Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Tuesday 10/12/10

Walked Yogi for an hour.


Kickboxed: 6x5 minute rounds with a minute of rest in between rounds.

One-arm dumbbell snatch: 1x3 @ 35lbs., 1x3 @ 50lbs., 1x3 @ 65lbs. 1x3 @ 80lbs., 1x3 @ 90lbs.
Incline Chest Fly: 1x5 @ 25lbs., 1x5 @ 30lbs., 1x5 @ 35lbs., 1x5 @ 40lbs., 1x5 @ 45lbs.

Deadlift: 1x3 @ 135lbs., 1x3 @ 225lbs., 1x3 @ 300lbs., 1x3 @ 315lbs., 1x3 @ 335lbs.
Overhead Press: 1x3 @ 35lbs. 1x3 @ 50lbs., 1x3 @ 65lbs., 1x3 @75lbs.(push press), 1x3 @ 80lbs.(push press)

Assisted One-arm pull/chin ups: 5x2 (each arm)
Incline Dumbbell Presses: 1x5 @ 40lbs., 1x5 @ 50lbs., 1x5 @ 60lbs., 1x5 @ 65lbs., 1x1 @ 70lbs.,(failed, had to regress to 50lbs. for 5 more reps).

Rested approx. 4-5 minutes between same exercises (approx 2-3 minutes between each exercise) and performed various planks during the rest interval.

Monday 10/11/10

Walked Yogi for an hour. Walked myself for another hour.

Sunday 10/10/10

At work. Walked on the treadmill for an hour. I had to do something today. BORING.

Saturday 10/9/10

Walked Yogi for an hour. Cut the grass for an hour. Swept. Foam rolled and stretched for an hour.

Friday 10/8/10

Walked Yogi for an hour.

Kettlebell clean and jerks:
1x3 @ 35lbs., 1x3 @ 55lbs., 1x3 @ 70lbs.
Muscle-ups: 1x3 @ bodyweight, 1x3 @ 17lbs., 1x2 @ 35lbs.,

Pistols: 1x3 @ bodyweight, 1x3 @ 17lbs., 1x3 @ 35lbs., 2x3 @ 55lbs., 1x2 @ 70lbs., I did not mean to do two sets of 55lbs; picked up the wrong weight.
Incline Ring Flies: 5x7

Kettlebell swings:
1x10 @ 35lbs.(each arm), 1x10 @ 55lbs.(each arm), 1x10 @ 70lbs.(both arms)
Incline Ring Push-ups: 5x5

Weighted pull-ups: 1x5 @ 35lbs., 1x4 @ 55lbs., 1x3 @ 70lbs.
Weighted dips: 1x5 @ 35lbs., 1x4 @ 55lbs., 1x3 @ 70lbs.

Thursday 10/7/10

At work. Did nothing.

Wednesday 10/6/10

Walked Yogi.

Tuesday 10/5/10

12x3 minute rounds with one minute of rest between rounds.

10 sprints lasting approx. 15 seconds each with 5 minutes rest between.

Over the past few weeks I've been having some high quality and steady workouts coupled with my nutrition being spot on. I have noticed a few things however. 1. My body simply does not respond to high volume and frequent exercise, PERIOD. This past Friday, I performed a workout that was almost 2 hours long (ridiculous) trying to "get in" a bunch of different exercises. I felt great for the remainder of the day but, for the next two days, I was unbelievably sore, making daily tasks and overall movement unenjoyable (which, an effective workout should not do) and, due to the high volume of this workout, blew up my body. I believe I've stated this before on here but, I train for strength, mobility and flexibility which, in the grand scheme of things means I'm training for health and longevity. I have no desire to pack on an unnatural amount of muscle or to lift an unrealistic amount of weight. That being said; I've noticed that any exercise I do above 5 reps and I get that sarcoplasmic muscle "volume pump." On the other hand, when I keep my sets to 5 and my reps to between 3 and 5 (with 3 being optimal), my body and hence my mood respond favorably; no debilitating soreness, no muscle pump, just a good heavy lifting session. As far as nutrition is concerned, I think there certainly is a fine line between too perfect and what I'd like the call the "whatever" factor. What I mean by this is that I have not really noticed a huge difference when my diet is absolutely perfect which, is subjective anyway. I mean really, what's perfect to me may not be perfect to the next guy. One thing I've been telling myself lately is that "life happens." Good shit happens, bad shit happens. Sometimes a workout is good, sometimes a workout sucks. Sometimes I feel like eating chicken and veggies, sometimes I want a large pizza coupled with wine and/or beer followed up by some ice cream and chocolate. And no, I'm not looking for gluten-free either. Know why? Because I can do that. I love to live life which to me means, being active and doing things that I love to do. I surf, I walk, I workout hard in the gym, I workout hard in nature, I MOVE. I also, have great friends and surround myself with others who also live healthy and active lifestyles. Sometimes, these people, myself included, want pizza and beer and we stay up late consuming it. Hey, life happens, right? So, though I'm obviously a ridiculously healthy eater (because I love and appreciate good, real, and whole foods) and consider myself to predominantly be a "paleo" eater, I also love bad, "not so healthy" food from time to time and find no real noticeable difference in body comp and/or mood when I do this every once in a while. NOT EVERY DAY or even multiple times per week; EVERY ONCE IN A WHILE.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Some benching... I don't normally bench.

Saturday 10/2/10

French press coffee with heavy whipping cream in the a.m.


0800: Warm-up with some jump rope, pull-ups and push-ups
Incline Bench Press: 1x10 @ 95lbs., 1x10 @ 135lbs., 1x5 @ 175lbs., 1x2 @ 185lbs.
supersetted with:
Weighted chin-up/pull-ups: 1x7 @ bodyweight, 1x5 @ 45lbs., 1x4 @ 70lbs., 1x2 @ 100lbs.

Incline Dumbbell Press: 1x10 @ 40lbs., 1x10 @ 50lbs., 1x8 @ 60lbs., 1x6 @ 70lbs., 1x2 @ 75lbs.
Horizontal rows: (with rings): 1x10 @ bodyweight (hands supinated, thumbs on same side), 1x10 @ 25lbs., (hands pronated, thumbs on same side), 1x8 @ 45lbs., (supinated, thumbs opposite side), 1x6 @ 70lbs., (pronated, thumbs opposite), 1X6 @ 90lbs., (mix grip).

Dumbbell incline flies:
1x7 @ 25lbs., 1x7 @ 35lbs., 1x5 @ 45lbs.
Bent-over dumbbell rows: 1x7 @ 35lbs., 1x6 @ 45lbs., 1x6 @ 35lbs.

Walked Yogi for 45 minutes and got rained on. It was forecasted to be beautiful today. Not so much!

I don't like the way my shoulders felt while doing chest flies. I like the weight workouts, I just don't want any injuries. We'll see how these come along.


3 organic Italian sausages with 2 scrambled eggs mixed with lots of broccoli, spinach, tomatoes, onions, garlic, Nicaraguan raw cheese, salt, black and cayenne pepper, and hot sauce.

Fish oil supplement

Friday 10/1/10

At work. Just stretched today.


Coffee with heavy whipping cream and a little honey in the first cup in the morning.

Lunch: 4 Hard boiled eggs mixed with one avocado, various spices and hot sauce. Also ate many huge handfuls of mixed nuts. Fish oil supplement.

Dinner: 2 pork chops, a cup of broccoli in extra virgin olive oil and various spices, a Romaine salad with EEVO and Balsamic Vinegar. Fish oil supplement.

Thursday 9/30/10

Coffee with heavy whipping cream in the morning.


One-arm dumbbell snatches:
1x5 @ 35lbs., 1x5 @ 50lbs., 1x3 @ 65lbs., 1x3 @ 80lbs., 1x2@ 90lbs.,
Explosive push-ups: 5x5

Deadlifts: 1x5 @ 135lbs., 1x5 @ 185lbs., 1x3 @ 225lbs., 1x3 @ 300lbs., 1x2 @ 335lbs.
Overhead dumbbell presses: 1x5 @ 35lbs., 1x5 @ 45lbs., 1x3 @ 55lbs., 1x3 @ 65lbs., 1x3 @ 75lbs., 1x2 @ 80lbs., (push press).

Walked Yogi for an hour.


Brunch: Left-over steak, onions and mushrooms, asparagus, broccoli, and a big sweet potato with coconut oil, butter and cinnamon. Good, hearty, post-workout meal! Fish oil supplement.

Dinner: Went to the St. Johns Town Center with the wife for dinner. Went to Mitchel's Seafood Market and had Cedar Plank Salmon with asparagus, and two glasses of Chardonnay.

Wednesday 9/29/10

Coffee with heavy whipping cream in the a.m.

Walked Yogi for an hour. Foam rolled whole body for 30 minutes. Stretched for 30 minutes.

Brunch: 3 scrambled eggs with two organic Italian sausages with spinach, onions, peppers, feta cheese and hot sauce.

Grassfed steak with onions and peppers in a white wine and balsamic vinegar sauce. Grilled asparagus. 3-4 full size glasses of a full bodied red Cabernet Sauvignon.

Tuesday 9/28/10

Coffee in the a.m.

At work at the station today. No walking, no workouts.

4 Hard boiled eggs mixed with one avocado, various spices and hot sauce. Also ate many huge handfuls of mixed nuts. Fish oil supplement.

Dinner: Shitty Mexican food at Cabo's Tacos. I ate steak and shrimp Fajitas. I ordered them and they were literally out on my table in about 4 minutes. This was glorified fast food. SUCKED. On top of that, we ran more bull-shit calls at night so, sleep was horrible which of course, made for a lack luster next day.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Heavy Iron and Bodyweight Combo

Monday 9/27/10

Coffee with heavy whipping cream honey in the morning.

Walked Yogi for an hour.


Warm-up: 10 or 15 minutes

Muscle-ups: 1x5 @ bodyweight, 2x3 @ 17lbs., 1x2 @ 35lbs., Even with the wrist support, my sweaty, slippery grip gave way.
Kettlebell clean and jerks: 1x5 @ 70lbs., 1x5 @ 40lbs., 1x3 @ 55lbs., 1x3(each arm) @ 70lbs.

