Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Stuff and Nonsense...

Haven't blogged in awhile, but I have been trying to update my facebook page, it's just more convenient. So if on the odd chance anyone is missing me, you can catch me there. I try to keep it up to date, without doing too many status updates.

I thought about closing this blog down, but then I remembered that the url is on my business card. Of course whenever I hand out my card, I usually get dirty looks like I'm accusing them of being fat and out of shape just by giving them the damned card. So I hardly hand them out anymore.

Next item: 10 weeks 'til New Years more or less. I've decided to use this time to get into the best shape I've ever been in. Because I know, once the new year gets here, my phone will magically start ringing again. On the other end of the line will be people who fell into the holiday traps, maybe put off exercise, or maybe got sucked into that old trap that gets me occasionally, EMOTIONAL EATING. But there is hope. There is light at the end of the tunnel, that could show up in the form of a bright, brilliant, expert, Certified Personal Trainer like me.

Next item: Alcohol shuts off the body's ability to burn fat for fuel, according to some studies. Just like to throw that one in every once in awhile. I like to imagine spit takes, and dropped wine glasses shattering on the floor.

Next item: You are not as strong as you think you are. You're stronger than you'll ever know.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Thumbtack Listing

Still listed in 1st place, as an Elite Trainer!


Monday, August 15, 2011

Meditation and Kids

I think children can benefit greatly from meditation too. It isn't really the complicated mystical experience some make it out to be. I think kids "get it" as most of them are naturally intuitive.

This is how I taught my kids to meditate. "Close your eyes, be still and quiet. Pay attention to how many sounds you can hear. Now stretch your hearing as far as it can go, notice each sound without feeling anything about it, and keep trying to hear further and further away from you."

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Just Checkin' In

Feels like summer is about half over, just wanted to check in and let everyone know what I'm up to. I developed an inguinal hernia in the spring. (It's the same type of hernia Muhammad Ali had, so you can't call me a wuss.) I had hernia removal surgery last Monday, experienced some minor complications and ended up staying overnight at the hospital. I'm all patched up now, and starting to ween off the pain medication. Of course, the healing process is a slow one, but I'm confident that the high intensity power lifting I did over the last couple months will make my recovery a fairly quick and easy process.

The doctors orders are that I'm not to do any heavy lifting for the next 6 weeks, and I can't lift anything over 5 lbs. for 3 weeks! That was a big shocker to hear. However, I'm planning on making the most of my recovery. I'm catching up on some reading, and I'm really curious to see if muscular atrophy sets in. As well as how long my muscles continue to grow from my last workout. And if atrophy does start to set in, I'd like to see if I can halt or decrease its effects through visualization. That should be an interesting little experiment.

I'm not actively seeking new clients right now, but, please do write or call me if I can be of any assistance whatsoever. I never charge for advice, because I find the oversaturation of misinformation offensive. It's criminal the way fitness professionals have overcomplicated the health and fitness industry. I think there is way too much soul-less moneymaking going on, and not enough (as Bill Phillips calls it) "making yourself stronger, by lifting up others."

I'll leave you today with one of my favorite chapters from the Tao Te Ching, and a picture of my favorite client, my 6 year old. Thanks for your support.

Men are born soft and supple;
dead, they are stiff and hard.
Plants are born tender and pliant;
dead, they are brittle and dry.

Thus whoever is stiff and inflexible
is a disciple of death.
Whoever is soft and yielding
is a disciple of life.

The hard and stiff will be broken.
The soft and supple will prevail.
-Tao Te Ching, chapter 76 (Stephen Mitchell translation)

Thursday, July 21, 2011

My Favorite (Movie) Personal Trainers

I've met some inspiring personal trainers in the last couple years. I've also met some insecure, out of shape, elitist egocentric bullies, but they're easy enough to ignore, and as the commercial used to say "You could learn a lot from a dummy."

