Monday, December 27, 2010

Gym Etiquette... Do's and Don'ts

Hi Everyone,

Today's post is for those who might be new to a gym or for those who are just plain clueless.

There are things that you should and should not do in a gym, and I wanted to share some of those things with you.

1. Clean your workout clothes after each use. No body likes to smell B.O from 2 week old clothes!

2. Bring a towel to wipe the equipment. You are going to sweat in the gym, but no body likes to sit or lay down in your sweat!!

3. Be aware of your surroundings. Gyms today are very "dynamic". Many people are walking around lunging, throwing medicine balls or swinging ropes. Be aware of what people are doing around you as you walk through the gym. I can't tell you how many times people have just about walked into me or my client as we were performing an exercise.

4. Don't drop the weights. If you can't control it down, it is to heavy. I don't care how big or strong you think you are!

5. Share. If you notice people waiting to use a piece of equipment you are using, offer to let them "work in" while performing multiple sets of an exercise, especially if a certain machine or piece of equipment is limited.

6. Un-rack machines and put away dumbbells. Not everyone is as big and manly as you!

7. Cell Phone usage. Don't sit on a machine and talk on the phone, as a matter of fact, unless your wife is 9 months pregnant and ready to pop don't talk on the phone at all on the exercise floor. And Bluetooths! Not only do you look crazy by talking to yourself, but you also tend to talk louder which is even more annoying. As far as i am concerned bluetooth headsets should not leave your car. You don't look important by wearing it around all the time, you look silly!

8. Spotting. When you notice someone struggling, spot them. Nobody likes to crush themselves with a bar......... USC football player ring a bell! And if you don't now how to spot correctly ask somebody!

9. Don't stand in front of the dumbbell rack and exercise. Get your dumbbells and move to an open space or to a bench. Allow others access to the dumbbells.

10. Wear appropriate clothing. Those too tight coaches shorts from the 70's need to stay back in the 70's.

11. Don't smoke cigarette anywhere near the gym. Most of us come to the gym to stay healthy. We don't need to smell your cigarette smoke while walking through the parking lot.

12. Locker room talk. While in the locker room, don't try to hold a conversation with me if your are buck naked! I promise I am not being rude, I just won't talk to you.

13. Grunting. A little grunting is OK, but lets not get crazy here and try to get everyone to look at you. No one likes a screamer in the gym.

14. Staring. Guys, it is OK and normal to sneak a peak at the ladies, but when that peak drags on for a while it becomes a creepy stare. Don't do it! If you are trying to watch somebody to learn an exercise, ask, don't stare.

15. Flip Flops. Now I know most shoes that are worn to the gym do not have steel toes, but with heavy weights rolling around and being dropped by people that want to look cool, do you really want your little piggies exposed. Besides, you are at the gym not the beach! Safety aside, it just looks silly. And without knowing you, I can tell that never work your lower body, or integrate movements. I would actually rather see someone train barefoot, that way they at least will have better stability than training in flip flops.

Ahhhh.... I feel better for getting that off my chest. I am sure I will think of many more.

If you have any good ones that I forgot, leave me a comment below.

Until next time,
Living life with No Excuses.........No Regrets!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Tis the Season to Give Back....... St. Francis House

Merry Christmas Everyone,
I hope everyone is having a great Christmas spending time with their friends and families.

While many of us are very fortunate and have more "things" than we really need, this is a great time of year to think about those who do not have anything at all.

This year my family decided we should start a new tradition to give back and pay it forward during the holiday season.

As part of our Christmas eve activities, our family put together nice little bags filled with warm socks or beanies, a bible, and a candy cane that we would pass out on Christmas morning to the homeless at St. Francis House. Then on Christmas morning we all went to the St. Francis house to help serve meals. It was a great experience for myself, as well as my 6 year old son to give back to those that really need it. It was also very special to see Jacob give 3 of his toys to some little kids that probably did not get anything for Christmas.

So, nothing fitness related today, I just want to encourage you all to take some time in the upcoming year to give back and pay it forward. And remember, as a parent, it is your responsibility to teach your children compassion and provide them with opportunities to give back to the less fortunate.

Merry Christmas and a Happy and Healthy 2011.

Living Life with no excuses........No Regrets

Thursday, December 9, 2010

"Why you can't lose weight."

Hey Everyone,
This a a re-post guest post from a guest post........... did I confuse you already? I got this from Mike Boyles blog, but it was actually written by Brandon Alleman.

This is an interesting read regarding why you might not be losing the weight or increasing your performance like you want. There are some good points here, take out of it what you want and enjoy.
Living Life with No Excuses.........No Regrets!

Here is a guest post from Brandon Alleman.
In response to e-mails requesting it, here are my Top Roadblocks to effective weight loss:

Why You Can’t Lose Weight
1. Poor relationship with food.It does not matter what you are eating or when you eat it, if you have a poor relationship with food, you are not likely to be able to lose those extra pounds. Get in touch with your Self and your food. Develop a healthy relationship with food first, then worry about the rest of this list!

2. Poor nutrition.You will never out-train bad nutrition! Stop cutting calories, stop skipping meals, stop eating processed foods, and seek the services of someone, like yours truly, who can coach you on how to determine how you should be eating. Basically, stop eating C.R.A.P. Yes, that is actually an acronym (courtesy of Dr. Sherri Rogers) which stands for C = caffeine, cola, and corn. I actually added corn to the C list. In my experience, a large percentage of people are intolerant to corn when tested accurately with blood tests. Corn is universally contaminated in the U.S. and is almost completely genetically modified at this point and is nutritionally bankrupt. It is also the most highly subsidized crop in the world. You can find corn in batteries and diapers – yes, I am serious. How ridiculous is that?! R = Refined food and white rice; A = additives and alcohol; and P = processed foods and pasteurized dairy. All of these foods will serve to make you fatter and I do not care how much ex
ercise or cardio you do – you cannot out train bad nutrition.

3. Wrong exercise.Many people are over exposing themselves to cardiovascular exercise and are simply overtraining. Remember, “work out” means that you have to expend energy to get the job done. If you are already running on empty, working “out” will only serve as an additional energy drain on the system.

4. You are doing way too much cardio.I have a previous post on the detrimental aspects of traditional cardiovascular training. An over reliance on traditional cardiovascular exercise will actually create a hormonal environment that is not conducive to building muscle and/or losing fat. You can read my post on the detrimental aspects of cardio here

5. You are cutting calories or skipping meals.Consider this when using calorie cutting to achieve your weight loss goals: Within 24 hours of going on a low calorie diet, which is defined as eating less than 2000 calories per day (according to the World Health Organization), you immediately deplete your brain chemistry and have been shown to increase fat storing (lipogenic) enzymes in the body. This is particularly important for females who already have 3 times the amount of fat storing (lipolytic) enzymes as fat burning ones. Any changes in brain chemistry will lead to cravings, usually for sugary food items. Low calorie dieting is especially damaging for anyone with a history of depression, anxiety, eating disorders or alcoholism. Remember, all of this occurs after a single day. In many cases I can run Functional Lab assessments to determine how nutritionally depleted my clients are. Anyone with a history of chronic yo-yo dieting, calorie restriction, or long-term use of most medications is likely to have severe nutriti
onal deficiencies.

6. Poor attitude and/or stinkin’ thinkin’.
You must have a positive frame of mind when making nutritional and lifestyle modifications if they are to be part of a lasting change. If you start a new exercise or nutritional program with a poor attitude and thoughts of what you are giving up or losing by making the necessary changes, you are doomed from the start.