Weighted pull/chin-ups:
1x5 @ 35lbs., 1x5 @ 55lbs. 1x3 @ 70lbs. 1x2 @ 105lbs., 1x1 @ 105lbs.
Pistols: 1x5 @ bodyweight, 1x5 @ 17lbs., 1x5 @ 35lbs., 1x3 @ 55lbs., 1x3 @ 70lbs., (PR) with 3 reps, Usually, I only get 2 reps.

Walked for another 25 minutes but jumped over peoples' trashcans in the process. Later, as I was down the street, I caught two of the neighbors (who were benching in the garage as I passed by) jumping over garbage cans to. Pretty funny.

Kettlebell swings:
1x10 each arm @ 35 lbs., 1x10 each arm @ 55lbs., 1x10 (both arms) @ 70lbs.
Vertical jumps: (onto the hood of my Tacoma).


Brunch: Big spinach salad with mixed peppers, broccoli, onions, tomatoes, olives, feta cheese, lots of olive oil and balsamic vinegar and 3 organic Italian sausages.

Organic chicken soup with zucchini, squash, potatoes, yucca, celery, carrots and various spices. Two glasses of some of the best red wine I've ever had. Wente Vineyards Estate Grown, Southern Hills Cabernet Sauvignon, Livermore Valley, San Francisco Bay 2007

Dessert: 72% Dark chocolate (pretty good) 90% Dark chocolate (EVEN BETTER) Both were from Lindt. Didn't realize the 90% was that good. Actually, I didn't even realize they made a 90&. Awesome.
Wednesday 9/22/10

No workout. Just walked Yogi for about an hour.

Coffee in the morning.

Can't remember what I ate for breakfast/lunch but I ate a ton of Canadian pulled pork and a spinach salad from Whole foods for dinner. Then, I went to work at 8:00 p.m. and practiced navigating the intracoastal waterway in St. Augustine at night. Fun stuff.

Thursday 9/23/10

Same as Wednesday, no workout, but dog walking.

Coffee in the morning.

Breakfast/lunch: Rotisserie chicken with a huge spinach salad with mixed vegetables.

Dinner: Yep, this is where it gets fun. Mar and I had our friends Jason and Jen over for dinner before they left for Hawaii for two weeks. Lots of food eaten and wine drank.

Chicken Bryan recipe (from Carraba's) with grilled asparagus, Champagne, red wine (Cabernet), white wine (Chardonnay), and lots of chocolate (with and without strawberries), ice cream with granola and honey. Yep, good stuff.

Friday 9/24/10

Coffee in the morning with just heavy cream.


Incline dumbbell flyes:
1x5 @ 40lbs., 1x5 @ 50lbs., 1x5 @ 55lbs., 1x4 @ 60lbs.,
Horizontal bar rows: 4x7 @ bodyweight.

Incline dumbbell presses: 1x5 @ 50lbs., 1x5 @ 55lbs., 1x5 @ 60lbs., 1x5 @ 65lbs.
Assisted one-arm pull/chin-ups: 4x2 each arm.

10 all-out effort sprints for 10 seconds with approx. 3 minutes rest in between.

Leftover chicken and asparagus. Then, went to a Arend's 40th birthday party and had a couple of Margaritas, a few glasses of red wine and a bunch of pork and salad. Good stuff and fun times.

Saturday 9/25/10

Coffee in the morning.

At work. Did absolutely nothing today. No walk, no workout. Just slept, studied, and watched college football all day. Big time rest day!

Breakfast/lunch 11:00 a.m.:
4 hard boiled eggs with an avocado mixed with various spices and hot sauce. Mixed nuts (A LOT).

Dinner: 19:00 p.m.: Steak fajitas with a bunch of veggies, cheese, sour cream, salsa, avocado, and yes, black and re-fried beans. Damn good!

Sunday 9/26/10

French Press coffee in the morning.

No workout today. Walked Yogi for just over an hour and, then ate breakfast, foam rolled and stretched.

Breakfast: 11:00 a.m.:
3 scrambled eggs with 2 organic spicy Italian sausages with spinach, broccoli, peppers, onions, garlic, butter (lots) sun-dried tomatoes, goat cheese, and hot sauce.

Foam rolled whole body for approx. half an hour and then worked up a good sweat out side simply by stretching my whole body for about half an hour. Feel pretty good today. Mind is clear, body feels great. Good stuff.

Went to the mall with my wife later in the day and walked around the shops. Then, went to Whole Foods with wife and brother-in-law to buy ingredients for dinner and, as always, over-consumed free cheese on display. Then, back over to the in-laws house for good company and good food... with of course, Yogi.

Dinner 1900 p.m.: Roasted and stuffed red peppers. Peppers were stuffed with ground beef, ground pork, and Parmesan and Seaside cheddar cheeses. Also, a spinach salad and a big ol' Arrogant Bastard hoppy, full-bodied, flavorful ale. Yum.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Make-up Surf Session and Heavy lifting

Tuesday 9/21/10

Early in the morning: two big cups of coffee right off the French Press with heavy whipping cream and honey.


Surfed for almost two hours and got worked by big, messy waves.


Warm-up with planks, pull-ups, push-ups and jump rope

One-arm dumbbell snatch: warm-up @ 35lbs. x 5 and 50lbs. x 5. Work sets: 65lbs. x 3, 80lbs. x3, 90lbs. x 2.
Explosive push-ups: (start from ground and push and catch on benches) 5x5.

Deadlifts: (single arm/single leg) 1x5 @ 100lbs., 1x5 @ 110lbs.
(regular deadlifts) 1x3 @185lbs., 1x3 @ 225lbs., 1x3 @ 275lbs., 1x2 @ 315lbs., 1x2 @ 330lbs.
Overhead Press: 1x5 @ 35lbs., 1x5 @ 50lbs., 1x4 @ 65lbs.,
(push press)1x3 @ 75lbs., 1x3 @ 80lbs.


13:30 Leftover chicken and lamb from the previous two nights with a spinach salad and mixed vegetables of broccoli, carrots, celery, and onions.

19:30 Grass-fed hamburgers with cheese, ketchup, mustard, mayonnaise, pickles, onions, tomatoes, Romaine lettuce, and Thousand Island dressing. Yes, I ate the bun!
Sweet potato fries
Two glasses of red wine; Sterling Vineyard Cabernet.
Lots of ice cream (an unspecified amount).

I felt REALLY good after today's surf session and the heavy weights. I felt even better later in the day. The words I keep using to describe how I feel today (physically) are "punchy, springy, light and supple." I feel like if jump, my head will go through the ceiling or if I sprint I'll just be too fast to slow down. Definitely a very good feeling to have. I hope I sleep just as good. My dinner more than made up for today's activity. My wife has been wanting to do burgers for a while and tonight was a great night to do them.

Rest Days and studying

Sunday 9/19/10

At work today. No walk, no workout. Just swam around in the ocean (rough and choppy) for about 15 minutes.

Breakfast: Big salad made of spinach, broccoli, onions, tomatoes, various peppers, feta cheese, 3 hard boiled eggs, extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar.

Dinner: Handful of mixed nuts, roasted chicken with celery, broccoli, carrots, onions and TONS of extra virgin olive oil and butter and various other seasonings.

Monday 9/20/10

No workout but walked Yogi for an hour and then myself for another hour.

Breakfast: (Last night's dinner) roasted chicken with celery, broccoli, carrots, onions and TONS of extra virgin olive oil and butter and various other seasonings.

Dinner: Gouda cheese with a glass of red wine. Lamb loin chops and a spinach salad with two more glasses or red wine.

Today sucked, for the simple reason that the surf was one of the best days NE Florida has seen and I could not go. I had to study and then go to school. I'm really hoping to make up for it tomorrow. We'll see.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Surfing and Boxing

Saturday 9/18/10

Two big cups of coffee in the morning with heavy whipping cream and honey.


Surfed for 1.5 hours from 0800-0930.

Kickboxed: 12 x 3 minute rounds. In between rounds did bodyweight circuits of push-ups, ring rows, dips, inverted pull-ups, handstand push-ups, and pull-ups, in that order. Did basically 3 sets of each. Great workout. Walked the Yogi for about 20 minutes aferward.

I only ate once today because I ate too much after my workout and actually felt a little nauseous for a few hours following.

3 scrambled eggs with 5 pieces of bacon, spinach, peppers, onions, and Nicaragaun cheese.
Homemade smoothie of frozen blackberries, blueberries, strawberries and rasberries, one banana, coconut flakes, cocunut milk, almond milk, vanilla extract, cinammon, and some ice.

No dinner but I went to a birthday party and had two and half beers and two glasses of red wine, a Malbec and a Rioja.

Friday, September 17, 2010

I'm sore

Thursday 9/16/10

At work at the station today. No workout. Just walked for an hour and dipped in the ocean later in the day.

Two huge cups of coffee before work with heavy whipping cream and honey. 4 hard boiled eggs with one avocado and a bunch of spices drowned in Tabasco sauce. About 5-6 enormous handfuls of mixed nuts.

Dinner: Jason Green's chilli. Good stuff.


Breakfast: Two huge cups of coffee with heavy whipping cream and honey.

Surfed for 3 hours off the swell from Hurricane Igor. Came home and walked the dog and myself for an hour.

Lunch: Leftover baked chicken with celery, carrots, broccoli and a ton of EVOO.

Dinner: Grilled grassfed steak with sauteed onions and mushrooms in a white wine and balsamic vinegar sauce with parsley, salt and pepper. Side of grilled asparagus. Almost a whole bottle of Alteca; a red wine from Spain and 85% dark chocolate for dessert.

Planning on rising at about 5 A.M. tomorrow to enjoy some good coffee and to be at the beach by approx. 0645 and be in the water by 7 for more big surf. Yep, probably no workout again.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Rest Day

Wednesday 9/15/10

Two big cups of coffee with heavy whipping cream and honey.

Walked for two hours.

Scrambled eggs with rotisserie chicken, spinach, broccoli, onions, garlic, mixed peppers, feta cheese, butter, and extra virgin olive oil. Espresso with heavy whipping cream

Dinner: Oven-baked chicken with carrots, celery, broccoli, onions, and 3 glasses of red wine.

No workout, foam rolling, or stretching today. Just a walk and Microbiology class/lab. The weather is starting to turn nice here in NE Florida. The color of the day is changing and the VERY end of the day is becoming more fall like; a tad cooler with a slight breeze. Another month or so and it'll basically be my favorite time of year.