Anyhow, I thought, wouldn't it be great if you could hire a fictional personal trainer. I mean life is always better in the movies right? Well, if not better at least bigger. Here are my top three choices, if I could pick my own silver screen trainer.

Mick from the Rocky movies is top of my list. On the outside he's a broken, bent, cauliflower-eared old man. Inside, though, he's tougher than nails. He thinks outside the box, and doesn't need anybody's approval. He can keep you focused, make you stronger and faster; and still be there to talk you through those long, dark nights of the soul.

Next on my list: Tyler Durden (Brad Pitt from the film Fight Club.) I am all about the mind-body connection. Two-fisted philosophy has always appealed to me. Even though the movie didn't end well for him, and he went a bit nutso with the Project Mayhem stuff, I'd still hire Tyler as my personal trainer. I'd just keep him away from my wife.

Third on my list, because after all, someone as amazing and hardcore as myself needs three personal trainers. Yoda, not sure if that's his first name or last, or if he just has one name like Prince,Cher or Madonna. Yoda would be great to train with, but he'd be the toughest. Imagine working with a personal trainer who could read your thoughts. All excuses would be void. Plus, he's demanding. I remember as a kid watching Episode whatever, when Luke decides to cut out and go rescue his pals in Cloud City. Yoda was begging him, "You must continue the training...the training." He didn't listen, and look what happened- lost his hand and killed his own father in the next movie.

So the moral of the story is, whether you train with a fictional personal trainer, or a genuine badass warrior like me; keep your eye on your goals and never give up, never give up, never give up. (Winston Churchill would've been on my list, but he was even more out of shape than some of the trainers I know.)

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

"Iron and the Soul" by Henry Rollins

>>The following article was originally published in Details magazine in 1994. This is one of my favorite things to read for a little extra motivation. If you've never read any of his books, heard any of his spoken word CDs, or listened to the music of Rollins Band; do yourself a favor and look into it.<<<

"Iron and the Soul" by Henry Rollins

I believe that the definition of definition is reinvention. To not be like you parents. To not be like your friends. To be yourself. Completely.

When I was young I had no sense of myself. All I was, was a product of all the fear and humiliation I suffered. Fear of my parents. The humiliation of teachers calling me "garbage can" and telling me I'd be mowing lawns for a living. And the very real terror of my fellow students. I was threatened and beaten up for the color of my skin and my size. I was skinny and clumsy, and when others would tease me I didn't run home crying, wondering why. I knew all too well. I was there to be antagonized. In sports I was laughed at. A spaz. I was pretty good at boxing but only because the rage that filled my every waking moment made me wild and unpredictable. I fought with some strange fury. The other boys thought I was crazy.

I hated myself all the time. As stupid at it seems now, I wanted to talk like them, dress like them, carry myself with the ease of knowing that I wasn't going to get pounded in the hallway between classes.

Years passed and I learned to keep it all inside. I only talked to a few boys in my grade. Other losers. Some of them are to this day the greatest people I have ever known. Hang out with a guy who has had his head flushed down a toilet a few times, treat him with respect, and you'll find a faithful friend forever. But even with friends, school sucked. Teachers gave me hard time. I didn't think much of them either.

Then came Mr. Pepperman, my adviser. He was a powerfully built Vietnam veteran, and he was scary. No one ever talked out of turn in his class. Once one kid did and Mr. P. lifted him off the ground and pinned him to the blackboard.

Mr. P. could see that I was in bad shape, and one Friday in October he asked me if I had ever worked out with weights. I told him no. He told me that I was going to take some of the money that I had saved and buy a hundred-pound set of weights at Sears. As I left his office, I started to think of things I would say to him on Monday when he asked about the weights that I was not going to buy. Still, it made me feel special. My father never really got that close to caring. On Saturday I bought the weights, but I couldn't even drag them to my mom's car. An attendant laughed at me as he put them on a dolly.

Monday came and I was called into Mr. P.'s office after school. He said that he was going to show me how to work out. He was going to put me on a program and start hitting me in the solar plexus in the hallway when I wasn't looking. When I could take the punch we would know that we were getting somewhere. At no time was I to look at myself in the mirror or tell anyone at school what I was doing.

