Tuesday, December 29, 2009

5x5 Strength Program

"Do It for Yourself. What people think of you doesn’t matter. You have nothing to prove to others. This is your life. Do what you need to do to be who you want to be."


So my goals are simple for 2010: GET STRONG, GET LEAN, STAY ACTIVE, EAT RIGHT, STAY HEALTY. Will be using the 5x5 concept the next few months.

My #1 goal is to really improve on my strength starting the year. So this new program I'm doing suggests to increase the weight plates by 5 lbs on each side of the barbell EACH session as the programs suggests.

And that meant starting with the Olympic Bar at 45 lbs last Saturday a day after Christmas (yes, I've started the program Dec 26th, by the time New Year comes around the program the load should be more challenging). The weights do progressively get heavier mind you. Alot of people I understand burn out from this routine because they start with too much weight and they're ego gets in the way.

I've learned to throw the ego out the door and started with just the BAR. It was strange thinking I was starting with the Bar in this 5x5 routine. But after doing 2 sessions already - I'm understanding the whole reasons behind the training philosophy and it's not a bad idea really.

Again, each session will require you to increase the weights by 5lb increments on each side. I'm noticing after doing a full months worth of BW exercises, even with just a bar I definintely can feel my body getting acclimated back to proper form on these lifts again.

The program also has push ups, pull ups and core work in each session so develop accessory muscles too. The program alternates from Workout A and Workout B, with 48 hours of rest between each workout so a total of 3 full body workouts a week.

Aim is not to want to look strong or show off at a gym but I certainly want to feel strong which is why I'm doing this.

This is something I haven't really focused on much. Maybe it was the injury my friend had about a year and a half ago. It's a mental thing if you've ever seen an injury like this happen with your very eyes. As I work up to heavier weights on the bench, at least now - I can really develop confidence as the weights go up by 5 lbs on each side each week...

If I can improve on my strength on some strong lifts - I think this benefits me in the long run with other programs.

So here are my "average fitness man" goals more specifically:

- To improve my strength in the barbell bench press, overhead press, squat and deadlift.

- To try to avoid the overtrain bug as best I can.

- Keep my knees healthy.

- Goal is to be able to lift 1.2 x my own BW - or better. So that means to be able to get up the weights to 215 lbs hopefully by the end of 12 weeks. 5x5 approach will be used. Goal is to achieve this by 12 weeks (March 31st). If not - I'll keep at it til I do or hop onto a new routine if the interest isn't there anymore. Maybe sooner, may be later...that will all depend.

- Continue adding 5 lb plates on that bar each time. The weight/load progression on this program I'm on gets heavier and heavier.

- To continue to lose that unwanted bodyfat weight. I did gain a little over the holidays.

- To be able to mix in conditioning routines simultaneously with strength work. Again, I've gained some holiday weight here and my BF has gone up to 17.5%. Will continue to do high intensity intervals, but my main focus is strength and will not let intervals hamper my energy reserves for the next 5x5 lift workout.

Will be doing warm ups as usual and maybe some soft tissue work up as well on off days. Foam rolls will be a constant as well as stretching.


That's it, folks...let the 5x5 begin.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Improving My Squat Technique!

Come the New Year...one thing I really want to focus on is using proper form on exercises like the squat, deadlift and bench press. One move I want to improve on is the squat. How many people thought they actually were doing it the right way and probably wasn't? I'm one of them!!!!

I don't think my form is all that great or all that bad - but this video by Mark Rippetoe and his student is an awesome video of him trying to teach his student proper technique. There's nothing like actual one on one mentoring/personal training...but I really like this video that I'm posting it here. You'll learn alot from what Mark has to critique on his form.

I know alot of people who have been doing squats have stronger, stable knees. Do it wrong...there go the knees. But the squat (along with the deadlift) is probably one of the unique exercise that trains for strength like no other.

Olympic style, Parallel squats, whatever ---> Lead with your butt!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas

Happy Holidays to everyone and a Happy New Year! Can't believe 2009 is almost over...been playing around with a new training approach this past week for a test run...taking a full week off from weights and it's on to 2010 with some fun workouts.

Have some family guests coming over so we've been busy getting things ready around the house. Will be watching the Chargers/Titans tonight on TV...which should have all the tidings of a great Christmas Day match up of 2 teams playing for something tonight....

Go Chargers!

Andy

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Some Changes Coming Up in 2010!

As the year's almost ending - I'm quickly getting ready for some new change ups in my training approaches starting 2010. New decade - a fresh start of workouts.

Can't wait to get this started.

HIIT over slow cardio, eating right instead of surgical means and other artificial means...natural nutrients over supplements...the "I WANT TO" mindset instead of the "I NEED TO" mindset. The methodology is simple...but to take action isn't as simple.

Mindset is everything..."infinite intensity" is crucial. No slacking off here come 2k10... =)

Let's not re-invent the wheels but keep the wheels rollin into 2010.

Time to take that "monkey" off my back entering 2010 and keep that focus going. Shoot..it's time to shake that monkey and bounce that ass, baby....hahahaha! (Sorry, it's a song.)

MikeZ aka Smoke is right. There's just way too much hype of programs out there that all they want is your hard earned dollars of essentially the same stuff that the "informed" fitness junkie knows already. Don't get sucked in the hype. There's genuinely great ones (a few are listed on my blog) and Im sure there are plenty more out there...but I have a few I have my 100% trust in and I believe at a personal are the approaches that I should base my training on. Don't get sucked in the gimmickry. No one training philosophy is the right way to train anyway.

It's what you believe in and what you put in that gives you the results.

The next few months should be interesting. Can't wait!!!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Guest Blog By Ross Enamait

Here's why I follow this guy's blog - he understands. He's not single, he doesn't do trips all over the world to do workshops, he doesn't party all night it seems (unless he's training. His videos are incredible) - he just does it. How does he find the time to? His knowledge is well documented in his books and the best part of it all - he has a young family of his own. I've always wondered - how does he find the time?


He makes the time.


Here's a nice blogpost he did earlier in the year. He has a Very nice read. Especially if your a father, mother, husband or wife. But even if you don't have children - this is very motivating.

HERE IS HIS POST. Click here for the link.
**********


I regularly receive questions from new parents who are wondering how they can continue exercising while caring for their child (or children). I won’t claim to be the authority on the subject, but I do have two young children. My son will be 3 in May, and my daughter is just shy of 8 months.

I honestly cannot remember the last time I had a full 8 hours of sleep. It’s been years. Dealing with limited sleep is something that I’m quite familiar with. For several months after the birth of each child, we went through our share of sleepless nights. It’s amazing that there were times when my wife and I were excited to get 4 hours of sleep. As a man, I have no business complaining however, as I’m not the one who was up every few hours nursing the baby!

Currently, my daughter is beginning to sleep much better, although teething may have her up once or twice during the night. I average somewhere in the neighborhood of 5 or 6 hours of sleep per night, which usually comes in three hour blocks. When my daughter wakes up, I wake up, which usually means that I’m up for a while before falling back to sleep.

Functioning with 5 or 6 hours of sleep is all that I know. I don’t know what I’d do with 8 hours of sleep. My wife and I chuckle when a friend or family member (without kids) will gripe about feeling tired after not getting their full 8 hours of sleep. Inside my head, I’m usually thinking to myself,” You have NO idea what tired is!”

There have been days when I’ve worked late, am up with one of the kids in the middle of the night, and then up early the next morning, which means a total of just a few hours of sleep. No, it isn’t fun, but it comes with the territory as a new parent. My children come first. Taking care of them is at the top of the priority list. If that means feeling a little tired the next day, so be it.

On the flip side, having a child doesn’t mean that your life ends. Yes, your life will change, but it is supposed to be for the better! There is no reason to fall apart physically and mentally. Considering that my daughter is getting close to sleeping through the night, I figured I should share a few thoughts while the subject is still fresh in my mind. Below are a few tips that have worked for me.

Morning Workouts

Personally, I find that morning workouts are best. I’ll wake up before the kids, which makes for an ideal training time. The way I look at it, if I’m going to be tired, I may as well get a workout in early on, as I’m going to feel tired regardless. Oddly enough, I find that morning workouts tend to wake me up. It may take a few minutes to get the blood flowing, but once I hit the zone, I forget about feeling tired and my adrenaline takes over. I then feel much better throughout the day. I rarely notice myself feeling tired afterward.

