Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Say it aint so, Joe

***This is not a fitness story***
My x-mas list has been the same since I can remember. 
“Anything blue & white.”
I have book ends, picture frames, clocks, every book the staff has published, their coaching manuals, DVDs, and postcards.  I have socks, boxers, t-shirts, sweat pants, coffee mugs, calendars, pictures, old rosters and jerseys.    One year (when I had a Velcro Penn State wallet) I thought it would be funny to add a formal picture of Joe Paterno to the others.  I would show off pictures of my daughters and then "Hey, whats this guy doing in here?"  Even though they usually stink, I still draft one Penn State player in my fantasy football league to be silly and say "I have a strong locker room leader." 
When I was little younger, I had the chance to meet the staff and later on would receive scouting materials for whatever school I was coaching, so you can imagine, this was basically a dream come true to be on Fran Ganters, Larry Johnsons and Ron Vanderlindens (members of the staff) mailing list.  An open invite to come up whenever I wanted to work with their strength & conditioning staff and be involved with their training was obviously even better. 
Every year, I would influence the linebackers I coached to go to their football camps and to work with their staff.  So much of what I learned about coaching, I learned there. 
I will never, ever forget the very time I saw Coach Paterno in person, just a 100 feet away, at a coaches clinic maybe 8 years ago or so.  I was his shadow for as long as possible.  Followed everywhere he went and listened to everything he said.  He'd walk from drill to drill and bitch out kids 5x his size for not using a proper technique.   
Penn State couldve showed me a water boy who said "Drink water like this, its better this way," and I would've done it.  I trusted every single syllable that the staff and most importantly Joe Paterno uttered as absolute gospel. 
I was wrong.
Joe Paterno had an opportunity to save kids, not just give them a scholarship, but to save them from an absolute monster.  An absolutely disgusting human being that was empowered by one of the most prestigious football programs in the country.   He enabled a monster to use the platform that he built for over 45 years to dominate, bully and terrorize under privileged children. 
Those who willingly stand by and watch a crime being committed are not guilty but they are far from innocent.     
They say its a privilege to play football and to play sports, but its more of a privilege to coach and to be around young athletes and their energy.  Its a privilege just to have an opportunity to be in a position to help kids grow and evolve and learn.  Joe Paterno and his staff no longer deserve that privilege.  They lost it when they decided to stay quiet and not give a voice to those who needed it. 
Every single coach or staff member, from top to bottom should step down because none of them deserve to wear blue & white. 

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

No Off-Season

I'm taking a minute to look back on this past year of training.  Thinking about the sessions, the outdoor workouts, the birth of Blue Chip, the people I've worked with and for, the gyms I've been in and all those miles on my car. 

I think it's an amazing foundation and the tone is set.  I love my view right now.  I think this past year kicked ass and proved a point.... and that can be said after nearly every workout "We kicked ass and proved a point."  Right now, Im so excited to get my next apt... because I train some serious badasses :) 

So I'm looking back on this "training quest"... and I'm very happy....
...and now I'm looking forward. 

Last winter, we had some hiccups and we were temporarily "homeless."  This fall/winter, we're settled.  We're "home," and we are going to kick ass all winter long.  The bad weather, the snow, the crappy roads, none of that is going to slow us down this year.  (Yes "bad weather, snow and crappy roads" was a metaphor for where were in late 2010:).   

There is no off-season.  Our training is on fire right now.  Get your 2012 "To-do list," ready!  More importantly, get your 2012 "TO BE," LIST ready!

Make a mental note:  If you know we're working out at 2pm or whenever, 2 hours before that, start getting your thoughts in order.  Get some protein in your system, get some water or gatorade and start getting your mind right.  You have to come in and be prepared for the ride.  Yes, we will defintely have some fun, we'll crack some jokes and defintely have a good time... BUT this is not social hour.  YOU/WE are here to do things that we cant do and dont do anywhere else.  Every single workout.  Every single time.  This is not "Do 1 set and bs for 3 minutes," personal training.  This is "Lets go off!  Every single time, every single set!" type personal training. 

***Womens only class, every Sunday at 11am at Titans Gym in Mentor.  $5 for non-members, free to members.  For those of you who have trained with me before in either the one on one setting or in the summer workouts or even the volleyball workouts... imagine those workouts and turn up the volume to "10."  I promise you, come for one month, stay and talk some nutrition after, stay and lets set up a cardio plan, stay and lets talk goals... within 2 months, you'll be well on your way to reaching some big goals.  Promise.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011


It's football season.  And every season, at some point, I start to "lose," it.  And I'm not sure exactly what it is that I'm "losing," but something happens.  Crazy things fly out of my mouth, people close to me get really sick of hearing me talk, and every single thing is under a microscope.  My sleep goes down, my energy goes up, the seasons change, back to wearing hoodies, leaves change colors... i cant explain it.  Other than football is more of an analogy to life than anything I can think of and it adds another element to my day and another outlet for me to...  I really dont even know what I do sometimes. 

I was at practice the other day.  I dont talk about it on here much but I coach at a high school in the area.  We have some very talented young men with more potential than they know.  I dont fault them one bit because I think we were all that way at that age.  There was always someone who saw more than we did.  So anyway,  we're conditioning and I could see they were starting to drag it a little.  It was a tough drill but they were starting to "coast."   I pulled them in and said something along the lines of  "We're at the point in the season where we need to find another gear.  We know we're fast, we know we hit hard, we catch, we run, we block and we do alot of things right.  And odds are we'll have a physical advantage on most nights.  So now its time to tap into another advantage... one we dont even know we have yet..." and I pointed to my heart.   I paused because I had a mini flash back... I usually do... when that screachy voice jumps in my head... time to breathe and slow down before things really fall apart (if you know me, you know what and who I'm referring to :))   These kids arent dumb and they know they're good.  They know they have very real football skills and sometimes those skills are enough to slide by.  So I told them "We're going to see a team just as fast... who hits just like we do... who can run and jump like us... and then it wont be about out-hitting, or out-running... it will be about out-hearting."  It may have went on... hard to remember when things get going. 

(I think when I was a younger coach, I would address the same topic but in a very immature way.  Kind of challenging whether or not they had a heart.  Its different now.  I know its there but sometimes hiding... and I want to help bring it out.)

But it all is about that.  The analogy is right there.  We see it everyday.  We have jobs, we have friends and family and things we care about.  And every single thing eventually comes down to who has the heart. 
In my job, there are 100 trainers in the area, all with different skills, certifications, experiences and resumes.  Some have masters degrees, some have been around for 20 years and some think the'll be successful because of looks or who they know... it will always come down to "heart."

Friday, September 30, 2011

Self Love?

by Jenn Dudich

Self love? That is great and all, but self awareness is where it's at. You see, from Day one on this Earth, our little subconscious minds are taking in information and making assumptions. Yes, assumptions. Those things that we learn later in life are one of the worst things we could do! But, this is how our 5 senses and our brain interact. The senses bring in the info, the brain decides where to file it. As we mature, and learn things, our assumptions are either confirmed or changed. Unfortunately, for some, they have been confirmed over and over by an outside influence, or by themselves even though they may not be true. Either way, these little assumptions pop up all the time in our subconscious and they begin to influence our behavior patterns, and essentially the results that we cultivate.

