Monday, December 31, 2012

Happy New Year - 2013

I just wanted to thank all of you for your support and for taking the time to check out my blog. I promise to keep bringing you the most AWESOMEST stuff on earth as it pertains your "Life, Health & Wellness"!

2013 is going to be a GREAT year!

Be safe, stay healthy and keep kicking ass!


Thursday, December 6, 2012

Anywhere Workouts: Action Hero Series

We all know the benefits of exercise. We also know about the time commitment it takes to get our asses off the couch and take ACTION!

I know there will be days when we get that urge to skip a workout. Those are the days when you need to dig deep, go about "Operation Man Up", throw on that cape & goggles, and bust out that Superhero within.

To make my point, here's an EPIC & AWESOME video of my good friend and colleague, Betty Rocker, performing some kick-ass Ninja Superhero moves on the rugged cliffs and rock formations at Red Rocks Park.

These are exercises that you can do anywhere. No expensive or fancy equipment needed! Just you vs. gravity....and some cool & creative moves to supplement the "awesomeness" of your workout!

Time to CRANK IT!



Sunday, December 2, 2012

Awesome Is As Awesome Does

Living the life of "Awesomeness" is just that.....AWESOME!

Just like anything in life, you have to work real hard in order to gain & reap the benefits of living the awesomeness lifestyle. It takes dedication, perseverance, consistency, integrity and a whole lot of "cajones" to stand up for what you believe in while doing what's right for you and your well being.

So, how would you define what 'awesome' is?

Is it something you see?

Something you feel?

Something you taste? 

Something you can touch?

If you look it up, by definition 'awesome' simply means "Extremely impressive or daunting; inspiring great admiration or fear; extremely good; excellent".

I'm almost certain that many of you will agree that 'awesome' can take many shapes or forms - whether it be an amazing person, an extraordinary place or a phenomenal thing! I can also say with 100% certainty that 'awesome' will also bring out the best in you. It may also bring out the best in those you around you.

So let me ask you - what are some things that you consider awesome in your life? How do those things make you feel? Do they benefit you in any way? If yes, how so? Does it give you satisfaction? Does it create a gateway to bigger & better things that may impact your life in a positive way?

There was a story that I read once not too long ago about a lady who made a pact with herself. She was an avid smoker who had been trying to quit for years. One day this lady decided to try something different. She 'tricked' herself into quitting smoking by swearing to donate $5K dollars to the Ku Klux Klan if she ever decided to smoke another cigarette. From that day forward, she never smoked again! Ever!

I question, would she have donated that money if she had given in? Maybe, maybe not. Whether you believe that story or not, I still think that it was pretty awesome of her to do something so outlandish as to wanting to donate her hard earned dollars to the KKK in order to quit smoking. Was it far fetched? I would say so. Regardless, it worked for her.

You see, sometimes we have to take extreme measures and/or do preposterous things so that we may be rewarded with the 'goodness of awesomeness'. It may require that we 'think outside of the box' and take a leap of faith. No matter the outcome, things will almost always work themselves out. I firmly believe that.

I also believe that the type of character you build for yourself - how you carry on & how you're perceived in the eyes of the outside world - will carry more weight imaginable than so-called gossip from the naysayers. I guess you could say that I'm the type of person who is more about 'action taking' vs. 'talking and doing nothing'.

The last few weeks I've had some pretty amazing conversations with some good friends and colleagues of mine about this topic. It's not common in our world to deal with clients who are on the bubble or hesitant to get started on their journey to optimal health & wellness. For many, the thought that they have to "get in better shape" before starting their 1st training session with their personal trainer is outrageous. Or how about those New Year Resolutions of starting up their fitness program on January 1st? Why not start today and get a jump start before the New Year begins?

Many people are good at talking up the game....but very few are able to dress up and step foot on the playing field and perform.

Do not let any excuse or any person for that matter try to sway you away from your goals. Do not let any bad decision dictate the direction that you're headed - which is directed to the road to SUCCESS.

Do me a favor - when you get the chance, I'd like for you to take the time to sit back, grab a cup of coffee or tea, find a nice quiet place, relax and reflect on the things that you feel bring the awesomeness factor into your life.

I want to share with you some of the things - whether it's a person, place or thing - that have brought me the utmost pleasure, contentment, gratification, enjoyment and happiness in my personal & professional life. Not only that, but these are the 'Awesomeness Factors' that have impacted and continue to impact my life in abundance. Keep in mind that this list is in no particular order.

AR's List of Awesomeness:

  • My family - I grew up in a very close knit family who is very supportive and is all about loving each other. I'm blessed in the fact that we know no race, color or creed and that we treat those around us with respect. That's the way I was raised - and probably the reason why I have so many wonderful & awesome family & friends of all ethnicity's.

  • My "Fit-Fam" - I'm so fortunate & blessed to have so many wonderful, down-to-earth, well-respected friends & colleagues in the health and fitness industry whom I consider my "Fitness-Family". It's you guys who make my existence as a fitness professional extravagant and beyond measure! You are all AMAZING and I thank you for being and playing such an important role in my life! You know who you are!

  • 'Self Discipline' and 'TFW' Wristbands - I thank my good friends & colleagues Gregg Miele - high-profile personal trainer to Jay-Z, Reggie Bush, etc. and founder/creator of the "Self Discipline" bracelet and Martin Rooney - owner & founder of Training For Warriors, for my wristbands. I wear both of them on my right wrist as they serve as my daily reminder to always live my life by having the 'Self Discipline' to always bring out the 'Warrior Within'!

