Many people begin exercising with a fixation on some sort of external goal, which usually means getting better at various activities. They’re chasing after a target when their primary objective is usually to improve their body composition and functional ability through exercise.

“Often people set out to achieve a goal and hope this goal will provoke change to their body,” says Joshua Trentine, president of Overload Fitness. “In reality, their training is designed to make them as efficient as possible at achieving the external goal rather than being as efficient as possible at stimulating the body’s adaptive mechanisms.”

Smart Business spoke with Trentine about catering a workout program to meet your true objectives.

What is an external goal?

An external goal can be considered an ‘assumed objective,’ i.e., one might set a goal such as walk a mile, run a marathon, do 1,000 sit-ups, lift as much weight for as many reps as possible or swim across a lake. While all of these activities produce an ‘exercise effect,’ they will not produce the best possible results with regard to body composition and overall functional ability because they lack the most exacting stimuli; the training addresses the activity rather than the body. If your goal is to simply achieve a task, the body will always find the path of least resistance. The goal should be to stimulate the muscles, in other words find the path of greatest resistance.

What is a better exercise objective?

There are qualitative measures that can be taken to incorporate the most efficient, safe, intense and sustainable exercise stimuli. Rather than trying to add more activity to your already busy life, focus instead on quality over quantity.

Let’s call these qualitative measures ‘the real exercise objective,’ which is to momentarily weaken the musculature in order to set forth a cascade of biological events that encourage all of the muscles and their supportive sub-systems — cardiovascular, hormonal, bone, etc. — to adapt to the stress.

The real exercise objective is best accomplished through quality exercise stress. The body can easily adapt to doing more activity. However, it’s not always in a positive way, as the outcome of excessive activity can include muscle and bone loss, decreased metabolic rate, and often overuse injury.

Exercise quality, then, has to be defined by intensity. Intensity is directly related to the quality of muscular contraction — our volitional effort — and the corresponding rate of fatigue. There is an inverse relationship between exercise intensity, which can be called quality, and exercise volume, or quantity.

You can work hard or you can work long, but you cannot work your hardest and longest at the same time. In order to sustain long-duration activity, you must reduce the intensity. Doing more volume will always result in hitting a point of diminishing returns. Using more intensity, within the constraints of safety, produces better results.

What is considered high-quality exercise?

The characteristics of high-quality exercise are:

  • High-intensity strength exercise.

  • Progressive in nature.

  • Brief — 30 minutes or less.

  • Infrequent — once or twice per week.

  • Designed to fatigue the muscle as safely, deeply and effectively as possible.

  • Done in a cool environment, meaning temperatures between 62 to 68 degrees Fahrenheit.

  • Executed with focus.

  • Done slow and under control by minimizing acceleration and momentum when changing direction of movement.

  • Requires between six and 12 repetitions.

  • Completed without rest between exercises.

  • Continued until the point of momentary muscular failure.

  • Resistance is increased when at the high end of the repetition range.

By engaging in strength training in this manner you’ll get the most out of your workout.

Joshua Trentine is the president of Overload Fitness. Reach him at (216) 292-7569 or

Insights Health & Fitness is brought to you by Overload Fitness

Published in Cleveland

When most people start to exercise, they often begin with the notion that they can select parts of their body and spot reduce or target them for weight loss, which is a myth. Even so, it’s not uncommon to see a novice trainee wasting a great deal of time working their abdominals with the idea that the fat lying over them will somehow melt away. Abdominal exercise is not an efficient or effective place to begin to get the most from your workout.

Another mistake of the novice trainee is to focus on steady state activity — jogging, swimming, bicycling and recreational activities — with the hopes of using exercise to burn fat away.

“There is no exercise or activity that ‘burns fat,’” says Joshua Trentine, president of Overload Fitness.

He says true exercise is done in order to create a biological need to hold on to or increase muscle mass. “If this is done on a weekly basis and the subject maintains a moderate calorie deficit there will be discriminate weight lost — you will lose fat.”

Smart Business spoke with Trentine about getting the most out of your workouts.

What’s important to understand when putting together a workout program?

True exercise stimulates skeletal muscular strengthening, which can lead to improvements in:

• Bone density.

• Vascular and metabolic function.

• Joint stability.

• Muscular strength.

• Appearance.

Strength exercise is the only exercise that can change the body’s architecture. The cornerstone of your exercise program should be an emphasis on strengthening the muscles and the movement synergy patterns that give you the most ‘bounce to the ounce.’

What should be an area of focus?

Every comprehensive exercise program should include exercise for the gluteus maximus (the buttocks). This is the biggest, densest, most powerful musculature in the human body and its size gives it the greatest impact on global metabolic rate, more so than any other muscle. Intense work for this muscle will produce the most profound chemical and hormonal impact from exercise and improve your overall functional ability. This musculature also gives the greatest indication of overall fitness and produces the most desirable aesthetic effect when developed.