If I skip a morning workout, it throws a wrench in my plans. I always find myself busy with work during the day (and often into the evening), which makes it more and more difficult to find time for my own training. By training early in the morning, there is absolutely nothing (later in the day) that can disrupt my workout.

Morning workouts may take some getting used to, but eventually become just another part of the daily routine. I consider the morning workout similar to how I did my roadwork back in my days as an active fighter. Whenever I’d begin training for a new fight, it would take a few days to get used to the early morning runs. Within a week, it was just another part of the day. I didn’t think twice about it. I could wake up without the alarm clock. As poet John Dryden once said,

“We first make our habits, and then our habits make us.”

Make Time

Morning workouts work for me. That doesn’t mean they will work for you. You need to find something that jives with your own schedule. Be prepared to actively MAKE time to train however. Don’t expect extra time to fall out of the sky. As a father, husband, and business owner, I always have a full plate. I try to make the most out of each minute. For me, it means waking up earlier than I would otherwise. For you, perhaps it means going to bed later. Ultimately, the time is there. You just need to look for it.

Life’s Tough, Deal With It

Life’s tough, so let’s not pretend otherwise. Dealing with less than optimal sleep conditions isn’t always going to be fun. There will be days when you are tired and cranky. That’s life. I don’t feel bad for you. I’ve been there myself.

The fitness community as a whole needs to stop making bullsh*t promises. Nothing worth having comes easy. A ten minute workout is better than nothing, but let’s not pretend that it will create the next Spartan warrior. Training is like most things in life. You get what you put into it. There is no easy way. Hard and consistent work is the only legitimate training secret. Unfortunately, most people don’t want anything to do with it.

So no, I can’t promise that you’ll wake up feeling chipper after you’ve been up half the night. There is a good chance that you’ll wake up feeling miserable. Take comfort in knowing that you aren’t the only one. I’ve been in that same boat many mornings. I don’t cry myself back to sleep however. I wake up, play some loud, obnoxious music on the headphones, and begin training.

Strength

When I’m tired, I find that I perform better when targeting strength. I can always put out some quality strength work. I rarely find myself as eager to perform lengthy conditioning workouts. From a conditioning standpoint, I’ll do better with abbreviated methods (ex. a short finisher after my main workout).

Bodyweight Exercise

Bodyweight exercise comes in handy if you train at home. Yes it’s effective, but perhaps more importantly it is quiet! You can work very hard with your child sleeping in the next room. An added bonus is that the gym is never closed. You can train at any time. This isn’t to say that you should abandon free weights, but rather a reminder that there are other options available if necessary. Personally, I often mix free weights with bodyweight exercise. If for some reason I have no equipment available however, I can always find a way to complete a quality full body workout.

Better Than Nothing

Get over the fact that you may not have a full hour or two blocked off for uninterrupted training. There will be times when parent duty kicks in and training is interrupted. It’s not the end of the world. A few sets of anything throughout the day is better than nothing. I can always manage to find time for a mini-workout at some point during the day. A few favorites of mine include the ab wheel, handstand pushups, pull-ups, a variety of isometrics, etc.

I certainly prefer an uninterrupted workout, but if for some reason it doesn’t happen, I can always find a way to accumulate a decent workload throughout the course of the day. For example, just recently I decided to do 50 bodyweight squats each time that I let my dogs out. I racked up 250 squats in what amounted to just a few minutes spread throughout the course of the day. Clearly, this isn’t the most significant accomplishment in the world, but it is better than nothing.

Goals

I find it particularly useful to have goals in mind. If I’m tired, I’m not in the mood to improvise. I need to have an idea of what I’m trying to accomplish. I’m not looking to solve any complex algorithms first thing in the morning. I need to be focused on something specific.

Keep It Fun

I work almost every day of the year. When I’m up early in the morning, I don’t want to view my training with a job-like mentality. Yes, I work hard, but the work needs to be something that I enjoy. Training needs to be fun, particularly when it is something that I’m doing without a full night’s sleep. Enjoying the work allows me to look forward to training. It’s one of my favorite parts of the day. If I dreaded the training, I doubt I would do it.

Nutrition

I strongly believe that clean eating contributes to my ability to recover from less than optimal sleep conditions. I don’t believe in micro-managing the eating process, but I do believe in clean eating. My nutritional strategy is very simple. I eat real food (ex. fruits, veggies, fish, meat, etc.) when I’m hungry, and I don’t eat any artificial and/or processed junk. That’s it. I have better things to do with my time than counting how much of this or that nutrient has been consumed in this or that meal. My ancestors did pretty well without calculating zones and nutrient ratios on the abacus, so I see no reason to change. I never get sick, recover quickly from training, and feel good throughout the day. If it isn’t broken, I see no reason to fix it. Find what works for you. That’s the best nutritional advice I ever heard, so now I’m giving it to you.

Don’t Believe Everything That You Hear

I’ve had many people tell me that it is absolutely essential to receive 8 or 9 hours of sleep each night. I respond by sharing my story, and it’s as if they do not believe it could be true. How could I be doing something that is not reflected in the peer reviewed study that they read in a recent journal! It can’t be!

Well guess what, it is. I’m all for science, but at times I prefer falling back on the most basic definition. Merriam-Webster defines science as the state of knowing. I know what my body needs to function. When I read a study that suggests otherwise, my first thought is that they sure as hell didn’t study me. I continue to make gains, so I know that I’m doing something right.

And please don’t take this the wrong way. I’m not suggesting that my way is the only way. I’ve found what works for me. You need to find what works for you. You also need to realize that the body is much more capable than many believe. I’ve hit PR’s in the gym on mornings that followed sleepless nights. I’m not suggesting that you stay up all night before attempting your next PR, but at the same time, don’t be so quick to doubt your abilities.

I’m not perfect and I have bad days just like anyone. I always wake up and try however. And when I compare this approach to other options, it’s always an easy decision for me to make.

A Small Sacrifice

Parenthood is the absolute best thing that has ever happened to me. I don’t have words for how amazing it is to be a father to my children. Losing a few hours of sleep is nothing to me. I’d give up on sleep entirely if I had to for my kids.

To those who struggle with less than optimal sleep conditions, keep in mind that it does get better. My son has been sleeping through the night for almost 2 years now. My daughter isn’t far off from doing the same. Yes, the early months can be tough when dealing with limited sleep, but remember that it will get better. Also, keep in mind that it really isn’t that bad. There are far worse circumstances in the world. Take a look through the news and it won’t be difficult to find far worse scenarios. You’ll realize that losing a few hours of sleep really isn’t a big deal.

If losing a few hours of sleep is your biggest problem, you really don’t have a problem. Get up and get busy and you’ll feel much better afterward (not to mention feeling better about yourself).

Ross

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

What is this Insanity Workout?

Tabata Intervals today with some KB swings using a 70 lb KB. Intense.

Anyway, last night I was watching the Chargers/Cowboys game on DVR (10-3 baby!)...as I finished re-watching the game, I started flipping through some channels and came across this Beachbody Infomercial that advertises Tony Horton's "P90X" and Shaun T's 60 day "Insanity Workout".

It's ironic as I am doing a Bodyweight routine this month as it is...so I wanted to see comparisons.

It looks awfully tough...

I'm not a big fan of P90X but I was pretty intrigued with this Insanity Workout Program involving only bodyweight only routines.

I'm currently doing a pretty good BW Program currently by Craig Ballantyne but this program really intrigued me so I thought of sharing this video with all and wanting to know what some people's ideas are about it. Feel free to chime in by posting some comments below.

Looking at some of these *results* on this video I'm linking to this post of mine (Some say it may be the program that works. I say it's the one using the program and believing in the system. I use an asterisk because I'm sure any program can offer varied results based on the users who use a program)- I was very impressed with it.

Here's the video:



What are your thoughts? Looks pretty gimmicky with the nice looking covers and all that but I do believe it has some credibility in this program. I've used all sorts of programs and this one looks pretty intriguingly fun in alot of ways...

Monday, December 14, 2009

BW circuits...OMG!

So it's been 4 days without workouts. Felt a little guilt there for a bit as we had a few Christmas Parties to go to. So I let a few days slide to give the body sometime to chill and rest.

So I like I said, I started a brand new BW routine last week. The routine I did today was supposed to be an end of the week routine last week but deciced on doing it on a Monday to make up for lost time I haven't exercised. So I managed to finish the 4 rounds of a BW circuit in under 42 minutes. The 4th circuit round was optional (you only really had to do 3) but I said screw it - I'm going to do this. Very tough...

