Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Let Da Monkey Out

**Just reread this and decided not to erase some sketchy areas... This is one i think the die hards and power plus people will enjoy:)


Those of you who have been around a little while know, I'm not a huge fan of weight rooms (not attached to my opinion of local gyms, which I'm much less a fan of).  I see their purpose and certain elements of them I do enjoy and find extremely useful, but in general, they're too congested w crappy machines that serve virtually no real life purpose unless you're a body builder. Nothing wrong w that, just saying there aren't many reasons for a preacher curl unless your goal is too A) isolate your biceps or B) hurt your shoulders.  Inner/outer thigh machine?  Waste of iron and 20 sq ft.   
Every gym I walk into, I day dream about tossing half of their equipment out and creating space for a functional training area.  A jungle gym w pull up bars and battle ropes, sand bags and kettle bells, stability balls and space to move.  Box jumps, tires, agility ladders, a movement circuit.  Gyms try to pack every inch w iron or boring cardio machines that only 25-40% of the members will use correctly, or for more than their short lived New Years resolution.  

Obviously, this is only my slanted opinion... But it's also my blog and my website :)

Where is this headed?
Functional, real life, real movement training.   This is what I enjoy, what I enjoy training, what I enjoy doing.
Real movement training doesn't necessarily mean cardio or push ups.  And functional training doesn't necessarily mean mimicking your exact movement patterns.   

How can we train our entire body, our appearance, our mindset, our cardio, heart rate, breath control, coordination AND improve our physique?
How can we train our entire body, in and out?

Isn't this what power yoga is?  Isn't this what kettle bell training is?  Isn't this what the Bootcamps are all about.

Example of sessions I run at my house: 
1/2 mile jog
Kettle warm up, usually 3-5 movements, 3-4 rounds.
Barbell Back Squat, usually 5-8 sets, failing around 8-12 for all set except first and last.  First set is 15-20, last set is 30.
Back to kettles, tires and core.  A lot of work, very high heart rate, legs trashed, abs sore for 4 days.
I may work in bicep curls but only in the 30-45 second rest during the squat circuit.

Example of a boot:
1 mile run
Dynamic warm up
Full body strength circuit w bags, tubes and/or kettles.
1/2 mile run
Sprint work
Muscular finisher
Tonight, I know we're training w ZERO equipment... Except our bodies.  We'll see how it goes.  

What's funny about it, is that this has been what Blue Chip has been slowly evolving too since the day I began yoga.
Full, complete, primal, natural training.


I get the crossfit comparisons so I should stop being such a dick when people say it.  I just hate when people think crossfit invented training.  

I've come to a cross road of sorts in regards to my own nutrition.  For quite a while, I've been primarily a vegetarian, or non meat eater.  I wasn't eating 100% vegetables, probably 60%, but nearly 85-90% veggie/fruits.
But I've struggled recently w my performance and obtaining certain goals.  I've definitely flattened out in terms of progress.
So I vented a little and talked some things out... Turns out my diet and metonlism flatlined.  At first I said "I just need to work harder," that's usually what I say when things are flat.
Then I thought "could I be doing things smarter?"
Is it silly to not eat meat?  Let me explain, it's not a great option for me.  The idea of blood and bones... Kinda makes me sick thinking about it.  Then the whole karma thing..... Eh, maybe I'm still on the fence. But I wonder if I'm missing huge, key elements that could get me over the hump?  If I'm allll about natural, functional training, why am I ignoring our own dietary evolution?  If we look at ourselves as mammals, as primates, there's nothing wrong about eating meat... Right?  
But then where does the "mammal, primate," thought end?  If that's the reasoning, we could say that about 1000 different things, "if monkeys do it...!"
What if we look at ourselves as  a programmable  machines and to be a complete machine, we need to... Be complete and use everything we can to do so.
What if we look at ourselves like aliens?? Oh boy!
But what if we're even more evolved than we acknowledge?  And that our bodies, when geared appropriately, when completely balanced and aware and mindful of everything around us, has an even higher gear than we've known... And by limiting our experiences, we place a box around our our eyes, like horses pulling biggies... But opening it all up and exploring respectfully and w awareness, we tap in, we plug into becoming exactly what we dreamed of.

