Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Turkey Day Bootcamp

Here are a series of videos that are are guranteed to create some serious damage control before the big feast! This is a hardcore bootcamp workout built specifically for this special occasion using bodyweight exercises ONLY. It’s meant to maximally torch calories, boost metabolism, and deplete muscle glycogen stores that will go a long way to allowing room for some holiday treats!

Workout: 45 Minutes

A) Strength Training: 20 Minutes - 30-30’s Mayhem
  1. 1-Arm Burpee Variation
  2. Side-to-Side Push-up Variation
  3. Y Split Squats Variation
  4. Push-up Row Variation
  5. Skater Jumps Variation

B) Metabolic Training: 20 Minutes - 50-10’s Dynamite

  1. Single-Leg Burpee Variation
  2. Tempo T-Push-ups (3-1-X)
  3. Tempo Single-Leg Hip Extension Variation (2-2-2)
  4. TRX T + Row Combo (Bent-Over T’s if no TRX)
  5. Tempo Squat Jump Combo Variation (3-1-X)

C) Finishers: 5 Minutes - 20-10’s Ultimate Tabatas

  1. Front Pillar to Push-up Transfer Variation
  2. Side Pillar to Push-up Transfer Variation (L)
  3. Side Pillar to Push-up Transfer Variation (R)
  4. Single-Leg Back Pillar Variation (switch legs halfway)

BRING IT! Happy Thanksgiving!


Monday, November 23, 2009

How to Deadlift the Proper Way

Guest blog from Jim "Smitty" Smith from the Diesel Crew.

The deadlift is notorious as a back breaker in most peoples minds. When in fact, it is the poor execution of a deadlift, combined with poor mobility / flexibility, improper warm-up, poor core strength and many other factors that led to the acute or cumulative trauma.

I wanted to give everyone a quick, easy-to-understand, easy-to-apply setup for the conventional deadlift. It will give you the perfect setup everytime.

How to Deadlift Video

Here is what you’ll see in the video:
  • conventional deadlift stance
  • distance from bar
  • hip placement / posture
  • breathing
  • tension, irradiation
  • grip considerations
  • concentric phase
  • eccentric phase
  • bracing, intra-abdominal pressure
  • upper back engagement
  • head posture

Here is a step-by-step setup guide for conventional deadlifts:

  1. Setup with your feet shoulder width or slightly wider than shoulder width apart
  2. Toes can be straight ahead or turned outward
  3. Shins should be approximately 4-6″ AWAY from the bar
  4. Grab the bar with a double overhand grip (until the weight gets too heavy)
  5. Legs will be straight
  6. Take a big breath and force your abdominals outward and hold
  7. Drop your hips as your knees shift forward toward the bar
  8. Create tension in your upper back and lats by squeezing your armpits and pulling your arms downward
  9. Drive the floor away, keeping the bar against your body all the way to lockout
  10. Once bar gets to your knees finish the lockout with a powerful glute contraction, finish in a straight line
  11. Move hips backward, keeping the glutes and hamstrings on tension
  12. The bar will move downward and once the bar reaches the knees, drop straight downward back to the floor
  13. REPEAT

How to Modify a Deadlift

Beyond the Range – pulling through a greater range of motion (ROM) which helps accelerate through sticking points and is done by standing on an elevated surface. It can be either 100lb plates or a 4″ box.

Pulling Against Bands or Chains – forces the lifter to accelerate to lockout which develops greater end range strength and rate of force development (RFD)

Band Assisted Pulling – assists the lifter off the floor and should be setup to deload before lockout, allows supramaximal weights (great than the lifter’s 1RM) to be used

Change the Implement – varying a barbell, a trap bar, dumbbells, odd objects or an axle will modify the tension and leverage of the lift


Thursday, November 19, 2009

Workout of the Day

Here's a workout that I did today that's guaranteed to burn fat, give you a metabolic afterburn and keeps your muscles guessing.
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) Jump Rope - 30 sec.
  • 2A) Lateral Skiers - 20 reps
  • 1B) T-Push-Ups - 20 reps
  • 2B) Dynamic Lunges - 20 reps
  • 1C) Jacks - 20 reps
  • 2C) Gate Swings - 20 reps
Strength - 60 sec. rest between sets; Alternate exercises
  • 1) Squats - 2-3 sets x 4-6 reps
  • 2) Bent-Over Barbell Rows - 2-3 sets x 4-6 reps
Transition Zone - 60 sec. rest between sets; Alternate exercises
  • 3) Jump Squats - 3 sets x 10-12 reps
  • 4) DB Rows - 2-3 sets x 4-6 reps
Burn Zone - No rest between A & B exercise pairs; 60 sec. rest between #5 pair & #6 pair supersets
  • 5A) - Bench Step-Ups - 2-3 sets x 12-15 reps (each leg)
  • 5B) - Lat Pulldown - 2-3 sets x 12-15 reps