Lots of leg work here...which is good. But being very careful not to screw up my knees.

Knees feeling better as I've been doing foam rolling almost everyday and less pounding on it over the past few days helped alot. The better for me.

Stay strong...

Andy

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

BodyWeight Training...yipeee!

Ok...will try body weight training again these next 3 weeks. Should be fun these next 3 weeks with little to no equipment needed. May modify a few here and there but essentially bodyweight stuff til the end of the year.

Last year at around this time, I was doing 3 weeks of Turbulence Training BW stuff before entering the TT Transformation Contest (#4) - and really got some good results - and got even better results as that contest ended...did some rosstraining stuff also back in 08 and got wonderful results there too.

Now it's 2k9 - and it's time to get nasty with it. Bodyweight training - don't ever underestimate it!

Was hoping to finish off a full months of Cosgrove's stuff - but I need to give complexes a break. Altough there still is lower body exercises with the bodyweight stuff - at least it won't be as bad as trying to squat heavy with loads on my shoulders - and less stress for my knees too! Will wear my 20 lb vest though when desired!

Will do KB routines, ab circuits for conditioning in conjunction with this. Mostly swings and cleans though....

So here goes!!!

Monday, December 7, 2009

How to fix knee pain

Wow...cold and wet out here today.

Knees are starting to act up again. Need to get back into more corrective stretching. I don't know why, but the knees are definitely hurting once again. Age. Wear and tear. Who knows. But I do know foam rolling does help...have to do them more often than how I've been doing them the past few weeks. Plus yoga helped me tremendously in the past. Need to get back into that as well here.

It's probably from all that needless running I've been trying to do lately especially in the cold mornings downtown over here. For those who haven't done them before - I highly suggest you start doing them soon.

All that wear and tear can really wear you down! My knees have never been 100%.

But here's a great video that I've kept on my youtube account that might want you to give foam rolling a try.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Early Bird Thursdays

Got up early this morning. Well I always do for the most part but morning workouts rule!

Did a nice cool jog downtown with my gym backpack on. Nothing fairly heavy on it - just my scrubs, a water bottle and some snacks to munch on throughout the day. Nike Frees on - it was on like the break of dawn, Baby. Did a couple rounds around the downtown area which was good. Haven't done that in ages!

Good warm up. But that could get boring really fast.

Wasn't intending to do any weights today but I felt like doing something a bit more dynamic and more fun than running. Plus it definitely would help some sore muscles I'm having right now. So after a nice BW warm up, here it is...

Circuit
a) One arm DB OH Snatches
b) 2 handed DB Swings
c) Speed rope
d) Hanging Leg raises fast tempo

More Core work
Stab ball rollout
Plank hands on ball
Side Planks
Spiderman Climbs
Saxxon side bends

Nice and efficient. More of a cardio/core workout than anything here. I'm such a nutbag. Not trying to hit any specific muscle group except for my core and a power move with the one handed dumbell snatches...wasn't that bad of a deal. Not running myself out either.

Weighed myself again today. 5 lb weight lost in just a month or so of cleaner eating and exercise. BF down by 2% as well.

Happy Thursday!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

My Own Fat Loss Tips based on Experience...

Dark, cloudy day today. Definitely the Fall is among us! Got up early today and really did a good workout (well from my standards at least), so tomorrow is definitely an off day - so no weight training. May hit the gym or hit the streets of downtown San Diego for a nice little morning run in the brisk, cool weather before work which I haven't been doing much of, and then maybe some core strengthening work at the work gym and some nice foam rolling at home tomorrow night.

Somethings always better than nothing. I think!

December...lots of parties, lots of treats, lots of temptations. Phew! But I think we can all resist the temptations that awaits as long as we can keep things in perspective.

How much can I eat and when? I guess the "justifying" norm is that as long as we exercise - nothing can stop us in our way of achieving our fitness goals. WRONG! And it's only a matter of time that if we continue thinking like this - there goes 1, 3, 4 or maybe even 6 months of hard work for mindless eating.

And then here come the New Years Resolutioners in January...

I think that's where alot of us folks falter - at the table. And that's just it. In fat loss - that's 90% of the solution. Eat right - things look and feel right. That's just the way our body works. It's very scientific - but if you understand what the body does in response to intake (food) and stressors we put on it (exercise, work) - then it will respond in mind boggling ways you won't believe until it happens.

A coworker asked me, "What is your secret, Andy? For 3 years, you've continued on the path of fat loss and while many others have lost weight either through surgery, fad diets - only to get it back in a few months - and you still look great. I know you have a secret! Tell me what it is!". The answer is simple yet to take action is probably the hardest thing to do.

Making an honest effort to make it a lifestyle change as best you can is what matters most!

For 3 years, I have never tipped over 220 lbs. For 2 years I've never tipped over 180 lbs...I've been pretty much on cruise control for quite sometime and the challenge I've faced has always been: "How can I keep myself motivated?".

I find it through others and then find it in myself to take action.

Nothing's perfect...yes, there will be days, weeks, months of bad eating (hey, I'm one of them. PUT ME IN THAT MIX!! Hell yeah. I am no trainer, or expert here. I just had a Corona last night) - but I learned over time - it all starts with mindset and genuine motivation to succeed.

Another co-worker who asked me about a workout program I was using. He was very much interested in looking into it but his first response to me was: "Andy I know you're body is a temple but getting the program isn't the problem but I don't think I can even finish 4 weeks after seeing what you've been doing. I mean, I like the results you're getting but I don't know if I can do it. It looks hard."

It is hard.

To do nothing is easy...to do something takes effort.

Mindset --- that's where it should start first. Get the mindset, everything works pretty much in unison from balancing family, work and workouts. One of my mottos in life is to never impose anything on anyone. If they're not interested, "screw it." It may sound selfish here - but there's only one reason why I'm doing all of this - for my own good health. So I gave him a bit of advice and I told him to work on some goals and work on a plan of action. So we shall see!

Nothing's impossible to achieve unless you put your mind into it. Slip, fall...but always get back up.

Andy

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Combination/Hybrid Lift Video

Here's a video I did just a few minutes ago (after a workout early this morning)...just wanted to demonstrate a great workout that uses minimal space and just a barbell if you're crunched for time. Lots of people can benefit from this as it can really save alot of time in busy gyms. It's also a great fat burning routine you can do at home if you have a home gym.

Exercises involved:
Deadlift
Clean
Front Squat
Overhead press

Look and watch how the bar stays at certain plane and does not veer away from the start point. Too much rocking, too much unnecessary movement - form suffers as well as quality of the routine. So start conservatively and work your way up when you can apply good form. This is with a 95 lb load here (Bar + 2 25 lb plates).

Much like complexes and circuit training, hybrid/combination lifting is a very metabolic and highly effective approach to fat loss. Got introduced and learned this from Chris Lopez from fitandbusydads and have enjoyed this approach to lifting from time to time ever since. I actually used the camera I won from his website last year. Many thanks again, Chris....

Anyway, sorry if the lighting sucks - as it was in the confines of home...but check it out. I actually did a few takes before this one so yes, you can say my form is a bit beat up here.

Anyway, happy viewing...til next time.


Monday, November 30, 2009

A Fun Workout

Did an MBodystrength KB/BW routine yesterday before heading out to a party in the afternoon. Played some 3 on 3 2 hand touch football with some good friends of mine at a party yesterday. Man, football is fun to watch but harder to play. I mean talk about stopping on the fly, juking, trying to cover wide receivers and trying evade defenders. Man...I'm a big fan of football (Go Chargers!) and it's a spectacle to watch but even just to play for kicks - it's a really hard sport!!! Phew...it was a mixture of 30 year olds and high school kids so you can just imagine how challenged we 30 year olds were compared to these kids.

Anyway, got up this morning nice and sore at the right places. Did a circuit workouts but felt I really can do more with this, so I've been adding Cosgrove Complexes this month with my own interval style training in the end.

Again..I don't really care much for muscles. But I like the metabolic effects of circuit training. I don't want to mislead anybody here but I'd rather do these routines than do cardio all day for off day routines. Still working on my nutrition a little more but I just like to workout and do these things when I know my body is capable of doing so.

So after dropping the kids to school and my little one with me in the garage..I did a wild, wicked metabolic workout which I put different routines in one workout which I actually liked. The interval session was something I thought of on my own:

a) DB/BW circuit for 3 rounds
b) Alwyn Cosgrove BB complex consisting of:
- Romanian Deadlifts
- Hang cleans - to front squat - to over head press (hybrid lift)
- Reverse Lunges
c) Interval Training 6 cycles
- BB Snatches 65x5x6
- KB Swing 35x25x6
- 100 yard hard sprint on treadmill (estimated the distance on my distance tracker on my treadmill 9/10 intensity x 6 cycles

One word: drenched. Loved it. Phew!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

What's this all about?

