Two of the top names in athlete and celebrity fitness, Billy Blanks and Eric the Trainer, joined with the Mavs on MAVS FIT Night at Wednesday’s home game against the Houston Rockets as part of NBA FIT Week.
Eric the Trainer, a.k.a. Eric Fleishman, led the crowd, dancers, mascots, and ManiAACs in exercises and some dancing both before and during the game alongside Blanks, the founder of Tae Bo. Together they created Celebrity Sweat, the No. 1 celebrity wellness brand that uses music and sports to motivate and inspire. They work with some of the top athletes, entertainers, and celebrities in the business.
“We wanted to start in Dallas because Dallas if one of our favorite cities,” Eric said. “It’s the home of so many great sports teams, it’s the home of so many great chefs, it’s the home of Gold’s Gym corporate. We love Dallas, we love the people of Dallas, so it was a great place to start. And, also, the fact that the Mavericks are such a great team with a great owner, it has to be the best partnership ever.”
Fortunately, they didn’t share any weight-loss tips with the ManiAACs as they prepare for their appearance at next month’s All-Star Game. But they did share some advice with Mavs.com on how to lead a healthier lifestyle. Who among us can’t stand to trim some fat, lose some muscle, and become a healthier person? That includes yours truly, so you better believe I took detailed notes as they shared their wisdom.
“The NBA’s a great partner of ours,” Eric said. “Together, we vow to help make its fans and its staff healthier.”
Their challenge: For 30 days, exercise every day; cut out fast food, soda, and alcohol in favor of more natural forms of protein such as eggs, chicken, fish, or steak (depending on whether you want to gain weight or remain level); impose a “food curfew” of eating no later than 7 p.m.; and, most importantly, go to sleep early.
“Sleep is the only time the body can transform,” Eric said. “So if you look in the mirror and you want to lose a little bit of weight, of course we want you to exercise, of course we want you to change your diet and put in one of those food curfews of 7 p.m., but the actual transformation occurs exclusively during slumber. Prioritizing sleep during that time of transition is paramount.”
Every hour of sleep before midnight is worth multiple hours of sleep after 12 a.m. Going to bed earlier means you can wake up earlier and get in a good workout and big breakfast before heading out to work. The trainers recommend eating in a “food decrescendo” throughout the day: a large breakfast, significant lunch, and small dinner. Our bodies are machines, and food is our fuel to get us through the day.
Making a complete shift in your lifestyle and eating habits can be a daunting thing. But Blanks, whose Tae Bo program helped revolutionize American fitness, said approaching it as an exciting challenge rather than an impossible task will lead to better results. Instead of dreading sober weekends and skipped desserts, revel in the thought that you can totally transform your body in such a short period of time.
“One of the most important things when you’re getting into an exercising program is executing your mind and will,” Blanks said. “Make sure you’re being mindful of what you’re doing. A lot of people don’t. A lot of people just do stuff and they don’t realize what they’re doing, so they can’t capture power from it. Having the mind and having the will involved with taking care of your body is going to make things happen better for you.”
Staying mindful in the moment will add excitement to the workout, as well. You’d be hard-pressed to find someone who actually only works 40 hours a week these days. Blanks said learning to exercise takes practice, and that’s a welcome escape from the thing we typically practice most in this day and age: stress.
“When you get ready to do a workout, make sure you’re talking,” he said. “If I’m doing something, I’m counting (punches) ‘One! Two!’ When you start doing things like that while you’re exercising, you’re being mindful of what you’re doing in the now, not think of what you’ve got to do out there, so you free yourself up.”
Counting through cardio or physical exercise clearly has its benefits, but when lifting heavy weights, Eric said swapping out numbers with other words can change things up in a refreshing way.
“When we do a bench press with celebrities in the gym, instead of being under the bench press and counting ‘One! Two! Three!’ where you think the higher you go the heavier it will be, we make them say the word ‘Kaboom,'” he said. “So when the bar touches their chest, as they push up, they yell ‘Kaboom! Kaboom! Kaboom!’ and they go from being a stressed actor underneath the bar to being a human volcano erupting with every repetition. It brings joy to the exercise.”
The NBA is celebrating NBA FIT Week from Jan. 17-25. Learn more here, and learn more about Celebrity Sweat here.
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