7. Lack of Quiet Time.Quiet time is necessary for introspection so that you can get very clear about what you want and why you want it. No quiet time means you have no time for introspection, which means all you are doing day in and day out is pouring yourself out. This will lead you to being very fatigued. I recommend sitting quietly in a dark room (alone) and just breathe and be a witness to your thoughts for at least 20-30 minutes per day!

8. Adrenal fatigue.The adrenals are linked to the function of nearly every major physiological system in the body. If they are wiped out due to chronic stress of any kind, you will have a hard time losing weight despite even the best nutritional and exercise efforts.

9. Thyroid Dysfunction.The thyroid is a key regulator of metabolism. When dysfunctional, this gland will serve as a major roadblock to weight loss success. The function of the gland is also related to the function of the adrenals.

10. Hormonal Imbalances.Forget about losing weight in the presence of hormonal issues. It simply will not happen.

11. Poor Detoxification Capacity.The body stores toxins in fat. If you have a history of eating the Standard American Diet (loaded with toxins), your detoxification system is likely overloaded. With that, you are likely to not have the nutrition on board to run the primary and secondary detoxification pathways efficiently. When this is the case, the body will not allow you to burn fat to prevent the further overloading the detoxification system. This is obviously not good for your fat loss goals.

12. Poor Sleep.The body handles its physical and neurogenic/psychogenic repair during the hours between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. Poor and disrupted sleep can lead to issues in virtually any physiological system in the body. Poor sleep can also lead to over consumption of carbohydrates, stimulant (caffeine, sugar, etc.) cravings, fatigue, and poor mood to name a few. These will all sabotage your weight loss efforts.

13. You have no purpose.It has been my observation that those individuals who view their life as connected to the world as a whole and view their life as one with meaning and purpose have a much easier time losing weight when given the correct advice for accomplishing that task. If you do not have a clearly defined purpose for the use of your life’s energy, you will be dealing with chronic stress everyday -even if you think you are not! That stressor can easily sabotage weight loss efforts.

14. You make poor choices.Many people simply do not know the proper nutrition and lifestyle choices to make when it comes to trying to lose those extra pounds. They may have no real issues in the above-mentioned areas, but they simply make lousy choices on a daily basis and no one has taught them how to make better ones. You can often find these people running from place to place, doctor to doctor, and on and on – trying to figure out what is “wrong” with them. The only thing wrong is that they have made a series of rotten choices and need to learn to make different ones. Remember, the definition of insanity according to our good friend Alert Einstein is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.

Well, there you have them (in no particular order I might add). My top reasons you are not losing weight. I look forward to your comments, e-mails, and posts.

Love and Chi,
Brandon Alleman, CHEK 3, HHP


Yours in Strength,

Mike Boyle

Saturday, December 4, 2010

The "Travel Workout"

Hi Everyone,
Tonight I am writing you from my hotel in Maitland, Florida where I am attending a "Nutrition for Fitness Professional" workshop by Dr. Jane Pentz. It is about 11 pm and I just finished my hotel workout while watching the ACC championship game.

In the next couple of days I plan on posting some great nutrition tips that I have been learning, but tonight I wanted to share with you my hotel workout that I just completed.

This is a great 20-30 minute workout that you can do anywhere and requires no equipment. It is done in a "ladder" format, which means you start with 1 rep of each exercise in the circuit, then do 2 reps of each, followed by 3 reps of each all the way up to 10 reps of each exercise. You will complete the entire ladder non-stop with no breaks or rest.

Here it is....

1. Prisoner Squats
2. Lunges
3. Pushups.

After you complete the ladder of the above exercise you will then do my "crunch complex". Complete 3 rounds of the crunch complex.

1. Toe touch crunch, 16 reps (8 each leg)(lay on your back with you arms reached over head and legs out straight. As you crunch pull one knee towards your chest and reach for your toes with your hands. Then extend back out and repeat with the other leg)
2. Supine knee extensions, 15 reps (lye on your back with your hands resting under your butt. Pull both knees to your chest, then extend your legs straight out until they are about 8- 10 inches above the ground. Then pull your knees back in towards your chest. Be sure that your back does not arch)
3. Plank hover, 30 sec.

Enjoy this workout no matter where you are to stay consistent with your training!

Living with No Regrets........ No Excuses!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

The Turkey Burner Workout

Hi Everyone,
It's Thanksgiving today and most of us will be spending the day with our families being thankful for all we have.......

And most of us will also spend today overindulging in all the great foods that our families make....... so here is a great calorie burning workout to help counter the overeating.

1. 500 meter row
2. 50 burpees or dumbbell thruster jumps
3. 250 meter row
4. 50 single arm kettle bell swings (each arm)
5. 250 meter row
6. 50 box jumps (18- 24 inch box)
7. 250 meter row
8. 50 hanging knee ups
9. 250 meter row
10. 50 skydivers or prone cobras
11. 1000 meter row.

Have fun, and leave me comments with your best time to complete this workout.

Living life with No Regrets........ No Excuses.

Quick Tips fot Thanksgiving Day Success

Here are a couple of tips that my client Jim shared with me(and a few of my own) to help reduce the damage done by your Thanksgiving day meal.

Have a great Turkey Day and try to stay active.

1. Limit the gravy- Use a teaspoon instead of a ladle to serve the gravy.
2. Use smaller plates to help reduce portion size.
3. Bake pumpkin pies in small custard dishes without the crust.
4. Remove the skin from the turkey before serving.
5. Pack more vegetable in your stuffing, use less breading.
6. Don't serve any snacks or appetizers throughout the day.
7. Drink 16 oz of water before you begin eating.
8. Use fresh steamed green beans instead of green bean casserole.
9. Bake your turkey, don't fry it. Frying is very popular these days, but adds many calories and fat.
10. Eat a light and healthy breakfast and lunch(depending on what time you eat). Do this so you don't go into you Thanksgiving day meal starving!
11. Take a nice, long walk after dinner with your family and friends.

Living life with No Regrets............ No Excuses.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

"Hey, Are you busy?"

Hey Everyone,
It is just about that time of year again where there is always to many things to do, and simply not enough time to do them.

I hear people tell me all the time that they don't have time to exercise, don't have to time to eat right, they don't have time for this or that..... I don't believe that! What I believe is that you did not make time to exercise, you didn't make time to eat right.

OK, off my soap box........ I have re-posted many articles in the past by Todd Durkin, and here is another great one that will help us stay focused and give us some great tips to make time for the things we Really need to do.

Remember, live life with No Regrets.........No Excuses!!!


"Hey, Are You Busy?"

By Todd Durkin, MA, CSCS, Owner, Fitness Quest 10

I received an email the other day from a young trainer who asked what I do with my time between sessions. Interesting question. Typically, I look at my To Do List and ask myself, 'What's the best use of my time right now?' What do you do between things?

It seems like everyone near me is talking about being busy...Too busy. As a busy professional myself, I know what it's like to juggle many things on your plate. But then again, everyone I know is busy. So, whether it's your job, shuffling the kids to school or sports, or just trying to balance the daily demands of life, the million-dollar question is, are you busy doing the right things?

Just the other day, I heard someone comment on how we are surrounded by clocks. Think about it: We hang clocks everywhere and often wear one on our wrists (how many clocks did you have to change this weekend?). We are slaves to time. So it doesn't matter whether you know the time by your phone, PDA, cable box, microwave, heart rate monitor, watch or the movement of the sun, life isn't slowing down anytime soon. Those of us who are busy are going to stay busy. Here are a few suggestions to help make sure you're busy doing the right things:

· Game plan. Call this "Blue-sky" strategic planning time. Make sure you know where you're going. Otherwise, you will just be stuck in "busyness." Know where you want to be one year from now. Know where you want to be 90 days from now. Know where you want to be 30 days from now. Your daily decisions should all be influenced by the direction you have chosen for your future.

