Saturday, June 28, 2008

Dig, Set...SmAsH!! 3 more inches!

Back in action! Great volleyball session at the rec center last night. Played with a pretty cool crowd of dudes and gals last night which was a pleasure playing with (psst! They are much younger than me that's for sure...but they are darn good!). Started off with a warm up at home before driving up to the rec where there were 3 open courts that were pretty much full from the get go. From 2 man, to 6 man and then 4 man (I played the full 2 hours but I noticed even the young ones tire out too. Haha!)...the session lasted a good 2 hours and 10 minutes of pure fun and and one helluva an exercise for me. Had to cut it 40 minutes short because I had to head home for the night and be a dad/husband once again. But volleyball is truly a great outlet for me for sure!

Stats for the night (again this was recreational and all in good fun):
4 nice, solid kills. 3 at the "5" and 1 at the "1" hitter positions. I like to angle alot so most of my hits go diagonal. I would like to get to a point where I can actually hit more vertically at the point of squaring my hips to the ball in the air, especially at the 1 position (Pretty much want to guide where my hits go off the fly again. I know I'll progressively get back to that hitting style soon! Need more air under the feet but alot has to do with your setter knowing your hitting style). Pretty impressed with the power of my hits this week compared to last week. Definitely coming back for me.
1 nice kill off a solid block at the net for a side out (power in effect here. Should count that as my 5th one)
A good solid block for a point off the other teams primary hitter! (whoohoo!)
Several nice dig/passing plays on defense
A few nice looking sets to set up my teammates for some good hits as well (returning the favor ya know).
And a few ace jump serves to boot for fun...
A couple of "floaters" (fatigue at the last 30 really did me in) just to keep the ball in play was good enough at this point.
Other than a few ugly ones here and there, it was a pretty good night for me being this my 3rd recent outing in ages.

I'm really appreciating more the benefits of strength training and functional training. I did alot of exercises this week focused on alot of squats, jumps, a few total body circuits via Turbulence Training, core training and cardiovascular exercise (HIIT). I also did a few exercises centered around developing shoulder strength as well. Before going to the courts yesterday evening, I even did some yoga type stretching which really helped my flexibility in game which really was evident last night.

Had my neoprenes on again (always wear em) but this time I got a few shiners on a few dig attempts and have some nice little bruises, with some dry skin peeling off right just below both knees (has nothing to do with where my knees have been sore in the past by the way). Just a few bruises there but otherwise I'm feeling good after some ice and some Motrins last night. My neoprenes have a donut opening which is why I got them so I may have to invest in some knee pads soon as well. No biggie.

Did another vertical jump assessment yesterday morning. 3 more inches added to my vertical jump so that brings me to an unofficial 25 inch vertical. Proud of that as well as my overall play to this point. If I can get to 30 inches...that would be a huge accomplishment as I haven't jumped that high since college.

Off day today...and I have no volleyball games planned on the table next week as it is a short workweek with July 4th just around the corner so may be concentrating more on a TT workout next week and giving my knees some much needed rest here. Don't want to overdo it here.

Update on my friend...he's doing good so far. Has been pretty much in alot of pain post op with Percocet round the clock. May be out of any type of workouts for the next several months. I look back at this and always think at the back of my head: "what if that was me." Call him pretty much everyday since the incident since he won't be returning to work until after a good 2 weeks. His spirits are up so that I'm really happy about.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Train Hard but Train Safe

A very good friend of mine went under the knife today after a freakish accident while working out a few days ago. He's in good spirits (very light spirited, positive guy I've known for years even through trials like this) and am sure as hell he'll get back to doing something he loves and that's working out and pumping iron. If anything, it's taught both of us the importance of knowing our limits and always workout with safety in mind: always.

Always warm up before exercise and always know what you can and can't do. Leave the ego at home if you're at a commercial gym or leave the ego in bed before you hit your home gym or where ever you may be working out. If we can't do that, then I would suggest it's best to simply stay at home in bed and massage that ego a bit first. But never neglect the good ol warm up and train with safety in mind always. Never underestimate those 2 things and you'll be training til your geriatric life!

I've learned to appreciate the importance of warming up since doing Turbulence Training and most especially after what's happened with my knees over a month or so ago, and after this very sad event that happened to a good friend of mine - it has really changed my perspective in regards to training and opened my eyes some. And because of taking that extra step to take that extra precaution necessary to prevent from further aggravating them, my knees are now much, MUCH better now and tolerable with leg exercises/movements more than ever and has allowed me to enjoy other things in life out of the gym such as playing volleyball once again. There may be some slight ill effects every now and then but they are far and between now and that's great for me from a personal fitness standpoint. I'm almost pain free now.

