Five Habits That Can Make or Break Your Progress

We all work hard to stay in shape, but what if parts of your regimen are sabotaging your results? Sometimes bad habits go unnoticed, it’s possible you may take three steps forward and two steps back.

Here are 5 habits that can make or break your success.

1.) Diet

There is plenty of information out there on how to support a healthy diet. One thing is for certain, eating right and at the right times can have a huge impact on your results. Two details that may be overlooked and are thus hurting your performance are:

  • Overeating before a workout. Doing so may cause fatigue as it takes plenty of energy to digest the food.
  • Not eating enough. You wouldn’t go on a road trip with an empty gas tank, the same goes for your body. Make sure you are eating pre-workout unless you have planned ahead for a fasted training session. Generally speaking, fuel up with carbs like oats an hour or so before you HIT the gym.

2.) Sleep

If you have hit a plateau, it may be due to lack of sleep. You need recovery time. Make sure you are getting a good amount of shut-eye.

3.) Too much/too little water

As excellent and important as water is to a workout routine, too much water can make you bloated, crampy or nauseous. On the other hand, you need to stay hydrated in order to HIT workouts hard. As a general rule, you should drink .5-1 ounces of water per pound of body weight. If you are working out a lot or live in a hotter climate, try to get at least 1 ounce per pound.

4.) Stretching

Many athletes love to get a good pump, it looks cool and feels great. However, there is more to being fit than brute strength. Paying attention to mobility will help your form and ward off injury. Being able to hit full range of motion is not always easy, take time to stretch, the payoff is huge.

5.) Setting Goals

Set goals for yourself. Working out without a specific goal may keep your progress stagnant. Challenging yourself to hit PR’s, go on stage, or drop 2% body fat will keep you moving in the right direction.

5 Facts Every High Performance Athlete Should Know

Do you care about your athletic performance and your long-term health? Here are some statistics to keep in mind as you exercise, rest, and eat.

1. High Intensity Training Delivers Measurable Returns. Researchers say that HIT produces big gains in muscle thickness, power, and performance.

2. Hydration is Key. Dehydration during exercise can cause damage to your muscles and kidneys. In one study on dehydrated U.S. Soldiers, 25% suffered from rhabdomyolysis, and 13% went through kidney failure. Stay hydrated while you’re working out. Make sure to drink a beverage with a healthy mix of carbohydrates and electrolytes to increase the positive effects of the workout.

3. Nitrates can Improve Performance. In studies on athletes, scientists found that nitrates like the ones found in beetroot can increase time-to-exhaustion by 14-25%. So, a nitrate boost could help you train longer and harder. So, if you want to extend your work-outs, you might want to give beet juice a try.

4. HMB-FA is Showing Promise. A recent study from the British Journal of Nutrition found that a chemical called HMB-FA may prevent muscle damage and speed recovery after exercise.

5. Whey Protein and Leucine are Musts for Weight Training. To reach your training potential, you need to consume nearly 1 gram of protein for every pound you weigh. If you’re trying to get that sort of nutrition from food alone, you’ll have to spend a lot of time cooking and eating. If you’re dedicated to your training, you can’t afford to spend that much time in the kitchen.

Studies have found that protein supplements before and after exercise improve both short-term and long-term performance. Good supplements must contain whey and leucine. For a better amino acid balance, choose grass-fed protein sources over factory farmed cattle.

6. You Need Fat for Top Performance. Your body can metabolize fat more efficiently and get energy quickly if you include mono-unsaturated and saturated fats in your diet. Fat consumption also helps keep your testosterone at healthy levels. If you want to take your work-out to the next level, don’t skimp on the fat.

How to Beat Negativity and Stay Motivated

3 Keys to Changing Your Outlook and Improving Your Life

We’re all familiar with that little voice in the back of our heads. It tells us that we’re not good enough, that we’re never good enough, and that we might as well give up now. That voice is a liar. It’s the voice of negativity, and it saps our motivation and our drive. Here are three quick tips staying motivated even when training gets tough.