  • 6A) DB Squats - 2-3 sets x 12-15 reps
  • 6B) Push Press - 2-3 sets x 12-15 reps
Metabolic Zone
  • Seal Jacks - 30 sec.
  • Jump Rope - 90 sec. of active recovery
  • Single Leg Lateral Hops - 30 sec. (each leg)
  • Jump Rope - 90 sec. of active recovery
  • Mountain Climbers - 30 sec.
  • Jump Rope - 90 sec. of active recovery
  • DB Swings - 30 sec. (each arm)
  • Jump Rope - 90 sec. of active recovery
  • Jumping Jacks - 30 sec.
  • Jump Rope - 90 sec. of active recovery
  • Burpees - 30 sec.
Mission accomplished in 50 minutes!
Again, notice that I didn't do any slow, boring cardio. I worked using a combo of various training zones, supersets and high-intensity intervals (HIIT) in the Metabolic Zone which results in a higher output of fat calories and post-workout metabolic acceleration.

Train hard & have fun!


Friday, November 13, 2009

Difference Between Good & Great Leading

Guest blog from my good friend, Ryan Cook -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!

I shared this w/ one of our leadership teams at GJFA the other day, and thought I'd share it w/ you. Some of it was copied, some is mine. Use it if you like.

The Difference Between Good and Great Leading-

Great leaders are shaped and formed in the trenches while most good leaders are born good leaders.

The difference between the 2 is a very thin and fluxuating line.

Great leaders are shaped out of 4 experiences: call, style, skill set, and context in which you see yourself. – when a leader’s call, style and skill set fit the context, the stage is set for a great leader. Opposite, sometimes the stage is set for this, but we never make the transition from good to great. Nothing bad w/ being a good leader, but if you want to make the transition, whether in church ministry or in the work field- . Let’s discuss the diff-

Great leaders challenge the prevailing rules about how to conduct ministry, while good leaders work w/ the cards that are dealt. Great leaders are never content w/ the status quo, they always have a holy discontent w/ the way things are. They know that man-made rules are made to be broken because there is always a better way.

Attitude- Today’s attitude gives me possibilities-
· My attitude when I begin a task affects the outcome more than anything else.
· My attitude towards others often determines their attitude towards me.
· My attitude, not my achievements, give me happiness.- Money will not give you happiness and debt will make you unhappy.
· My attitude- good or bad- is contagious.

Great leaders intuitively read the signs of the times while good leaders struggle to make sense out of the moment. One of the reasons good leaders never achieve greatness is because they’re to busy, preoccupied, making stuff out of nothing, doing things that don’t mean much to the big picture. They don’t take time or sit still long enough to hear. So they fail to see what God is trying to accomplish.

Today’s priorities give me focus.
· Time is our most precious commodity.
· We cannot manage time, we only manage priorities.
· We cannot change time, only our priorities.
· Priorities help us to choose wisely.

Most great leaders are constantly recreating their leadership to fit the times, while most good leaders tend to rely on past performance. Well it worked back at so and so, it worked 10 years ago, 5 years ago isn’t even acceptable. It’s much harder for a person to remain a great leader in times like today w/ such exponential change in every aspect of life and leadership.

Today’s health gives tomorrow’s strength-
· Lasting leaders recognize their body is a vehicle that carries them to their mission.
· Proper diet and exercise provide the energy to lead well over the long haul.
· Your physical health will impact your spiritual stamina and perspective.

Great leaders see no limits of what God can do thru them. They rely on God for the impossible, while most good leaders try to calculate what is possible. Great leaders know that the only way to know the limit of possibility is by pushing it to the impossible. Great leaders know that we don’t need God for the possible, we find God in what is thought impossible. If it’s possible, possibly we are doing it on our own.

Great leaders are willing to ‘ready, fire, aim’ while good leaders always want to have everything in place before they fire. Great leaders are always laying it on the line, stepping out where most people fear to go.

