It’s Valentine’s day and that means I had to do squats, lots and lots of squats.
Why on Valentine’s Day? Just because.
Truth be told I was thinking of a reason that was rich on innuendo, but lacking on actual humor, except for me, which I guess is okay because I’m writing this for me, but I also thought that some youngun’ might mosey on by and my crass attempt at humor would make them blush. But then again I do have the mind of a 14-year old boy, which means that if a 14-year old boy would wander by he would also laugh.
It’s over now.
1A) Back Squat - 5 reps
1B) Curls - 8
1C) Knee Raise - 15
I did 10 sets of that. Why did I add the curls and raises? Because I wanted something to do while resting my legs, and why not make it curls? Screw logic.
I used 200 pounds and went low, low, low. So low that Lil’ John would be proud.
I too was proud because I’ve been really working on my squat form with heavier loads.
Gotta get that butt sexy for swimsuit season. My ass better look good in that man-thong!
I then finished up with the following:
2A) Jump Rope
2B) Curls - 15
2C) Squats - 20
I would jump rope for the length of whatever song playing on my iPod. Sometimes it was 2 minutes, other times 5. It didn’t matter how many times I messed up, I just kept going until the song was over, then moved on to the high rep curls and squats.
I used the bar for the squats, which felt light as a feather until rep 12 or 15. That’s when my previous little squat workout kicked in and I thought my thighs were going to forcefully evict themselves from my femur, but not before repeatedly punching me about the face.
That means the high rep squats HURT!
I did that little circuit for 10 minutes. I don’t remember how many sets I did because I went by songs, not necessarily time or reps.
I do love jumping rope. It is one of the best conditioning/fat burning exercises you can do and the more you do it, the better you become.
There’s something meditative about continually jumping rope. Your mind goes blank, your eyes lose focus and the continuing “whir, whir, whir” of the rope is mesmerizing…
… until the damn thing snaps you in the back of the ankle. That has a nice little way of snapping your ass back to reality.
All told this workout was nice. Felt great during the workout, felt even better when I was done. That is until I tried to crawl out of my car when I got home.
My ass is going to be sore tomorrow, which if you’re paying attention has a little to do with the joke I was going to tell at the beginning.
I’ve been a trainer for over 10 years.
I’ve owned a private training studio for 10 years.
I was a massage therapist, specializing in deep tissue and sports massage, for over 10 years.
I’ve seen and heard just about everything.
There’s one thing that has ALWAYS bothered me and that’s running.
Not running per se. I understand those that truly enjoy running because of the feeling it gives, because they’re GOOD at it, and enjoy competing in races.
What bothers me about running is that it’s always the first goddamn thing people say they’re going to do when they want to lose weight.
Not eating healthy fats, quality proteins and vegetables…
Not cutting the processed shit and artificially sweetened shit they currently eat…
Not pushing their body with bodyweight exercises or other forms of resistance training…
Because it burns calories?
So does sleep, so does sitting on the couch, so does LIFE!
Burning calories, and “because other people do it,” are the only two reasons I can come up with, which brings up the tired old parental saying: “If your friends jumped off a cliff, would you?”
Running as a means to lose weight, and lose weight alone, is silly.
Does it work?
So does following the Twinkie Diet, but that doesn’t make it smart.
My beef with running as a means to lose weight is two-fold…
First, most people suck at running.
I see it every day.
I see people who are desk jockeys pounding away at the pavement with horrible running form.
They don’t look smooth, they look choppy, and bouncy with no rhythm.
Running is a skill. sure it’s a skill we’re all born with, but it’s a skill that must be honed, and in many causes re-taught because we screw our bodies up from hours and hours of sitting, which screws up your hips and abs.
We screw our bodies up by jamming our feet into ill-fitting shoes - both men and women.
We screw our bodies up because we buy overly-cushioned running shoes that are basically high heels that force you to heel strike, which is the worst fucking thing you can do as a runner.
What’s the solution?
well if you actually enjoy running, and are doing it for other reasons than simply “weight loss,” then hire a coach. Pay a hundred bucks to hire a professional - just like you do for your taxes, education, car work and plumbing - and have him/her teach you how to run based on your frame.
Trust me on this one. Paying a couple hundred bucks now is nothing compared to the money you’ll possibly save in physical therapy, drugs and medical bills due to damaged ankles, knees and hips from shitty running form.
My main beef with running as “weight loss” is that it’s highly inefficient.
Running burns calories, this I understand.
it can burn a lot of calories…
But the calorie-burn is usually used as a prop to justify continued crappy eating, or to reach some magical, and imaginary number for “calories in vs. calories out.”
