Sunday, December 28, 2014

Chubby Trainer?

The excuses and the "why's," are irrelevant.  If I thought they mattered, I'd share, but I don't feel they do.
I could talk about long work hours and body pains, but I'm going to.
I'm the big mouth that posts "No If's - No Excuses - No Bullshit," yet I've gained about 15 pounds of chub since Oct.
I can run intelligent sessions all day and help everyone get where they're trying to go, while bouncing back and forth between under eating to over eating, drinking to cleansing, training every day to missing 10 straight... what does it add up to?
To me, an irresponsible, out of control, idiot.  
If I observed as a bystander, I'd say "Ya, he knows he's shit but he can't do it for himself, so who cares?"
On a level, I know I'm hard on myself.  But on the flip side, I have to be.

So here's the deal.  I have until the end of June to lose 50 lbs, or I'll quit as a personal trainer.
As I write that, that's sad, because I shouldn't be in a position to even have 50 lbs to lose, but I am and I do.

How will I do this?
Time management:
I'll only be reserving "x" hours for training clients.  I wont be cutting anyone back or altering their programs, but I also wont be recruiting or adding classes to the schedule.  I'll need time for myself, something I'm not very good at scheduling.  I've learned this year that I have a pretty silly workaholic mind working and that needs to stop.   Again, the irony of this entire post is this, I need to start doing the things I tell my clients to do "Make time for yourself."
I'm 37 and still in a position to make some excellent changes.  I'm very confident in my genetics and work ethic so again, at 37, I know I still have time to turn a corner and finish strong.

Follow my own programs:
This is about me, training myself as my own client.  I'm putting my money where my mouth is.  First up... Taking myself through the Power Program I ran last year.  I'm extremely confident in the layout and design and I know it'll prove big results early... smart results.  I might be a little out of control in some levels of life, but if there's one thing I know, its program design and implementation of these programs.  
I have to be smart with myself.  I have to literally treat myself like a client in every way.  The trainer voice in my head needs to be present 24/7.
I'm going to print out the Power Program schedule and follow it to a T as if I've never seen it before and I'm a rookie.  (and then when I smash this goal, count on another power program launching this summer).  

Heal the injuries:
I said I wouldn't rest on these but it's a pretty legit issue and only writing about it because it'; be a hurdle to deal with.  Without being able to squat, dead lift or run, it's an issue.  I've been nursing a hip/back issue for a long, long time.  Years.  It's effected my foot and my cardio pretty substantially.  I feel I have a plan to heal well, but I also don't have X-ray glasses so I don't know exactly how fast or slow or efficient it'll be.   Getting out of a car really hurts and there are times where I cant stand up straight so again, fingers crossed for my inversion table.  So far, so good.  I've been on it pretty consistently before bed for about a month and it's helped with sleep and easing the pressure in my back.

I'm confident, but the pressures on.  I will quit if this doesn't happen, that's why I'm writing this.   I want you to know where my goals rest and why.  There's nothing more I enjoy (other than family things) than training you in the gym and running those classes.  I put a lot of energy and thought and heart into every session and every class I run.  I feel it's given me a purpose... not meeting this goal will end it for me... and that will hurt, but this is serious for me and is my absolute #1 goal as of right now.   (I just re-read that last section and got emotional... I'm kind of a bastard about sticking to my word, for better or worse, even if it hurts me.)

So sorry Joey's, sorry excellent little Chinese restaurant in the square and F you Paninis.. this is good bye.
No alcohol. No Redbull.  No candy.  No cheat meals.  No excuses.  No bullshit.  No days off.

I'll be logging this journey along with everything else in this blog.


Funny... As I wrote this, I flashback to high school awards assembly where my coach asked all the parents in attendance to "Not let him in your house unless his homework is done."  So now, I'm not leaving the gym until my own session (my homework) is done.  So if you see me, feel free to heckle me (but it better be funny or motivational).  Bother me the way I'd bother you.  I want it and need it... "it," meaning help.  



Thursday, December 18, 2014

Be The Star

We work and drive and shop and watch television... the news, world affairs, the economy, oil prices, conflict...  we have all this social media and allll these things that just go and go. Right? Busy, busy lives and brains. Days fly, as do months and then years. 

We'll reach a point where we're able to think back to experiences and moments. 
We'll think about camping trips... vacations... and laughing.  
We'll think about old friends and where we grew up... our hometown... the streets where we learned some life lessons.  
We'll remember certain things, certain people said to us... comments that became tattooed in our brains.
We'll remember love and crushes.  
We'll be relive it when a certain song comes on the radio and that one lyric can take you back to your first apartment and how you'd make easy mac n cheese before watching your show with your best friend.  

But right now... you're not there yet.  You're still writing your story.  
So who are you?  Are you writing yourself to be a back ground character?
Or are you the star?  It's ok to be the star... this is your story.  Why would you write yourself into a supporting role?  Be the star.  
Be the star to your children.
Be the star to your husband/wife.
Be the star to your friends.
Be solid.  
Be human.  
Live.









You wont remember money.  
You'll remember moments.  

Sunday, December 14, 2014

The 7 Moves You Should Be Doing (and why)


  1. This is written with the understanding that you are injury free.
  2. The moves listed below will not alone make you bigger, smaller, more tone, stronger, etc.  To achieve goals, you will need to use these moves performed in the proper set/rep scheme with proper nutrition.  Depending on goals, cardio and yoga could also be recommended.
  3. If possible, try to use a mirror or a partner to help cue your form through these exercises.
    1. I HIGHLY recommend hiring an experienced strength coach/personal trainer to learn all the movements listed below.  (Not just writing that because I am both, but because safety is essential and performing any of these incorrectly can result in injury.  




