Tuesday, November 19, 2013

LOVE (and other very random thoughts)

I've had that topic sitting in the menu bar for about 4 days now... Maybe that's saying something about me.  

I had this thought while talking to a friend... I was kinda giving him a hard time about quitting smoking and working out and all the other topics that come flying out when I get up on my soap box and do my imitation of a motivational speaker.  My friend expressed that he wanted me to stay on him a bit but hearing me scream out "Where the F are you going?" every time he tries to sneak away can wear you down.  I think he may quit smoking just because he's thinking of smashing his cigarettes into my face... and that's ok.  I'll take it and smile when he's smoke free, rebuilding healthy lungs and saving $80/month. 

But then I started checking myself more and why I do that to him or anyone else that gives me the opening...  I went through a run where I pulled it all back and left everyone alone.  I thought "No one is going to want to be near me or talk to me if all I talk about is yoga or training or diets or podcasts or..." anything else that absorbs my life.  But I truly think it effected me and still is a bit.  I mean, I REALLY pulled back (and I know of one friend reading this right now nodding along,) and in pulling back, I lost energy.  I lost momentum.  So last time I saw my friend roll his eyes at me, I said "I'm not saying this to be a dick, I'm saying it out of love," and I mean that 1000%.  I don't say the things I say or do the things I do just to be a big mouth character (or however you see me, I have no clue) but I say because I want you to live.  I want you to achieve your goals.  I'm on a mission that I'm taking very, very seriously and I want you on it.  That mission is to turn dreams into reality.  I know it reads like a cheesy T-Shirt or some Facebook quote but thats what its alllllll about.  And you cant make it happen by staying who you are today... it happens by becoming the person you need to become to reach tomorrow.  If all you care to be is the "TODAY," version, you'll always stay right here.  I want to move forward and evolve and grow and succeed. 

Think about this... what do I, personally, have to gain by YOU reaching your goals?  Think about that...
That last conversation, may have been our last, right?  You never know.  So in that thought, I have ZEEERO to gain by helping you get it done.  I wont make any money off you, I may not be there to see you succeed, I may not every hear from you again and vice versa, so what do i have to gain?  
Nothing.  This is just me and these are the things that need to come out of my mouth to keep my wave growing, to keep my momentum pushing forward and barreling down on the list of 50+ life goals that are always in my lap top bag that I update and check off constantly.  Wheres yours?  
Its not a "me vs you," kind thing.  Its a "join me," kinda thing.
I want to motivate you because I love you and I want you to want it as bad as I do.
And sometimes love isn't just a hug... sometimes its a nice boot to the ass.  I've been lucky enough to have some pretty key men in my life to teach me this lesson.  Sometimes love is hearing something you don't really want to hear, but you need to hear.  And who can tell you better than someone who truly loves you.  Now, you're not reading this as a big, motivating, green light to go home and tell someone how much you hate how they cook or smell or whatever, but Im saying dont be shy when the conversations get emotional.  Dont be afraid to say how you feel, even if it might sting.  Love is truth and motivating, for better, and we'll turn out that way if we flow with it and not hold back.  


Along the lines of holding back.... 
Why i stopped teaching yoga a few weeks ago and in true "dumbass J," fashion (I have a habit of walking out of rooms without saying good bye), never explained why to those who were enjoying my class.  
Here goes... 
I was coaching, teaching, going to school, working the day job and training.  Throughout that hurricane of a schedule, anxiety and stress built up along with the above mentioned "pulling back."  And what I noticed was that I was having troubles being honest with myself.  I just dug down and said "Get to work and get it done," and didn't take great care of myself, didn't sleep much, didn't train enough, definitely didn't take one yoga class, etc., and because of that, I couldn't teach a class and tell you to do it.  That last yoga class I taught, I felt it... it felt robotic and I knew it was time to take a break.  I could the words sticking in my throat... I knew they weren't 150% honest and just couldn't force it out.  And if the yoga isn't honest, its not happening for me.  
That's probably my #1 pet peeve.  I've been on the flip side, the member/client/student side where I knew the person in front of me was full of shit, and I couldn't take it.  As a student, I'd hear things and think "What a freaking phony," from an instructor I just couldn't believe.  (Not being overly judgy BUT how can a 22 year old really tell a room of weathered adults how to be?  You're 22!  As Ben Harper said "You have to live my life to get boots like these," and I'm sorry but... I'll hear from Ben, not from you.)
Notice, the personal training and strength classes picked up when my yoga pulled back?  I can go off with that all day and not lose energy because it's more explosive and chaotic, whereas the yoga is more emotional and intimate and you cant fake either.  
So, it's just a seasonal thing.  I'll get my other side back real soon and start incorporating the Power Plus action.  