Never bite more than you can chew in a gym or in anything in life for that matter. Practice safety and moderation while trying to keep it as intense as you can. Warm up before you hit the weights. If we don't do the prementioned...we are simply bound to injury 99% of the time if we don't keep our wits about ourselves with the iron. It's just bound to happen. Keep it simple: Learn the movement, go light and progressively work your way up to heavier weights when you feel comfortable enough, get a spotter if you have to. But let's not be a power lifter if we aren't trained to be one. It's nice to challenge ourselves but always practice safety first!

Accidents in weight training happen but they can be prevented!

Heck, I may even get into Yoga at least once a week here on out. Flexibility in my age group is important! :)

I've read up on alot of training programs in dozens of fitness magazines and on the internet and not one single program preaches the importance of a good warm up than Craig Ballantyne's Turbulence Training Programs. He always preaches to "Never Skip a Warm up" in practically all of his TT programs. If pressed for time, skip some exercises but "never skip a warm up."

Words of true wisdom from Craig..

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Another Personal Goal: Improving on Functional Strength and wanting to improve my Vertical Jump!

Ok...feel good about my volleyball play this whole week...but like any athlete be it professional, amateur or purely recreational...we all know we can only get better with proper strength and conditioning approaches which TT does in fact incorporate which is an added bonus for me as a TT member. Getting back into volleyball again (purely recreational at this point...I still take it seriously though!! I guess my competitive juices have resurfaced! Haha!) after playing 2 sessions in one week alone (that litterally lasted 2 hours a session), I can firmly say that my personal fitness has gotten a new meaning for me in terms of how I plan to approach my training now. Basic skills and mechanics are still pretty fundamentally sound here which is a good’s really just getting back to the actual speed of the game once again that I want to improve on as far athletic performance goes. Endurance wise...I feel great. It’s those other things that make a whole lot of difference in sports: functional strength. Those little things that pack a punch in your game like how to put more power in your hits, more thrust at the hips at a “joust” at the net, solide blocking techniques, more speed when trying to make an effective pass to the setter without pulling a groin in the process (that’s very common in any sport), how to react to a broken play, etc. I want to know how to incorporate total body workouts in relation to the sport (still total body is it for me. It’s just last week and maybe this week which may be approached a little differently as I want to determine a few things as far as a few exercises are concerned). Those are just some of the things I want to fine tune with my training. I’m glad I did some 1 rep maxes last week because that tells me how intensely I should be training here on out without risking any setbacks in continued strength gains.

Today I did a few exercises taken from Craig Ballantyne’s TT BW Workout for Athletes which I read up on the other day. May modify it a little bit but I played with a few of the exercises and I like it. May incorporate a few functional strength exercises specifically for volleyball play but Craig’s Athlete Specific TT workout actually covers most of it to start with so that’s a good thing (some I’ve done it the past in some of Craig’s other great programs). Will still be hitting the weights but with more emphasis on a limited number of exercises such as the squat, jumps, calf work, shoulder rotation work and exercises specifically geared towards the sport of volleyball. Core training will still be my primary focus!

Anyway, after a park workout this morning in the Southern California sun (with my 8 lb medicine ball again. I take that with me because it bounces good), I was in my garage this morning with something in mind as a list of things to do this morning. I wanted to see what my actual vertical jump was. So I put my shoes on and did some height measurements, measured my vertical arm span length, put a line of tape right at the tip of where my fingers were against the wall and started jumping at a 3 step tempo as I was reaching as high as I could at an imaginary target on the wall and softly landing on both feet. After 6 attempts, I had a good idea what part of the wall that was and I did an unofficial measurement of 22 inches. I would like to add more inches so I’m reading up on how to improve on that.

Feel kind of bad about myself yesterday. Since the wife did get me some Bowlfex DB’s...I really didn’t open the boxes up in the garage to assemble and get started with them. I actually kept looking at the package this whole week and as much as I wanted to be like a kid opening a birthday present, I kind of thought of three things here: 1) I have DB’s as it is 2) I have a commercial gym membership for days I want to go heavy and 3) I have my own body to work with that work just the same and it’s “built in” if you will. So I told my wife that I wanted to return them back and invest in a recumbant bike and she was all for it so I just got a proform recumbant bike ordered online today (for the same amount of a set of Bowflex DB’s) and it should be shipped in a week or so. I think that was a smarter purchase I think.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Shoulders and Back Day

Shoulder, Arms and Back Day
Commercial Gym: 0530

Warm up: Standing DB presses: 15 lbs – 12 reps x 2/ 1 arm DB Swings: 15 lbs/12 reps per arm x 2

Workout Proper:
– Standard Sitting Military Barbell Press (Olympic Bar)
135 lbs x 4 reps
185 lbs x 4 reps
1 rep max: 190 lbs (added 2 ½ lb plates to each side). Felt pretty strong here surprisingly today as well.

