YCF Zone Training at a Glance



1 Heart Rate Monitor.

Needs to be accurate. Apple watches and any wrist monitor is not ideal. Best ones have a chest strap with a paired watch. I use a cheap $70 Polar brand. We have 6 at the gym, and you can check one out to borrow it until you get your own.


1. Establish your zone: Guideline is 180 - (your age). I'm 50 so 180-50 = 130. But I adjusted mine to 135-140 bpm zone.

2. Check and record resting heart rate before you get out of bed every morning. Use this info to see progress and also to know if you need a rest day (an above average resting heart rate indicates you need a break).

3. Spend a minimum of 45-60min. doing an activity where your heart rate is solidly in your zone the whole time. Running is the best, but you can get creative. You figure out how often you want to do this. Minimum is 2-3x per week.

4. Use some application to log the distance ran or some way to measure your performance within your set timeframe. This will provide the feedback you need to see progress. Your heart rate dictates your pace. I use the phone app: ‘Map My Run’. Your progress will be surprising. When I did this before, my first 5.6 mile run took 75 min. to complete while staying in my zone. A few months later the same distance took me 43 min. keeping to my zone. That’s mind-blowing.

Example 1 (Measuring Distance): If you decide to have running be your benchmark workout for this and you only have a specific time window to do your workout then you’ll want to log your distance covered as your way to measure progress. You should see your distance increase within the allotted time.

Example 2 (Measuring Time): Using running again as your benchmark, if you have a more flexible time window to do the workout you may want to do what I did. I had a set distance of 5.6 miles. I kept track of how long it took me to complete that run at my heart rate zone. You should see that time come down as your cardio improves.

YCF Nutrition Success Story - Charles


From February to April 2017 Charles Espinoza has been using the MyFitnessPal app to track his macros.  He came to our first nutrition meeting and has followed the plan.  It obviously works!  His before pic actually still looks pretty good but it's obvious that he's now totally ripped.  Charles is 34 years old has 3 kids and a full time job.  He's just as busy as the rest of us.  


It's never too late to start getting your nutrition on track.  If you can afford it I will always recommend hiring a professional nutritionist to hold you accountable.  I've found that a 6 month commitment is what's needed to create a lasting change.  Most of us at YCF have used leanmachinenutrition.com.  But if you are motivated enough and disciplined enough you can do it on your own by following the steps in the YCF nutrition blog.  Just check out Charles if you need proof.  


If you're interested in making a change, ask around at YCF.  Many of us are already following the program and can help you out.  Here's a list:  Charles, Jarrod, Kisa, Reed, JoAnn, Ana, Amber H., Alicia, Sasha, Garrett, Gino, Omar, Carrie, Heidi, and Valentine

Chicken Phad Thai


This meal prep meal is AMAZING (thanks kisa)!!  I gotta share it.  So rather than post the recipe here I'm going to teach you how to copy from my MyFitnessPal journal to yours then save it as a "Meal" in your app. 

  • Open your MyFitnessPal app and go to 'Settings' 
  • Scroll down to 'Friends' and click that
  • Find me (jarrodnewman69) and click on me.  Add me as a friend if I'm not already.
  • Click on the journal icon.  
  • Now you can scroll through my food journal.  You can choose different days and see everything I've eaten.  Any day this week (Week of March 5th) you'll find my Phad Thai meal. 
  • Let's say you find I had it for lunch today and you want to copy it.  At the bottom of my Lunch in my journal you'll see 3 little dots (called ellipses).  Click that
My wife's 1300 calorie lunch (above).  I would gain 5 lbs overnight if I ate that

My wife's 1300 calorie lunch (above).  I would gain 5 lbs overnight if I ate that

  • Then click 'Save As Meal'
  • Just give it a name and save it.
  • Once it's saved as a meal you can modify it anyway you want.  I have 8oz of chicken which you might want to change to 5-6oz, or whatever. 👍🏼 

Hit a Plateau With Your Macros?


If you've been using MyFitnessPal like we describe in this Nutrition Blog then you've probably been surprised at how quickly the weight is coming off.  That's awesome, congrats!  Just like with exercise though those early big gains tend to slow down or even stop.  If you're sticking to your macros but have been stuck at your same weight for 2 weeks then this your next step.

Choose any random 2 days this week and cut your carbs by 50 grams.  All the other days continue to follow your normal macros.  That's it!  Simple! 

