Saturday, October 31, 2009

Workout of the Day

Here's a Metabolic Acceleration workout that I did today. Check it out, try it and BRING IT!!

Dynamic Warm-Up - Complete a set of each exercise in the same numbered pair (for example, 1A & 1B, 2A & 2B, etc.) back-to-back w/ no rest between sets. Once finished, rest for 1-min. and move on to the next exercise pair.

  • 1A) Forward/Backward Jumps - 20 reps
  • 2A) Gate Swings - 20 reps

  • 1B) Lateral Jumps - 20 reps
  • 2B) Dymanic Lunges w/ Overhead Reach - 10 reps

  • 1C) Jacks - 20 reps
  • 2C) Reverse Dynamic Lunges w/ Twist - 10 reps
PreHab - Complete each exercise in order as listed, rest for 1-min. between each exercise
  • 1) YTWL Delt Raises -10 reps
  • 2) Prone Plank - Hold for 60-sec.
  • 3) Single-Leg Glute Bridge - 15 reps/side w/ 2-sec. pause @ top of the movement
Strength - Complete a set of each exercise in the same numbered pair (for example, 1A & 1B)back-to-back w/ no rest between sets. Once finished, rest for 1-min. and move on to the next exercise pair. Don't move on to the next pair until all listed sets are complete.
  • 1A) Body Weight Squats - 2 sets x 10 reps
  • 1B) Spiderman Pushups - 2 sets x 10 reps

  • 2A) Bulgarian Split Squats - 2 sets x 10 reps each side
  • 2B) Inverted Row - 2 sets x failure

  • 3A) Single-Leg Romanian Deadlift - 2 sets 10 reps each side
  • 3B) DB Push Press - 2 sets x 10 reps
  • 4A) Side Lunge - 2 sets x 10 reps each side
  • 4B) Pullups - 2 sets x failure
Conditioning - Perform each exercise for 30-sec., rest for 30-sec., then move to the next exercise. Repeat all exercises 3x in sequence.
  • 1) DB Swing
  • 2) Burpees
  • 3) Squat Jumps
  • 4) Shuttle Runs
Mission Accomplished in 45-minutes!
Notice that I didn't do any slow, boring cardio at all. The reason being is that I worked using a combo of high-intensity intervals (HIIT) and supersets which results in a higher output of fat calories and post-workout metabolic acceleration. If fat loss is what you're after, you can't go wrong with HIIT and supersets.
Train hard & have fun!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Buggy Rollin'

What you are about to see may trump even Peace on Earth as people's top want this year. This is simply, the coolest thing in existence which the creator/inventor calls Buggy Rollin'. Seriously, this guy has created what amounts to the world’s most perfect toy -- a dangerous and exciting movement tool that is worth spending every minute on Youtube watching every video he has made. This thing is REALLY fast, beating the world’s fastest skateboarder and even breaking street luge records! Enjoy!


Friday, October 23, 2009

Quote of the Day

"Count it all joy, my brethren, when you meet various trials, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing."
- James 1:2-4


Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Guard Your Marriage

Guest blog from Ryan Cook, a good friend and high school classmate of mine. Ryan is the Executive Ministries Pastor at Grand Junction First Assembly in Grand Junction, CO. Be sure to check out his blog as he has lots of great info on there!

Recently I have been hearing a lot about divorce, adultery, cheating, immorality and so on. All over TV and billboards you sex being glamorized. Just today, a friend of mine came and talk about this messy subject of affairs and adultery that he was in the middle of.

Look at this heart wrenching, staggering stat- 65% of men and 55% of women will commit adultery by age 40. That is so sad!

I heard a message the other day about this subject and want to hit some points and add some of my own to it.

5 Ways to wreck your marriage -

Neglect your marriage

  • Start w/ yourself and your body
  • Give majority of energy to something else besides your marriage
  • No relational intimacy- no sex- if so, by all means, make it boring and as predictable as you possibly can

Enjoy common interests & form an emotional bond w/ someone else besides your spouse

  • Projects at work, co-ed sports, training at the gym
  • Try to relate to them and tell them things about your spouse you don’t like

Anticipate your time together w/ another

  • Extra cologne/perfume, make excuses to leave the house

Flirt w/ others

  • Email, FB and text them
  • Make sure you delete all communication between you 2 so spouse doesn’t find out
  • Leave notes, touch, joke w/ one another

Make excuses and rationalize your actions

  • Lie and deceive your spouse

By all means, God wants you to be happy!

Now that I have your attention, lets talk about this subject!

People never intend to commit adultery, it happens subtly.

