Set Your Rudder and Row Your Boat!

Imagine a small row boat. Your GOALS are like the RUDDER on the boat. They set the direction and determine where you go.

If you commit to one goal, then the rudder stays put and you continue moving forward. If you flip-flop between goals, then the rudder moves all around and it is easy to find yourself rowing in circles.

However, there is another part of the boat that is even more important than the rudder: The OARS. If the rudder is your goal, then the oars are your PROCESS for achieving it. 

While the rudder determines your direction, it is the oars that determine your progress.

This metaphor of the rudder and the oars helps clarify the difference between systems and goals. It is an important distinction that shows up everywhere in life.

If you’re a COACH, your goal is to win a championship. Your system is what your team does at practice each day.

If you’re a WRITER, your goal is to write a book. Your system is the writing schedule that you follow each week.

If you’re a RUNNER, your goal is to run a marathon. Your system is your training schedule for the month.

If you’re an ENTREPRENEUR, your goal is to build a million dollar business. Your system is your sales and marketing process.
GOALS are useful for setting the direction. SYSTEMS are great for actually making progress. 

In fact, the primary benefit of having a goal is that it tells you what sort of system you need to put in place. However, the system itself is what actually achieved the results. 

This brings us to our second key insight. Goals determine your direction. Systems determine your progress. You’ll never get anywhere just by holding the rudder.


*This short excerpt was pulled from an article written by James Clear of 

Three Ways to Burn Body Fat Now by Empyrea Group Training

Body fat accumulation is frustrating and seems to be harder to lose as we get older. When we reach around the age of 45, our metabolism naturally declines making it easier to store and harder to lose fat. Here are THREE ways that you can continue to lose body fat at an accelerated rate even as you age.

Lift Weights in a Circuit Style Routine

Cardio? You mean lift weights faster? - this is one of my favorite memes and intended for those who would rather lift weights with limited rest or hate doing steady-state cardio like a hamster. Even though the meme was targeted strictly for laughs and smiles, there is some truth behind it.

The fastest way to burn body fat is to DOUBLE your muscle mass as fast as you possibly can. Lifting weights promotes the required stimulus for muscle growth because of the amount of weight-bearing load that's stressed upon your muscles, joints and bones.

When you limit the rest time in between your sets, you stimulate a cardio-like effect because you're not giving your heart a chance to rest and recover keeping the heart rate continuously elevated the entire workout. This creates the ultimate stimulus of muscle gain and body fat loss in the least amount of time. A workout like this should take no more than an hour and should be performed 3-4 TIMES A WEEK for lifetime results.

In a society where we are looking to be "in and out" yet sexy and fit, your training sessions should have more of this approach to make the most of your time and effort! 

Increase Your Protein Intake to Promote the Most Muscle

REMEMBER, the FASTEST way to burn body fat is to DOUBLE your muscle mass as fast you possibly can. The first tip would be absolutely useless and actually harmful if your protein intake is still low.

Protein is the building block of muscle so the more you ingest while training hard, the more muscle your body can potentially build. Studies have shown that consuming MORE than your FULL BODYWEIGHT in (grams) protein everyday reduces muscle breakdown, promotes muscle growth and accelerates recovery between workouts. 

Eggs, beef, fish, chicken, pork, plain non-fat Greek yogurt and any protein supplement (powder, bars, peanut butter, chips, batter mix) are hands down THE foods that should be increased in any diet to promote the most muscle gain and fat loss.

Replace Complex Carbs with More Fruits and Vegetables

The American food culture is so used to complex carbs being a staple in our everyday diet. Complex carbs can be known as breads, rices, pastas, potatoes, oats and processed sugar. 

Doughnuts, pancakes, hash browns, waffles, instant oatmeal, french toast, cereal and bagels are some familiar breakfast staples. White sandwich bread, potato chips, burritos stuffed with rice and french fries are some staples we see during lunch. During dinner time, some complex carbs we see are pasta, pizza, mash potatoes, rice, bread or deep-fried battered anything.

