean muscle, burn body fat, curb hunger, increase strength, increase immunity, reduce stress, fight cancer and aid in recovery from intense exercise! The list can go on. Whey is the fastest and most easily absorbing and digested protein, which is why we suggest it over other forms. For those of you who are sensitive to dairy products, Whey Isolate protein (a little more expensive) has an even higher filtration process, nearly eliminating all of the lactose.  Otherwise, just stick to a Whey Concentrate. We recommend plant-based protein for vegans or as an alternative to Whey.

Empyrea Recommends "Isopure low and zero carb" by Nature's Best

Empyrea Recommends "Isopure low and zero carb" by Nature's Best


·      Electrolyte Drops – These drops help you to stay hydrated, keep muscles working in top condition, and recover quickly following exertion. Add the recommended dosage to a bottle of water after your gym session (come in different flavors) – These provide balanced ions of magnesium, potassium, sodium and chloride without the added carbs and sugars of a sports drink. These can be purchased at any pharmacy or grocery store, usually in the water isle.

Empyrea Recommends "Powerade ZERO Drops" 

Empyrea Recommends "Powerade ZERO Drops" 


·      CLA – Conjugated Linoleic Acid – A potent antioxidant that comes from dairy products and meat. A deficiency may cause fat gain; CLA has been known to be a “natural” fat burner. CLA also helps prevent lean muscle loss, prevent cancer, lower cholesterol and enhance the immune system. In one Swedish study, the obese clients who took 4g for 64 days experienced a reduction in body fat.

Empyrea Recommends "Tonalin CLA 1000mg"

Empyrea Recommends "Tonalin CLA 1000mg"


·      Magnesium – Many adults are deficient in Magnesium. Helps keep blood pressure normal, bones strong, and heart rhythm steady. Deficiency can cause inflammation and osteoporosis.  Can help provide protection from a number of chronic diseases that are associated with aging and stress. Can help prevent insomnia, chronic pain, and fatigue.

Empyrea Recommends "Magnesium 400mg"

Empyrea Recommends "Magnesium 400mg"


·      L-Glutamine – Over 61% of your skeletal muscle is made of this amino acid, making it the most abundant amino acid in the human body. Glutamine is essential for strength, stamina and recovery. Glutamine can help minimize the breakdown of muscle and increase protein synthesis. This also helps boost your immune system, since Glutamine is a primary energy source for your muscles, and can become greatly depleted during exercise. Glutamine is one of the most important nutrients for your intestines – it has the ability to “repair a leaky gut” by maintaining the structural integrity of the bowels.

Empyrea Recommends Met-Rx "L-Glutamine" 

Empyrea Recommends Met-Rx "L-Glutamine" 


·      Branched Chain Amino Acids (BCAA’s) - Last but certainly not least – BCAA’s in free-form require no digestion, and are rapidly absorbed into the bloodstream. BCAA’s are the building blocks of protein – three particular amino acids (Leucine, Isoleucine and Valine). A serving of these added to water and a shaker bottle (usually comes in flavored powders) or a serving of BCAA pills before, during and/or after your workout can greatly enhance your ability to build lean muscle mass and prevent muscle breakdown (catabolism). Taking BCAA’s daily will help lower body fat levels, increase strength, and improve recovery. 

Empyrea Recommends "Amino Energy" by Optimum Nutrition

Empyrea Recommends "Amino Energy" by Optimum Nutrition

At Empyrea...

We want to see every client succeed and understand that everyone needs something individualized.

Our "Nutrition Training Program" is tailored to your own goals and level of fitness.  I personally design meal plans and supplement programs based on your daily requirements. 

If you are interested in making a change in your nutrition, feel free to reach out to me @

Or let me be your Nutrition Specialist for a WHOLE MONTH by clicking on our Groupon link below:

Thanks for reading!

Here For All of Your Nutritional Needs, 

Justin Marrone 

3 Things Your Workout Shoe is Missing

Hello Empyreans!

Happy Monday!

I hope everyone had a safe and awesome 4th of July Weekend!