Pic courtesy of JRE

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Mind Your Manners?

So I'm sitting at the Yours Truly on the corner of 91 and Wilson Mills... finishing up some football notes, having lunch, listening to music, posting some thoughts, whatever.
And as I'm going through things, I think "things have felt a little cryptic lately."

I posted an blog that was pretty much talking about getting things done before we die, I posted a pic that read "You exist - but do you live?" I posted a quote that read "The biggest mistake we make is thinking we have more time and "The human bodies were not created (or evolved) to belong on couches watching mindless television, while cutting off physical/intellectual/emotional/spiritual connections with other people and our surroundings. We weren't created to sit in cubicles or to stare at video games on our fancy telephones. We're made to move, to feel, to think, to grow, to evolve. We are not machines."


But all true.

I wrote something earlier this week that I was actually a little shy to let loose on here... I heard a conversation that has really, really bothered me.  Bothered me in that old way, that keeps me awake and annoyed and taking out frustrations in the wrong way, type of bothered.
Person A - "We've lost our value as people."
Person B - "You mean, we have no values?"
Person A - "No, I mean we've lost our worth, our actual value.  We're replaceable."

It gave me the chills and tears.

Maybe, its the weather but somethings been going on... I very badly need to be outside and productive in every way.  Physically, emotionally, intellectually, spiritually.   I'm having a hard time maintaining "normal."  :)  and I don't think I'm alone.

See, when I planned on writing these, i promised I wouldn't sensor them or steer away from subjects, but clearly I have as I already admitted above.

So about the conversation I over heard and the blog I deleted...
It gave me chills and tears and that combo isn't reserved for sadness.  Usually only Pearl Jam or Nack can do that, (as it just happened as I typed that).  But Ive never heard something so unique said so perfectly, yet so damn scary.

For weeks, I've been expressing my need to take some time away and go camping.  I feel its crucial for us to unplug from the laptops, the iphones, the calendars and all that bullshit and reconnect with ourselves... I dont think that connection can be made in front of Xbox's or surrounded by our electronic comforts.  I think we have created distractions to help us stay distracted... but from what?
I've had this feeling that a few days away in silence would feel very refreshing, like a cleanse.  I think some isolation  and removing your comforts can be a very good thing. You enjoy your bed, you'd priobably enjoy it alot more if you go without it for a few nights.   If you know this movie quote "Tomorrow will be the most beautiful day of Raymond K. Hessel's life. His breakfast will taste better than any meal you and I have ever tasted," then you probably agree with me.

But I haven't gone away... why?
Because we've allowed ourselves to be so dependent on money, our options and our freedoms are limited.
Somehow we've lost our connections and we're controlled by credit scores, interest rates and dollar signs.   We've seen enough brain washing commercials that we judge our level of happiness by our toys and items we "own."  We go to the doctor looking for prescriptions to help us lose weight, smile more, and sleep better... we think we can just buy it.  We think we need an suv or clothes to match our personality...  but our personalities our actually hidden behind a mask... or a laptop.  But i'm not afraid to have this conversation in person the way I once was.  Because life really is too short and unpredictable to let a label or job or bank account define you.  You think you're in control and know whats going on, but you don't, unless you've accepted "I'm not in control and I have no clue whats about to happen."