These exact foods in excess are the main reason why we eventually accumulate body fat over time. We are just too familiar with seeing these foods on the table, that we would just rather have fruits and veggies when we feel like it or avoid them completely. Little did we know that we're supposed to eat the exact opposite way. We should ingest fruits and vegetables as our main staples and have complex carbs every now and then.

The best way to approach this is to have your fruits closer to waking up, having vegetables present at every meal and consuming complex carbs on scheduled days like the weekend or as a "cheat" day. Once you've reached a point where complex carbs are being replaced with more vegetables and consumed every now and then or as reward-meals, you are well on your way to continuously losing body fat, even as you age. 

Vegetable omelettes for breakfast, protein-loaded salads for lunch and large portions of meat with a side of vegetables for dinner are great examples of how we can create and consume more vegetable dominant, high-protein meals.

3 Ways to Boost Your Metabolism by Empyrea Group Training

The total amount of calories your body burns in one day to keep you alive and running optimal is your BASAL METABOLIC RATE. There are certain habits that can speed it up as well as slow it down, regardless, everyone's metabolism begins to naturally decline around 50 years old.

Currently, in the American society, we are seeing younger people having slower metabolisms then previous generations. This is most likely due to binge eating, inactivity and chronic dehydration. Here are THREE ways you can naturally BOOST your metabolism and keep it high for as long as you can!

Eat Smaller, Healthier Meals Throughout the Day

You can naturally boost your metabolism, level your blood sugars and regain a steady appetite by eating smaller portioned meals throughout the day. When we only eat 1-3 LARGE MEALS a day or eat whenever we are hungry, the time gap between each meal is too long causing your metabolic rate to drop and slow down.

Rather, if you were to eat 4-6 SMALLER MEALS spaced evenly (2-3 hours) throughout the day, you remove any chance of your metabolism to slow, naturally burning more calories. Proteins and fiber-rich carbohydrates are the hardest for your body to breakdown so consuming more of these foods in your diet can burn more calories and keep you satisfied throughout the day.

One easy way to transition into this habit is to take the THREE large meals you already consume and cut the portion in half turning them into SIX smaller meals. Consume a meal every 2-3 HOURS and feel the difference!

Lift Weights and Exercise Weekly

This is hands-down the fastest and most effective way to crank up your metabolic rate and keep it high for a long time. During exercise, calories are burning to contract your muscles and supply your heart with the energy to circulate blood flow. With that said, the more frequently and harder you workout, the higher your metabolic rate will be.

It also takes calories to feed muscle and keep them alive so essentially the more muscle you attain, the higher your rate will be.

Start this habit by lifting weights TWICE a week and engaging in steady-paced cardio at least ONCE a week. Build up from this basic routine as you get more conditioned. Consistently following this workout frequency can accelerate your metabolism greatly!

Drink More Water (than you think)!

Water is a required ingredient to burn energy and in a society where almost everyone is chronically dehydrated, it makes sense as to why metabolisms are at a all-time low.

When we are able to drink more water, your body can burn calories faster and more easily. Think of water as metabolism fuel. In order to transform your body into a fat-burning furnace, it requires high amounts of water on a consistent basis.

One way that you can start this habit is to buy and carry a LARGE, MEASURED CONTAINER of water and drink it throughout the day. Drink more during meals and workouts for that's when the body needs it most.

Half your bodyweight in OUNCES is the minimum requirement for daily intake of water. The closer you can consume your full bodyweight in water, the more effective your body becomes at burning calories. 

How to "Reset" Your Body in Seven Days by Empyrea Group Training

Do you ever feel like sometimes you can press a RESET button on your health and fitness? Maybe it's been a couple of weeks without the gym or you just came back from a long vacation of eating and drinking. Regardless, our body knows and feels when there is an IMBALANCE. Here are FIVE habits you can do today that will reverse your whole life clock. 