1. Pay Attention to Your Moods.  

Sometimes, negativity is just a sign you’re in a lousy mood. All sorts of things affect our moods. To stay positive, you need to get enough sleep, eat healthy, and get outside. If you’re exhausted and rundown, supplement with glutamine to get a needed mood boost. Avoid foods containing refined grains and sugars, since they can contribute to your ups and downs. Make sure you get some sunshine every day, especially in the afternoon. The sun’s rays provide a natural mood and energy boost, and will help you sleep better at night.

2. Focus on How Far You’ve Come.

If you look at what you haven’t accomplished yet, it’s easy to feel like a failure. Take a little time each day or week to look backwards. Write a list of what you accomplished at the gym today, this week, and this month. You’re probably doing better than you think, especially when you see all your accomplishments written out.

3. Find Cheerleaders.

Talk to good friends about your struggles and accomplishments. An outside point of view gives you helpful advice. Focus on constructive, rather than destructive criticism.

Keep a cheerleader in your life – someone who’s genuinely happy for you and who wants to see you succeed. Your personal cheerleader can give you a reality check when you’re down.   If you don’t have a friend like that, be your own cheerleader. Record your thoughts and feelings when you’re happy with your training and your progress as a reminder to yourself. On your down days, plug into your past enthusiasm to get motivated.

Finally, remember that everyone feels negative and unmotivated sometimes. The mark of a great athlete is that he never gives up, even when he feels discouraged. If you push through the negativity and lack of motivation, you’ll reach new heights and find new strengths.

7 Steps to Better Rest Days

If you love to work out, rest days really suck. What are you supposed to do when you can’t train? Suddenly, you have a huge chunk of time to waste on mindless television, unhealthy food, or plain old boredom. Even though rest days are tough, experts agree that they’re an essential part of your training regimen. Use these steps to turn ‘suck’ into success.

Step 1: Plan your time.

It’s your rest day. Suddenly you have a large block of time and nothing to do. Approach your rest days with the same mindset you use on your training days. Go into the rest day with a plan for what you’re going to accomplish and how you’re going to spend your time.

Step 2: Keep up with your Supplements.

Even though you don’t train on your rest days, your body still needs nutrients so that to repair and recharge itself. Take a recovery blend like Muscle Matrix BCAA to ensure that you’ll achieve peak performance once you’re finished resting.

Step 3: Work on Nutrition.

Good nutrition takes effort and planning, so use your rest days to promote total body fitness. Plan your meals for the week, and get the jump on cooking. Look for healthy, protein-packed recipes that will leave you satisfied. Shop for ingredients. Make freezer meals so that you’ll eat healthy all week long.

Step 4: Reconnect with Friends and Family

When was the last time you called your grandma? Do you have a friend you’ve been meaning to email? Set aside at least 15 minutes a rest-day to reconnect with someone you love.

Step 5: Tackle an “Always Wanted To”.

Have you always wanted to learn to paint? Do you talk about writing a book? Is there somewhere nearby you’ve always wanted to visit? Rest days are your chance to learn new skills and see new places. Art, writing, and gardening all take time, perseverance and practice – the same skills you use at the gym.

Step 6: Get into Green.

The human mind actually needs time outdoors in green spaces like parks and yards to recharge. Use your rest day as a chance to take in some of your local greenspaces.

Step 7: Rest.

An enforced rest day can suck, especially when you’re used to the thrills of the gym. But by filling your rest time with important, meaningful activities, you may find yourself embracing the rhythm of the rest day.

Recover faster with a little help from Glutamine

Glutamine  is a “non-essential” amino acid. This means that your body produces it naturally. So why would you ever need to take a Glutamine supplement? Good question. In normal circumstances your body should be capable of producing the necessary amounts of glutamine. I’m going to assume that everyone reading this article has been depleting their Glutamine resources with intense physical activity. Remember that two hour leg day you had on the other day? The one that left your muscles screaming? After intense exercise your Glutamine levels can fall too low resulting in fatigue, soreness and in extreme cases muscle loss. Glutamine is essential for muscle recovery.