What to Look for in a Great Workout Shoe

Over the years, clients have been asking me, "What are the best shoes to get for working out?".

Now, I am not a shoe expert of any sort but I am definitely a barefoot training enthusiast. I am a strong believer of the positive effects that come from developing strong, healthy feet and how it can significantly improve your mood, balance, core stability, and spacial awareness.

With that being said, I usually respond with these 3 attributes that you should look for in a great workout shoe.

1. Your Shoe Should Be as Lightweight as Possible

There is no reason why you should be lugging around extra weight around your ankles and feet. This will only activate your hips more to lift the knees up higher to pick up heavier feet.  Just by wearing a heavier shoe can lead to overactive hips, which, over time, can eventually lead to chronic lower back pain.

Invest in a shoe that is almost weightless. You're shoe should be an outer protective shell of your feet, not extra weight to carry. You wouldn't wear weighted gloves in the winter time right? Same concept. Less weight, less work.

2. Find a Flexible Shoe

Your foot is not straight and stiff. It can move in all different directions. Your feet are almost as mobile as your hands. When were barefoot, the toes can bend and splay, the ankles can rotate, and we can point our feet in any direction (depending on your flexibility).

Find a shoe that can give you that same barefoot mobility with the protection your foot needs from the surrounding environment. Your feet want to move the way that it naturally does, don't deprive them from it.

A great flexible shoe can fold in half and twist. If it can fold in half and twist, you got yourself a nice, flexible shoe.

3. Find a Shoe That Can Breathe

Your feet have over 250,000 sweat glands!

Why enclose them in a heavy, tight, suffocating coffin, day in and day out?!

Studies have shown that when our feet hurt, we tend to be more unhappy and lazy (because we want to sit down!).

Ever had a foot massage? Probably one of the greatest things ever! You experience a sense of relaxation and calmness.

 I am a strong believer of how close the feet and the mind are. When our feet are happy, our mind is happy and in order for them to be happy, you need to let them breathe.

Find a shoe that is well ventilated to provide fresh oxygen for the foot to breathe and stay cool during your workouts. Cases of Athlete's foot could be significantly decreased if we wear a well ventilated shoe during training sessions.

Its the moisture that get trapped inside of the shoe that causes fungus buildup and odor. This goes for socks too! Wear a ventilated sock to reduce the chances of moisture buildup.

Also, find a shoe that has a wide toe box so that your toes have room to splay and room for your feet to flatten. There is no reason why your feet should be squished and narrow inside of a shoe. That's just mean!

Happy Feet, Happy You!

Take care of your feet! After all, they are the only body part that you need to get anything done, right?!

Take care of your feet and relieve stress by massaging the bottom of your feet with your thumbs every night to release all of the tension and tightness that gets built from a long day of work. You will have better sleep and blood flow to the feet the following day.

Treat yourself to a pedicure now and then! I've had 4 in my life and WOW!. They really are the best! You'll leave feeling clean, energized, and more relaxed!

My Top 3 Picks for The Best Workout Shoe

3.  2015 Nike Free 3.0

Very wide toe box and overall a great everyday walking shoe. The rounded up tip is great for walking since you can "roll off" every step.

Very wide toe box and overall a great everyday walking shoe. The rounded up tip is great for walking since you can "roll off" every step.

Very breathable shoe. The sock like shell encourages users to wear the shoe without socks, keeping them super minimal. The first generation of these shoes were my first minimal shoe I ever bought and I still use them till this day. Very wide toe box and overall a great, everyday walking shoe. The rounded up tip is great for walking since you can "roll off" every step.

2. New Balance Minimums Zero

New Balance makes different models of this minimalist shoes that are better geared for trail running and other outdoor activities!

New Balance makes different models of this minimalist shoes that are better geared for trail running and other outdoor activities!

A very lightweight shoe. Less flexibility than the Nike Frees but has a lower ride to ground. The soles of the shoe are made by Vibram, the creators of the Five Finger Shoes. The traction from the Vibram soles are incredible. New Balance makes different models of this minimalist shoes that are better geared for trail running and other outdoor activities! Look at that ventilation too!