So, what the heck does that all mean? Let's pretend that we have a young aspiring football player that shows up for practice. Whoa...who is this kid? He will definitely be a star quarterback! But look closer, and you might see a kid that goes home to a family that tells him he is wasting his time with football. A family that tells him that he will never make it. A family that reminds him of all the failures he has already had in his life. They tell him to quit day dreaming. They laugh at him.

This young man has already been defeated and cut himself from tryouts. No matter how much the coaches are telling him that he is amazing, he only hears his loved ones laughing at him. He hears his own voice asking him what the keck he is thinking by trying out. He used to fight it, but then he didn't make any other team hi tried out for. Maybe he simply wasn't good enough for those teams because his talent was in football, and he didn't discover it yet. Unfortunately, that is not how he looks at it. Instead he assumes his family is right. And so his behaviors pattern follows and you watch helplessly as his skills back off through tryouts.

To me...a coaches job is to find that diamond in the rough and help them become aware of their strengths AND what they are doing to get in their own way. Help them prove their assumptions wrong so that they can begin to flourish. Yes, you may have to push them. You may even have to coach loudly! But, at the end of the day...the most important thing you can do as a coach, is understand that you may be fighting against a life time of wrong assumptions that this person is believing in. So, when they back off or don't follow through. You remind them that they are great. You remind them of their progress. You help them learn their self defeating patterns. You teach them to be self aware. You don't give up, because the minute you do, you just confirmed their assumptions once again.

This rings true for all of us in some way. We all get in our own way of success. Some of blame others for our failures. Some give up and decide they just can't. Some are so afraid of who they would be without their doubts that they don't ever let them go. Some are comfortable in their habits. Some are completely unaware that they can change their thoughts, their actions, and their lives. Some figure it out and soar. Be realistic...and figure out, which one are you? How self aware are you?

Question:  What does self love have to do with fitness and health and your general well being?

Monday, September 26, 2011


(Revised 3/2014)

I've been having some really great conversations lately with people I work with and friends about "effort."  And I know I harp on this all the time and I'm actually annoying myself but... I cant stop it.  Its in everything.  I recently posted something along the lines of "We're all motivated people, the difference is applying the thought to the actions."  We all want and need and have a desire to be better or to do more, but some of us have troubles putting together the actual thought to making it happen in real life.  We all day dream.... do they come true?  Why do they?  Or why dont they?  What stops us?

The two extremes are the ones that drive me the most crazy and honestly I admit its because I cant relate.  People who under achieve and people who ignore their themselves or their lives.  Maybe theyre not extremes but just both completely apathetic. 

Its so foreign to me.  Not that Ive nailed every goal Ive ever set out for, but Ive always given my all, always.  Always.  "Give til its gone."  I workout until I'm exhausted or I get the absolute most out of the time I have to workout.  I work all day long with very few actual breaks.  I hate turning the tv on because it distracts me.  Unless I'm scheduling appointments, I keep my phone out of reach because its too tempting to play a game.  I know not every single thing can happen, every single day BUT in every single day, positive movement can be made to "improve," whatever that word may mean to you.  So I see someone who I feel can be so much more and wonder "why." Someone said "who are you to ask why?"  I said "Well, because Im an annoying person and this is what I like to do."  I also think if there is a need to bitch every now and then, you know?  Why not try harder?  Why not point it out to people we care about?  If I didnt care, I'd let it all go.  If I didnt care about their lives, I wouldnt care at all about someone not working to make their dreams come true.  Think about that.  Think of how many of us let THAT dream float away.  And now we just day dream about it every now and then and think "what if...?"  But I work with waaaaaay too many high school kids, I refuse to coach day dreamers.  I refuse to train day dreamers.  I want dream makers.  And I truly dont care what it is.  I work with a young man right now, we train 3 days per week and he's a varsity player.  I want to know him in 10 years and he tells me it "all happened," or "it's happening."  I say "What is?" And he says "Everything I've tried to do." 

She said "you cant just grab them by their neck and throw into the box you want them to fit in."  True.  And I dont feel thats what I do, but...

... when I was young, I had no clue what "Full go," and "Effort," meant.  I thought I did, but I didnt.  I would practice, I thought I practiced hard.  Because I knew I could practice at 75% and still start, still be "good enough." So I thought I was doing the job. I made excuses to skip the weight room.  Why?  Because I had a real jerk off ego and thought I didnt need it.   Then I met a guy who basically wouldnt leave me alone.  And at the time, he was the absolute most annoying person on the planet.  Every corner I turned, he was there.  Every time I skipped a class, he popped up.  Every time I tried to skip weight room, there he was in the exit.  He would call my house, he would talk to my friends, he was on top of every single thing I did.  Then every drill I didnt finish, even if he was 100 yards away, I heard his voice.  Every missed assignment, he saw it and "addressed it," before the play was over.  In his mind, there was no explanation for not finishing a drill, for skipping the weight room, for not applying yourself and that went for the classroom even more than the field and even into our personal lives.  And then he went from most annoying person ever to one of the greatest ever, in just 10 very fast, short weeks. 

Why?  Because he saw what I/we didnt.  What we couldnt.  Because we all had so much other shit crowding our visions and minds, and he came in and cleared the air.  And he didnt quit even when he thought we ignored him most of the time... God, we wanted to.  But he never quit.  Even when we failed, he was there the same as he was when we were successful.  He was full go and full go was our goal. 

I was one of those guys.  I was fully willing to coast and not even achieve let alone underachieve.  I was the type of person that thought good enough, was good enough! He didnt grab my neck and force me into his vision.  He grabbed my heart and forced me to create my own vision.  Thats what parents and coaches jobs are... what friends jobs are.  What we're here for... if you're not improving yourself and people around you, I truly dont know what youre doing.

He said "Sometimes I feel I'm forcing myself to operate at a "5," because the "10," gets tuned out and people really cant handle it on a daily basis."  Then someone else responded with "You're doing yourself and everyone around a disservice (working the 5 instead of the 10)... do what you're here to do.  And if they dont want, do it again.  And if they reject it, do it again.  Never lower your expectations."   

Never lower your expectations, no matter where you are or what you're doing.  Sometimes things just don't work out, they don't match up.  Could be a job, a relationship, a trainer-client situation, anything.  
This is your life and that absolute last thing you want, is to sit there at 60 yrs old wondering "what if I tried harder..."

