Friday, May 30, 2008

What do you see in these pictures? Take a lucky guess...

Ok...did a great TT workout this afternoon in the San Diego sun (sorta..sigh. Will tell you the details later) at a place parents love to take their kids, where the kids love to play all day long and when they get home - crash in bed all day too. You finish guessing here? You sure now? Yup...the park!

And why do they get all the fun out of parks than us old folks do and don't seem to get the same effects as they do when they get home all sweaty, tired and beat up??? Well, there's more than meets the eye here (hey that sounds like a great movie quote from last year). This can be your own gym if you really wanted to and with a great monthly TT workout for June by Craig Ballantyne - the choices are absolutely endless!

There are monkey bars, parallel bars, benches, tables, stairs, walls, grass to run name it: you can make it your gym if you really wanted to. Seriously.

These pictures were taken from the park across the street from where I live (literally..we live just a few yards away from where that pic was taken). Looking at this park at first glance and you wouldn't think much of it than a place kids can play and parents can watch - sitting, standing for countless hours. After a great workout I read up today at Turbulence Training, parks will never be looked at the same way again (truthfully, I've done a few workouts at this park and a few others a few times in the past).

The weather was absoulutely fantastic today. Nice gentle wind...clear blue San Diego skies - what else is there not to ask for? So I took it upon myself to give the park a try and do my workout there with my boys. Unfortunately the workout was prematurely stopped due to some high school kids on skateboards (do the math here moms and dads) brought a bit of a concern for my kids safety... so not giving my kids any time to think here, I decided to cut it short with my eldest twin son crying home unfortunately. Finished the actual workout thankfully within the confines of my own home and in 30 minutes - I was done. Thing about working out in parks...timing. May have to make this an earlier workout next time.

Anyway, the park is a great place to workout and just get out there and have some fun. There's plenty of things one can use at your disposal. It's just a matter of using creativity and making that creativity work for you is all.

Again, this is what TT will do for can practically take it anywhere. Never be gymless again! program on the horizon.

Got the 35 lb and 44 lb KB's last Tuesday. Great piece of equipment where money was well invested in which I'm happy about. My friend and I did make a visit to ifitness here in San Diego and almost had the opportunity to meet famous KB extraordinaire Steve Cotter. He had just left when we arrived. What a missed opportunity! Anyway, pretty happy with the KB's I have. I actually used them the day I got em with an interval workout which was nice and very effective with my interval training for that day.

Now it's time to take a few days off, rest my knee and determine what program I need to hop on here in a few days. The program I originally was on is a 50 day program (I finished about 85% of it) but I think it's about time for a change up here shortly. I will be adding alot of this approach to whatever routine I choose because it is invaluable stuff. Great program. Now time for something new for the summer!

Guest Blog: Social Support For Fat Loss Is Better Than Intervals

Created by Craig Ballantyne, CSCS, MS

Wednesday, May 28, 2008
Social Support for Fat Loss is Better Than Intervals

There's something out there that's even better than interval training for fat burning.

But NO ONE talks about it.

In fact, it's even more powerful than the TT workouts.

It's better than slow cardio, Body-For-Life, Hip Hop Abs, P90X, Kettlebells, Barbells, dumbells, and doorbells.

It's called, SOCIAL SUPPORT.

It's true. Social support kicks any workout's butt.

I truly believe that if you have social support than you can succeed on any fat loss program. Even long slow cardio workouts.

Social support is that powerful.

And that's why...

I created the Turbulence Training Transformation Contest .

That's why I have a forum where men and women from all over the world can share their trials and tribulations and find someone else who has gone through and overcome the same struggles they are going through right now.

That's why I give bonus memberships to folks who help out the most on the forum. Because I know they bring untold value to the lives of other members.

You can't place a value on the feeling that positive words can have on your mood when you are frustrated and disappointed by a snack you shouldn't have eaten or a workout you might have skipped.

But your social support group will always be there to pick you up when you are down.

They'll push you further on days where you think you can start coasting.