Low key, Foam Rolling and Stretching

Tuesday 9/14/10


0800 - A dip in the ocean.
0900 - 1100 - Walked the dog (and then myself)
1615 - 1645 - Foam roll whole body
1700 - 1730 - Stretch whole body

No workout today (or probably for a few days), as I am only working out every 4-7 days (mimicking paleolithic/primal movement patterns/times, as much as we know) and, I'm utterly sore from Monday's workout. I walked for two hours this morning and then foam rolled for approx. 30 minutes and stretched for 30 minutes later in the evening. Recently there have been a number of "expert" bloggers who are against stretching. I actually gave it up for a while but have recently included it back into my life when I feel that I simply need a good stretch. It keeps me loose and limber and I like the way it feels so until otherwise, I will be incorporating more stretching.


I tend to eat a lot more on my non-workout days. I attribute this to a couple of things. One, being active, hence, working out, takes up time. I like to do the heavy weights/bodyweight stuff in the morning then, walk a little, stretch a little, etc., and therefore just don't really have the time to eat until much later. Second, working out is known (and I find this to be true for myself as well) to be a natural appetite suppressant so, I normally do not get hungry till much later in the day. With that being said, no workout today = more food today as noted below.

0530 - Two big cups of coffee with heavy whipping cream and coffee.
1200 - Breakfast/lunch: Scrambled eggs with rotisserie chicken, spinach, mixed peppers, onions, garlic, Nicaraguan cheese, and hot sauce. Smoothie made with mixed berries, a banana, coconut milk, almond milk, coconut flakes and, some ice.

1800 - 2000 - Dinner: Snacked on Gouda cheese and red wine before and while making dinner. Haddock fish fried in olive oil. Steamed broccoli with EVOO and various seasonings, BIG sweet potato with lots of butter and cinnamon. Another glass of Robert Mondavi 2005 Napa Cabernet. Yum.

Workout after an indulging weekend.

Monday 9/13/10

Warm-up with some dips, pull-ups, push-ups, jump rope and heavybag work.


Muscle-ups: 1x5 @ bodyweight, 1x5 @ 17lbs., 1x1 at 35lbs. (hands became to sweaty after this and could not continue muscle-ups.
Weighted pull-ups: 1x3 @35lbs., 1x3 @ 70lbs., 1x2 at 105lbs.
KB Clean and jerks: 1X5 @ 70lbs.(35lbs. each arm), 1x5 @ 80lbs. (40lbs. each arm), 1x5 @ 110lbs. (55lbs. each arm), 1x3 @ 70lbs.(each arm)

Band assisted one-arm pull-ups: 4x3
One-leg squats (pistols): 1x5 @ bodyweight, 1x5 @ 17lbs., 1x5 @ 35lbs., 1x3 @ 55lbs., 1x2 @70lbs.

Before the workout I walked the dog for an hour. During the workout I jumped rope and worked the heavybag. After the workout I walked for another workout to cool off.

This much needed activity was therapeutic given the weekend of "off-kilter" eating and drinking I consumed. NFL Football game mixed with excessive beer, wine, pizza, ice-cream and chocolate. Need I say more?

Sunday, September 12, 2010

I'm a slacker

...and simply just haven't been posting. Below are some recent workouts that I've been doing. Basically, I've been doing two heavy weight or bodyweight workouts a week with a sprint workout every 7-10 days. I've been very consistent with this kinda/sorta routine for a few months. I've significantly increased the weight in some of my lifts, most notably with the deadlift and snatch. However, on the days that I am doing these workouts I've noticed that "workout time" has gotten a little long for my liking. My last workout was well over an hour and I like to keep things 45 minutes or less. Also to note, my neck has been more stiff than usual and also seems to tighten up even more when I'm surfing; too much shoulder and trap involvement I presume. I'm going to keep the number of days I lift to only two still but, will move back to solely bodyweight stuff again as I find it is more conducive to surfing and general daily activities. Walking, of course, helps with recovery from heavy lifting or marathon surf sessions.

Friday 8/27/10

Kickboxing: 6 rounds @ 3 minutes
Jump rope: 6 rounds @ 3 minutes

Tuesday 8/31/10

Muscle-ups: 1x5 @ bodyweight, 1x3 @ 17lbs., 1x3 @ 35lbs., 1x2 @ 45lbs.
Kettlebell Clean and Jerks: 1x5 @ 70lbs., 1x5 @ 80lbs., 1x5 @ 100lbs., 1x5 at 140lbs.

One-arm pull-ups: 5x3 each arm.
One-leg squats: 1x5 bodyweight, 1x5 @ 17lbs., 1x5 @ 35lbs., 1x3 @ 50lbs., 1x2 @ 70lbs.

Jump rope and heavybag work in between sets.

Friday 9/3/10

One-arm snatch: 1x5 @ 35lbs.(warm-up) 1x5 @ 40lbs. 1x5 @ 65lbs. 1x5 @ 75lbs., 1x3 @ 80lbs., 1x2 @ 90lbs.
One-arm push-ups: 5x5 each arm.

Single-arm/single-leg deadlifts: 1x5 @ 100lbs., 1x5 @ 110lbs., 1x5 @ 125lbs. 1x3 @ 135lbs., 1x3 @ 140lbs.
Overhead press: 1x5 @ 40lbs., 1x5 @ 55lbs., 1x5 @ 65lbs. 1x5 @ 75lbs.(push press), 1X3 @ 80lbs.(push press)

Tuesday 9/7/10

Workout at work on the beach: A circuit of swim, run/sprint, calisthenics, and paddle.
Circuit of jogging to cone, sprinting back to start line, performing calisthenics or some variation of push-ups, squats, sit-ups, planks, burpees, etc. then, swim out into the ocean approx. 30-40 strokes each arm then, run/sprint again, then paddle out into ocean on paddleboard approx. 50-60 strokes. Repeat for 5 rounds. Took us approx. 40 minutes.

Thursday 9/9/10

Beach sprints and surfing with my wife at St. Augustine Beach.

10 beach sprints with approx. 3 minutes rest in between. Mar did push-ups and sit-ups, I swam. Then, we surfed.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Diet and fitness plan for a friend

This is a simple diet plan that I wrote for a friend. Actually, it started off as just nutrition based and as usual, I got carried away and put in some fitness stuff and other philosophies and theories. Enjoy.

Nutrition and Fitness Essay

Breakfast Ideas:

1. 4 hardboiled eggs, one avocado, hot sauce and various seasonings, i.e. basil,
parsley, cilantro, pepper, chives, etc. Basically, just chop the eggs and
avocado up together and add all the rest to the mix. This is my quick and easy
“work” breakfast. Along with this and as a side I do lots of mixed nuts;
walnuts, almonds, macadamias, cashews, pumpkin/sunflower seeds, pecans,
brazil nuts, pine nuts, hazelnuts, pistachios, etc.

2. Another breakfast idea yet not so specific should be anything with eggs, meat
and some veggies. DO NOT be afraid to scramble your eggs in butter, coconut
or extra virgin olive oils, and DO NOT be afraid to add bacon and/or sausage.
I would recommend staying away from the processed, packaged stuff as it
usually has a bunch of added artificial ingredients and generally isn’t very
healthy. A few days out of the week while at home I will sauté up in butter
either some bacon, sausage, steak, chicken (or some form of meat, even the
previous night’s dinner meat) in a large skillet along with some spinach,
onions, peppers and garlic and then scramble in anywhere from 2‐6 eggs and
then throw in some cheese.

Lunch Ideas:

I don’t go too overboard with lunch, as for me, it’s the most boring meal of
the day. If I’m pressed for time, such as at work and such, I usually do some
mixed nuts with some cheese and maybe some meat, salami, pepperoni,
chicken, etc. If I have some time I normally like to do a huge salad. My salad
consists of a fair amount of ingredients and is pretty damn healthy and filling.
I’ll do a lot of spinach (couple of handfuls) mixed greens, raw broccoli, red,
green, orange and yellow peppers, olives, tomatoes, feta cheese, some kind of
meat and I mix my own dressing which consists of extra virgin olive oil and
balsamic vinegar and yes, I use a ton of it as well.

Dinner Ideas:

Dinner is easily my favorite meal of the day. However, it involves the most
preparation and cooking but allows me to spend time with my wife. I highly
recommend while preparing dinner to have out a block of cheese (for
consuming as an appetizer), have open a bottle of wine, and have on some
form of Internet or satellite radio for some “eclectic musical entertainment.” I
won’t go too specific with dinner, as there are literally hundreds of thousands
of things to make. The premise should be however, meat and vegetables. Lots
of meat and lots of vegetables. Everybody, for one reason or another has this
absurd idea that in order to have a complete meal you mush HAVE A
STARCH! Not so. The solution: More MEAT and more vegetables. If you are
going to have a starch or carbohydrate I would highly suggest sweet potatoes
or yams. Sweet potatoes are actually considered one the world’s most perfect
foods and are extremely nutritionally dense.