What in the world?!



Talk about an ego here...

Cold Weather...Hot Workouts!

Damn was it cold again this morning. Did a great workout anyway within the confines of my garage gym. A mixture of BW, kettlebells and Barbell complex circuits. Haven't worked out in 3 days and when I got up this cold morning post Turkey day, post Black Friday ---> dude, it was on.

Did a dynamic warm up with some jump rope, leg swings and shoulder rotations and a few chin ups as a start. Followed it up with a bw/db circuit that immediately went into a barbell complex (that was one round) - for 3 full rounds that took 30 minutes to complete - with the warm up, about under 40 minutes.

This is type of training I enjoy doing. I may like them but they are so exhausting but definitely fulfilling.

I'm such a sadist.

Anyway - been down this crossroad before. Let's see - what am I going to now to keep this going through the busy holidays? Kind of slipped off the motivation wagon and goal setting aspect but perhaps with good reasons...my body does need a break. But I'll be the first to admit - there will be times where I've been getting in 3 workouts a week as opposed to doing some off day routines - where it becomes 5-6 days a week - no I didn't need to do much anyway - but I guess that's the nutbag in me that has slowly been slipping away thankfully.

In retrospect, I honestly think it just bottomed down to goal setting once again. I just didn't have enough concrete enough goals and motivation to really want to strive hard for anything really these past few months. So just kind of on a maintenance so to speak. It's been a hectic few months that consistency in anything that I was doing out of what my family and work was never a priority. But I'm quickly getting re-focused as I know I can and have in the past. I know I've been saying that in my past blogposts. But hey, shit happens - to everyone.

I just like the mental high exercise gives me. It is like a drug. Again, what results comes of it is what I put into it. Heart, sweat, dedication - commitment to goals.

Not looking for excuses here --- I'm looking for accountability once again. Yep, it's all about accountability.

It's alot easier to screw up when no one's looking. But it's a hell of alot harder to do the right thing when you can admit to yourself FIRST that you "screwed up" and making it known. Now it's time to get it together again.

So here I am, dusting off a few weeks of inconsistency and back on the wagon again. I may be mixing things up a bit with some different approaches here to keep things interesting towards the end of the year. "Workout Salad" with the intention to get some solid goals defined and get together some exciting programs for the year.

Don't let go of the mindset!

a.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!!

Happy Turkey Day ya'll...

I just want to say my personal thanks to the fitness gurus and friends I met online and say my personal thanks for making this one heckuva a year for me. You all know who you are and without the constant support and motivation - on your blogs, emails, forums - I honestly dont think I'd be where I'm at my own fitness level.

Now go kill that Turkey! And if you live in the US, Canada - enjoy those football games today with family and friends (that's if you enjoy the sport of football).

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!

~ andy

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Keep it Simple

That's my thoughts for the day: keep it simple. I was really motivated again after a 2 week off from work. Really helped me realize the importance of keeping things simple. No need to complicate matters by overdoing things...just stick to what works and let that work for you...I mean in all aspects of life and not just in exercise and nutrition.

Didn't get to do the complex yesterday so I did it this morning and it felt great. I don't know why for some reason but I always get some great results on this 4 week TT program that I'm doing currently. It's the 4th time I've done this routine and every single time - it always seems to work to a tee (well at least close enough to know I'm getting good responses from it).

Keep it simple. No need to overthink too much when you want to achieve some goals. Planning is always essential and goal setting does work...but always keep it simple. Don't always try to run yourself down to the ground each day. You're body will thank you so much for it with positive returns...

Keep on pushin.

Andy

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Still here...banging it out.

Yup...still here. Just really sore from yesterday's workout and it's been sometime since I've really wanted to start hitting heavier weight all over again. Each time I do - I always feel it that next day. Sore, sleepy, dead hungry (have to control that a little better). Yesterday was no different from those great one's I've had in the past. Great workout.

So in a little over 3 1/2 weeks - I've lost a good 5 lbs. Water weight from a crappy diet. I know. Because my bodyfat is still left unchanged. But I know I'll get it back down.

So today was to be a barbell complex this morning. I got up butt sore and all that. It's still early so maybe I can still pull it off for todays session.

Doing one of my favorite TT workouts and very happy with the results so far.

Keep on trucking on...

A.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

It's been a while...



I was in awe to see a 5 year old do his thing on youtube with my last blogpost...now check out MBodyStrength's Marcus Martinez here in the video above. Now he's definitely a beast! I've seen this video before and was awe stricken how he was able to clean 70 kg KB a few times. Now that's insane.

Now to your regular programming...:P

I know its been awhile since I made a good quality blogpost. Took a hiatus literally from blogging consistently. Been pretty hectic these past few months with alot of other things going on - so I'm back at it again here with a bit of a renewed focus (hopefully). I still may not be consistent with my blog...but I hope to be blogging a bit more here on out.

Few things I realized over the time I've been gone:

- Weekday Evenings are well spent with our kids nowadays more than ever. Hardly see my twins during the day with them in school now, so we make every effort to make more time for them during the afternoon and evenings during the week (not that we haven't - we just want to be more of a presence for them especially with school. Very important especially in the formulative years that they're in right now). So volleyball days will be set aside for now. It's all good. Family will always be my priority.

- I can still workout anytime of the day. But morning workouts are still ideal for me. Always will be.

- I can still manage workouts with an even busier lifestyle nowadays as a working husband with kids in school and a 2 year old at home. These boys are our pride and joy.

- I control what I do to my body.

- I need to set more concrete goals again.


There's so many changes that have occured over the last few months that have really resulted in inconsistencies on my part from nutrition, exercise...we're only humans. But hey, it's all good...adapting is one of things in life that will always be something we go through. Adapting will never cease - as change is always a part of life - so we have to adapt. That will never end, so why find excuses.

With every obstacle that may be in your way, find answers and you will find results.

Now go do your thing. ;)

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Check this kid out




Amazing strength for a 5 year old? Hell yeah. Wow!

But I'd be calling child protective services asap if Romania ever had such laws over there.

Seems like he's training to be a gymnast. I understand children from countries like Romania and China start em young but that's just way too much of a beating for a 5 year old body to endure at such a young age where bones and muscles are still developing. I see my 2 year old and I'm so amazed with how much flexibility he has. He can stand up from a seated position to his feet without using his hands. Whoohoo.

But who am I to say anything bad about the young boy. That's amazing.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Free Weights vs Machines




One thing I really don't understand is this new piece of useless equipement we just got at our work gym. A Powertec Workstation. Starting off I can see how someone would go ga-ga-goo-goo over this gizmo - but I really don't see the benefit of an exercise contraption such as this gizmo has to offer, unless you're seriously into bodybuilding.

I honestly don't see the benefits especially when you use the more functional goal approach to training.

Two things I've learned that you can't go wrong with and can take to the bank with regards to training equipment:

1) Going gymless and using your own body weight. This is THE ultimate free weight that's out there for us to use that requires NO EQUIPMENT. There isn't anything like Bodyweight Exercises like pull ups, bodyweight squats, push ups, mountain climbers and the classic variation of burpees.

2) Free Weights - the Olympic Bar, the Dumbell, Medicine Balls and Kettlebells - anything that requires you to the three planes of motion as well as usage of the core. You can work for power, explosiveness, functional strength and core all with these essential must haves. People downplay functional strength; don't know why. I like the ability to need to stabilize and control the barbell, Kettlebell or Dumbell in all three planes of motion - in certain exercises - it's just like what an athlete needs to instill in his training approaches to be effective on the playing field.

There's nothing that allows you to "freely move" on the 3 planes of motion (Sagittal, Transverse, Coronal) like those pieces of equipment mentioned can. Again, unless you're into body building where machines are great for isolation exercises and to focus on certain muscle fibers for growth - machines aren't a bad thing all together.