Do whatever it takes to radically reduce and remove the risks.

God’s line w/ adultery isn’t just the act of, we think “well, we are friends, we haven’t crossed the sex line yet” but God’s line starts w/ our eyes, heart and mind. Check out Matt 5:28.

Guard your heart, eyes and mind.

Listen, if you kept a video log w/ all your interactions w/ other people through out the day, whether same or opposite sex and showed it to your spouse, would you be proud of how you behaved?

If emails, FB, and texts were fair game and you didn’t delete them, would you be able to say you treated others w/ integrity and not be ashamed of what they saw? Or would you say YIKES, I wouldn’t want them to see how I gave this other person so much attention, or when I got w/ my buddies/girlfriends, how we talked about others of the opposite sex.

5 ways to help your relationship w/ your spouse -

Keep a growing relationship w/ Christ. When you neglect your relationship w/ Christ, things go downhill.

Never be alone w/ the wrong people. Who ever that may be, same or opposite sex. What’s the appearance seem to be?

Never talk badly about your marriage w/ the wrong people. Find another married couple to talk to.

Surround yourself w/ strong marriages.

Avoid all inappropriate place and situations. Ex old flames looking you up on fb or texting- don’t let it happen. Don’t put yourself or your spouse in that situation.

Avoid ALL appearance of evil.

If you have a job that puts you in bad situations, then quit. It’s easier to find another job than another father or mother to your children. True-life example- I have a buddy that got a job. I mentioned my concerns, he started anyways. The first day of training he went home, talked to his wife about it, listened to his wife’s views, went back and quit the job. He didn’t want to be put in any situation that could possibly lead to something else. Was he weak? HECK NO, he was avoiding the situation, guarding himself, and heeding the advice of his wife. Smart man and I respect him for that move!

Do what it takes to invest in your own marriage. When the grass looks greener on the other side, it’s time to water your own yard!

Your marriage takes work. After going on 18 years, I think Renee and I’s marriage is stronger now than it’s ever been. Why? Because we have been working on it for a while. It just doesn’t happen. We have open talks about things and situations in our lives.
  • When we don’t work at it we fail
4 ways to help our marriage -
  1. Get transparent - open up and share your feelings and heart
  2. Get alone w/ each other- no kids or friends
  3. Get spiritual - Best thing that happened w/ Renee and I, we learned to pray together
  4. Get help - if you need help, find it
Adultery can cause devastation and a huge mess. Visualize telling your kids you cant live w/ them anymore. The respect they would lose for you. Telling your spouse who has sacrificed everything for you that you want to be w/ someone else. A person can destroy in 15 minutes what has taken a lifetime to achieve.

When we are unfaithful, God is always faithful.


Tuesday, October 20, 2009

TRX Metabolic Workout A & B

The TRX is one of my favorite total body tools. It's a what I consider a must have addition to your arsenal of fitness equipment. Whether your a beginner in getting started with your fitness program or a seasoned pro athlete, there are no limits to using the TRX. Check out the following videos which demonstrate the versatility of the TRX! As the folks at Fitness Anywhere say, "Make Your Body Your Machine!" Get yours today by clicking here.


Monday, October 19, 2009

Quote of the Day

"Never be afraid to try something new. Remember, amateurs built the Ark. Professionals built the Titanic."
- Unknown

Friday, October 16, 2009

The Debate Is Over

In spirit of the Poopin' 2.0 video (post below) from my bro Sean Croxton of Underground Wellness, I have to give kudos to my good buddy, Arnica Montana, for providing the following material in regards to 'the Great Debate' that has been going on for a very long time. Thanks Arnica for setting the record straight! (Click on the pics for a larger view)


Poopin' 2.0

How well are you pooping? As my bro Sean Croxton of Underground Wellness says, "Long-term digestive dysfunction is a tremendous stress on the body, causing poor nutrient absorption, autointoxication, immune system compromise, and adrenal burnout." Here's a video of my man in action giving you the "low down" on 'Poopin' 2.0'.


Thursday, October 15, 2009

The Four R's of Strength Training

When it comes to strength/resistance training, it's important to remember the following components to maximize your results and reap the benefits from the time, work & effort put forth into your workouts.

RESISTANCE: For a muscle to increase strength it must be “loaded” with some type of resistance. It matters little whether the resistance is applied to a muscle via machines, barbells, dumbbells, stretch cords, bricks, or even other human beings. This loading of a muscle is referred to as the Overload Principle. This principle states that, for a muscle to increase in strength, it must be stressed or overloaded, with a workout that is beyond its present capacity. Also, the load or resistance must be made progressively more challenging over time for strength to continue increasing.