Your commitment will be tested everyday, that’s just how it is, BUT, Staying committed helps you overcome many of life’s obstacles.

Great leaders are passionately focused on a few things and flexible on everything else, while good leaders try to wrap their hearts and minds around too many things.

Great leaders empower others; good leaders delegate ministry to others. Good leaders are always trying to accomplish more.

Delegate: a person acting on behalf of another

Empower: to give official power to or legal authority.

Today’s family gives me stability

Families are often lost- spent as the price for successful ministries & businesses- make time for your spouse and kids-

If the part of your home that you lead is not ‘in order’ you cannot expect to lead others.

Success is having those closet to me, love and respect me the most.- You can not come in here, lead others and then go home and act an entire different way.

Pray w/ your spouses. Just heard today 65% men & 55% women upto age 40 commit adultery. They didn’t plan on it, sin crept in…. I challenge you, what’s on your TV? Desperate housewives, sex in the city, shows that glamorize adultery and immorality?

Leadership isn’t about getting people to do what you want them to do; great leadership is about helping people achieve what God created them to be.

The difference between successful and unsuccessful people is how they think. What do you think about? God is the source of great ideas!!

If you are in are part of this ministry and it is a huge burden, maybe this is not what God called you to be involved in. Find a spot where you are happy and like doing what you do and where you get the most fulfillment; that’s where you are supposed to be.

Great leaders are like scouts and coaches than player. They’re constantly looking for talented, passionate leaders who have the potential to be great, while most good leaders are focused on the fullfilment of a particular ministry.

If you want to be great, empower people to reach their potential.

Great leaders surround themselves w/ good leaders, while good leaders surround themselves w/ people of lesser skills.

This shows extreme insecurities. Afraid someone is going to take your job or think you cant do it. This is where we need to show and exude confidence, not to be mixed w/ arrogant or cockiness.
Some leaders spend to much time focused on problem people or needy people and overlook the other 99% . Sure, these people need help, but the leader doesn’t have to run around and help and clean all the messes, empower others to help others.

Today relationships give me fulfillment.
· You’ll enjoy life more if you enjoy people.
· You’ll get further in life if people enjoy you.
· Most people can trace their success and failures to relationships in their life.

Great leaders are made by how they create or respond to the context in which they find themselves. Buckle up and get yourself in a context where you can become all that God has made you to be. If you’re not in the right context, find the one that fits you. Don’t settle for ‘whatever’.

Time is short, most the time we only have one shot at this.


Thursday, November 12, 2009

DANGER: Fast Food Kills

Fast food is very tempting to consumers because of its convenience. It’s so easy to swing through the drive thru on your way home from work, starving, and order a super size extra value meal for yourself, spouse, and kids. The food is fairly cheap and you usually won’t spend more than five minutes in line. If the food that fast food companies are serving were actually good for you this would be an ideal situation. However this is not the case. Instead, fast food companies are profiting off of clogging your arteries resulting in heart disease.

The problem with fast food is that over the decades they have been increasing their serving sizes. Today when you order a small fries, you actually get what would have been a medium size just five years ago. The larger serving size you are served, the harder it is for you to know when to stop. From the time we are children our parents teach us to clean our plates because there are those less fortunate who have no food. So if we are given an extra large fry, we should be thankful and eat the whole thing.

Fries, burgers, nuggets, shakes, sodas, and other items you can find at fast food establishments are usually three times larger than the amount you should be consuming. This means that you could easily be consuming 1,000+ calories per meal when you super size it. If you are trying to stick to a healthy 2,000 per day calorie diet, you will have consumed over ½ of your entire daily food allowance.

Another problem with the foods you are served at fast food restaurants is that these foods lack nutritional value. The foods are high in fat and sugar. By regularly consuming these high calorie meals that do not have any nutritious value is basically poisoning your body.

There are even some studies that have shown fast food may be addictive. The high levels of salt and sugar content found in most fast food items cause the brain to seek them out. This stems back thousands of years when salt and sugar were hard to come by so people would stock up on their supply when they could.

People will continue to frequent fast food restaurants as long as they continue to see ads on television for Big Macs and super size fries. One solution to this problem would be to limit the number of ads fast food companies can have at any one time.

While we cannot blame fast food companies entirely for our increasingly expanding waist lines, it is their food that is making us this way. If they increased the cost of a burger and lowered the cost of a salad there may be more incentive for consumers to choose the salad over the burger.