So take time... think about your life... think about what you really want to do, and not some damn career goal.  That company could be sold and then where are you?  Think about your actual life... think about where you want to live and how you want to feel... how you want to sleep... how you want to eat... how intelligent do you want to be?  How fit do you want to be?  Take care of your body... its an amazing, living, breathing, growing organism, it really is.  Most of us have no clue everything it can do... treat it well....
You see those signs for your home "Live, laugh, love," with something following like "Often, hard, daily," I dont know exactly, there a bunch of different ones, but they're all true.  Enjoy your time... enjoy your friends... enjoy conversations... connect with people and be nice... you're not as busy as you like to tell people, so stop rushing off... get off the couch and go for a walk in the woods... go camping... listen to good music that inspires... watch movies you can feel... Stop w all the bullshit you don't need...  don't talk bad about people, talk about events and real things.. .  Share your love... express your love... EVERY DAY... get a dog and walk him/her as much as you can... read books about personal growth and development... get a hobby you love... dont be afraid to feel... be passionate about things, its ok to get fired up, you're not a machine... youre allowed to feel deeply... Own it, own your true petsonality and roll w it, 1000% w effort and enthusiasm... get pissed when needed... help people... do something for no reason as often as possible and dont even look around for a thank you or pat on the back... just do it... stop going to bed at 9... Live... stop saying no... stop acting like we're going to last forever... youre wasting time and moments that can never be found again... we're getting older faster than you accept..
 but probably not as fast as i like to believe.. but please understand, that's my motivation and fear.  Take nothing for granted...

I understand much of this would come off much better in person and we've actually touched on this in the yoga room.

Peace, love and empathy.

"Self realized and metaphysically redeemed, may not live another life, may solve a mystery.
Right around the corner could be bigger than ourselves, we could will it to the sky or could be something else."
Eddie Vedder

Monday, July 8, 2013

Tick, tick, tick....


  1. The act of committing or the state of being committed.
  2. Dedication; application.
obligation - committal - engagement - undertaking


For whatever reason, this word is greatly misunderstood by a lot of us.  Maybe not misunderstood but definitely undervalued.

Something sparks in our mind and we have an idea... From there it either sputters out or we communicate that idea in one form or another.  We write it, we say it, we tweet it, we text it.  The process of communicating it can be empowering and usually helps us remain committed to the idea, but not always.
Why do our great ideas fade and we continuously stay where we are rather than evolving by committing to our idea which usually means some changes in habits?

Lets back up a step, because we cannot talk about commitment without talking about goals.  The "why?"  There's something we see, something we feel, something we need, whatever it may be.  A goal, an ultimate objective.  It can be anything. Jim Rohn said "The ultimate reason for setting goals is to entice you to become the person it takes to achieve them."  Think about that....
That quote is saying you're not that person right now, because if you were, you'd already have that particular goal.  It's algebra.  You're already at "X," and you need "Z," to make it happen you'll become the "Y."  How?  By committing.  By evolving. 

"To entice you to become the person it takes to achieve them..."  Such an exciting statement.  
It feels like travel.   I want to Montana... I'm in Ohio... What will the road be in between?  What weather will I drive through?  What will the roads be like?  How will I get there?  Am I prepared?  Do I know where Montana is?  

"To entice you to become the person it takes to achieve them."
It feels like education.  I want a college degree.  I believe I have the dedication needed to achieve that goal, but I know along the path, I will gain a higher degree of dedication.  The process and path towards a college degree will force an evolution inside me enticing me to become the person it takes to reach my goals.

I'm going to run a marathon.  I am in the process of training for this.  Can I do it now?  No.  Today I am not that person but the process of committing, I will become. 

I'm going to lose 40 more pounds.  I am in the process of doing this.  I will become.
I'm going to get to 12% body fat.   I am in the process of doing this.   I will become.
I'm going to write a book.   I am in the process of doing this.   I will become.

These goals need commitment.   It's not a hobby, it's a change in lifestyle and habits.  
I don't really see the word "change," anymore, evolution feels much more comfortable.  "Change," feels like we're saying: I was wrong, I need to change.  "Evolution," sounds like: we adjusted improperly, and we're readjusting.  Change feels right vs wrong, evolution feels like fate.

So back to the top... Why do we let those words fade away?  We know the goal is important to us... We say it, we write it, we think it.  But the commitment fades and it's strength isn't enough.  