On a mission this week to determine my 1 rep maxes. This morning I was able to determine my 1 rep max on the Military Press. Was able to do 2 complete reps on my own with 3rd rep with a spotter while still maintaining good form throughout and it was back on working on my back and shoulders with lighter weight the rest of the way. Whoohoo! I guess you can call that my 2 rep max…but I’m happy with 190 lbs for now.

Finished this workout with a good back, arm and shoulder routine I worked on last night on paper. Felt good this morning. No HIIT today as I added an extra HIIT yesterday afternoon post Heavy leg day and early afternoon nap.

Will be gauging my Back rep maxes with the Pull up exercise with a weighted vest. Not going for one reps here but more to failure and see how that goes next week…

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Finally Got My Life Back on Track!

Wow...I can't believe I played my very 1st volleyball game in 16 years - may have felt some rustiness but after 15 minutes in - I felt it all coming back for me. Here's a picture taken last Monday evening a good friend took on our way home that night around 9pm. Sorry for the sweat. Volleyball is right there with the sport of football and basketball..but Volleyball is my passion which I've enjoyed growing up until this day. My only problem was my weight and my inability to get really motivated to get back in shape. Now at 34 years of age, I feel I'm back to my "playing weight" once again and feel really good to be reliving my yesteryears as a teenager and young adult.

Thanks to Craig Ballantyne's Turbulence Training and Ross' Strength and Conditioning routines...I finally got my life back. These guys are the pinnacle of what Fat Loss and Athletic Training is all about. To Craig and Ross - thank you so much! This probably the fittest summer I've ever had in years.

Sorry for the sweat.

500 lbs on the Leg Presses!

Heavy Leg work day this morning with HIIT afterwards on treadmill and steady cardio on upright bike. Felt great! Definitely want to work on the legs and get some strength there now that I'm beginning to get into volleyball again here as a recreational sport (a long time passion of mine but because of my weight and a young family haven't played in years).

Alot of KB work as well as medicine ball work (5-8 lb range for the balls) would really help alot with strength and power with swing movements and hip explosiveness on passes and digs...very important in the game of volleyball.

Leg presses: 1 rep max 500 lbs

Suprisingly, on leg presses (even from way when I just started off working out) - I've been able to go heavy on this machine for some reason but on regular squats (free weight olympic bar style) - not as heavy. Probably not even 50% of the weight I can do on a leg press machine which really is interesting. So I did a search on the internet and came up with a study on some hypothesis on leg squat vs leg it is.

An EMG Comparison Study of a Leg Press and a Squat Lift
Melissa James MPT, Heidi Ivesdal, Thomas Mohr PT, PhD, John Frappier MS
Dept. of Physical Therapy, University of North Dakota, Grand Forks, ND
Purpose. The purpose of this study was to compare muscle recruitment during a leg press and a traditional squat lift. Subjects. Two groups of subjects were used for this study. Group 1 consisted of ten, healthy, normal males. Group 2 consisted of sixteen, healthy, trained, male athletes. Methods. Surface electromyographic (EMG) activity was recorded from the erector spinae (ES), gluteus maximus (GM), vastus lateralis (VL), and biceps femoris (BF) muscles. The exercises performed were a leg press (Plyo-Press), and a traditional squat lift. Each subject in Group 1 performed three repetitions of each exercise using a weight equivalent to their body weight (155 to 265 lbs). Each subject in Group 2 performed three repetitions of each exercise using a weight equivalent to 80% of their 1 RM (225 to 600 lbs). Results. In the trained group (Group 2), the squat exercise elicited significantly more EMG activity than did the leg press in the ES, GM and BF. There was no significant difference in the VL activity between the two exercises. In the normal group (Group 1), the results were similar in that the squat exercise also elicited significantly more EMG activity in the ES, GM and BF. In the normal group there was no significant difference in the VL activity between the two exercises. Conclusion. In this study, the leg press provided the same level of muscle recruitment in the VL as did the squat exercise. However, the leg press did not recruit the ES, GM or BF to the extent that the squat exercise did. Therefore, we hypothesize that the leg press machine may be better for individuals who want to specifically strengthen their quadriceps musculature, but reduce the strain on the low back that may be caused by the excessive activity of the ES musculature.
It has been suggested that traditional squat lifting with free weights may put strain on the low back because of the increased muscle activity in the low back musculature that occurs during the lift. Furthermore, it has been proposed that the leg press will activate the quadriceps muscles to the same extent as the squat lift without excessive activation of the low back musculature. However, there is little research to support these claims. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to compare muscle recruitment during a leg press and a traditional squat lift. It has been suggested that traditional squat lifting with free weights may put strain on the low back because of the increased muscle activity in the low back musculature that occurs during the lift. Furthermore, it has been proposed that the leg press will activate the quadriceps muscles to the same extent as the squat lift without excessive activation of the low back musculature. However, there is little research to support these claims. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to compare muscle recruitment during a leg press and a traditional squat lift.
Subjects. Two groups of subjects were used for this study. Group 1 consisted of ten, healthy, normal males. Group 2 consisted of sixteen, healthy, trained, male athletes. The subjects in Group 1 were chosen because they were able to squat lift a weight equivalent to 75% of their body weight. The subjects in Group 2 were chosen because they were able to squat lift a weight equivalent to 80% of their 1 RM. Instrumentation. The EMG data was recorded using the Noraxon Telemyo8 transmitter/receiver and analyzed using the MyoSoft software package. Procedure. Surface electromyographic (EMG) activity was recorded from the erector spinae (ES), gluteus maximus (GM), vastus lateralis (VL), and biceps femoris (BF) muscles. The exercises performed were: 1) a leg press using the Plyo-Press® device, and 2) a traditional squat lift using free weights. Each subject in Group 1 performed three repetitions of each exercise using a weight equivalent to their body weight (155 to 265 lbs). Each subject in Group 2 performed three repetitions of each exercise using a weight equivalent to 80% of their 1 RM (225 to 600 lbs). Data Analysis. The EMG activity was normalized based on a maximal voluntary contraction (MVC) for each muscle. A comparison was made of the normalized EMG values, recorded for each muscle, during the two exercises using paired t-tests. Alpha levels of 0.05 were used to test for significance.

