Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Happy Holidays and Thank You!

Happy Holidays! Thanks to all of you all for checking out my blog, for your support and for your feedback about the various subjects that I've written about. My plan is to make 2011 a year in which I will continue to bring you the most most up-to-date, accurate & cutting edge information regarding fitness programming & exercise, training protcols & methodologies, nutrition, general well being and whatever it takes to live a better, happier, and healthier life!

Until then, get your workouts in, stay strong & train smart! As Alwyn Cosgrove says, "It doesn't matter what you eat or how you exercise between Christmas and New Years..... but it matters how you eat and exercise between New Year's and Christmas!"

Happy Holidays and Happy New Year!


Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Workout of the Day - Super 40 Mayhem Blast

Well, it's official....I hit the big 4-0 on Christmas Day! To commemorate this event, I designed & developed the “Super 40 Mayhem Blast” workout. It consists of 4-circuits & 4 exercises per each circuit.

Perform 1 set of each exercise in the following circuit for 10 reps (total of 40 reps per circuit). Rest for 30-seconds and continue with circuits #2 thru #4 using the same protocol.


Circuit #1
  • 10 TRX Squat Jumps
  • 10 Judo/Dive Bomber Push-ups
  • 10 DB/KB Swings
  • 10 Burpees

Rest for 30-sec.

Circuit #2

  • 10 Goblet Squats
  • 10 TRX Atomic Push-up
  • 10 RDL’s
  • 10 DB Push Press

Rest for 30-sec.

Circuit #3
  • 10 DB/KB Swings
  • 10 OH Slosh Pipe Squats
  • 10 Med Ball or Sandbag Slams
  • 10 TRX Plank-to-Push-ups

Rest for 30-sec.

Circuit #4
  • 10 TRX Low Row
  • 10 DB Lunge w/ Rotation
  • 10 OH DB Quick Press
  • 10 Spiderman Push-ups

Rest for 30-sec.

Congrats on cranking out this workout. Now, I triple-dog-dare you to do it again!!


Thursday, December 23, 2010

Perfecting Our Imperfections

As we head into the New Year, many people will start making their resolutions with good intentions. About ¼ of those people will succeed in what they set out to do while the remaining ¾’s will “fall off the wagon”, so to say. I challenge you to make one promise to yourself. It may not be easy and will require HARD WORK and EFFORT! Just like everything we attain in life, what we work towards to be better, happier & healthier will require ACTION.

The promise I want you to make is this – to be a better person TODAY and EVERY DAY forward than you were yesterday! It’s about working on our imperfections to establish perfection in the relationship to yourself, your family and your friends.

As Billy Bob Thornton (who play head coach Gary Gaines of the Permian Panthers - Odessa, TX) says in the movie “Friday Night Lights”, "perfection is about looking someone in the eye and know that you didn’t let them down because you told them the truth. And that truth is, is that you did everything that you could, there wasn’t one more thing that you could’ve done. Can you live in that moment, as best you can with clear eyes and love in your heart?”

Go the extra mile to create an extraordinary experience that will exceed pre-determined expectations. At the end of the day make sure you gave your best effort…and then some. If you follow this simple promise, I guarantee that you will see success with any resolution you make.

Happy Holidays!


Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Friday Fun Day! Jump Start the New Year!

Here's a great video featuring my friends & colleagues Sean Croxton, CMTA of Underground Wellness and Brett Klika, CSCS of Fitness Quest 10 and (both in San Diego) as they show you some awesome, fun & creative bodyweight exercises to help you get a jump start into the New Year.

Check it out.


Friday, December 17, 2010

Why Lifting Heavy is the Key to Weight Loss

I think Ronnie Coleman, 7-time former Mr. Olympia and champion bodybuilder, said it best when he said, "Everybody wants to be a bodybuilder....but nobody wants to lift this heavy-ass weight!!" Aside from the fact that he's been using roids (which allows him to go 'super heavy' - as he says), he does make a valid statement!

Are you guilty of going too light? If so, you may not be seeing the results you'd like. Let's learn more about why lifting heavier weights will change your entire body.

You know that losing fat involves increasing your metabolism. What you may not know is that muscle plays a huge role in raising metabolism. A pound of muscle burns about 10-20 calories a day while a pound of fat burns 5 calories. That means any growth in your muscle tissue is going to help you burn more calories all day long. In fact, strength training has all kinds of great effects on your body like:
  • Increasing resting metabolic rate so you burn more calories, even while at rest.

  • Making you lean and slim - muscle takes up less space than fat so, the more you have, the slimmer you are

  • Strengthening bones and connective tissue (fascia), which can protect your body from injuries in daily life

  • Enhancing balance and stability

  • Building confidence and self-esteem

However, this only works if you're using enough weight to stimulate muscle growth. In other words, if you can lift the weights you've chosen (for most exercises) more than 16-20 times, you might not see the kind of fat loss you would if you increased the load.