  • My Blendtec Blender - I was at Costco a year or so ago and I remember this dude doing a 'demo' about this high-speed, industrial type blender that could pulverize just about anything. To make a long story short, I bought the Blendtec and have been so happy with it since day #1. I figure, at a $400 price tag, I better be getting a high-quality product. And I have without a doubt. Plus my shakes & smoothies are off the hook! (wink)
Blendtec - "Will it blend?" You bet your ass it will!

  • The Power of Facebook - I've had the opportunity to meet many awesome & wonderful people through the social interaction on FB. Though it may be superficial to some, I find it as an avenue to keep up with distant friends & colleagues while allowing us to catch up on the latest & greatest!

  • Skype - The ability to video chat with family, friends and colleagues from around the country and beyond has been a tremendous and awesome experience. In the last week, I've had some pretty amazing conversations with some great people whom I consider great friends. I can also thank FB for setting the platform in helping me establish a connection thus leading the way to personal communication and outreach. Thank you to those friends and colleagues of mine for taking the time to connect & chat with me. You guys ROCK!

  • Betty Rocker's Fuel System - "It's not a "diet", it's a SYSTEM!" My good friend, colleague and Ninja extraordinaire Bree Argetsinger, aka The Betty Rocker, has just released her eBook - "Betty Rocker's Fuel System". This eBook is packed with so much detailed info that's easy to comprehend and is beautifully constructed so that you can put things into ACTION right away. Upon purchasing my copy, I took the time to read this eBook from front to back cover (all 91 ages) within a couple of hours. All I can say is that Bree has laid out the ground work for you in a step by step plan to get your best body ever in 30 days! She speaks from personal experience and showcases where she is today through her hard work, consistency and dedication to living the optimal health & fitness lifestyle. What you get is an intelligent, lean, strong, beautiful young lady with the will & determination to live the life of awesomeness by practicing what she preaches and sharing it with the world! Trust me - at $47, this eBook is a steal as I think it's worth 10x as much. It's all about heart & soul and it entails everything about Bree's personality and the life she lives as a fitness pro, nutrition expert, and health & lifestyle coach. She's the real deal! I highly recommend you get your copy NOW by clicking HERE! You'll be glad you did.

  • My dog Chelsea - I love my dog and I think she's the awesomest! Ever since she was a pup, I knew there was something special about her. She'll be turning 7 this coming January and I plan to spoil her (as I always do) with her homemade carrot, carob & peanut butter birthday cake. And yes for the record, she does go to doggy daycare - it's been the best thing since berry flavored fish oil caps!
Chelsea - my mixed breed Boxer/Lab

  • My JK Conditioning Dragon Tee - My good friend, colleague and bad-ass strength coach, personal trainer and fitness writer, Jon-Erik Kawamoto - owner & founder of JK Conditioning, started his Dragon Tee as a side project. Now it's grown into 'The Dragon Tee Nation', which has expanded globally and for great reason. There's something mysterious that happens to you as soon as you put on the Dragon Tee. You start feeling the power within come out of hibernation, the blood rushes everywhere around your body, the fire within ignites and starts to grow hotter and bigger - you awaken your inner dragon! It's AWESOME! Hurry and get your Dragon Tee by clicking HERE!
Jon-Erik Kawamoto - Elite, calm, cool & AWESOME!

  • Anthony Bourdain's "No Reservations" and "The Layover" - I've always been a fan of Anthony Bourdian and what he brought to the TV screen in terms of food, travel, culture and entertainment all wrapped into one! Being that I love to cook (I can hold my own in the kitchen very well and with complete confidence) and travel, these 2 shows depict the real world as it pertains to epicurean living, satisfying the palate and sharing this ultimate experience with good company. 

  • Drums - If there's one thing that a lot of people don't know about me is that I'm a self taught drummer. Yep, I don't read music - I just have a keen sense of listening to a song and translating that to my hands and feet and going through the drumming tracks by the good old method of playing, rewind, analyze, play, rewind again, repeat. It's timely but a cool way to develop your own playing style! Plus drums are just awesome! Some of my biggest influences - Neal Peart (Rush), Mike Portnoy (formerly of Dream Theater), Terry Bozzio (Missing Persons), Mike Mangini (Dream Theater), Danny Carey (Tool), Nicko McBrain (Iron Maiden), Sean Kinney (Alice In Chains), Rick Allen (Def Leppard).

  • Inov-8 F-Lite 195 - I bought a pair of Inov-8 F-Lite 195 (black & white) cross trainer/running shoes and they have been the best shoes for all of my fitness and interval training needs. The shoes are low profile with an even 3mm drop from the heel to forefoot and mimic the perfect barefoot style feel. They feature a "Meta-Flex" component that allows your foot to bend at the metatarsal-phalangeal joint without restriction. I like them so much I'm going to buy a 2nd pair soon.

  • Coffee Shops - I like hanging out at coffee shops whether it be sipping on a hot "cup of joe" or herbal tea and connecting to the Wi-Fi to get some work done on my laptop. There's a certain ambiance that I appreciate while being surrounded by the smell of fresh brewed coffee, a brightly lit environment that makes me happy, while being surrounded by cool people.

