Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Making 2011 Great - Decide Now

Making 2011 Great – Decide Now

It is time to put together a plan for 2011. How many workouts do you want to complete? Do you want a personal best in a specific event? Do you want to eat healthier foods? How much money do you want to save? How committed will you be? Right now is the time to set your goals and create a road map to a successful and big year. We are in control of our future and it is up to us to create our own luck. If you want a year that is full of life, positivity, achievement and personal development then preparation now will guide you to accomplishing these goals. Here are five very important strategies for you to use to make 2011 your best year!

1. Right now (and do not wait till after the New Year), you need to sit down and write down everything you want to do and achieve in 2011. Get a notebook and jot down your goals, your workout goals, your professional goals, your family goals and any other ideas and thoughts that are in your head. Once you write them down, type them and print them out. Highlight your goals and place it in a location where you are going to look at it everyday. And everyday look at them and make sure you are staying on track to conquering the goals set. If what you are doing is not taking you closer to your goals then it needs to be cut out. Remember, you can do so much and having direction will make it more realistic.
2. Your health is the foundation of your life. Your energy, your family, your work and your personal development all depend on how healthy and vibrant you are. When you are active and conscious of your fitness and conditioning levels you will take full advantage of every thing around you. So be realistic with yourself, how many workouts can you get in 365 days? If you workout 4 times a week that is 208 workouts. Can you do that? Write down your number on a calendar and every time you complete a workout change the number. Stay on track, not just after the New Year but the entire 2011!
3. Have the mindset to make small daily changes. Too many times we want the fast remedy, the quick gimmick, the “less work is better” method but it doesn’t usually work this way. To get results, whether it be increases in fitness and performance or a financial goal you must have a long term strategy and mindset to see big time results. Tell yourself that you want to improve 1% every day for the entire year. Think about that….365% better at the end of 2011, not bad.
4. Drink more water and get consistent sleep. A simple strategy that too many of us take for granted. Being hydrated aides in every bodily function and gives us energy and stamina to take on each day. Drink at least 72 ounces every day. Getting sleep will rejuvenate and regenerate the body and mind after long days. Try your best to get 6-8 hours of sleep every night.
5. When you stray away from a goal that was set all it takes is getting back on track. Just because you skip a workout or eat a bad food or spend more money than you should of, don’t lose focus. Don’t use the excuse of, “Aghh, I blew it, it’s over.” Each day is a brand new day to start over and continue back on the path to accomplishing your goals. Do not let a bad day, a missed workout, or a negative person crush your goals. Stay on track!

Let’s make 2011 an unbelievable year. Our community must think this way in order for things to turn around so come together, be positive, be healthy, and help each other out. I want to wish everyone a Happy New Year!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

15 Random Thoughts

1. John Wooden's book is amazing. I was able to get through most of it in a 3 day weekend at my in-laws. The concepts he talks about are valuable life lessons that should be practiced every day. This book should be read at least once a year to be reminded of the important lessons.

2. Thom Plummer kicked butt in Newport Beach. For those fitness professionals that attended, we grew our arsenal to better our business. I have seen many fitness pros get stagnate with their business. They do the same training, the same marketing, have the same business plan year in and year out. And that is why they lose business. We must stay cutting edge and on top of the industry to keep the customer satisfied and motivated to train and get better.

3. 51 weeks till Ironman Arizona. This will be a life changing event. Reading John Wooden's book stamped the idea that the journey is the fun part. I will enjoy and live in the moment of each mile I log, each training session I complete and each lap that I swim. Showing up to the race will be a big achievement and completing the race will be icing on the cake.

4. Speaking of weeks, we have 11 weeks till our first born child will be born. Talk about amazing, nervous, excited, ready, life changing, stressful, and AWESOME! It is crazy to think about the child that Stephanie and I produced will be here shortly. I will raise that kid to the best of my ability and teach him or her many valuable life lessons.

5. Working out should be fun. Too many people get caught up doing the same routine over and over and over again. This leads to stagnation, plateau, boredome and lack of motivation. As humans we need variety in our life. So learn to switch up your workout routine every 2-3 weeks. You can change the exercises, the sets and repetitions, planes of motion, the weights, use different tools (like kettlebells, Jungle Gym straps, medicine balls, etc) and the order in which you perform the exercises. Just make sure to have an upper body press (push-ups, bench press) and pull move (inverted rows, DB rows), a hip dominant (bench hip lifts, single leg deadlifts), a knee dominant (1-leg squats, lunges) and core stability work (planks, landmines). Keep your workouts fun and fresh and keep pushing.

6. I am pretty annoyed with how professional football players can not just make a play and hand the referee the ball without show boating or dancing around. It's your job to make plays so you should act like you have done it before.

7. What was the last book you read? Knowledge is power. The more you read the more powerful you become. Just like our bodies need training, our minds need to be conditioned as well. Books are our minds "treadmills". Let's get on it and "run" for miles!

8. What are you doing every day to better yourself? Self-improvement can be worked on daily. There are some things we can not change. But we can change ourselves. As Todd Durkin would say, improve 1% every day and expect big improvements over the long haul. Ask yourself the questions every day, "what can I do to better myself?"

9. Write down your goals. As 2010 is winding down we must begin thinking of how we want 2011 to go. We have to look back at this year and assess our strengths and weaknesses. Where can we get better? What can we continue to improve upon? What can we realistically achieve in 2011? You should have your 1-year goals written (preferrably typed out) before the New Year. What do you want? Goal setting is the map that will lead you to success.

10. "Can you say you are giving 100% every day? If not you are wasting days." Thom Plummer challenged us to become better and give it our all each day. Never let a day go by where you only give 80% because then you are not doing all that you can do to reach the next level. I feel the minute I start resting, someone else is out there going strong and passing me so my rest days are few and taken when needed. We have the choice to have the mindset to reach ulitimate levels. Remember if you aren't moving forward, you start moving the wrong way. There is no "staying the same".

11. Your character represents who you are, the way you dress, the way you act, the way you talk, what you do when no one is around, what you listen to, what you watch, the people you hang out with and the way you treat others. Start improving your character and everything else will go in the right direction.

12. My favorite foods: red and green bell peppers, grilled chicken, bananas, eggs, natural peanut butter, cliff bars, broccoli, strawberries, blueberries, grilled mushrooms, and can't forget chocolate milk (after workouts of course). Remember, you are what you eat. If you want high level performance you must eat high level foods.

13. Talk is cheap. Too many people talk too much and do not produce action. Actions speak much louder. So if you say something, please back it up with action and follow through.

14. Try these warm-up drills before your next workout: perfect jumping jacks, walking lunges, sumo squats, pogos, skipping, lateral shuffles, careoka, inchworms, push-ups and short hard runs. This will get your entire nervous system ready and fired for a great workout!

15. Books that should be read every year: "How to Win Friends and Influence People" Dale Carnegie, "A Lifetime of Observations and Reflections On and Off the Court" by John Wooden, and "Goals" by Brian Tracy

EXTRA: Go for Greatness. Do not settle for what "everyone else is doing". Be unique, be true to yourself and strive to be high level. Without challenges, Life would be boring. SO when a challenge enters your life, take it head on and do everything you need to do to conquer that challenge. Make it a great week!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Is Your Fitness Program Balanced

Is Your Fitness Program Balanced
Part 1

When you go to the gym, how do you choose what exercises to perform? Most people do not plan their workout ahead of time. Most likely you are not creating balance in your body. When we look in a mirror we see our front side: chest, biceps, quadriceps and abdominals so these are the areas we are going to hit more often. If we do this, we will have an anterior (front side) dominant body and this imbalance will lead to bad posture, poor movement, aches and pains, and ultimately injury. Below are the movements that need to be implemented when going to the gym. Like I have talked about before, you need to start thinking about training specific movements not specific muscles.

Knee Dominant: These are exercises that get more quadricep recruitment. Squats, lunge variations, split squats and step-ups are examples of this movement.

Hip Dominant: These are exercises that are more hip and glute dominant. In my opinion we lack strength and stability in this area. Most of us are “quad” dominant because of the way we move and workout so we need to focus on hip dominant exercises. Deadlifts, single leg deadlifts, hip lift variations and stability ball leg curls are just a few examples of this category.

Pulling: You will be working the muscles of your upper and middle back when performing these movements. Chin-ups, pull-ups, pulldowns, inverted rows, dumbbell rowing and 1-arm cable pulls are examples. Performing these movements will enhance your posture, your shoulder stability and your upper back strength.

Pressing: These are exercises that will recruit more of your chest and shoulders. Bench pressing variations, push-ups, shoulder pressing and incline bench pressing are examples.

Core Stability: Remember, our “core” is not just our abdominals. Our core integrates our hips, glutes, abdominals, obliques, multifidis, pelvic floor, transverse abdominals and lower back. We should not perform movements that put stress on the lower back from repetitive flexion and extension. We need stability in this region. Planks, side planks, core rollouts and cable holds are examples.

When you plan your workout, make sure you are choosing one exercise per category to create balance and symmetry through the body. Get out of performing body part splits (i.e. chest/back, biceps/triceps, legs) and get into performing full body routines. You will see the results and make your time at the gym much more efficient. Next week I will show you how to design a program using the categories above.

(Please go to www.justintrain.com or call 334-8990 to learn more about these movements.)

Part 2:
You do not want more knee dominant movements than hip dominant movements or more pressing movements than pulling movements. This will lead to an imbalanced hip or shoulder structure which can ultimately lead to injury. Learn to create balance and you will feel better, reduce injury and get results.

Today I will give you two examples of how to design your workout to get the most bang for your buck. I will use the movements that were introduced last week. Make sure to start all your workouts with a proper dynamic warm-up. This warm-up should increase flexibility, open up your joints, elevate your heart rate and prepare the nervous system for the workout ahead. It is mandatory.