· Just say NO. By saying "NO" more to the things you don't want in your life, you are saying "YES" to the things you do want in your life. And that includes more free time, family time, exercise time, and relaxation time. Be a strategist - not an opportunist. If an opportunity fits within your strategy, say yes. If it's just an opportunity that will not help you live your purpose, say NO. Simplification feels oh-so-good.

· Win the Day. I say it all the time and I will say it again. Focus on the here and now. While the pressures of work, family, school, sports, etc. all add up, I get a lot of salvage (and sanity!) out of focusing on "Winning the Day." This keeps me focused on what I can control - not on what I can't.

· Stay Focused. I think people get scattered. They are checking email, and then a Facebook alert pops up. Then another important email pops and they hop back to that. Then the phone rings in the office, and they are texting someone at the same time they are in a phone conversation... Before you know it, you have three conversations going on and five files open on your desktop. Many ultra successful entrepreneurs say one of the key characteristics of extremely high performers is the ability to be "single-focused" on important projects. Remember the ABCs of time management? Focus on the As and forget the Cs until something changes and today's C becomes tomorrow's B or A. What's the best use of your time right now?

· Create the right To Do List. I am about to head to Toronto, Canada for a two-day retreat with Robin Sharma. Robin is the best-selling author of The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari and The Leader Without a Title. I have been in Robin's coaching program for about a year now and he has taught me how to perfect my To Do List. I've worked hard to organize my time this year and it has resulted in much higher productivity. I now have a "Big 5" for my life, for my year, for the week, and for each day. Each day, I know exactly which 5 things must be done to create a winning day. I don't go home until they've been completed.

Here is a favorite little story to bring the point home. I recently found this in the book, Exploiting Chaos: 150 Ways to Spark Innovation During Times of Change.

A young man once approached J.P. Morgan with a proposition: "Sir, I hold in my hand a guaranteed formula for success, which I will gladly sell to you for $25,000."

Always curious, J.P. Morgan replied, "I do not know what is in the envelope, however, if you show me and I like it, I give you my word as a gentleman that I will pay you what you ask."

The man agreed, handing J.P. Morgan the envelope.

When J.P. examined the note, he reached for his checkbook and paid the man the agreed-upon sum of $25,000. In one of his presentations, Tom Peters revealed the advice written on that piece of paper:

1. Every morning, write a list of the things that need to be done that day.


Sound advice my friend. And while I prefer to do my daily 'To Do' List the night before, you get the idea of the importance of taking ACTION on the most important things on your list FIRST. Accept that you will be busy, but stay focused on what's most important. First, give priority to your workouts and eating right. This will help fight the stress and anxiety associated with the many other items you must complete. That's great advice as we continue to march toward the holiday season and year-end. For now, permit yourself to be imperfect, slow down, and enjoy this wonderful time of the year. And if you continue to find yourself busy: Be busy doing the right things!

Peace and love,


Todd Durkin, MA, CSCS, is an internationally recognized performance coach, personal trainer and massage therapist who motivates, educates and inspires people worldwide. He is the owner of Fitness Quest 10 in San Diego, CA, where his wonderful team of 35 focuses on personal training, massage therapy, Pilates, yoga, sports performance training and nutrition to help transform the bodies, minds and spirits of a broad clientele. Todd trains dozens of NFL and MLB athletes, including 2010 Super Bowl XLIV Champion and MVP Drew Brees. He is the head of the Under Armour Performance Training Council and is a featured presenter on the Perform Better educational circuit. He is a two-time Trainer of the Year (IDEA & ACE). Additionally, Todd provides motivational talks and programs to companies and conferences worldwide.

Men's Health recently named his gym, Fitness Quest 10, one of the Top 10 Gyms in the US. Todd has appeared on 60 Minutes, ESPN, NFL Network and has been featured in Sports Illustrated, USA Today, Business Week, Prevention, ESPN the Magazine, Men's Health, Men's Fitness, Men's Journal, Stack Magazine, Self, Shape, Fitness, the NY Times and Washington Post. Todd has authored 35 DVDs on strength and conditioning, functional fitness, massage/bodywork and business/personal growth.

His new book, The IMPACT! Body Plan debuted in September 2010 and is a 10 Week program designed to create world-class fitness and life performance. You can sign up for Todd's FREE award-winning Ezine newsletter, the TD TIMES, at or

Friday, October 22, 2010

30 min Halloween Circuit

Happy almost Halloween everyone,
Halloween is right around the corner! For some reason it is one of my favorite holidays?

Keep you training on schedule and get in the Halloween spirit by completing this Halloween themed circuit.

This is a 50 seconds work, 10 seconds rest, 5 exercise circuit (50-10-5). I used a Halloween themed track for Workout Muse, but you can use any interval timer set to 50 seconds work, 10 seconds rest.

I also used some "Halloween" implements, but I will list alternative is parenthesis in case your gym does not have all the fun things that we have at Gainesville Health and Fitness.

1. Heavy Chain (dumbbell) Thruster
2. Kettle Bell (dumbbell) Renegade Rows
3. Cable Torso Rotations (change side at 25 second mark)
4. Pumpkin (medicine ball) Diagonal Wood chops (change sides at 25 second mark)
5. Body weight "plyo" Lunges

Take 1 min. rest after completing the circuit, then repeat for a total of 5 rounds. This workout should take about 30 minutes to complete.

Enjoy, and Happy Halloween.

Living Life with No Regrets............ No Excuses....

Monday, October 11, 2010

Quick Tip- Are you truly training your back??

Hi Everyone,
As I watch people training around the gym one of the exercises that I most frequently see done wrong is the row and every variation of the row. What I usually see is a very ugly bicep exercise that never truly touches the muscles of your back.

So, next time you train your back follow these basic form principles:
1. "Sit up tall". Keep your chest up and pull your shoulder blades(scapula) back. You must retract or pull back your shoulder blades to properly work the muscles of the back (lats, and rhomboids). All to often I watch people "hunching" forward, rounding their shoulders and then pull the weight to their chest without actually moving their shoulder blades. All this is doing is working your biceps while promoting poor posture.
2. Don't "hike" your shoulders. It is important to keep your shoulder blades down and back while performing the row. It is very common for people to be very dominant in their upper traps, which will make them hike their shoulders up towards their ears as they row. The result of this form error is usually a tight and sore neck from over working your upper traps.
3. Don't sway. Another common form error I witness is people gaining excess momentum from swaying their entire upper torso while they perform the row. This is usually the result of the weight being to heavy. This motion will indeed work the upper back effectively as long as the previously mentioned principles are met, however, you are also working the lower back under a very heavy load which can also lead to unnecessary soreness and possible injury.

Next time you train your back be sure that you follow these basic form principles and you will "Truly be training your back!"

Living life with No regrets...... No excuses.....

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Quick Tip- Low Fat Saute

Hi Everyone,
Everyone that knows me knows that I love to eat! Truth be told it is one of the main reasons that I exercise so frequently. But, at the same time eating the right foods at the right time is vitally important to your success within your fitness plan. I enjoy a lot of variety in my eating habits and sauteing meats and vegetables is a very popular way to prepare foods. Unfortunately it can also be a very high fat way to prepare foods.

Follow the steps below to eliminate the fats used in traditional sautes by substituting flavorful liquids in place of butter, margarine, or oil. Instead try using chicken or vegetable stock, dry sherry, red or white wine, fruit juice, vinegar, or soy sauce.