Sidenote:  A friend told me thats its not always a desire type thing.  It could be mental road blocks that we really dont realize we have.  We have the ability to sabotage ourselves without ever really accepting the fact that we're sabotaging ourselves!  Sounds crazy, right?  But Im a victim as well.  I know there have been times where I could have done this or that... and I didnt.  The obvious relation on this website is fitness.  We talk ourselves out of running, or let ourselves cheat our diets when we know in our heads what we should be doing... yet we allow ourselves to "fail."   
So stop.  Make the conscious decision to stop letting yourself fail or fall short.  Imagine you have a mtg w yourself.  What would you say to motivate in this situation?  What would your you, say to yourself?   
I just did this last night driving home, I had a nice 15 minute drive on 44 where I turned off the music and said to myself "You need to..." And went on and on and when it was over, I felt great.  I didn't beat myself up, i just said what I would've said had I been my own client.  I then went home, worked out, wrote up a new 4 week plan, and finished some work.  
Give it a shot.  Talk to yourself like you're your own client/friend.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Luxory & Service

Originally written on 05/21/10

Client - "Why are your prices as low as they are?"
Me - "Why would they be higher?"
Client - "If you charge too little, people are going to think you're cheap for a reason."
I had that conversation last week while watching the Cavs get destroyed by the Celtics. 
Prices of certain things have always bothered me and I don't understand how someone can charge "X" amount just because they can.  I don't understand hidden "start-up" fees, when you think you're paying a certain price then someone says "oh yeah, plus a $159.99 transaction fee," and we're supposed to accept that. 
In my opinion, personal training is not a luxury, it shouldn't be, it's a service.  It shouldn't priced to a point where only certain people can afford it.  It should be at a point where nearly everyone can find a way to make it work within their budget.  Families should have an option to take a class and not be stuck in some monthly contract.  (If someone calls me today, and says "I'd like you to start a Family Fitness class," and if I think they'll show up, that class is happening.) 
I love yoga and I'll probably never stop taking classes as long as I'm healthy, but it really upsets me that the price is so high.  It's somewhere around $13-$15 per class depending where you look and the price could drop if you buy a large package... but does it have to be that high?  How many more people could have their lives improved and be open to a new experience in life if it was affordable?  It's hard for me to talk young athletes into going to these studios when I tell them the cost... $15 is 3 Subway subs to a 16 year old!    One class per week would cost $60 per month plus renting a yoga mat or purchasing one, in my opinion that's a little high.  Why not get more people involved?  Why not drop that rate and open up to those who were on the fence or couldn't quite afford it?  (I'm not beating up yoga studios. I think they all do an absolutely amazing job, but if it was more affordable I'd take class 4x per week.... and running at the park is free.) 
I heard someone say something like "it's expensive to be in good shape and to eat right."  Unfortunately, theres some truth to that.  But it doesn't have to be that way.    There's an enormous difference between cheap and affordable.
As written above, I wrote that in 2010 and very little has changed.  The pt prices have not increased, if anything, they're cheaper and you should investigate.... In no way whatsoever do the prices represent the quality. Just the opposite.  Who you can afford, is the best.
My reference point about yoga costs was interesting to reread.  Not only has my stance not changed, I found a way to create a room where for $60, you can take 16+ fitness classes per month, 75% of them yoga... Far from just 4 classes for $60.  
Gyms, fitness centers and studios are in business to make money.  We're all in business and work to make money.  But it should be more affordable and a higher quality.  
People keep telling me "stop giving things away," and "charge more," and I smile and end the conversation.  They'll get it one day.
I've also heard "get off your high horse," lately and that's even funnier.  So sad that someone thinks doing the right thing is the "high horse."  

"I knew the rules, but the rules did not know me... Guaranteed."   Eddie Vedder; Into The Wild Soundtrack; Guaranteed 

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

When you want to succeed...

Pregame dinner; warm ups; coin toss; locker room; intros and kick off.

You had a plan.  You prepared all week based on the information your broke down ahead of time.  You felt there were certain things you'd be able to do well and certain things you felt you may struggle with.  You knew how you wanted to move the ball and knew how you wanted to stop them.  You knew special teams and field position would be important.  You knew limiting mistakes would be crucial.  No fumbles, no interceptions, no costly penalties.  You knew you had to stay positive and you knew you had to be focused.

Then they blitzed... and now you have to adjust.  They're bringing pressure you didn't expect.  Coverages you've never seen.  They're showing things you didn't think you'd see.  You're worried you're not as prepared as you thought you were and you're confidence is shaken.  But no one can know.  You're in charge, you're the leader, what are you going to do? You have to stay positive and keep with the plan but you also know you have to adjust.  Not bail on your game plan but adapt.  What are you going to do? 
Now its raining and you didn't plan for that.  The ball is slippery and the receivers are struggling to catch it.  Its getting muddy and the offensive line is having troubles with their footing.  Its raining so hard, the fans and band left. 
Things are happening that you didn't know how to prepare for... you didn't even know this situation was a possibility... but here it is.

The beauty about football and sports? 
For me, it's the clock.  Knowing how much time is left. 
(Take a second to re-read above and think how it relates to life.)

You planned, you thought you prepared well.  You probably did.  But life, like football, can throw you into some situations you weren't prepared for and didn't even know you should've prepared for.  And we have to adjust and adapt or we'll "lose." 

You knew what you wanted to get done, you had goals.  In football, the ultimate goal is to win the game.  And along that path, there are many mini goals that lead to the ultimate goal.  A coach cant just blindly say "Our goal is to win," without other conversations like "we need to block better, we need to tackle better, we need to limit mistakes, we need to attack them here and protect here," and on and on.  Maybe your goal is to own a home.  So along to that goal is a path of several goals.  Could be get a second job, start a savings account, save "x" amount per month and on and on.  Many steps can lead to one goal.

You have to overcome adversity and know sometimes not everything is in your control. The team couldn't control the weather and the mud.  The team couldn't keep the fans and the band with them.  The only thing the team could control was how they would adjust and respond.  In moments or phases of adversity, how will you react, adjust and respond?  Cars break down, companies go out of business (some for very strange reasons), things happen... how will you react, adjust and respond?

But the clock is still in the background.... and that's the only analogy we cant really relate to.  Our clock isn't in our site. We don't know when the game is over.  We may know we're down two touchdowns and its 3rd and long... but we don't know we're already in the 4th quarter and we never really will.  But we know we only have one "game," and we have to play it to "win." 

Whats your "game?"
What are your goals?  Can you see the mini goals along the road?
How are you preparing and planning?
How are you adjusting, adapting, reacting and responding? 
How will you "win?"

A friend recently sent me an amazing youtube clip where a young man was training and there was a motivational speaker over the highlight.  The speaker told a story of young man who wanted to be successful.  The quote that has stuck with since and has really always been in my head is "When you want to succeed, as bad you want to breathe... then you'll be successful." 

When you want to succeed as bad as you want to breathe.  When you want to win as bad as you want to breathe.  When you want to live as bad you want to breathe.  When you want to _____ as bad you want to breathe.... then you'll be successful.  Because remember, success is full go!  Success is maximum effort!  Success is going and going and going and working and doing every single thing you can, in every moment you can... when you want it as bad you need air!  That's success. 

One game.  One life.  Full go.