Workout #1
Set #1
1a) Split Squat x6/leg – Knee dominant
1b) Front Plank x 20 seconds – Core stability
1c) Inverted Rows x 12 – Pulling

Set #2
2a) Stability Ball Leg Curls x8 – Hip dominant
2b) Core Holds x10 seconds/side – Core Stability
2c) Push-ups x12 - Pressing

Workout #2
Set #1
1a) Squat (holding Dumbbell) x12 - Knee Dominant
1b) Side Plank x10 seconds/side – Core Stability
1c) Cable Pulls (lawnmower pull) x 10/arm – Pulling

Set #2
2a) Deadlift x8 – Hip Dominant
2b) Core Rollouts x8 – Core Stability
2c) DB Bench Press x12 - Pressing

Both of these examples have balance and structure. The idea is to go from one exercise right into the next. Once you have completed each set one time through, take a short break, grab some water and continue. Depending on your fitness level will determine how many sets you will complete. Start off by completing 1 set, see how you feel and then go from there. You can perform up to 4 rounds of each set of exercises.

Please, if you have any questions regarding exercise technique, give us a call at 334-8990 and we will assist you to understand them better.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Make the Decision to be Your Best

3 Decisions – Have You Made Them
by: Justin Levine

1. Positive Attitude: This decision might be the most important. Whether you want to lose weight, improve your performance or compete in a triathlon you must have a positive attitude and determined mindset to accomplish your goals. When you wake up do you immediately tell yourself “I can’t wait to go to bed again?” Or do you wake up with a motivation to Live Life. If you learn to start your day on a high note and think about how good the day will go then you are more likely to have good days. Instead of watching the news or reading the newspaper as the first thing you do, read something positive and motivating to start your day, then go to the news and newspaper. You have the opportunity to have a fresh start each day. Focus on the day ahead. You can’t do anything about yesterday and tomorrow but today can affect the future. So think and breathe positive thoughts each day.

2. Healthy Lifestyle: If you do not have your health it is very hard to take full advantage of everything around you. Your health is so important for mental and physical wellbeing. Decide to make health, fitness and good nutrition part of your life. Do not fall into the trap of following specific diets and trendy fitness programs and products. Learn to make fitness part of your life. If you do not do something about it now you will eventually have to worry about it later. And unfortunately when it is later, it gets harder. If you make it a lifestyle habit now you are more likely to have a fit and healthy life later. Living healthy is a journey and when it is a habit you feel good, look good and you will take advantage of everyday. Schedule your workouts just like you would schedule a work meeting. When you are more organized and manage time more efficiently you will not be the one that makes the excuse of “I don’t have time.”

3. Be Your Best: Too many people settle for being average and just do what they need to do to get by. We need to strive to reach our full potential. This takes a consistent approach and hard work. When you are working out do you push through a few extra repetitions or do you quite when it gets tough? If you want to get results and Be Your Best you must challenge yourself physically and mentally. Do not settle. Go for the top, conquer your goals and be ready to push through. When you accomplish a specific goal, reassess and set new and higher goals. Believe that you can and strive for excellence.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Random Thoughts - November 1st

To stir up some brain waves this morning I decided to devise a blog dedicated to some random thinking. There has been a ton on my mind lately, from program design to business stuff to Brett Favre. And it is time to put some of these thoughts down on paper. Please leave a comment below if you have any questions or want to stir up some conversation.

1. I have been reading a ton lately on strength and conditioning and fitness business. Along with my normal blogs of Alwyn Cosgrove, Thom Plummer, Pat Rigsby, Mike Boyle and Mark Verstegen, my newest blogs I have surfed through are Todd Durkin, Bret Contreras, Eric Cressey and Jason Ferruggia. When I read these different blogs I realize how different but yet similar our industry is. Every name I just mentioned are successful fitness entrepreneurs and coaches. Their training styles and philosophies are very different. Instead of picking each program apart and looking for errors, I try and find pieces of each program that could be a positive influence to mine. There is so much out there. So many coaches doing their thing, getting their clients in shape and figuring a way out to be successful. It's not about whose programs better or "I can't believe Trainer A is doing that still". It is all good and as long as you, as a coach or trainer have reasons and understand why you do certain things, that is what matters. Don't be the guy or gal who watches youtube and then for your next training session take your client or yourself through the workout you just saw. That's ridiculous. Have your system and program built and then tweak, add and subtract accordingly. What is best for your clients might be different to another trainer or coach. So moral of the story is keep reading, learning and bettering yourself.

2. Persistency is the word of the year for me. Being persistent in anything you do is key to getting long term results. From business, to fat loss, to triathlon training to relationships, if you continue to have persistency and put in the work you will continue to reap the benefits. First business. There is no such thing as a short term success plan for business. I am in my 5th year of business and hustling my ass off everyday. It is a constant work load each week. The minute I rest, I realize that someone else is working just a little harder so I get my butt back in gear and keep going. Five years ago I was a great fitness coach with not much of a business vision. Today I am a better fitness coach and business owner with goals. In five years you can learn so much if you put in the work. In fact you can have a totally different understanding of something when you read and educate yourself. Reading everyday for 1 hour for 1 year can make you an expert at something. SO imagine reading everyday for 1 hour for 5, 10, 20 years. WOW! I am excited for the years to come. Next, is fitness results. Too many people buy into the quick remedy approach to fitness. Too many infer-commercials, too many trainers giving 8-week transformation programs and too many "fat burning" supplements on the market. There is no such thing as fast results in fitness. I have been working out for over 18 years. I started out with the bodybuilding phase in the 90's and the education I learned from that was priceless. Learning 15 different isolation exercises for each body part is how I began my fitness career. Yes, it was old school but it started my foundation. I slowly progressed into the functional training era in the early 2000's. But to me this was cool and crazy exercise prescription. It was standing on bosu balls or doing bicep curls on 1-leg, this is how I trained and how I started training my clients. It worked back then. I was doing dynamic warm-up drills before I even understood the actual reasons why. I just knew that it was a better warm-up than walking on the treadmill. I now understand function and the joint my joint method to training. I believe sport, performance, fitness and life is about how well you can move and control your body. Absolute strength only matters on your movement efficiency. If you can squat 500 pounds but can not do a 1-leg bodyweight squat then what is the purpose of lifting that 500 pounds. But vice versa take an athlete who can bust out 1-leg squats with 25 pound dumbbells, you have a "functional" athlete. His strength has a purpose. You need function, stability, mobility, flexibility, power, balanced strength and specific conditioning to be an elite athlete and to be an elite person. If you leave one of those concepts out you will not be well rounded. Back to the point, it takes weeks, months, and years of solid dedication and consistency with your workouts and your nutrition to reach high levels of fitness and performance. When you try a new exercise, master that exercise and then move to the next level. It is a constant process of learning, getting better and moving on.

3. California Fitness Academy has built a name for itself in Visalia and surrounding area. We are now on top of the fitness industry in our area. But just like maintaining a lead in football, the key is staying strong and not backing down. People need to know that our place is results oriented. Our clients are not perfect and our coaches are not perfect as well. WE are all trying to live a healthy lifestyle one day at a time. It's not like everyone at CFA is walking around with ripped and lean bodies. That is not what it is about. No gym is like that. But everyday our coaches come with motivation, inspiration and dedication to get their clients excited to live. We are always trying to give our clients the best and most efficient fitness programs out there. If that means changing things up a bit or adding a new exercise then that's what we do. The key is keeping people inspired to reach new levels of performance. Being able to help someone improve their health and life is unbelievable and we will continue to offer the BEST service and fitness education in the area.

4. I was at a BBQ this last weekend with some great friends. It was a potluck style BBQ. Anytime I go to a BBQ, you never know how healthy or unhealthy the food will be. Remember, you can choose the food and the portion size that goes into your mouth. Well I decided to stop off at the grocery store on the way and pick up some red and green bell peppers, a pineapple and some fuji apples. I decided to give this BBQ a slice of healthy and delicious food. I first sliced the apples and threw them on the grill. I lightly flavored them with cinnamon. They cooked on each side for about 5 minutes, getting a little soft and charcoaled. Those were a great healthy appetizer to get the party started. Then I threw the whole bell peppers on the grill. I had pre-seasoned them with olive oil, salt and pepper. Those would cook for about 15-20 minutes. When the peppers were about done, I sliced the pineapple into halves and threw them on the grill. The pineapples only need about 4-5 minutes on each side. I took the peppers and pineapples off the grill and let them cool. I then diced the peppers and pineapple, threw it all together and created a healthy salad mix. I still enjoyed the other dishes but in moderation. But these are the things you need to do if you want to get results. Yes, it takes a little effort but in the end you eat healthy and feel great.

5. Are you a Brett Favre fan? When Brett is on the field, to me, he resembles what sport is all about. Hard work, dedication, comaraderie with teammates and not making any excuses. He has portrayed these traits for many years. In fact he has been doing this for 292 straight games. But lately, his drama is getting annoying. Let's see how this "soap opera" ends. I hope he can find a way to win some games and finish the season on a positive note.

6. I have talked about stretching before. In fact, I had a random thought blog where I brought it up. And I am going to bring it up again. Flexibility is so important for long term benefit and performance. Lack of flexibility is the reason so many people have dysfunction, pain and injury. When you go to the gym, the first thing that is ignored is stretching. Maybe because it is uncomfortable or it is just boring but usually this is what people leave out of their program. When our muscles are tight they resist movement and are more susceptible to injury. We can do something about that. Ignore all the articles about how its not good to stretch before a workout or game. I have been stretching for years. And most of my stretching is done before I do anything active. Add in some foam rolling before you stretch, even better. It's what you do after you stretch is the important part. After you stretch you should perform a thorough dynamic warm-up to increase blood flow, elasticity and prepare the body for the work ahead.