Is the goal not important?
Maybe we don't really care as much as we thought we did?
What if your life depended on it?  
Think about that.... What if your life completely depended on achieving goals.  If you achieve, you stay.  If you don't, you're gone.  Isn't that how your job works?  Work and achieve, or you're fired.  We accept that.  But we don't have that same mindfulness at home.... Or in our lives.   That's the problem, we think we always have tomorrow... And tomorrow and tomorrow.  
But someday, our tomorrow's will expire and we'll run out. Pause.... Let that thought sit there.... Look around your life and know, without a doubt, you will be gone someday...  Will you have a list of memories and achievements?  Or a list of regrets and things you wish you would've done?
The clock is always ticking... How committed are you?

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

random things that piss me off

When working w dumbbells in a fairly crowded gym, there's no reason to stand within 3" of the rack so no one wise can reach in for a set of dumbbells.  Grab what you need and back up up 3 big steps (unless shrugging w more than 100lbs).  
You can still make all your silly faces from 3 feet as you can from 3 inches.  

Selling a supplement doesn't make you a qualified fitness professional.  Understand that beachbody/shakeology people??  You're basically the Walmart of the fitness industry.  

People who think weights still make you big and bulky.
It's 2013, if you still think squats, presses and pulls will make you a big meat head and give you huge muscles, you're not a very smart person. 

Trainers and "coaches," who think weights don't directly effect sports performance.
Nevermind the millions of studies proving squats improve your vertical and sprint speed, or that power cleans and deadlifts improve nearly everything, you keep hopping up and down on your left leg.  That'll guarantee... You're good at hopping up and down on your left leg, while building up extreme muscular imbalances and ignoring that your entire body works as a system.  

People who still think "yoga is easy."
Everyone says that... until they take a class.

I don't dislike copy cats, I dislike people with no creativity.
If you're going to run a Bootcamp, do something new!  Stop running out that tired 1986 VHS style session.  That's not a Bootcamp, that's bad workout performed in the grass.

Gyms w yearly upgrade charges.
Really?  Gym fees don't cover my usage?  You need to charge an additional $100 to "upgrade," the gym?  Do we get to vote on what gets upgraded?  Can we upgrade the budget for a real customer service staff?

Over priced certifications.
Lets be honest, the good ones cost A LOT of money while the majority of the education comes through experience.  And by over priced, I don't mean expensive, I mean OVER PRICED, where the value just doesn't add up to the $$$.

Actually all certifications annoy me :)
It's a piece of paper that no one asks to see and doesn't prove a thing.  And I'm not the guy angry that I don't have them.  I have 2 of the top 4 certifications and like I said above, experience means much much more.  
Get the $100 cert and blow $2000 on clinics and seminars, then blow another $1000 on fun equipment, buy a bunch of books and DVDs, train in 3-5 gyms even if just to observe the training and fitness classes. Find your own style.   

People who post thoughts without adding the quotation marks and crediting Jim Rohn or whatever other random pic you stole it from.  

Spouses/significant others who stand in the way of their partners fitness goals and training.
A) get a life.  Everything will be juuuust fine while he or she works out.  Maybe you can get a hobby too!
B) stop being a control freak.  It really shows your lack of confidence.
C) stop acting like it's a waste of time.  You're lazy, your partner isn't, deal w it.

Guys who pose tough in pics with their wives/girlfriends.
Tough guys don't need to make a tough face, it's clear.  The tough face is just as stupid as that damn duck face.  

When you toss your 60lb dumbbells after a chest press.
They're 60's, not 160's.  If you can't set those down, go play on the machines.

People who contact/stalk people i tag in pics.
Desperate and lame.  Happens constantly which is why I rarely tag people.  Facebook has made it too easy for weirdos and desperate salespeople to get in contact w us.  