REPETITIONS: There are 2 key components to the performance of a repetition. First, perform each repetition in a manner that is effective and safe. This means, move through the repetition in a deliberate and controlled fashion, without jerking. Second, each repetition should be performed through the greatest possible range of motion that is orthopedically safe. This ensures flexibility is maintained (perhaps increased) and that the whole muscle is being exercised, not just a portion of it.

RECOVERY: Remember, muscles don’t get stronger during a workout -- muscles get stronger after a workout during the recovery phase. If the demands of a workout are of sufficient magnitude, the recovery process is essential because it allows damaged muscle enough time to repair itself. There are individual variations in recovery. However, 24-48 hours is necessary for a muscle to recover sufficiently from an intense workout.

RECORDS: For strength training to be as productive as possible, it's critical to keep records that are accurate and detailed. Records document a history of what was accomplished. In case of injury, the effectiveness of rehab can be gauged if there is a record of pre-injury strength. Records can also be used to identify plateaus. Your workouts can be made more meaningful by keeping records!

Train hard, train smart & have fun!


Treadmill Adventures

Backwards Baseball Cap + Hip Hop Music + Flip Flops + Treadmill = TREADMILL ADVENTURE NOT TO BE FORGOTTEN!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

How to Beat Belly Fat

A pot belly... love handles... the spare tire... call it what you will. It seems to be the area of your body that you'd really like to do something about.

Not only is a firm, flat stomach the ultimate symbol of sex appeal, researchers have found that losing abdominal fat is one of the most important steps you can take to stay healthy for life.

Most people realize that excess fat is unhealthy, but the key is where the fat is distributed. People with apple-shaped bodies (fattest in the abdomen) have a greater risk of heart disease and diabetes than those with pear shapes (fattest in the hips, buttocks, and thighs).

There are two main types of fat in the stomach area. Visceral fat is stored deep inside your body. It surrounds and protects your internal organs. Subcutaneous fat, on the other hand, is stored just under your skin. It's the stuff that wobbles when you jump up and down.

It won't surprise you to learn that the best way to lose abdominal fat is to eat right and exercise regularly. And there's a growing body of research to show that the fastest way to burn off the fat from your belly is with a combination of weight training and cardio exercise.

A good example comes from research published in the International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism. For the study, researchers compared the effectiveness of two exercise and diet programs. Subjects taking part in the study were assigned to one of two groups.
  • Group one followed a diet based on the traditional food guide pyramid (50-55% carbohydrate; 15-20% protein; less than 30% fat). They also did cardiovascular exercise 4-6 days per week at 50-75% of their maximal heart rate. Each workout lasted 30-60 minutes.

  • Group two followed a diet that was higher in protein and lower in carbohydrate and fat. Their exercise program consisted of alternating days of resistance and cardiovascular interval training six days per week.
Body composition was assessed by dual x-ray absorptiometry (DEXA) before and after the 12-week training program. DEXA is an extremely accurate way to measure changes in body fat. It’s far more reliable than the skin fold calipers or body fat scales often used in health clubs.

And the result?

Subjects in group two (remember, these were the people who lifted weights, did more intense cardio, and ate more protein) lost more fat overall (-20.6%) than the normal group (-10.1%). They also gained 2 pounds of muscle (0.9 kilograms) while the cardio-only group, not surprisingly, lost muscle.

More interesting still, abdominal fat dropped by 26% in group two, but by just 13.5% in group one. In other words, subjects in group two lost almost twice as much belly fat as those in group one.

Now, I should point out that this wasn't the perfect study. For one, although the subjects were told to record what they ate, there's no way of knowing how accurate these records were. In other words, this was not a study where the diet was tightly controlled by the researchers.

Unfortunately, self-reported food intake is a notoriously inaccurate way to measure calorie intake. Some studies show that people underestimate their calorie intake by up to 50%. Which means that someone who says they are eating 1000 calories per day may really be eating 2000 calories.

It's also worth nothing that subjects taking part in this study exercised for up to six days per week. Don't worry if you don't have time for all this exercise. With the right program, four days a week is plenty.

So, if you want to lose belly fat, here's what you should do:

First, you NEED to exercise. A feeble 30-40 minutes of cardio in your so-called "fat-burning zone" two or three times a week isn't going to cut it! As you may learned from reading some of my previous posts, a full-body training program that includes both cardiovascular and full-body resistance exercise (compound or multi-joint exercises) will deliver better, faster results.