7. It's time for a change when....
-You have been doing the same workout routine for more than 1 year and you just methodically run through your workout each day.
-You are unmotivated to workout and go to the gym. Change your workout, hire a coach, get a workout partner or join a club. These things will spark that motivation and get you inspired to train again.
-You needed to go buy new pants, a size bigger. Take a look at your nutrition plan, your fridge and your cupboards. Change your food, change your workouts and change your mindset. The bigger your pants size the higher the odds of you getting a chronic disease like diabetes, stroke or cancer. Do something about it.
-When all of your closest friends are always drunk. I will be the first one to admit that I enjoy a few beers. Drinking a beer is relaxing and destressing (is that a word?) But it's when you start drinking many drinks during the week. Did you know that 2 light beers a day add up to over 110,000 calories in a year. These are wasted calories that will add inches to your waist line. Be smart and start hanging out with people that will support you in a positive way.
-You wake up everyday with a negative outlook on life. Change your job, change the people you hang out with or change your attitude. Life is a good thing. Yes it is hard and grueling but when you appreciate and live each day to the fullest, Life becomes awesome! And once you have this positive mindset you can spread the wealth and inspire others!

8. Can you believe it is November already?? Man, time flies. We have 2 months left of 2010. We will never get these two months back so we must create an experience to remember these last 60 days. How we finish the year off will dictate the start of yet another year. So decide now to finish strong with momentum. Stick to your goals, stick to your game plan and drive everyday to better yourself. Each day is crucial to move a little forward in the right direction. So let's BE ELITE! Let's BE BIG! And let's GO GET EM'. Time to make it happen....

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

5 Things You Can Do Today to Improve Yourself

1. Write down your goals. Goals are just ideas and thoughts if they are not written down. Be disciplined and take some time to write down what you want to accomplish. If you stay at the level you are currently at you will get stagnate and start going backwards. You must continue to want more, be more and do more. Once you write down your goals, create 5-7 steps to accomplish each goal. For example:
"I want to run a marathon in March 2011"
-Set up a training plan
-Improve nutrition protocol
-Focus on foam rolling/stretching 4x/week for recovery
-Get consistent sleep
-Log all workouts and your feelings after each workout
-Performance test 1x/month

If you create steps for each of your goals you will have a game plan to go out and achieve each of the goals. Don't sell yourself short and reach for the top!

2. Surround yourself with successful/positive people. If you are constantly hanging out with negative and bad influences you will get off route to your goals. Choose who you hang with carefully because the crew you are with will guide you, whether it is down a negative road or a positive road. If you are around positiive and determined people you will be more likely to have these traits. If you compete in triathlons or running events, find a club in your town to interact with. Start looking at the people you are with everyday....Are they helping you get closer to your goals or taking you farther away. You make the decision.

3. Workout. Having physical health is the foundation of Life. When you are physically conditioned you can put more effort in everything else in your life. You will have energy, vitality, strength, endurance and vigor to take on all of your tasks in your life. Do not be the person who says "I do not have time to workout". You must make time and put training into your schedule. Just like a work meeting or appointment, add your workout time to your daily and weekly calendar. No excuses, just get it in. It doesn't have to consume your life, but it does have to be in your life.

4. Positive Self Talk - Daily. Wake up and tell yourself that today is going to be a good and strong day. And when you go to bed tell yourself that it was a good day and tomorrow will be even better. These positive affirmations will create a mindset that is strong and positive and get you on path to conquering all of your goals. Whenever a road block enters your life, focus on the positive things you can do to get through that block. Anytime a negative thought enters your mind, ignore it and change it to a positive thought. We can control our thoughts. IT just takes discipline and hard work to create this type of mindset.

5. Healthy Nutrition. Your nutrition habits are how you feel, go about everyday, think and live. If you focus on eating fresh fruits, vegetables, lean proteins and quality fats everyday, you will see a tremendous change in your vitality and quality of life. You will decrease your chances of chronic disease like cancer, stroke, diabetes, and obesity. We choose what goes into our mouth on a daily basis and it just takes a certain mindset to choose healthy and fresh food. Don't do diets. The first 3 letters of DIEting are DIE! Let's live a healthy and full life. If you are craving a certain food, go ahead and sample that food but know that you will be back on your healthy journey the next day. Live the 85/15 rule where you are focused on eating healthy and nutritious foods 85% of the time and giving into your cravings of unhealthier foods 15% of the time. When you think like this, you will see the long term benefits.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Running - Get in your Head

Running – Get in your Head
By: Justin Levine

When most people think of running they think of logging miles, what type of shoes should I buy, what workout should I follow, what type of stretches should I do and so on. Well today I am going to talk about improving your mental game to improve your running game. This component not only can help you improve your performance but can tremendously help take your game to a whole different level. Mental conditioning needs to be worked on just as much as the physical conditioning side of things. We need to teach and train our thoughts to be positive. Did you know that 80% of most humans’ thoughts are negative thoughts? The crazy thing about this issue is that we can do something about it. We can change our attitude, our thoughts and our mindset. But just like running a faster 5k or preparing for a marathon, we must put in the training to improve our performance. And it just doesn’t happen over night. It takes daily affirmations, consistent positive thinking and a burning desire to want this change. So I have laid out 5 mental exercises for you to work on to improve upon your mental conditioning. The key is to actually take the time to work on these strategies. You can read these over and over but nothing with change until you actually practice these strategies. And yes, these are for everyone!

1. Daily Affirmations. First, when you wake up you must create positive thoughts before you even jump out of bed. Do not wake up muttering, “ugh, another day.” Say things like: “Today I will be my best and give my best”; “I will move closer to my goals”; “Nothing will get in my way”; “I will tackle my problems with a full head of steam”; “I will drop body fat”; “I will improve my times in my workout.” These thoughts will turn into actions and you will see a tremendous change in your mindset and your life. You have to be conscious of this exercise, as it is very easy to just get out of bed and “get through another day”. Remember each day is a new beginning, a fresh start, and a brand new chance to create greatness. We cannot focus on yesterday but having a good and better yet GREAT today will make for a better tomorrow. Secondly, after a long day, when you are lying in bed about to fall asleep, finish the day with a positive thought. “I did my best today”; “I am so happy to be alive and tomorrow will be another good day”; “Good job on your effort today”; “Tomorrow will be another great day”. Starting and ending your day with positive affirmations can be a game changer.

2. Believe in yourself at all Times. During the day you must create a mindset that truly believes in yourself. Do not put yourself down or have disbelief in accomplishing a certain project, or workout, or task. Think of the self-degrading comments we tell ourselves sometimes. Would we like it if someone else said bad things about us? Absolutely not. That would make us very angry. But yet too many times we are putting ourselves down and disbelieving in our abilities. No matter the task at hand, do the work necessary to kill it. If you have the action and the mindset you will accomplish. Believe in that and you will start doing Big Things.

3. Try some meditation. Have you ever sat in a room or in your car with complete quietness, your eyes shut and focused on your internal thoughts and mindset? Try doing this for 10 minutes everyday. Do it before your workout or before you step into your office or before a big race. Meditation can relax your mind, get you centered, focused and energize your thoughts. With such busy lifestyles our mind is always racing and thinking of the next step. Focus on zoning out and direct your attention on your thoughts and your internal motivations. What drives, inspires and motivates you? This internal conditioning can be a supercharge in energy that you have been looking for.

4. Positive self-talk. This one goes hand in hand with running performance. During workouts and training you must create a positive self-awareness that will lead to successful performance. It is easy to talk ourselves into not completing the recommended distance or the last few intervals. Continually tell yourself that you can do the mileage and you can push through the tough intervals. This will transfer over to your racing as when you are pushing and giving it your all, you will be able to push through that uncomfortable zone and have a successful race. When those negative thoughts enter the head, immediately erase them and turn them into positive thoughts. “Keep going”; “Yes, I can”; “I can hold this pace”; “I can do 1 more hill repeat”; Your performance goes in the right direction when you think positively.

5. Write down all of your goals. This can be a road map to a successful training program. What do you want? Faster 5k? Run a marathon? At the end of each season, you need to assess the previous season. What were your strengths? What were your weaknesses? What will be your goals for the next season? Goals are just random ideas and thoughts until they are written down. Create a game plan that you can look at everyday. When your goals are in sight every morning when you wake up you are more likely to stay on path to accomplish those goals. The next step is showing those goals to a mentor or a coach. Now you are held accountable to achieving your goals. Meet with that person periodically throughout the year to talk about where you are at and what you need to do to stay on path.

Running is a physically demanding sport and you need strength, endurance and speed to improve your physical performance. But the mental side of things is just as important to work on. If you create a mental conditioning program to improve your overall thoughts and mindset you will become a better athlete. Become great and do big things by working on the strategies above. It is time to be HUGE! Keep living and keep training and big things will come your way.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Big Kahuna - Training is Paying Off

It's funny how things eventually work out. If there has been one major thing I have learned over the past 10 years of my life it is about being PERSISTENT. Persistency, whether it be in my professional journey, family life or my training program has been proven to work. Being persistent with my training, nutrition and recovery program was a big part of the reason I had a successful race at the BIG KAHUNA long course triathlon. I have been mentioning it to my family and friends the reason I enjoy the sport of triathlon....because of the journey it takes me on. It is not necessary the race, to me it's the days, weeks, months and years it takes to improve performance. Everything you do, from nutrition, to taking ice baths, foam rolling, waking up early, sacrificing time with family and friends and spending money on all the gear, I do it for the challenge. Being able to challenge myself not only on a physical level but a mental level is the joy of this sport. This 1/2 Ironman event was the culmination of my previous 6 years of training for this 3 sport beast. In fact, a guy at the expo asked me, "How long have you been training for this event." And I told him, "6 years".