Figure 1. Subject on the PlyPress.
In the trained group (Group 2), the squat exercise elicited significantly more EMG activity than did the leg press in the ES, GM and BF. However, there was no significant difference in the VL activity between the two exercises (Table 1). In the normal group (Group 1), the results were similar in that the squat exercise also elicited significantly more EMG activity in the ES, GM and BF (Table 2). As with the trained group, there was no significant difference in the VL activity between the two exercises.

Figure 2. PlyoPress versus squat exercise.

Figure 3. Leg press versus squat exercise.

The leg press provides the same level of muscle recruitment in the VL as does a squat exercise. However, the leg press does not recruit the ES, GM or BF to the extent that the squat exercise does. Therefore, we hypothesize that the leg press machine may be better for individuals who want to specifically strengthen their quadriceps musculature, but reduce possible strain on the low back that may be caused by the excessive activity of the ES musculature. However, if the training is aimed at training the ES, GM or BF; then the squat lift may provide a better training stimulus.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Excess Post-Exercise O2 Consumption - a Very Essential key to Fat Loss (other than a sound nutrition of course)

Excess post-exercise oxygen consumption
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Excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC) is a measurably increased rate of oxygen intake following strenuous activity. The extra oxygen is used in the processes that restore the body to a resting state and adapt it to the exercise just performed. These include: hormone balancing, replenishment of fuel stores, cellular repair, innervation, and anabolism.

EPOC is accompanied by an elevated consumption of fuel, some studies found that included fat, but others did not find a similar effect. None of the studies set up to investigate the effect used very large sample sizes, possibly due to the cost of conducting the experiments.

[edit] Duration of the effect
The EPOC effect is greatest soon after the exercise is completed and decays to a lesser level over time. One Experiment found EPOC increasing metabolic rate to an excess level that decays to 13% 3 hours after exercise, and 4% after 16 hours. Another study, specifically designed to test if the effect existed for more than 16 hours, conducted tests for 48 hours after the conclusion of the exercise and found measurable effect existed up to the 38 hour post-exercise measurement. (Schuenke 2002)[1]

[edit] Size of the EPOC effect
Studies show that the EPOC effect exists after both anaerobic exercise and aerobic exercise, but all studies comparing the two show that anaerobic exercise increases EPOC more than aerobic exercise does. For exercise regimens of comparable duration and intensity, aerobic exercise burns more calories during the exercise itself [1], but the difference is partly offset by the higher increase in caloric expenditure that occurs during the EPOC phase after anaerobic exercise. Anaerobic exercise in the form of high-intensity interval training was also found in one study to result in greater loss of subcutaneous fat, even though the subjects expended fewer than half as many calories during exercise.[2] Whether this result was caused by the EPOC effect has not been established, and the caloric content of the participants' diet was not controlled during this particular study period.