Forget about doing hundreds of crunches, sit-ups, or any of the various "drawing in the belly button" exercises. They're virtually useless for most people when it comes to losing belly fat. Abdominal exercises DO NOT burn fat away from your abs! This can only be accomplished through a much more effective full-body training routine that maximizes both your metabolic response and your hormonal response to your workouts.

Remember, belly fat is stored energy. To get rid of it, you need to burn more energy (calories) than you eat. These exercises (crunches) don't burn enough calories to make much of a difference to the appearance of your waist and stomach.

The truth is, getting six-pack 'killer' abs has almost nothing to do with training! It has everything to do with low body fat. Personally, I still believe that developing the abdominal muscles is easy. The hardest part is getting your body fat low enough for your abs to show.

You'll also need to eat the right foods. I know it's a cliché, but a flat stomach is made in the kitchen.....not the gym. Deciding what to eat can be difficult, especially with the mass of conflicting and confusing information out there. When it comes to nutrition, most people have been given only half the story. Usually, it's the wrong half!

Ultimately, while there are a few basic principles to keep in mind when it comes to nutrition and weight loss, losing belly fat requires that you take in fewer calories than you burn. Don't be seduced into following an overly complicated diet masquerading under the guise of a "new and revolutionary" approach to weight loss.

Finally, you need to be consistent with your diet and exercise program. To lose belly fat, eating right and exercising regularly needs to become a habit, not just something you do when you can be bothered or when you "have the time." If your current schedule makes it difficult to find the time for exercise, change it. Get out of bed earlier & stop wasting time. As I say, life is too short spending it on the couch watching reality TV!


*Source: International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism

Friday, October 9, 2009

A Perspective from Above

For those of you who don't know, I manage a corporate fitness center here in Washington State in Federal Way which is about 20 miles south of Seattle. The company I work for has been going through a major transition in downsizing that results in people losing their jobs, getting laid off or going into early retirement.

In the last year or so, I've seen lots of good people and friends of mine leave the company. Well, today is the last day of work for another good friend of mine. Despite the fact that he's leaving, he sent an email to everyone he knew to say 'thank you' and for being grateful to have worked at a wonderful place.

What I want to share with all of you is a part of his email that we can probably all relate to -- regardless of what type of situation we are dealing with. We need to look beyond what's in front of us and visualize what lays ahead. Here's his email:

"When I was in high school, I spent a lot of time at the local airport and loved aviation. I often bummed rides in small aircraft and even took a family vacation or two in a rented airplane. Therefore, it was a special treat for me when I had the opportunity to fly in all of our corporate jets, the King Air prop plane, and even the helicopter!

On one of my business trips on the corporate jet, I remember it was an early damp gray morning - fairly dark and gloomy. I think my mood at the time must have been about the same as the weather outside. However, I jumped at the opportunity to ride in the jump seat between the pilots when they asked if anyone wanted to fly up front with them! I was probably the only one on the plane that was glad our flight was a long cross-country trip. The plane took off like a rocket! We soon leveled off and were above the clouds in no time. I could not believe how sunny it was above the clouds. I realized that we were still near the airport where we had departed, only now my perspective had changed. Instead of looking at the gray clouds – I looked down on the bright white clouds – and the sky overhead was clear blue! The only thing different was my perspective.

I think too often we can fall into the trap of looking at the bottom of the clouds and dwell too much on the grayness of the day – we need look beyond the clouds and remember that even on the gray days it is always sunny above the clouds!"

Just remember, determination, patience and courage are the only things needed to improve any situation.

Dave, I wish you all the best in your future endeavors as well as continued success in all that you do. You will be missed! Take care my good friend!


6 Exercise Machines You Should Do Without

While machines might seem like the foolproof way to exercise, they aren’t always the safest. In fact, sometimes they actually contribute to the injuries you were trying to avoid in the first place. Here are 6 machines you should lift without.

The Seated Leg Extension

The myth: It’s the safest way to work your quadriceps, or thigh muscles.

The truth: Physiologists at the Mayo Clinic determined that leg extensions place significantly more stress on your knees than squats. Why? Because the resistance is placed near your ankles, which leads to high amounts of torque being applied to your knee joint every time you lower the weight. What’s more, Auburn University scientists found that people who squat long-term have tighter, stronger knee ligaments than those who don’t squat at all.

The alternatives: Free weight squats, split squats, and lunges—performed with perfect form—are all better choices for working your quads and protecting your knees.