The day started off with a 4:30 wake up, which is actually sleeping in a bit compared to my normal schedule. I took my time to shower and get ready. I spent a few minutes foam rolling and doing a few movement drills to get my blood flowing and my body prepared for the day ahead. My breakfast is usually pretty light, a cliff bar, a banana and some gatorade. I nibbled on a couple fig newtons as the morning grew to keep my hunger subsided. My buddy Josh Hickey (who just did an Ironman 2 weeks before) joined me for this event. Is he crazy? Absolutely! But his optimistic attitude is inspiring to be around. There needs to be more people with his attitude. My other buddy Josh Polk (who hasn't been on a bike in a year and hasn't done a swim workout in a few months) also competed. Is he crazy? Absolutely! But for him to go out and "just do" a 1/2 Ironman is pretty cool. Hey if you are in good physical condition...why not!?

We headed to the transition area around 5:30 am. The buzz of the early morning setting at a triathlon is spectacular. Hundreds of fit athletes excited and ready to take on the same course, the same weather, the same beast. We set our transition area up and began to take everything in. I took off on my bike on a short 15 minute light spin to get the juices flowing. This eliminates any nerves that have settled. I re-rack my bike and go out on a 5 minute jog. This allows me to see the more athletes prepare and gets my legs moving a bit more. I get back, put on my wetsuit and head down to the water. I made the decision to wear shoes for the run after the swim up to transition so I set my shoes where they needed to be. This ended up being a great decision (I will explain later).

Unlike last year, there was no fog. It was cloudy but no fog, so we were going to start on time. I warmed up a bit, if that is what you call jumping in 58 degree water and did some quick paced swims to get my arms going. I would be the third wave of athletes. I had nothing on my mind except to have fun, execute my race plan and enjoy the day. I knew the training would pay off. In fact, before this event I had mentioned to a few people that "this was the best I have felt leading up to a big race." I guess we will see if I was right.

Here we are, my age group standing at the start line, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 - GO. I ran out quick and immediately went to the right of the pack and found my space. This was the first event where I didn't bump or hit any of the other swimmers. It was like I had my own lane out there. I had small goals. First I wanted to get to the boats, which came quick, then I wanted to get around the pier which came quick, next get to the far buoy, which came quick, then to the next buoy. I found some good legs to get behind and followed him for quite a long time. It helped me store some energy for later. Soon before you knew it, the finish was 200 yards away. I thought to myself, long and strong and kick the legs out. I exited the water knowing I had a good swim. I ran up the ramp, rapidly took off my wetsuit where my shoes were, put on my shoes and ran up the 1/4 mile road to transition. This was a good idea because I was passing guys who got out of the water before I did, plus my wetsuit was already off so I saved time. My swim time was 31:15 and my T1 was 3:52, both respectable times.

I decided to put my biking shoes on before I got on the bike. I knew there was a small hill to climb right out of the gate so I figured it would help me get into the groove a bit faster. I made a mental note to take in fluids every 5-8 minutes, so immediately on the bike I began to sip my drink. I wasn't chugging, just sipping the whole day. And this time I used 90% gatorade during the race which seemed to help my energy. As I got into a rhythm, I began to think "today could be a good day." The first half of the bike went by quick as I must have gotten to the turnaround in 1 hour 20 minutes. I didn't wear my watch this race. I wanted to race on feel not by the time. Once I hit the 2nd half of the bike, my legs lost a bit of their spark but I pushed on. I had times where I would loose my rhythm totally and then regain it back. The last 28 miles were tough as we were fighting a head wind and some tough rolling hills. But my energy was good and I wanted to get to that run. I returned to the city streets and knew the ride was almost over, so I began to eat a bar and take in some fluids to get me through the first part of the run. I got out of my shoes on my bike, got off and returned to my transition station. My bike time was: 2:48:35 which wasn't my best time. My T2 was a fast 1 minute and 11 seconds.

Immediately when I was running, I knew my body was feeling good. I had some slight tightness in my low back and right calf so I was hoping those two things would subside so I could really take advantage of my strength. Well they did. The miles seemed to go by so fast. It was one of those runs that each mile felt like 1/2 and my rhythm was terrific. My heart rate was so steady that I was able to talk to many athletes. I pushed on the downhills and stayed consistent on the slight uphills. I made it to the half way point and was feeling a fast run. I still had great energy. I was thinking all that long and hard training is paying off. Thinking back to my long ride to Arnold and then running the 1/2 marathon the next day. All the training when we went camping at 7500 feet up is paying off. I continued to sip my bottle of gatorade and hit up 3 gels throughout the 13 miles. Quickly I was at the 3 mile to go marker. I kept my cadence high, my body relaxed and my breathing controlled. I was able to make up many spots in my age group with this run. I hit the last downhill fast, almost sprinting, smiling and feeling great. I turned to the infamous beach finish. But just like last year, it wasn't bad at all. My run time was 1:39:49, a pace of 7:37 min./mile.

My total race time was 5:04:43. So close to breaking the 5 hour mark. When I did this race in 2007 my time was 6:02. This is where I bring back persistency. It doesn't take days, or weeks or months to get better at this sport. You have to put in days, weeks and months to get better in years! You must be PERSISTENT and continue to strive for excellence. Will I break the 5 hour mark?? Absolutely yes. In fact my goal next year will be to break the 4:50 mark...why not!?

One more big thing that was on my mind...TAPER! Most triathletes go into their races with tired bodies. They never reach their maximum performance because they never allow themselves to rejuvenate and take full advantage of all their training. Learning to taper correctly is the difference of having a stellar race and a forgettable race.

I will work on improving my bike leg of the race, get an even faster run and continue to execute good nutrition. Time to put in the work....

Thank you so much to my wife, Stephanie for allowing me to train and sacrifice saturday and sunday mornings for long workouts. Having support really helps with this lifestyle.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Perform Better Summit - A Life Changing Experience

The three days of August 6-8 could definitely place in the top five weekends of my life. Yes, the Perform Better team over delivered. I have been to the previous 4 summits and they were good but this one was a "GAME CHANGER". I first want to give a huge shout out to the Perform Better crew and especially Chris Porier for putting this all together. The presenters were world class, literally. I was fortunate enough to bring two of my young coaches with me and to see their eyes light up when learning from and meeting the likes of Mike Boyle, Robert dos Remedios, Todd Durkin, Alwyn Cosgrove and Thomas Plummer was priceless. Their energy was BIG throughout the entire weekend.

I want to give a breakdown of the presenters that I watched but also give strategies of implementation of the tools and advice that was given. This information and academia means nothing if we do not follow up and "DO WORK". You will also see many key phrases that we heard all weekend long.

Friday morning started with a must see with Martin Rooney. His energy and motivation was a great way to get the engine going for the rest of the weekend. Martin lives what he preaches and is an "in the trenches" coach and mentor. I have three quotes highlighted from his presentation. #1: "Coaches that believe they have clients that can succeed will have clients that believe they can succeed." We must cut the "well Bob won't lose weight" attitude. We need to continue driving and inspiring our clients to accomplishing BIG THINGS. Sit them down, fire them up, BELIEVE in them so they can believe in themselves and motivate with Enthusiasm! Not all fitness coaches need to jump around and scream during a session. If that is not your style then fine but the training session must have some energy and spark for your clients. Without it the session gets stagnate and dull and you might lose that client. #2: "Establish your core values and personal mission” Martin asked us if we had this written down and kept it with us at all times. Nobody raised their hands. This is huge in having a philosophy and a path to follow. And keeping it with you at all times will remind you to stay focused and motivated to achieve your objectives. #3: "You can do anything you want to!" In realistic terms of course but having this mindset, to me, is what life is about. Do not sell yourself and your clients short. Expect big things, create a positive atmosphere and self awareness and continue the climb to the top. Do not let yourself fail! Thank you Martin for a great start to the weekend.

Mike Boyle discussed warm-up strategies. If you have watched Mike's new DVD (which is a must in the library) then he went over most of the same education. But as I was listening to Mike, I realized how much the industry is influenced by his work. This guy is a legend and guru in our world. And if you are not following and learning from Coach Boyle, you are insane. His work is cutting edge, scientific and top notch coaching. He also is a very fun person to drink some beers with. Thank you Coach Boyle for your influence and mentorship to my program and our industry. Keep showing us the way.

Dr. Stuart McGill was next on the list. This was actually my first time listening to McGill and I enjoyed and respected the intellect. McGill discussed his work and research with low back injuries. As I was listening to him speak about the various back ailments and issues, I was thinking to myself "it's no wonder people are always suffering from chronic lower back trauma". The biggest thing I got out of this lecture is we need to create an atmosphere to enhance back hygiene. Giving a quick email or text to our client to remind them to sit up straight and focus on good posture could really be significant to improving low back pain. Along with reminders, we also prescribe proper exercise protocol, the client reduces and better yet eliminates their long term issue, and we have a client for life. Thank you to Dr. McGill for spreading the research to the fitness world to make us better.

Mark Verstegen is another presenter that has revolutionized the fitness industry. He is the creator of so much of what we do. Mark has a superb system that gets some of the top professional athletes ready to compete at high levels. This presentation went over training for the endurance athletes. This is right up my alley. It was good to be reminded of this information so we set our clients and ourselves up for success. Working with endurance athletes is tough because you never know how they will walk into your facility. You have to be an artful coach and set up a training program that will allow the endurance athlete to succeed. These athletes put in so much training volume that as a coach you have to be on the lookout for overtraining symptoms and guide them down the path to proper and smart training protocols. Definitely props go out to Mark for being an innovator and a legend to us in the fitness industry.