In the gym he showed me ten basic exercises. I paid more attention than I ever did in any of my classes. I didn't want to blow it. I went home that night and started right in. Weeks passed, and every once in a while Mr. P. would give me a shot and drop me in the hallway, sending my books flying. The other students didn't know what to think. More weeks passed, and I was steadily adding new weights to the bar. I could sense the power inside my body growing. I could feel it.

Right before Christmas break I was walking to class, and from out of nowhere Mr. Pepperman appeared and gave me a shot in the chest. I laughed and kept going. He said I could look at myself now. I got home and ran to the bathroom and pulled off my shirt. I saw a body, not just the shell that housed my stomach and my heart. My biceps bulged. My chest had definition. I felt strong. It was the first time I can remember having a sense of myself. I had done something and no one could ever take it away. You couldn't say **** to me.

It took me years to fully appreciate the value of the lessons I have learned from the Iron. I used to think that it was my adversary, that I was trying to lift that which does not want to be lifted. I was wrong. When the Iron doesn't want to come off the mat, it's the kindest thing it can do for you. If it flew up and went through the ceiling, it wouldn't teach you anything. That's the way the Iron talks to you. It tells you that the material you work with is that which you will come to resemble. That which you work against will always work against you.

It wasn't until my late twenties that I learned that by working out I had given myself a great gift. I learned that nothing good comes without work and a ceratin amount of pain. When I finish a set that leaves me shaking, I know more about myself. When something gets bad, I know it can't be as bad as that workout.

I used to fight the pain, but recently this became clear to me: pain is not my enemy; it is my call to greatness. But when dealing with the Iron, one must be careful to interpret the pain correctly. Most injuries involving the Iron come from ego. I once spent a few weeks lifting weight that my body wasn't ready for and spent a few months not picking up anything heavier than a fork. Try to lift what you're not prepared to and the Iron will teach you a little lesson in restraint and self-control.

I have never met a truly strong person who didn't have self-respect. I think a lot of inwardly and outwardly directed contempt passes itself off as self-respect: the idea of raising yourself by stepping on someone's shoulders instead of doing it yourself. When I see guys working out for cosmetic reasons, I see vanity exposing them in the worst way, as cartoon characters, billboards for imbalance and insecurity. Strength reveals itself through character. It is the difference between bouncers who get off strong-arming people and Mr. Pepperman.

Muscle mass does not always equal strength. Strength is kindness and sensitivity. Strength is understanding that your power is both physical and emotional. That it comes from the body and the mind. And the heart.

Yukio Mishima said that he could not entertain the idea of romance if he was not strong. Romance is such a strong and overwhelming passion, a weakened body cannot sustain it for long. I have some of my most romantic thoughts when I am with the Iron. Once I was in love with a woman. I thought about her the most when the pain from a workout was racing through my body. Everything in me wanted her. So much so that sex was only a fraction of my total desire. It was the single most intense love I have ever felt, but she lived far away and I didn't see her very often. Working out was a healthy way of dealing with the loneliness. To this day, when I work out I usually listen to ballads.

I prefer to work out alone. It enables me to concentrate on the lessons that the Iron has for me. Learning about what you're made of is always time well spent, and I have found no better teacher. The Iron had taught me how to live.

Life is capable of driving you out of your mind. The way it all comes down these days, it's some kind of miracle if you're not insane. People have become separated from their bodies. They are no longer whole. I see them move from their offices to their cars and on to their suburban homes. They stress out constantly, they lose sleep, they eat badly. And they behave badly. Their egos run wild; they become motivated by that which will eventually give them a massive stroke. They need the Iron mind.

Through the years, I have combined meditation, action, and the Iron into a single strength. I believe that when the body is strong, the mind thinks strong thoughts. Time spent away from the Iron makes my mind degenerate. I wallow in a thick depression. My body shuts down my mind. The Iron is the best antidepressant I have ever found. There is no better way to fight weakness than with strength. Once the mind and body have been awakened to their true potential, it's impossible to turn back.