1. Heat 2 tablespoons of the above liquids in a saute pan over medium heat.
2. When the liquid begins to steam, and ingredients ans stir.
3. Continue to saute, stirring frequently, until the liquid in the pan evaporates. Then add 2 more tablespoons of the liquid, stirring to scrape up the glaze at the bottom of the pan.
4. Continue to cook, adding liquid as necessary, until done.

Now, enjoy a lower-fat, and healthier meal!!

Living life with no Regrets...........NO excuses

Monday, September 13, 2010

A New Flight Plan to Make Your Fitness Routine Soar

Back to School, Back to the gym. A New Flight Plan to Make Your Fitness Routine Soar

It’s that time of year again. School, work, sports practices, weekend sporting events, family time……. You name it and this time of year everything kicks in full swing. How does one find time to do things that our body needs to keep going, like exercising and eating properly? There is just no time to go to the gym and cook healthy meals between taking the kids to and from school, going to work, taking them to practices, etc. Does this sound familiar?

I hear the above “turbulence” on a daily basis. So let’s try to make this transition back into school as smooth as possible by following these simple ideas.

Our first step is to sit back and breathe for a moment. The first couple weeks of school are hectic, crazy, and confusing. Let your schedule fall into place then start the next step, which is to plan ahead and prioritize. Planning ahead and prioritizing are vital steps to having a successful fitness routine. We need to not only plan specifically when we can exercise, but also what we are going to eat throughout the day. Every night you should plan exactly what you will be eating on the following day. What healthy snacks will you take with you to work? What will you be eating for lunch? These are vitally important to eating healthy consistently. When you don’t plan ahead and prepare your meals and snacks it is very easy to stop for a fast, convenient, fatty processed meal. This may also require taking some time on a Sunday to do your grocery shopping so that you can free up some time during the week for family time.

Planning when you will be exercising is your next step. And maybe more importantly, planning what you will be doing when you get to the gym. All to often fitness professionals see people wandering around the gym looking for what they should do next. This is a major time waster that can be simply eliminated by having your exercise routine planned when you come to the gym. There is no reason to spend 1 ½ to 2 hours in the gym, especially if you are wasting a lot of that time trying to figure out your next exercise. If you need help with planning an exercise routine you have many options at your finger tips, from personal trainers to social network sites.

Having a training partner is the next recommendation. Some of us don’t always have that self motivation to go to the gym consistently. Having a training partner makes you accountable to them as well as your self. We all need a little “push” at some point, and your training partner is there for you as much as you are there for them.

Remember, everything worth achieving requires work, consistency and patience. Where you are on day three of your exercise program is meaningless. What matters is where you are on day three hundred and, further, day three thousand.

Live with No Regrets, No Excuses!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Sometimes you just gotta be a kid......

I have come to realize that often times it is the little things in life that make such a lasting impression.

Exercise, for example, often times gets a bad rap. You just mention the word "exercise" and people will just cringe. Why does exercise have such as negative connotation to so many people?

Last week, I had one of those weeks that makes it difficult to maintain a normal routine of exercise and healthy eating. And like many of you, I succumbed to eating foods that I normally would not have eaten, and paid the price by feeling like crap for a couple of days.

So, why does exercise get a bad rap? People have forgotten that exercise doesn't have to be going to the gym and lifting weights or jumping on the treadmill and running.

Today, after spending Labor day working, I had a dilemma. I knew that I needed to do something to be active, but I also wanted to play with my son. When I got home from work it began to rain, as it often does on a Florida afternoon. Conventional thought would have been to stay inside and out of the rain. But there was no lightning, so I thought it could be great opportunity to take my 5 year old son for a jog.

After about 5 minutes, a light rain turned into a torrential down pour. Next thing I know, my son started screaming, "This is the best play day ever! This is the best play day ever!" How cool is that? We were actually exercising!! But to my son, it was just like playing in the rain. Before I knew it, we were both taking breaks from our jog to jump and splash in puddles! That excitement I saw in him put things into perspective for me. Exercise doesn't have to be what so many people think of it to be. Sometimes you just have to get out and run around in the rain.........sometimes you just gotta be a kid again.

Living life with No regrets...... No excuses.....

Monday, August 16, 2010

Calorie Killing Circuit- Tabata Style!

Hi Everyone,
Well I am back after a 3 week layoff from the blog world. I guess the bottom line is I just didn't really have anything to exciting to write about? But, I am OK with that, because I would rather post some really good content, than just put up a bunch of crap just to say I posted something new.

Today I have for you a major Calorie Killing workout, Tabata style!! Check out this video, then give it a try.


This is a Tabata style circuit designed to kill major calories. Perform each exercise for 20 seconds followed by 10 seconds of rest. Take 1 min rest at the end of each circuit then repeat for a total of 5 rounds!!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Getting Better Every Day!!

Hey Everyone,
I hope you had a great weekend. After an incredible personal training staff retreat on Friday I started my week off feeling invigorated, re-charged, and re-focused!! I had a very productive day followed by an awesome workout and 1 mile jog with my son. So, I though I would share with you what we do to getter better, and build an incredible team.

This year our retreat started with an "Amazing Race" themed road rally. All 50 personal trainers, small group trainers and pilates instructors were broken into 4 teams, then they had to race through 3 different locations completing both mental and physical team building challenges at each stop. The race concluded with the teams finding their way to the "secret" retreat location...... Camp Kulaqua. The last team to arrive would be the penalty team. This year the penalty team would have to make lunch for all of the trainers, and for a little bit of fun we had to compose and perform a rap song......... you may have noticed I said "we", because my team was the penalty team. In 10 years, this is my first time being on the penalty team, and believe it or not it was a blast!!

Once at Camp Kulaqua the teams took part in a low elements challenge course. This was followed by a little free time in the springs catapulting fellow trainers off the "blob" into the springs. Next was penalty team time. We had to prep and serve salads and sandwiches for everyone. Once lunch was complete it was our time to take the stage and perform our rap song. It was a hit!!..... if I do say so myself:) Stay tuned to future blogs for the video I will be putting together.

Awards time!! This part is always fun. In the month leading up to the retreat we polled the trainers to find winners for various awards such as: Most Improved, Most intimidating, Life Saver, Loudest, Hardest working, Most creative, Spunkiest, Most unpredictable, Most likely to go into politics, and finally The Trainer of the Year Award which went to Rod Clark. Very well deserved.

Now it was time for out "Minute to win it" team challenges. These were games that we had to compete against each other based on the TV show "Minute to win" We completed 11 or 12 games. (which will also be in the upcoming video) The winning team was awarded the coveted screaming chicken in a boot.

After a day like that I was excited to get back to training on Monday. I had a great workout (see below), then went home and played football and baseball with Jacob followed by a 1 mile run as Jacob road his bike next to me.

So, with all that said. I leave you today with maybe a not so simple question. What are you going to do this week to get better? It doesn't matter what you will be getting better at. Whether it is your business life, your personal life, your fitness, your nutrition, your education..... As long as your are doing something to get better every day. I will give you 1 hint. It all starts with a plan. It took us a couple months to plan out this team building retreat, but it was without a doubt worth the time, energy, and investment!!

So good luck, and to get you started on Getting Better here is Mondays Killer workout!

A1. Single arm kettle bell (KB) clean (or dumbbell)
A2. Cable single leg romanian dead lift with a single are row
A3. Reverse crunch

B1. Step up with a bicep curl
B2. KB sumo dead lift
B3. Stability ball plank roll out

C1. Lunge with rotational medicine ball toss
C2. Stability ball triple play (bridge, ham curls, and glut press)
C3. Stability ball russian twist.