Not canning machines but I think a majority of my co workers don't see the benefits of actual free weight and bodyweight - not assuming here or trying to prove a point to anyone that free weight rules the earth - but the reality is just that - you don't need to go fancy with workouts. The basics always works. I'm not a fitness expert...I don't get paid to do that, but knowing what works and what doesn't really makes a big difference.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Off Day Circuit Routine

So I got up early this morning...felt really sore from my chest to my glutes. Needed to do something this morning while still staying at home watching the kids. So I went back to an off day circuit routine of Martin Rooney a contributor to Men's Health Magazine. So I did my own version of Martin Rooney's Hurricane Workout which you can read up here at this link: Martin Rooney's Hurricane Workouts.

So after a warm up my circuit went like this for 3 full rounds, 60 secs per exercise:

a) Heavy Bag punch kick combo's (really hitting the bag hard for 60 full seconds)
b) 2 handed 20 lb KB swings (added)
c) Alternating step ups on chair
d) Blast strap inverted rows at a standing 45 degree angle (controlled)
e) 12 lb Med ball slams (med ball pikes are hard to do for 60 seconds. It's not like the med ball slams were easy either though)
f) Burpees with jump (really spent at this point)

Finishing moves for fun:
Turkish Get ups with 20 lb KB- 5/side
12 lb Med Ball torso twists - 30 reps/side

That was it. TT strength workout tomorrow...

a.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

October? Already?!

October...3 quarters of the year gone! OMG!