So, why don't we lift more weight? For some, lifting weights is scary, especially if you've never done it before. The machines....the dumbbells....the people who seem to know what they're's enough to make anyone skip weights altogether. Aside from that, there are other fears that invade our minds, such as:

  • It feels awkward/weird - The goal of weight training, if you didn't know, is to lift as much weight as you possibly can (with good form) for the number of reps you've chosen. In daily life, we typically don't push ourselves to fatigue in anything we do, so this idea may not only feel foreign, it may feel downright miserable. That's one reason it's best for beginners to gradually work towards that.

  • Fear of injury - Because our muscles burn when we challenge them with resistance, people often feel they're injuring themselves when they lift. Injuries can be a real fear for beginners since injury can occur if you max out before your body is ready for it. Taking it slow while still challenging your body will help protect you from injury.

  • Confusion - When you haven't lifted weights before, you may not know what's too heavy and what's too light. It may take some time to get a feel for your body and what it can handle. This is the time to figure things out slowly through trail & error. Be patient with yourself as you'll know what feels right in due time.

  • Fear of getting bulky - There's still that old myth running around that men should lift heavy and women should lift light to avoid getting big and bulky. Women, please don't buy into it! That's a bunch of BS!! Lifting heavy weights WILL NOT MAKE YOU HUGE -you simply don't have the testosterone levels to build big muscles. Lifting heavy weights WILL HELP YOU LOSE FAT.

  • Fear of pain - The other thing about lifting weights is the psychological factor. The discomfort level associated with training to fatigue is pretty high. If you haven't lifted weights before, you may not be able to overcome that discomfort enough to lift as heavy as you're capable of. Again, this is one reason it's best to err on the side of caution (if you need to), while always working towards more challenges and more weight.

These fears often keep people lifting the same amount of weight for weeks, months or even years. Most of these fears are unfounded. However, if you take time to ease into a weight training program, work slowly through trial & error figuring out optimal workloads for the muscle fatigue needed make your muscles grow, you'll start seeing & making progress before you know it.

As I always say - train hard, train smart and get to it!


Thursday, December 9, 2010

Too Easy? Crank It Up and 'Do Work'!

I've been asked many times about how to determine when you should increase your weights, number of repetitions, sets, etc. Your body actually has a pretty simple way of telling you when it's time to move up: it gets easy and what was once challenging is no more.

The whole point of training or learning any new skill for that matter is to improve. So, don't be too surprised or bent out of shape when any improvement ceases due to your lack of work and/or effort put forth. To stay exactly how you are, you must maintain the same level of discipline and intensity you have right now. If you're not quite in the state you wish to be in, you have to do more and crank up the intensity. As strength & conditioning coach Robert Dos Remedios, CSCS, says - "Do Work!"

Your body responds in a complex manner when you exercise whether it's weightlifting, swimming, running, cycling, hiking or some other form of exertion. To improve requires more effort than the last time. When you stop, the changes quickly dissipate.

So, how you "do more" when you're already pressed for time and energy? Here are some suggestions on how to increase your effort without having to create extra hours in the day:
  • Increase the intensity - This first one is simple: if what you're doing right now is easy, increase the amount of effort. For example, this may be increasing the weight you're using per set of an exercise or the speed you're running. It's pretty simple math. If you increase any of these variables by 10%, you're doing 10% more work. When that gets easy, increase it again.

  • Decrease the rest interval - If you're pressed for time, decrease the amount of time you rest between sets during weight training or the frequency that you do cardiovascular activities. For example, if you normally lift something that weighs 50 pounds 10 times for 3 sets that takes 1 minute with a 2 minute rest interval, that means you have lifted 1500 pounds in seven minutes. If you decrease the rest time to 90 seconds, that means you have lifted the same amount of weight in just 6 minutes. You have increased effort by 15% in less time.

  • Increase the workload - By increasing the distance you run or bike, you've done more work. A great deal of time is spent getting ready to exercise, showering afterwards and other non-productive activities. The incremental increase in distance is actually a very small percentage of the time you must devote to your total exercise time period. Once you get to a point where you have no more time to add to your training, increase the speed. Now you're doing more work in the same period of time. With weight training, it's even easier - just increase the number of reps. Keep in mind that once you cross the upper boundaries of rep ranges (5-8 for strength, 8-12 for size and tone, 12-15 for endurance), it's time to increase the load.

Remember that your body will only do as much as it has to. If you want to keep improving and see results, you can't let life get too easy. You MUST do more.

Crank it up and 'Do Work!'