So, again, what are you going to do this week to get better? Leave me a comment below and let me know.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Behind the Scenes of the NSCA National Convention 2010

Hey Everyone,
Today I have a short video for you that I made "Live" from the NSCA National Convention in Orlando , Fl.

I have blogged in the past about the importance of "sharpening your saw". So far this is the 5th seminar/ workshop that I have been to in 2010, so, my saw should stay sharp for at least the next couple of months:)

This short video is for you the client to see how the top personal trainers from around the country spend their weeks, and weekends to continually stay on top of their game.


Saturday, July 3, 2010

MTS of the Week- 7/3/2010

Hey Everyone,
I hope you all are having a good start to your Holiday weekend. I am enjoying the day before my birthday watching an incredible World Cup match-up between Argentina and Germany. So far Germany is leading 1 to nill!

This week I want to share with you a great circuit interval workout focusing on the CHEST and SHOULDERS.

A1. Dumbbell(DB) Chest press
A2. DB Iron Cross (front raise to lateral lowering)
A3. Suspension Push-up (TRX)
A4. Posterior fly (cable machine)
A5. Hanging knee-ups
A6. 1 min power interval on the concept rower (looking for highest average watts in the min.)

B1. Machine Pec fly
B2. Machine posterior fly
B3. DB lateral raise
B4. 1/4 cardio interval

Complete 10 reps of each exercise. Go through each circuit 3 times with 60- 90 sec. rest between circuits. The workout should take between 60-90 min depending on rest periods.

Good Luck, enjoy, and leave me your comments.


Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Killer Kettle Bells: Power, Endurance Ladder Circuit

Hey Everyone,
Today I wanted to share with you a killer kettle bell workout that takes Power and Endurance to a whole new level.

WARNING: This workout is not for the weak at heart!!!!

One of the things that keeps me fresh and motivated as a personal trainers is actually being "trained" myself sometimes. When you look around the fitness industry and the industry of personal training specifically, a common thread you will see of your "Top" personal trainers is that they either work out with other personal trainers as training partners or they will actually hire a personal trainer themselves at some point in their career.

Fortunately for me, we have surrounded ourselves at Gainesville Health and Fitness with incredibly talented personal trainers! And for the past 2 or 3 months I have been making it a point to take Brandon Rosin's "Kettle Bell Basics" class as often as possible.

Wednesday's workout was an absolute killer! I could have ran five miles and still not have taken my heart rate to the level I did today. And this was actually a "Power" workout?

So, I hope you enjoy this as much as I did. I highly recommend wearing gloves with this workout to prevent the 2 ripped and bloody calluses that I experienced today:)....(sorry for the graphic image)

This circuit is done as 1 continuous set with rest as needed, but in reality it is 10 sets....don't worry I will explain.

Set 1 is 1 repetition of each exercise, so be sure you select a weight that is pretty heavy for you.
Then go straight into set #2, which will be 2 reps of each exercise, followed by set #3 with 3 reps of each exercise....... by now you should see the pattern.... all the way to the 10th set with 10 reps of each exercise. You will probably have to decrease your weight somewhere around set 5 or 6?

(KB= Kettle Bells. You can use dumbbells in place of KB's if you need to)
1. KB single arm snatch
2. KB single arm clean
3. KB single arm swing
4. KB single arm high pull.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Post- Training Nutrition

Hi Everyone,
Today I have a great guest blog for you from one of the top personal trainers in our industry. Michelle Adams recently did a presentation during our "Master Level" personal trainer course on nutrient timing. It was such an amazing presentation that I really wanted to share a portion of it with you. So I asked Michelle if she could write this blog about post-training nutrition. I know you will enjoy this blog and find it extremely useful........ so, enjoy!


So you just left all you had on the gym floor—a really intense all out effort aimed toward reaching your ultimate physical goals. Whether it is to lose weight (body fat), gain muscle or bring the biggest, fastest, strongest body to your field of competition. You feel certain that you accomplished this in your training. Well, I hate to rain on your parade, but you are wrong. Your training and your efforts in the gym are actually breaking your body down almost heading you 180 degrees from where you want to be! BUT before you throw your hands up in desperation, let’s look at a way that we can make all of that effort work FOR you….3 words…
post workout nutrition.

Taking in the right nutrients as soon as your training session is complete is the key to turning the environment in your body around- from breaking things down (catabolic) to building and repairing (anabolic). In a post training state (in a healthy body) - muscle cells are very sensitive to insulin and its anabolic effects. Knowing this, we can make the most of this time by providing our body with nutrients we want to immediately supply to your muscle cells. High Glycemic index carbohydrates in conjunction with 100% whey isolate (or whey hydrolysate), branch chain amino acids and anti oxidants can help to guarantee that all of your hard work in the gym actually DOES get you where you want to go. What happens if we DON’T provide those nutrients ?? Great question! Well, the catabolic state created during training continues on. Meaning that you are not rebuilding and repairing the damage to the muscle cells. Even delaying the ingestion of these nutrients by an hour will markedly affect your body’s ability to initiate repair.

To maximize your efforts the International Society of Sports Nutrition (ISSN) recommends high glycemic index carbohydrates (such as glucose, sucrose and maltodextrin) whey isolate protein, vitamin C, E and electrolytes (sodium, potassium, and magnesium) be present in a post workout shake.

Michelle Adams MPH, CSCS, is a Master Level Personal Trainer and Head Team Leader at Gainesville Health & Fitness. Michelle is also an IFBB Professional Figure competitor. Michelle specializes in Bodybuilding, Fitness, and Figure Contest Prep and off-season training, Weight loss, and increasing lean muscle mass. Michelle has extensive knowledge in sports nutrition among other things. Learn more about Michelle at or

Sunday, June 6, 2010

MTS of the Week: Cable Stork Row

Hi Everyone,
I hope you had a great weekend.

The movement of the week is the cable stork row. This is a great exercise that will challenge your balance, hip and core stability, as well as the postural muscles of the upper back.

Give it a try, enjoy, and leave any comments or questions if you like it.


Monday, May 31, 2010

This Makes me sick!!

I hope you had a great Memorial Day weekend. I just got back from a great weekend of camping in Crooked River state park in St. Mary, GA.

For the most part we had pretty good weather, but with a little rain and dampness in the air it made me think of all the things that make me sick this time of year. I was reminded of this article I read a while back from As I have mentioned in the past prevention is the key!


Looking to stay healthy this summer? Load up on antioxidants—a.k.a. substances found in fruits, veggies and other healthy foods that help protect against free radicals (harmful molecules from broken-down foods, smoke and pollutants).

Here's how it works: Free radicals are released during the process of oxidation, which is when cells in the body die and are replaced by new, healthy cells. Sounds simple enough, right? Well, sort of. These "free radical" cells are actually missing an important molecule, which causes them to attach themselves to healthy cells and attack them, causing a chain reaction. The result can make you sick for the short-term (colds, flu, etc.) and potentially, the long-term (they may contribute to heart problems, cancer, Alzheimer's and other diseases).

Enter antioxidants from healthy foods, which prevent free radicals from causing a chain reaction of damaging cells (and making you sick). Think of these antioxidants—including beta-carotene, lutein, lycopene, selenium, and vitamins A, C and E—as your natural defenders, shielding healthy cells from being attacked. So what healthy foods should you be eating? Here's what to stock up on next time you hit the grocery store.

Antioxidant fruits include berries, citrus fruits and even dried fruits like apricots, prunes and raisins—all of which play a key role in protecting your body and maintaining a strong immune system. Keep these antioxidant fruits on hand to maintain a healthy diet and avoid getting sick this winter.