What exercises affect this musculature the most?

In order to exercise this muscle effectively, it’s important to know its primary function, which is to extend the hip — the action one makes when climbing stairs.

The next step is to find exercises that include hip extension as part of their movement synergy pattern. The best exercise for this purpose resembles a squat pattern or mimics the movement that occurs when a person goes from sit to stand. Historically this movement has been performed with resistance, such as a barbell, placed across the back or held in the hands at arm’s length. Both of these applications present practical and biomechanical limitations.

A good exercise to focus on is the leg press, which will produce the greatest overall exercise effect. It meets the requirements of training the biggest muscles in the human body in a safe and effective manner and has the most profound cardiovascular, muscular and hormonal impact.

How often should these exercises be undertaken?

Exercise this muscle intensely for two to three minutes, to muscular failure, one time per week, to see large-scale jumps in functional ability. The leg press exercise should be done no more than twice per week and performed in a slow and controlled fashion, keeping continuous tension and meaningful load on the muscles for the duration of the exercise. The attempt should be to fatigue the muscles as thoroughly as possible.

Whether you are a professional athlete, just trying to maintain or improve your shape, in need of physical rehabilitation, or simply wanting to maintain or improve overall functional ability, the leg press is a great place to start.

Joshua Trentine is president at Overload Fitness. Reach him at (216) 292-7569 or

Insights Health & Fitness is brought to you by Overload Fitness



Published in Cleveland

Before the question of “Why exercise?” can be answered, it is important to first define exercise.

The definition of exercise has come to include a wide variety of activities, and when asked what exercise is, some might reply with walking, gardening, dancing, video games, sex and a list of other activities too long to touch on.

“Exercise is a process whereby the body performs work of a demanding nature, in accordance with muscle and joint function,” says Joshua Trentine, president of Overload Fitness. “It is best performed in a distraction-free, temperature-controlled environment and within the constraints of safety and should be done by meaningfully loading the muscular structures to inroad their strength in a minimum amount of time.”

Trentine says, however, that people often attempt to claim that all of their recreational endeavors are exercise. But if the activity does not meet specific criteria that allows for enough of a stimulus to excite the body to produce profound architectural changes, then you are left with activity and recreation, not exercise. However, that is not to suggest that recreation and activity are without benefit.

“These things are absolutely essential to us and we should be able to enjoy recreational activity for the rest of our days on Earth. But the enjoyment of many, if not all, of these recreational activities might not be possible if we are not participating in the normal and required maintenance for the human body, which we call exercise,” he says.

Smart Business spoke with Trentine about the definition of exercise and how it can benefit the human body.

What are the differences between exercise and recreation?

When restrictions are put on the term ‘exercise,’ the most common reaction is that people will complain that engaging in any physical activity, regardless of its classification, will cause them to burn calories. While most any activity can lead to the result of calorie wasting, or burning off calories that have been consumed, it can also be sarcopenic, which means muscle wasting.

Some have estimated that a person who runs an entire marathon will expend some 2,500 calories. While this might seem like a lot, realize there are 3,500 calories stored in just one pound of fat.

The person who engages in activity, whether considered exercise or recreation, and is not logging the calories consumed and expended to establish a calorie deficit will not have much luck losing any fat.

Why is it important to build muscle?

This gets back to the original question of why exercise. The simple answer is to preserve and increase the amount of lean tissue that you have.

Those who are much past the age of 25 have begun losing muscle on an annual basis. Those who are much past the age of 40 are losing the amount of muscle they have at a much more rapid rate.

While it is important for people of any age to engage in some level of exercise on a regular basis, it becomes far more critical to maintain an exercise routine as one ages. Not doing so can lead to a loss of muscle, which will impact your ability to participate in the recreational activities that you enjoy.

What are the best ways to burn fat?

Another common aim of exercise is to lose fat. However, fat loss can only occur if a calorie deficit is established. To do this, determine how many calories are needed to sustain your current body mass, then monitor your caloric intake to ensure that you are consistently leaving yourself with a slight calorie deficit. You might only need to reduce your calorie intake by between 250 to 500 calories per day from your typical intake. However, be sure that you have a proper balance among proteins, carbohydrates and fats.

The other component of fat loss is an increase in physical activity. Unfortunately, recreational activity is a very inefficient means of achieving this. Diet and exercise combined is the primary strategy for losing fat-preserving lean tissue.

As we age, it is critical to make sure that our weight loss efforts are discriminate, which means making the distinction between losing weight — a very generic term and a concept that could, in fact, be detrimental to your health — and instead striving to lose fat and preserve lean muscle mass.

What are the benefits of exercise, and how will it help maintain lean tissue?