Not comparing with other parts of the world, but this is the month where San Diego weather is at it's best in my view (and football just gets even better down these parts too). Around Halloween and all the way through February - this is the perfect fall/winter weather for me and a great time to really get my best workouts in inspite of triggers that can easily make you fall of the wagon.

~~~~~~~

Did an afternoon metabolic circuit workout yesterday at the gym that was really eye opening for a 1pm workout. Got it done and the atmosphere was just right. As I walked out of the gym, there was a transformation picture of a mid age female at the exit door who at one time looked overweight and unhealthy - what an inspiration it is to see how much weight she had lost. Inspiring...and the best of it all - she looked healthy and she had such a glow about her.

Been a busy dad lately but nevertheless still enjoying the benefits exercise brings me...not after any specific goals right now...I think the goal here is simple - to continue to keep at it. If I can keep at it everyday - only then do I believe staying fit can be sustained. Plus - you just got to enjoy it.

Exercise: it's liberating. It's a great release for me and gives me that one hour of "my time" from everything else.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Monday, September 7, 2009

3 Years and Goin Strong







I've posted this before but this video captivates my purpose of all this.


It's been 3 years yesterday since I embarked on my journey to fat loss. At 225 lbs 3 years ago - I'm healthier now than I ever was at 35 years of age. I credit a good friend Ed for the inspiration to initiate this journey he was so nice to help me start off 3 years ago. He certainly started the path to a healthier lifestyle for me and I always manage to thank him for that every time I can.


Keyword: Health - that's what it's all about. It's not a 6 pack, it's not how we look to others - it's what we feel inside where we get that motivation and contentment to keep on going. Don't do it primarily for others - but a good friend always reminded me to do it for yourself. We owe our bodies that much.

It's always been about gradual fat loss. I haven't tipped over 175 lbs in more than 2years. Never tipped more than 225 in 3 years. And I've kept if off.

Take care of the body that makes you appreciate the great life you have around you - your family, your friends, your job, your house, your car..whatever it is, being healthier makes a big difference.

Better health, longer life.

Here's to 3 years and beyond...find your motivation - IN YOU.

Andy

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Back to the Complexes

I always enjoy doing complex circuits. Essentially did a great one with MBodyStrength circuit routines last month and now doing them again with TT. I love metabolic strength circuits.

Seen a good friend do one yesterday and decided to do this as an off day routine. You dont need much - but they are definitely best done with a kettlebell or barbell.

Did a nice sweet short one today and had a blast with it. Topped that off with some core work.

I'm just enjoying working out again...Busy Dad here as you all know... But here I am, still exercising consistently, eating right as best I can - but I think I might have lost that psychological edge a bit..just going through the motions to no fail in the weight room. The good thing is, I hardly even gained any weight which is good.

Overtrain..undertrain...whatever it is - I'm just appreciating it all again...

Who likes to workout and get that pain and soreness the next day...nobody does. If you do...go get checked out at a mental health hospital. Jk!

But YOU HAVE TO ENJOY WHAT YOU'RE DOING OR THERE JUST ISN'T ANY JOY DOING THEM AT ALL.

Sometimes with some sole searching and re-tooling - the mental part comes around and you kind of find your old self again.

Back at it again tomorrow...

Andy

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

A Change Up

One thing I've been really struggling with is balancing my day with the kids now in school. Blogging has been pretty difficult too lately.

It's been a tough 5 weeks since the boys started kindergarten...Still learning the whole "time budgeting" thing with homework to contend with each weeknight. Shouldn't be too hard on ourselves in wanting our kids to get in a set routine Monday - Friday.

Right when you're used to getting things done at certain times of the day - here comes a curve ball 4 1/2 years later.

You either take the dive and face it full on...or just find excuses why you dont. And if you don't..man up and face the consequences.

I'll take the dive.

And just like exercise...you either just do it...or find excuses why you didnt. Bottomline: change programs up periodically. Too much of one thing isn't always the best answer for results.

I'm already contemplating if working out in the morning is still to my advantage with the kids schedules as they are...I'm already considering giving afternoon workouts a try once again before going home - at my work gym. My whole "get it done in the morning" thing is only because I dont have to think about working out when I get to work and I can spend time at home with my family in the afternoon.

We'll see...I did a 10 am workout today. I'm shooting for an early bird workout tomorrow.

a.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Nutrition is #1...

Still up...mind is thinking...so I decided to write up a blog about it.

No matter what you do in the gym...no matter how nutbaggy we all can get sometimes...in healthy fat loss there simply isn't in a secret pill...it's not in a supplement drink we get at GNC...it isn't a result of how much burpees you do or how heavy you can lift. Or even how long you stay in a gym and do crazy amounts of unnecessary exercises...

It's all in the diet. Exercise comes second. But they are both essential compliments of each other in the fat loss game.

Which leads me to these questions:

We may be doing everything right in the gym...but are we doing what we should be doing the next 24 hours after?

Are we drinking enough to replenish that water lost? Our body is about 55-60% water. Integrate hydration in your daily to do list. Too little is not good.

Are we eating the right macro's to nourish the body adequately? Or are we even simply eating enough for the body to sustain optimum functioning throughout the day?

Mostly, are we getting rest? Are we allowing our bodies enough rest during the week to allow our bodies ample recovery. You can be a Ferrari...but when you run out of gas - you will run out of gas.

Are we balancing everything in our life and incorporating healthier habits each day? I'm not perfect but the mindset is to always try to everyday.

It's all experience. I'm living proof that it can be done with the right mindset and attitude. I've been on the other side of this equation - and I know for a fact that obesity was probably the hardest thing to go through once in my life. The things I enjoyed as a teenager and young adult all went kapoof as I gained the weight...but by losing it I gained my life BACK.

If you want to lose fat and keep it off - it's clearly going to be your diet that's going to get you there - but exercise certainly helps your chances to get their quicker and feel even fitter.

Yes, you can transform your body simply by proper nutrition - but that's just not me. I love to exercise and it's engrained in me that as long as im healthy..I'm going to keep on doing it. Again, you'll look healthy only if you're eating right. I'm not one to listen to reason sometimes (except when the wife speaks) but follow what your heart says and do it safely.

Fat loss...its not complicated but it is hard and it takes alot of understanding how your body works. I keep learning something new everyday in this journey to no fail.

If you can figure out all this and have an open mind on how hard it is but willing to make those necessary changes in your life...and again by doing it gradually and not abruptyl - man, I guarantee you a positive change not only physically but also internally. But it's all about making that first step to make that change.

Make it happen...take that first step.

Andy

Sunday, August 23, 2009

This is Tough!

Did a great Yoga workout which involved core work which was a really nice change given it only took 10 minutes to do.

It's been a tough 48 hours on this nutrition trail I attempted to follow for 7 days. Really stuck with my Vegan diet experiment for 2 full days...with no cheating at all - but I cracked this morning and ended up eating some lean turkey this morning for breakfast. But still trying to keep it close to Vegan as much as possible.

Surprisingly but as expected, I lost approximately 3 lbs of water weight. Whoopee.

I can resist the temptation of carbs for the most part but I can't resist NOT eating protein sources for prolonged periods of time. I know there are meal plans out there to utilize to stay on a Vegan diet and keep food interesting but my recipe's suck. I think I can't sustain it long enough to really make it work. I'm again back to the reality of that no matter what diet approach you choose - proper, sensible nutrition is what's important here. So I sort of dropped that experiment quickly unfortunately. What my body needs I just can't seem to go without - and that means oatmeal and some rice here and there. So yes, I failed the experiment unfortunately even if it was just some lean turkey I had this morning. Going Vegan was extremely difficult for me, but it really has helped some in re-directing my diet approach some here which is nice...it got me out of the rut of eating those bad unjustifiable carbs in between meals which is a good thing. I was falling in that trap occasionally...

So it's back to a new program tomorrow. Still contemplating on what but at least I wont be too worried whether I have enough in the tank to keep up with my exercise. It's possible to keep your energy up on a Vegan diet. I've read some of the great fitness people do it so I'm not shooting it down as it is probably the healthiest way to eat.

But --- we move on.

Have a good one!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Goin Vegan...

Yup..going semi-Vegan for a week. Im not one into diets and calorie counting but I want to give this a try for a week and see the effects of how a semi-vegan diet feels like. I say semi vegan because I will be eating some beef somewhere around day 4 or 5. Day 0ne started today and should end Thursday next week. I'm not a vegetarian by any means but I'd like to see what the effects of a vegan diet does relation to fat loss. Just got done with Week 4 of my mbodystrength program which I was only hoping to do for a full month which I did in it's entirety and to Mark and Marcus - great stuff guys! Can't wait to get on some of your newer programs here soon. Some of your BW stuff is fun too which I hope to try here as well.

So I have decided to take a moderate break for a week starting today and see how just by doing a semi vegan diet approach feels like. Might be doing some bw stuff, some yoga and some stretching here and there...so this should be an exciting experiment.

So yesterday afternoon, I did some shopping at the local grocery market and went down a list of things I'll be eating. No peanut butter...no rice...no eggs...no junk. Nothing in this diet has any of that so I'd like to see what happens.

7 days isn't that hard to do if you really want to put your mind into it...and effective last night before going to bed, I made a contract to myself that I was going to do this for 7 days.

The only downside is that I did do a workout today and quite honestly, I feel ok. It's only been day one...but I honestly dont think I can handle this for more than a week. I'm just not that good with staying consistent - especially when Im not eating much carbs here at all. I've been peeing like crazy all day!!!

Anyway...here's to a great weekend!

Andy

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Hookin' Up with A Good Friend




Met with a Turbulence Training buddy of mine whom I met online at TTMembers.com. This guy is truly amazing. It was almost like a dream to have been able to actually meet in person someone I've always had been driven by when I met him online at the site about a year or so ago. A really great guy and very humble too.

Over the year or so that I've known him at the site - we've constantly been very supportive of one another in our goals and the like which always kept me motivated to do the right thing and not stray away from my goals. We occasionally would trade thoughts...but genuinely just being very supportive of one another over there was the kicker for me to keep doing what I was doing and still doing to this very day (you will find tremendous amount of support over there believe me).

That we were able to overcome our own obstacles and plateaus just through positive support alone really made a difference in both our transformations. He won 3rd place at a recent TT contest and is working on winning another one here soon hopefully with TT #5 which just officially finished yesterday (this guy is sporting a nice looking 6 pack btw!). He's looks great and to me - that's what this contest is all about: working on a defined goal and staying committed - not only for 84 days but for life. And that's what it should be all about.