TT Members will even check in and ask why you haven't posted your workouts in days.

They'll help you "throw 7 different kinds of smoke in your fat burning workouts". (Sorry, inside joke with TT Members.)

Heck, TT Members will even show up on your doorstep at 5:30am and remind you that it's time to workout!

(Okay, they might not do that last one...Yet.)

So if you don't have social support in your fat loss lifestyle, make that priority #1 today!

-> Find a workout mentor at your gym.

-> Hook up with a nutrition buddy at work.

-> Pick someone in your family and make them hold you accountable for your eating and exercising decisions.

-> Say to a trainer at your gym, "hey, can you help me?"

Those are powerful words right there. "Can you help me?"

So hard to say, yet so wonderful to hear.

You know, one of those "little things in life" that makes me really happy is being asked for directions by visitors to Toronto. It just makes me feel good to help someone new to the city find their way around town.

And it will be the same way in the gym when you ask someone with more experience to give you a hand.

They will be MORE than happy to help you. To mentor you.


And believe me, nothing will get you the results that support from others will get you.

Don't try doing this all on your own when there are so many people, so many strangers even from all over the world, who are happy to help you succeed! (And to save you from making the same mistakes that they made in the past.)

See you on the forums,

Craig Ballantyne, CSCS, MS
Author, Turbulence Training

Monday, May 26, 2008

Knees, Kettlebell Hunting...and some great "Turbulence" Shoes

Right knee is feeling much better. Should be good to go but still will take it conservatively with a brand new knee neoprene brace I bought that straps around the knee with 2 velcro straps and nice cushioning around the patella. Will still be switching up intervals however (because I still notice my knee bothering me at the end of my runs so may limit running to 2 times a week. Again, pain will dictate what I do!).

My obsession with the Kettlebell is finally unfolding here. Found a local fitness store (the same place I mentioned in my last blog) and contradictory to what I thought was a closeout actually wasn't. They specialize in alot of quality fitness equipment we see today in city wide gyms, mma training clubs, home name it - these guys have it. And best of all they have a KB sale for 15% off their listed prices as follows:

4KG / 9LB $15.99
8KG/18LB $30.99
12KG/26LB $44.99
16KG/35LB $61.99 (The one I'm planning to get. $52.69 with 15% off plus tax)
20KG/44LB $75.99
24KG/53LB $91.99
28KG/62LB $106.99
32KG/70LB $120.99
KB RACK $249.99

Place is called ifitness at this website: It's a local fitness store about 15 minutes from where I work. They even have Powerblocks which is pretty damn nice too. Definitely taking a trip up there this week as the sale is only til the end of this month. Yes!

On the shoe side...if it isn't comfortable enough for me - I just can't see myself using them. I'm very picky when it comes to running shoes or any shoe in particular. I have been a huge fan of Adidas for many years but since last year, I've been using a great pair of running shoes by Nike called Nike Air Turbulence +. It's Ipod Nano compatible that has the capabilities with a sole sensor to tell you how far you've run if you like outdoor runing (I don't have a Nano unfortunately..I have the 30 GB video. I understand they are much cheaper now. I'm such a cheap-o! Sorry! Hahaha!). The one I've been using (like forever) have really been run down (probably contributed alot with my runner's knee) and was fortunate to land me another pair of these nice shoes for $35 at a Nike Outlet store here in San Diego. Actual price for these is actually $88. Got me some nice soles for medium arches to go with em, so I should be good to go here.

I actually have about 10 more sessions to go on my current program (not including recovery days) I can't wait to take a break for a little bit before hopping on a new program shortly.

Happy Memorial Day!

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Some Nice Lookin Turbulence Training Workouts for June!