In their 2004 survey of the relevant literature, Meirelles and Gomes found: "In summary, EPOC resulting from a single resistance exercise session does not represent a great impact on energy balance; however, its cumulative effect may be relevant.".[2] This is echoed by Reynolds and Kravitz in their survey of the literature where they remarked: "However, it should be emphasized that the overall weight-control benefits of EPOC, for men and women, from participation in resistance exercise occur over a significant time period, since kilocalories are expended at a low rate in the individual postexercise sessions."[3]

What is clear is that the EPOC effect is greater the greater the intensity of the exercise and the greater the time spent during the exercise phase. Most studies found a linear relationship with time of exercise and the effect. One found a curvilinear relationship between the intensity and the EPOC effect, though others found a linear relationship.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Test of Strength: 1 Rep Maxes

Time: 0900
Commercial Gym

Warm up circuit:
Shoulder circles with 10 lb plate (clockwise and counterclockwise) x 10 reps
Pushups x 15
Standing shoulder presses with 10 lb plates x15

Barbell Flat Press 115 lbs x 7/ 135 x 7/ 155 lbs x 7/ 215 lbs x 7/ 225x1 (this is my one rep max)

A1) Incline DB Presses 50 lbs 12x 4
A2) DB Flies on Stability Ball 17.5 lbs (12x2) / 20 lbs (12 x2)

B1) Decline DB presses 30 lbs 15 x 3
B2) Decline Pushups on Sb with SB Jacknifes 5 reps x1 /4reps x2

C1) Standing Upward Chest flies (40 lbs x 10/50 lbs x8/60 lbs x 4)
C2) Lying down cable flies (on bench) 20 lbs x 3

D1) Assisted dips (50 lbs assist x 8 x 2 sets / BW dips x 8 last set)
D2) Cable wood chops 25 lbs/25lbs/25lbs (10 reps x 3)

Isolation ab supersets x 2:
E1) Cable torso twists standing (25 lbs x 8)
E2) Upward Cable chops (25 lbs x 8)

Treadmill Intervals 6 cycles 30 sec work/90 sec rest (7/10 / 3/10. Short but not too intense)

15 minutes Upright Bike slow steady cardio immediately after HIIT.

10 minute sauna

Post workout meal.

Off day today from work so sleeping in after an off day yesterday from any workouts was good. My local gym I go to has 2 floors. As soon as I got upstairs: it was packed! I guess Mondays are the busiest times in gyms around this time of day

Won’t post my workouts here regularly but I thought I’d share a workout I did today in my blog. I’m pretty proud of my bench numbers for the day. I wanted to establish a baseline for determining my 1 rep maxes on the bench to be able to gauge where exactly I am at this point for future mass building workouts (majority of my workouts have been fat loss focused as well as conditioning and strength based). Always start your workouts with the big muscle groups fresh so I hit the Bench first which was cool. Reminded me a lot of what I me and my good friend used to do! Brings back great memories. This time around, he was at work so I pretty much (got there later too) and did everything without a spotter to help me out. One thing I think I did wrong here was start off with a lower weight before getting up to 225 lbs.

Anyway, here are my calculations based on my 1 rep max today:
1 rep max: 225 lbs
50% 1 RM 113 lbs
55% 1 RM 124 lbs
60% 1 RM 135 lbs
65% 1 RM 146 lbs
70% 1 RM 158 lbs
75% 1 RM 169 lbs
80% 1 RM 180 lbs
85% 1 RM 191 lbs
90% 1 RM 203 lbs
95% 1 RM 214 lbs

I’m always fascinated with program creation. Something which I suck at really...and I'll be the first to say it. At this point in my training, I’ve decided to change up my routine some and focus a little more on working on some areas that need some attention as far as mass gains as well as still lean out in the process. I want to try to see how I’d do without a formal program on hand so to speak for a few weeks and create a program of my own here just to see what results I may get from it. Won’t be something I intend on doing for an extended period of time but definitely something to keep me busy while learning some new approaches in the process in program creation.

Pretty pooped out right now as I type this...but I like it. May have to get a few zzzz’s in before hooking up with a friend for some indoor volleyball tonight at 7pm.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Happy Father's Day!

Happy Father’s Day to all the Dads and Dad’s to be! To all the Dad’s: more power and may you all be blessed. This is our day! 