How many calories should you burn during a workout?
it’s an arbitrary number that will change with every single workout - which is why you should never trust a cardio machine that tells you how many calories you burned, or some huckster on television saying you’ll burn 50,000 fucking calories from their shitty workout.
Here’s the real rub…
Your body is made to adapt.
When your body senses you running on a daily basis it will adapt to your running.
it wants things to be as easy as possible…
… it wants things to be EFFICIENT, like a fuel-cell car.
Sounds good, right? An efficient body is good, right?
Not when you want to lose weight.
Efficiency in your body is just like efficiency in a car - more efficient = less fuel burned, less fuel burned = fewer calories burned.
yep, that means that the more you do something, the fewer calories you burn because your body gets used to the stimulus.
How many calories less?
No idea and I really don’t care.
All I know is that what you burn on day 1 is more than what you’ll burn on day 100 or 1000. By how much? I don’t care. That’s not what’s important.
The important thing to know is that running is not the end-all, be-all for weight loss.
It’s not even in my top 3 activities, and in terms of “cardio,” it’s probably not in my top 10.
I should also clarify I’m talking about “jogging,” not sprinting or interval training.
So what’s best?
Intelligently designed resistance training using big, full-body movements.
A smart diet that includes healthy fats (more than you think necessary), quality proteins, lots of veggies and good fruit.
Want something more than just resistance training - and you should…
Use metabolic conditioning, or my Fusion Conditioning method, or intervals.
But above all, don’t go overboard.
If I say a 20 or 30-minute workout 4-6 days per week is good, don’t jump it up to 90.
Don’t be afraid to work, but don’t worry about becoming a freak.
I don’t know why I wrote this. It’s just a bit of a rant spawned by something I saw on Facebook.
Oh well. I hope I’ve helped whomever reads this.
So today’s workout sucked giant donkey dingle.
Because I haven’t slept worth a shit the past week. Partly due to stress and partly due to the fact that Nolan seems to be having “night terrors,” which is sad. Maren went through the same thing around the same age and you can’t help but feel bad for the munchkins, but there’s really nothing you can do.
Anyway, so I was wiped out and tried to do a workout and it took about twice as long as usual.
To be totally honest, and here’s the hint, you shouldn’t train when you feel like I did.
It can be counter-productive, and you set yourself up for injury, plus the likelihood of cortisol janking up things is pretty high.
Anyway, here’s my horrible workout…
1A) Burpee - 6 reps
1B) KB Swings - 20
Since I wasn’t feeling too energized I decided to go for sets, rather than a set amount of time. I did those 2 things for 4 sets.
2A) Hand Stand Push-ups - 6 reps
2B) KB Swings - 20 reps
2C) Ropes - 30 reps
2D) 1-Arm KB Overhead Squat - 10/arm
Did that for 4 sets
3A) Burpee - 6 reps
3B) Swings - 20 reps
Lots of swingin’ and panting.
On the bright side my Hand Stand Push-ups are getting pretty good. It’s an odd sensation feeling “comfortable” upside down, especially when you press. I still have to rest my feet against the wall for a guide, but that’s just a light touch, more than a rest.
Anywho, I”m going to get caught up on Elementary.
So I have this little chalkboard at the entrance to my studio and I’m supposed to write little tips on it every day.
I’d say it happens 3 times per week, rather than my planned 6, but killing my procrastination is a work in progress.
Anyway, yesterday’s tip said “Healthy, fit people do NOT diet…they EAT!”
I had a few questionable looks wondering what the hell that meant.
Judging by the line of questioning I knew there was a mass of confusion about diet, even from people who have worked with me for years and listen intently to my diet advice.
Note: This tells me I need to be better at sharing this information!
But it also helped me to understand just how much confusion there is about diet/nutrition.
As a public we are inundated with messages that lead you to believe you can eat anything you’d like and still lose weight, or maintain the weight you’ve lost.
There are ads telling you to sprinkle some magic pixie dust on your food and it will somehow stop you from overeating.
There are still ads for the great pooping pill called Alli that’s supposed to act as an “appetite suppressant,” when all it does it make you poop your pants if you eat a bit too much fat - which is scary on a whole host of levels, one of the main ones being fat is NECESSARY…and also pooping your pants can be just a wee bit embarrassing.
Note #2: The BEST appetite suppressant is fiber.
I can’t tell you how many times people have looked at me, looked at what I’m eating, then say “Oh you can eat whatever you want and still look good. You work so hard.”