As you can see, the meal ideas that I’ve provided are very high in protein,
even higher in fat (good fats) and naturally low in carbohydrates. The
macronutrient distribution of my diet (macronutrients being Fat, Protein,
and Carbohydrates) usually falls as such: Fats 60‐70% of my diet, protein 20‐
30%, and carbs 0‐10%. I do not go “low‐carb” on purpose, for me it really just
falls that way. The vegetables absolutely have carbohydrates in them just not
as much as you would get from eating things like breads, pastas, rice, corn
and pancakes and drinking things like orange juice, cokes, and various other
sugary beverages. Also, by consuming vegetables and fruit as your main
source of carbohydrates, you provide your body with so many more
nutrients than you would by just toasting up some bread or boiling up some
pasta. Look at it this way: two pieces of bread supply about 100 grams of
carbohydrates with almost 0 (ZERO) nutritive value (I don’t care what the
label says) while onions, spinach, peppers and some broccoli (and I mean like
cups of the stuff) supply half the carbohydrate (about 50 grams) yet provide
your body with a ridiculous amount of nutrients. The higher fat content
helps keep you satiated (satisfied and somewhat full) throughout the day
whereas excessive carbohydrate consumption will only spike glucose and
insulin levels and then quickly drop them back down “tricking” your brain
into thinking it’s hungry sooner rather than later when in fact it’s actually
not. Contrary to popular belief, saturated fat is not bad for you, and neither it
nor cholesterol is directly linked to heart disease, stroke, diabetes or any of
the other major causes of disease/illness in our society. What is linked to
such diseases is our over consumption of processed foods (yes, mainly
carbohydrates) and processed sugar. These are both pro‐inflammatory and
systemic inflammation is what is leading to such diseases and illnesses.
Humans have been eating saturated fat, butter, and meat from animals for a
little over 2 million years. Grains and grain products, i.e. cereals, bread,
pastas, rice, sugar, corn, etc. have only been in existence for just about 10,000
years (hence agriculture) and our bodies simply have not adapted yet to be
able to handle those “types” of foods. Those types of foods are actually filled
with what are called “anti‐nutrients” such as phytates and lechtins that
basically product the grain from being eaten and hence digested by humans
and other animals. I’m going a little off the reservation here and will end my
scientific jargon at this point. Just remember to choose real, whole and
natural foods and to make the bulk of your food intake (I hate the word diet)
meats, vegetables, fruit, nuts, seeds and some dairy. Try to minimize grains
and sugar. In this day and age, cutting out anything is impractical and not
realistic and really is no fun. What I advocate to people who ask me about my
eating habits is to follow an 80%/20% rule. You can look at this two ways.
You can either eat “clean” and strict 80% of the time and knowingly indulge
the other 20% or you can strive to eat clean 100% of the time and just simply
and sensibly indulge as the opportunity presents itself. With this way, you
may have a week where you’re diet looks more like 90/10, another where it
looks like 70/30, and another where it is 80/20. Hell, you may even have a
week or two where you’re actually trudging along at 100% perfect. The
point of looking at it like this is that it allows you to gauge how you’ve been
eating over the course of some time, not just ONE day. One day, or even one
week just won’t show anything. Following something for 30 days will usually
allow most people to not only see improvements, but feel improvements as
well, which is obviously equally important. I know you did not ask about my fitness regimen but I’ll provide it anyway because it’s kind of comical. Again,
contrary to popular belief, you don’t need to do that much, as I certainly don’t (anymore). Sure, I worked my ass off for years to look a certain way and to
perform a certain way but over the past few years I have gradually decreased
my level of intense activity and now mainly walk most days with two, maybe
three “somewhat” structured workouts a week. Walking is my cardio. One
day of the week I do some bodyweight stuff, push‐ups, pull‐ups, dips, etc
coupled with some heavy weights for never more than 30‐45 minutes. The
other day of the week I sprint ALL OUT preferably barefoot in some grass. I
have not directly worked my abs in years. Abs are actually built in the
kitchen: ) None of my workouts are the same, are routine or fall on the same
days of the week. EVERYTHING I do is completely random and is designed to
allow the body to function as a whole at different times of the day, days of the
week or periods of the year. This however, is just my belief. After years of self
trial and error I know this works. However, if there are certain activities that
you thoroughly enjoy to do, then do them. Countless fitness and workout
regimens fail every year because people are either forced or are forcing
themselves to do some activity that they hate. No one will ever stick with
something if it isn’t fun for him or her. Enjoy what you do. This same logic
applies to food. In Western society our taste buds are used to highly oversweetened
and salted foods and so we think that everything must taste like
that. Not true. Once you begin to eat real, whole and natural foods, your taste
for the artificially sweetened and salted foods diminishes. Once you really
learn how to eat and move like this, losing weight, becoming overall healthier
and simply feeling a ton better truly does become effortless. Again, I laugh
when people think that what I eat is either bad for me or is “too healthy” and
I really laugh when people think that I must put in hours in the gym each day.
It’s simply not the case. Our bodies were not meant to be fed fake foods and
our bodies were not built for chronic stress; i.e. too much routinized exercise,
lack of sleep, long work hours, etc. Make all (or the majority, 80%) of your
food choices benefit you by choosing nutritionally dense real, whole and
natural foods and make your workouts count by making them brief, intense,
infrequent and something that you love to do and, remember to walk… a lot.
As with nutritional intake, the 80%/20% rule applies to fitness as well. 80%
of your results are going to come from 20% of the work you put in.
I hope this “brief” write up helps you in pursuing your goals. Again,
this is a brief synopsis of my philosophy on eating and training but as well as
having done so‐called research on this for years, I know that it is also science
backed and self backed through trial and error.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

1st Discussion for my Philosphy course and yep, a workout

Socrates' major task was to make us think critically about important issues. This involves a dispassionate, objective analysis with the aim of discovering truth. Why aren't most people critical thinkers? What are some of the major obstacles to critical thinking?

I believe there are many reasons and factors as to why most people are not critical thinkers. One reason why I believe that many folks do not think critically is that they are simply afraid of truth; a kind of denial, if you will. People consistently turn a blind eye to major issues in our society and just accept things as they are presented to them without ever really researching (on their own) as to why, what, who, when, or how such things apply or came about. We are led to believe by the media, politicians, Hollywood movie stars, doctors, stock brokers, etc. that what they say or do is truth when in fact, most of the time it is not. Many people hear things day in and day out and simply regurgitate this information to their friends, family and co-workers without ever really discovering the truth (if there is any) behind such information. This leads me to a second reason or factor as to why I believe that people don't think critically; because they simply don't have to (or feel that they do anyway). In our society we are bombarded by so much information, so many people espousing "the way/their way," or what is right and what is wrong, and who we should follow and who we shouldn't. People don't necessarily question or critically think like they may think they do or should, and really just follow the crowd and go with the flow, never questioning anything or anybody. At times, and to some extent, we are all guilty of this. I believe that critical thinking is a skill that truly must be learned and honed over time and through experience. I'm 30 years old and believe that I have just begun to scratch the surface when it comes to thinking critically about various issues as well as thinking critically and evaluating myself. Unlike most, I actually look forward to getting older and practicing and becoming better at not only thinking critically but many other valuable skills as well.

Today's workout and food:

Early morning: Two cups of coffee (French Press) with heavy whipping cream, and honey

Late morning: 3 hard boiled eggs smashed up with avocado with various herbs, spices and hot sauce. A huge glass of grass-fed, unpasteurized raw milk. A couple spoonfuls of fish oil.

No lunch or dinner eaten at the time of this posting.

Workout: Walked the dog for an hour then warmed up with some handstands, push-ups, pull-ups, dips and some heavy-bag work.

1.Pseudo planche push-ups (PPPU's)
: 1x8, 5x5, totals 6 sets, (don't know why I did 8 on the first one)
2.Front tuck lever holds: 6x10 seconds, pull to invert to skin the cat, pull back to invert and lower.

3. One-arm Kettlebell Presses
: 1x5 at 35lbs., 1x5 at 55lbs., 1x3 at 70lbs. (last set was push-press)
4. Assisted one-arm chins: 1x2 (hand pronated), 1x2 (hands supinated), 1x3 (hands facing medially)

5. Full range of motion handstand push-ups (F.R.O.M. HSPU's)
: 3x3 (2 sets on bricks, 1 set on parallettes)
6. Inverted pull-ups on rings): 3x5, lower to full back lever (not particularly strong today

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Another Random Workout

Wednesday 4/21/10

Tuck planche holds: 10x3 seconds
Adv. front tuck lever pull-ups: 6x3
Pistols: 1x5 (BW), 1X5 @ 17lbs., 1x5 @ 35lbs., 1x2 at 55lbs.
Full range of motion HSPU's: 3x3
Standing wheel rollouts: 3x3 (two arm), 3x2 (one-arm_

This was a good workout. It was intermixed with push-ups, pull-ups, dips, free standing handstands on the parallettes, straight-leg and straddle L-sits, support holds on the rings, kicks and elbows to the heavy bag and some standing wheel rollouts. I'm getting very close to being able to do a one-arm standing wheel rollout. We'll see. Still no article ideas yet. Maybe in a few days.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Long sprint workout


My garage workout today consisted of gymnastics, kettlebell lifting and heavy bag work. I held a free standing handstand today on parallelettes for over 30 seconds.

My track workout today consisted of 2x400m sprints, 2x300m sprints and 2x200m sprints with 5 minutes rest between sprints. My time has increased a bit but there can be a number of reasons why. I will run some long sprints in a couple of weeks again and see if my times aren't back down again. I figure they probably will be.

Nothing good (as far as articles go) has really crossed my mind to write on. This has been sort of an "off" week and am still trying to get back on track. Hopefully, I will post something soon.

Short sprint workout


10 sprints at 10 seconds each with 5 minutest rest between sprints. In between sprints I performed various body weight and gymnastic exercises along with some kettlebell throws, swings, presses, snatches and cleans with the 17lb. and 35 kettlebells. This was one of my best workouts yet.

Friday, April 9, 2010

A Sporatic Past Couple of Weeks and Some Observations

I've kind of been overdoing it the past few weeks with exercise, going out and food.

Too much cardio.
I've been doing a little too much kickboxing and other various metabolic conditioning routines, usually for consecutive days with little rest and a little too intense. I think subconsciously I've been doing this to counteract all the little indulgences I've been engaging in a bit too frequently.

Not enough sprinting;
once every two weeks (I like to do it once a week). Because of my ridiculous cardio workouts, I've been too sore and stiff to get out and really do what I enjoy, sprint! I also find that when I perform too much cardiovascular exercise, I don't have the energy (or sometimes desire) to do my other favorite activity that I love, SURFING! I plan to get back to both... more sprinting (a reasonable amount) and more surfing. They both keep me sane.

Not enough body weight stuff.
I've been missing my bar and ground acrobatics and love mixing this up with the sprints. Handstands, pull-ups, push-ups, dips, levers, planches, flags, all the crazy gymnastics and circus stuff. I feel like Tarzan or an ape when I do this stuff! It's my thing.

TOO MUCH WINE, CHEESE, AND SUGAR! Yep, definitely been indulging with these too much and it certainly has taken its toll. Mood has been fairly inconsistent, (mostly bad and negative) and sleep has sucked. The cheese isn't really too much of a problem, the problem is that I usually like to couple the cheese with copious amount of red wine... which then leads to copious amounts of cheese which then leads to... not good.

I upped my sugar intake again in my coffee, TOO MUCH, and have been doing dessert a little too frequently. Again, I notice this mostly with poor sleep, waking up groggy and lowered energy levels.