Friday, September 16, 2011


I think it took me about 5 minutes to think "Everyone at BootCamp would love this!"  Then 5 minutes later I thought "Holy crap, everyone I train would love this," and by the time it was over I was thinking "EVERYONE I KNOW WOULD LOVE THIS!" 
The drive wasnt awesome and the wait to get into the parking lot wasnt great, but it was all so worth it.   We registered for the 11am take off but quickly learned that didnt matter.  I think we finally took off around 11:30 and it was immediate fun.  The race started off with a couple hundred people waiting by the start line (they say a few hundred take off every 30 minutes).  Started off on a nice little run down a hill and maybe 1/4 mile down the trail we came up on our first obstacle.  Actually we knew it was coming long before we saw it because we could here people yelling, laughing, splashing, screaming and could eventually see them trudging through "Deadweight Drifter," which was a small section of the lake... about 3 feet deep and had around 3-4 logs floating in the middle.  If you werent willing to launch yourself over them, it took a bit of a team effort to push them down and climb over the top.  Thought this was nice because it kept you cool early.  From there we were straight up what seemed to be about 1/4 mile hill and back down... but pretty much loaded with mud or at least very unstable conditions.  Actually alot of the first half was very muddy and you really had to be on your toes or you were going down... which I did. 
Once we made it out of the woods and mud, we were on to the "meat," of the obstacles, about every 100 yards or so was something new.  The order in my mind is a little shotty and actually the website has them out of order to but I remember; about 15 yards of car tires to run through, in and out of a dumpster, then more tires, then another dumpster, then more tires, then one more dumpster; 2 or 3 different rope and wall climbs; about 40 feet of balancing beams; and a really nice over/under obstacle (over a 3 foot wall, crawl under a wall without 2 feet of room above you).
However, the best was definitely last.  We get to the top of the last hill which was pretty exhausting and there are two fire "lines," in front of us and across the path.  Definitely not too crazy, just pretty cool because they take your pic jumping over the fire which can be purchased a few days later on the website.  But that was the coolest part.  We approached a mud pit and I saw people crawling and I thought they were doing it to be funny and just to get dirty because you actually could telling it the were walking or anything.  So we walked in... and immediately sunk at least 3 feet... tried to walk and it was so thick it was nearly impossible.  The only way to get through it was to basically doggy paddle through the top layer.  By the way, if you could stand and walk through it, you werent allowed because there were lines of barb wire about 12-18" above the mud... so you had to get into it.  And again a picture station right when you crawl out to capture you at your "hottest," which is also where you cross the finish line.... but its not quite over because now you have to get clean.
So you're covered in mud and making your way down a slippery slope and into the lake where everyone else is mud sliding in and bathing together!  Which sounds really ridiculous and maybe gross but trust me, the event is so much fun you just buy in to everything going on.
Next years Ohio event is already on the site for June 2nd/3rd and I will be creating a FaceBook event to get as many people in as possible, no doubt the more involved, the more fun it will be.  We'll probably camp next year as well if anyone is interested.    Pics will be on the site soon. 
In re-reading this, I really cant capture 1/10 of the fun this thing was.  But I know if the Boots are willing to flip those tires, run through the woods, bear crawl and all that other crap we do, this will be your super bowl!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Public Enemy #1 (revisited)

(Originally written in 2011)

"The arrogance of success is to think that what we did yesterday is good enough for tomorrow."
Complacency is keeping me awake tonight.
I think the weather has a little something to do with it too.

Before I start, take a second to briefly glance at aspects of your life... your job... your health... your relationships... your marriage... your habits... your schooling and education... anything you do that really matter to you.  Take a look at it...
Think about when it started... how bad you may have wanted it... how excited you were to go back to school.
How happy you were when you lost your first 15lbs....
How excited you were when you got engaged... or even before that... when you knew this was the time you wanted to be engaged...
Think of how much you knew you wanted or needed the job... and everything you did to get it...
Think of how motivated you were to fit into that shirt/dress/skirt/pants...
Think about day #1... date #1... workout #1... That interview...
Is the fire the same?  Do you still work that hard at your career?  Do you still buy her flowers?  Still running?  Still watching those late night carbs?   Still putting in O.T?  Still going the extra mile?  Is it still automatic?  Is the fire the same?

Tonight, I'm wondering how often "success," softens us.  How often complacency is enemy #1.  I've seen it time and time again.  Football teams have let up, coaches have let them, teachers coast into retirement, mgmt slacks, owners think mgmt is handling it, trainers get money happy, relationships go flat, on and on and on and on. We've all seen it, and you may have even added a couple examples in your head as you were reading.  

What is it that allows us to coast?  To relax?  To ease up?
Why do people let something that was once their passion, float away, left to one day wonder... "What happened?"

I'm not ranting on anything particular tonight but just wanted take a look at somethings in life and make sure we're not taking anything for granted and continue to strive, to move and evolve and grow.. whatever that may mean at this moment.  Might mean planning a dinner.  Might mean staying up late to prepare some things for work.  Might mean calling someone.  (Fill in the blank)... might mean___________.  So do it.  
I use my metoblism and fire analogy often.  How do you keep the fire hot?  Consistent logs, every so often.  How do you keep your metabolism burning? Consistent nutrients/calories every so often.   Same goes for life, your work, your love, your hobbies, etc.  You have to pay attention to that flame and work it... If you don't, it will fade away.

As soon as you accept a complacent thought, you just took an enormous step backwards.  Your competition just got closer, your passions just distanced and your will to succeed softened.  

Don't let it happen... 

Thursday, August 18, 2011


working on putting some thoughts together...
my training is going pretty strong... probably better than ever.... weights a few days per week, more cardio than ever (foot is tight but holding up)... limited yoga due to my busy work schedule and my nutrition is finally in line (a.k.a. not drinking.  not that I over drank but a few drinks usually led to late night quesadilla's). 
i recently referenced "perspective," in either the last entry or the one before... i may have beat myself up a bit... if not obvious in the entry, i certainly did away from the computer.... and still in some ways, I still am. i definitely have days where i wonder if i'm doing the right things... if i've made the right career choices... if my process makes sense and works... ive definitely doubted myself lately. 
i went back and re-read some pages from a book i used to talk about alot and even gave out a few copies as gifts to some other trainers.  read "smile when you work," and "anticipate and expect positive outcomes."  and i had to let that settle for a day because sometimes someone patting me on the back... i avoid.  but this was me, trying to pat myself and regain some energy.  a little self love, if you will.  so i went out and had a really successful day and made some good contacts and had some great conversations with some local businesses and ive been on a roll.
energy in, energy out.... i constantly talk about "never give up," and "go full go," and effortefforteffort, etc.  believe me, its hard to let go of bad habits... and painful memories... they all tell you its an anchor and can sink you... and you/we need to surrender to positivity... and sometimes its hard.  but we have to do it. 
ive found successes in limiting opportunities of failure.  simple example:  youre trying to watch what you eat... dont buy something youll regret eating at the grocery store.  sounds so simple right?  but dont we do it sometimes?  limit the opportunities for excuses.  theyll tease you and taunt you... right?  you want to go running... dont go home and sit on the couch for 45 minutes... you wont want to get up.... stay active and go.  if youre waiting for your boyfriend, stay active and wait, then go :) 
set yourself up for success and that success will breed positivity and great thoughts... and great thoughts turn into more great thoughts... and those thoughts turn into amazing outcomes which create more amazing outcomes... negative thoughts are sludge and slow you down... bog you down and everything sucks.  positivity is nitro and everything is full speed and clean and fresh and perfect.   
if youre on a diet, dont go somewhere where youll want to cheat.  
if youre on around negative people, get away form them.  theyll bring you down.  negativity is contagious.  think about it.  ever find yourself in a great mood... then hang around someone for an hour and think "what the heck happened???"  yep, they sucked the mood right out of you!  I know some of you mood suckers are reading this... dont you dare come around me :)  i'll address you immediately. 
positive in, positive out... smile out, theyll smile back. 
I remember my grandma (who I think may have had some Buddhism going on,) used to tell me to smile.. all the time.  if she saw i was upset, she'd just say smile... even down the stretch.  so when a yoga teacher said "smile when it hurts..."  ... that was interesting... and i text a :) and it sometimes is annoying to people... but sometimes you have to smile to shake off the crap and smile through a storm...
so wherever you are... shake off the crap youre boss gave you... or the absolute nonsense your friends are constantly bringing around... and smile.  and if youre having a great day... pass that great day along!  Dont be greedy :)  take it and give it away.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Full Body Training