* Apricots
* Apples
* Berries
* Grapes
* Pomegranate
* Oranges
* Grapefruit
* Cantaloupe
* Kiwi
* Mangoes
* Bananas
* Peaches
* Plums
* Nectarines
* Tomatoes
* Watermelon
* Raisins

Ditch the sandwich and pack a salad for lunch for a mid-day meal packed with healthy antioxidants. Warning: Heating vegetables can reduce their nutritional benefits, so your best bet is to go raw. Bored with salads? Make healthy breakfast shakes with carrots and some of your favorite fruits to start the day with a healthy dose of antioxidants that you can literally sip on your way to work.

* Artichokes
* Asparagus
* Beets
* Broccoli
* Carrots
* Corn
* Green Peppers
* Kale
* Red Cabbage
* Sweet Potatoes

On the go? Toss some sunflower seeds or nuts in a bag for a quick dose of healthy antioxidants. Another option: Make an avocado, tuna or lean-meat sandwich using whole-grain bread.

* Sunflower Seeds
* Hazelnuts
* Pecans
* Walnuts
* Whole grains

Zinc and selenium, much like the healthy antioxidants in fruits and vegetables, help guard against free radicals. Just don't overdo it, since some proteins (like red meat) can be high in fat. Vegetarian? No problem. Pinto beans and kidney beans are both excellent antioxidant foods that will protect your cells.

* Oysters
* Red Meat
* Poultry
* Beans
* Tuna

Friday, May 14, 2010

Exercise should be FUN and FUNctional

Hey Everybody,
Well, down here is Florida Spring is already heating up into Summer. Here is a short video I made for you to show you that exercise can be fun and refreshing at the same time.

Exercise should always be FUN and FUNctional!!


P.S. If the whole video does not appear below, click on this link.
Burpee Video

Friday, April 30, 2010

Friday Fun-day with Kettle Bells

Hi Everyone,
Today I have a short video for you. This was our "finisher" for our Friday workout. We performed kettle bell suicide rows, followed by kettle bell swing through CJ's.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

"Never Stop Learning"

Hey Everyone,
A group of Gainesville Health and Fitness personal trainers took part in a Power Plate Acceleration Training workshop.

Here is the short video...... Can you spot me?

Friday, April 9, 2010

MTS of the Week- Friday's 50-10-5 Interval workout

Happy Friday everyone,
Lets wrap up this busy, productive week with a killer interval workout!!

Today I did another 50-10-5 interval routine. (50 seconds work, 10 seconds rest, 5 exercises). Again, if you don't have WorkOut Muse, be sure you have a countdown timer to keep you on pace.

As always, begin your training session with a good full body Dynamic warm-up.

1. Box jumps (24 inch)
2. Single arm Kettle bell swings (change hands in mid air)
3. Barbell push press
4. Cable rope saw
5. Dumbbell lunge with bicep curl

Repeat through this 4 times, totaling 20 minutes of work.

Finish with a 1000 meter Concept Row for time!!

Have fun and have an incredible weekend!!

Monday, April 5, 2010

MTS of the Week: 50-10-5 Post- Easter Circuit

Hey Everyone,
For those of you who celebrate Easter, I hope you had a wonderful Easter weekend, filled with friends, family and sweet goodies. Yes, I said sweet goodies! Easter only comes once a year so we should all enjoy the sweets that come with it..... as always with moderation of course.

I had an incredibly relaxing weekend at the beach with my family, but now that Easter is over it is time to get cranking again, so here is my Monday workout. It is a 50-10-5 circuit (50 seconds work, 10 seconds rest, 5 exercises) that I cranked out with Workout Muse loaded in the Ipod. For those of you that haven't tried out Workout Muse yet, just be sure that you have a stop watch set to 50 seconds and have fun!

1. Long arm sit ups with a body bar
2. Kettle bell (or dumbbell) plank rows
3. Lunges with Medicine ball rotational reaches
4. Kettle bell Cleans -> push/ press (or dumbbells)
5. Heavy rope slams (or medicine ball slams)

Repeat this for 4 rounds or a total of 20 minutes.

This is an intense interval circuit!!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Creative Exercises.... It's Childs Play!!

Hey Everyone,

I hope you enjoy this short little video, displaying how you don't need a big fancy gym, or equipment to be fit and exercise.

This is my then 4 year old son exercising on his own when I walked in to see what he was doing.(excuse the messy room.... our next exercise was to clean the room:)

I guess this is what it is like to be the son of a personal trainer.


Monday, March 15, 2010

Ultimate Tabata workout!!

Hey Everyone,
Just a quick post today to share with you my workout for today.

I started with an Ultimate tabata workout. Tabata is an intense circuit program alternating 20 seconds of work, followed by 10 seconds of rest. You will filter through 8 rounds of exercises totaling 4 min. You will then rest for 1 min. and repeat for a total of 5 rounds (20 min).

To make the timing easy I had Workout Muse Ultimate Tabata cranking in the Ipod. Otherwise, be sure you have your stopwatch ready.

For this workout I chose 5 exercise that I rotated through to complete all 8 rounds:
1. Medicine ball push ups (alternating from side to side)
2. Deep speed squats (body weight)
3. Tube rows.
4. Dumbbell overhead press
5. Alternating jump lunges.

Give this a shot, it is intense endurance training. Have Fun!

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Protein Supplementation

Good Morning,
Today I am posting an answer to a question a friend of mine asked a while back. This question is very common, so I felt I would share with you all.

Q. Hey! I'm (re)committing myself to working out consistently this year but my problem is that when I workout (which includes running on the treadmill, basic free weights-don't have time for much else) I need to be really careful b/c I'll start losing weight (not a goal of mine-I'm only like 102) I just want to tone up and gain muscle. SO, what "extra" drink stuff would you recommend to keep my weight on me? It seems like some of the protein drinks out there upset my stomach (can't remember which one, just a cheapy at GNC I'm sure)
Thanks for any info! Wish you were down here to train me !

A. You and I have a similar problem.... most people actually wish they had this same problem...... Weight loss is not your goal, I would actually do very little cardio with you, maybe just once a week to keep your cardiovascular system healthy, but otherwise it will be counter productive to adding lean body mass. As far a supplements, I am not really a big fan of supplements, I feel with a really sound nutrition plan you do not need them, however, I do realize most people cannot commit to this. The problem with protein supplements and all supplements for that matter is we really don't know whats in them. The supplement industry is not regulated by the FDA. Which means, companies can put what ever they want in the supplements, miss label, and we wouldn't really know? So my recommendation to you would be to really scrutinize the ingredients of your protein supplement. I would recommend a pure Whey protein. I lot a brands, especially the cheaper brands add a lot of extra "crap" that you really don't need or want. You also need to consider the amount of protein intake for your body size. You are very petite and might be over supplementing (at one sitting) for you size. This could be the cause of the GI problems, and possibly the extra "crap" that many brands include in their protein. Most nutrition recommend 0.8 - 1 grams per kilogram of body weight per day for maintenance, and 1.0 to 1.5 grams per kilogram for increasing mass. And, again, depending on your size, your body can probably only process 20- 40 grams of protein at one sitting. I am a strong believer in getting protein through natural sources, so I have included a list of protein sources for you. Hope this helps

Foods that contain all of the essential amino acids are called complete proteins. These foods include beef, chicken, fish, eggs, milk and just about anything else derived from animal sources. Incomplete proteins do not have all of the essential amino acids and generally include vegetables, fruits, grains, seeds and nuts. So, if you're a vegetarian, does this mean you can't get complete protein? Not at all. Below is a chart listing some incomplete proteins. To get all of the essential amino acids, simply choose foods from two or more of the columns.