I could when I was 18, but not now.
The number of fit people who can “eat whatever they want and still look good” are few and far between…
… Actually scratch that.
The number of fit people who can “eat whatever they want and still look good” is a pretty HUGE number.
You know why?
Because we eat REAL food, and we eat a lot of it. I will readily admit that I’ll relax my eating once or twice per week (sometimes more) and have cheeseburgers, fries, and maybe a donut or two, but it’s not an every day occurrence and the remainder of the time is pretty damn perfect - not because I’m afraid of gaining weight, not because of vanity (okay maybe a little), but because eating real food is enjoyable and it makes me feel really fuckin’ good.
If you’ve lost weight, and kept it off; if you have a strong, fit and lean physique/figure and enjoy the way it makes you look and feel then you have come to understand that eating REAL food is awesome.
It makes you feel GREAT.
It gives you loads of energy.
It keeps you lean and strong.
It makes you feel alive…
Oh and it helps you lose weight, keep it off, stay healthy, and look awesome.
Dieting, and diet food does none of that.
Sticking to the “Special K Diet” is not real food, will do nothing for you outside of quick results, then a resulting crash. It’s processed garbage and you are being lied to and swindled by a giant food corporation.
Side Note: Do you know who funds many of the nutrition/diet related studies you read about in newspapers or that are talked about on television? Yep, big food companies. They know the power in being able to talk about a scientific study while selling their junk. They know that the general public equates scientific research with everything good, and most of the time it’s true…except when a processed food manufacturer is trying to tell you that their fake food is good food, or that it’s food at all.
Just because you can open a package, chew it up and then swallow it does NOT make it food.
A line from the movie “Tommy Boy” comes to mind…where he’s talking about guarantees and excrement…hmmm.
Let’s recap, shall we?
If you want to lose fat, keep it off and feel awesome, then you must eat real food. This includes fruits, vegetables, lean meats, nuts, and seeds. Get the overwhelming majority of your carbohydrates from non-grain foods. Eat your fat. Protein usually takes care of itself.
You must also shun the junk, especially grains (processed wheat), and processed sugar.
Remember - healthy, fit people do not diet - they eat.
Anywho, sorry for the little rant. I needed to get that off my chest, and I suppose get my thoughts on “paper” in preparation for a more in-depth article.
Thanks for letting me vent :)
Today’s workout was nice because I got my workout buddy back. I’ve never quite enjoyed training with other people because I like to move at my own pace, however I do enjoy training with someone because my innate competitive nature comes out…not to compete with him, but to push MYSELF harder. I couldn’t give two shits who lifts more weight, finishes faster, or whatever, nor should you, but having someone there brings out another side of a person that makes you work harder.
It is the Catch-22 of training in my trainer-brain.
We moved a bit slower than I would’ve liked, but that’s okay because I need to whip his butt into shape. He knows this and is willing to work, which is something not many people can actually say. Many want the benefit without putting in the time. Many buy into the “fluff” of an easy workout giving you a splendid ass, ripped abs, etc. when the honest-to-God truth is you need to bust your ass if you want a nice one.
Having said that, here’s the workout I did today…
Group #1 - 5-Minutes non-stop
1A) Power Push-up - 10 reps
1B) Inverted Row
*The Power Push-up is a resistance band thingie you place around your back that adds resistance to the push-up. I loves it.
Group #2 - 10-Minutes non-stop
2A) Touch & Hop - 12 reps
2B) 1-Arm Row - 10/arm
2C) 1-Arm Overhead KB Squat - 10/arm
2D) Tube Chest Press - 20 reps
Group #3 - 5-Minutes non-stop
3A) Push-up Pulse - 15 reps
3B) Tube Row - 20 reps
All-in-all it felt great.
On a side note I gave up caffeine. This is day 2. I’ve had a small headache behind my left eye most of the day. It sucks. Why did I stop? Because too much caffeine is the devil, no matter its source. Don’t buy into the B.S. that makes you believe caffeinated coffee (and other “coffee drinks) are okay. If you have a hectic, stressed life, caffeine is the LAST thing you need to have on a daily basis. It will zap your adrenal glands, screw with your cortisol levels and possibly even mess up your thyroid.
I’m 34 and through most of 20’s, okay maybe after 23, I didn’t enjoy pop. Never had an energy drink. Then I let myself get too run down by working too hard and decided to try an energy drink. Fuckin’ A that thing shot me to the moon! I was more productive on that day than i had been for weeks. I was hooked.