The benefits of online social support truly makes a difference. It doesn't have to be online - just find support wherever and whomever you can get it from. That will be your ticket to keep that motivation and fire - because you simply can't do this alone. I honestly wouldn't be able to accomplish much of anything if I didn't get that support from my family and of course from friends - like Kerry and Ed - among others.

In less than one hour, we were able to mingle, talk (even though we were gasping for air most of the time) and still have a kick ass time doing a Turbulence Training workout. It was no surprise to me that everything I thought of him was validated in just less than one hour of hanging out with him. Really great guy.

Great workout today Kerry...Let's keep rockin it.

~ Andy

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Tabatas Session: BW Squats

Got up early this morning to finish up some homework for one of my son's kinder projects for school that was due this morning. I've noticed kindergarten education changed since I was a youngster! It's a bit more advanced nowadays than the way I remember it.

But that's a whole different story...anyway - Tabatas session today but I just didn't feel like I wanted to get a sweat session via tabatas this morning. So I packed my scrubs, left for work rather later than usual but managed to get to work on time! Talk about a photo finish.

Anyway, got home...called our local cable company for some new service...Maybe it's just me but don't you just hate it when you have to wait for ages before you can speak to a live person before you can get any progress done? Anyway, 5 minutes waiting already...I decided to go ahead with a quickbw routine and started doing alternating plyometric style step ups for 3 minutes on our staircase for a warm up and immediately jumped into a Tabatas session for some BW squats. I was going really down with my butt close to the floor and was just knocking them out all while holding our home phone in my hand and looking at the seconds going by as I was waiting for a live operator - so I was able to keep track of my 20 second work intervals to a tee as well as my 10 sec rests.

Damn...if done RIGHT - Tabatas can really work you up big time... I literally felt like my legs were all stiffed out after that session was over with. Didn't get an operator until 3-4 minutes after my tabatas session was over with. So talk about managing your time wisely...sometimes you just got to get it done no matter what. Took care of two things for the price of one in less than 20 minutes! I could have easily said screw it and just look towards tomorrow's kb circuit...but I would feel sooooo bad if I just skipped it today. So glad I didn't.

Just do it.

A.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Some KettleBell Action!

As always...got up this morning and went to my work gym for Workout B of my current program. Dumbells used here. For some reason I wanted to use 30 lb dumbells for the entire 30 minute circuit which I did. A big drop off from 54 lbs I used the other day. But it's just the handle "feel" with dumbells when doing essentially a Kettlebell routine that is distinctly different in my view.

Dumbells vs Kettlebells...hmm, if I were to choose between the two pieces of training equipment - both are excellent sources for workout routines. I have no favorite over the other - and again, it bottoms down to workout routines that you're currently on.

For commercial gym stuff where Kettlebells are hardly in sight (well for my gym that is) - I guess dumbells are just as good a substitute. But for a true kettlebell workout - you're obviously better off using a kettlebell.

It's just the handles on the kettlebells that make true kettlebell routines what they are: kick ass.

An interesting Kettlebell move is the Windmill. Been doing this for 3 weeks now and if you're a kettlebell fan - this is a killer move!!! (edit: it's at the 20 second mark of the video below. A.)

If you're worried about investing in too light weight of a kettlebell for fear of outgrowing them for starters ----> here's a great link you can check out and give it a look at your local sports store. It's a Weider product and alot of Weider products are pretty good (my powerstation and squat rack I use at home are both by Weider)...I dont have a need for this but for those reading - check it out!

It's called the Weider Powerbell...pretty nifty name and a great piece of equipment if you really want to invest in one.

Monday, August 10, 2009

54 lbs on the Circuit!

So I worked up to 54 lbs on Workout A this week on the mbodystrength routine. I was a bit nervous to go 54 lbs. but surpisingly was able to go through the whole circuit with it. Did 6 full circuits and about a 1/4 of my 7th circuit until 30 minutes was over. Did a nice BW warm up and a practice circuit set with a 20 lb kb. If I were to add up the reps in this circuit from the second my timer went of to 30 full minutes, it would be 300 reps total, plus the unfinished circuit 20 reps so that's about 320 reps. 320 reps x 54 lbs would total 17,280 lbs tossed around all in one workout. This is an approximate figure as BW squats was also part of this ciruit...so we can probably estimate it to be about 18,000 plus of weight pushed and pulled around!!!

Imagine that!

But I was pretty spent afterwards. 54 lbs is alot of weight and I'm really still benefiting from this mode of training (re: kettlebell training). Sweat was literally saturating my shorts throughout this circuit.

Last week I did a Tabatas workout which was pretty much over the hill. Tabatas is a form of interval training where you do 20 secs of active, intense exercise and taking a 10 sec rest for 8 cycles. You can choose any type of way to do it - be it burpees, jump rope, sprinting, kb swings...but I recall doing 4 or 5 different exercises in one workout routine of Tabatas...that was insane but I've been wisely told that if I can do that much tabatas in one workout - then maybe my intensity just isn't there enough to just do a 4 minute tabatas routine and make it worth every rep and every ounce of sweat within that 4 minutes. He was right so now I'm very observant with the intensities of my workouts again and really making every rep count.

Which leads me to make this statement for people who may have doubts if they will ever see continued improvements be it wt loss, strength gains, muscle endurance - keep the INENSITY OF YOUR WORKOUTS UP but to your tolerance of course and with safety in mind.

Increasing your times, your reps, your loads, your weight....whatever it is you want to improve on - keep track of it.


Keep track of your progress from week to week and keep chopping away at your goals. With this mindset you will improve your numbers everytime. You can't go wrong.

He was right too. That was a great reminder!

Find your motivation...
A.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

This man is simply amazing.

I saw this guy once before but came across his videos again. For a man at his youth, he's alot stonger and capable than people half his age.

His fountain of youth must come from his motivation he has from within when it comes to health and fitness. This man is obviously self driven. His motivation is something exceptional and definitely something worth wanting to be at one point in my own life.



Amazing, inspiring stuff. More power, Sir!

*****

Now onto workout playlist music.. ;)

Here's one of my favorite workout tunes of all time...especially when doing interval training...it just sets the mood right for me for some reason. Check it out!

Saturday, August 8, 2009

A BodyWeight Strength Circuit

Got up this morning with some nice stretching and foam rolling. I was checking out Marcus Martinez's video on a very cool BW Strength Circuit. I was curious to see how this workout felt because it looked awesome watching it on video so I gave it a crack this morning. It's alot harder than it looks. I didn't feel 100% to really go balls out here - as the workout yesterday was really bad ass. So I did 3 circuits of 3 reps minus the kips, followed it up with some jumping jacks for a quick short workout this morning. No way I'm going to do kips right now but the deck hand walk outs is a pretty cool move.

Body weight training...I bet every beefcake in gyms absolutely have no desire whastoever to be seen doing them. Dont know why...but I do them at gyms, at home at parks. I guess its always about lifting heavy for them. But these are by far the best workouts you can do without a fancy gym membership.

Here's Marcus' Video of my workout this morning:

Friday, August 7, 2009

Mixed up!

So I get up early this morning to finish Week 2 of mbodystrength. I didnt realize I jumped ahead of myself and did Workout C of Week 4 without even checking which week I was looking at and I'm only barely finishing Week 2 of this program.

Probably it was because I got up at 6:45 am, worrying that I wont get this done in time to get my boys up for school and be out the door by 8:30 just in time for school. I made it though...just in time for the kid's Friday's Flag Ceremony they have every Friday...phew! But I looked like a guy running through traffic at their school today. Kids were already lined up and walking down the hallways...it was a mad house there this morning! Yikes!

It's been a great 2 weeks. Today's workout wasn't what was slotted for today (my bad), but it was one hell of a wake up metabolic circuit! Dropped 2.5 lbs in just 2 weeks of good nutrition and exercise. Again - you want to lose the fat - First: you got to fix up your nutrition. You'll be amazed of how much that makes a difference from losing fat and getting lean and toned. I'm not after muscle mass right now...as I've said - I just want to keep it lean throughout the summer, enjoy this new found health with my family, enjoy my volleyball and hopefully work on getting muscled out some by the winter.

Today's workout involved use of a 54 lb Kettlebell. Went unilateral with the movements this time, keeping the core braced and really like the load I used today. I modified my push ups with blast strap push ups with feet on a stab ball - NOT EASY by any means. Now try and do 20 reps for 7 full circuits within a 30 minute time frame!!! I also did an ass kicking Tabata with some hip thrusters (a half burpee to describe it a little more). Wasn't able to get in my Tabatas yesterday so I made up for it with today's routine for my intervals.

Was intending to use my dumbells again at 45 lbs...but that 54 lb Kettlebell looked mighty pretty to me this morning. :P

Great workout!

Happy to see a good friend at Turbulence Training who literally rocked it out at the current transformation contest going on over at Craig Ballantyne's Transformation Contest. I'm about 15 years his younger...dont get me wrong - he hardly ever looks his age but seeing his recent after pictures makes me feel 15 years older - than him that is! He did a great job and my hats off to him....Great job, Kerry! You definitely transformed. Hope he makes it as a finalist but even if he doesn't - he should really be proud of himself.

Have a great weekend! Goooooooooooooooooooooooo Joe! ;)


Andy

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Cool Shirt!



Ok for those reading my blog and wanting to figure out what new program I'm doing...again, it's called MBodyStrength's Fat Loss and Strength and Conditioning Program which I've been doing since last week and loving every minute of it.

First and foremost, sorry to Marcus (Martinez) and Mark (de Grasse) for getting their names interchanged in my blogposts. My bad and my apologies for murdering their names...totally unintentional guys!

Anyway, I signed up to Mark de Grasse and Marcus Martinez's Mbodystrength online website for some free kettlebell programs and I tell you - these workouts will really kick your butt. Click here for more details on how to sign up for some free, effective workouts and these guys know how to do it and make it fun. This will be my 2nd week in and I'm really re-finding my love for kettlebell conditioning circuits and the unforgiving tabata protocol (which I will say with some sarcasm because they're only as tough as you want them to be).




I also got a free MbodyStrength T shirt which I'm currently sporting on the picture here as well as a picture of my youngest 2 year old son Gio (his nickname btw) as I was getting ready to do my Tabata training for the day. I did 5 tabata approaches using a med ball and my own body weight. So it was 5 exercises in 4 minute blocks with 20 active work and 10 second rest. Between each tabata I took 2 full minutes rest before going to the next block of tabatas. Here are the exercises I did right after bringing my twin boys to school this morning and my before and after shirt picture...dang this workout was hard. At least my son was able to behave while daddy was working out. He's a good kid. =)

Time: 9am
Garage workout

warm up

Tabatas
1) Alternating Off Set Push Ups (hands on med ball) (4 minutes - 20s:10s x 8 cycles)
2) Deck Squats with med ball to OH Press (4 minutes - 20s:10s x 8 cycles)
3) 2 hand KB swings using a 32 Kg KB (4 minutes - 20s:10s x 8 cycles)
4) Fast twitch mountain climbers hands on med ball (4 minutes - 20s:10s x 8 cycles)
5) Burpees to jump (4 minutes - 20s:10s x 8 cycles)



BAM! A 30 minute, shirt drenching workout. Workout B tomorrow....








Train smart...train safe!

Andy

Sunday, August 2, 2009

It's August...time to kick it up to high gear!