The Grinder Podcast is nearly ready to roll.  Hopefully by tomorrow, I have my lame little mic for my laptop and it's go time.  I've spoken with some very cool friends and they're ready as well.  This is going to be so much fun.  
All guests are people that in my opinion, represent the title, Grinder.  I wrote that blog a few weeks and its obsessed me.  I even bought a bunch of black rubber wrist bands to help me remember to GRIND.  Since then, I've popped up for the gym more mornings than not and absolutely continue to fine tune my nutrition.  
Anyway, the guests will represent.  Topics will include training and fitness, motivation as always (just wait to Dave and Andy get together... I know full well, you'll want to have what they say in your ipod) entrepreneurs, sports, coaching, football, yoga and people that are representing the mindset and just awesome people with awesome stories and awesome things to share.  (I haven't contacted everyone yet but be ready - Rich, DieHard McClain, Jared, Nick, Coach, Murph, etc)
And to be honest, I don't even care if this is just my lame excuse for getting together and talking... if just 1 person listens and gets something out of this, excellent!  
We keep too much bottled and we need to let loose.  


Just went through a lobby before sitting down, had some Coldplay on the Pod and thought while people watching, "What would it be like if we really focused for 24 hours to NOT doing anything douchy?"  Just everywhere you went people held doors, and said hello in elevators, and smiled just for the hell of it, and complimented what you're wearing and told more jokes and helped you more and drove with courtesy and didn't bitch... just for 24 hours.  
(No that was not a Coldplay inspired thought... I know what your dumb joke was ie "40 Year Old Virgin :)


Can we stop saying "girl push ups?"  Are we saying "boy push ups," are hard and "girl push ups," are easy?  And if so, does that mean we add "girl," in front of something and that means the easier version?


Finalizing my Real Estate License and prepping for the exam... very excited to get it going.  This is another avenue that has my name written all over it!   The more I learn, the more anxious I am to begin.  It's all about obtaining the information to help you make an excellent choice, customer service and making dreams happen... whats NOT to be excited about.  I keep saying "I'm afraid of letting you blow $10 on a bad workout or let you do something with poor form, how the heck do you think I'm going to behave when you have your family and $200,000 on the line?"  ZERO mistakes, absolute 100% service.  
I just need an 8th day of the week and another 6-8 hours per for some sleep :)


Check out the new site, still BLUECHIPSTRENGTH.COM but also FUNCTIONALFITNESS440.COM.  Same site, two addresses.  I'm pretty proud of my supplements page and the recommendations page.  
The supplements page only has items that I personally use, AdvoCare and ONNIT.  Spark on AdvoCare and pretty much everything but the Hemp Force Protein on ONNIT.  I absolutely recommend the ShroomTech Sport and Alpha Brain on ONNIT.  Hands down, the best supplements I've ever used.
On the recommendations page, the Build Your Own Gym link is sweet.  Basically, I thought if you gave me a $150 or so and said "hook me up with a place to train at home," this is exactly what I'd buy and you'd probably love it.  Kettles, tubes, suspension training, mats and a stability ball.  
I also added a Book Recommendations page... couldn't help myself.  Check it out.  The top two books on there would make excellent holiday gifts, the Pressfield book is truly life changing as is the Baron Baptiste selection.  I'll be updating this page as often as I read a sweet book.  

hhhmmm... this was my 100th blog.  I wonder if there could be a book down the road....


see everyone in class or out and about.
take care of yourself and each other... time flies.

peace, love and empathy,

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

The F Word

"Growing up," I probably trained very similar to everyone else.  I started caring about training and working out around 1998-ish, I'm 36 so that was around 21 yrs old.  There wasn't Facebook or anything back then.... Wow, I just wrote two sentences to start this off and I've already dated myself.  Man, I;m feeling old.  Anyway, when I joined the local Ballys, I was using workouts that I tore out of Flex Magazine or something else along those lines.  No real focus other going through the to-do list and getting the work done.