It took about 3 years for me to quit my daily consumption of energy drinks - Rockstar zero calorie. I just decided one evening I was done with that poison…but some shitty part of my brain thought it okay to have zero-calorie pop.
That’s taken me another 6 months to kick. A couple days ago I just told myself “enough is enough” and I’m done.
The real kicker for me was the fact that by about 1pm I had ZERO energy. I wasn’t good for anything but lying around and reading. Part of me thought this okay because I get up at 4 and start “working” by either 5 or 5:30. But the more rationale part of me knew it was because my hormones, specifically adrenal glands and cortisol levels, were way out of whack due to the caffeine intake.
So the time has come to kick it. The good part is that I know it’ll be easy. Sometimes I make decisions and the feeling of peace it gives is enough for it to never be a problem. I’ve been telling myself for weeks, maybe months, that I need to quit caffeine, but always rationalized having more. But Wednesday’s decision was different. It was met with peace and calm, not anxiety about how tough it will be. It’s one of those moments where your subconscious and conscious self melt perfectly together and one doesn’t try to out-shit the other.
So yesterday I updated you on my workouts, which I haven’t done since JULY, but I’m back on now. I also told you I’d be sticking to my current plan for 4-6 weeks before re-evaluating.
That’s not totally true.
One of the biggest tips I give my clients, and really anyone who’ll listen, is to stick to a plan.
Write out what you want, write out how to get there, stick to that for a couple months and tweak every couple weeks. No major tweaks, just minor tweaks if things need changed. Sometimes our brains have loftier goals than life will allow.
Having said that, if you’re pretty solid on actually DOING the damn workouts, then you can be a bit more flexible in your plan.
You can have a bit more fun with the “plan” and break away from things, which I do all the time.
Today’s “plan” was going to involve A LOT of Barbell Push Presses and Chin-ups, followed by a little arm work, but now I just don’t feel like doing that.
Instead I’m going all bodyweight. I’m going to do a shit-ton of chin-ups and hand stand push-ups, followed by some other bodyweight nonsense using carpet sliders, or maybe push the sled around…I may even go walk around Bed, Bath & Beyond and look at placemats…who knows?
My point is this…
Have a plan, but don’t set it in stone. Moses set the plan from God in stone, then smashed the shit out of the tablets, which tells me that setting plans in stone is kinda silly.
The only caveat is if you’re actively creating the habit of working out on the regular. If you’re sporadic with your workouts, then don’t deviate from the plan you’ve created (unless it sucks), or that your fearless trainer created (unless they suck).
This whole “workout” thing should be fun, or at least something you don’t hate, so don’t get all freaky deaky about sticking to what your piece of paper says - and don’t be boring, either.
Work, push, keep moving forward. Sometimes the path is a straight line, but it’s usually all zig-zagged up.
Woof! It’s been a loooong time since I posted one of my workouts here, so let’s get down to the nitty-gritty.
The program has changed a bit, and I’m digging it. I’ll stick to this one for around 6 weeks and re-evaluate and if I like the results, I’ll tweak some of the exercises. If I don’t like the results, I’ll change it up.
Anywho, here’s what I did today…
1A) Power Push-up - 10 reps
1B) 1-Arm KB Swing - 15 reps/arm
I did those two exercises back-to-back, with no rest, for 5 minutes. The Power Push-up uses a little resistance band contraption that goes around your back so you add a bit of resistance. Love it.
2A) Dive Bomber Push-up - 12 reps
2B) KB Lunge - 15 reps/leg
2C) KB Swing - 20 reps
2D) Burpee - 8 reps
Did that in a circuit format for 10 minutes. Goal is zero rest, but if you look at that damn thing you’ll understand that was an impossibility.
3A) Power Wheel Pike-up - 10 reps
3B) Power Wheel Jack Knife - 10 reps
Did as many sets possible in 5 minutes. The only rest I took was to give my wrists and shoulders a breather since I’m in the same position for both those exercises. If you don’t have a Power Wheel, you should give it a serious look. It’s an awesome tool for the home-workout-warrior.
I planned on doing another 10-minute bodyweight workout later in the day (I did that workout at 11), but that didn’t happen. Partly because I didn’t sleep well the night before, partly because I got busy pecking away on the computer, and partly just because I didn’t feel like it.
I’m a grown ass man and don’t have to do a second workout if I don’t want to.
That’s all for today! Give that little workout a go if you’re up for it. It’s simple, quick (20-25 minutes), and as fun as a barrel full of monkeys. I’ve never had a barrel full of monkeys, but I’m guessing it’s pretty awesome.