My wife and I have been going out too much. Well, not really, compared to what we used to do. But, I've been getting that "feeling" you get when you know you're spending money on stuff you don't need (material goods) or on restaurant food (which is NEVER as good as a home cooked meal) and you feel like you just wasted both your time and money. Yep, too much of that.

With that being said, it's time to get back to simplicity. I find that when you simplify or limit certain things in your life, you appreciate all that you indulge in (and most everything else for that matter) that much more when you do indulge. Some things I like to do when simplifying my life are:

- Limit T.V., Internet, and most electronic stimuli as a form of entertainment. 90 percent (probably more than that) of what is on T.V., talk radio, the Internet, etc. is all crap and only complicates peoples lives. Turn that stuff OFF!

- Eat real, whole, natural food; meat, vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds. This comes easy to me. Boxed stuff doesn't taste good and is loaded with junk. When you REALLY eat well, as described by the food choices above, I find that I really don't want much of the crap, it just doesn't even taste good.

- Limit sugar, desserts, coffee and alcohol. My sweet-tooth is my weakness. Must defeat! I only do coffee in the morning and not too much, I just put too much sugar in it! Alcohol is also not a problem, but it can mess with sleep and I get enough disturbances with that through my job so, I can use all the quality sleep I can get. Which brings me to...

- Go to bed early and get adequate sleep. Try to wind down with a book, some low music or some good conversation with family. Don't watch Hannity and then think your mind is going to be clear of mindless thoughts while lying in bed.

- Limit exercise but when I do partake, make the sessions count; i.e. short, fast, intense bursts of strength, speed and power... and do it all outside. My favorite (and what I believe is the BEST way to stay in great shape) workout is to get outside, sprint barefoot, and mix it up with body weight exercise. There is absolutely no reliance on a gym, equipment, (even shoes in my case) or a huge block of time. 20-30 minutes of brief, all-out sprints with some push-ups, pull-ups, dips, mixed in out in the natural sunlight is ALL you really need to look and feel great.

- Walk more, not just around the neighborhood, but at social events; farmer's markets, festivals, the beach, etc. Change the environment. Walking briskly for 30 minutes to an hour is all fine and well but it's certainly not needed all the time or for that matter, the majority of time. I like to get out and leisurely stroll around various venues when I can; farmer's markets, art galleries/walks, the beach, nature trails, the mall (preferably outdoors), festivals, etc. Doing it with your spouse and/or family, friends or your dog (he falls under family for me) always makes it more enjoyable.

- Spend more quality time with family and friends. A lot of people spend all their time worrying about getting the right kind or enough exercise or eating the perfect foods or choosing the perfect diet and miss whats mostly important - family and friends. Yes, other cultures from around the world that have longevity as a commonality between them certainly have common factors such as eating real, whole food and staying active daily. But, what we as Americans fail to recognize is the sense of family and community with which these cultures have in common as well. This, I believe, along with a strong faith in a higher power (something bigger than yourself) whatever that may be, is what truly allows these various cultures to live happy, energetic and long lives. Not just Americans, but Western society as a whole, places the most emphasis and spends the most money on looking a certain way, eating a certain way, and just living a certain way that we're completely missing the boat to what truly matters. With so much emphasis placed on these things, you would think that we'd be leading the pack when it comes to health and longevity but that couldn't be further from the truth. So, put down you Cosmopolitan and Men's Health magazines, call your parents, siblings, spouse, children or friends, grab a cup of coffee, go take a walk and have some good conversation. Just... hold the sugar!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Broccoli and Squats?

In a conversation with my wife over dinner the other night, she brought up the fact (after I made it for the 1000th time) that she hates broccoli. Basically, she eats it because she "knows it's healthy." Our conversation then transpired into that of nutrition and exercise and what's good for you and not. I explained how I've always hated squats, and that some time ago, I really just did them because squats were always considered the "end-all-be-all" of exercises and I thought they were good for me. We both came to the conclusion that 1. she hates broccoli and I like it, and 2. I hate doing squats, but she likes them. So, with that, you may be asking yourself, "what do broccoli and squats have in common?" Well, not much really. One's green, rather nutritious and you eat it. The other, depending on who you ask, may require you to squat down with a significant amount of weight across your back, on your shoulders, held out in front of you or even no weight at all for a prescribed amount of reps and sets perhaps performed a few times a week. So, if you're a broccoli hater and you despise squats then read on, this article may pertain to you.

Most of the time both are touted, whether by an expert in the diet industry or an expert in the fitness industry as being absolutely necessary for optimal health and functioning. I disagree. There are certainly many benefits to consuming broccoli and performing squats on a regular basis but some people just don't like either. Are they missing something?

According to The Commodity Spotlight: Agricultural Outlook/April 1999, broccoli is regularly identified as the vegetable eaten most often for health reasons, including cancer prevention. In addition, consumers often specify high fiber content as the reason to purchase broccoli. Broccoli, carrots, and sweet potatoes are routinely identified by consumers as the three vegetables with greatest nutritional benefits. USDA's nutritional information (not that we always trust the USDA around here: )) confirms that consumer perceptions of broccoli's nutritional value are correct. Broccoli's fiber content is one of the highest among vegetables, and 100 grams of broccoli contains 75 percent more vitamin C than an equal amount of orange, with one medium stalk (148 kg) providing 200 percent of the daily recommended intake of vitamin C, 16 percent of recommended dietary fiber, and 10 percent of recommended vitamin A in the form of beta-carotene. So, where are the negatives? Why not eat broccoli? I'll get to that in a minute.

"The squat has been the most important yet most poorly understood exercise in the training arsenal for a very long time. The full range of motion (F-ROM) exercise known as the squat is the single most useful exercise in the weight room, and our most valuable tool for building strength, power, and size. The squat is so effective an exercise because of the way it uses the muscles around the core of the body." Correctly performed, the "squat perfectly balances all the forces around the knees and the hips, using these muscles in exactly the way the skeletal biomechanics are designed for them to be used, over their anatomically full range of motion." Starting Strength: Basic Barbell Training, 2nd edition by Mark Rippetoe and Lon Kilgore. . So, why not engage in such a perfect exercise?

Bear in mind, both of the sources that I quoted from are riddled with information and what I have provided as benefits to both merely scratches the surface. The second source, Starting Strength, is an exceptional read for those wishing to become stronger, more muscular and overall athletic and the chapter on squats alone is almost 60 pages.

So, why not eat broccoli and why not perform squats? In short, because you simply don't have to, ESPECIALLY, if you don't like to. So many people in our society in pursuit of health, fitness or just a desire to look good, are constantly told to eat this, do that, and IF you eat this and IF you do that, you will be uber-healthy and fit and look amazing. Well, what if you don't like broccoli and what if you don't like or have access to do heavy-weighted squats? The truth is that there are literally thousands of foods to choose from, whether they be vegetables, fruits, meats, nuts, seeds, dairy, and yes MAYBE...- MAYBE some grains that can provide all the nutrients and health benefits you need without ever having to ingest broccoli. Don't like squats? Then don't do them. People constantly fail at their brand new "New Year's Resolution" goals by choosing to do things they really hate. If you don't like it, chances are you're not going to stick with it for the long haul. Find something you truly enjoy. Like the many great food alternatives to broccoli, there are so many great alternative exercises to squats. Some of the most beautiful bodies in the world have been developed by body-weight exercise alone and many of us, simply don't have the time, means, money or access to a gym with all the fancy weights and machines.

So, after your next beach workout of sprints , push-ups and pull-ups under the pier, (notice, no squats) and you find yourself out to dinner with your spouse faced with staying on the healthy track, but you just can't seem to stomach the side of broccoli, don't hesitate to choose something different and that tastes good to you. Regularly engaging in activities that you love and choosing healthy foods that you enjoy will keep you motivated to continue on your healthy path to wellness and longevity.

For additional information on broccoli and other foods you can visit the Nutrition Data website.

For additional information on squatting and other weightlifting exercises you can click on the link above in the article, or simply visit and buy the book.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Too much energy = a long, powerful workout

Thursday 03/18/10

Ah, with the impending Mud Run I didn't want to do this but... I had pent up energy and had to release it. So, I hit it hard today with a workout, actually, two, followed back to back. By the end of the second one, I still felt great and spent the rest of the day running errands and being productive. Some days, energy level just REALLY falls into place.

Walked the dog for about an hour

Workout 1: Kick-boxed: 12x3 minute rounds with one minute rest between rounds. The one minute was spent on trunk work (yes, that means "core," "abs," and lower back). I just dislike the trendy terms. My kicks were high and powerful, punches were crisp and clean (loud pops today) and my general overall movement was fast and fluid. Felt good.

Workout 2: Went to the soccer field to do some sprints.
I did 10-11 ten second all out sprints with 5 minutes in between. During the five minutes I worked on OAC/OAP (one-arm chins, one-arm pull-ups), one-arm push-ups, side levers, back levers, muscle-ups, front levers, and handstands. Basic gymnastics.

The side lever on my left side is really coming along and I'm getting closer to straight-arm. My right side is taking off as well, just much slower than the left. Handstands are getting longer but HSPU's are still eluding me. I held an almost perfect straight back lever for about 10 seconds, but the front lever and the planche????

After the workout I stretched and walked for about an hour.

Monday, March 15, 2010

No fitness lost...

... by just doing the bare minimum.

So far, my theory and experiment have worked. For some time now, I have been doing the bare minimum as far as workouts and physical fitness is concerned. Over the past few months, I have mainly been walking the dog, anywhere from one to two hours, with a sprint workout about once every 7-10 days and maybe some real heavy unconventional weight training and/or bodyweight exercise ONCE a week. Though my bodyweight has come down (don't really know why) from 165lbs. to 154lbs., I've become stronger, faster, my energy level has gone up and I'm sleeping A LOT better. It's hard to pinpoint why these changes have occurred. I believe I've narrowed it down to a few factors.

1. Less workout frequency (i.e. days of the the week)

2. less volume (not so many exercises or time during the actual workout)

3. More walking (a natural anti-inflammatory and form of recovery)

4. Good eating (HIGH GOOD fats, lots of meat, and yes, carbs, but smart carbs, and lots of wine-> not too sure if this is really contributing :))

5. Smart exercise (when I do workout, it is fast, hard, heavy, intense, brief and RANDOM).

By random, I mean the workout is never the same. It's on a different day of the week, it may be two days in a row, it may be a week without a workout, it's RANDOM! That being said, I performed a workout yesterday similar to what I used to do 3-4 times a week for years that I finally ceased about a year ago. The workout was a Tabata protocol which is 20 seconds of work as hard as you can possibly go (NO PACING) followed by 10 seconds of rest. Set a timer and repeat for four minutes. You end up doing 8 intervals of 20 seconds of work. Yes, most people look at this and think that you cannot possibly get a good workout in only four minutes. Funny, try it.