  • New Life Church - My church is AWESOME! Pastor Troy Jones is the coolest pastor and he speaks the truth and tells it like it is. He's down-to-earth, funny, entertaining, brilliant and a man of his word! Everything about this church is amazing - the environment, the people, the music, the service, the connections, the message, and most importantly - my relationship with God & Jesus Christ! If you're ever in the Seattle area and/or if you're looking for a church home, I highly suggest you come check out New Life Church

  • FTR Nation - I'm very fortunate & blessed to have crossed paths with Brian Grasso, Carrie Campbell and the rest of my FTR Nation Family. Being a part of this formidable group of professionals has given me the ability to "go against the grain", if you will, and allow me to inspire & express everything that I'm about with no judgement or negativity. It's all about finding your true purpose in life, being and staying motivated to create change within the world and being audacious in doing so. Thank you Brian, Carrie and my FTRN brothers and sisters for allowing me to "come home"

  • My Birthday - I was born on December 25th - that's right, Christmas Day! Most folks ask, "Doesn't it suck having your birthday on Christmas?" Are you kidding?! It's the coolest & awesomest thing ever! How many other people can officially say they share the same birthday with Jesus Christ?! I'll leave it at that.
This is my perception of Santa Claus - pretty AWESOME!

  • My Life As A Fitness Professional - I absolutely love what I do. I get to inspire greatness in people's lives and help them look, feel and perform better. It's an absolute honor & privilege to be able to do such a remarkable thing in transforming people's lives so that they may achieve and attain their goals while living the fitness lifestyle. It's not just about being in fitness - it's about being into fitness. My mission is to bring out the "inner athlete" in everyone I train so that they may be rewarded with optimal health while maintaining an excellent level of fitness. 

  • The Ninja Handbook and Wisdom Deck - The Ninja Handbook and Wisdom Deck (both sold separately) contain the essential elements of the know-how, how-to, how-not, what is, and what is not necessary for living and paving the way of the Ninja Path. I firmly believe that we can learn a lot from Ninjas - from being stealthy fast to just being a kick-ass person....just like Ninjas are! Take it from me, being a formal member of the International Order of Ninjas (ION) - the book & deck are legit and they're both AWESOME!

So there you have it - a small sampling of some of the things that have created the awesomeness factor in my life. Now granted there are plenty more factors what I could list, I didn't want to list every single thing imaginable. That just gives me more of a reason for creating a continuation of this blog post - maybe part II or something of sorts.

All in all, keep in mind that 'awesome is as awesome does'. In other words, while maintaining a level of confidence and super-competitiveness to help steer constant never-ending improvement (Kaizen), we can project a life of hard work, graceful humility, while being absent from any narcissistic self-praise.

We'll simply go on living the life of 'AWESOMENESS' cause that's what we are......



Thursday, November 22, 2012

A Time To Give Thanks - Thanksgiving Day 2012

“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances” - 1 Thessalonians 5 

I'm currently in Spokane Valley spending this glorious day with family & great friends. On the trip over, I had lots of time to reflect on the many things that I am very fortunate and blessed to be thankful for - things that have impacted my 'LIFE.HEALTH.WELLNESS.' in many great ways!

I too hope that you spend the time reflecting on all of the circumstances - both good & bad - that have molded you into the person you are today. For it's these experiences that we always learn from and take away many positives. Regardless of the situation, be thankful for the experience at hand.

Wishing you, your families and loved ones a very Happy Thanksgiving!


Saturday, November 17, 2012

My Latest Adventures, Making a Comeback & Being Awesome

I can almost bet some serious money that you thought that I was done writing on this blog! HA! Don't kid yourself - I'm planning to take my blog back to the 'Ultimate Ninja Status' as it was when I first started this thing back in '08!

I know I've been away for a few months and it's been a while, a long while to say the least, since my last post. I must say that taking a 'writing hiatus' has given me time to enjoy life - travel, visit with my family down in California, catch up with old friends and it's also given me the opportunity in establishing new relationships. I admit that I did let a few things slide and got into a bad habit of not staying on top of posting regularly. I guess that's what happens when life takes over and you start putting things on the back burner. In doing so, I lost my train of thought and needed a 'break' to just be. To let life happen so that I may have a story to tell.

A lot has happened since my last post and all for good reason - to give me the ability to share my personal "Life, Health & Wellness" experiences and how it's impacted my life as well as others. I'm truly and honestly happy to be back writing and plan to bring you some pretty EPIC stuff as it relates to things I've posted on before - training, nutrition, lifestyle, guest blog posts & interviews, videos, workouts of the day, etc.

Back in early August, I had the opportunity to travel down to Long Beach, CA for the 2012 Perform Better 3-Day Functional Training Summit. I've been going to this conference every year since 2006 and every year it gets bigger and better. This year was pretty amazing as I'd been connecting with various fitness pros, strength coaches, trainers and therapists on Facebook. The cool part was that I actually had the opportunity to meet many of them in person, to connect with them and talk shop. Aside from networking & creating new friendships/relationships, I was able to reconnect & reunite with old friends and colleagues that were also in attendance. It was an incredible weekend of learning, socializing, working out, and establishing great memories that will carry on within.

The crew (from l to r) - Terrence Wilson, Me, Martin Rooney, Mike Rouillard at the
2012 PB Summit - Training For Warriors Hands-On Session Post-Workout
"When we least expect it, life sets us a challenge to test our courage and willingness to change; at such a moment, there is no point in pretending that nothing has happened or in saying that we are not yet ready. The challenge will not wait. Life does not look back." - Paulo Coelho

The quote above relates to an unexpected minor setback that happened to me back a couple of  months ago and how it temporarily impacted my life backwards. I was in the middle of a training session doing some tire flip exercises with a 600lb tractor tire. To make a long story short, when I was in the midst of transitioning my hand position on the tire to flip it, it slipped out of my hand and landed smack down on my left quad!