 Tip 1:  If you're going to cheat don't cheat BIG!  Blowing your macros big will show up on your scale for the next 3-4 days.  This will halt your progress if you're doing this every week.  If you're having a hard time with the binging try planning your cheat foods into your daily macros and slowly remove them from your daily meals over the following weeks.  Be patient with yourself as these food addictions can be very strong.  So it may take awhile.

Tip 2:  Probiotics are bacteria that live in your gut and intestines.  There are hundreds of billions of them and they are living things that thrive on the foods you eat.  They are good for you and essential to your health.  If you eat unhealthy foods you will nurture the type of gut bacteria (probiotics) that thrive on and crave this unhealthy food.  Science is learning that this gut bacteria actually influences your desire for certain foods.  So when you start eating healthy, your gut bacteria that thrives on bad food will start to starve out and scream to be fed.  They will signal your brain to feed them.  So your cravings get strong.  But over time if you eat healthy your gut bacteria will be replaced with new varieties that thrive on the new healthy foods you eat.  To speed up this process I recommend a probiotic you have to order online called VSL#3.

 As always, if you can afford it get a nutrition coach from leanmachinenutrition.com.  We are passing on what we're learning from our experience with this company because it works and we want everyone to benefit.  But there is nothing that will work better than a 6 month commitment with Lean Machine Nutrition.



Slow and Steady Progress Paying Off

Just a quick update.  Jarrod is 17 weeks in and has lost 13 lbs.  It doesn't sound like much but the before and after pic tells the story.  It can be discouraging when your progress doesn't seem to be as fast or dramatic as you'd hoped.  Jarrod is over 4 months into the program and only down 13 lbs.  He has struggled to stay positive when it seemed like progress had stalled out.  But it only "seemed" that way.  You need to trust your macros and stick with it.  Shout out to leanmachinenutrition.com  Not quite in maintenance mode but getting pretty close.

The Art of Blowing Up Your Macros from Binge-Eating

So I blew it last Sunday.  I've been eating strict to my macros for 16 weeks and have had 4-5 bad days total.  Last Sunday Buck and Wendy brought pizza and cookies over for my wife Kisa.  I inhaled it all.  My daily calorie intake is supposed to be 2,600 cals and I ended up at 4,200 cals!!!  BAM!  It was delicious, I felt sick all night, felt hungover the next day, had a renewed sense of purpose for my nutrition program.  Let's face it we're all human and it happens....and it will happen again.  So here is what I've learned:

  1. If you go all day feeling like you're denying yourself something tasty but unhealthy, you're probably about to fall of the wagon.  Usually you cave in the evening and you're probably going to fail "BIG".  At this point I should be telling you about moderation and all that bullshit, but I say "Get it out of your system!"  Eat enough that you're disgusted with the idea of having it again anytime soon.
  2. If you fail "BIG" just get back on your diet the next day.  Expect at least 2-3 days with the scale moving up because of your bad day.  In total it takes about 5 consecutive good days to completely erase the damage from that 1 day.  In the scheme of things it's not a big deal.  But this is interesting to note because many of us think we deserve a cheat day every week.  You can see that if it takes you almost a week to undo an evening's worth of binge-eating then 1 day every week means you'll never make progress with your weight loss.  
  3. Record your macros when you binge-eat.  I usually have to wait until the next morning.  Logging it that same night is too depressing for me.  Don't hide it, log it!  Logging it is your way of declaring, "Hey, I'm a friggin' human!!".  And it provides a few learning experiences for you:  a)  how many calories are in those cheat meals.  b) how long it takes to erase the damage it did to you c) if you get right back on your program it won't have any long lasting impact on your progress.
  4. If you are good for a long time your body will have become used to your clean calorie appropriate diet.  When you binge you will feel much worse physically than you used to.  Soak up that feeling, it's going to motivate you tomorrow to get back to business and also make you think twice the next time you think of falling off the wagon BIG.  

Closing thoughts:  learn to fall of the wagon in a "small" way.  Sometime when I know I'm going to not hit my numbers because of a cheat I just say "screw-it" and binge-out.  But allowing yourself a donut or a few slices of pizza once in a while even though it's going to cause you to miss your macros is good and you'll feel fine after and you won't have to pay a 5 day penalty.  In fact if you fail "small" you may not even notice any negative affects.  Anyway, it's all a learning process so don't beat yourself up or hold yourself to a standard of perfection.  We're human and we gotta stay focused on the "long-game".  You should be in this for life, so a few days here and there doesn't mean anything.