I started lifting somewhat consistently after high school at a local Ballys. I think I probably pulled a workout out of a magazine and along with a couple buddies, and started a 5 day routine. The typical moves for the typical chest, back, legs, arms, shoulder days with cardio barely mixed in a few times per week. The workout was pretty solid and with a real strict diet I dropped a few lbs, but as time went on, the workout became somewhat stale and a little monotonous. And like a lot of other people, when things got boring, I stopped going.

A few years ago, I headed back into the gym and again back to the same 5 day routine. Again, I had success early, as most people with any new routine, but again... I started getting bored. But this time, there was no quit. I had to find the right style for me for whatever my goals were at that moment.

My first adjustment, thanks to my very good friend (and amazing trainer) Dave Engeman, was to speed it all up! Same routines, just at a faster speed. You see a lot of people working their "arm day" and they'll perform an exercise... and wait a minute... talk to some buddies... and wait another minute... and eventually move on to the second set, which can force the workout to last over 2 hours! (They must love hanging out in weight rooms.) So my days stayed the same, but I started doing fast supersets with maybe 15 seconds rest in between exercises. At this point, it was probably the best workout I've ever done. Results came fast and it was the exact push I was looking for. My workouts were done in 30-40 minutes tops and I looked like I just got out of the pool. BUT....

I stopped taking days off, because I enjoyed the workouts so much... why? Because they were fun! However, with all that speed and lack of rest, I may have pushed things further (heavier) than needed to be at times.  And I think this may have led to an injury and a bit of over training. So I was forced again to re-examine things, which was ok.
I then turned to full body circuits. For those who are unfamiliar with what that entails... it’s just like the name states, working every major muscle group with minimal rest in between exercises. For example, I'd start with a chest move, then a leg move, then a back move, followed by a core move, shoulders, then legs again and back to the top. Now, there a million different ways to put together circuits so I'd try to never duplicate anything in the same week.

Example Workout (that may look a little familiar to the 12:30 workout group
Push-Ups - Failure
Body Weight Squats - 30
Bentover Row - 20
Sit-Ups - 20
Barbell Shoulder Press - 20
Walking Lunge - 20 steps
repeat 3x
Fairly simple, but when performed with a decent high intensity (weight and speed) you're heart rate reaches a cardio level, you're muscles rest just enough to not fatigue too fast, and you burn calories much faster than you would with a straight set routine.

I currently work a full body routine for myself and a great majority of my clients. Right now, I'm in love with big moves at virtually any rep range, (deadlifts, hang cleans, benches, squats, lunges and presses w/ some intense core movements). Yesterday’s workout was 4 sets of hang cleans mixed with decline sit-ups, shoulder presses with lateral raises and some plyometrics, then ran 4 miles. SO it was very much shoulder oriented, still had Daves style mixed in, but also the full body feel and intensity. Today was flat bench mixed with squats and calf raises, then single leg power step ups.  So I feel that my routine is more functional in my movements and speed, still powerful in my exercise selections, and doesn’t crush me to the point where cardio is impossible because I'm too sore or tired. So regardless of your goals or current level of fitness, a full body circuit could be the answer you’re looking for.

Good luck with all of your training adventures

Monday, July 25, 2011

Somethings Missing...

I was sitting at a little league all-star game this evening and posted "Little league and youth coaches really need some type of certification and training.  They need to learn how to teach basic fundamentals and sportsmanship," on FaceBook.  I wrote that because at this all-star game, boys and girls were playing together on the same team.  That wasnt the problem.  The problem was that the coaches and even parents were making a bit of mockery of the game and certain plays inparticular where one of the girls made a good play on a guy or one of guys made a good play on a girl.  Example #1:  ground ball to 2nd base.  The boy 2nd baseman tags the female running to 2nd out.  Good play.  But some dumbass Dad yells out "Jeez, you couldnt drop the ball and let on her on 2nd?  Maybe she has an older sister!"  Really Dad?  So your superior slow pitch softball athlete is soooo much better than the girl running to 2nd that he shouldve dropped it?  And then top it off with a slightly even more moronic comment?  Would the older sister have been impressed?   Example #2:  Male batter hits a line drive back to the pitcher and is out.  As they jog into the dugout, the coach jokes "Aw, you just got schooled by a girl!"    A number of things wrong with this one.  A) The female pitcher is going to be 5x the athlete the batter is going to be... trust me  B)  You actually just insulted all the girls on the team you just said that in front of and C)  You're setting a fantastic example that BOYS RULE!  Idiot.  Dear coach and parents, I'm sorry you had a crappy athletic career and you feel a deep desire to re-live it through your kids... but please stop.  Actually, please quit altogether.  Go to the bleachers and cheer appropriately.  Also, I train about 300+ females at any given time... and I havent seen a group of boys yet who could hang with them.  Sorry guys. 