Time went on and life changed, flash forward a few years...

I'm sitting in class at NPTI (Facebook Page)and Miles, Mariam, Pete and Rich are preaching "Functional training, functional movement, functional blah blah blah," and I'm kinda hearing it, kinda not... probably more not actually.
I would perform these functional exercises and I didn't feel strong and I would think "How is this going to develop a big chest or butt or anything?"  I really appreciated learning it all, but thought it wasn't for me.  It just felt easy and unfocused.

Flash forward again a few years...

I meet a guy, Jay Ashman, (twitter @ashmanstrength) at Titans that seems to train in a way i think I'd like.  My back and shoulders are a piece of crap but I'm thinking maybe I can start over again with a very grounded and strong base.  So I hired Jay to help me reset some things and even though it was just a short, 8 week run of online programming, I think it was probably the best money I've spent in quite a while.  Because in that situation and going through Jay's programs, I also started teaching a bastardized yoga class called Power Plus, where we'd use dumbbells in the middle of yoga class.  So with the training, the teaching, me getting my foundation back, training with kettle bells and suspension training, acupuncture helping things along, a new Primal/Paleo mindset and nutrition plan... something started clicking.

All of this is functional training and a  very functional, realistic idea.  All of those points above, added up to a state of mind that feels extremely comfortable.  Opening my eyes to what a Paleo diet is was probably the tipping point.  I've listened to some Podcasts that just made too much sense to ignore.

My training is now a jumbo pot of anything and everything, but very focused.  Back squats are an absolute must, as is all the major multi-joint movements, then we need to work in the stability ball work and hardcore core training, then we need to find a few sessions for kettles and suspension training, and don't forget yoga.  And honestly, all but the yoga can be programmed into two different sessions.  Again, aside from backsquats, big pushes and pulls, I don't try to crush any one particular muscle, I look to get after everything.

Example workout:
5:00 warm up of choice

Barbell Back Squats
1 set at 20 reps; 1 at 15; then 5-7 failing around 10; then 1 more of 15-20.
Form is HUGE.
My favorite move for many reasons... something feels awesome about the shoes, the belt and the hoody while grinding through this.  Pretty high up, probably 1 or 2 in terms of caloric expenditure list and recruits muscles from your arms all the way through your feet.

Circuit A
Hammy Curls 8-12
Seated Lat Pull (Neutral Grip) 20, 15, 12, 12,  
Calf Raise
4 Rounds
I love hammy curls and how they feel, plus with all the pushing and running and such, the hamstrings are forgotten about sometimes.  Lately, I've been tossing these in prior to back squats just to pre-exhaust things.
Neutral grip pull, because I like it :)  actually the typical lat pull hurts my neck pretty bad so I go for this one and this is also how I train pull-ups, again for the neck reason.

Circuit B aka Core & Conditioning
Stability Ball Crunch 50
Double Arm Kettle Bell Swing - 20
Push-Up - F
Crunch - 25
3 rounds

water and continue with Core and Conditioning
Stability Ball Knee Tucks 20
Single Arm - Kettle Bell Clean/Press 15 each
Long slow bicycle crunch 20
Squat Jumps w KB's in hand 20

Finish w a very long plank, go for absolute failure.
I'll posting some "how to's" on the YouTube page very soon, subscribe now!

So if you're not yet involved in the Wednesday night class, you probably should be.
And check out the new site, still bluechipstrength.com but you can also find it via functionalfitness440.com.  Theres a page called BUILD YOUR OWN GYM! and from there, you'll find amazon links to some of the equipment I mentioned above.  I'm telling you, I highly recommend getting some of these things for your home gym.  People that have requested in home training, I tell them all "Get a kettle bell, get a stability ball, get some tubes and we'll get it going."  You really can get away with just that.