We ended Friday night with Thomas Plummer. A kick in the ass type of presentation. After hearing Thom, I wanted to drive home immediately and implement some ideas to improve my business. If you run a business Thomas Plummer is the man you need to be following. Go get on his blog and read everything on there.

Day 1 ended with a few beers at the social. A great first day.

Day 2 started with a bang just like day 1. Bill Parisi is a role model to any business person. His systems and strategies are very simple and easy to implement. It just takes discipline, hard and consistent work and laser like focus. It's doing these things EVERYDAY. If you want a successful and profitable business then go do it. If you want more clients, then go do it. If you want more campers in your boot camp, go do it. The person that will most likely stop yourself is YOU. "Be comfortable being uncomfortable" is a quote I will remember for the rest of my life. It's uncomfortable going to local business trying to get new clients, it's uncomfortable waking up at 4 am daily to be at the gym at 5. But if you learn to tap into your potential you will maximize your performance so you can maximize your life. Thank you Bill for everything you do. I would not be training youth athletes if it wasn't for this guy. He also, is an innovator.

Robert dos Remedios was my next lecture. This guy might be the most down to earth coach you will ever meet. He is a real life, in the trenches strength coach who tells no bull shit. He likes to say "bull shit" but that is beside the point. He tells it like it is. And that is something to be respected. Working with junior college athletes can be a very demanding and tough task. He overdelivers and takes his job to a high standard. If you notice reading this, every coach that presented is an "over deliverer" (if that is a word). Take one thing out of the weekend and this write-up...OVERDELIVER to yourself and your clients. Props to Dos for keeping his presentation entertaining and packed with valuable, realife information.

I cruised around some of the hands on sessions on Saturday. I now use the hands on sessions to watch the coaches’ coach. The training sessions that influenced me was Todd Durkin's and Dos's. These coaches brought some energy to their training. I like that. Totally different coaches, totally different training philosophies and styles but they both brought enthusiasm. You can know all the science in the world but if you do not deliver your clients and athletes enthusiasm and passion, you will not be in the industry very long. Todd's session was crazy. So much going on and his interns brought energy and motivation and he was able to get 200+ trainers in the zone! It was pretty cool to watch. Dos just straight up kicked everyone’s ass with his "cardio strength training" methods.

My last lecture of the weekend was my favorite. Sue Falsone ripped her presentation and delivered life changing information. The way she knows the body is kind of crazy. Someone that says, "I love the diaphragm musculature" must have a passion for anatomy and corrective movement. But her passion was echoed throughout the crowd as she taught a full room of fitness coaches and physical therapists about the anatomy and function of the thoracic spine. This information was cutting edge and I was zoned out during this presentation. Getting to the source of many faulty patterns can directly come from poor function at the thoracic spine. So many people are pretty screwed up because of bad life movements and posture. And correcting the t-spine's dysfunction can reduce many problems. We need to use our tool box to create a system to assist our clients down the right path. Even strength and fitness coaches need to splice in this corrective work to enhance the program. It doesn't need to be 30 minutes of thoracic mobilization work but splicing it into the warm-up can tremendously help people move better in their life. So if you haven't read up on Sue Falsone, go do that immediately.

A few more thanks yous:
Thank you to Rob Milani for always hooking it up with equipment. Rob is the man when it comes to facility design and equipment inventory. He cares and it's hard to find that now a days. And me being 5'6", it's good having a 6'5" 300 pound guy on your side.

Thank you to Alwyn Cosgrove for making the fitness industry a respected business. He has taught me that the business of fitness needs to be high level and worked on daily. Just like the training aspects you need business strength as well. His semi-private model is systematic and efficient and as influenced my program in a very positive way.

Thank you to Albert Park who was an attendee. Albert works with Luka Hocevar in Washington. I got to know this young energetic man on Saturday. He taught me that no matter who you train and what level, you must love what you do, have passion and excitement to move forward and never let up. This is something that can be lost in translation as the business grows and builds wealth. But you must always remember what got you where you are today and that is "I love training clients".

Thank you to Jesse and Mike, my coaches who represented my facility. They sat upfront every lecture, they came in with an open mind, they learned, they got better! Talk about life changing. I think I can say that Jesse's and Mike's life were changed for the better in Long Beach. Keep doin work!

Lastly thank you to my wife Stephanie for accepting my passion as I sit here now on my computer (after being gone all weekend) doin work.

Time to get after it......

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

4th of July Training weekend

I had been planning this ride for quite some time. But bad weather and bad timing led to postponing the ride. The plan was to start in Merced and ride up to Arnold. A near 90 mile ride with close to 4500 feet of climbing. Then to top off the training weekend I signed up for a 1/2 Marathon the very next day in Angels Camp. IT was called the Twisted Oak 1/2 Marathon.

Here's the story....

I woke up at my normal wake up time of 4:15 am on Friday morning. My best friend Steve was nice enough to drive me to Merced. We left Visalia at 5:10 am and were off. At about 5:45 am I called the radio station like I usually do on Friday mornings. But this time I was headed out on my bike. I still made the call and did my interview. We arrived in Merced at around 6:30 am. I filled my water bottles, bought a few bars for the ride, sprayed the sunscreen on, pumped up the tires and was off. I was figuring the ride to be close to 90 miles, give or take a few miles. So my mind was ready and so was my body. I took off on J59 which is a tough road to ride on because of the limited shoulder. But since it was early the traffic was light. The first 15 miles were just about getting the legs going. Luckily I wasn't racing because there was a pretty heavy head wind right in my face. So I just began building my speed and marched onward. I told myself to not be stubborn and just stop at stores as I passed them. It turned out to help me quite a bit as I filled my bottles up with ice and gatorade and bought a bar if needed. I stopped at the 18, 38, 55, and 75 mile marks to re-fill and stretch the legs. As I would zone out, minutes would fly by and before you knew it I had made it to the half way point. Time was really flying. My energy and spirits stayed high the entire ride. Except for some light tightness in the lower back, my body was feeling good. As I made it to Highway 4, I knew that the ride was in its final phases. But just like a few stages of the Tour de France, my ride was a mountain top finish. I knew this all along. So as I reached the last 15 miles I knew they would be tough. But I kept a steady pace, kept my cadence high and pushed through the hills. I keep things positive in my head so that helps tremendously on long rides like this. I set small goals of making it to specific destinations. When I made it to Murphy's, a small town about 8 miles south of Arnold, the ride was coming to the end. THere were some climbing still left to be done but I knew this was it so enjoy and finish strong. I saw my destination and pumped my fist like I had just won a stage of the Tour. It was a big accomplishment. My ride time was just over 6 hours.

I woke up Saturday morning with some tired legs. I ate my normal pre-run meal of a cliff bar and banana and headed to the site of the race. I talked my good friend Ira into running the 5k race so it was good to have someone there competing with me. I had mentioned to the race director that I had rode 88 miles the day before. This wasn't the end of hearing about this during the day (you will see later). I definitely needed to warm-up to get my legs going. So I ran about 10 minutes, did a dynamic warm-up and did 5x50 yard striders, then ran back to the start of the race. The race started out fast because it was 90% downhill. We reached the 4 mile turnaround and knew we had to come back up that same hill. It was steady, not too steep but consistently climbing. My legs were feeling the ride. But again, I set small goals and this really helps a race go by quick. As I hit lap 2 I told myself 3 more miles, stay steady and zone out. They call the last 1 mile "Hernia Hill" because of the steep ascents through the Twisted Oak Winery. We had to do this twice so the second time around was tough. But I pushed though and before you knew it I was crossing the finish line. MY time was 1 hour and 35 minutes which was good enough for 6th overall and 1st in my age group. It wasn't my best 1/2 marathon but I was happy with this time because of what I did the day before. As the award ceremony began, the race director gave an award to the individual who put in the most effort to get to the race...well that was me. He announced to the crowd of what I had did the day before.

Overall a great weekend. Next up....Merced to Alpine Lake in August. That one is the same ride I did plus 38 miles and 4000 feet of climbing so a huge ride. Keep Rocking!!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

3 workouts you are not doing

3 Workouts you are not doing

Most people get stuck in a rut with their workouts. They continually do the same routine day in and day out. This will cause staleness and boredom in a workout regimen and ultimately lack of motivation to consistently train and be active. The key to maximizing your fitness routine is thinking outside the box and having variety. You should not just start with these routines if you haven’t been working out consistently. Make sure you have built a solid foundation of fitness before hitting the workouts below.

It is very important to warm-up thoroughly before these routines. For more information on a proper dynamic warm-up, go to www.justintrain.com.

Workout #1
Treadmill Intervals (fast walk, jog, run or sprint): 3 x 20 seconds on/20 seconds off
Bike Intervals (sprint): 3 x 20 seconds on/20 seconds off
Medicine Ball Overhead Slams: 3 x 20 seconds on/20 seconds off
Medicine Ball Chest Slams: 3 x 20 seconds on/20 seconds off
Medicine Ball Squat/Press: 3 x 20 seconds on/20 seconds off

*Rest 90 seconds after one completed round and perform 2-4 rounds of this circuit.
*This workout is meant to be short in time but high in intensity.

Workout #2
Instead of performing one exercise and then resting, try putting together 8 exercises and perform them in a circuit format. Here is an example:

*Perform each exercise for 30 seconds and then go right into the next movement
1. Push-ups
2. Stability Ball Leg Curls
3. Inverted Rows
4. Dumbbell Squat to a Press
5. Front Plank
6. Step-ups
7. Pulldowns
8. 2-Leg Hip Lifts
*Rest 60 seconds after one completed round and perform 3-5 rounds

Workout #3
This will be a mix of conditioning and weight training. After 2 weight training exercises you will go perform 5 intervals on the treadmill, bike or elliptical.