1. Vivo Barefoot Stealth

 The shoe is practically weightless, I can roll it like sushi, its super-ventilated, has a puncture resistant sole, a very wide toe box, and provides great traction for everyday use, especially the gym.

 The shoe is practically weightless, I can roll it like sushi, its super-ventilated, has a puncture resistant sole, a very wide toe box, and provides great traction for everyday use, especially the gym.

Coming from a barefoot training enthusiast, these are the best shoes you can put on your feet to give you the closest thing to being barefoot. The shoe is practically weightless, I can roll it like sushi, its super-ventilated, has a puncture resistant sole, a very wide toe box, and provides great traction for everyday use, especially the gym. You don't even need to wear socks with them and remove the bottom padding to give you an even closer barefoot ride!

I've ran 3 5k's completely barefoot and I really don't like running much with shoes on but when I do run with shoes on, I choose my Vivos every time. You can only purchase these bad boys online at:

Highly recommend them!

Always Dedicated to Your Success,

Carl and Justin

Meal Prep Extreme - Made Easy!

Happy Humpday Empyreans!

Justin here and I love prepping my food!

I wanted to take the time out today to talk about the importance of meal prepping and how to make it as simple as possible for you and your family. I'll tell you how I personally meal prep my food each week and how you can do it too!

 . I have gone through years of trials and tribulations to approaching my cooking and meal prep the way most body builders and fitness models choose to do because

1. It works

 2. It now becomes convenient rather than tedious.

This is all after you get the hang of it and find your own rhythm to doing this method. This style of prepping food consists of cooking food in bulk, weighing out the appropriate portions to get the correct amount of protein per serving/meal, and then packing your meals into Tupperware, making it easy and convenient to grab a meal at any time of the day or night.

I do this method about one to two times per week depending on how much food I have time to cook in one shot. It can take me anywhere from 1-3 hours to do the entire “factory line” process and take cleanup into account as well! In the end, you have many meals, ready to go, measured out with the correct portions of macronutrients for your goals, and you do not have to come back into the kitchen to cook or clean for an entire week….how is that for you!?

Once you are able to get past the weird looks from your family and friends, they will all become jealous of your delicious meal you are eating after a long day of work, while they are heating up spaghettio's because they are “too tired to cook”

Everyone can cook. How would you survive if you couldn't?

Everyone can cook. How would you survive if you couldn't?

What Do I Cook?

I like to begin by purchasing a lean protein: chicken, salmon, steak, pork, ground turkey, etc. in a bulk package. This can be a large cut, or take a package of multiple chicken breasts, steak filets, etc. you can get the idea here. “The more the merrier”.

How Do I Cook It?

Then I like to cook my meat in two different ways: typically in a baking dish or diced up cubes of my lean meat in a large oriental wok. You can also use a standard frying pan, especially with ground turkey as I don’t see any other easier way to cook this type of meat– each is very quick and easy, and one may be more appealing or easer to do than the other, so take your pick and also feel free to use your own method. Again, this is what works for me personally.

If you are baking your meat, you can start by lining a dish with tin foil for easier cleanup. I also like to use the foil to make a “boat” with some of the fish I cook. It helps steam it up and make it nice and tender with all of the marinades and seasonings.

How Do I Make It Taste Good?

I typically avoid all seasonings that include excess salt, sugar and ingredients I cannot pronounce! Stick with your black peppers, herbs, spices, Mrs. Dash, (which is salt-free) and for liquids – I like to exclusively use “Lea and Perrin's" all-natural, low sodium Worcestershire sauce. I also use red wine vinegar, small amounts of balsamic vinegar (it does contain small amounts of sugar), and also, hot sauce (this contains some sodium, but it is 10x better than using ketchup or other condiments).