OUCH was an understatement! The injury was so severe that I ended up going to PT to get some active release and Graston soft tissue therapy done for over a month. I was distraught and started thinking the worst as my injury didn't seem to get better. I was thinking negatively as I couldn't function - squats & lunges were super limited and caused excruciating pain. To top things off, the worst part was that I had signed up to participate in my Hardstyle Kettlebell Certification (HKC) in Seattle prior to my injury. In all, I ended up postponing my cert but I recently completed it a couple of weeks ago down in California. I guess you could say that my injury was a blessing in disguise as I had the opportunity to travel down south, hang with my family and a few good friends & colleagues and take care of business in obtaining my HKC Instructor status.

Anyway, I managed to make a comeback and get back to 100% health. It's funny how the mind starts playing these 'Jedi Mind Screw' games when the chips are down and things aren't going your way. For me, I was in foreign territory as I never let negativity enter my domain. The deal is if you let this cancerous aura of bad juju enter and dictate your life, chances are you'll start second guessing all of the opportunities that can take things in life to the next level.

If there's one thing that I have appreciated as a strength coach & personal trainer is the ability to help clients take their training, nutrition and lifestyle to greater heights. Just like I mentioned above, "taking things to the next level" is what it all comes down to. It's a means of 'taking the bull by the horns' and prepping to take the ride of your life cause shiz is about to go down and get real! Think of it as a 'plan to awesomeness'.

Being awesome takes lots of work, dedication, consistency, integrity, intestinal fortitude and a strong will to succeed. Failure is never an option and one must be willing to take the hits & punches as they come. Despite the curve balls that life throws at us, having the determination to always get back on our feet with our heads held high will always yield and pave the way to being the badass superhero that lives within us!

My plan is to elaborate more about this topic on the my next post simply because many people are in need to step up their game. The emphasis on complacency is dangerous ground since it creates an environment of dissatisfaction, misery, sadness and unhappiness.

So what can we do to prevent those things from occurring? way is to bust out that cape & goggles just like the little guy above cause the time to take care of business has come!

Time to saddle up and ride that bull!


Thursday, August 16, 2012

The Purpose of Life

I woke up this morning with thoughts of how my day would play out today. The things on my to-do list that need to be checked off before moving on to other bigger & better things.

I also woke up in state of concern as the most amazing thing happened to me last night. I was in my backyard with my dog Chelsea hooking up the water hose to the sprinkler to irrigate my lawn. As I walked past my deck, I heard a little chirp and what at the time I thought was a mouse scooting across to find a secure hiding spot. I walked over in the direction it was traveling only to find that it was a baby finch that couldn't fly.

After a few minutes of pursuing it, we each found ourselves in game of "cat & mouse" as this little guy repeatedly escaped capture. Finally, success as I gently tossed my shirt over it and picked it up. 

As I put this baby finch in an old birdcage I had laying around, I felt bad, confused but yet relieved. Bad & confused because I didn't know if it became separated from it's nest and/or mother or where it came from. However, I was also relieved knowing that it was safe and out of harms way. God knows what might happen to this poor creature. Since it can't fly nor fend for itself, I now have been granted the responsibility to do the right thing and care for it.

I know this baby finch was in a state of panic, stress and afraid. But once it was in the cage and had time to settle down in it's new surroundings, I could see that it became more comfortable - closing it's eyes, puffing itself up which is a sign on contentment. 

I guess the moral behind this whole thing relates to the feeling of being uncomfortable until you get comfortable. Many times in our lives we often find ourselves in situations where we get out of our comfort zone. We start over-thinking the situation, making more of it than we should, we panic and think the worst. After a bit, things may start settling down and we start realizing that things aren't too bad after all. We learn to adapt, grow, learn and take the proper channels to take our lives to the next level so that if we face other uncomfortable situations of life, we know how to best handle them accordingly. Regardless of any situation, consider this - no matter if it's good or bad, we will ALWAYS have a moment of clarity which provides us with the ability to prosper, the potential to gain wisdom and the capacity to elevate our sense of integrity. 

This morning I logged on to my Facebook account and read a quick story that my friend and colleague Brian Grasso, founder of FTR Nation, posted - which happens to be today's guest blog. After reading his story, I was inspired and able to relate everything he said to my story above. 

Oh.....and for the record, the baby finch was doing fine this morning as I was hoping it would be. And it sure did look comfy too! :)

Thank you Brian for sharing your insights and one of your many personal stories which we can all learn from.

Enjoy today's guest blog! 

I first learned to box when I was about 4 years old. 

My grandfather would take me out to the backyard and show me how to stand properly. 

How to guard my jaw and throw a punch while fading my head out of the midline. 

I started taking it more seriously at the age of 12.

That’s when I first laced up gloves and got into an actual ring with an actual opponent.

The purpose of life, my grandfather would tell me, was to step outside what’s comfortable.

Put yourself in places of unrest until they became relaxed, second-nature and simple.

The purpose of life, he would say, was about learning how to become fearless by never letting your doubts dictate what you believe you can or cannot do.

The first straight right that landed flush on my nose brought tears to my eyes. 

But not just because the nose is particularly sensitive… Because I was crying.

When you get hit for the very first time, it stuns you emotionally.