Wow...sure was great to have Craig Ballantyne drop by my blog earlier today. I was on the lines of looking for a different approach to strength training (which folks doesn't always equate to bigger muscles) as well as a kick butt approach to fat loss and came across one of his bonus programs by Troy Anderson at the Turbulence Training website. As ironic as it seems, I was actually planning to do Troy Anderson's Kettlebell Workout for June unknowing what Craig had in store. I had no clue this was already in the works for Craig's line of summer workouts for the year! I was stoked about the news and even more stoked about reading up on Craig's blog just a few minutes ago. Awesome! I think another workout wish of mine has been answered and can't wait to get on this program soon TT style..

I did check out and they probably have the best set of kettlebell's out there. My only problem isn't the price for 'em -- it's the cost to have it shipped! Looked around various sites and also looked up craigslist and I have found a few local vendors in San Diego who may be able to sell them a lot cheaper without the cost of shipping. There was a vendor who was closing his fitness store and was selling a 35 lb KB for $49.99 - so I may give this one a look (sent him an email...hope he replies!)...

Since there is enough time to play with's safe to say I will get that Kettlebell soon enough. For the time being, will be settling for the old school dumbells for now. In due time!!!!

Also, alot of us TT members are expecting a pretty good TT BW workout here in June as well - courtesy of Turbulence Training. It does look like a Density-type or Work Capacity type approach to training here. Should be a great time to be doing TT in the summertime for sure!

Happy Memorial Day! (Time for me to get some sleep.)

Friday, May 23, 2008

Power of the KettleBell

Other than increasing intensity every time, I also am a firm believer now more than ever, that variety in workouts can definitely keep things refreshed as well as smash plateaus too. The body’s ability to adapt is so smart it will ultimately slow positive progress if done a bit too long – so changing up programs is definitely the only smart thing to do. Routinely changing programs every 4-6 weeks is definitely a rule of thumb in the fitness world…even the greatest trainers preach it and live by that rule, so I’ve learned over time to take heed to that advice, listen to it and follow it. As long as the program is legit, tried and tested…I’m all for it.

Blog journaling is fun…now back to what I was saying earlier.... ;)

Anyway, I am almost done with my current 50 day program (whoohoo!). I know I could have picked up a lot of other great TT programs available but what I’ve been doing has been an awesome compliment to Turbulence Training as a matter of fact. This is an excellent conditioning/strength training resource which I have learned a lot from in addition to what I’ve learned over the awesome months of using Craig Ballantyne’s effective and time efficient Fat Loss Programs in Turbulence Training which you can find at Will be rehopping aboard on another great TT program of CB’s (short for Craig Ballantyne) shortly as I think it’s time for me to get back on packing some lean muscle here.

As a low tech, high effect essentially-at-home-workout kind of guy (I don’t like investing on equipment at home that I don’t intend to use much)…I plan to stick to that approach…it’s what makes me happy…it’s what works for me and it’s something that I can do primarily within the confines of my garage, my home gym (with the commercial gym still an option) or at a park as I do have a small family that takes most of our attention as parents anyway. As I am almost 3 weeks away from completing my current program, I’ve been looking at different approaches to fat loss and did find a workout at the TT website that really suits my taste…and since Craig does endorse it, I plan (still debating here) to give it a shot in the arm with a taste of TT and a more of what I'm doing in my current program, too – and tweak it to my own goals and fitness regimen. It’s a great program by Troy Anderson (courtesy of Craig Ballantyne’s Turbulence Training website) called Integrated Evolution and his Kettlebell program (“Kettlebell Fatloss Unleashed” promoted at the TT website) which you can get the complete workout as a Platinum Member at

The power of the Kettlebell…checking out Laura’s Home Gym really had me really salivating to get me some heavy bad boys of my own. And as expensive as they are (again, I am a low tech/high effect fitness kind of guy. Hey now…give me some slack: Cost of living is tough these days!!!!!) – I’ve been doing similar movements with the use of some old school dumbbells but am contemplating and debating in purchasing one soon (of more reasonable weight than a 10 lb’er I currently own). My commercial gym doesn’t carry any either so I guess I should invest in one. And just like Troy Anderson’s principles - Enamait and Ballantyne (my favorite internet fitness guys to date) do in fact incorporate KB/DB swings in their routines/repertoires so this has really got me interested in investing one here…so something I’m definitely giving more thought of as I complete my current program here soon.