1a) Dumbbell Bench Press x 12
1b) Split Squat x 10/leg
1c) Treadmill Intervals 5 x 20 seconds on/20 seconds off
*rest 1 minute and perform 2-4 rounds

2a) 1-arm Cable Rows x 12
2b) Stability Ball Hip Lifts x 10
2c) Bike Sprints 5 x 20 seconds on/ 20 seconds off
*rest 1 minute and perform 2-4 rounds

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

An Epic weekend

This Memorial Day was a weekend to remember. I was going up north with my wife to visit her parents for the weekend. My plan was to train, relax and get caught up on sleep. I think I managed to accomplish the goals.

Saturday I woke up at about 7:00 am which is big time sleeping in for me. I relaxed, checked my emails and ate a light breakfast. I then packed my riding gear with the usuals: gatorade, gels, bars, CO2/tube, and money. I took off from Arnold, CA which is at about 3400 feet above sea level. Right from the beginning I am climbing and with exception to a few rollers and dowhnhills, the majority of the 1st half was up. As I hit 4500 feet, I started noticing some snow on the ground. As I continued making the path up, the snow would get thicker and thicker and the weather got colder and colder. Not too cold where it was uncomfortable but definitely a change in climate. As I hit 6000 feet, the snow was packed everywhere. I was telling myself, "This is alot of snow." I hit a point in the ride called "vista point", a beautiful look out point that boasted the snowy mountain caps and big redwood tress. I didn't stop long. I kept going.

As I hit the 7000 foot mark, I was now surrounded by thick snow and cold climate. I knew the dowhnill would be brisk. I made my way to Bear Valley, a cute little ski town, situated in the hills of Ebbets Pass. I stopped, filled up my bottles and began the venture back home. I cruised home very fast as most of it was downhill. Before you knew it I was out of the snow, in warmer weather and was finishing the ride. Overall I rode 58 miles with approximately 4000 feet of climbing. Oh and to top it off, I did a quick 3 mile brick run.

Sunday came with a burst of sunshine. I chomped down on a granola bar and a banana and took off on my run. This time I started down the hill towards Avery, CA, a town that populates a little over 120 people. I ran down the hill and went into Moran Road, a windy, hilly road that was perfect for a Sunday run. The 1st half of Moran Road was tough, giving me some tough hills to climb. I hit the 6 mile mark and turned around and it was fast till Highway 4, where I began the 2 mile jaunt up the hill back to the house. I finished this run off with a stretch and a hot shower! An hour later, I went to the park with Stephanie and her sister and I managed to kick a few field goals, shoot some baskets and did a quick bodyweight circuit. I finished the day off with a round of golf with the father in law. I won't brag but I kicked his butt...hahaha, JK Fred.

Now for the big day....

Well I woke up Monday morning with a thought that I would start riding home and Stephanie would pick me up on her way. I wasn't 100% sure I was going to do this. I took a shower, ate a great breakfast and decided, "what the heck, let's just do it." So I packed all my bags and gear in my truck before I left, got my bike ready to go and took off. I left at 10:00 am and I told Stephanie to leave at 12:00, figuring she would pick me up about 2 hours and 45 minutes later. Since the first 20 miles were fast and downhill, I got to Angels Camp in 50 minutes, averaging 24 mph. But this wasn't just an easy dowhnill ride. The roads I was riding had almost no to little shoulder on the side. "Kind of Dangerous" I kept telling myself. When I made it to the 90 minute mark, I had passed the 35 mile mark. With the dowhnills and the wind helping I was able to get through a ton of land. I made it to a small store and filled up on water, gatorade and ice. But I started to notice the masses of traffic on this next highway I would be taking. It was packed. I passed cars for about 4 miles. I quickly called Stephanie and told her to be patient and expect traffic and look for me later than expected in the drive. I was now figuring that I would be riding close to 70 miles. Luckily I had the proper fuel to get me through the ride. I continued along. Well time was flying as I saw the 50 mile mark, 60 mile mark and 70 mile mark. I was feeling good, riding fast and staying positive. Next thing you know I was at mile 75 and Stephanie pulled up next to me and the adventure was over. Overall 75 miles in 3 hours 40 minutes and a story to remember forever.

Total training for the weekend:
Biking: 133 miles
Running: 15 miles

Thursday, May 6, 2010


This week is all about recovery for me. If there is one thing I have learned about endurance training (or any training for that matter) is how important recovery and rest are in the training program. After a grueling race like Wildflower, your body is deprived of fuel, breaks down muscle tissue and is depleted. The worse thing you can do for your body is get right back into training the following week. Research as shown that it can take 7-15 days to fully recover from a 1/2 Ironman or higher event. So if you go back into training on Monday you have no chance to fully recover and heal from the race. It will be detrimental to your training and your performance. Plus your mind insists on a break from structured training. The path you took to complete your big race is constant training, logging workouts, eating healthy and time consuming. Taking the week after a race and using it to jumpstart your body and engine is crucial.

Endurance athletes are very disciplined. They eat healthy and nutritious food, wake up at sunrise for workouts, go to bed early to get proper sleep, sacrifice family and social time for training and budget their finances around their triathlon lifestyle. But you ask them to take a day off and it is a difficult task.

After a big race and training block, I feel it is mandatory to take that following week off from structured training. DO not write down any workouts. If you workout, make it fun and easy. Take a few extra days off during the week and splurge on some good foods. You know that once you are back on the training wagon that you will be disciplined to train, eat healthy and accomplish your goals. But if you burnout or get injured then you will get frustrated and lose focus.

Remember overtraining leads to injury. Undertraining doesn't. As a normal working person, training for the sport of triathlon is difficult. We do not get the ammenities a professional gets (ice baths, massages, manual therapy, open schedule). When you feel you need a day off, you must take it! Have the discilpine to rest the mind and the body so you can regenerate for the upcoming workouts.

So the moral of the story is be on the lookout for overtraining symptoms. You might not get injured right away. It could be 8 weeks down the road from the things you are doing now. Start a workout log so you know exactly what you are doing and you can look back and assess your training. When you have constant fatigue, nagging/overuse injuries, inconsistent sleep, unusual muscle soreness, lack of motivation to train or your performance is declining - Take a break. You will appreciate it when you show up to race.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Wildflower 2010 Race Report

It will definitely be a weekend and a race to remember forever. With each race I complete, I get more inspired and motivated to get better at the sport of triathlon. Wildflower 2010 was one of those epic race weekends as it called for a grueling 1/2 Ironman course and close to 3000 competitors on that specific course. First off, I want to say how amazing it is to me that the pros complete this course close to the 4 hour mark. I guess that is why they are pros. But what really inspires me are the competitors that take 7+ hours to complete the course. They push through the hills and push through the mind games and finish the course.

Saturday morning came with a burst of sunshine to our campground. I ate my pre-race meal of 2 whole grain eggo waffles topped with peanut butter, a banana, and my gatorade. My whole goal for the race was to execute my nutrition and race plan. I wanted to "feel good" throughout the event. I did not want to race out of my element, blow up my legs and deplete my body of fuel. So I focused on getting in consistent nutrition throughout.

I left camp to the transition area at 7:30 am, just in time to do a little jog warm-up, put on my wetsuit, set-up my transition area and head to the swim start. My swim plan was to start on the outside, stay away from the heavy traffic, find some legs to draft off of when I could and stay within myself. I did all of that. The swim was not hard at all. The first 1/4 mile was fast and then I managed to find some feet for about 600 yards. Then I settled into my pace and found another set up feet for another 400 yards. Before you knew it we turned the corner and the boat ramp was in sight. I started to think about getting on my bike and have a smooth transition.

I exited the water feeling fresh and ready to go. I mounted my bike and took off. I didn't know there was going to be a hill at the beginning of the ride. So I kept my heart rate steady and trudged up the hill. My legs were definitely woken up at this point. As we exited the park there were rolling hills the first 12 miles followed by 10 miles of flat land. I was waiting for "nasty grade". This is a 1 mile ascent with about 10% of incline. It was definitely a tough climb. I was pushing my bike 5-6mph during this climb. But the bike was not over. The next 10 miles were full of steep descents, which were very technical and some steady climbs that pushed the legs. I entered the campground feeling good still. I started telling myself, "I just have a 13 mile run left. Here we go.!

As I dismounted my bike, I drank some quick gatorade at my area and took off. Like I said, I wanted to race within myself. So I didn't go out too hard to deplete my energy. The first mile went by quick as I was chatting with a fellow competitor. Miles 2-4 were tough climbs. Once we hit the mile 5 mark we were on the far outskirts of the campground. And there were some steep dirt trails to get through. I even had to walk up a couple of them but it was actually good recovery. I wanted to get to mile 7 because I knew my wife stephanie and my good friends Ira and Jaime were there waiting. When I saw them, I was feeling good and I knew it was almost over.

Miles 8-10 went by quick. Once I hit the turnaround, there were only 3 miles to go. But 2 of those miles were a steady incline. I took advantage of the last aide station so I could finish strong. Once I saw the infamous Lynch hill, I knew the race finish would be in site. I was feeling strong. I crossed the finish line and was ready to eat! I downed a chicken, rice and bean burrito with a Bud Light Lime. Probably one of the best beers I have ever drank.

I executed my race. I want to get better. I will get better.