  • Back Squat
    • Approach the bar so that your head is aligned down the middle of the bar, duck your head underneath and set the bar on your upper back, not your neck
    • Stand up and take one step back.
    • Eyes set on a point slightly higher than your natural eye line, keep your chest up and shoulders back.
    • Keeping the majority of your weight on your heels, slowly drop your hips as if reaching back for a chair with your butt.  
    • Sink until your hips are as low as your knees.
    • Once there, drive through your heels and stand back up. 
    • Inhale on the drop, exhale as you rise.
      • Alternate movements: leg press; hack squat; body-weight squat; dumbbell squat (db's high); machine leg press; squat jumps; box jumps
Sarah in mid-squat.  Notice that because the majority of her weight is on her heels, her knees are in great alignment and the center of the knee is behind her toes.
  • Dumbbell Chest Press
    • Laying on your back with the dumbbells held high.
    • Feet, back, butt and head are always contacting the bench and floor (feet).  
    • Breathe in and slowly drop the dumbbells, bending your elbows and dropping them to a 90' angle. 
    • Once there, exhale and press through your palms, reaching for the ceiling.
      • Alternate movements: machine chest press; push up; barbell chest press; plyometric push ups
Perfect position at the bottom of the press.  I prefer an angle to the hands/wrists (as pictured) as well, to help influence a strong squeeze to the top of the movement.  
  • Dumbbell Shoulder Press
    • Standing with dumbbells at your shoulders.
    • Feet are set under your hips with a very slight bend in your knees.  You do not need to be anywhere near a half squat, but you don't want to stand with knees locked out.   
    • Exhale and press the weights to the sky.
    • Inhale as you drop your elbows to the same height (or slightly lower) as your shoulders, hands/weights directly in line with your elbows.
      • Alternate movements:  Machine shoulder press; barbell shoulder press; smith machine shoulder press; hand stand push ups.
The shot on the right is perfect.  In my opinion, in the pic on the left, his finish is a little low.  I prefer to teach clients to finish a few inches higher than what is shown here (elbows in line with the shoulders).
  • Walking Lunge
    • Standing tall, step out into a slightly longer stride than you would if you simply walking.
    • As your foot lands, make sure you are in balance, bend your knees and drop your hips towards the ground.  Breathe in as your drop.
    • Your body is tall, your core is tight and your eyes are fixed in front of you.  (Remember, your body goes where your eye go).
    • As you shift your hips forward, towards your lead leg, (exhale) press through your foot and stand back to a tall position.  Alternate steps.
      • Alternate movements: static lunge; single-leg leg press; step ups; lunge jumps; single leg squat.
Although the walking lunge is a very important movement, I teach the static lunge first to reinforce proper form.  The static lunge (pictured above) is similar to the walking version.  The difference is the only thing you're doing is standing up, feet aren't moving at all, and then you're bending your knees and dropping your hips back down.  
  • Seated Lat Pull
    • Prior to sitting, reach up for the bar and walk your hands out about 4 inches towards the outer edge of the bar.
    • Sit down and inhale and lean back 2-4 inches.  Eyes are focused and neck is neutral.
    • Exhale as you pull down, pulling the bar just under your chin.
    • As you pull, focus on squeezing your shoulder blades down your back, as if trying to pull your shoulders away from your ears.   
    • Squeeze your back and return to the starting position (step 2).  
      • Alternate movements:  pull ups; chin ups; supinated pull down; neutral grip pull down; single arm pull down
My cartoon friend has perfect form.
  • Dumbbell Bent-over Row
    • Standing tall with dumbbells in hand, and feet set a little wider than your hips.  Bend your knees and drop your hips as if squatting (inhale).
    • Stop your movement slightly above a half squat, pause and lean forward with a deep breath and tight core.  The dumbbells are now resting just in front of your knees.
    • Slightly arch your back and keep your core tight throughout this position.  This will help keep you from rounding your back.
    • Exhale and pull the dumbbells up towards your body.  (You can pull this weight in a variety of ways.  I prefer to teach clients to pull towards their ribs).  
      • Alternate movements; bent-over barbell row; single arm dumbbell row; seated low row
Not a huge fan of this pic but it was one of the better pics I found.  Here, I think his feet are too close and his back looks are little "archy," near the top.  I'd have him pull his blades back a bit, flattening things out.
  • Dead-lift
    • Approach the bar with your shoes laces just under the bar.  Feet are set even with your hips or slightly wider.
    • Reach high into the air, stretching your back.  Fold forward and push your hips backward while bending your knees, dropping into a perfect position (pic 2). 
    • Eyes are locked on a target in front of you.  
    • With an alternate grip (pic 1), pull on the bar slightly to remove the "slack."
    • Core tight, stand tall as you drive through your heels and pull with your hips and low back.  You should/could feel this in your quads, glutes and low back.  If you feel it too much or only in your low back, form may be off or weight could be too heavy.    
1
 Alternate grip, eyes are locked, slack is removed.
2
Same shot, different angle.  Notice how similar this is the squat.  Knees are in line, hips are back, back is flat.  Perfect set up form. 


All exercises above come a with a wide variety of alterations and adjustments 
based on specific goals.

Why were these weight training exercises selected?

A) Multi-joint movements recruit more muscle fiber.
B) Multi-joint movements burn more calories.
C) Mutli-joint movements increase bone density.
D) Multi-joint movements save time in the weight room and help to train multiple areas at once.
E) Movements like the dead-lift and squat can shape and tone your lower body, increase strength, increase speed, increase endurance and improve athletic performance.  
F) Most DB and/or standing movements also recruit your core during stabilization.
G) Multi-joint movements are excellent regardless of how you're training.  You can use these in a straight set routine or in high intensity circuit.

This Is Blue Chip