Salt is NOT the Enemy

There’s a lot of folklore today regarding the amount of sodium someone should consume in a day, particularly within the body building community. There’s a belief that an excess of sodium will cause the body to retain water and as a result strange and unhealthy tactics have been used to reduce this effect, such as salt and water depletion. Now this is true to an extent but an excess of sodium won’t cause you to look bloated and fatter than you actually are. We’ve prepped many competitors and have paid no attention to sodium intake, meanwhile they look just as “shredded” if not more so than their competition. The only difference is that our athletes aren’t dehydrated, fatigued, and cramping on game day. In fact, a low sodium intake can have quite the negative effect on weight training. When you deplete your sodium intake, your body will struggle to hang on to potassium which in turn will cause muscle cramping/fatigue. A little fun fact: soldiers in Afghanistan would consume sodium phosphate pills on a daily basis to prevent cramping and fatigue in the arid climate. Knowledgeable weight trainers often consume 5,000mg or more on a daily basis because of the correlation between sodium intake and your muscles ability to contract to their fullest extent. Now I’m not saying to grab your salt shaker and start pouring salt down your gullet.  What I am saying is to not worry and obsess over how much salt you’re consuming in a day, that is unless you have a medical condition wherein it would be required to do so. Let’s be honest, chicken is bland enough as it is. Put on as much seasoning as you want and don’t think twice.



This article is the courtesy of Raymond M. Binkowski former fat guy, author of “Eat by Color”, personal trainer and owner of FitWorkz.  Its intent is to be shared.  If sharing the previous following statement MUST be included any time this article is reproduced in part or entirety.  So please feel free to share, you just might change a life! * * Twitter @eatbycolor * *


Don’t be Duped by Supplement Ads, Train Less for Faster Gains, and Food Addiction

Supplement companies dupe customers into buying their products. A client makes more gains by training less (second client in a few weeks to report this), and food addiction.

So today I got an email from a client we train online. She is absolutely rocking it progress wise. She is middle age and looks easily a decade younger than she is. Her email included a recipe for a protein shake. The recipe supposedly turned the signal on in your cells to burn fat, fights hunger, raises metabolism and a ton of other stuff. The recipe is really an extremely well written advertisement written to market a protein powder. The problem is that to most it looks like nothing more than a great recipe. This is one way that the supplement industry dupes people to buying their products. Be aware of what you are reading. If it promises the world and seems to good to be true it likely is.

Twice in the last few weeks, clients have reported making better progress even though they are training less. Yes you read that correctly. Clients are training less and making major progress. This is all too common. Enough of the right exercise produces awesome results. Too much of the right exercise can often be too much and slow your progress. How much is enough? Many find 2-3 hours a week of exercise perfect if it is spent 70% on weights and 30% High Intensity Interval Cardio.

Food addiction is real. Here is why. When some foods are consumed dopamine, the feel good chemical in the brain, is increased. Take chocolate, many crave chocolate when they are down in the dumps. Why? Dopamine. Same thing with many foods, especially those higher in simple carbs and fats, we crave them because they make us feel good. This is why in Eat by Color I wrote that food is the most addictive drug on the planet and a five year old can manipulate it in the kitchen. If you really crave something, like chocolate have it. Research indicates that trying satisfy the craving with something else will not work. That is a major take home point. It is better to have a piece of chocolate then have something to curb the craving only to have the chocolate anyways.

Would love your comments, questions and feed back! Post on our social media sites and share.




Ray’s books can be found on and

Nook, Kindle, and iBook are also available for your favorite digital device. #EatbyColor @EatbyColor

Over 800 videos exercise, motivational, and nutrition can be found on Youtube

Also check out the Get Fit and Live Healthy Podcast on iTunes and go mobile.


This article is the courtesy of Raymond M. Binkowski former fat guy, author of “Eat by Color”, personal trainer and owner of FitWorkz.  Its intent is to be shared.  If sharing the previous following statement MUST be included any time this article is reproduced in part or entirety.  So please feel free to share, you just might change a life! * * Twitter @eatbycolor * *


March 2016 Free Training and Class Schedule

The month of March can be good and bad.  The weather starts to cooperate more as spring like conditions are preeminent, people are looking to get outside, and then it can take an immediate turn back to winter conditions.  It can be maddening!  To keep you from going completely stir crazy with being stuck indoors, attend any of our free training and class to keep you on track with your continued fitness goals.  Spring Break is right around the corner…are you looking to get slim and sassy for your trip?  Our free training and class schedule will get you on your way to the Spring Break body you’ve been dreaming about since January 1st!