Overall times:
Swim: 34
Bike: 3:06
Run: 1:59
Overall: 5:44

Monday, April 19, 2010

Millerton Lake Triathlon 2010

Millerton Lake Triathlon 2010

The Milleron Lake Triathlon is special to me in so many ways. First, this is the triathlon I did on my wedding day two years ago. What a day that was. Second, one of the craziest triathlons I have done was the first time I competed at Millerton in 2007. It was cold and rainy and definitely a tough day to compete. So this triathlon definitely has a special place in my heart. Plus, Faron and Heleen Reed do an outstanding job of organizing this race. They make everyone there feel great and their is a friendly atmoshphere exuded throughout.

Onto the race report:

I woke up at 4:30 am to a text message from my good friend Josh Hickey saying "Why do you tri? Because it makes me alive." So that was a great way to start the morning. We met at CFA at 5:30 am to carpool over to fresno. It was Josh, Ken, Carol, Mark, Mike, Aaron and our supporters Landon, Jesse, Jaime and my wife Stephanie. We got into Millerton Lake at 7:00 am. As the sun was rising, we knew it was going to be a spectalular day. We arrived to the transition area and it was crowded already. I immediately took my bike off my truck and found a spot on the first bike rack (Thanks Faron for this spot). Once 7:20 came, I hopped on my bike for a short 18 minute warm-up. This got my blood flowing and erased any nerves that had settled during the drive up. The warm-up for a sprint triathlon is so important. You must trust your training and know that the warm-up is crucial for a better performance. Once I was done with the bike warm-up, I put on my running shoes and did a 6 minute jog with some surges. This definitely helped and I was ready. I put on my wetsuit, which is probably the hardest thing of the triathlon, and headed down to the lake. I was able to swim a bit before the start.

3....2....1 and it was time. My first event of the year was now going. The swim was not as chaotic as last year. I settled towards the outside and did not get caught up in the thick of the craziness. I just focused on long and powerful strokes. I tried keeping it smooth. No need to get out of my comfort zone on the swim. I knew I could make it up on my transitions and bike and run portions. Before you knew it I was out of the water running up the ramp to my bike. I immediately took my wetsuit off and quickly mounted my bike. I was passed by 4 guys on the bike. I still need to improve my bike fitness to make it a strength of mine. But I held steady and was able to hold strong for the last 6 miles. Once I saw the transition area I took my feet out of my shoes and made a very fast transition to the run. I saw one of the guys that passed me on the bike and I passed him within the first mile of the run. The run always goes by quick at Millerton. The first 1.2 miles is on a trail with some tough climbs. Once you are off the trails it is a 1 mile downhill road finish. I had the 3rd place guy in sites but I ran out of real estate to catch him.

I was really happy with my overall performance. My goal was to break 1 hour and my time was 58:11 so I had a fast race. I took 4th overall and was 1st in my age group.

Now it is time to get ready for Wildflower Long Course!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

4 ways to improve your performaince

4 Ways to Improve your Athletic Performance

If you are a competitive athlete this article is for you. Whether you are a professional or college athlete, youth athlete, masters athlete, recreational athlete or just enjoy working out and being healthy the advice below can assist in taking your performance to the next level. These are not fast acting remedies. Abiding by these principles can have a dramatic transformation in the way you perform mentally and physically. But you have to put in the work and have the self-discipline to work on these concepts.

1. Good nutrition. Without good nutrition your body will lack recovery and energy, suffer during workouts and you will be more likely to suffer injury. Immediately wake up and drink 8-16 ounces of water, eat breakfast and take your vitamins (look below). Eat every 2-3 hours and focus on getting in quality carbohydrates, healthy fats and lean proteins at each feeding. A good nutrition plan goes hand in hand with a good training program.

2. Train Smart not hard. Most athletes definitely put in the work and train hard. But the question is “are they training smart and efficient”? If you are constantly training hard and breaking down the body your performance will suffer. Instead focus on smart training. I am not saying that you shouldn’t work hard. I am saying that you need to have a smart plan so you can stay on the path to conquering your goals. Arrange active recovery, rest days and rest weeks into your training schedule. Know when your body needs a break from training and have the discipline to rest when needed.

3. Take vitamins. In a perfect world we would get our recommended nutrients and vitamins in the form of natural food but it is very hard to do this. A multivitamin, fish oil and Vitamin C should be taken every day with a meal to maximize nutrient intake during the day. A multivitamin is intended to supplement the human diet with dietary minerals and vitamins. Taking fish oil is a great way to increase your Omega 3 fats to decrease inflammation in the joints and tendons and aid in the recovery process. And taking a daily vitamin C will increase your overall health and help fight infection

4. Believe in Yourself. Motivational speaker Brian Tracy says, “You are who you think you are.” You need to have daily self affirmation and motivation so you can have the confidence to go out and perform. Visualize yourself having the perfect race or competition. You are more likely to achieve athletic success when you have a positive mindset about yourself and your abilities.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Woodside 1/2 Marathon Race Report

Well I think I proved that you don't have to put in long useless training miles to endure a long distance event. The past 12 weeks I have been working on speed and efficient training. I have not ran 10+ miles since my 1/2 Ironman in October. My goal this off season was to train efficiently and smart. I feel I am on the path of accomplishing my off season goals. I am not exactly where I want to be yet but I am happy with my performance.

This past weekend was the Woodside 1/2 Marathon. For those of you that do not know about this event, I will give you a few details. This is a single track trail run. The first 6.5 miles is a climb of 1900 feet. When you turnaround it is an all out time trial to the finish. For most the weather was dark and gloomy but for us running the event the weather was perfect for a run.

I started out fast, maybe too fast because about 15 minutes into this race my legs were burning. As we started the climb up the mountain my heart rate was high and my legs were pumping. I was able to stay positive throughout the tough section of the course. I just told myself, "Get to the turnaround and then the race is almost over." I kept saying that in my head. I would zone out and before you knew it another 10, 15 and 20 minutes were gone. I checked my watch and I knew the turnaround would be here shortly. The final climb was a tough one but then I turned around and started the "time trial". I got to the top in 52 minutes so roughly 8 min./mile. Running downhill is tougher than most think. Especially on a descent that involves a wet and muddy trail and approximately 15 switch backs to deal with. My heart rate was steady and controlled and my stability felt great. This is where all the training in the gym pays off and being strong and stable are advantages. By time I reached the 10 mile point of the race, my legs were fatigued but I needed to push through the last 3 miles. I zoned out, kept my pace and pushed to the end. Once I knew there was only 1 mile to go, I gave it all I had and finished strong. The 2nd 6.5 miles took 42 minutes so roughly 6:25 min./mile. My overall time was 1 hour 34 minutes and 16 seconds, 7:14 min./mile, which was 50 seconds faster than last year. I was 22nd out of 156 participants.

Good things: speed and strength were great; aerobically I felt good till about 11 mile marker

Things I need to work on: endurance; pushing through the tough spots of the course; digging a little deeper to keep up with a racer infront of me

Goals: 1) Keep training smart. 2) Continue building the endurance to prepare for Wildflower 3) Challenge the body a bit more when racing

Friday, January 29, 2010

Do you remember your first blog??

My first blog.

Life is such a precious and awesome thing we were given. We are able to make people happy, take care of our bodies and enjoy every single day to the fullest. Make sure to take advantage of every single day. We need to use what we were blessed with and change people's lives. Every day is an opportunity to live a better life. Whether you help a family member, a friend, or a plain stranger, do those things that make you feel good. Life is what we put in, each and everyday. If you wake up each morning with a negative aspect and do not believe in yourself, then you are not doing your part to live a positive life. Really try, every morning when you wake up, to live a positive and motivating life. One day at a time. If a barrier approaches you, then take it head on and find a way to get past it. You will be such a stronger person. Mentally, we all need to start thinking a bit more positively. This world is full of negative people and negative vibes, but we can change that. By being unique and different, we can make a change. Let's start doing good things, spread motivating thoughts, and see how much change we can make. We can either look at our lives empty or full. You need to make that choice. It doesn't matter about the size of your bank account, the prestige of your job, or how many people you know. What does matter is how many lives you can touch, and what kind of legacy you will leave behind. Remember, when we are no longer here, we do not take our money, clothes, shoes, and the rest of our materialistic objects with us. What we do take is our soul, our character, and our self of well being. Remember, everyday is a brand new day. Do not get frustrated with what happened yesterday or the day before or the week before. Go forward! Take one day at a time. Be positive. Motivate others. Inspire the people around you. Surround yourself with positivity and inspiration and watch your LIFE soar. You have more power than you think. Use those powers for good and it will come back twice fold. This is a test for myself and you. See what kind of person you are and what you will become. You can do so much with the right mindset. Just go for it and do not MAKE EXCUSES. MAKE IT HAPPEN! ENJOY!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Perform Better 1-day Seminar

Another great experience in Los Angeles listening to the dawgs of the fitness industry. Each seminar I go to I learn at least 10 valuable lessons. Lucky for you I am going to give you these 10 lessons so you can learn from them to:

1. You better be reading. Did you know Alwyn Cosgrove read something like 55+ books last year? That is alot of reading. This is mandatory if you want to succeed at anything you do. Here are 5 five books these guys recommended: 1) Today Matters by John Maxwell, 2) Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill, 3) Goals by Brian Tracy, 4) How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie and 5) The Pursuit of Positive Thinking by Norman Peale. As you can see these are not fitness books. These books will help you live your day to day more efficient and with more direction. If you are writing down your goals and being productive with your day you will accompolish more. Accomplishing a little more each day can add up to masses amounts of material in a year.