Drink your bodyweight in ounces of water. This habit will flush your body of all the toxins and pollution that has been built up. It will also help grow new muscle and boost your metabolism. Most Americans are chronically dehydrated, extremely stressed, overdosing on caffeine, drinking alcohol and consuming very salty foods. This is the exact formula as to why we feel the need to "RESET" our bodies and WATER is the element that has all the potential to begin the reset process. 

Eat smaller healthier meals throughout the day. This habit will naturally level your blood sugar, lower your blood pressure, boost your metabolism, improve your mood and sustain your focus. Eating large meals and starving your body in between accelerates body fat gain. Eating less also melts your muscle which is THE fat burning weapon of the body. THREE salads and protein shakes spread evenly throughout the day would be a simple example of executing this habit. 

Lift some weights! This habit resets your mental, physical and spiritual health while eliminating all of your stress. The human body was made to move and when it's slowed, it begins to break down faster; accelerating age and shortening your lifespan. Lifting weights is that SMACK across your face that gets you to wake the f### up and start BELIEVING in your self! 

Stretch for FIVE minutes. This habit will reset your posture and relieve aches and pain. It will also improve your flexibility, blood flow, sleep and muscle quality and reduce the chances of future injuries. Muscles pull on bones so our constant daily routines will ultimately define our posture and its imbalances. After workouts and before bed are optimal times to stretch your muscles. Chronic lower back pain is a prime example of what extremely TIGHT butt muscles and WEAK core strength can produce. 

Sleep on time and for dreams. This habit resets your sleep clock and recovers your body significantly faster. When you sleep around the same time every night, your energy levels consistently sustain. Napping in EXCESS may leave us awake at night which gives way to late night eating and low energy levels in the morning. The body naturally sleeps at night so nap only when it is necessary, as long as it doesn't deprive you of your BEST night time sleep. Dreaming can only happen in theREM (rapid-eye movement) cycle stage of sleep which is the deepest and most restful type of sleep so DREAM ON! 

Perform these simple habits and stick to them as close as you can for SEVEN days. On the other of this SACRIFICE and DISCIPLINE is the door to all of your wants and desires. Not many make it to the end but if you keep trying everyday and keep your ego in check, you will breach it at some point. Failing is only when you stop trying and in this game there are unlimited tries. So get up and try again!

Trick or Treat: Three Healthy Tricks to Consume Halloween Candy

Hello Empyreans, fall is here and Halloween is the FIRST major fitness obstacle during these next 90 days. The reason why it's an obstacle is because the amount of chocolate and candy that will be constantly around you will make it too easy and tempting to overindulge until the new year.

Luckily, there are healthier ways to eat these foods just by altering some habits.

First, if you're not a big candy or chocolate eater at all, throw or give away all of your candy after the holiday. It's just too tempting to keep around and it may trigger unconscious eating. If you like your treats, store them in places that are hard to reach like your basement or garage. Just by altering your immediate environment makes you think twice or even three times if it's truly worth the effort to indulge. 
Second, limit your candy intake on your off-days from the gym. If you currently don't workout, try to cap it at a number lower than five. Candy consumption are better utilized before and after workouts but not recommended. This is simply a smarter time to have them without it being detrimental to your results. Smartees have dextrose in them, which is a fast absorbing sugar that aids in workout performance (pre-workout) and muscle recovery (post-workout).

Lastly, drink plenty of water while eating candy. It significantly aids the digestion process after consumption. The sugar and complex makeup of candy dehydrates and creates a stressful time for your body to break down, sometimes causing painful stomach aches. A Digestive Enzyme supplement could also be found very helpful during this time of year.

Banded Bunny Hops

This is a demonstration video of Banded Bunny Hops, one of the exercises of the Zeus Workout by Empyrea Group Training.

This is video 7/8 - shot at Empyrea Group Training inside of National Institute of Sport and Fitness in Cedar Grove, NJ.