And it’s not even about how hard the shot was. It’s about the bad intentions that were behind it.

Someone, in this case another 12 year old kid, was trying to hurt me.

There was ferocity in his eyes and mal-intent in his actions. He wanted to harm me. Cause pain in the hopes that I would either fall, give up or require being rescued by a white towel being thrown into the ring from someone my corner.

The thing is, it didn’t hurt as much as it emotionally bewildered me.

I wanted to run. Seek comfort and security. Find a happy, quiet place that was familiar and just sink into it.

But with my grandfather watching, I pressed on. Uncomfortable as it felt, the purpose of life, so I kept reminding myself, was about being uncomfortable from time-to-time.

You know what’s interesting? After a few weeks, it stopped bothering me to get hit. 

I’m not sure you ever really enjoy it, but after the initial shock of it wears away (and that doesn’t take very long) it kinda becomes second-nature. No big deal, really.

This story just got me thinking about how many people sit on their dreams.

Store their true life passions away because they’re too afraid to try.

Too timid to fail.

Too scared to get started.

Because it feels uncomfortable.

But here’s the thing… Starting now, is like a catalyst.

Once you just get moving, you’ll begin to get used to the ‘shots’ of being uncomfortable. And after a while, it will become no big deal, really.

The secret isn’t in trying to create security before you start.

It’s about taking the first shot.

After all, the purpose of life should make you uncomfortable from time-to-time… 


Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Stop and Smell the Roses

Yo yo! What's up everyone? I know, I's been a long time since my last post but I'm back.

"What's been happening in your life AR?" Well, a lot to be honest with you. As much as all of you can relate, 'life' all around me has been happening - both good and bad.

In the past 2 months or so, I have lost some people in my life. Not getting into too much detail, a couple of relatives of some close family friends lost their loved ones a month apart from each other. Just this past Friday, I lost a cousin to cancer.

It's been a rough few days, weeks, months dealing with the loss of life - especially for people you love & care about. I know it's made me appreciate every waking moment, every breathe I take, the ability to get up and see the sun, the time to be able to spend with family & friends, the ability to smile and create memories, the ability to live life!

The other day I was taking my dog Chelsea for a walk. What's funny is that she always seems to present to me a "teachable moment" every time we go about our walk. A moment that I could easily apply to my 'busy & chaotic life', which I know most of us live.

This particular day I was thinking that we needed to complete our 30-minute walk in a timely manner - no more, no less. It had to be 30 minutes!

As we walked, I found myself marching in front of her at a steady but brisk pace. I also found myself giving her more tugs on her leash that normal. As I was on that 30-min. pace, she was more on the 60+ min. pace.

"Chelsea, let's go!"

A tug on her leash......then she followed behind.

A few seconds later another tug!

"Chelsea, c'mon! Let's go!"

Again, we marched forward a few feet more. Then another pause.

As I looked back, she was just doing her thing - a thing that all dogs do - sniffing everything!

Why the heck was I so focused on the 30-minute time limit?

What was my reasoning for being on such a tight timed schedule?

It made no sense at all. I mean, this was my personal time. Time spent doing what I wanted to do.

All my dog wanted to do was go for a nice stroll, enjoy the scenery, take in life, enjoy our time together and 'stop and smell the roses'!

You see, everyday we often seem to overlook the SMALL things in our lives that have a HUGE impact. We're always too busy or have no time! We're always on a tight schedule. We seem to have an excuse for not following through. We'd rather create negative vibes with one another, making faces and pointing fingers rather than taking responsibility for our actions, decisions, and choices. Whatever happened to taking the time to talk to someone you don't know? After all, isn't that the way friendships are created? We'd rather make enemies and piss people off rather than embracing the fact that we're all unique & beautiful in our own way and respecting each other for who we are.

Below is a video that I stumbled upon that I think can personally create change for the better of mankind - for creating & establishing wonderful and meaningful relationships - which ties in with the things I just mentioned above. Sit back folks & enjoy these next 12 minutes and 50 seconds. Look, listen and absorb everything this video has to present in hopes that you can create change for your life as well as for someone else.

We all have a story to tell. It's just a matter of sharing it with those folks who are genuinely interested in taking the time to hear it while appreciating the breathe of this so-called thing called 'LIFE'!

And while you're at it, don't forget to stop and smell the roses!

"And in the end, it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years." - Abraham Lincoln


Thursday, July 19, 2012

Happy Birthday!

Wishing my very own personal hero a very Happy Birthday - Everett Robles, my dad! He's a retired 30-year veteran of the Tulare City Fire Department.

 Happy Birthday pops! I love & miss you!


Monday, June 25, 2012

Workout of the Day - The Beast Mode Smackdown

Today was an awesome day because I woke up with the mindset to make it as such! You know, it's funny how some folks just dread the fact that Monday is here and it's time to "get back to the grind". The feeling of starting the week from scratch only to wait till Friday comes around can make it seem as if the light at the end of the tunnel is far from being bright.

The way I see it - carry a flashlight and brighten things up now! To hell with the tunnel! It's time to get BEAST MODE and start climbing the mountain of GREATNESS today while making Monday a day of success!

With that being said, I demolished my workout of the day and felt so awesome that I felt like almost doing my "Handing My Own Ass On A Platter" workout! Note....I did say 'ALMOST'. HA!

Today's workout was pretty 'Beastly' to say the least, hence the name - "The Beast Mode Smackdown".