#15. (Here's a harsh one that you'll agree w but mad I wrote it)
Hearing people say "I can't afford a gym pass," or training.
No?  But you can afford Starbucks 3+ days per week?  That's around $60/month.
No? But you afford $25/week on alcohol?
That's $100/month.
No? But you can afford all that fast food, pizza, and soda?  Can you also afford high blood pressure, diabetes, doctors bills, medications, a heart condition and poor self esteem?  Because those are the things you receive when you can't "afford," to get to the gym. 
What's your worth?
 Can you afford a pair of running shoes?  
Good, put them on, turn off the computer and meet me at metro at 4pm.  Cardio & kettles.  

Monday, July 1, 2013

Bread n Butter, Behind the Scenes

Fortunately w YouTube, the Biggest Loser and other televised fitness shows and events (crossfit), people have broadened their horizons as far as what can be done in a training session.

Unfortunately w YouTube, the Biggest Loser and other televised fitness shows and events (crossfit), people have also forgotten what should be done in a training session.  

I noticed things changing a few years ago when crossfit took off.  People starting coming in requesting to "Do that thing w the ball and throwing it up on the wall and then running up the hill," which is awesome to have requests and help steer the process, no doubt.  But what people need to understand about crossfit, that's not all those people do.  I've spoken w several "crossfitters," who only train like that 2-4x per week depending on their schedule.  The other days, they're training in other styles such as power yoga, kettle bells, and basic strength training.    So in no way is this a shot at crossfit, I think it's pretty awesome that it took the fear away from box jumps and power cleans, but they do need to show the entire training regime.  No one does crossfit everyday and stays healthy.  I said this about the Olympics too.  They could've really done everyone a huge favor by highlighting the offseason training.  

Above I wrote "basic strength training," and that's a bit of an oxymoron.  #1 strength training is NOT basic.  It's only basic because squats might be the first thing that pops up in google. But I've had clients that only sign up for 1 session per week... Guess what we're probably doing?  You got it, some squat variation. I get into this alllllll the time and just reposted a blog this morning on a similar topic.   
People constantly underrate and underestimate the "basics," because they're concerned w something they saw on television or some new catchy pitch.  Jump training for instance... Plyos vs the weight room.  Studies for years have constantly shown long term improvements when athletes consistently barbell back squat, power clean and other single leg strength training movements vs a straight plyometric routine.  Plain and simple.
The problem is most people aren't very excited about getting into a squat rack for 8 sets and a catchy class and sales pitch is much more enticing, regardless of the science.  Do plyometrics improve your vertical?  Yes.  Do the results fade within a 1-3 weeks?  Yep.

(Sometimes I wonder who really wants results vs who really wants the appearance of trying to get results.)

The biggest loser puts some badass sessions on television and show really huge results... What you don't see is the staff of doctors ready to jump in or the 24 hour monitoring.  That show wouldn't be very good if people only lost what the safety guidelines recommend, .5lbs-2lbs per week.  People lose 1lb and think "that's all???"  

Ideally, you should be mixing it up but definitely sticking true to the "Bread n Butter," for long term results, no matter what your goals are.  There is just too much history and science behind resistance training to ignore it, and new studies are coming out constantly.   
Google "benefits for weight baring exercises," and you'll find pages and pages of information.

We can always say "wellllll... Our body weight is the resistance," and that's definitely true.  But there is a great benefit in loading up the entire body (barbell back squat).  Nearly your entire body is engaged in holding the weight, from head to toe.  Head because you HAVE to focus and be there.  I've always found yoga and squatting to have many parallels.  If you day dream or hold your breath in either, you're increasing your risk of injury.  Barbell back squats can actually help improve your home density... Pretty important :) Your core is engaged, your arms, chest and shoulders have to hold that bar in place, then as you drop, your hips, back, quads, hamstrings, calves, even feet.... Start to heat up and prepare to sink deep... Then rise.  Squatting alone will change your body.

Ideally:  squat, bench, pull ups, maybe a few "mirror moves," for fun, then yoga, kettles and cardio if needed.  I need cardio to shed fat but also enjoy it very much.  

This Is Blue Chip