Corn Meal
Whole Grain Breads

Legumes, Seeds & Nuts
Sesame Seeds
Sunflower Seeds
Other Nuts

Leafy Greens

Saturday, February 13, 2010

62 Ways to make 2010 Your Best Year Yet

Hey Everyone,

Today I have another guest post for you that I think you will really enjoy. This is a list of 62 ways to make 2010 your best year yet.

I want to thank Vito, and Todd for sharing this list and Robin Sharma for creating it!!

I hope you all enjoy this list as much as I did, and refer back to it often.


1. Remember that leadership isn't about your position. It's about your influence.

2. Get fit like a pro athlete.

3. Lift people up versus tearing people down.

4. Protect your good name. An impeccable reputation takes a lifetime to build. And 60 seconds to lose.

5. Surround yourself with positive, ethical people who are committed to excellence.

6. Remember that even a 1% daily innovation rate amounts to at least a 100% rate of innovation in 100 days.

7. Believe in your dreams (even when others laugh at them).

8. Measure your success, not by your net worth but by your self worth (and how happy you feel).

9. Take an intelligent risk every 24 hours. No try-No Win.

10. Read "Buffett: The Making of an American Capitalist".

11. Watch "Man on Wire".

12. Regardless of your title at work, be a team builder.

13. Remember that business is all about relationships and human connections.

14. Say "please" more.

15. Say "thank you" more.

16. Know your Big 5: the five things that need to happen by the end of this year for you to feel its been your best year yet.

17. Read your Big 5 every morning while the rest of the world is asleep.

18. Read "As You Think". At least twice this year!

19. Be willing to fail. It's the price of greatness.

20. Focus less on making money and more on creating value.

21. Spend less, save more.

22. Leave everything you touch better than you found it.

23. Be the most positive person in every room you're in.

24. Stay true to your deepest values and best ideals.

25. Write a handwritten thank you note to a customer/friend/loved one every day.

26. When you travel, send love letters to your kids on hotel stationary. In time, they'll have a rich collection to remember your travels by.

27. Read "Atlas Shrugged".

28. Be a problem solver versus a trouble maker.

29. Rather than doing many things at mediocrity do just a few things-but at mastery.

30. Honor your parents.

31. Commit to doing great work-whether anyone notices it or not. It's one of life's best sources of happiness.

32. Give more than you receive (another of the truths of happiness).

33. Have your 1/3/5/10/25 years goals recorded on paper and review them weekly.

34. Be patient. Slow and steady wins the race. The only reason businesses that went from zero to a billion in a year or two get featured in magazines is because 99% of businesses require a lot more time to win.

34. Underpromise and then overdeliver. See part of your job as "a developer of people" (whether you work in the boardroom or the mailroom).

36. Wear your heart on your sleeve. When people see you're real, they'll fall in love with you.

37. Be authentic versus plastic.

38. Read "The Alchemist".

39. Remember that life wants you to win. So get out of your own way.

40. Consider that behind every fear lives your next level of growth (and power).

41. Eat less food.

42. Drink more water.

43. Rest when you need to.

44. Read "SUCCESS" magazine.

45. Write your eulogy and then live your life backwards.

46. Demand the best from yourself.

47. Remember that the more you go to your limits, the more your limits will expand.

48. See everything that happens to you as an opportunity to grow (and therefore, as a precious gift).

49. Be obsessed with learning and self-development.

50. Become comfortable alone (you are the only person you get to be with your whole life).

51. Smile. It's a stunningly effective way to win in business and life.

52. Reflect on the shortness of life.

53. Be bold when it comes to your dreams but gentle with those you love.

54. Remember that success is dangerous because it can kill drive/innovation/passion and going the extra mile. Be successful yet stay hungry.

55. Read "The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin".

56. Be of deep value to this world.

57. Own beautiful things but don't let them own you.

58. Use excellent words.

59. Laugh more.

60. Don't complain, gossip or be negative.

61. Plan as if you'll live forever but live as if you'll die tomorrow.

62. Run your own race.

Feel free to pass these lessons on to those you want to help.

*Written by Robin Sharma, January 3, 2010. For more information visit Robin's new book "The Leader Who Had No Title: A Modern Fable On Real Success in Business and Life" will be published by Simon and Schuster in March. Many of the ideas above come from it.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

What you don't know could hurt you

Hi Everyone, Below is a great article straight out of our last GHF personal training newsletter. Hope you enjoy. Scott 

How much thought do you put into what you eat? If you want to get into great shape then you'll be interested to know that 80% of your fitness results are attributed to your diet. In our fast-paced society, eating is often done with little or no thought as to what exactly it is being ingested. Excess body fat is a direct outcome of this hurried, poor nutrition. Even if you have the best intentions with your diet, you are likely frustrated and fed up with extra pounds. I don't blame you for being confused about what you should eat. The media surely doesn't help. One day the talking heads want you to give up all fats. The next day carbs are the culprit, and then acai berries become the holy grail of weight loss. The food manufacturers increase confusion by printing misleading labels and bogus health claims. Sometimes it seems like the whole system is set up to confuse and frustrate us into buying the latest and greatest packaged food. The bottom line is that your physique is largely a result of what you eat, so the foods that you put into your body should be carefully selected. It's time to re-examine what you eat. It all starts with reading nutritional labels. The nutritional content and ingredient list will give you everything you need to know about the quality of the food item.  

I've outlined 5 ingredients that should raise a red flag when you turn over that package and find them listed:  

Red Flagged Ingredient #1: High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) HFCS is a manmade sugar, derived predominantly from genetically modified corn. The sweet concoction has been shown to promote binges and hysterical hunger, and wrecks havoc on your blood sugar levels, promoting fat storage. The introduction of HFCS into our food supply directly paralleled a 47% spike in Type 2 Diabetes cases as well as an 80% increase in obesity. Food manufacturers use HFCS in many mainstream products, including the following: * Sauces (including ketchup) * Yogurt * Energy Bars * Soft Drinks / Fruit Juices * Processed baked goods * Cereals * Crackers * Ice Cream * Salad Dressing * Most packaged snack foods 

 Red Flagged Ingredient #2: Hydrogenated Fat / Partially Hydrogenated Fat (Trans Fat) Hydrogenated and partially hydrogenated fats have undergone such extensive processing that the chemical structure has changed from a “cis” shape, which the human body recognizes and utilizes, to a “trans” shape, which is foreign and destructive to human physiology. Check each food label for the word ‘hydrogenated' and avoid it diligently. Cutting out hydrogenated fats is a simple set towards looking and feeling your best.  

Red Flagged Ingredient #3: Aspartame Aspartame is an artificial sweetener that was denied 8 times by the FDA before being approved in 1973. Many scientists objected the approval, claiming that aspartame hadn't been proven safe for use as a food additive. MIT neuroscientist, Richard Wurtman, researched the effects of aspartame and concluded that it promotes cravings for foods high in calories and carbohydrates. Though aspartame is calorie-free it still causes insulin to be released, which job is to stow away sugar – when this sugar is not available, the result is often hypoglycemia and severe hunger. Not exactly a recipe for weight loss.  

Red Flagged Ingredient #4: White Sugar White sugar comes from the juice of a sugar cane plant that has undergone an intensive refining process. In this process all of the enzymes, fiber, vitamins and minerals are destroyed, rendering it nutritionally void. White sugar is also extremely high in calories, which your body loves to store away in fat cells. Refined sugar has been linked to a weakened immune system, hyperactivity, ADD, mental and emotional disorders, dental cavities, hypoglycemia, enlargement of the liver and kidneys, and an imbalance of neurotransmitters in the brain. All that and it leads to weight gain.  