What I do, is I do the above with one exercise, rest one minute and then move on to another exercise for the same amount of time. I do this with 8 different exercises. 8 exercises X 4 minutes per exercise with one minute of rest between exercise = 39 minutes for total time in the garage. 32 minutes are actually spent involved in work and rest and only 21 minutes and 20 seconds of ACTUAL WORK. I used to perform these types of workouts day in and day out and it is simply WAY TOO MUCH and not needed for the average person (or the elite, in my opinion). This type of workout however, performed just once a week (or as I'm about to show, once every couple of months) even with its brevity of roughly only 21 minutes will get one in far better shape than trudging along daily on the treadmill, stairmaster, stationary bicycle or their real world equivalents of "free-radical damage producing chronic cardio" for hours on end ever will. Would you rather do an hour of boring, non-results-producing cardio 4-5 days a week, or 20 minutes of brief, variant exercise once or twice every couple of weeks or months with most of your physical activity spent walking and playing? Hmmm. My workout was as follows:

The Tabata Protocol

1.Jump Rope: rotated between double-unders and fast run-in-place forward and backward rope turns.
2. 100 lb. sandbag deadlift, clean and shoulder
3. Heavybag strikes, both punches and kicks with burpees mixed in.
4. 20lb. slamball, (take a basketball filled with sand and duct-taped) and with both hands like throwing a soccer ball in from out-of-bounds, slam it to the ground, catch it and do it over and over and over.
5. Kettlebell swings. (Rotate 50lbs. and 35lbs swings both one-arm and two-arm)
6. Ground heavybag work, (kicks, punches, and elbows)
7. Sledgehammer to the tire swings (both 20lb and 8lb. hammers)
8.20lb. medicine ball throws at the heavy bag. (Throw anyway you can, overhand, one-hand, underhand, twist-throw, HARD AND FAST).

I have not done this workout or this style of workout in approximately two months. While performing this workout yesterday, I noted there was no loss of skill, speed, strength, stamina, coordination, endurance, or overall fitness. Now, I am extremely sore today from head to toe, which shows this workout completely simulates the whole body unlike just jogging a few miles but, it's not meant to be done everyday or even weekly. So far, it appears that the intermittent bouts of high intense intervals of brief, fast, heavy and infrequent training with immense amounts of walking has payed off. I will be competing (for fun) in a Mud Run this Saturday which is a 10K race with boot camp style obstacles mixed in. I am not expecting some great physical performance on my part but rather to see how far my nonchalant and random natural way of movement will take me. It's a test of myself rather than a competition or test against a clock or another person. I advise people to at least try this low volume, low frequency, high intense but brief and random bout form of training. Trust me, it is what your body is craving and you will feel unbelievably powerful and naturally fit. If however, you want to be put through the above sadistic Tabata protocol..., please, give me a call and I will gladly watch you suffer. Just be prepared to call your doctor the next day for some pain pills because you WILL be hurting. Sometimes more is not what is needed. Sometimes, less is more.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Wellness Fundamentals Hierarchy?

Is there such thing as a wellness fundamentals hierarchy? I think so. First, let's define "one" definition of a hierarchy; - a graded or ranked series. So, how does this apply to wellness and healthy living and is there an order or a map that we should follow when pursuing our wellness goals?

So often I hear and see people discuss and do things when trying to get fit and healthy and they are simply just spinning their wheels. The quote "you can't out-exercise a bad diet" surely comes to mind. I know all too many people that fit this mold. They kill themselves with excessive cardio day in and day out and go right back to eating processed and other unfavorable foods that simply don't jive with the human body and the viscous cycle continues. No progress is made as it pertains to strength gains, energy level or general health and wellness. However, this cycle is not just confined to exercise and diet, hence the hierarchy of wellness.

There are four components that I recognize as being vital for true health and wellness while yet seeming so simple, aren't necessarily that easy to dial in. They are diet, stress, sleep and exercise. Keep in mind, there is no real order of importance here as ALL of these are extremely important. If you do stop and think about it for a moment though, the order that I have placed these components in does make sense.

1. Diet - Everything that you put into your mouth has an effect on your body (basically shitty input, shitty output, great input, great output) and effects everything from mood to energy level to performance, etc. etc. If your diet is bad, you're going to have stress, both internally and externally. Your body will be in a state of chronic inflammation (internally) and your ability to handle daily stresses (externally) will be diminished. Food is medicine. When we become ill, we run to the doctor to get a pill. We pop the pill with a glass of water and wait to feel better. Most ailments are caused by a bad diet. Instead of digesting a pill after the fact (a reaction), try eating a healthy diet of real, whole, natural foods before the fact (a prevention and proactive approach) and observe how you simply won't get as sick as frequent, or if at all when simply eating better.

2 Stress - Ah, a biggie, and yet the hardest to control. If your boss is an asshole there's really not much you can do about it. If you're cut off in traffic, can't do much about that either. Bills are piling up and money is tight... yep, here we go again. How we choose to REACT to these situations on the other hand is how we manage stress and, do not be fooled, it is a choice! Stress, whether chronic or acute cause our bodies to release cortisol. Simply put, some cortisol release is good, too much is bad. Most Americans have too much of this stress hormone coursing throughout their circulation which leads back to... you guessed it, chronic inflammation, the root cause of most modern diseases. Figuring out how to manage stress is personal and I don't proclaim to be an expert in dishing out "stress management" advice. What I can suggest is to find what works for you. If it's taking a slow deep breath from time to time, wailing on a heavy bag, meditating, practicing yoga, eating some dark chocolate with a glass of wine, find what calms and relaxes you and makes YOU feel good about being YOU.

3. Sleep - 8 hrs., 7 hrs, 10 hrs., a 20 minute nap, dark room, cold room, hot room, yadda, yadda, yadda. So many recommendations but, who's right? The truth is, with the two categories above, diet and stress dialed in, good sleep will usually come fairly naturally, that is unless you're a public servant as I am and are subject to being awaken multiple times at night to run medical and/or fire calls, then, good sleep (coupled with stress and cortisol management) is tough to come by. I'M DOOMED! People do fool themselves into thinking that they need an Ambien, a night cap, or some sleep study to "fix" their "sleep disorder." 99% of the population most likely does not have a sleep disorder. 99% of the population on the other hand, most likely is not eating or managing stress as they should be and yes, this is what is REALLY affecting sleep. Again, it's up to each individual when, where and how they sleep. I like a bed, in a cold, dark room and I like to get between 7-8 hrs. Some folks can get a good night's rest in a tent out in the wilderness. It really varies. Find where you're most comfortable and relaxed and dream away.

4. Exercise
- Last? You've gotta be kidding me! I thought this was a health and fitness blog! Again, no real order of importance here but, too much emphasis is placed on exercise and most people are overdoing it and underdoing the three above. Exercise is vital but it doesn't have to be regimented, routine or regulated (hey, 3 R's, maybe I'm onto something here!) Rather, think in terms of movement. JUST MOVE! When I hear people say, "I hate walking," or "I don't have time to walk," I say to myself, "then what the hell are you..., a human being or a slug?" We are meant to walk, run, jump, lift, carry, throw, etc. We are bipedal, that's what makes us human and there is no better or more natural activity than simply taking a walk. Walking actually reduces inflammation, whereas intense exercise enhances inflammation. Which do you think we should be doing more of? Walking is obviously something that can be done daily, multiple times a day at our convenience. Intense exercise on the other hand, for some people can be done daily, multiple times a day as well, the problem is, even the elitist of the elite will eventually burn out with too much exercise. And, with too much exercise, in any form whether it be frequency, volume or intensity, I'll say it again, CORTISOL RELEASE, hence chronic inflammation, hence poor sleep, hence higher levels of stress, hence chronically depleted glycogen stores, hence craving crappy food and a bad diet. See how we just went back up the ladder of this hierarchy? VISCOUS CYCLE! My advice and what I truly know works is to take it easy and be smart about how you move. Do activities you enjoy as often as you can. Get up and move frequently if you're confined to a 9-5 desk job as most of us are. You can get burned out with too much exercise but you cannot get burned out with a nice and slow daily therapeutic walk. So, walk often, do something intense once or twice a week and play and engage in activities or sports as often as your schedule allows. Play is good not only for the body, but for the mind and soul as well.

There you have it, my hierarchy of the wellness fundamentals as I see it. Though I know it can be difficult, and I consider it both an art and science; learning how to effectively manage your diet, stress levels, sleeping habits and exercise truly can lead to an overall healthy and more active lifestyle that will benefit us all in ways that for now, we can only imagine.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

I'm 30 today!


Yep, today's my 30th birthday! I basically did everything that I wanted to do today. Could I have done more..., better? Probably, but, I did with what I have, the time that I was given and the circumstances that revolve around me at my current place in life and made the best of it.

0600 - woke up to my dog prancing around on the bed "begging" to be taken outside to pis and shit.

0649 - realized that just 3 minutes prior (0646) is the time when I was actually born. Oh well, missed the exact time.

0630 - prepared some amazing french press coffee with high fat heavy whipping cream and sugar and drank up for the next two hours as I "half studied, half surfed the net."

0830 - took the dog for an hour walk.

0930 to 1100 - worked out; sprints, one arm push-ups, one-pull-ups, handstands, threw some kettlebells, handstands, planches, levers; basically exercised like a kid for about half an hour and then walked again (without the dog) for about an hour and FINALLY got some SUN! VITAMIN-FUCKIN-D!

1130-1200 Cleaned up my car and got it ready to sell.

1300-1500 Went to Anatomy and Physiology II class and got the opportunity to go on a rant about vegetarianism. "Soy sucks!"