Mustards are good as well. Other than those, you really do not need to add anything else, as they provide TONS of flavors in small amounts and you do not need to really measure the amounts either, because they are virtually salt and sugar-free. I have been marinating meats and cooking with these seasonings for years, finding my particular taste and amounts for each type of meat that I cook, and they all really taste amazing.

This is just me though – ask my girlfriend to eat my food and we may have some dirty looks. She is a lot more particular than I am! Ha-ha. But long story short, you cannot go wrong or screw this up.

What Oil Do I Use?

I like to use extra virgin olive oil for coating to avoid sticking and also adding additional healthy fats to the mix. I may also include a tbsp. of EVOO measured out to drizzle on the final product for an additional 15g of healthy fats! This is a great way to add up the fat calories if you are under for your daily goals.

EVOO is healthy, light and delicious. Due to high fat content though, this is the only liquid I really measure out when I do cook.

Show Me The Veggies!

As most of you should know by now (I hope!), vegetables should make up the majority of your carbohydrate intake during the day. I like to add a cup of veggies to every Tupperware, shake it up to mix it together and it’s ready to go.

I have used other methods in the past, such as adding the veggies to the frying pan, but when going the bulk route, simply purchasing the largest bag of frozen veggies available (stop and shop sells 4.5 lb. bags of frozen broccoli which is a staple for me - $5!), typically take a gigantic bowl, dump the veggies into it, throw in the microwave for 10-12 mins., and then take out to disperse by measuring 1 cup and dumping into each Tupperware.

Using a variety of different vegetables is your preference and you cannot go wrong. Fresh veggies work well too, but keep in mind the cost may be higher and more prep goes into cutting up vegetables. I like this method for the low cost, and convenience.

How Much Do I Cook?

Measuring your meat portions: For men and women I would say there should be a slight difference in the portion sizes because we all require different amounts of protein. The body can only process so much at one time before excess is stored as body fat (any macronutrient in excess can be stored as fat for later use). I would recommend women weighing out their meat in ounces to equate to 12-25g per serving (may be roughly 3-4 oz. give or take), and men 20-30g per serving.

The easiest way to figure out the math per serving is to use your myfitnesspal app – simply type in the meat that you are having, and select the different serving amount in ounces until you have come to a number of protein grams that matches what you should have. Once you have this figured out, take a scale, (if you do not own one, I recommend the “Ozeri touch professional digital kitchen scale” which is about $20 on and free shipping. It is excellent.), place an empty Tupperware on the scale and find the weight.

Once you see the weight, you can take your meat and add to it and do not forget to include the Tupperware weight as well – this should allot you an additional 1-1.5 ounces to the total number. (Example: Tupperware is 1.40 oz. Salmon for 28g of protein is 5 oz. My total number should be 6.40.). You may then remove the Tupperware and start to add to the next one, until you have used up all of your meat and filled all the Tupperware.


Add a cup of veggies to the mix, put the lid on, shake it up, and then you’re ready to eat or store for a later time! I have used a package of 5 lbs. of chicken breasts, which came out to be roughly 10 meals! Between eating breakfast and my protein shakes and snacks during the day, I would only need to eat about 2 or 3 per day. This is nearly enough whole meals minus my breakfast for the entire workweek.

Consistency and Convenience.

Consistency and Convenience.


Meal prepping does NOT have to be overly complicated. Following a healthy lifestyle is all about the two C’s:

Consistency and convenience.

When you have those two things down, you will be successful. When you overcomplicate your meals and cooking, it can become expensive, tedious to prepare and tiring to cook and clean up. Do yourself a favor – give this approach to cooking an honest shot sometime…you may surprise yourself at how easy and effective it is – also, not having to cook for a week is awesome!

Happy Prepping!

- Justin

7 Vacation Slim Down Tricks!

Hello Empyreans!

Summer is Here!

Does your upcoming vacation have you worried about your waistline? You should be.

The average person gains almost a pound a day while on vacation.

But that doesn’t have to be you. Most of the time extra pounds sneak up on you when you least expect it, so decide right here and now that your vacation will leave you slimmer than when you left.

All you have to do is have a plan.