Again, I can still incorporate KB workouts with DB’s so I’m good either way I go. But just to have one of my own would be simply awesome to add to my home gym collection.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Life's obstacles...bring it on.

"Obstacle's don't have to stop you. If you run into a wall, don't turn around and give up. Figure out how to climb it, go through it or work around it." - Michael Jordan

Great workout today...strapped my neoprenes on, took my timer, 8 lb medicine ball and took my kids across the street to the park where we live and used the park as my gym this morning. Worked on Work Capacity via circuits for 20 minutes (current program I'm on) as well as conditioning routines while the kids were out playing. Used the 8 lb Medicine ball with me and did some explosive strength and fat blasting exercises with it as well. Felt good after a day off from any type of training yesterday.

Later in the day, went to the gym around lunch time and managed to work some chest work; did rowing machine intervals mixed with some ab exercises as well; had some weird looks from other gym patrons (it was later in the day so it was a different crowd I'm used to)...but who cares. No pain from the knee today as well as yesterday so that's a very good thing...but still - taking it very conservatively and did some step ups with a 40 lb preweighted barbell, 1 leg raises with back against the wall, some hip abductor work as well as inner thigh work to round it off. Sauna for 10 minutes.

Extremely happy about my knee. As soon as I got home, I took my ice pack from the freezer and slapped it right on my knee and covered it with an ace bandage for 2 hours. Popped some Motrins, Glucosamine and vit C and that was it. Not that I needed to really - it's just become a good habit now for me. It's hardly bothersome anymore but I'm still taking it conservatively until I'm comfortable enough to do any type of running on it.

Time for a nap.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Abs Update May 11-18; Setting Up More Defined Goals, Workouts will be fine tuned

Ok here's my Abs update for the week...late night post as this is pretty much my own free time as the boys and wife are asleep (I will too shortly here). This may be my last pic to post and will plan on monthly updates here on out. Been reading alot about my knee problems all day and just educating myself enough to know that running is definitely out of the equation for me for now. I'm going to miss the hell out of something I always enjoyed doing. Just a change up is all until it's healed so no running intervals for now.

Will be taking week to week pics for personal reference and will post here once the goal of the coveted defined, shredded abs has finally been reached at a personal level, but with the fact that I think I have what some people may refer to as "runner's knee", this is really hampering my workouts and pretty much has me in "precautionary mode" as not to aggravate it any further. Had a consult with an orthopedist at work whom I know and didn't have to pay anything (thankfully) to have it looked at and he manipulated my right knee so bad I really felt it. He honestly thinks it's a meniscus tear...I think its a minor medial ligament tear, but I'll take his word for it since he is an Orthopedic surgeon. He says the only way to really determine the extent of the injury is with an MRI (they all say the same thing here). He says the prognosis for a knee injury like I have is not as bad or serious as what he's seen patients for in the past. He even says surgery may not even be necessary as long as I avoid any hard impact exercises that can do more harm than good at this point (surgery is the last thing on my mind). Luckily, based on his assessment this really does not require surgery...both knees (I'll say both as I know the other one is just around the corner)- need just enough time for the knee to strengthen itself through conservative exercises such as straight leg lifts, light deadlift exercise or what not (I may just not even do them altogether for now). One thing I've noticed over a month or so was how my right hip was hurting and he says that's because there is a muscle in the outer aspect of the thigh that connects from the hip joint to the knee joint that sometimes when the muscle is not strong enough to keep the hip and knee in proper allignment especially during runs, the tendency is the knees suffer because of this, thus "runner's knee". He recommends the following approaches to cardio which I will consider doing for now:

Elliptical Machine
Rowing Machine
Recumbent Bike/Stationary bike (recumbent much preferred)
Swimming (probably the best of all 4)

No running, stair climbers or spinning classes...

