Monday, July 27, 2009


First watch this video of MMA athlete, BJ Penn "doing abs".....

I can not believe a top notch athlete like BJ Penn does not hire a trainer that knows about correct training. This exercise shown is RIDICULOUS! Do not every perform this movement (unless you want serious back pain).

It brings up some great points so we can at least learn from something so erratic like this....

  1. If you want to work your "abs" learn exercises to keep your lower spine stable and stiff (planks and side planks are great!). If you want to see your abs, change your diet (eat lots of fruits and vegetables, lean proteins at every meal, good quality fats and drink water all day). If you want more power in your core, buy a medicine ball and perform slams. Remember the "core" of your body is from your thighs all the way up to your rib cage and everything in between. Crunches are a waist of time (NO pun intended). Excessive rotation movements like the one in the video is a remedy for low back pain. Be smart and efficient with your training.
  2. BJ Penn is a great MMA fighter. He is good at what he does because he was born with a top notch skill. BJ Penn can do pilates and yoga all day and he will still be a great fighter. Imagine what he could do if he had a good program design. Look at George St. Pierre. This guy is a specimen. He was born with a talent and trains the correct way (trainer is Jon Chaimberg). He is the most explosive MMA fighter, pound for pound. Same thing with a Terrel Owens or a Reggie Bush. They are who they are because they were born with unbelievable athletic skills. They could be on any training program and still be great at their sport. Do not expect to look like Terrel Owens by just pushing some bands around (this is what he is shown doing when training). Most "regular" people need a structured program design to get in great athletic conditioned. Being random with your workouts is not the recipe for results. You need proper progression and structure so you can continue your improvement. Here is what we do at CFA:
  • Foam Roll/Soft Tissue Work - 8 minutes
  • Active Stretch/Activation/Dynamic warm-up - 12 minutes
  • Power/core/shoulder pre-hab - 10 minutes
  • Strength Tri-Sets or quad sets - 15 minutes
  • Interval Conditioning - 10 minutes
  • Cool down stretch - 5 minutes

Total: 60 minutes

3. Lastly, do not go to youtube to learn how to train. Yes, I have videos on youtube that can teach you some proper ways to train. But there are so many other training videos on their that are B.S.. If you want to learn how to train the right way, check out these websites:,, (yes that is mine), (Dewey Nielsen's blog), and

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

CFA Newsletter

California Fitness Academy’s
Email Newsletter

Do you really want results? Do you really want to get in the best shape of your life? Do you really want to reach your peak performance? Do you want more energy? Do you want to be healthy and full of vitality? If you answered yes to these questions, then what are you willing to do to reach your goals? It is easy to make big statements and confess what you want. But the big question is, “what are you willing to sacrifice and do to accomplish your goals?” It is not easy to get to the next level. It takes discipline, a strong work ethic, determination, passion, and drive. You have to be disciplined to eat the correct foods and get your workouts in. You have to be willing to work hard so you can get to the next level. You must be determined so you can continue striving forward. You need a passion and a love to better yourself and always self improve. And you must have a consistent drive to move forward in a positive manner. Learn from your mistakes. When you cross a speed bump, what will you do to get over that hump? Life is what you make it. You can either lie down and be average or you can continually strive to be your best. Success will not just knock on your door. You will need to go out and make it happen and work your butt off. Write your goals down on paper and then show them to somebody so you can be held accountable. It is your choice to make it a great day!

Workout of the Day:

Dynamic Warm-up
-Birdog x 8/side
-Leg swings x 8/leg
-Deep Squat/Hamstring stretch x 4
-Lunge/Elbow to instep x 4/side
-Knee raise pulls x 5/side
-Straight leg kicks x 10/leg
-2 x 10 jumping jacks
-2 x lateral shuffles x 10 yards
-2 x tempo runs x 10 yards

Strength Work
1A: Split Squat x 8/leg
1B: Perfect Push-up x technical failure
1C: Front Plank Hold x 20 seconds
*Complete these exercises one after the other, rest 60 seconds after each set and repeat 3 times

2A: Stability ball leg curls x 8
2B: Inverted Rows x technical failure
2C: Side Plank holds x 20 seconds/side
*Complete these exercises one after the other, rest 60 seconds after each set and repeat 3 times