As you embark on your next vacation adventure, use these 7 tips to come home fitter than when you left. 

Trick #1: Cut Your Carbs

Vacation days are notorious for carbohydrate rich meals, and it’s a well-known fact that too many carbohydrates will quickly add up to unwanted pounds. Combat this fat-trap by choosing one meal per day to go carb-less.

Breakfast: This may be the most effective meal to use the carb-less trick, since breakfast often involves breads, pastries or pancakes. Skip the toast and fill up on egg whites and lean breakfast meats.

Lunch: A great carb-less lunch is a salad with lean meat. It’s so filling and satisfying that you won’t even miss the bread.

Dinner: Since you’re on vacation, you don’t want to feel deprived, so dinner is the hardest meal to go carb-less. But if you’ve indulged at breakfast and lunch then make it a point to cut the carbs at dinner. Stick with veggies and lean meats.

Trick #2: Be Active

If your travels keep you too busy for a workout, or if your hotel does not have an exercise room, make a conscious effort to be active everyday. Go on a brisk walk after your day’s activities. This is a great way to see a new city, and also a great way to burn off extra calories. Take the stairs instead of elevator in your hotel and any other buildings you visit. Go on a short jog in the mornings or evenings of your stay. If your hotel has a pool, swim a few laps each morning or evening. 

Trick #3: Indulge with Control

Eating out is a must while on vacation. Whether you’re visiting 5 star restaurants or fast food diners, you are faced with the same problem: large portions. While the easiest thing to do with a large portioned meal is to simply eat it all - you are on vacation after all...right? - that isn’t the best for your waist.

When you order your meal ask the waiter or waitress to bring you a to-go box. Take half of your meal and place it safely into the box before you even begin to eat. This gives you no choice but to eat a healthy portion. If you would rather not carry around a to-go box then ask that your entrée be made into a smaller portion. If it is dinnertime ask for the lunch-sized entrée.

Trick #4: Don’t Eat Late

One of the easiest tricks for preventing weight loss is to simply stop eating 3 hours before you go to bed. This is especially effective while on vacation. So skip that late night indulgence and wake up looking and feeling great. 

Trick #5: Snack Healthy

Have you ever noticed how travel days create the perfect opportunity for snacking? A coffee and muffin before your flight, a snack on the plane and then before you know it - it’s lunch time! Taking a road trip? This opens up even more opportunities for regrettable stop vending machines, gas station quickie marts and of course the never ending string of fast food restaurants along the highway.

This summer cut unhealthy snacking off at the pass by brining along your own healthy options. Dried or fresh fruit, unsalted nuts, health bars, cut veggies and low fat crackers are a good start. By filling up on these healthy snacks between meals you will end up eating less when presented with a less-than-healthy meal. 

Trick #6: Avoid Fried Foods

While fast food restaurants are definitely convenient, with their low prices and quick service, this convenience is not worth the additional pounds brought on by chips and fries. As you enjoy your vacation keep this in mind: avoid fried foods. While this is always good advice to follow, it is even more important to abide by while traveling.

While vacationing you will likely burn fewer calories each day than you would burn at home, and you are consuming more calories due to your schedule of eating out. You are walking a fine line, and eating fried foods would throw you right over the edge. A gram of fat contains 9 calories as compared to the 4 calories that proteins and carbohydrates carry - so you can see that consuming fried foods will drastically increase your caloric intake.

If I still haven’t convinced you to pass on the curly fries, keep in mind that heartburn and indigestion are never fun...especially while on vacation!     

Trick #7: Team up with a Pro - Yours Truly!

Well, fitness is my specialty...and since you are serious about creating a healthy and fit physique - guarantee your results by teaming up with me.

Together we will come up with a fitness plan that is uniquely yours, one that fits your lifestyle and brings you promptly to your goals - something that you will appreciate while on vacation and at home. 

Always Dedicated to Your Success,

Carl Anthony Grande

Eating Healthy While Eating Out!

Happy Humpday Empyreans!

Carl here!

When you eat at home, you know what you’re getting.