Concentrate on light hamstring and quad strengthening exercises:
Leg presses are fine as long as it's not too taxing on the knees (knees nees to be positioned a little higher than desired for the standard leg press as well as lighter weight). He also recommended Leg curls as long as the weight isn't too heavy too. May do this once every 10 days or so but will incorporate this in my workouts for sure here on out.

With that said, I'm going to have to mix it up here a little with intervals via biking as well as swimming and keeps those abs under suspense for now. I think with biking, swimming, rowing - this creates less impact on the knees and not as much pounding to allow it enough time to heal and hopefully get better. This might be a good change up for cardio for me anyway so I may benefit from this tremendously. I'm going to take this very cautiously...don't want to make it any worse than it already is.

September 5, 2008 will be my 2nd year into my journey to a healthier lifestyle. With that, I've had a horrendous April and May so far and progress has been very inconsistent at a personal level. Not being too hard on myself for it or finding excuses...but 9/5/08 is my realistic target goal date to achieve this. Since I can't do much with the legs...I'm going to strive for a stronger upper body physique and try to get shredded even faster with heavier weights and lower rep ranges maybe mixed with bodyweight training as well as circuits starting July. I currently am doing a program right now that's absolutely doing me some good so I definitely plan on finishing it with a little modification and everything else I know at this point with my knee. I will be incorporating alot of exercise routines I've enjoyed in the past and present as long as they meet my interests and goals -- so this will be a new challenge for me all together.

“Mental Muscle”

“Mental Muscle”

Man, just read up on a few great blog posts, a few emails over the week, as well as a few professional fitness blog sites that I’ve been reading on a regular basis and it just inspires me so much to see that they all share the same common goals in mind. Great stuff and it’s those inspiring, well thought out posts, measages and emails that I read that get my self motivated to see through obstacles in life, that kind of tend to take away the “focus” and eventually in the way of achieving our own personal fitness aspirations. The fact that they share the same dreams and aspirations is what gets me going every day to carry on this journey.

Sometimes there’s just so much outside negative influences that hold us down, trying to take that dream away from us…but that shouldn’t stop us from what we want to accomplish in the long run.

Sometimes we feel that limiting ourselves (or allowing ourselves to be limited) is what prevents us from getting what we want. We all have surrounding circumstances/issues in life that make our dreams appear unachievable and accept that that sometimes that’s just a fact of life that we have to work around at...we just have to push through it...and sometimes it may take longer to achieve than most. But no one can be more accountable than yourself. Never hold back on a dream! Always believe in yourself that it can be accomplished with that mental fortitude and heart that people don’t always see from the outside…that "mental strength" to carry on our journeys to better health and a better life is something we all should strive for everyday.

My newest motivator is no other than Michael Jordan of the great Chicago Bulls team of the 90's. He made a recent famous line that really hit the spot - “Maybe it’s my fault that failure gave me strength…...failure gave me strength and that pain was my motivation.”

The pain of failure is where basis of real strength is made.

Man this guy, whew...just blows my mind. And just like Bruce Lee, he represents what we all should strive for. This guy took so many cheap shots in his NBA career early on and with early repeated failures soon became owner to 6 championship rings. I was just fortunate enough to see this man play that I can share that with my kids as they get older to realize how great of an athlete this guy truly was for the sport of basketball…ever. It never was easy for Michael but he found ways to get better all the time.

Life aint easy…and there are no short cuts. Nothing was made easy to begin with not even since the day we were born...a baby has to crawl before he walks, sits and falls before he stands, cries before he talks. Nothing is easy. That’s the cycle of life….and our bodies tend to adapt rather quickly and that why it’s a continuous learning process that never ends…the body is that efficient. That’s why I will keep working hard at my goals and keep finding the motivation to carry on.

As we look at ourselves in the mirror every morning seeing that other person looking straight at you is where the challenge here lies. “How much do you want it?”. It’s very individual but that will get you over the daily challenge of answering the question “why?”. Tough question to answer and sometimes things that we may think are answers may be just excuses for us. Let’s not make excuses and just keep pushing it.