As long as fast food companies are making money off of their 1,000 calorie burgers, they will continue to sell them. The best way to prevent weight gain associated with a fast food diet is to completely cut fast food out of your diet. Drive right by those golden arches and hurry home where you can make a healthy meal. Completely removing fast food from your diet is similar to detox; it removes the addictive properties found in fast food.

Also, exercise is a vital aspect that is missing in most people’s daily lives. This is an essential piece of the puzzle to reverse the effects of high calorie fast food diets. Incorporating some type of a daily exercise routine will decrease your risk of heart disease ten fold.

Be sure to check out this video by Josh Trent (fitnessSD), NASM-CES, simply titled "Fast Food Fitness". It's a great video that depicts the problem with fast food and how it affects your health based on the decisions you make for what you eat.

Remember.....less hot dog and more downward dog!


Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Fast Food Fitness

Check out this video by Josh Trent, NASM-CES, of fitnessSD as he "drops some knowledge" while visiting a local fast food burger chain in my old stompin' grounds of San Diego, CA. Enjoy!


Soccer for Fat Loss?

Guest blog by Craig Ballantyne, CSCS
-- (http://www.turbulencetraining.com/)

Recreational soccer is an effective health-promoting activity for untrained men
Krustrup et al.
British Journal of Sports Medicine 2009;43:825-831

36 healthy untrained men were randomised into a soccer group, a running group and a control group.

Training was performed for 1 hour two or three times per week for 12 weeks; at an average heart rate of 82% of HRmax for both training groups.

During the 12-week program, the soccer group improved maximal oxygen uptake (a measure of aerobic fitness) 62% more than the running group. The soccer group also lost an average of 50% more fat than the running group (6lbs vs 4lbs).

The soccer group had an increase in lean body mass of 3.75lbs, an increase in lower
extremity bone mass, a greater decrease in LDL-cholesterol and an increase in fat oxidation
during running at 9.5 km/h. The running group saw none of these changes.

The number of capillaries per muscle fibre was also almost 50% higher in the soccer training group than in running. Both groups reduced blood pressure equally.

The researchers concluded that participation in recreational soccer training, has significant beneficial effects on health profile and physical capacity and in some aspects it is superior
to frequent moderate-intensity running.

What does this tell us? Well, think about soccer. The difference is more than adding a ball while running. Soccer (I mean FOOTBALL) is essentially a form of interval training (although the work and recovery periods are randomized - CHAOS training as my friend Robert Dos Remedios calls it). It's also multi-directional, multi-movement (jumping, heading, running, sprinting, kicking, tackling, with contact) and multi-planar.

Basically this study shows that open interval training, using multiple movements and directions is superior for conditioning, muscle building and fat loss when compared to the same intensity of running.

I just wish they'd discovered that watching soccer was just as good.....

By the way, why do they call it "soccer" when it's really FOOT-ball? Played with your feet.....


Sunday, November 8, 2009

Caffeine & Your Workouts

Just the other day I had a member as me the following:

Question: Is caffeine good for my workouts?

Answer: Caffeine has long been used by endurance athletes and sleepy office workers alike to help increase energy and endurance, but is it safe and does it work?

Studies have found that, when it comes to exercise, caffeine:
  • Delays fatigue
  • Slows the breakdown of muscle glycogen, which means your body has more fuel to keep going
  • Enhances endurance
  • Keeps you more alert
  • Can reduce muscle pain during exercise
  • May lower perceived exertion, making exercise feel more comfortable

While caffeine can have a positive effects on endurance exercise, you don't need it to have a good workout. If you're a competitive athlete thinking of using caffeine, keep in mind that it is a diuretic, so you may need more bathroom breaks. That could affect your workouts as well as your hydration levels.

How Much Caffeine Is Enough?

Studies have shown that 3 mg/kg to 6 mg/kg is enough to enhance endurance. The average cup of coffee has about 60 mg to 120 mg, so it doesn't take much caffeine to do the job.


Caffeine is a stimulant, so it does have side effects that could cause problems for certain people:

  • Increased urination
  • Stomach upset
  • Trembling or shaking
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Increased anxiety
  • Headaches
  • Nausea

If you're pregnant, you should avoid caffeine and you should also be cautious if you're on medication or taking other performance-enhancing supplements that contain other stimulants. Too much caffeine can increase the side effects and could be dangerous to your health if you have other illnesses or conditions.