When should you take Glutamine?
Glutamine should be taken during workout sessions and throughout the day on both training and non-training days. Glutamine is necessary to drive protein straight to the muscle cells where it will be used for muscle growth. Taking Reform Matrix Glutamine Blend after an intense workout will replenish your Glutamine levels, saving your body the hours or even days it would take replenish those levels naturally. Which means faster recovery time.

What are the benefits?
You might be surprised to discover that Glutamine offers additional benefits outside of the gym:

  1. Slows the muscle breakdown that usually happens after an extended period of stress
  2. Helps fight fatigue, both physical and mental
  3. Reduces muscle soreness
  4. Helps with long and short term memory
  5. Stronger immune system less prone to disease and infection
  6. Speeds recovery and recuperation
  7. Glutamine is a mood elevator

Is it safe?
Glutamine is naturally produced in your body and is very safe. There are no side effects to taking Glutamine. Always consult your doctor before starting a new supplement routine.

* These statments have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

The Benefits of Grass Fed Whey Protein

Cows were made to eat grass. Believe it or not, grass if full of all the vitamins, essential fats and minerals needed for a cow’s optimal health and metabolic performance. But you’re not here to learn about how to make cows healthy – let’s take a look at the benefits to your body by choosing a grass fed whey protein over the standard grain-fed.

Grass-Fed Whey = More Nutrients

Choosing a grass-fed whey means that you’re also consuming more important minerals like magnesium, calcium, and phosphorous. These minerals are present in much higher qualities than cows that are fed grain and other unnatural foods.

Higher CLA levels (Conjugated Linoleic Acid)

Grass-fed cows produce more CLA than other cows – up to 5 times more CLA. This is important because CLA is a trans-fat that has shown to reduce belly fat in people. It helps aid fat-loss and fat maintenance. CLA can help increase lean muscle mass and reduce body fat at the same time – which makes it an important part of our grass fed whey protein. If CLA is so beneficial, wouldn’t you want 5 times more of it? I could almost end the list right here and it would still be a great article…but I’ll continue.

Omega 3’s

Your body can’t make Omega 3 and Omega 6 fats, so you have to get them from your diet. These fatty acids play an important role in normal growth and the prevention of:

> Coronary artery disease

> Hypertension

> Cancer

> Inflammatory and autoimmune disorders

> Arthritis

Ideally the ratio of Omega 6 to Omega 3’s is 1:1, the exact ratio of these essential fats from cows that are grass-fed. Grain-fed cows on the other hand can be as high as 20:1 in favor of the inflammatory Omega 6.

You’re going to supplement your diet with protein. Choose a protein that is made from Grass-Fed Whey, like our Core Athlete Premium Grass-Fed Whey Protein and get the benefits of more nutrients, more fat-burning CLAs and an optimal Omega 3/Omega 6 ratio.


Understanding Your Body Type



1The journey to a healthy lifestyle can feel a bit overwhelming at times. There is an overload of information available with just a few clicks of the mouse. How do you sort through it all? How do you know which applies to you? Should you eat a higher carbohydrate diet? Do you need to do long bouts of cardio? The answer to most of these questions lies with you.

Understanding your body type is essential to help you train most effectively. It can also help you determine which nutrition approach best suits you. It may help to unlock the keys to get you over a plateau or kick start your weight loss journey. You must first understand each body type and then determine where you fit in. Keep in mind, most people are a blend of two body types and they show their traits in a variety of ways. Let’s take a look.

EctoEctomorph: This body type is typically tall and slender. They are able to stay slim relatively easy, but also struggle with adding muscle mass. They are a typical “hard gainer” and many consider them to have a “fast metabolism”. Male ectomorphs have relatively small shoulders in relation to their lower body and female ectomorphs are more flat-chested than the other body types. Some celebrity examples include: Paris Hilton or Adam Levine.

One simple way to tell if you are an ectomorph: Wrap your middle finger and thumb around your wrist. Typical ectomorphs will have an overlap – sometimes a significant one.


MesoMesomorph: This body type is typically a more athletic, v-taper build than ectomorphs. Their shoulders are wider than their hips and their upper and lower body appears balanced with a smaller waist. Mesomorphs are able to add muscle mass relatively easy without adding a lot of fat. Some celebrity examples include: Halle Berry or Hugh Jackman.