Personally, the challenge for me is looking at that man in the mirror straight in the eye every morning and that is all it takes for me to get right back into the gym the next day…Mental muscle. Strong stuff that goes a long way.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Weekly Abs Update and my Right Knee

Had the XR of my right knee yesterday. Was so wanting to just not push through with it for fear of not wanting to know (now I know how football players feel). Well, called my Doc's office this afternoon and it appears to be a joint effusion in my right knee. Basically it's fluid build up possibly from surrounding tissues or some synovial fluid build up from mostly likely a slight stretch or possibly even a tear (?) in the MCL because that's where I feel it an anatomical standpoint (won't really know unless I get an MRI). It's not that bad as range of motion isn't so hindered where I can't walk right or what not. And more importantly: NO FRACTURE, NO GROSS SWELLING (however the XR does show some fluid build up there.). It's actually painless as we speak and neither has it bothered me much all day but am taking it cautiously here. So the likelihood of it getting better is great, I just don't think I'd be pushing it full throttle with any type of leg exercise and go gung ho (I know better than that). A neoprene brace is definitely something I will be using here on out for BOTH Legs no matter what as a precaution. An MRi was not recommended by the Radiologist in the report (which is a good thing) but I will be discussing this at length with my doctor soon.

It really sucks to have suffered from something like this but it happens. Things I will change up here (as I will take it conservatively here on out):

- Will resort to a more conservative form of cardio for now. Will up intensity if I feel it's ok. I will let pain or absence thereof be my guide on cardio work.

- Will continue to take the following supplements REGULARLY instead of sporadically: Glucosamine 1500 mg/d (for healthy cartilage and joints; Vitamin C 500 mg twice a day (helps with keeping healthy connective tissues and ligaments).

- Light weight if any weight at all with any leg required exercise.

- Will wear a brace to both knees every workout and while at work.

Great TT workout today..took a page from a great circuit workout that I did this morning. Some decent chest work and lateral delt work done as well...I'm bummed that going all out with some exercises isn't in the near future for me. Have to think long term here, last thing I need to know is I've developed degenerative arthritis at the age of 40 (too young)! Workouts may not be a 100% but I am so watching my nutrition either way and taking it strategically everytime I put something in my mouth.

Anyway, I was not able to post my Sunday pic here so here it is now. Sorry! No hat or hood this time. :)

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Been hitting the Gym Again! But some bad news...

Yup...hitting my local gym once again and still continuing the same routines I've always been doing but with (some bad news to share shortly here)...thinking out of the box a little here with my workouts but very pleased with the results and where I'm going with my workouts. There's definitely a goal here for me and definitely a positive direction with everything I've been doing so far to this point. So far so good in the abs department which I'm very happy about. In fitness it is always good to mix things up and that's something I'm progressively learning every single day.

But with everything you want to attain in life - it always should start with a goal...don't limit yourself to what you already know but continue to educate yourself and run with it - know no boundaries and anything is possible!

The only downside these past few days is a little annoying sprain in the right knee I got about 3 days ago but otherwise nursing it pretty well. I think I may have got it trying to lift our little one from the crib as I was trying to bottlefeed him the other day and got up kind of awkwardly as my right leg was planted but my knee had twisted as I pivoted to pick him up (sigh.). It's funny because that's the strangest thing as it had nothing to do with any type of work out! Anyway, got a neoprene brace on it for support, taking a few anti inflammatories, will be light on the knees or maybe avoid any leg workouts for now. No gross swelling fortunately, and still able to walk on it, do some BW squats and stuff but I don't want to over do anything to make it worse at this point...may just drop any lower body workouts for now. Most likely a mild mensicus tear but positive it shouldn't be a problem long term. Checked with my Doctor friend and he checked it out. Says I should be ok in a week or so (but will seek to see my primary doctor if symptoms get worse). Should be ok in a week or so...bummer but may need to change up some workouts for the time being. Limited a little here but that's ok.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

My Home Gym

Ok this is for all the busy men and women like myself where time is of the essence and just can't seem to get to the gym because of other time constraints such as family, work and other commitments. Guys and gals - I am your number one supporter and would like to share my own humble home gym equipment I use when trips to the gym are totally out of the equation for me!