Sign up at the club, call (815)756-1188, or sign on to MindBody and get your space reserved.

March 2016 Training Calendar

February 2016 Free Training and Class Schedule

Sweetheart candy


Gear up and get ready…the February 2016 FREE TRAINING and class schedule is available!  This month’s theme is “Sweat with your Sweetheart”, where you have the opportunity to get in a great workout with your special someone.  Our free training is full of Valentine themed workout activities which are great to use in your current routine.

We are also offering a Specialized Training Program, Fit to a “T”!  This program is great for the golf enthusiast, or if you’re looking to begin golf, attend our training program where we can help you stay balanced and increase coordination for you to have a successful golf season!

Schedule your session on MindBody, or call the club for more details!


February 2016 Calendar

Failure or Success in 2016?

It’s that time of year again and those that made fitness resolutions are on the prowl looking to make big changes in 2016. This article will be geared towards anyone with a New Year’s resolution pertaining to fitness and for anyone who is a regular gym goer and would like to help some of the “resolutioners” out.

For starters, we should ask the question “why do the majority of New Year’s resolutions tend to fail?” In terms of health, wellness, and weight loss, the answer is pretty simple…RESULTS (or a lack there of)! We see it happen every year, people flock to the cardio equipment and machines in hopes of achieving a “beach body” for summer while at the same time making no major changes to their diet. After 30 days (or so) of this they notice no significant changes in the mirror and they typically give up on their resolution.

The solution to this problem is fairly easy, stop doing the same thing every year and expecting a different result. Get off the cardio equipment and machines and ask a trainer about functional training. If you would like guidance, set up a time to meet with me and I will give you 30 days of functional training for free to show you the ropes. Ask a trainer about Eat by Color and learn how to eat intelligently in a busy/chaotic lifestyle.

The bottom line is just try something new. Whether it’s changing your eating habits, getting off the treadmill and into the weight room, hiring a personal trainer, etc. You’ll be pleased at the results you can get by stepping out of your comfort zone.


Making It a Successful New Year

2016 has arrived.   Looking back at members and clients that reached their goals in 2015,  it was little things they did that went a long way to their success. The most successful people in 2015 combined exercise and nutrition.  This was true regardless of goal.  They took a lifestyle approach to both.  This means they did not diet and exercise consistently three hours a week most weeks.

Exercise was not the all consuming lifestyle, forcing members to put the rest of their life on hold.   Instead it was 2-3 hours a week…week in and week out.  Some weeks if life was busy they only got two workouts in.  Since they did not start planning to exercise every day it was not big deal if they missed a day at the gym.  From experience we see many people plan to exercise every day, miss a few workouts, and then toss in the towel because they cannot stick to their plan.

The successful members did not diet, count calories/points/macros, or eliminate entire food groups (i.e. no carbs.)  They did follow Eat by Color, or another approach to eating that produces steady short-term results.  Most importantly their approach to food is one they can stick with long term.   Long term means there is no end to the diet and with it a return of the weight they lost.  The Eat by Color clients that did really well asked us lots of questions AND sent food recalls allowing us to point out things they were doing really well.  As a bonus the food recalls help hold people accountable.

Taking a look at people that were not quite as successful:  This group often got the exercise right or the food right, but not both.  They would crush the workouts and neglect the food.  Even some of our 1:1 personal training clients just would not commit to doing anything with nutrition.  Sure they got some health benefits from exercise but not nearly what they should.  Or they would nail the nutrition and never show up to train.  Even worse they would do mostly cardio and a few machines.

The fastest way to accomplish anything is to copy what those that have already done it did.  In other words don’t re-invent the wheel.   If crushing your goals in 2016 is important to you do these two things:

1)  Set a realistic exercise goal that compliments your lifestyle.  Two to three hours per week is all you need.  Make sure 70% of your time is spent doing resistance training.

2)  Don’t diet!  Find a long-term approach to easily making food choices.  Many have done great with Eat by Color.