Its funny because this entire situation also has something to do with some other things that have been on my mind.  People in the wrong position and/or people not understanding the value of positions they're in.  Lets start with coaches since I'm already on the subject and Ive been thinking about this the entire drive home.  LITTLE LEAGUE COACHES MATTER!  ITS NOT A POSITION FOR THE BORED DAD OR MOM!  ITS NOT A JOB TO HANG OUT WITH YOUR KIDS AND MAKE SURE THEY MAKE AN ALL-STAR TEAM AND GET VOTES FOR "COOLEST DAD EVER"!  ITS A REAL COACHING JOB!  Yes, it sucks that it doesnt pay, but its still a very important coaching position, if not theeeee most important position.  Obviously I'm not grouping every little league coach in this category.  Example:  I remember I had two tremendous little league coaches when I was 14 or 15 years old... maybe even 16, I'm not sure.  I was one of the better players on the team, I think I played 3rd or 2nd base and maybe some left field and batted anywhere from 3rd to 5th.  Thats irrelevent.  I dont remember one hit.  I dont remember one throw or one game.  I do remember I was an idiot.  I do remember I had a temper especially towards umpires... no clue why.  I just felt they stunk and ruined the games.   I had a big mouth and would challenge the umps authority over the game.... pretty much every game and eventually the umps knew me and disliked me and it eventually cost us a game because I was such an idiot, the coaches benched me.   I remember that.  I remember Coach Bender gave a post game speech to the team and said something about "Throwing your glove wont help win a game... yelling at umpires wont help you win a game... throwing a base into centerfield so the someone rounding 2nd wont help you win a game (which is what happened that got me benched).  Being a mature athlete will."  He was staring at me the entire time.  Like I said, I was 15 or 16 and that stuck with me.  Coach Lefferts pulled me aside after and talked to me about how to behave from this point on out and I dont remember ever having a problem again on that team.  They were actual coaches, not just dads.  They cared about how we behaved and the things we did.  Actually, Im pretty lucky to have all the coaches Ive had. Ive never had a coach turn me off from a sport.  I remember playing for Charlie Farley and his sons in midget football and they would always say something about doing our homework and being nice to our brothers and sisters (we were 5, 6, or 7 years old).  Im pretty sure, every single coach Ive ever played for... I played for.  Make sense?  There was always a connection, thats what good coaches do.  I always said I didnt really love playing football.... I loved playing for my coaches.  They made me want to want more of myself... thats what coaches do.  They didnt let me hot dog and prance around and act like an idiot... because if I did, there was going to be one serious problem when I got to the sidelines and even into the next week.  Trust me, there are some great stories... zero appropriate for this blog :) and I would need some help from some friends, maybe a book one day. 

Example #2:  My current "profession."  I put it in quotes because sometimes I wonder.  To me, it is a profession... to others, its a hobby and its really getting on my nerves.  To me, its right there with coaching.  I always feel awkward talking about it, because I'm uncomfortable talking about myself and this... but it is an important position for some people.  Before anyone gets bent out of shape, this has ZERO to do with the trainers I work with... I've been in a couple other clubs and studios lately and its irritating that theres so many people claiming to do the same things I do and carry similar initials.   I asked a colleague "Doesnt it make you angry that there are so many Joe Blows in this industry?"  He said "Nope, makes me shine brighter."  I laughed and agreed but theres still the other side.  I used to put alot of weight on certifications which is why I have the two I have.  I thought "Jeez, I have 2 of the top 5 certs around... I must be good... and trainers with $200 interent certs must suck."  WRONG!  So wrong and I truly feel like an idiot for ever thinking that and I apologize if I ever insulted you... truly.  The certs mean you took your time to take a test... PERIOD.  Granted some are harder than others with different qualifications.  But just like anything else, the true skills are found in experience and evolution (in my opinion).  I know some guys with $150 internet certifications that are absolutely outstanding... and not just outstanding in their training skills but outstanding, caring people who actually give a shit about their clients results and dont just look at it like a pay check.  And thats the difference.  Yes, we have to put out safe workouts and the education and experience comes into play... but at the end of the day, I want the trainers with heart.... check.  I want the gym owner with heart.... check.  I want the group instructors with heart... check check.  Because "heart," will win... "Heart," doesnt give up.  "Heart," cares to learn and grow and experience and care.  People that care.  People that constantly work at their craft.  I knew people were signing up for this years outdoor fitness camp regardless of what I planned... did it stop from planning and working to make it the best I could?  Hell no!  That actually made me work harder.  (Made my Dad work harder :)   

And No, buying a corporate chain and planting it in the middle of Beachwood doesnt make you the next Billy Blanks (is that his name?).  Having an all-state football player as my son doesnt make me a good coach.  I could buy 5 McDonalds and sell 5,000,000,000 hamburgers next week, it doesnt mean I'm the best chef! 

Where am I going with this?  I went off for a second there...
Certain industries arent about the money.  Coaching, teaching, training... what else?  Im sure theres more but I'm trying to wrap up.  Its not about the money.  Its about the product.  Its about not ripping people off.  Its about not going through the motions.  If youre into real estate, do not buy a gym or some corporate bootcamp and act like your changing the world... just be great at real estate.  Do what you do.  If coaching/teaching/training isnt in your blood, go home. Coach/teacher/trainer, do the job or let someone else.  I always said, if the things I do start to suck, I'll quit.  Hands down.  I know I will quit if I feel flat or this just isnt me anymore.  I'm referring to anything.  If your heart isnt in this 150%, for the right reasons, go home. 

The reason... to serve. This is a service unlike most others.  This isnt getting your tire changed.  This isnt ordering a new cable package.  Things happen in the gym and you could get hurt.  The service is to provide a very high (very high) quality of fitness training.  The service is also to be a role model for kids in the classroom (teacher, is your facebook profile private?)  The service is to teach skills and life lessons to young adults.  Thats what sports are for!  To teach life lessons at every moment you can... because if you dont, its a moment you will never get back.  Eyes are always on you and youre going to be remembered.  These jobs are important.  Kids are paying attention.  Be a role model or go home.   

Could I really do that if this was my hobby?

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

kid again...

So, as we know, I have a serious love affair with Yoga... and somehow this "blog," has turned more into yoga chat than anything else.  But I had this thought and this tool so I wanted to get it out there and play with it a little more (it being the thought.)
We have these outdoor yoga classes now... Saturdays at 8:30 through the Blue Chip and Sundays at 9 through Jenn.  Somehow, I've become addicted to going through the sessions without a mat.  The first one, someone in class forgot a mat so I gave her mine.... the 2nd one the same thing.  And #2 was on the beach so it was even cooler.  (I posted the pic on facebook and its also in the photo gallery on the schedule page.)  to me, that beach pic looked like yoga art.  It looks like twister and yoga combined.  The feet go here, the hands here... then here and there.  Then this past week, same thing... someone forgot a mat, so I gave up mine.  And i was kind of happy about it.  I didnt really want the mat at all.

We've had rain quite a bit this year and everytime I get texts "Is the workout still on???"  or "its raining!  are we cancelling???" 

So I thought about those two things... remember when we were ok running outside with no shoes on?  and playing in the rain was fun?  when we didnt mind laying down on something other than a bed or couch?  Im starting to wonder if some "kid," isnt whats inspiring me some of the time (aside from the obvious kids:) ) 
Ive always said yoga isnt easy by any stretch o fthe imagination... but in a studio, it is a controlled environment.... what if yoga, outdoors, in an uncontrolled environmont... is really what we need?  maybe thats the perfect, functional training we never knew we needed.  Dont get me wrong, in no way is this a shot at any studio anywhere in the world.  I will be right back at Cleveland Yoga and Harmony as soon as the winter comes.  But I think its soemthing to think about.  High plank on a mat in a studio... or high plank in a field... on the grass... in the sun... both sound amazing but for now, I want dirt on my hands... I want to see my sweat on the ground... I want sand on my clothes...   I want experiences you cant so rare and perfect, you know when they happen that you'll probably never be able to experience them again. 