Last night, I got an advanced surprise Father’s Day gift which I didn’t see coming from my thoughtful wife when she came home from work late last night. I guess she kind of read my mind a few weeks ago while at Sports Authority looking for some gear. Anyway, I finally got a set of the Bowflex SelectTech 552 Dumbbells with a stand! Yahoo! The only downside is it only goes up to 52 lbs, which is ok (the 1090 models would be even better but they are direct sales only which I just found out and cost way too much with the shipping) since I have the old school adjustable ones that go up to 80 lbs. – going heavy is still an option for me for those great home gym workouts regardless! Just gives me more options without all the plates all over the place as well as the time it takes to get them all set (she hates all my plates in that our kids tend to play with them a lot and trip over them). Man it’s so great to see that I get that much needed support quite honestly (again, I didn’t see this coming either) and if I didn’t, I honestly don’t think I’d be this dedicated to a healthier lifestyle for so long now.

My next few equipment for home use which I need to work on is a recumbent bike, an actual squat rack, an Olympic Bar and a few 45 lb plates and I’m set. I just sold one of my treadmills the other to a pretty cool guy on Craigslist for $350. He got a real steal quite honestly...I just hope he takes advantage of such a great piece of equipment (treadmill).

Go Lakers!

Saturday, June 14, 2008

And in this corner....

No formal workouts today. So for leisure I did a light jog for a good 1 mile on the treadmill this afternoon...took a good 15 minutes to complete but it was all good in my hood.

The fun part was some heavy bag punching work and some speed punching (ala Ross Training) which was really something to experience if you've never tried it before. Hitting it at different angles with an ugly dude's picture in my head for 20 plus minutes was the best feeling I had all day. What a stress reliever and an endorphin booster. Left jab..right jab...upper cut...continuous power punching combinations and kicks...and more power punching for extra measure! All that displaced anger, control, power, strength and focus all in a string of various punches and kicks - hitting that bag like I wanted to tear it apart. Whew. Great workout and what a great, yet safe way to let it loose for a good 15 minutes and not feel any guilt about it at all. What a great feeling indeed. Absolutely nothing like hitting it hard and hitting it with some conviction. Too bad it was just a bag.

I felt like Chuck Liddell from UFC today! Nah. Probably Kimbo...Hahahaha!

And it was off taking a nice cold shower and spend some quality time with my family for dinner...

Never go down for the count...

Ding. Ding.

Friday, June 13, 2008

The Scrub Pants Workout Routine

"To be one, to be united is a great thing. But to respect the right to be different is maybe even greater." Bono from U2.

Had to leave early from work today as our young son has a case of Infant Roseola Rash with a good 3 days of low grade temps. He's keeping his spirits up and that's a good sign for us. Viral in nature so it should play it's course and go away.

But before heading home I was able to manage to head to the gym for a real quick "in- my- scrub-pants- and- an- undershirt- workout" and managed to do my workout for the day right after lunch. Not in complete workout gear - but who cares. Is that considered being different, too? Who's reeeaaally looking? (Hmmm.)

Felt really good and fun but now it's the hard part in taking care of our little baby boy. Poor little guy. He'll get better.

Always have the mindset of moving forward....but always remember that it's ok to look back from time to time because it's through experience that we gain wisdom. It's always good to know where you came from and to stay humble always...that's my motto.

Just keeping it real folks. Just keeping it real.

Stay grounded,


Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Just be different

A good friend at TT by the name of Darryl and a cool guy named Juan at the TT forums really inspired me to make a blog post today about something I had troubles with early on…just be different than the rest. Never sweat the small stuff and just focus on the task at hand: your workout.

If you’ve been working your tail off at the gym or even at home…just be different. There’s nothing like preventing the inevitable when it comes to working out. Plateaus are imminent if you don’t change things up. Mixing things up isn’t intended to show off or simply to show ‘superiority’ over anybody else (well for some, that is the case in the gym. I call them the ego lifters). It’s not being conceited and it’s not about going overboard by any means here…and I wanted to point that out here. Seriously. I just like to train hard and different everytime. Increase the intensity every time!!! That’s all. I don’t like to waste time doing monotonous exercises that I once used to do (HIIT on the treadmills – that killed my knees overtime). That’s probably why my knees aren’t the same anymore…I was always one to run, run and run…it was a passion but that passion caught up with me. I was doing that for over 2 years and HIIT for 1 year and half!!! It’s just not the same anymore when I look at a program…And on a daily basis in regards to exercise - I don’t think it will ever be again. I simply wont allow it.

Change programs regularly, educate yourself why you’re doing them and when to do them. The more you know, the better off you are longterm.

And that’s all I can say when it comes to working out. Doing my actual TT workouts once again in a commercial gym is an eye popper for me. It shocks me everytime to see what goes on but I always keep it to myself but I’ve learned so much’s almost educating to witness. Time and time again, I see so many of the same people doing the same thing over and over and over again. I used to feel uncomfortable at one point doing TT at the gym because everybody else was doing the same exact thing and I didn’t want to feel like I wasn’t “going with the flow” like everybody else (spending 15 minutes on a ab machine, 25 minutes on a barbell bench – all just that one exercise movement, for example.) Nowadays, I’m done minimal time and I feel better afterwards knowing I really challenged myself single everytime I step my foot in that door in the morning).