Anyway, took some time to take a few photos of what my typical home gym looks like. It isn't state of the art equipment here by any means but does get the job done when used right...and with Turbulence Training - you don't necessarily need much but a good kick in the butt everytime. :)

I still head off to the gym for a change of scenery but still - there's nothing like a home gym to use as an option. Can't go wrong with TT.

If you look at the pictures above here are basically the things I use when I workout within the confines of home. Now I’m not counting out the gym because I still go there but here’s a checklist of what limited toys I have. I also recycle water bottles and my kids nursery water bottles (another great tip for you) and use that money towards reasonable workout equipment. Again this isn’t something I invested in a matter of months...this took years and a few dusting off because I didn’t get back into it until 2 years ago...

Here it is:

- A Treadmill (my wife uses the eliptical...I hate it). Please note we actually have 2 fairly new treads at home when my older one of 7 years broke from Pro Form. The 1st one was actually a bit defective because the running platform wasn’t balanced so I put that one upstairs on carpet and the other which Pro Form gave to me at no cost to us in the garage with a cement surface. Lucky me I guess.
- A barbell bench (very generic...Walmart rules haha ) I miss going heavy on the leg squats at the gym
- A DB Bench
- A stability ball (a TT requirement)
- An ab roller
- Resistance Bands (hanging on my bench to the left)
- A pull up bar with an attachment for different angles/grips
- A timer for those circuits (Definitely a requirement of mines..haha )
- Ez Bar Curl
- A Back Pack
- Medicine Balls (12lb Leather Ball, 8 lb rubber ball with handles and 5 lb Bally's ball for rotational strength)
- DB's. I think I have like 3 pairs of those all over the place. Notice that rusty looking one? Yup I get down and dirty...
- Plates, plates, and MORE plates (I'm certain I'll need a plate holder someday)
- A 10 lb kettlebell (those things are damn expensive)
- 2 stools for a mod squat rack and for dips, a chair for step ups, a broom stick
- 50 lb sandbag (a seabag used) and a 100 lb sack of white rice (not endorsed in TT but definitely something I use for variety). I use these as punching bags.
- Yoga pad (no I don't do yoga..but willing to try it)
- Weighted Jump Rope (1 lb handles)
- Small step ups my kids use that I use for different variations of push ups.
- Boxing gloves I got at a thrift store for 3 bucks
- A Gold Gym Balancing Bosu I got on clearance for $5.00 at Walmart (yup, I’m a Walmart guy)
- 1 lb ankle weights for my runs
- a 7 foot rope that I used for practicing the one legged pistol squat - Not shown here.
- A trek bike in the garage
- A workout journal ($3.00 at Borders. Clearance sale last year when I was still in the 12 week TT contest)
...and last but not least: a kick butt Turbulence Training Manual for workouts.

And that's it.

Now who needs a gym membership? Well I do and I still have one but there’s nothing like having stuff at home for your arsenal to fight the bulge, right?

Rock it!


Sunday, May 4, 2008

Abs Update: April 27- May 3, 2008

Haven't been really been keeping track of progress pics on my abs since the TT contest but last week, I've made a commitment to make some sort of weekly accountabilty for myself by posting progress pics on a weekly basis. So far so good. Sorry about the quality of the pic and the yellow colored PJ's (plus I promise to get rid of the hat next week!!!). As a side note, I did this pic this morning thus the pj's...oops! Sorry bout that. Haha. :/

Did I tan up? Not at a tanning salon or anything like that but pretty much from alot of outdoor recreational biking we've been doing together as a family and a few trips to the park with the kids is all...

