Valeo Training

Wednesday, October 24, 2007


I was honored on Tuesday to be featured in a Health Profile Section in the Grand Rapids Press called Vital Signs. Yay!! :)

Health profile: Jessica Oosting
Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Age: 26

Occupation: Owner of Valeo/Personal Training LLC, Trainer, Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist

Biggest health challenge: Getting enough sleep to refresh and energize my body and mind. I'm a night owl with an early-morning, physically demanding career; not the best combination.

Exercise routine: I try to do three moderate or longer runs and one speed workout each week. I bike 50 to 70 miles a week and, during the sprint triathlon season, I add swimming a few miles each week. I do a focused strength training session two to three days a week.

Exercise tip: Spice it up. It's lack of change in our routines that causes lack of change in our bodies; plus, it's fun. Safely progress in intensity and find ways to venture beyond the typical. Swap the treadmill for a run on the trails, or hit the stairs at the beach, then take a swim in the water to cool off. Sneak in strength training throughout your day, do core work during commercial breaks on TV, push-ups off the counter after you brush your teeth, or add some cardio with a run to drop off a movie at the rental store.

Dieting history: I've always maintained a healthy weight. I credit that to good genes, a consistently active lifestyle and being nutrition-conscious. I eat according to how and when I need to fuel or repair my body. Fruits, veggies, whole grains and lean proteins make up the bulk of what I eat, but I'm not adamant about avoiding the occasional junk food or treat. We eat for so many more reasons than physical hunger, so I make sure to fuel my body properly but allow leeway for the "just-because" foods.

Guilty pleasure foods: Brownies, cookies, pizza and, in the summer, ice cream

Favorite healthy foods: Dark greens (spinach, fieldgreens, asparagus), apples and natural peanut butter, anything on the grill

Breakfast today: A Juice Plus+ Complete protein shake with a banana

Daily doses: I take Juice Plus+, a whole-foods, fruit/vegetable supplement.

Healthy advice: Do the best with what you have. For most, this might mean shifting your health motivation from solely weight loss and to enjoying a breath of fresh, outdoor air, having the energy to play with your kids, being a force on the sports field, holding your head a bit higher than you used to, or simply moving and functioning better in everyday life. Have fun with the life God created you to live.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007


"The news isn't that fruits and vegetables are good for you. It's that they are so good for you, they could save your life."
- David Bjerklie, TIME Magazine, October 20, 2003

Wednesday, October 3, 2007


This is one of the best articles I've read that reinforces the approach to weight loss I encourage (high-intensity circuit or threshold training combined with proper nutrient timing). This focus goes beyond the old paradigm that weight loss or gain is soley dependent on the number of calories in vs. calories out. The latest Nutrition and Exercise Science has been showing more and more that weight gain and weight loss IS ALL ABOUT ALTERING YOUR METABOLISM!

Here is Part I of a III-point series I'd like to share with you. The article, called "The New Science of Weight Loss" is written by Lou Schuler and found in the fook "The New Science of Lifting" by Schuler and Alwyn Cosgrove.

Part 1: Energy Balance Is The Key To Weight Control

If you want to understand energy balance in an instant, think of your body as a car that operates 24 hours a day, says Dan Benardot, Ph.D., R.D., a nutrition researcher at Georgia State University in Atlanta. You would never expect your car to get you from one place to the next without systematic refueling, just as you know there's no point in putting more gas in the tank than it's designed to hold. But that's how many of us operate our bodies.

We try to run on empty for hours, then dump in more fuel than we can handle. Benardot's research shows how self-destructive this strategy is.

Let's say you really want to lose fat, and decide to jog first thing in the morning, on an empty stomach. "The easiest way to get energy is to break down muscle mass," Benardot says. Your body can convert specific amino acids--the building blocks of muscle--to glucose, the sugar that powers human activity. "Someone running before eating may actually be breaking down the very tissue he's trying to improve. Sounds counterproductive to me."
Call it the "muscle loss" diet.

The second way is probably more typical of most of us. You can call this one the "fat gain" diet. You wait a long time between meals, and then, when you're ravenously hungry, you wipe out an entire buffet line. This guarantees that you'll get a larger surge of the hormone insulin than you ordinarily would. That means more fat storage. And you can probably combine the "muscle loss" and "fat gain" strategies and turn your body into a perfect muscle-burning, fat-storing machine. Hard exercise slows down appetite in the short term, but as you get used to it, your appetite matches your exertion level. So if you go out and run 10 miles on an empty stomach, then eat enough to fuel a 15-mile run, the net effect is that you've lost muscle on the run and gained fat from the postrun meal.

Energy balance, the focus of Benardot's research, is the answer to both of these dilemmas. The athletes in his studies get the best results when they stay within 300 to 500 calories of perfect energy balance throughout the day.

This means . . .
1. Eat as soon as you wake up in the morning.
2. Make sure you eat something before you exercise, no matter what time of day it is.
Not only does the food prevent your muscle tissue from becoming cardio chow, but it increases the number of calories you burn during and after exercise.
A 1992 study at Arnot-Ogden Medical Center in Elmira, New York, shows that exercise following a meal enhances metabolism.
3. Eat soon after exercising, when your body has depleted its energy stores. Act fast, or you'll start burning muscle for energy.
4. Eat a total of five to six small meals a day.

One of Benardot's studies showed that athletes who added three daily snacks to their three squares lost fat and gained muscle, on top of improving in all the other things that are important to athletes, such as power and endurance. Of course, you can't simply add a few hundred calories to your diet and lose weight, but you can redistribute your daily calories so you're eating more often but consuming less at individual meals.

However you do it, it's clear to Benardot that the worst strategy is cutting out tons of calories indiscriminately in hopes of sudden, dramatic weight loss. "If you're more subtle and try to lose a pound a week or 1 pound in 2 weeks, not only can you do it, but you'll be less likely to regain the weight," he says.