The rest of the day was mine. I met up with my wife at Whole Foods and bought grass fed meat, raw milk cheese and set up my birthday night for eating some good-ass food. Grass-fed Ribeye steak (about 14oz.) with mushrooms, onions, garlic, white wine and balsamic vinegar smothering it, Goat Gouda cheese, and yes, A WHOLE DAMN BOTTLE OF Cappola Zinfandel as I listened to Sade and Andrea Bocelli by the fire; no, I'm not kidding. What a great 30th birthday!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Everything... for a time, is a trend, even wellness

Wellness, in all its forms, comes and goes in trendy waves. Fad diets, fad workouts, fad looks, etc. just keep rollin' in until the next thing that "looks good" comes along and people once again jump on the bandwagon, ditch their old program (that they probably weren't making gains on anyway) and become part of the trend. I'm not going to mention specific programs, people, DVDs or diets that have come out recently but, I'm quite certain that it's safe to say that what ALL of these new "wellness" trends have in common is that they're simply that; another trend that's appealing for the moment but won't last forever. I myself, am an advocate of a paleolithic way of eating. A trend? Absolutely! But, I said I'm an advocate, not necessarily a follower. In real basic terms here, the paleolithic diet is simply eating the way people (or cavemen, also known as the caveman diet) used to eat during the Paleolithic era. As far as the basics or foundation of the diet are concerned, there really is no room for argument. The diet calls for consuming mostly fruits and vegetables, meats (both lean and fat), nuts, seeds, and berries. I think we all can agree that we (Americans and the rest of Western Civilization) need to consume more fruits and vegetables as opposed to refined carbohydrates and the various other loads of processed "food-like substances" that we consume on a daily basis. I won't go in to detail about the consumption of meat (high fat vs lean) or dairy and grains and such. There's too much controversy in that arena and it would take way too long for me to explain thoroughly. Perhaps for another day.

Along with the paleo way of eating has come a paleo way of moving; a sort of "caveman style of fitness" if you will. Again, personally, I think it's great and yes I'm an advocate. The problem with the mentality of most of the people that embark on these trendy new styles of eating and/or moving is that they eventually begin to "commercialize or institutionalize" these new concepts and in a sense, take away from the original idea of the concept. Mark Sisson of discusses in his book, The Primal Blueprint, that people should lift heavy once a week and sprint once in a while and I wholeheartedly agree. Well, it's only a matter of time before these trendy folks are back in the gym (a commercial institution) lifting for a prescribed amount of sets and reps or are trying to get their "sprint on" on the treadmill or an exercise bike. But hey, we live in modern times and this is modern stuff here! But... what I find so comical is that after all of these years of all of these American/Western civilization trends that have come and gone, whether it be fad diets or fad workouts, outside exercise or "globo-gym" exercise, Americans throw all their hard earned money away looking for the answers to wellness and longevity ye are still fatter, more disease-ridden and in overall poorer health than most other nations in the world. I've read numerous books, articles, studies, research papers, etc., etc,. on said subject matter and with all of the information out there it still amazes me that we still cannot get it right.

One book I've read that did strike a cord with me, though not immediately, was the Blue Zones by Dan Buettner. In short, this book was about wellness fundamentals but not in the sense that you're probably thinking. The author goes into great detail about five nations or regions where people (on average) live very long, productive lives. Notice the word PRODUCTIVE. The people he describes (and interviews) are mainly centenarians, living greater than 100 years. All of the people that are interviewed in the book are extremely active and energetic unlike most senior citizens in the Western world which when they retire at the age of 60 (give or take a few years), it's not too long after that they develop various diseases, cancers or a host of other medical problems and eventually check into a nursing home getting around mostly with the use of a wheelchair or at best with the use of a cane or walker. This is a sad truth. But why is it the truth? Again, you would think that with all of this advanced technology and all of these guidelines set forth by all the experts and so-called gurus in our country we'd be extremely healthy and fit and living well into a ripe old age with the vitality of the people that I described above. For us, this is simply not so.

So what, you ask is the answer? I don't know, I'm only 30 years of age and my wisdom and experience with longevity is obviously limited as I only know what has worked for me and what hasn't over the past 20 or so years I've been involved in athletics and fitness. Read the book if you think that will help. But, as I mentioned above, eating things like fruits and vegetables (MORE OF THEM) should really be a no-brainer by now. Did these people of such longevity eat copious amounts of fruits and vegetables? You bet. Did they deadlift and squat and lift weights all day long or for hours a day and then do cardio immediately following? I think not. This is a Western idea. The four attributes that I took from the book and with the advanced research that I've done on my own that I found these different people from these completely different backgrounds have in common is that 1) they ate real, whole, unprocessed foods, 2) they were simply active, but very active, lots of walking, gardening, just moving around and not being sedentary, 3) they were close with their families and, 4) they had a great deal of faith... in something.

I could continue to write on this subject matter for days on end but obviously won't. Implementing the fundamentals of wellness doesn't and shouldn't have to be hard. Eat good, healthy real food and not crap; YOU KNOW WHAT CRAP FOOD IS!, be active; play sports you enjoy, walk your dog, play with your children, DO SOMETHING EVERYDAY TO MAKE YOURSELF MOVE!; hang out with your family, talk to your kids, cook dinner with your spouse, call your parents, yada, yada, yada, and finally, believe in something bigger and more important than yourself. Hey, whether you believe in religion, evolution or whatever, just realize that there was something out there that created you and caused you to be here, so be thankful and have faith. Implementing such lifestyle changes or, as I like to call them, wellness fundamentals, will reduce stress, make you a happier person and lead to a life full of vigor and longevity.

Monday, February 1, 2010

What are wellness fundamentals

Wellness fundamentals are exactly that, the fundamentals of wellness. It's my personal philosophy of getting back to the fundamentals of what works when trying to lead a healthy lifestyle. In our Westernized culture, we are barraged with advertisements from a variety of media outlets, this person's suggestion, that person's suggestion, etc., etc., on how we should venture on our wellness journey. "Eat this amazing food today but wait, don’t eat that same amazing food tomorrow! Do this one exercise today because it is hands down the best exercise you can do for yourself. Don't do this exercise ever again because you'll only get hurt!" Where do we begin? Who do we believe? As you can see, this can become quite overwhelming especially to the average Joe with limited knowledge when it comes to the fundamentals of wellness. Is there only ONE right way? Of course there isn’t. There are multiple paths to success in any endeavor in life; wellness is no different. The difficulty for most of us is tuning out all of the nonsense and choosing the path that fits us best. Ask yourself a few questions. What are my immediate and long-term goals? What kind of time do I have? Is this something I can do for a lifetime? Be realistic but be persistent and consistent about what you can handle. Allow yourself to slip up (I hate the word fail) from time to time and don't feel guilty it. Ok, so you had a little bit too much dessert or you missed a workout. Big deal. Tomorrow is another day and you can get back on track with your wellness goals then. We’re all human.

When it comes to wellness fundamentals as it relates to fitness, I always tell people to stick to the basics. Why? Because the basics always work and they are the foundation on which you will build and continue your wellness journey. At this point, you’re probably be asking, what are the basics? Well, I can certainly tell you what they are not; they’re not some trendy “wall handstand” with one hand on a medicine ball and the other on a wobble board or whatever other funky movement or contraption the latest health and fitness magazine would have us believe is the “exercise of choice” these days. Those types of exercises are totally bogus, do not work and are only there to get you to buy the magazine, program or product. Nonsense like that can also get you really hurt. People simply can’t sell the basics anymore. I'm going to go REAL basic here with you. You cannot get any simpler or basic than with bodyweight exercise. It is my philosophy that one can and should be able to get in tremendous shape by simply working with what you've got (your own body), where you're at. Not everybody has access to a gym or even money for a gym membership. Not to worry, as this is simply not needed. Some of the most beautiful bodies (both male and female) have been built from a routine consisting of a bodyweight routine only. Remember people, wellness fundamentals! What are the fundamentals? The basics. Squats, lunges, pushups, dips, pull-ups, and sure, sit-ups if you’re so inclined. These exercises (or movements) constitute the fundamental movements (the basics) one could do at home, without any equipment, no access to a gym, require minimal time and allow you completely work your whole body from head to toe. Even if you possessed all the riches in the world, had a personal trainer, a great deal of time and access to the most state-of-the-art gym, simple bodyweight exercise performed a couple of times a week will get you further than most. Any famous celebrities come to mind with access to all of these things yet still has not made any progress? A popular female T.V. show talk host perhaps? Those things are simply not needed. The “desire and want” to live a healthy lifestyle come from within, not from having access to money, people, a great deal of time or fancy gym equipment. In a future article I will lay out some workout routines that anybody can follow and can be done in as little or as much time as you choose. I will also discuss how the fundamentals have and always will outlast the latest exercise trend or gadget when it comes it to health and fitness. For now, perform the above exercises a few times throughout your day whenever you have a few minutes. For those of you that are stay-at-home moms or dads, this is relatively easy to do. For those of you that work the 9 to 5, be sure to take frequent breaks, perform the exercises that you can to get the blood flowing and then get back to work. It makes a profound difference and breaks up the redundancy throughout your day. Also, walk a lot. As humans, walking (bi-pedal movement) is our most natural form of moving and getting from point A to point B. If you don’t have time or make time to walk, then make time for a lifetime of nagging aches and pains, chronic fatigue and chronic illnesses. It doesn’t have to be much, 30 minutes a day most days of the week and outside (fresh air is key to wellness) will suffice.

With all this talk about wellness fundamentals, you’re probably asking, “What about diet and nutrition? You’ve provided the fundamentals for exercise but what about the fundamentals of diet?” Let’s start by realizing that when it comes to diet and exercise one is not any more important than the other. They are both equally important and are crucial in shaping your wellness fundamentals goals. Let us follow that up by throwing out the word “diet.” Whenever most people hear the word “diet” they naturally start thinking of a calorie restricted, bland food tasting, limited choice of foods eating plan that is 99% not sustainable for the long haul. The term “diet” can mean anything from a diet of pizza and beer to a diet of celery and water. While the first one sounds great, those particular “diets” and diets in general are not fun and not realistic! Unfortunately, what we’re led to believe is good for us by conventional wisdom (like exercise) as it pertains to food, is not entirely accurate. In a future article, I will go more in depth about the FDA, the USDA and their Food Guide Pyramid and other organizations that have been leading Americans down the wrong path for years. For now, let’s focus on the fundamentals when it comes to eating. I think we all can agree that we need to consume more fruits and vegetables throughout our day. I’m quite certain, that I’ve never heard anyone say “Wow, I really ate too many Brussels sprouts and lettuce today. I need to cut back!” Nope, never heard that one before. The truth is that most Americans do not eat enough of the green stuff. The USDA Food Guide Pyramid has its base (the foundation of what they believe we should be eating the most of) as grains, i.e., bread, rice, pasta, cereals, etc. (Oops, I said I was going to leave this stuff for a future article.) To put it bluntly and simply, this is wrong. Instead, we should be focusing on whole, natural foods such as fruits, vegetables, meats (of all varieties), nuts, seeds and berries. “But I thought grains are natural… and good for me.” Not so fast, and not entirely true. Again, for a later article. For now, focus on buying and eating fresh fruits and vegetables of all varieties and slowly implement them into your meals. Choose good quality, lean cuts of meats (though fatty cuts and saturated fats aren’t as bad as you think either) as the main portion of your meals. As with the exercise routines that I plan to lay out in the future, I will also do so with meal planning, providing ideas for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks. For now, remember to choose fresh produce, good quality meats, and a vast array of nuts and seeds to help keep you satisfied and to provide satiety throughout the day.

