Thursday, August 27, 2009

Nutrition is #1...

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

No matter what you do in the matter how nutbaggy we all can get healthy fat loss there simply isn't in a secret's not in a supplement drink we get at 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.


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 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 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 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!!!'s to a great weekend!


Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Hookin' Up with A Good Friend

Met with a Turbulence Training buddy of mine whom I met online at 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.


Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Some KettleBell Action!

As 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 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...

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 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 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 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! ;)


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

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!


Sunday, August 2, 2009

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