Don’t be ashamed that you’re different. Get out of that comfort zone. There's really nothing wrong with's just the perception the people who see you doing it is. That may bother those regular joes at the gym some, but it should NEVER bother you.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

"Po" the Loveable Panda....

Wow...would never think of it that I would one day be a fan of animated movies and if anyone has not watched the animated movie: "Kung Fu Panda"...go watch it with your family! What an inspiring movie. We just got back and I must say what an inspiring, moving movie.

There was one quote I won't forget that entire movie and there were many, and I paraphrase:

"We worry about what we were and who we will become. Stop worrying about the past, the past is history. Stop worrying about the future, for that is still a mystery. Today is a gift. That's why it's a present."

Another great one:

"There is no "secret ingredient"...that secret ingredient is YOU."

The story centers around a Panda named Po...a big cute yet clumsy panda who always dreamed of being a Kung Fu "Master". He "accidentally" gets annointed to be the Dragon Warrior. The only problem is that Po has no real life experience of kung fu, and his real job is serving noodles at his dad's noodles shop. It's a cute yet touching and humbling background Po has and his character really showed alot of low self esteem and humiliation starting on. So Master Shifu (Leader of the great Furious 5 consisting of the MOnkey, the Snake, the Mantis, the Tigress and the Crane) has his hands full with Po as he goes through rigorous tests of physical and mental challenges in preparation for the climactic battle with Tai Lung. He stumbles...yes, "stumbles" on a flight of stairs in the movie (the effects in this movie was top notch btw. Had to put that in there.)...he has no "social support" from the Furious Five...and inspite of picking himself up everytime he gets knocked down -he eventually comes to terms with it and eventually loses all hope that there's nothing left in the tank and decides he wants to call it quits and wishes to go back with his Dad at the noodles shop.

Po apparently is also noted as a stress eater in this movie (wow, how ironic). He eats...eats....and eats more when he's stressed and because of that his focus to become the Dragon warrior becomes suddenly distant (again how ironic).

But Master Shifu does not give up with him and realizes the only way to train him is to give him that one incentive that Po cannot resist: FOOD. But in the process of training with food as the object of his desire - through rigorous training drills - he shows signs of strength, agility, speed and power unheralded. Food was his strength but that wasn't the strength he was looking for all along. It was his WILL to want to be the Dragon Warrior as prophecized. So he trained...hard with purpose and goal. Yet, there were no special powers...for he found the power in himself. When he finally grabs that food in the hand from Master Shifu (which was very funny by the way) - he tosses it in the air to the other side of the cliff and says: "I'm not hungry anymore."

Geez...what a great movie. I had a blast with this movie from beginning to end. If you haven't watched it with your friends or family - this is one movie for the ages if you want a good laugh, be inspired and feel really good in the end as there are so many virtues that can be learned here: Patience, consistency, desire, the passion to succeed...and most of all just believe in one's self. In real life - it doesn't always have to be hardcore, cookie cutter perfect or by the book everytime. If you can laugh at your failures and pick yourself up and do what you feel is right - there's nothing that can stop you from attaining one's dreams while still being yourself.

Yo, it may be an animated movie...but there are more lessons in life that can be learned from this movie than one can learn in a lifetime. I may exaggerate that a little but I'll leave it at that.

"Fight one more round. When your arms are so tired that you can hardly lift your hands to come on guard, fight one more round. When your nose is bleeding and your eyes are black and you are so tired that you wish your opponent would crack you one on the jaw and put you to sleep, fight one more round – remembering that the man who always fights one more round is never whipped."

Find that power in ourselves.....everyday.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Automated Newsletter from Troy Anderson of

From Troy Anderson and Anderson Training Systems/


Are you read to be shocked?
Research shows that healthy fit people exercise 5 hours per week.

This shocks the heck out of most people when they come in and sit down with me for a consult.

They are expecting to come in and dabble around for 1 or 2 sessions per week and
then I drop that on them like a ton of bricks.

So if you were shocked let me help you put it in a little perspective.

5 hours of the total 168 hour per week.

Minus 45 hrs of work and hopefully 56 hrs for sleep, this leaves you with 67 hrs available to use.

5 hrs only represents 7.5% of those available 67hrs.

Seems a lot more manageable now right?

Yeah I know you are busy, but everyone is really busy, but...

I bet if you look really close at your life right now, you can probably find those 5 hrs without expending too much effort.

And really what's more important to you?

A healthy mind and body.


Re-runs of Law and Order."