The Behind-the-Neck Lat Pull-Down

The myth: The best way to perform the lat pulldown is to pull the bar behind your head, down to your upper back

The truth: Unless you have very flexible shoulders, this exercise is difficult to do correctly, and can increase your risk for shoulder impingement syndrome—a painful condition in which the muscles or tendons of your rotator cuff become entrapped in your shoulder joint.

The alternative: Simple—just pull the bar in front of your head, down to your collarbone. You’ll work your back just as hard, but with less risk for injury.

The Pec Deck

The myth: It’s a super safe and very effective way to work your chest muscles.

The truth: This apparatus, also called the chest fly machine, can overstretch the front of your shoulder and cause the muscles around the rear of your shoulder to stiffen. The result: Doing this movement frequently can lead to shoulder impingement syndrome.

The alternatives: Forget the machine, and stick with exercises such as the pushup, dumbbell bench press and dumbbell incline press; they’re easier on your shoulders and the best way to build your chest overall. In fact, Truman State University researchers found that pectoral muscles are activated for 23 percent less time during the chest fly, compared with the bench press.

The Seated Hip Abductor Machine

The myth: This machine is the best way to work your out thighs, including your glutes.

The truth: Because you’re seated, it trains a movement that has no functional use. And if done with excessive weight and jerky technique, it can put undue pressure on your spine.

The alternative: Work the same muscles, but while standing. Simply loop a resistance band around both legs, and position the band just below your knees. Now take small steps to your left for 20 feet. Then side-step back to your right for 20 feet. That’s one set. This is much harder than it sounds, but you can do it anywhere, and it’s also a great warmup for any sport.

The Seated Rotation Machine

The myth: Twisting on this machine helps melt your love handles.

The truth: It works the muscles under your love handles, but will do little to reduce the fat that covers them. What’s more, because your pelvis doesn't move as you rotate your upper body, this exercise can put excessive twisting forces on the spine.

The alternative: As long as you don’t expect to shrink your love handles, you can use rotational exercises to work your obliques. But here’s the secret to safety: Before you do any rotational exercises, brace your abs forcefully—as if you’re about to be punched in the gut—and hold them that way as you do the movement. This limits your range of motion and helps to keep you from rotating excessively at your lower spine.

The Smith Machine

The myth: This machine—which looks like a squat rack with a built-in bar that runs on guides—gives you all the benefits of squats, but none of the risk that comes from holding a heavy barbell across your back. That’s because the bar can easily be secured at any point during the movement.

The truth: Because the bar runs on guides, you can only move straight up and down as you squat—instead of down and back, as you would in a free-weight squat. The result: An unnatural movement that puts extra stress on your knees and lower back. Need another reason to skip the Smith? Canadian researchers found that traditional squats produced almost 50 percent more muscle activity in the quadriceps than squats done on a Smith machine.

The alternative: If you’re not comfortable with barbell squats, simply do the exercise while holding dumbbells at arm’s length next to your sides. You won’t need a spotter, and your body will be free to move through the natural motion of the squat.



Thursday, October 8, 2009

Resistance Training vs Aerobic Training for Fat Loss

Guest Blog from Alwyn Cosgrove, CSCS - owner of Results Fitness (Newhall, CA)
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I was talking to Chris Frankel ( a lecturer and PhD candidate at the University of New Mexico) recently about the massive difference in terms of results between a resistance training program and a cardio based program in terms of fat loss, despite calories burned supposedly being equal.

Chris pointed out that most of the ways to quantify caloric burn from weight training and other anaerobic activites are estimates and have significant amount of error built in. On the other hand, it is really straight forward to measure energy expenditure as calories during steady state exercise. The problem has come when we have tried to use that measurement of caloric burn during aerobic work and apply it to resistance training or circuit training. Quite simply - that method of figuring out the calories just doesn't work.

I also read some recent work from the University of Southern Maine that used a more accurate method to estimate caloric burn from weight training than had been used previously.

These researchers pointed out that a weight training circuit burned 71% more calories than originally thought. In fact 8 minutes of weight training burned somewhere between 159 and 231 calories. That's 20-28 calories per minute! And this was a very basic program - not one designed for fat loss - to really maximize caloric burn.

Coaches and trainers have known for years that resistance training is a superior method of exercise in fat loss programs. Up until very recently, we really didn't know why -- as just comparing estimated calories burned did not account for the difference. However - now we know that resistance training burns more calories while you are doing it (using more accurate measurements), and when you factor in any post workout increases in metabolism, and any increases in muscle over 12-16 weeks of the program, the metabolic advantages are even bigger.

Action step: make resistance training the cornerstone of your fat loss and general fitness programs.