If you want help with this ASK!  We have a Eat by Color Nutrition membership that we just launched (more information on page 4 of this newsletter).   You learn how and what to eat based on the foods you like to eat.  You also get digital training.  Plus accountability with both exercise and food to make sure you reach your goals and maintain them.




This article is the courtesy of Raymond M. Binkowski former fat guy, author of “Eat by Color”, personal trainer and owner of FitWorkz.  Its intent is to be shared.  If sharing the previous following statement MUST be included any time this article is reproduced in part or entirety.  So please feel free to share, you just might change a life! * * Twitter @eatbycolor * *


January 2016 Newsletter

Happy New Year!
There is quite a bit of new stuff going on at FitWorkz.  We are now offering a nutrition membership based on our highly successful Eat by Color program.  Details below.  Digital training, yes we have an app to offer training.  Basic to highly customized.  Total Youth Conditioning for kids continues to teach basic athletic movement mechanics and kids love it.  Special 6 Week Speed and Agility just in time for soccer, baseball, softball and track.
Plus check out the attached January Newsletter for FREE training schedule and more!
Later this month watch for details on our Golf Training.

January 2016 Free Training and Class Schedule

Happy New Year 2016

Happy New Year!  You know what your new year’s goals are, and we want to help you achieve them the fastest and best way possible.  Attend any of our free training and classes where we will get you started on the right track to a life of fitness and wellness, eager to fit anyone’s goals whether small or large.  Sign up on our MindBody scheduler, or contact the club to reserve you spot today.

We also have a great 4 week training program for the month of January; Train Like a Gladiator!  In this special training program, you are in training for any of your upcoming events starting the spring – ranging from your 1st 5K, to a Tough Mudder, Spartan Race, and more!  This training event is every Monday starting at 6:30pm.  Sign up and pay at the club to reserve your spot.

January Calendar 2016



Are Your Supplements Really Doing Anything?

Supplements today are a rather hot topic. Everyone seems to be taking them and swears that the brand they’re taking is the best thing since sliced bread, when in reality most of what they experience is a result of the placebo effect. The supplement industry is a multi-billion dollar industry that feeds off of modern society’s obsession with vanity and the desire to look like “insert famous person here.” So before you go and dump hundreds of dollars into your local supplement store, it may be worth your time to ask whether or not the desired “fat burning this” or “muscle building that” is actually going to deliver what’s promised on the label.
For starters, the majority of supplement companies are primarily in the business of marketing, not nutrition. At the end of the day their bottom line is what’s important. Ever hear the expression “buy low, sell high”? Most products are designed to sell for the most money possible, while at the same time minimizing the costs to the producer to the greatest extent possible. This is done at the expense of using quality ingredients and in the proper amounts. A great example of this is “nitrogen spiking” protein powders which I discuss in a previous article.
Now I’m not saying that there aren’t any supplements that work. Quality supplements in conjunction with proper nutrition can help you achieve better results in a shorter amount of time, the only problem is that quality supplements among today’s brands are few and far in-between and typically come with a much higher cost than what you were probably expecting. That old adage “you get what you pay for” has never been more accurate in this case. We also need to remember that supplements are not drugs. They will not provide instant gratification like a drug and will not give you the body of your dreams in the short time frame of a month or less. Your fitness idol’s physique is the result of years of proper nutrition, training, and discipline (assuming they are truly natural).
Another reason people will typically “buy into” a supplement is because the public figure or celebrity they idolize recommends or sponsors them. This is the biggest grab for young men ages 18-25. People will purchase the products their idol uses in the hopes of emulating that specific physique, without knowing that the vast majority of these shredded fitness models are using low doses of anabolic steroids to attain their physique. This is highly misleading and isn’t very ethical, but that’s a discussion without an end.
At the end of the day, there is no replacement for proper nutrition. People have attained incredible physiques and won competitions without supplements in the past. If you’re not eating in way that is conducive to building muscle and burning fat, all of the supplements in the world won’t make a difference.

Holiday Survival Guide


Well it is that time of year again.  Time to eat, drink, shop, and be merry.  The perfect time to add 5 or 10 pounds more weight to lose for the New Years Resolution.  It does not have to be that way.  No one should look like they stole the cookies and milk from Santa at every house in their neighborhood come the first of the year.  Besides if you share with the big man he just may take care of you.