Again, this isnt a "vs," thing or a sales pitch in anyway.... its just me being in love with being outside right now.  Trust me, when its 40 degress out, I'll change my mind again :)

Saturday, July 9, 2011

New Class

From here on out... I don't run BootCamps.  I run Blue Chip Fitness Camps.

What is Blue Chip? 
It's a standard. It's an attitude.  It's a "stamp," of quality.  I've referenced it in the past, I've posted about it on FaceBook (i.e. "Another Blue Chip night of training!")  It's a new branch of the training I'm a part of creating.  Its fitness classes, personal training, yoga, athletic off-season training, supplements and customer service.  I've talked about standards for a long time and working to keep everything in line. When I implement a supplement, a trainer, a workout, it is because I believe they meet the higher standard represented by Blue Chip. Some trainers I work with and support, some I don't.   Some yoga studios I attend, some I don't.  There's a very good reason the Blue Chip yoga instructor is who she is... she was able to bring that standard of Cleveland yoga to the company.  Cleveland yoga has a standard, Jenn has a standard and it all fits.  It's all in line. 

 Why Fitness Camp and not BootCamp?
     You can walk into a coffee shop or smoothie café and see ads for 5 "BootCamps."  Whats the difference?  Every ad still says "get in great shape!" or "workout with your friends!"  You could show up and the workout could stink or be great.  You could be doing a p90x workout at one "Boot," or jogging 5 miles at another.  Nothing really seperates them until you get there.  You might even show up at a "Boot," and the trainer... Isnt even a trainer.
      When you come to a Blue Chip Fitness Camp, you will get the highest standard of training. You will know that these workouts are above the rest.  They are not BootCamp. Blue Chip Fitness Camp is complete... full, fun, sometimes competitive... you'll challenge yourself, you'll challenge your friends... I will challenge you.  This is not some generic "Hey bring your weights, lets do 20 shoulder press!" workout. And its also not going to kill you.  Its going to challenge you.  Its going to challenge everything you think you cant do... and you will do it!  I promise you.   It's a combination of everything but its not chaos.  It's planned out in a very safe, functional, goal oriented manner.

Bottom line:  Blue Chip is settting a new standard in training, fitness and health and I am going to work my ass off for as long as I can to never cut a corner or deliver anything but the best. 

So what exactly is the Blue Chip Fitness Camp?  Imagine throwing p90x, CrossFit, TRX, personal training, bootcamps, speed & agility, strength, power, endurance, tubes, bands, strongman in a big pot and cook it over night... Wake up and sprinkle some yoga on top.  Blue Chip.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Barbell Back Squat

Start with the feet parallel, slightly wider than your hips and toes pointed slightly outward.  Position the bar across your upper back and posterior shoulders.  Set the back by sticking the chest and butt slightly out.  Bending at the hips and knees so that your butt moves backward, lower the hips until the thigh is parallel to the floor (as if reaching for a chair), pause, and return to the standing position.  Keep the head and chest up, knees over the feet (but behind the plane of your toes), and drive the hips forward and up when returning to starting position.
Remember:  It starts with feet.  Head up, chest wide, drop your hips,  reach for a chair and drive through the heels!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

It's been awhile...

I havent added anything on here in nearly a month and usually thats a bad thing.  I have a habit of staying away when I'm stressed or too intense about certain things because sometimes I need to be carefeul what I write.  But thats not quite the case this week.  I've had a few on the tip of my tongue but by the time I got around to sitting here and putting it together, the thoughts change a bit or I feel I need to think about it longer.

Here it is:  Adding yoga has been the absolute best thing to happen to BootCamps this year... or ever actually.  Like I said in past blogs and posts, I had a strong feeling that the things I had planned (some of which still havent come out) would take this years training to a new level and it has 110%. 

We're nearly 2 months in and havent duplicated a workout yet, just brought out the TRX type equipment, new equipment/toys are being built within the next week or two, we'll be moving into some new training locations soon and like I said... the yoga has been the highlight of the week and year.  30 minutes or so of some light/moderate cardio followed by yoga.... sounds so simple and it is.... and its perfect.
And thats where Ive been hung up on what to write.  Ive posted probably 20 times about the benefits of yoga and how its helped me in so many ways.  The class we had at Squires 2 weeks ago left me speechless... I was exhausted in everyway. This, in no way was just some "hey show up in the park and run through some yoga moves."  That session was one of the most memorable yoga experiences I've ever had.  Ever.  And the next week was right there but in a totally different way which made it even cooler.  The locations are cool, the set-up is cool, Jen is cool, she's willing to pause the class to teach and improve form which is so so so perfect, all the participants are willing and trusting and they are seeing very early the benefits of everything thats happening.  Again, I love yoga, I love the workouts... I'm in awe. (Plus its one session I actually get to participate in, so thats another reason its great.) 

I've had workouts where I left it thinking "eh... we missed that," or "that shouldve been better, couldve done this instead."  This year, its been "oh crap, how can we top that next time?"  Every workout seems to be different and better in a new way.

I'm very proud of how these are turning out AND everyone thats showing up!  Amazing work everytime.
Tomorrow we'll be back at Squires at 6pm for more suspension (TRX style) training and possibly some cardio.  $10 for drop-ins, the July pass is $65 for 13 workouts which include Saturday Boga.

Also Jenn will running her own Yoga sessions on Sunday mornings from 9-10am.  Drop ins are also $10 and there is also a monthly package you can purchase for a discounted rate.  For more information on the yoga sessions, email   

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

It's Evolution Baby

"I need to lose 10lbs."
"I need to improve my patience."
"I need to focus more at work."
"I need to gain some energy."
"I need to lose 50lbs!"
"I need to wake up earlier to run."
"I need to eat better."
"I need to see a doctor."
"I need to take care of myself."
"I need to save some money."
"I need to get stronger."
"I need to BE STRONGER."
"I need to clear my head...."
"I need a new job."
"I need some stress relief."
"I need to improve my relationship."
"I need some YOGA!"
"I need to communicate more effectively."
"I need to go back to school."
"I need to see my mom more..."
"I need to workout more."
"I need to do my physical therapy."
"I need to talk more often."
"I need to run..."
"I need to cut some bad habits."
"I need to not be so sloppy."
"I need to know when to chill."
"I need to wash away the anxiety..."

All these thoughts can build up on us.... breathe.

A few of those listed are mine, some are things I've heard, some are general that you may have thought or said.  There's probably something you whispered to yourself while reading.  Sometimes we want to just put our foot down and say "THAT'S IT!  It's all changing now!"  ... and maybe thats worked for you, maybe it hasnt.  I've definitely thought it. 

You have to be ready for it.  Ready to change... alter... and naturally evolve.  Slamming your foot down and demanding a change?  Maybe in certain situations or certain times... maybe one moment...  but I've most "success," with patience... awareness.. and a clear mind. 

It's kind of like riding a motorcycle.  You cant just jerk the wheel left when you want to take a left, you have to slow down a touch and leeeaaaan in real nice and smooth.  Try to take the turn too fast, and it greatly increases your risk of injury.. or worse.