Wow...it's already August and I'm ready to continue to get busy this whole month with Marcus Martinez's MBodystrength Workout Program. Just finished week one...time to turn it up week 2. This weekend was basically an "off day"...took a full Saturday off with the family. Got up a bit later this morning...felt like doing something today so I headed off to Veteran's Park which is only a couple minutes from home and went and did some outdoor BW circuits followed up with some sprint intervals on grass.

After this month is over - Summer will soon be over and it'll be the the last third of the year. That's one part of the year that we all seem to enjoy but also hate because of the holiday "indulgences" and tailgate parties (if you're a football fan like me). Football will be in full swing, basketball seasons should have just started as well and the cold winter months shortly follow around that time. Not going to slack up now like I did last year...but it's going to be tough so I may be changing up my workouts to a more meathead approach come the winter time. Got to get prepared for the holiday challenges!!! Plan! Plan! Plan!!!

If you look at the picture on top...that's the Pacific Ocean from my suburban neighborhood view. If you click on that picture you'll see a flag post high above and a rec gym where I play volleyball on Mondays. Just thought I'd share it in here.

Man...it's going to be 3 full years September 5th that I embarked on this fitness journey. Hard to believe it's been this long...but I've come along way since that picture down below in this blog of mine.

Living a healthier lifestyle starting off just wasn't something that turned on like a lightswitch. It took alot of understanding and putting everything all together. I will admit this though - I'm not the most consistent of dieters out there but my motto has always been this - take it one day at a time. If you slip here and there, never let that discourage your hard efforts you put in the gym but always have that mindset to always do the right thing at a nutrition standpoint.

If you want to make progress in fat loss or muslce gain - nutrition is the ticket, exercise just makes our bodies look right and really promotes an overall sense of healthy living and being. "We are what we eat" is so true. =)

I'm a firm believer that even for people who have been working out for 7,8, 10 maybe even 15-20 years will admit - it wasn't overnight for any of them either unless they juiced up, used some kind of illegal supplement or had some type of liposuction or cosmetic surgery to get there).

For just barely scratching the surface to training for only 3 years - I'm happy to have made some strides in achieving some of my own goals set forth. I'm not even at half of what maybe many of the fitness gurus I follow have under their own belts. They will always be my resources to keep things fresh in this journey.

It's people online fitnees guys like Ballantyne, Enamait, Lopez, Ledin, Martinez....people who know what they're talking about and are out there to help people as best as they can through the internet. And it's friends who I've met over time be it virtual or real - that have made my own efforts a success each day.

Find that motivation....

Andy

Friday, July 31, 2009

Kettlebells and Circuit Training...a 1-2 punch!

Got up this morning at 5am for Friday's Session on Mark de Grasse's MBodystrength 12 Week Kettlebell Workout. I'm normally shooting to get to the gym between the hours of 5am-6am. That's my time and always make it a point that if I got to get up early either for some appointment, work - I'm in the gym bright and early. That's always been my thing.

This video inspired me yesterday:



So Day 5 and I'm really feeling pretty good about this 12 week program. The great thing about is you always want to improve each week. That's the challenge that I'm really excited about.

Today I managed to use 40 lb DB's in replace for kettlebells this morning. Again, these are metabolic circuits with the use of kettlebells and you dont need to go extremely heavy on these exercises but my intention is to at least get up to 50 lbs throughout each session and stick to the 40-45 lb range for the next few weeks with hopes to improve on my strength with the weights used in a progressive fashion.

Dumbells vs Kettlebells - both work just the same but a bit different because of the shape of the handles. Hope to get up to 45's next week and only get better and stronger at it as the week's progress and increasing my circuit sets in the required amount of time (these next few weeks are 30 minute workouts in this program).

Definitely getting a personal log started here. It's been a fun workout that I'm thoroughly enjoying.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Tabata Burpees with Chin Up Combo and some

Got up this morning for my scheduled Tabatas for the day. Did Tabata Burpees with chin up combinations for a full 4 minutes of work. I was burning out by the 5th cycle...my reps were really going lower and lower but my heart was definitely pounding harder and harder.

Followed that up with some jump roping for a cooldown at the work gym.

After that it was some shoulder rotation work with light dumbells...

All that in less than 12 minutes.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

MBodyStrength Program

After a great July of Turbulence Training it's time to break loose a little here and get back to something similar I did not too long ago with Ross Enamait's Rosstraining Programs (another great program by the way. Ross' Infinite Intensity is one of the best training Books out there right now).

Anyway, after reading up on an interesting site about kettlebell training/BW training and after giving it some serious thought over the last month or so and actually giving it a test run these past few days....I realized that whoah these are some kick butt metabolic circuits!!!

Plus many of my friends who I've met at Turbulence Training are also getting into the Kettlebell craze which only motivates me even more to give this new program an honest shot. Not intending to do this for 12 full weeks, maybe not even for 6-8 weeks but we shall see!

I've been tinkering with a training program designed by Marcus Martinez and Mark de Grasse at www.Mbodystrength.com. It's a free link and he has some excellent free training programs you can choose from. His approaches involve different fat loss, strength and conditioning approaches that remind me alot of rosstraining and crossfit stuff.

MBody Strength has created a series of free workout videos for all levels of fitness. From the following:
Kettlebell training
Sandbag training
Bodyweight training
Grip training
Hybrid Training

I "virtually" met Marcus online at the rosstraining forums and also on youtube. I've thoroughly enjoyed his workouts these past 3 days and really enjoy his workout videos. Seems like a really great guy and my bullshit radar is pretty good and like the rest of my favorite fitness gurus who's workouts I've tried in the past - there's no fluff in his philosphies to training either - he just does it. Just look at his videos - you'll know what I mean.

Plus it seems like he's big fan of Nike Free's like I am! Hey, I got that pair too! :P




And he's from Southern California...

Now some of his kettlebell exercises are a bit advanced and I will sub a few if I know I simply can't do them. But I did only 3 days of his program and I'm getting my ass beat down. Literally. I hope to do his program for the next couple of weeks. There may be some substitutions here and there - but I will definitely make it my own if a have to with safety always in mind and simply have fun with it.

If you like Kettlebells...believe me - you'll certainly enjoy his stuff. Again there's beginner stuff in there as well. Check out his link and some of his free stuff he has going on at his newsletter.

Again here's his link to his site: CLICK HERE.


Andy

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

What do you do with $500? Worked on my Home Gym!




As promised a few months ago in my blog..I was going to post pictures of my home gym. Well, here it is folks. Very organized with my toys. I try to prevent too much clutter but after a workout - it does look like a hurricane just went through it.

Recently winning 2nd place at Craig Ballantyne's Turbulence Training Contest I went ahead and invested in some home gym equipment like some rubber mats for body weight work, kettlebells, a bench and a 300 lb Olympic Weight Set on top of what I already have as you can see in the picture.




Other than that I also have tons of 10 lb plates for my adjustable dumbells...they aren't standard olympic type plates but work just the same for my Walmart stuff. Hey...weight is weight no matter how I look at it.




It's not much...but you really dont need much for a home gym. Happy viewing!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Saturday Ramblings

It's amazing what you can do with your body with just bits and pieces of manipulation you can do with it - be it diet, exercise, activity and rest. It's fun. Weight loss, lean muscle gain here and there...it's a great journey that I find a unique interest in especially with how the body works and the science behind it.

Anyway, this past month...I have learned some "new" revelations. I say "new" because it always seems like they are but they're actually old rules and principles that I always try to remind myself about constantly:

1) Control what you can control (that can be from diet (#1) to the amount of loads you use on a lift to even times you train in the gym or at home).
2) Get your rest. Don't overtrain.
4) I should be mindful once again to avoid busy gyms.
5) Balance your life.
6) Your body is a chain. Each part of that body is essential to keep staying fit and healthy. Take care of it.
7) Stay committed and motivated as best you can. Just keep at it. Don't let things pull away from you, even when the chips are down.

Tomorrow or Monday - I do my last Circuit Challenge of this program. Hope to break my previous times on it. But it has been a great month of workouts for sure.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Lovin' the July Reconstruction Workout




Today should end my 3rd week into Craig Ballantyne's July 2009 Reconstruction Workout and I'm definitely feeling the benefits of a very good program. If your into sports or just banged up - this is definitely a workout to put on your must do list. I strongly recommend it. It has a good mix of bodyweight work, strength work with weights, core work and circuits to really keep that body worked up throughout the week and the Reconstruction sessions are excellent to do as an off day routine.

I think it's a great routine if you like to play sports such as volleyball. It has a blend of everything from shoulder strengthening work, unilateral work...you name it - I think this workout has it.

I've already dropped down a decent amount of BF from this workout alone.

And again the reconstruction workouts in this specific program is really beneficial for anybody who's been training or playing sports for some time.

Craig Ballantyne talks more indepth of this particular workout in his blog. Click HERE.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

On retooling...and resetting focus











How bad do you want it? How far are you willing to push it to your limits?






Just checking out the local paper the other day and I read up on a pretty cool article on Pro Bowl Cornerback Antonio Cromartie of the San Diego Chargers. For a guy who had a terrific rookie season and made the Pro Bowl in his rookie year - he slipped a little on his 2nd year with only 2 INT's and the 3rd most thrown to starting corner last year. Well there's always that 2nd year drop off I've noticed in the NFL because no one knows you yet in your rookie year. Well he was off the mark in his 2nd year...lost his focus. But now he's ready to reclaim his fame once again out on the field...

It was very disappointing for us Charger Fans to see him drop his play like that...because he was almost pencilled in as the next Deion Sanders at one point as they both were from FSU.

Now with a contract year coming and the drafting of Cason in the first round in 08 - a new a spark is re-lit and Cro is back with a vengeance.

But he decided to skip off season conditioning workouts at Chargers park and does an Ochocinco - he resorts to unconventional methods such as mma style approaches, boxing...sledgehammer and running across a dirt hill with a 100 lb tire around his back. All this may sound weird for football conditioning as it is not the norm...but I honestly think it works.


He even admits to never have trained like this before and he's already reaping the benefits of non-traditional type training approaches.

You dont have to be in a gym to get a great workout. You can take it outside, find new training approaches that dont requiure a gym membership and just go for it and give it your all.

You are only limited to what you allow your body to do.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Why I Like Nike Frees

If you like the comforts of training barefeet...the Nike Free brand of shoes are the best way to go. I use them everyday...I train in them, I work with them, I do errands with them, I take family trips on them.. I even play volleyball with them. Just got a pair the other day online. It has the Nike + option too, so that can be of some benefit with some running with my Apple I touch (but I hate distance running...but it would be interesting to give it a test run one day).

Here's a very good video as to why I like them so much for training.




Adios! Til next time...