Here are some tips to survive this holiday season:
1)      Eat before you leave.  Showing up at a gathering hungry is one of the worst things you can do.
2)      Stay hydrated.  Do not allow thirst to be confused for hunger.
3)      Hit the vegetable tray first and often.  Skip the dips.
4)      Load up on shrimp and crab legs if your host is a big spender and put them out.  Skip the crab dips, it is not really crab anyways.
5)      Go easy on the sausages, cheese, and crackers.
6)      If there is a meal, follow the rules in the Eat by Color article.  If you have not read the article, do so next.  There will be a quiz later and those that have not read it will fail.
7)      If one must drink, have a glass of water or diet coke for every alcoholic beverage.
8)      Dessert, have some.  Some, not one of every cookie and pie on the table.  Eat what is enjoyed or seasonal; not the fruitcake just because it is there and no one is eating it.  What is in fruitcake anyways is it even cake?
9)      Pass taking left overs home.  Eating them will not help the starving of the world.
10)   If too many adult beverages are consumed, pass the keys to some one responsible.  Drinking and driving is never acceptable.  Plus it is the holiday season and the roads are shared with Santa, his elves, and eight reindeer.

“I must have gained 10 pounds on Thanksgiving I ate so much…”
Let’s get something straight.  No one is going to get “fat” from eating a bit extra a few times this holiday season.  But if one does so every weekend from Thanksgiving to New Year’s all bets are off and Santa may have some competition next year.  One pound of fat contains a theoretical 3500 calories.  So to gain one pound of fat an extra 3500 calories (that is roughly equivalent to 7 Big Macs!) would need to be consumed.   Someone eating normally eating 2000 calories a day that would be 5500 calories or an extra day and a half worth of food.  Though possible it is not likely.  In fact most weight gained from 1 day (not 1 month) of overeating is water.  A person that has been eating healthy and exercising may even see a slight decrease in fat weight days later as a day of over eating can crank up the metabolism.

“I ate enough today for the next week.  Looks like I will be skipping a few meals tomorrow…”
Point number two to get straight.  Skipping meals is a sure way to tell the body it is starving and to store fat.  This is a great way to make sure instead of enjoying an increase in metabolism from eating a bit extra that the metabolism grinds to a halt.  The best thing to do after a holiday is to wake up and eat a normal breakfast.  Then eat every few hours, don’t skip meals.

“I’m gonna pound out a few extra miles on the treadmill this week to work of this meal…”
Point number three to get straight.  Eating 1000 calories and burning 1000 calories does not take net calories to ZERO.  In other words, calories burned during exercise will not come from that extra piece of pumpkin pie.  The calories burned will come from the pie over-indulged in, muscle (remember more muscle = faster metabolism), and body-fat.  So forget pounding out a few extra miles to burn off what you ate a day earlier.

Exercise as a daily activity is the best way to combat holiday weight gain.  Cardio can help.  Weight training is better.   Weight training before a big holiday meal is king for controlling fat gain.  Sparing the science, less fat is gained if exercise (remember weight training is King) is done before the meal.  So hit the weights, do some cardio, and then feast.
Here is a great approach to cardio: 2-3 times per week do one of the following:
HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training)
Jog for a two minutes
Sprint for a minute.
Repeat 6 times and cool down for 2 minutes.
Warm up on your favorite piece of cardio equipment for 3-5 minutes.
Go all out for 3 minutes (if adventurous and on a treadmill sprint for a mile)
Cool down for 2 minutes and go home.

Happy Holidays!
Holidays are about time with family and friends.  A time to catch up, share a laugh, create a memory, and help those that are less fortunate.  If able to do that be grateful.  Not everyone will be with loved ones this holiday season.  Remember those not here and enjoy yourself.  Have a few things you do not normally eat and a few drinks.  If gone overboard, get back on track the next day.  Save some cookies and milk for Santa and GET “EAT by Color.” to make your resolutions a reality!

Ray’s books can be found on and
Nook, Kindle, and Ibook are also available for your favorite digital device. #EatbyColor @EatbyColor
Over 800 videos exercise, motivational, and nutrition can be found on Youtube
Also check out the Get Fit and Live Healthy Podcast on ITunes and go mobile.