One of the most difficult things to do in life is to find the right balance in all that we take on in our daily lives. By balance I mean managing our career, family, friends, play, exercise regimen, and sound a diet to name but a few. I created this blog one night after a long day of work, school, dinner with my wife’s family and some associated family issues, and realized just how daunting it can be for people to take on the many challenges that our fast-paced modern life hurls our way on a daily basis. My passion has always lied in the fields of that of health and fitness or (wellness), and has taken me on a quest and led to years of research, self trial and error and constant revision and fine-tuning of what I believe works and what I believe doesn’t. I have engaged in athletics and overall health and fitness for many years and have spent time at extreme ends of the spectrum as it pertains to being fit and healthy. I have been at the peak of competition, been superbly well conditioned and yet have also been injured, completely off my game and have suffered many overuse injuries from long, repetitive and grueling workouts without a purpose and bad advice from so called fitness experts or gurus. People are continually mislead as to what it truly means to be fit and healthy and as a result, travel down the wrong road and end up in worse shape than before when they began their search for a healthier lifestyle. Being happy, healthy and fit does not and should not have to be difficult. It is my utmost desire and passion to help and spread the word to the everyday person who works hard day in and day out in all aspects of his or her life and struggles to find the time or right balance when it comes to implementing what I like to call the wellness fundamentals.

About me:
My name is Steven and I am a professional firefighter and paramedic in Saint Augustine, Fl. My passion is helping people. After realizing that I can only do so much in “field medicine” when it comes to educating people about leading a healthier lifestyle, I decided to create this blog to put my thoughts, words and sometimes unheard advice in print (or cyberspace) for people to follow and hopefully implement into their lives. I am also a full time student of nutrition and exercise physiology.
As stated above, my passion is health, fitness and helping others. I have competed in a variety of sports, possess a Crossfit Level 1 certification and have been a personal trainer to various members of the fire department and friends alike. I believe such experiences have aided in me in continuing to lead a healthy lifestyle for myself and to project a healthy lifestyle unto others.
I thoroughly enjoy researching and reading other health and fitness enthusiasts’ blogs and websites. Of great inspiration to me, and two people that I admire and try to model my health and fitness ideologies after are Mark Sisson of and Professor Arthur De Vany of Both of these individuals are not only well-versed and experienced in elite competitive performance and general health and fitness but are also mere geniuses with their immense knowledge of evolutionary biology and steadfast challenge of the so-called “Conventional Wisdom.”

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Busy day, big party

Saturday 1/30/10

Rainy day, spent all day with the wife cleaning the house and preparing the food for her father's birthday. We had close to 30 people over and both the company and the food were great. My wife's an excellent cook and host and everything went well. Good times!

Walked the dog for two hours later in the afternoon after the rain subsided.

Sunday 1/31/10

Woke up at 0500 and walked Yogi for 2 hours.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

A ceremony, amazing words, and a good workout

Friday 1/29/10

... not necessarily in that order. We got up a couple of times last night again for calls, one at 0100 and one about 0330. These constant late night calls are going to be the death of me, I swear. Regardless, woke up at 0645, drank some coffee, turned over the keys to the truck and went and had a good workout.

Workout: One-arm/one leg dumbbell deadlifts: 1x5 at 80lbs., 1x5 at 90lbs., 1x5 at 95lbs., 1x5 at 100lbs., 1x5 at 110lbs.
Upon completion of a set of these (for both arms and both legs) I would "plank" for around a minute and then move on to superset with:
Dumbbell shoulder presses: 1x5 at 40lbs., 1x5 at 50lbs., 1x5 at 60lbs. 1x3 at 65lbs. 1x2 at 70lbs. (last set was a push-press/jerk) I would also plank again after this before going back to the deadlifts.
One-arm dumbbell snatches: 1x5 at 60lbs., 1x3 at 75lbs. 1x1 at 80lbs. (failed with left arm at 80lbs.)
I also intermittently played around with handstands; in all the workout took a little over 30 minutes. It was brief, intense, and fairly random as I have not had a structured workout in a while and had no clue what I was going to do when I walked in the county gym this morning. I just turned up the heat and went to it. Good sweat, good workout, good stuff. I went home and walked the dog afterward for about an hour.

Later in the day I attended an award ceremony for my fire/rescue department. The ceremony recognized the firefighter of the year and paramedic of the year (I was nominated for paramedic but, the individual who received the award was more than deserving), and unit accommodations for those who performed "above and beyond" on various calls. Great ceremony. Afterward..., what do a bunch of fireman do naturally after getting together for some kind of function? You guessed it, we hit the tavern! Drank some good beer (actually only two for me, mostly wine) and ate some good food and had some good conversation. My most stimulating conversation came from the fire chief..., THE fire chief. Working for a small department certainly has its advantages when it comes to being able to talk openly with the highest person in our chain of command. I cannot really express in words the passion that this man has for helping people, (first) whether they be members of his family, members of the department, or patients, and (second) his passion for building and growing our fire/rescue department. He has done an amazing job with all aspects and certainly has not received enough credit over the years. After speaking with him for damn near 2 hours, I admire and respect him even more now. Earlier this week I posted about how I was in a rut, lasting a little longer than usual, and how everyone is entitled to be in a rut every now and then. I think my chief definitely battles with "ruts" more often than I do and probably to a much greater degree. He has a lot more responsibility than I. Still though, a man of his experience (30+ years in EMS) and expertise, I found asking me for advice, giving me advice, and giving me accolades. I was honored and humbled all at once. I was sure to let him know my thoughts, beliefs, my intentions and what I though of him, as a person and a chief. Again, not many people (firefighters/medics, maybe even corporate office workers) ever get the opportunity to have such an in depth conversation with the head of upper level management. I was/am fortunate. Though I am only a firefighter/paramedic (lower ranks) and not an officer, I let him know that he may not value my opinion as strongly as if I were but, regardless, I think he needed to know that he's doing a great job and is well appreciated. He let me know my opinion was more than worth it. He gave out a tremendous amount of advice to me, more than I can write here today on this one page. The one thing that stuck however, that I know I need to be doing is having faith and believing in God. He told me that if I learned nothing else from him, that the one thing I should take would be to "devote one hour a week to God." He said that this is the ONLY reason why he has been able to continue to be chief and deal with not only the aspects of the profession, but of his whole life. I took this to heart because again, sometimes I feel an emptiness that simply cannot be filled by anything or anybody else and know deep down, what I'm missing. Why I continue to not acknowledge it and push it away, I don't know (or maybe I do now), but this is something that I will certainly implement into my life. Last night was a great night and much needed for me as I don't do it often anymore. I came home a little before 1100 p.m. thinking that my wife was going to be pissed..., she wasn't, quite the opposite actually. She's an amazing person, much like the chief and my fellow co-workers who were all recognized tonight for a job more than well done.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Fire station work and diabetes

Thursday 1/28/10

At work at the fire station today. No walking the dog and no workout (attempted a workout with the guys but we caught a call). Today for training we watched a powerpoint/video on pediatric diabetes and as often does, the subject of diet and exercise vs. genetics came up. Now, through all of my years of self experimentation (n=1), and trial and error coupled with reading many of my favorite blogs and/or books about the effects of various diets and activity (or lack thereof) on such diseases as diabetes and others, I'd like to consider myself "somewhat" versed (by no means an expert) on such subject matter. So, the questions (and conventional wisdom) statements came and I responded, armed better than they with some of their claims which came from..., where else, yep, our friend conventional wisdom. Today however, I actually received accusations and question about where I get my information and what makes what I believe and me so knowledgeable. "I simply take what I learn and apply it. After a period of time it either works or doesn't." Does it get any simpler than that? I often quote names, books, blogs, etc. and then always try to end with a question of my own, simply asking, "Is what you are doing working or has it ever worked?" One only need to reflect on one's life, then struggle to simply get out of the recliner to go take a look in the mirror to find their answer. I am not a doctor and do not proclaim to know what is best for each individual's specific condition but I believe and continue to believe that if one is willing to self educate and then apply those self-taught principles to oneself, they may start to have the answers their looking for. I read the works of Arthur De Vany, Mark Sisson and have read Loren Cordain's "The Paleo Diet," Gary Taubes's "Good Calories, Bad Calories, and the list goes on. The fact is that I can read all the material I want but not apply any of it and hence learn nothing. I have applied all of it at least one time or another and have kept what works for me and thrown out what hasn't. Notice I said for me, people are different (though recent research shows that 99.9% of share the same DNA, but that's for another discussion). The very people that I sometimes try to educate on the matter have never tried such things or made an attempt to make such changes in their lives or have chosen the wrong route all together and have fallen short... way short. This brings me back to the subject of diabetes. It is a disease that is becoming worse and worse and is only compounded by the problems of misleading information by conventional wisdom who use the media as their outlet, doctors who still are not properly schooled in diet and nutrition and the people not taking it upon themselves to self educate and hence continuing to choose low quality and the wrong foods and live sedentary lifestyles. I'm here to do my part to teach, show and demonstrate how people can take back control of their lives and stave off the major diseases that dominate our Western civilization by making strong, solid and sound choices when it comes to nutrition and activity. I love to talk and listen, especially to those who are open to learning how to lead a healthier lifestyle and live a long life without having to battle any disease.