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Pondering Here re: Ab Specific Exercises: the Debate! Is it necessary?

Read up on a cool blog of a friend's (Hi Kali!) and read up on an article about ab exercises...and really gave me some things to ponder about going home from work today. Although I do agree that doing isolation ab exercises are not the right thing to do independently as a magic wand to washboard abs (total body workouts get you there faster and much quicker) but I think there are conditions why we should be doing them regularly in a program. Again I'm a firm believer that all exercises are considered core strengthening exercises because it is in the core that really determines how strong you can carry on an intense enough workout (knees and shoulders too :) ). Again, I'm not a trainer but do have some valid views about core strengthening, so again this is purely hypothetical but kind of makes sense to me:

a) If the goal is to lose body fat. Work on ab specific workouts later when considerable amount of bf is achieved. Remember when you do workout you are working your core either way.
b) If the goal is to gain strength. Incorporate it in your program regularly. A weak abdomen leads to overall weaker workouts.
c) If the goal of bf has been somewhat achieved, and the abs are starting to indeed show - and if you have some vanity in you (like me), I think it's a must do for more defined abs (towards a 6 pack most specifically).

I think ab exercises improve toning and definition a little more as opposed to not doing them at all.

A strong core doesn't always equate to a more visible six pack either. Here's my reasons!

I see powerlifters who have very strong cores to lift super heavy weight yet do not exactly have what we might call that six pack, but underneath some of that epidermis/adipose tissue we see on the outside --- is in fact a pretty solid core there wouldn't we think?

On the other side of the spectrum, we see the hardgainer guy who probably is 6-7% BF, never worked out in his life and see him at the free weight section at your local gym... do you honestly think his core is strong enough to handle the weight? 9 times out of 10 probably not. And if you've seen some guys at the gym that are very underweight, I have yet to see them press more than their own weight on some exercises to tell you truthfully.

But still - total body workouts are the key...but the core is definitely the foundation.

Anwyay, I may be sooooooooo off base here but this is only a hypothetical theory that warrants me to post it in my blog. I think in any workout...core strengthening is consciously or unconsciously being worked anyway. But I would have to also say it also depends on one's own fitness level too. Again, all exercises help the core but with ab specific exercises done on a routine basis (2-3xweek...some maybe even 5xweek)...I guess wouldn't hurt.

Comments and opinions are welcome! This isn't a proven theory...just my ideas is all for my blog post for the day.


Monday, June 2, 2008

"97Days2Abs": A Personal Mission


Thought really long and hard over the past few months or so about this and may have mentioned this in my blog some time ago...alot of things happened the past 2 months to really hamper my progress...not anymore. Made a personal commitment to myself that in 97 days - 9/5/08: I will get that defined 6 pack I have always wanted ever since. I want to be the most fit I can be by 9/5/08 so I called this mission: "97Days2Abs". Made the decision to get in shape by a good workout friend of mine back in Sept 5, 2006 and have never looked back since.

So 9/5/08 is a defined target date for me. I will never look back and sulk in disappoinment over things I could have done better even with the fact that I have bad knees now. Will be attacking this goal with awesome programs from Turbulence Training and a few things I've enjoyed doing the past month with a few strength/core training principles I learned over the past month as well. I noticed so much of a difference now with overall strength so I'm going to take advantage of this with a more "renewed" sense of determination.

"97Days2Abs"...a personal challenge I have set for myself. And so my journey continues. Stronger, more focused, more intense as ever. Count on that.

"Fitness aint pretty, RESULTS are." - Troy Anderson

Sunday, June 1, 2008

The San Diego Rock N Roll Marathon

Today is the annual Suzuki San Diego Rock N Roll Marathon! Came into work today and saw flocks of people walking into the the Downtown area from teens to adults (tons of road closures all over the downtown area). What an incredible atmoshere of people joining a contest with different goals and aspirations but with the same social support we have at Turbulence Training to push themselves towards the finish line. The fulfillment of just finishing it is almost like moving mountains. Entertainment stages with live music and cheerleaders from start to can one not be motivated through this marathon. The power of social support for us right there - to enter something with a cause, a goal in mind and just take on lifes mental and physical challenges along the way.

And again - from a personal standpoint, sometimes the journey is more valuable to me than the destination. It's what you learn along the way is what makes who you are now.

Yesterday May 31, 2008 was the last day for people to join the 2nd Transformation Contest at Turbulence Training. I have seen a few familiar friends joining in the 2nd one as well as new and ethusiastic ones coming in joining this 2nd one for their very 1st time. As with anything in it with a purpose and the "journey" won't seem as long to get there. Wish them all well!

Enjoy the journey! Let's all move mountains in our own unique way!