Red Flagged Ingredient #5: White Flour White flour comes from natural whole wheat that has been stripped of nutrients, vitamins and minerals. This results in a nutritionally void product that is packed with calories that release quickly into your system, creating a spike in blood sugar. As you know, this promotes fat storage and leads to hysterical hunger and cravings. You don't need that. Once you cut these 5 items out of your diet, you'll be pleased with the results. Expect to lose weight, to have more energy and to feel better than you have in a long time. If you're serious about looking and feeling your best through purifying your diet, then focus on eating real food items. Real foods include lean meats, vegetables, whole grains, fruits, nuts and seeds. Remember, while nutrition is vitally important for weight loss, true results are achieved through a combination of both nutrition and challenging, progressive exercise.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Sharpening the Saw!!

Hey Everyone,
Well, with a new year brings a new round of educational seminars to keep "my saw sharpened", and to create new challenges for all my clients and all of you.

So far here is my schedule:

- UF Strength and Conditioning Clinic. Gainesville, Fl.

- Meeting of the Minds. San Diego, CA.

- ATAF Annual Clinical Symposium. Orlando, Fl.

Remember, regardless of what your business is, you always have to keep your "saw sharp"! Never be complacent with where you are now and what you think you know.

So, look forward to new and exciting posts!!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Does it Hurt?

Hi Everyone,
This is a topic I get asked about very frequently. I received an email from Mike Boyle the other day that addresses this topic perfectly so I thought I would share it with you.

Mike is a very well respected coach, speaker, and educator in the field of sports performance and rehab. I read his material all the time. His websites and contact info is below:

From Mike Boyle:
I get asked rehab questions all the time.

I have rehabilitated athletes in almost every major
sport who were told they were “all done” by a
doctor or a team trainer. Because people know
my background, they often ask for advice.
Most of the time they ignore the advice because
the advice does not contain the answer they
want. They say “it only hurts when I run”,
I say things like “don’t run”.

A famous coach I know once told me “people
don’t call for advice, they call for agreement or
consensus. If you don’t tell them what they want to
hear, they simply call someone else”. His advice to
me, don’t bother wasting your time with advice.

Here I go again wasting time.

If you have an injury and are wondering whether
or not a certain exercise is appropriate, ask yourself
a simple question. “Does it hurt”? The key here is
that the question ‘does it hurt?” can only be
answered yes or no. If you answer yes, then you are
not ready for that exercise, no matter how much
you like it.

Simple, right?

Not really. I tell everyone I speak with about rehab
that any equivocation is a yes. Things like “after
I warm-up it goes away” etc. are all yes answers.
It is amazing to me how many times I have asked
people this simple question only to have them
dance around it.

The reason they dance around the question is
that they don’t like my answer. They want to
know things like “what about the magic cure
that no one has told me about?”
What about a secret exercise? I have another
saying I like, “the secret is there is no secret”.
Another wise man, Ben Franklin I think, said
“Common sense is not so common”.

If you are injured and want to get better, use
your common sense. Exercise should not
cause pain. This seems simple but exercisers
ignore pain all the time and rationalize it.

Discomfort is common at the end of a set in
a strength exercise or at the end of an intense
cardiovascular workout. Additional discomfort,
delayed onset muscle soreness, often occurs the
two days following an intense session. This is
normal. This discomfort should only last two
days and should be limited to the muscles not
the joints or tendons. Pain at the onset of an
exercise is neither normal nor healthy and is
indicative of a problem. Progression in any
strength exercise should be based on a full,
pain-free range of motion that produces muscle
soreness without joint soreness.

If you need to change or reduce range of motion,
this is a problem. Progression in cardiovascular
exercise should also be pain free and should follow
the ten percent rule. Do not increase time or distance
more than ten percent from one session to the next.

I have used these simple rules in all of my strength
and conditioning programs and, have been able to
keep literally thousands of athletes healthy.

I’m sure the same concepts will help you.

-Mike Boyle

Bio from

Michael Boyle is one of the most sought after speakers in the area of performance training and athletic rehabilitation. Mike's client list reads like a Who's Who of athletic success both in New England and across the country. Mike has been involved in training and rehabilitation with a wide range of athletes, from stars in every major professional sport, to the US Women's Olympic teams in soccer and ice hockey. Mike has 10 years of experience at the professional level combined with over 20 years at the collegiate level. During that time, Mike has helped in the rehabilitation of the some of the biggest stars on the Boston sports scene. Mike's work has been featured in the media on HBO RealSports, ESPN, CNNSI, as well as in Sports Illustrated and USA today.

Mike is a featured speaker at numerous strength and conditioning and athletic training clinics across the country and has produced 14 instructional videos and DVDs in the areas of strength and conditioning, personal training and rehabilitation.

Functional Strength Coach

105 South Street
Plainville, MA

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

The 5 Biggest Fitness Mistakes

Take a walk through any gym, and you'll notice many mistakes. Mistakes that waste time. Mistakes that put people in danger. And mistakes that are just plain stupid. Maybe you even make a few of these mistakes yourself.

By avoiding these common blunders, you'll put yourself on the fast track to results. Check out the following 5 fitness mistakes and the solutions you need to avoid danger and to get fit fast.

Mistake 1: You use the wrong weight

The goal is to challenge your muscles, not to simply go through the motions. If you are able to complete 15 repetitions easily, then the weight is too light. On the flip side, if you aren't able to perform an exercise through its full range of motion, and find yourself cheating on form, then the weight is too heavy.

The correct weights will feel challenging by your last few repetitions, but won't force you to sacrifice form.

Mistake 2: You do the same routine

You may have noticed that most people do the same exercises each time they visit the gym. Maybe you've been doing the same exercise routine as long as you can remember - if it isn't broken then don't fix it, right?

The truth is that exercise routines have expiration dates, and that is the date that they begin to lose their effectiveness. As a rule of thumb never use the same routine for more than 4 weeks.

Mistake 3: You don't warm up

Most people consider warm up time to be wasted time - they'd rather jump right into the heart of the routine. What they don't realize is that a good warm up will allow you to perform at a higher intensity, which means greater results.

The point of a warm up is to increase your muscle temperature. This increases blood flow, muscle contraction and reduces muscle resistance. Your warm up should last 5-10 minutes.

Mistake 4: You use bad form

Gyms are filled with people performing exercises with bad form. The two biggest reasons are that you aren't concentrating on the exercise, or you're trying to lift weight that is too heavy. Lifting with improper form almost always results in injury.

Take the time to achieve proper form, by doing so you'll avoid injury and will reap the full benefit from each exercise.

Mistake 5: You workout alone

People who exercise alone are less challenged, less accountable and typically see fewer results. It makes sense, doesn't it? Why rush to the gym if no one is there waiting for you? Why push yourself if no one is watching? Exercising alone is a recipe for disaster.

Friday, January 1, 2010

The "20-10" Workout!!

Happy New Year everybody,
Today we look back at a good 2009, and look ahead to a GREAT 2010. Filled with health, happiness, success, and achievment!

Start your new year off with this "20-10" workout. It is a simple concept:
20 reps per exercise, 10 exercises in a circuit format. Each round through the circuit will ive you 200 repititions, do this 2 to 3 rounds to get up to 600 REPS!!!

Have fun and change any exercises to suit your level of fitness:

1. Barbell push press
2. Body Row
3. Push-ups
4. Lunges with bicep curl
5. Stability ball plank roll outs
6. Medicine ball throw down
7. Squat jumps
8. Hanging knee ups
9. Tube tricep pushdowns

Let me know what you think, eave your comments below.

Happy and Healthy New Year

"Life Is Motion"

"Life Is Motion"
Turkish Get Up