So have fun, take care and talk soon.
Peace, love and empathy,

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Are You Willing?

I recently heard someone say “Americans can’t save money,” so I perked up in my seat to pay closer attention.  He then followed with “Most people can only save around $100/month because things are too hard….” No joke, no exaggeration, my legs and ass flinched and I nearly stood up and yelled “Bullshit!”
Alright… maybe I wouldn't have yelled bullshit but I definitely felt an urge in my legs to stand and disagree. 

Lets ignore the whole “Americans can’t save money,” and just change it to people for the sake of argument, because leaving the word “Americans,” in there is a completely different argument all together and I haven’t traveled worldwide nor studied the savings account of other countries citizens (as I’m sure he hasn't either).

But here’s what I've seen, and trust me, I've seen this in a few different situations… it’s not that people can’t save money, it’s that people don't know how to sacrifice.  People don't understand that to save money, you have to either work and do more or pull back spending elsewhere.  It’s really hard to save money if you’re out shopping 3 times per week buying things you don't need.  It’s really hard to save money when you have a loaded cable package and renting pay per views while using some high speed internet connection.  It’s hard to save money… period.  It’s not easy.  We’re tempted all around, from the time we wake up til we go to sleep and that temptation is the issue; we don't know how to say no.  We don't know how to sacrifice.  We don't know how to become comfortable with some discomfort.  We don't know how to go without. 
How much is your phone plan?  How vital is it that you have that particular phone to your actual income?    Sounds simple and maybe too simple, but there’s a great chance your phone is a comfort and not an asset.  (Just an example that I’m sure 99.9% of us can relate to.)

Let’s take it to a fitness level. 
How many people do you think have told me they can’t afford training or a class?  How many times do you think I hear that weekly?   People can’t afford to get into shape, which is actually an investment in themselves, the most important one they’ll ever make, but they can’t afford it?!?!  But I bet they can afford Starbucks.  I bet they can afford going to the bar.  I bet they over pay for their cell bill or cable bill or where they shop for groceries. 

Can people save money?  Absolutely

Can people get into shape?  Absolutely

Can people change their lives?  Absolutely

Can you improve anything in your life and live at a higher level?  Absolutely, 1000%, yes.
But are you willing to make the sacrifices needed to make that happen?

Are you willing to cut back a few expenses to save up or get out of debt?  Do you know that debt is modern day slavery?  Think about that.  The more you owe, the more you’re controlled and the less free you are. 

Are you willing to study when you want to go to sleep?

Are you willing to run or lift when you want to watch tv?

Can you say no to going to going out when you know nothing positive will happen and you need rest?

Can you say no to the drive thru?

Can you say no to skipping workouts?

Can you say no to skipping class?

Are you willing to stay in that plank just 30 seconds longer?

Start saying NO to things that hurt you and slow you down and make you  a weaker person and start YES to positivity and evolution and progress and hitting goals and making it all happen!  It can happen but you have to want it!  You have to really want it!  You can’t just wish for it, you have to work for it and sometimes work is saying NO to comfort, and saying NO to habits but that has to happen for a new space to be cleared for new YES’s.  And if you want your life to be field with a completely healthy life in every way, loaded with YES’s, you have to sacrifice and smash the habits that hold you back.

I recently heard someone say "Don't give yourself a reward you haven t earned," and that's so, so true.  We think because we've had a couple days on the diet and been strong that we can slip and have a "cheat," day.  Why?   I know people that think they deserve Pepsi as a reward for going to work everyday!  HUH?  A) How is Pepsi a reward and B) Why do you think you deserve an award for doing what you're supposed to do??  Stop rewarding yourself and patting yourself on the back for being a responsible person.
There's a time to be soft and a time to get it together and grind.  Sometimes we look for that soft, quit button a little too quick, that quit button is a little too easy to hit.
We left our blanky's at home a long, long time ago.  

If you want to have something great, it's not just going to fall into your lap as you watch television, you have to make it happen with action, determination, planning, perseverance, and dedication.

Are you willing to do whatever is necessary to turn all your dreams into a reality?  Whatever is necessary?   Anything and everything.  How bad do you want it?

Grind on

This Is Blue Chip