Exercise, as we’ve come to define it here, will promote skeletal muscle gain — those major muscle groups under voluntary control — while preventing its loss. Skeletal muscle is of great importance to the body. Developing this type of muscle will improve strength, joint stability and protection; increase levels of HDL or ‘good’ cholesterol; and improve bone density and vascular and metabolic efficiency.

Engaging in a regular exercise routine will also help you increase stamina and mobility and contribute to your overall functional ability, which will allow you to engage in most any type of physical activity — from golf to gardening — with less risk of injury and for longer periods of time.




Joshua Trentine is president of Overload Fitness. Reach him at (216) 292-7569 and visit

Insights Health & Wellness is brought to you by Overload Fitness

Published in Cleveland

“If I look back over my last 20-plus years of training people, the most common goal I have heard from clients is, ‘I would really like to lose some weight,’” says Joshua Trentine, president of Overload Fitness.

He says this often just stands to serve as the language loosely used to describe a desired outcome, but could also signal the average person is actually out of touch with his or her fitness goals.

“I would like to enhance our language sophistication and clarify what I believe the real goal is when a client makes this statement. I believe that if we don’t state our goals clearly and have a firm understanding of what they mean, than the path to achieving them will become blurry,” says Trentine.

Smart Business spoke with Trentine about the different ways to lose weight and which of them leads to the better and more lasting outcome.

Losing weight is often the goal of many who enter into a fitness program. Why might this not be the best approach?

There should not be as much emphasis placed on ‘cutting weight’ unless the person is a competitive athlete trying to bring his or her weight down to a certain level in order to qualify to compete in a sport in a specific weight class. What seems to be meant by cutting or losing weight is that the client is looking to lose body fat while trying to improve his or her overall body composition, that being the person’s ratio of fat to lean mass. This is often called discriminate weight loss and the difference between the two methods is well worth mentioning because realizing which is most suitable helps greatly when assessing a means to achieve an end goal.

What do many people feel they need to do in order to lose weight?

When many people embark on the path to the ambiguous goal of ‘weight loss,’ they may create a plan that incorporates deprivation. Through this method, a person often goes through periods of severe calorie restriction and begins a regiment of daily steady-state activities that can include jogging, biking and walking. If they approach their goal this way, the outcome they are likely to achieve would certainly be weight loss, but is that what the person really desired? In many cases, the answer is no.

Why might this not be the best or most healthy approach for someone to lose weight?

Let’s say, for instance, that a person consistently follows a plan of calorie restriction and increased activity and eventually achieves the stated 20-pound weight loss goal. The person who loses weight in this manner will likely shed close to 10 pounds of muscle and around 10 pounds of fat. Both long-duration, steady-state activity and severe calorie restriction will result in some fat loss but will also lead to sarcopenia, which can be generally defined as muscle wasting. The end result, if carried too far or too long, will be metabolic damage, which is a reduction in metabolic rate due to a loss of lean mass and a disruption of optimal thyroid and adrenal hormone output. Ironically, the result of this metabolic damage could be rapid fat gain if or when normal or higher levels of calories are introduced after the period of calorie reduction is tapered off. The resulting metabolic damage can also lead to a loss of functional abilities and could ultimately contribute to the onset of the degenerative process, which means more rapid aging.

What is the most effective way for someone to lose the right kind of weight?

The method of achieving discriminate weight loss, primarily fat loss, is really quite simple. First, establish how many calories are needed to sustain your current body mass. This can be estimated or ideally calculated with a resting metabolic rate test. This test is used to measure the minimum amount of energy required to keep your body’s core functions, such as heartbeat and respiration, operating normally.

Second, strictly monitor your caloric intake to ensure that you are consistently leaving yourself with a slight calorie deficit. Often it is only necessary to restrict something like 250 to 500 calories per day from your typical intake if a proper balance among proteins, carbohydrates and fats are maintained.

Lastly, you must participate in intense, safe, progressive strength training once or twice each week. Proper strength training will create a biological need for the body to hold onto its most metabolically expensive tissue — muscle and nerve — while predominately shedding fat. However, this only works if a mild caloric deficit and nutrient balance is maintained.

Beyond a slight calorie restriction and involvement in a strength training program, what else should a person do to meet his or her weight-loss goals?

Often when people are presented with this plan, they respond by asking what else they need to do. The answer is quite often, ‘nothing.’ Some 90 percent of the time you invest in this program will be spent monitoring and planning your meals, while the other minor allocation of time will be dedicated to performing your strength training program. There is no need to plan additional activities. Get out, do what you truly enjoy doing and appreciate that the biggest advantage to engaging in these activities is that your preoccupation with them stands the chance of keeping you from running to the fridge too often.