2. Gray Cook again made us think. Fitness is not just exercise and sweat. Fitness is good movement and good movement can not be produced with just generic exercise. In fact some forms of exercise can make you move inefficient. Did you know that 2/3 of the population do not move enough to maximize movement? This was a profound statement because it makes you think about what you do on a daily basis with your clients. As a "fitness coach" you sometimes think you just need to get your clients a good workout. But Gray gets you thinking as to "what is a good workout?" He feels that obesity is not the epidemic it is poor movement. When people stop moving they slow metabolism, gain weight and become obese. If they regain proper movement and activity, obesity rates would drop. He also said that we concentrate too much on "more movement" instead of "good movement". Focus on corrective exercise which is fitness, not on bad exercise which is not fitness. Remember when you enhance an individual's dynamic stability, you will enhance their overal strength. Strengthen the stabilizers to enhance the movement of the prive movers. IF you are not stable, injury will happen.

3. I sat down and had lunch with Mike Boyle. It's funny, most of our discussion was about business. In this industry, remember, it is not all about the training intricacies , you have to know business. And when you are at one of these seminars talk business to each other not just training. It is ok to go up to a presenter and ask them questions about their business. These guys are so willing to give you answers and direction. You never know, one conversation with a presenter might change your whole outlook on how you do things. Don't be afraid to come up to these guys and introduce yourself. They are humble and great people.

4. I did notice how a majority of these "trainers" were kind of out of shape. And not saying in shape is completing a metabolic circuit, there were trainers that couldn't move efficiently. I was watching Mike's hands on and saw many tight and immobile fitness professionals. To me, this is so crucial to be practicing what you preach. If you tell your clients to stretch - STRETCH, IF you tell your clients to Foam Roll - ROLL, If you tell your clients to run through a circuit - RUN THROUGH A CIRCUIT! Don't be the out of shape trainer hounding your clients to do things you aren't doing. Be a good role model and show them the way.

5. Todd Durkin always fires me up. I did not necassarily learn the new cutting edge fitness concepts but he talks about real life, "in the trenches" situations. As a fitness professional we have to treat our clients with the best customer service available. Do not just train them to train them...train them to enhance their life. You can tell Todd practices everything he teaches because he has passion. He talked to us about being innovative and creative. Do not just do things how everyone else is doing them. Think outside the box and expect, not success, but SIGNIFICANCE. We need to take care of our clients and working out at our facilities should be "the best part of their day." Do not take for granted the relationships you have with these individuals. Show them the respect they deserve and give them a hug every once in awhile.

6. Alwyn Cosgrove discussed the importance of having "semi-private" training in your facility. I was lucky enough to visit his facility on my way home. He has a system. And this system is pretty effecient. Everyone that signs up gets an individualized functional movement screen. From there they are designed an individual workout depending on their assessement. They are then placed in a group depending on their workout availability. It is not the clients' responsibility to find a group it is the trainers'. For example, "I have 2 spots open at 9:00 am and 3 spots open at 11:00 am. Which one do you want?" The goals of each person can be different and even the exercises will be different based upon the movement screen but they will workout together in a group. Group training has been proven to increase results, give a better workout experience and give a support group to each individual. A trainer at "Results Fitness" is not responsible to bring in clients because "the clients belong to the gym, not one trainer." When a person walks into Results Fitness to train, they will expect to work with all the trainers not just one. I like this approach as it gives flexibility to the client and another trainers' point of view.

7. Taking notes. I remember Martin Rooney saying 2 years ago at a seminar, "If you just listen and not take notes you will retain only 5%." This has stuck with me since. I now bring my laptop to every seminar and take massive amounts of notes. I seem to type faster than I can write is the reason for the laptop. Also, bringing a laptop gives you the option to already make a "to do list" on a seperate page while you are listening to the speakers. So when you hear an idea you write it down so you can start that task on Monday. Taking notes also gives you a direction to take on Monday. Monday morning I review my notes and think about the important topics discussed. How can I implement? What do I need to change? What steps should I take to get started? Now, don't get me wrong, I am not coming back on Monday with an entirely different program for my clients. Not at all. I have my system and program that works. I just come back with little techniques to integrate to make my program more efficient. If this was your first seminar, I know how you feel....so many ideas, brain is loaded with new material and now how to use all of the new information. After a seminar, come back and do what I am doing, write 10 things you learned and go into detail with some of them. Implement those ideas right away on Monday. Those should be the most important.

8. Bring food. Again another "practice what you preach" rule. When a client tells you that he or she has a business trip over the weekend, what is the first thing you tell them? "Make sure to prepare a few snacks and choose healthy food for lunch." Also, by keeping the body fueled and energized you will stay alert and ready to learn all day. With so much information being loaded into your brains, you must stay hydrated and fueled with some healthy carbohydrates (berries and bananas) and some good fats (trail mix or avocado). And when it comes to lunch time, don't go to the nearest pub and rock down 3 beers and some wings. This is not how we learn and retain information...well maybe for them "Scottish folks". Either bring your lunch or choose wisely and understand that you are there to learn not gain 5 pounds.

9. Sit up front. It is like back in high school when the "geeky" kids sat upfront. Well guess what, when it comes to the fitness industry I am a geek. I want to be upfront so I can pay attention at all times. I want the presenter looking at me in my eyes when he or she is talking. If I am all the way in the back, I will be more likely to check my cell phone or send a text real quick. Sitting upfront shows you want to get the most out of what the presenter as to say. Plus when it comes to question time you could be the first one to get his or her attention.

10. Lastly, Tell your story. Instead of going to these with a close minded approach and not expressing your personality, try and open up to as many people as you can. Be genuine, be respectful and be honest. Interacting with like minded individuals is important to be successful. Tell people who you are and what you are trying to do. Give a business card out, get a phone number or email address and make a connection. Personally I would not be in the position I am today without connections. I have great people to look up to and learn from on a daily basis and I am even getting to know them on a friendship basis, which is even better. Don't be afraid to interact and talk to other trainers and these seminars. Be a go getter and understand that you can learn at least 1 thing from everyone there.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

7 things you can do today

7 Things You Can Do Today

Workout: Being active will relieve stress, increase your strength and endurance, increase your energy and increase your confidence. Do not put it off another week. Just get outside or get to a local gym and start now!

Eat Healthy: Another one that can be done immediately. Decide to make the change. A healthy nutrition plan will fuel your body for your workouts and your busy days. It will also give you more energy, get your metabolism revved up and improve your mental edge. The majority of your foods should come from fresh fruits and vegetables, lean proteins and healthy fats.

Drink more water. The average person should be drinking at least ½ of their bodyweight in ounces of water. So if you weigh 150 pounds, the minimum water you should be drinking is 75 ounces. If you are active or an athlete you need more. Being hydrated can speed the recovery process after workouts, keep you hydrated and feeling good and assist in maintaining a normal body temperature.

Foam Roll and Stretch: We have talked about this before. Foam rolling and stretching will assist in increased flexibility and blood flow. For good movement these protocols are mandatory. Rolling will help improve the tissue quality of the muscle and will flatten the muscle out. Stretching will lengthen the muscle and improve blood flow.

Focus on the Positives: We need to re-teach ourselves to believe in ourselves. Doubt is a trained thought that can be removed from your thought process with constant self talk and motivation. Set your goals high, work hard and believe in yourself at all times. You can and you will achieve your goals with the right positive mindset.

Motivate someone to be Active: A healthy and active community is a strong and positive community. Next time you decide to go on a run or a bike ride or go to the gym, invite a friend to join you. Working out with a friend can make the experience much more enjoyable. Plus you will have a crew around you supporting your active lifestyle.

Take Advantage of your Life: If you do not have your health, you will not be able to take full advantage of everything around you. Focus on being active six days a week, eating healthy foods and living life to the fullest. You will see the benefit and enjoy life that much more.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

A great article by Mike Boyle

Please take the time to read this article by world renown strength coach, Mike Boyle....

Imagine you are sixteen years old and your parents give you your first car. They also give you simple instructions. There is one small hitch, you only get one car, you can never get another. Never. No trade-ins, no trade-ups. Nothing Ask yourself how would you maintain that car? My guess is you would be meticulous. Frequent oil changes, proper fuel, etc. Now imagine if your parents also told you that none of the replacement parts for this car would ever work as well as the original parts. Not only that, the replacement parts would be expensive to install and cause you to have decreased use of your car for the rest of the cars useful life? In other words, the car would continue to run but, not at the same speed and with the efficiency you were used to. Wow, now would we ever put a lot of time and effort into maintenance if that were the case. After reading the above example ask yourself another question. Why is the human body different? Why do we act as if we don’t care about the one body we were given. Same deal. You only get one body. No returns or trade-ins. Sure, we can replace parts but boy it’s a lot of work and it hurts. Besides, the stuff they put in never works as well as the original “factory” parts. The replacement knee or hip doesn’t give you the same feel and performance as the original part. Think about it. One body. You determine the mileage? You set the maintenance plan? No refunds, no warranties, no do-overs? How about this perspective? One of my clients is a very successful businessman. He often is asked to speak to various groups. One thing he tells every group is that you are going to spend time and money on your health. The truth is the process can be a proactive one or a reactive one. Money spent on your health can take the form of a personal trainer, massage therapist and a gym membership or, it can be money spent on cardiologists, anesthesiologists, and plastic surgeons. Either way, you will spend money. Same goes for time. You can go to the gym or, to the doctors office. It’s up to you. Either way, you will spend time. Some people say things like “I hate to work out”. Try sitting in the emergency room for a few hours and then get back to me. Working out may not seem so bad. Much like a car, a little preventative maintenance can go a long way. However, in so many ways the body is better than a car. With some good hard work you can turn back the odometer on the body. I wrote an article a while back ( Strength Training- The Fountain of Youth) that discussed a study done by McMaster University which showed that muscle tissue of older subjects actually changed at the cellular level and looked more like the younger control subjects after strength training. Do me a favor, spend some time on preventative maintenance, it beats the heck out of the alternative. Just remember, you will spend both time and money. Mike Boylehttp://www.FunctionalStrengthCoach3.com

Past writings