Check it out:
Instructions: Perform the following exercises for reps following a 5-minute EDT format. Perform as many rounds as possible within 5 minutes, rest for 1 minute, then perform the next set of exercises following the 5 minute EDT/Rest sequence until all sets have been completed!

Set #1
25-35lb. Plate-Loaded Get Ups with Trunk Rotation - R&L x10
Barbell DL x10
Lateral Burpees x10

Set #2
Slosh Pipe Zercher Lunges (Offset Load) x20 - 10/side
1-Legged Decline P/U's x10
TRX Rows - Y/T-Low Row Combo x10

Set 3#
Alternating DB Push Press x10/side
Sandbag Cleans + Alt. Reverse Lunges x10/side
30 Yard Shuttle Sprints x5 (Over/Back =1)

Finisher: 3 Rounds
Lateral Burpees x10
Jamball Slams x10
Val Slide See Saw Planks x10

Give this one a shot and break out the BEAST within!


Sunday, June 17, 2012

Happy Father's Day

Wishing my grandfather (rest in peace grandpa - I love & miss you), dad, brother, uncles and all the other cool & awesome dad's out there a blessed, awesome, wonder and a Happy Father's Day!


Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Workout of the Day - Handing My Own Ass On A Platter

Despite the fact that I was woken up twice in the middle of the night by my dog who had to "take care of her business" outdoors, I woke up feeling great and ready to take on the day. The way I see it, the way you take on your day will be dictated by the mindset you create from the get go.

My friend, personal trainer and strength coach Travis "TJ" Jones said it best by saying, "If you take it on starting slow, starting sluggish, not feeling good, then that's how your day is going to become!" 

With that being said, what better way to supplement a great start to my morning than by adding in a workout that's guaranteed to make you feel AWESOME X 10! This workout was one of those that most people would look at and dread and possibly ask, "Is there something else I can do instead?" My answer to that - "NO! Suck it up and get it done!"

This workout is one that I call "Handing My Own Ass On A Platter", cause quite simply.....that's exactly how I felt afterwards!

So stop whining, make no excuses, swallow that "Man Up" pill, tie up those shoe laces, and get ready to as my friend, strength coach and fellow colleague Robert dos Remedios says....

So here it is....

Handing My Own As On A Platter

Instructions: Perform the following exercise sequence as noted below. Keep the rest time at a minimum - 10-20 sec. or less between exercises 

Dynamic Warm-Up - Walking Lunges, Lateral Lunges, Cariocas, Inch Worms/Walkouts, Bear Crawls, High Knees, Squat to Stand

1A) Concept II Row - 300 meters (as fast as possible); sub by doing TRX Rows x12
2A) DB Push Press x 12/side
3A) Burpees x 12
4A) P/U Position Rows x 12/side
*Perform 3 rounds with a 1 min. rest between sets

1B) Goblet Squat Jumps x 12
2B) Spiderman P/U's x12
3B) Sandbag Lunges x12/side
4B) 30 Yd. Shuttle Sprints x5 (Over/Back = 1)
*Perform 3 rounds with a 1 min. rest between sets

Finisher : 3:00 EDT 
10 1 1/2 P/U's 
10 D-Ball Slams
10 TRX Squat Jumps
*Perform as many rounds as possible 

Time to crank it!


Saturday, June 9, 2012

Aligning Your Goals and Fitness Lifestyle

I just got back from vacation a couple of weeks ago and in all honesty, I couldn’t wait to get back home so that I could get back on track with my exercise & nutrition plan. There’s something about being thrown out of your element whether it’s being sick, traveling for a few days, or as in my case being on a weeks vacation, that causes a sense of disruption to our every day routine.

The obstacle that I faced was having no access to a gym/fitness center (since it was being remodeled) and limited choices with my nutrition. What’s a guy like me to do when he faces with such a dilemma? I had to ‘think outside the box’ and take drastic measures to make sure that I held my own in keeping myself aligned with my health, fitness & fat loss goals. I cranked out my body weight workout in my room, drank lots of water, packed plenty of snacks - protein bars, beef jerky, nuts & seeds - and made sure I had optimal recovery….laying out by the pool that is. Hey, this is physical & mental recovery at its finest if I must say!

The deal is that people tend to make poor choices & exhibit careless behavior when it comes to their health, fitness & fat loss goals which are directly tied into their LIFESTYLE. Examples may include massive intake of sugar, starches, processed & junk foods, poor sleep habits – not getting enough sleep, increased stress, skipping workouts, doing too much aerobic exercise (yes, you heard me right – long, steady state cardio isn’t all that it’s made out to be for optimal fat loss - here's a study that proves it), or hanging out with the wrong crowd – people who either distract you from your goals or are always putting you down in a negative way.
So how do we fix this so-called ‘problem’? The solution will vary from person to person but one thing that we must always ask ourselves is - “Is my the choice I’m making & behavior that I’m displaying getting me closer or further away from my health & fitness goals?”

We have to be completely honest with ourselves and analyze the things that must change in order to see positive change. Next time you’re in front of the mirror, take a long hard look at yourself for 2 minutes and see if what’s being reflected satisfies you.

Do you like the person you see in the mirror?

Are you happy with where you are right now?

Do you like the way to look & feel?

Chances are some of you might only be able to do this for a few seconds. Trust me, 2 minutes is a long time as I’m speaking from personal experience. I found myself looking in front of that mirror and I knew I had to make some major changes in my life. I knew that in order to improve and get better each and every day, I had to create change. It just wasn’t going to a happen on its own or at someone else’s will.