Interval Conditioning
10 sets of 20 seconds hard/40 seconds easy
*pick a pace that you are physically capable of performing (fast walk, jog, or sprint)

Sample Meal Day for Fat Loss

Meal One
3 egg whites, 1 whole egg3 slices of turkey breast meat½ red bell pepper and handful of mushrooms

Meal Two
Protein Shake (make this a low carb shake)
1 piece of fruit

Meal Three
4-8oz lean protein (e.g. chicken, turkey )1 large green salad with 1-2 servings green vegetables

Meal Four
½ cup of cottage cheese
1 piece of fruit

Meal Five
4-8oz protein (e.g. lean red meat, fish, or chicken)2 servings vegetables

Meal Six
Protein shake ( make this a low carb shake)

*Healthy eating is how you will reach ultimate fitness goals
*You must eat clean in order to change physically
*Alcohol must be limited if you want to change your body composition
*You need good lean protein sources at every meal
*A multivitamin, vitamin C and fish oil should be taken daily to enhance your nutrient intake

California Fitness Academy specializes in:

· Private Group Training
· Fat Loss Conditioning
· Sports Specific Training
· Healthy Nutrition Education

If you need some guidance in starting a fitness program or need a push to get out of your plateau, come try one of our fitness classes for free. You will be on your way to getting in the BEST SHAPE OF YOUR LIFE!!

“If you think you can or think you can’t… are going to be right.”

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Fitness for the "Masters Athlete"

Yesterday I spoke to the Visalia Rotary club. My topic was fitness for the masters athlete. Here is an outline of what I discussed:

Daily Training Concepts:
-Joint Mobility/Muscle Flexibility/Posture - #1
-Core Stability (NO CRUNCHES!)
-Power and explosiveness
-Functional strength training
-Specific Conditioning
-Soft Tissue/recovery techniques
-Nutritional Strategies

Mobility/Flexibility/Posture - VERY IMPORTANT

-Re-establish proper range of motion
-Daily corrective exercises that will enhance mobility, flexibility and posture
-“One day of mobility work for every decade you have been alive” Mike Robertson, Robertson Training Systems
-This portion can take as little as 10 minutes a day; put in the time to feel better!

Core Stability/Strength
-“Build stability and stiffness in the lower spine; stay away from flexion, extension, and rotation at the lower spine”
Dr. Stuart McGill, Low Back Specialist
-Assist in creating good postural habits
-“But I have back pain…”
Your back is strong, your hips are weak, causing compensation which leads to back pain

Power Training
-“Masters athletes lose power at roughly twice the rate as they lose strength”
Mike Boyle, S & C coach at Boston University
-Muscle power decreases by 3.5%/year after 35 if we do nothing about it
-Types of power training include: med. balls, controlled jumping, sprint work, etc.

Functional Strength Training
-There is a 10% decline in muscle mass between 25-50; 45% decline by age 80 (7 lbs. of muscle/decade)
-Your strength will go fast if you do nothing about it; must continue to work on strength to maintain and even increase

-No Long Slow Distance “cardio” training (unless your goal is to complete an endurance event)
-Perform Specific Intervals (bodyweight circuits, run sprints, bike sprints, tempo running)
-Know the volume and intensity you need to be at (individualized for each person)
-Be efficient and work hard

Recovery Techniques

-As you “progress” through life, it takes your body longer to recover; no longer in your 20’s anymore; be smart with your training
-Are you eating the right foods and drinking plenty of water?
-Are you getting enough sleep?
-Limit your alcohol intake. Especially on workout nights.
-Do you train everyday? If yes, make sure you are not overdoing it.
-Are you working on mobility/flexibility consistently?
-Overtraining leads to injury and lack of motivation and “My body hurts”
-Buy a foam roll and use it daily; it will become your best friend

Putting it all Together
-Fitness is mandatory; It will increase your longevity, your vitality and your energy
-Mobility/Flexibility is #1 priority – “Let’s start waking up feeling great…not in pain.”
-Make it a lifestyle….healthy living is a life long journey one day at a time
-Eat healthy 85% of the time

Past writings