How to tell if you are a mesomorph: Wrap your middle finger and thumb around your wrist. Typical mesomorphs will touch – sometimes barely.


EndoEndomorph: This body type is typically round through the middle. Endomorphs tend to be shorter in stature, but not always. Most of their excess weight is through the mid-section (in men) or hips, thighs, and buttocks (women). They have wide shoulders and hips with a straight mid-section. Endomorphs struggle to lose weight, but are able to add muscle mass relative easy. Some celebrity examples include Kim Kardashian and Vin Diesel.

The way to tell if you are an endomorph: Wrap your middle finger and thumb around your wrist. Most endomorphs will not touch.

Now that you understand the three main body types, which category do you fit in? Keep in mind most people are a blend of two and just because you are born with certain genetic traits, does not mean you can’t achieve your ideal physique. With proper nutrition, a sound training program and a lot of hard work, you will get there. Be consistent, and remember: train hard, HIT harder!


Lisa Desilet, M.S., CPT, Health Coach

Exercise Physiologist, West Valley Medical Center

Adjunct faculty, Exercise Science, College of Western Idaho
#Trainhard #Trainsmart #Hitharder #Hitsmarter

Purposeful Training



A little known fact about me: I HATE CARDIO! I think it’s because I constantly witness it’s over-use and waste of potential gains EVERY SINGLE TIME I’m at the gym. Like hamsters in a wheel, so many pedal or climb or jog mindlessly away thinking it is the answer to their fat loss or weight problems.


Cardiovascular training, just like every other aspect of training, should be purposeful and utilized to support a goal. So the question is: What are you training for?


Regardless of the answer, here is SCIENCE supporting the use of HIIT (high-intensity-interval-training) to promote fat loss, improve VO2 max, and increase overall performance and function during moderate-intensity activities.


This study used untrained adults – normal people – and documented increased fat oxidation (for those wanting to lose fat) and improved VO2 max (for those training for endurance) with 6 weeks of HIIT.  How did they do this? :30s sprint / 2:00 rest (10x) That’s it! 25 min of training 3x per week! Keep in mind, this is NOT some “cardio-bunny” jog in the park. They’re talking “as-hard-as-you-can :30s intervals where you are counting every second until you finish and NEED a full 2:00 min recovery but still aren’t quite ready for the next round” style of training. Pair this with a solid weight training program and you’ll be well on your way to improved strength AND endurance (not to mention a pretty nice-looking physique).


Does this mean longer bouts of moderate-intensity cardio are wrong? No. Just keep in mind what you are training for and utilize the correct tools to support that goal.


Lisa Desilet, M.S., CPT, Health Coach

Exercise Physiologist, West Valley Medical Center

Adjunct faculty, Exercise Science, College of Western Idaho
#Trainhard #Trainsmart #Hitharder #Hitsmarter


We are about feeding the desire, and burn inside each athlete … the at home gym goers, who want to push a little harder, hit that next goal, or change their muscular stature, as well as the professional athlete looking to take their performance to the next level. Each person who begins a workout routine starts with the end in mind. Each moment spent training and working out is given the proper thought into what nutrients are needed to gain and sustain the lean muscle, weight loss, endurance, and energy you are working toward. We focus on making sure that your time in the gym is worth it. We are dedicated to bringing you the supplements that will give you the competitive edge you need, both in, and out of the gym.


When it comes to burning fat, there are numerous tricks that you can use to do it. The one that works and resonates above all others is that a calorie deficit must be created so your body will burn the fat you have stored throughout your body as fuel. That means eating less than what you use for daily activities, including your workouts…period. Instead of thinking about creating this deficit on a daily basis, work on a weekly plan instead. In order to drop bodyfat, you simply have to eat fewer calories over a seven-day period. Instead of restricting calories every day, try a couple of very strict diet days mixed in with several days of eating less than normal (but only by 100-200calories less). When restricting any calories, it is always important to do it through less fat, carbs, or a combination of the two.