If the change you seek relates to poor nutrition, eliminate the sugar & starch and start eating more veggies & fruit.

Increased stress? Learn to take a mental & physical ‘time-out’ to clear the mental clutter and alleviate tension – try mediation, deep breathing, listening to music, reading a book….the possibilities are endless. 

Are you feeling tired all of the time and have no energy? Eliminate the caffeine in the evening, eat whole foods, drink lots of water (at least half your body weight in ounces each day), exercise and get to bed at a decent hour.

If you’re an aerobics junkie who is stuck in a plateau, you ought to highly consider interval training - HIIT.

If it’s negative people, the honest reality may be that you may have to find a new influence of friends who can relate and support your lifestyle goals and commitments.

In a nutshell, everything about your LIFESTYLE must align with your goals if you plan to reach them. As I coach people in their quest to improving their ‘Life, Health & Wellness’, I remind them that their LIFESTYLE can exponentially increase their RESULTS as long as they take the proper measures and make the right decisions that will identify with what they’re trying to achieve.


Monday, May 7, 2012

Never Give Up!

"Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising up every time we fall." - Confucius

This video proves that with the will to succeed and sheer determination to improve each & every day of our lives, no matter the obstacles, GREAT things will happen!



Thursday, May 3, 2012

Defining Your Motivation

This morning I was having a great conversation with one of my guys about sources of motivation. He was telling me how he finds himself being more productive in a group setting rather than going on solo workouts. The reason? The energetic vibe he encounters when others are working just as hard as he is. In other words, he feeds off the energy from others given the environment they create as a group.

I conversed with various folks about their personal and/or preferred sources of motivation and as no surprise this is what I discovered - all of them had different aspects of what they considered personal sources of motivation. 

When defining 'motivation', you get the following: "The process that initiates, guides and maintains goal-oriented behaviors; what causes us to act."

I know from personal experience that many people deal with struggles and difficulties when they hit that wall - experiencing a plateau where results cease and progress slows down, maybe even comes to a complete stand still. I've been there myself and remember vividly how burned out I felt with my training & nutrition lifestyle. For almost 1 year, I remember working at a gym and never touching a weight nor getting in a great quality workout. I was so tired and occupied with life that I felt as if I didn't have the time to train & exercise. Combined with an "I'll eat whatever I want" mindset & lifestyle and you've got a perfect recipe for disaster. After taking some time to evaluate my situation, I had to redefine my personal as well as professional goals. In doing so, I was able to resolve my "burned out" attitude and replace it with the things that motivated me and start making incremental progress in all facets of my life!

The whole idea for this post is to share with you sources of motivation that may help you get out of a rut. I know it may not be easy and may take some time but as long as you don't quit and allow things to get the best of you, you'll be back in the game while making significant strides to continue onward and upward.

Here are some things that I consider to be resources, strategies and tips to help you get and stay motivated:

Environment - As I mentioned in the opening of this post, environment can be a critical factor for those looking to step up their game. Every time I seeing other people working hard and pushing themselves, I can't help but to feed off their energy and do the same. That's where the sense of "if he/she can do it, I can too" comes to play. This is in no way a competition with anyone in particular, but rather a self-competitive attitude in general with oneself to determine levels progression - simply to get better with the disposition of improvement. The energy associated as such just spreads like wildfire and can become contagious....which I think is awesome! Ever train with a group of athletes? It's amazing! Talk about a game changer - your mindset automatically escalates one notch higher which translates to taking your training to the next level.  Personally, I get really jacked every time I see athletes train. Why? Because training like an athlete is intense but it's fun!

Music - Ever worked out in a gym or attended a group exercise class while playing music say by.....Air Supply? (Even the fact that I had to YouTube the link to that song sucks!) I don't know about you but I know I couldn't stand to workout/exercise to any slow-tempo music. So what do I consider quality, motivational music? Well, I guess you can say that's relative to the person. But for me, here are some tunes that help me get psyched and ready for what I call "Superhero Action"! Again, your taste in music may differ than mine.

Videos - Check out the video below and tell me it doesn't motivate you? It makes me wanna kick something....or someone! Just kidding - sort of! HA!

Physique/Vanity - Some folks get motivated simply with the mindset and demeanor to look great! I mean, who doesn't, right? We all want to look good and feel above & beyond. We want to have that ultimate comic book Superhero physique that turns heads and have people sayin', "Holy crap....that dude is shredded!" or "Wow, that girl is the epitome of sexy!"

Family - Being a positive role model is a fantabulous source of motivation. Having the support of family is amazing. Not only that, but being a role model for family members who can follow in your footsteps is awesome too! One of my guys noted that he finds motivation by being an example for his kids. He maintains his level of training and eating right so that he can keep up with them but to also have them mimic what he does to create the ultimate healthy lifestyle. Also, you know the old saying that kids say, "My dad can kick your dad's butt"! By being an active parent and staying fit, this saying may just hold merit as long as you stay motivated and stay in tip-top condition! HA!

Pets - I'm a huge animal lover and a dog owner. Luckily for me, I own a dog that's full of energy and doesn't know the word 'quit'! Every time we have play time, we find ourselves going 110% - running, jogging, playing chase, throwing and fetching. If you're looking for some extra motivation in addition to finding a loyal friend who's always eager to release lots of energy, you should highly consider getting yourself a dog! Plus, dog's kick ass! Period!