Head to a restaurant, and it’s another story.

The ingredients, method of preparation, and portion size can easily add excess calories to your diet.

Restaurant menus have so many choices and are often full of unfamiliar terms. Is a food fried or baked? Does it come with a sauce or dressing? If you’re not careful, you won’t know answers to these questions and more until you ask them.

Before heading out to dinner tonight, here are some tips to enjoy a healthy meal.

- So Many Options -

When considering what to choose from dozens of options, you can easily become overwhelmed. Just as easy is to be tempted by the unhealthy choices. Thankfully, most restaurants these days include healthy options on their menus and label them accordingly.

For your main course, choose chicken, turkey, ham, or fish over beef. If it comes with a sauce, avoid creamy or cheesy sauces and go with a tomato or vegetable sauce.

Additionally, try to include a salad, fruit, or steamed vegetable, and go sparingly on dressings, cheese, salt, and butter. Instead of chips, fries, or fried rice, choose boiled rice or potatoes.

Need some extra seasoning? Leave the salt and butter alone. Instead, reach for some fresh herbs or lemon. And if the meal comes with bread, choose a whole-grain option and go with a sherbet, sorbet, or fresh fruit if you can’t say no to dessert.

- Food Preparation -

Menus are often vague when it comes to the way the food is prepared. If you're not sure or the menu doesn't say how the food is prepared, be sure to ask.

Remember—restaurant foods are full of fats, as fats help keep the food moist and yummy.

To play it safe and to avoid excess fat, choose foods that are grilled, boiled, steamed, stir-fried, or poached instead of fried, baked, or battered. Also, take control of your food destiny by asking that your meal be prepared with olive oil instead of butter or other fats.

When your salad arrives, opt for oil and vinegar rather than dressing. Or have your dressing on the side so you can limit the amount you use.

Terms to watch for include “lightly breaded,” “wrap,” “baked,” and “viniagrette.” These may all sound healthy but may are deceiving.

Foods that are lightly breaded are often deep-fried. A wrap may sound like a good option, but two slices of bread may have fewer calories than a 10-inch tortilla. Baked sounds better than fried, but it could possibly mean the food is baked deep-dish style and contains high-fat, creamy ingredients. While baked salmon is a good choice, baked lasagna is high in fat. And though vinaigrette dressing sounds healthier than a cream based dressing, it is mostly oil, so order it on the side.

- Portion Control -

Not only do portions keep getting bigger, so do the plates that hold them! With so much food sitting in front of you, it is sometimes hard to resist the temptation to eat it all—especially when you paid so much for it.

To avoid the temptation to eat unhealthily large portions, split or share the entree, then choose a soup, salad, or extra side. If you know you'll get too much food, go ahead and ask for a to-go box when you order. That way you can divide the food as soon as you get it, so you won’t have to stare at the extra food as you eat.

- Know What to Look For -

Knowing what to look for on a menu and what to avoid will help you choose healthier, low-fat options. If you find that your diet is lacking fruits, vegetables, or whole grains when you eat out, make up for it when you eat your other meals at home.

Remember that healthy eating is only half of the battle when it comes to losing weight.

- Train Hard, Eat Hard! -

The type of workouts that we do at Empyrea Group Training ignite your body's metabolism and keeps your body burning calories and unwanted body fat all day long!

When your body moves at this high intensity 3-4x a week, you'll be able to afford that extra scoop of ice cream, have the second glass of beer, have the bun with your burger, without it being detrimental to your fitness goals!

Let us show you how to turn your body into a 24/7 fat burning FURNACE so that you can enjoy life's pleasure without the struggle of putting on extra body fat.

Here's a direct link to our awesome Groupon offer where you can train with us as much as you'd like for 30 days for only 75$!

If you are not satisfied with our training or your results within the 30 days, we will refund you every penny! All Groupon offers are backed with a 100% Money Back Guarantee! What do you have to lose (besides unwanted body fat of course) !?

Always Dedicated to Your Success!

Carl Anthony Grande