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QuickFit Tip Of The Day

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To avoid weight gain and promote weight loss, eliminate sugars and “heavy” carbohydrates at nighttime. To stay lean, dinner should be your smallest meal of the day and you should only be having a protein and vegetables.

- Personal Trainer Mike Donavanik, CSCS, CPT

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Does Incline Running Give You Bigger Or Slimmer Legs?

Filed under: FitnessAdviceMike Donavanik

Mike D extreme burn

A curious Perezcious FitPerez.com reader had a question for one of our resident experts, personal trainer Mike Donavanik.

Here's what she wanted to know:

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QuickFit Tip Of The Day

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The FITT Principle is a great way to overcome plateaus and change up your workout routines. FITT stands for Frequency / Intensity / Time / Type. Frequency: how often you exercise. Intensity: how hard you work during exercise. Time: the length of time you exercise. Type: the type of exercise you do. To continue to make progress, change up your routine by modifying two of these factors every 2-4 weeks.

- Personal Trainer Mike Donavanik, CSCS, CPT

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Preventing Stomach Cramps During A Workout

Filed under: Exclusives!FitnessRunningMike Donavanik

Mike D extreme burn

Nothing can deter you from completing a workout faster than a bad case of stomach cramps.

Luckily, there are ways to prevent getting them in the first place!

A FitPerez reader named Anna is experiencing chronic stomach pains that are preventing her from adopting a regular running routine, so she wrote to fitness expert Mike Donavanik for help, asking:

Hey Mike,

Thanks so much for helping me with this.

I started running about a week ago. I had tried to get into a routine before but I always got cramps when I was running so I gave up. Now I am just braving the pain and keep running until I can't stand the stomach cramp. Any suggestions to help this? I know I can keep running if I could get rid of this cramp.

According to Mike:

Hi Anna!

From what it sounds like, you’re getting a side cramp or “stitch” (sharp pain in your side, or sometimes in the lower abdominals) while you run.

There are a few factors that can contribute to cramping up like that, but it’s mainly a result of shallow breathing. Try to slow your breathing, take deeper breaths and focus on your form while you run, to avoid cramping up. If you do start cramping, slow your running pace down and focus on taking longer, deeper breaths – the cramp should slowly go away. It should also be noted that the better conditioned you become, the less likely these side cramps will occur.

Other factors that can contribute to stomach cramps or side cramps are eating before you run and/or drinking too much water before or during your run. The easiest thing to do is to avoid eating anything heavy, 90 minutes to 3-hours prior to running. If you need to eat something before that time, have half a banana. The same goes for water consumption, try not to drink too much water prior to running; and while you run, you should only take tiny sips of water not huge gulps.

Follow these tips and your cramps should be a thing of the past!

We hope Mike's advice helps ease Anna's pain! If you've got more questions, write Tips@FitPerez.com or tweet @MikeDonavanik on Twitter for more answers!

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QuickFit Tip Of The Day

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Drink between 8-10 glasses of water daily. Your body needs water to function properly. Drinking enough water will promote weight loss, rid your body of toxins, give you more energy, and even clear up your skin.

- Personal Trainer Mike Donavanik, CSCS, CPT

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How To Get The MOST Out Of Your Ab Workout

Filed under: Exclusives!Q&AFitnessAbsMike Donavanik

Mike D extreme burn

What's the point of doing bunches of crunches if you're not FEELING any kind of a burn? Short answer: There is none!

If you want see results, you have to challenge your body!

Despite regular workouts, a FitPerez reader named Stan hasn't had much luck in the abdominal department so he wrote celeb trainer Mike Donavanik for help!

Hi Mike,

I have questions about simple abdominal exercises. I have been doing many sets of abdominal exercises every day, such as vertical leg crunches, traditional crunches, and the ab rocker at the same time. However, about 2 months after I started this, I feel no more burn. What can I do to improve my own program?

According to Mike D:

Hi Stan!

If you’re not feeling the burn, those exercises probably aren’t challenging you anymore. If you can complete them without feeling any difficulty, it’s definitely time to change up your current routine. One of the easiest things you can do – without adding any equipment – is create an abdominal specific exercise circuit. So, piece together three to five abdominal exercises and perform them back-to-back.

Here’s a quick example (perform 3-5 sets):

1. Leg Raises – 15 reps

2. Crunches with Legs Elevated – 15 reps

3. V-Ups – 15 reps

4. Bicycle Crunches – 15 reps each side (30 total)

5. Russian Twists – 15 reps each side (30 total)

Another way to challenge yourself is to add some weighted resistance to your abdominal exercises and/or pick more challenging abdominal exercises. If you’re going to add some weighted resistance, all you’ll need is between 5 and 15 pounds. While it may not seem like a lot, that weight will definitely add up, especially if you add it to an abdominal circuit. Some challenging exercises that you may want to add to your routine are: hanging leg raises, hanging windshield wipers, stability ball pikes, TRX Pikes and the list goes on and on.

Your abdominal muscles are just like any other muscle in your body, they’re eventually going to adapt to a given stimulus. To continually challenge yourself and make gains, be sure to change up your routine every 3-4 weeks.

We're feeling the burn just reading this! If you've got more questions, write Tips@FitPerez.com or tweet @MikeDonavanik on Twitter for more answers!

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QuickFit Tip Of The Day

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Recovery is a vital part of overall health and wellness. Get between 6.5-8 hours of sleep every night; you will have more energy, feel more refreshed and be less stressed. By getting enough sleep you will also prevent weight gain, and you’ll even notice an overall decrease in body fat.

- Personal Trainer Mike Donavanik, CSCS, CPT

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