My dog Chelsea hangin' out on the beach! 
Movies - Back in the day as a young fitness trainer, I remember watching the movie "Pumping Iron" with Arnold Schwarzenegger. I tell you what, after watching Arnold, Franco, Katz, and Ferrigno to name a few, I was so amped up that I wanted to go and crush a workout right then and there! To this day, when I see that old '77 flick, I still get amped up!

Quotes - I like reading quotes that speak volumes and have meaning. I've come across many motivational fitness quotes that always put me in the frame of mind to create greatness! Here are are few that I like and hope you will too:
  • "You're only one workout away from a good mood." - Unknown
  • "I'm not telling you it's going to be easy - I'm telling you it's going to be worth it!" - Unknown
  • "Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going" - Jim Ryan
  • "The difference between 'try' and 'triumph' is a little 'umph'! - Marvin Phillips
  • "No matter how slow you go, you're still lapping everyone on the couch!" - Unknown
  • "We don't stop exercising because we grow old - we grow old because we stop exercising." - Dr. Kenneth Cooper
  • "Nothing happens until something starts moving!" - Albert Einstein
  • "Whether you think you can or whether you think you can't, you're right." - Henry Ford
  • "Wake up with determination. Go to bed with satisfaction." - Unknown

New Clothes - I always tell my guys and gals that the best problem they can have when it comes to clothes is shopping for new and smaller sizes! Right?! As you start torching body fat, building lean muscle and start looking lean and mean, you want to be able to showcase the goods from all the hard work, time, sweat and energy you've dedicated to get there. What better way to do so than by having a new wardrobe! 

Activity Events / Fun Runs - Lately I've been hearing of so many physical activity events as I'm sure you have too. Events like the Tough Mudder, Warrior Dash, as well as various national and local marathons, cycling events and races. What better way to get and stay motivated than by signing up for any of these events and making yourself (and other people who may be participating) accountable while training, eating right and doing the right things to prepare you for your event of choice.

Fitness & Nutrition Journal/Blog - When I started my 'Life.Health.Wellness' blog back in 2008, I did so with the mindset to share my knowledge and personal experiences in a way where others could understand where I was coming from - people could relate to the things I was writing about based on experiences that we all encounter and go through. What motivates me about blogging is the ability to tell stories, share ideas, talk shop about health & fitness (since this is what I do for a living) and discuss all things as they relate to our "Life, Health, & Wellness". There's no better feeling that I get knowing that people from all over the globe are reading (and hopefully relating) the stuff I post. Aside from blogging, why not start a fitness, nutrition and lifestyle journal and keep track of your daily progress. This is a very powerful tool that anyone can do and use as a tracking resource to see what progress is being made, what's working and what's not.

Books - I love books as I'm always hungry for knowledge and thirsty to learn new things every day! If you find yourself struggling with health & fitness, take the time to educate yourself with some of these books that I highly recommend:

Make A Money Deal - One of my good friends and colleagues and I started training at a gym together. To make sure we were going to show up for our training sessions, we made a deal - the person who misses out on any training session owes the other $100 cash! If that doesn't motivate you to show up and be on time, I don't know what will.

Vacation/Down Time - We all need to take the time to 're-charge our batteries' and clear the mental clutter. What better way to do this than by taking a vacation and taking some down time.

Food - Believe it or not, food can be a motivational factor - if used in the appropriate context. In terms of fitness results such as fat loss, lean muscle gains, clean earting is essential. With this comes the self discipline from staying away from 'forbidden foods' such as sweets - pastries, cookies, ice cream, cheesecake - and fast foods - pizza, burgers, chicken wings, french name a few. However, eating forbidden foods once a week as a 'cheat meal' is a great way to reward yourself for being in compliance with a clean eating plan. Eat clean 6 days out of 7, you become motivated enough to stick with this plan while letting yourself enjoy and indulge in the goodness of a sweet treat!

Personal Challenges - There's nothing better than challenging yourself in doing things that get you out of your comfort zone. As I say, "It's always the uncomfortable stuff that gets you better results!" Why not take on a challenge such as a "5 Day Sugar Buster Challenge"? For 5 days eliminate all things containing sugar - cookies, pastries, candies, soda, ice cream, jams/jellies, pies, white sugar. Doing so will make you feel tons better as you detox your body from all of the impurities found in these heavily processed foods that so many people eat!

Superheroes - I know, I's the kid in me that always gets amped up whenever I think of superhero characters. But what's not to like about them? They're strong, agile, they fly, leap tall building, drive cool cars, encompass super human strength and they kick ass - literally! If anything , read my "How To Become A Superhero" post I did a while back and apply it to your life!

Faith/Spiritual Wellness - The one thing that's ALWAYS a constant motivator for me is my commitment to being a believer. My faith is and always will be a growing aspect of personal enrichment in all things related in what I do, the choices I make, the people I meet and those I keep close to me. It dictates the will to always do the right thing. I know for certain that having a strong belief system has helped me become a better person as I strive to pay it forward to others so that they may do the same.

"Exercise is like prayer. There's no reason to pray if you're not a believer." - Ray Kybartas, author of 'Fitness Is Religion: Keep the Faith'

Keep in mind that these are just a small number of many sources of motivation. I know there will be days that will be harder than others, days when we struggle with motivation and the energy needed to get us through the end of the day.

However, let us not forget that we have the ability to overcome the negativity in our lives and the will to do great things in order to magnify the benefits of being healthy, happy and content with our 'Life, Health & Wellness'!