The things we want... or the things we want to improve, to improve the quality of our lives... take time.  You can't find it in a pill... or a fad... or a fashion... you cant buy it... you cant just imagine it and POOF... you cant tattoo it and you cant wash it away.

Take it slow... have a plan... maybe that plan is a book, a class, a BootCamp! some "you time..." a movie... a vacation... a change of scenery... a financial advisor... a school advisor...
"I need a plan."
Take your time...  and breathe it out.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

When to Start

"This is my last pack, I'm going to quit after this!"
Why wait?  Do it now! If you really wanted to, if you really, really want to quit smoking, you would make that last cigarette, your last cigarette.  I've never been a  smoker or had any addiction so I cant speak from experience about this, but still, you know you need to quit.  You know it's expensive, you know it's terrible for your health, right?  Same goes with drinking or at least drinking too often.  You have to know that alcohol only hurts in so many ways.  Brain function, safety, and calories just to name 3 quick ones.  If you're doing something that's hurting your health, stop.  Make today that day, not tomorrow.

"I want to lose 30lbs, but I dont have time to run."
If you want to drop some weight, don't procrastinate.  Set a schedule and work it into your day just like you would a trip to the grocery store or cutting the lawn.  You don't put those off, do you?  The longer you sit around and make excuses for not starting the program, the easier it is to forget about and never get around to.  (Even right now, I'm typing as fast as I can because I'm supposed to be out on my bike in 6 minutes:)  Right now, go put on your shoes, grab your music and go get 2 miles in before the day is over.  Win the day!

"I really want to go to Cedar Point this year, but I dont think I'll have the time."
I just had a conversation like this.  I think she told me she worked 9 straight days and has had a mini streak of bad luck/tragedy in the past month.  Fridge is running low, a full schedule ahead of her, laundry isnt done, and grass needs cut.  SCHEDULE THE FREE TIME!  If you are constantly on the go, and setting your calendar two weeks in advance, always helping friends and family, working as many hours as possible, theres a chance your going to wear yourself down and get depressed.  Before that happens, take a break and breathe.  Take a half day and go to a movie.  I come home and my instincts are to clean up or continue work... I have to train myself to just let it go every now and then and chill.  If you havent been to Cedar Poin in 14 years, GO!  Schedule it, and do it.

The hardest part about most things is getting them started.  A diet, a workout, a hobby, a project around the house, etc.  There are always hurdles early on that can set us back or slow us down and make us want to put it off, make excuses or worst of all, quit.  But once we get going and get over those little speed bumps and finish what we start, the journey and the reward are well worth the effort.  Get started on that path today.
Good luck,

Friday, June 10, 2011

BootCamps 2011

I'm flirting with idea of changing the name... I never really loved the name "bootcamps," because they aren't really a true, 6am, West Coast Fitness style/military style bootcamp with camo and some yelling and push-ups til you puke type workouts.  But I did know, people would think of it as a group workout, so I went with it.  Now that I have a little momentum, I'm leaning towards changing the name towards what I always wanted it be... Training Camp, because thats actually what it is.

I wrote a while back, (a long while back) about bodies and who has the best bodies in the world.  I referenced LeBron James, Terrell Owens, Gabrielle Reece, and FloJo... look at their bodies... how do they train?  Think LeBron has "ARM DAY?"  Maybe... but probably only if he's bored and its workout #3 of the day.  Other than that, I'd bet LeBron trains alot of full body workouts with a heavy dose of multi-joint movements, agility work, hip & joint stabilization, yoga, and cardio... explosive cardio.   I remember when I was maybe 18 years old or so and I googled Michael Jordans workout.  It was 30 seconds of: bench; row; squat; shoulder press; lat pull; lunge; crunch... something along those lines.  But just 30 seconds, pop up and move on.  Kinda sounds like "Curves," no? 

Anyways, my point is... we train like athletes.  The goal is to improve our cardio and our running. 
How do we improve our running?  So many of the full body workouts we'll do this year, like we've done in the past, will be loaded with upper body and lower body movements that are needed when we run.  Exercises to improve core & hip strength, ankle stability, and balanced upper body strength.  Drills and exercises to improve our deep stabilizing muscles to help us reach new levels of full body endurance. 
I want you to be to the point where going out and running 5 miles is very easy.  Thats not impossible.  I dont care who you are.  I want you to be at a fitness level where 5 miles is "just a decent run," you know what I mean?  You say "i want to be able to do 10 push-ups," great... going from 2 push-ups to 10 is amazing... and now we're going for 20.  There is no peak... there is no max... there is no plateau... we're going for more.
This year, we'll be using some different locations.  Adding some high school stadiums alone will add to the training, and probably not in the way you might be imagining.  You might be thinking bleachers, the track, the field... ok, so we might be on the same page :)  but theres always going to be a twist, and you will never, ever feel like you wasted your time or money... guaranteed. 

Which reminds me, I also want to add a "GUARANTEE," to this years boot.  If one person signs up for all 4 months, follows the diet plan that is included in the cost, attends 90% of the sessions and does not achieve his/her goals (within reason: coming in saying 500 push-ups in 1 minute will work), I will buy them a gym membership for 1 year and train him/her 2x per month for that year (around a $1500 value).  

The paid in advance cost will be around $5-$6 per workout, total will change because one month may have more workouts than others.  $10 for drop-ins.  "Family Deal," the first family member is full price, if a family member joins on, that member saves 50%.

This years boot will include full body workouts (upper, lower, core, flexibility) speed & agility, and some yoga.  We will start slow in May to prepare for June and we'll climb to greater heights every single month.  If you're a beginner, no need to be worried, everyone was once a beginner.  Everything we do, from the basic to advanced movements has a modified version.  Some people come in with a shoulder injury and may have trouble with push-ups... thats fine, crunch.  Someone may have trouble jogging 1 mile... fine, take your time and get it done.  Before its all over, that mile will be a peice of cake... and if you cant jog that mile, you get a 1 year membership and 24 personal training sessions... no joke. 

The "boots," a.k.a. training camp is the highlight of my year and I look soooooo fwd to them... this year is going to blow every other year right out of the water.  I'm already writing up the workouts, scheduling locations through August and preparing some guest assistant trainers... this will be a training experience you won't forget.  Gauranteed.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Training for Performance

LeBron James, Maria Sharpova, Terrell Owens, Gabrielle Reece, Dwight Howard and Heather Mitts all have something in common beside being professional athletes... phenomenal bodies.   And they didnt get that way just from playing their sports.   They got that way from a lot of hard work in a lot of different styles of training as well as outstanding nutrition.
Let's say you run marathons or 10k's or something along those lines:
 1) Are you eating properly for that sport?   Are you taking in the correct amount of carbs at the right times? 
2) Are you following your schedule and using your resistance training days?   Are you training the muscles needed to not only help you run more efficiently but also the opposing muscles to help your body stay in proper alignment?
Whatever sport you play or whatever you do for your fitness, be sure your looking into all training methods and nutrition to get the benefits you need to be the best "you" you can be.  Remember, to look like an athlete, to perform like an athlete, you have to eat and train like an athlete.
Good luck,

This Is Blue Chip