Joshua Trentine is president of Overload Fitness. Reach him at (216) 292-7569 and visit

Insights Health & Fitness is brought to you by Overload Fitness

Published in Cleveland

Human beings find comfort in routine. As children, we gain a sense of security from knowing what will happen, when it will happen, for how long and how we are expected to react to each situation. As we mature, knowing that home and family will be where we left them allows us to go out and explore the world as young adults, secure in the knowledge that we can always come home if we need. However, as we age, this penchant for sticking to the routine can work to our detriment.

We begin to settle in at home more and more, often opting to camp in front of the television rather than venture into a new neighborhood or to try a new vocation. Our sedentary ways can have damaging health consequences, most significantly for that muscle that drives the body: the heart. To stay strong, the heart needs daily movement that includes periodic challenges (to force it to pump more oxygen than normal), foods that declog blood vessels and keep them flexible, limited preservatives and refined foods, and regular activities that relieve stress. But, once sedentary, inertia can make it seem as if changing our habits is an insurmountable task.

However, with concerted effort in three areas, what I call affect, behavior: and cognition – the ABCs of Change - we can break the cycle and embrace good cardiovascular practices.

First, start by tracking your moods, your activities and your thoughts in relation to heart-healthy activities such as walking, jogging or any other activity that works up a sweat. Jot down on paper how you are feeling and what you are thinking at the moment when you decide to engage in any act that undermines your heart.

Next, write down how you will change your behavior each time you feel yourself slipping into the unhealthy mindsets that precede unhealthy behaviors. Now, write down what things inspire you to get up and move or to make heart-healthy decisions.

Then, commit to doing at least one heart healthy activity each day and to modifying your environment as needed each time you feel yourself sliding into unhealthy practices.

Last, give yourself time. Generally, it takes 21 days of repeat activity to develop a new habit; however, you may slip up. They key is to review your strategy and recommit each time you fall. Ultimately, your heart will be the better for it.

Patricia Adams is the CEO of Zeitgeist Expressions and the author of “ABCs of Change: Three Building Blocks to Happy Relationships.” In 2011, she was named one of Ernst & Young LLP’s Entrepreneurial Winning Women, one of Enterprising Women Magazine’s Enterprising Women of the Year Award and the SBA’s Small Business Person of the Year for Region VI. Her company, Zeitgeist Wellness Group, offers a full-service Employee Assistance Program to businesses in the San Antonio region. For more information, visit

Published in Akron/Canton

Cardiovascular disease is the No. 1 cause of death in the U.S.

Jeffrey Tomaszewski of OVERLOAD Fitness discusses how exercise can prevent cardiovascular disease, but it's not cardio or steady state exercise like most people think.

For more information, visit

Jeffrey Tomaszewski, ATC, CSCS, MS, can be reached at (216) 292-7569, (440) 835-9090 or See more at

The content of this video is by Joshua Trentine, the founder of OVERLOAD Fitness. Reach him at (216) 292-7569.

Published in Cleveland
Monday, 28 February 2011 09:16

The importance of a good night's sleep

Jeffrey Tomaszewski of OVERLOAD Fitness discusses the importance of a good night's sleep and how not getting seven to eight hours of sleep each day can negatively impact your fat loss goals.

We've all heard that we need eight hours of sleep per night. Still many adults are getting less than six hours of sleep per night, and it's hurting them in a number of ways.

Research shows that long-term sleep loss is related to increased obesity and diabetes. Also, metabolism slows when a person doesn't get enough sleep.

Jeffrey Tomaszewski, ATC, CSCS, MS, can be reached at (216) 292-7569, (440) 835-9090 or See more at

Published in Cleveland
Thursday, 18 November 2010 09:18

How to set and achieve your fitness goals

Jeffrey Tomaszewski of OVERLOAD Fitness discusses how to set and then achieve your fitness goals.

Many people fail at their health goals because they never had a specific goal to begin with. By determining exactly what you want to accomplish, writing it down and then putting an action plan in place, you'll be able to achieve your goals.

Jeffrey Tomaszewski, ATC, CSCS, MS, can be reached at (216) 292-7569, (440) 835-9090 or See more at

Published in Cleveland
Thursday, 14 October 2010 20:00

How to eat healthy while traveling

Jeffrey Tomaszewski of OVERLOAD Fitness discusses eating healthy while on the road.

The key is to plan ahead — carry fruits, nuts or even supplements with you, so you don't have to rely on unhealthy options at the food court.

Jeffrey Tomaszewski, ATC, CSCS, MS, can be reached at (216) 292-7569, (440) 835-9090 or See more at

Published in Cleveland

Jeffrey Tomaszewski of OVERLOAD Fitness explains how even the busiest executive can get a full workout in 20-25 minutes using a program that takes advantage of physiological principles.

According to Tomaszewski, it's the intensity of the exercise, not the volume, so you can achieve maximum results with minimum exercise.

Jeffrey Tomaszewski, ATC, CSCS, MS, can be reached at (216) 292-7569, (440) 835-9090 or See more at

Published in Cleveland
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