Back to the it me or did I lose some fat or muscle mass somewhere in here?! Honestly, I didn't take any measurements from this week and lasts...basically just what I see in the mirror every morning and I'm pretty happy so far with the progress post contest (I guess vanity is a good thing as long as no one's looking). I think the arms have gotten a little smaller I think?? I don't know, but comments are sincerely welcome. So please comment away here. I will take them as constructively as possible...good or bad! Thanks again!

Another nice note...Nice to see some great contestants participating out in the 2nd round of the TT Transformation Challenge. Nice stories in there and great social support from everyone. There's actually a great guy and friend from Detroit who's re-entering the 2nd Contest and who I've been pretty close with since Day 1 (who I know will be reaching some goals he thought would never be reached sooner than I think. He is one awesome man.), a team vs team brewing up, a wife and husband tandem, a nice lady from the Dominican Republic and another I believe from Egypt...and most of all a brother and little sister connection going on as well! :O

Wish them all the best and hope each one of them reaches their fitness goals. For the record, I won't be joining this one for those who may be wondering. I will however be playing the role of supporter for this one for sure rooting the guys on, giving a few tips that I learned through TT and getting alot of self motivation you can only get at the TT Forums!!!! It's not too late to join the contest and get in with the check it out!

Next week's goals would be to get my nutrtion close to 90% as best I can. May have to do a little fitday here on out for accountability (kind of strayed away from it a little). Won't log it in here but at least on the Fitday site (or in my own little notebook I have at home). It would make it so much easier to go back to review for my own when needed for the sake of accountablity purposes. I've seen alot of friends doing it pretty religiously but I just suck at it. I'll try and change that here on out (crossing fingers).

Friday, May 2, 2008

What Motivates You?

“The measure of your success usually comes down to who wins the battle that rages between the two of you. The ‘you’ who wants to stop, give up, or take it easy, and the ‘you’ who chooses to beat back that which would stand in the way of your success - complacency.”

Read that up somewhere while browing around the net this morning after a great workout with a good friend who has finally found the motivation in himself to live the healthier lifestyle. Hooked up early am around 5:15 am and had a great ab circuit session with the standard EPOC approach to cardio in the end. 40 minutes...lot of snots flying all over the place...lot of sweat dripping down our pores of our skin during the cardio session but...but done - just like that. Now on with my day.

When it comes to workouts..I'm at a daily challenge of constantly finding my motivation...everyday. That's why I made this blog in the first place. What makes me want to train, why do I workout even on days when I just don't feel like it (I've been through many of these many times)? What makes my body tick? What makes me want to get my ass up from bed and just flat out work it early in the morning? Why is working out like my early morning coffee for some people? Why do I go to work late on some days just so I can get that one last good set in? I wish I found the answer to that as there are no easy answers I honestly can find. But if you can answer that question for me...I'd sure would like to know what it is.

There are no solid answers...but I have a strong feeling what I think it is. Fighting complacency in my workouts and having the will power to always outdo myself everytime. Who else would motivate you to do it but yourself? If you do it for other reasons then what happens when those motivations aren't there? Do you stop doing what you were once doing great and just kick it to the curb? Not for me and many others I have grown onto and that's what seperates the action takers from the action fakers.

As I try to find my own motivation, I like to look at other people's successes and use that as my own personal motivation. I've met alot of great people at the TT Site and have made friendships that will last a lifetime. Those groups of people will always provide me with that motivation and social support for me to carry on - at times when I can't seem to find it on my own.

Never let your body adapt when you workout...never do something that doesn't challenge you everytime when you put your foot in the gym. Always keep pushing it..always keep rocking it!

My motivation in fitness at a personal standpoint is always try to motivate yourself and others and walk the walk more than just talking the talk. There's a big difference there and alot of that started at Craig Ballantyne's Turbulence Training Website.

Never be complacent. Complacency will always be the culprit to failure. Always stay motivated. Keep the goal in reach. Keep that mindset that every time you hit that gym and kick yourself in the ass all the time -be it small steps or big steps - you will always get closer that goal everytime. It never fails.