The Iron never lies to you. You can walk outside and listen to all kinds of talk, get told that you're a god or a total bastard. The Iron will always kick you the real deal. The Iron is the great reference point, the all-knowing perspective giver. Always there like a beacon in the pitch black. I have found the Iron to be my greatest friend. It never freaks out on me, never runs. Friends may come and go. But two hundred pounds is always two hundred pounds.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Creating Strength

Strength is created when you encounter heavy resistance, push the barriers of your comfort zone, but stop short of injury. That's part one. Part two involves resting, and healing, and the third part of the equation is growing.

Many strength trainees and bodybuilders don't realize that healing and growing are 2 different things. A muscle needs to recover before it can grow. A broken bone can't get stronger until it mends back together and heals. I don't mean to harp on it, but it is an important concept. If you truly get it, it can change everything.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Don't weigh and measure yourself constantly, UNLESS you're really serious about changing the shape and condition of your body.

Transforming the body is usually about transforming the mindset as well. Some people weigh themselves often, and get discouraged and quit often. The trick is to change the way you're looking at it. A sculptor looks at a block of stone, but while he's looking at it he sees what lies beneath. Use the bathroom scale, bodyfat measuring calipers, and measuring tape to chart your progress. Be honest about where you're at, but focus on where you're going, and how awesome you'll feel when you get there. Also, allow yourself to enjoy the journey. Be happy with where you are, because if you think you can't be happy until you've reached your goal then chances are you're never going to be happy.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

I'm on thumbtack.com

I'm trying to make it easier for my current and potential clients to find out more about me and what I do. I'm updating my thumbtack.com listing. Certified Personal Trainer Here you can check out a little more on my personal training philosophy, experience, and credentials.

A few months back I was recognized by thumbtack as a top rated elite personal trainer.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

The Best Ab Exercise

The question posted on a facebook group for personal trainers the other day was something like 'how many times have you been asked, 'what is the best ab exercise?' and what do you say?' I didn't answer. Mainly, because I find the attitudes of most personal trainers repulsive. The gig outta be about helping others, not showing off your vast wealth of knowledge, and your inhuman personal workout habits. Most of their answers had a common flavor of belittling their clients. Maybe that's how you make the big bucks, I don't know.

Ok, let me get off my high horse (he isn't really that high,) and let you know what I, in my brilliance, think. The all-time best ab exercise is VISUALIZATION. Until you see it in your mind's eye, and fully believe in yourself and your ability to create the body you want- you won't have it. It's also a really good idea to make your visualizations reasonable or realistic. Visualizing the impossible is just dreaming, and a set up for failure. Aim high, but don't aim impossible.

Visualize consistently, you don't have to obsess, it's just something you want to be mindful of. You can do in a meditative state, or waiting in line at the store. Get creative, and make it your own. I tend to achieve a little extra fat around the midsection during the winter months. When I'm cutting back the calories and exercising to shape up for summer, I like to visualize alone in front of a mirror. It's a short, quick process. I just look at my abs in the mirror and kind of unfocus my eyes a little, and imagine the way I want them to look in 6 weeks or whatever a reasonable time frame is.

When I went from 270 lbs to 200 lbs 5 years ago visualizing was a big factor. It helped that I'd been thin as a kid on up through my twenties. If you've never really been thin before, visualizing is even more important than you might think. Your subconscious mind can create self-sabotage. It could be thinking that you're starving to death or getting sick. Every thought thunk, creates a chemical reaction in the body. It might sound like new age bull***t, but Dr. Andy's Travelling 6 Pack Show is here to tell ya it ain't.

Live strong, and prosper.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Spring is in the air

Some days you're on top of the world. Some days the world is on top of you. There are so many things in life that are completely out of our control. But, we can control our thoughts which will lead to controlling our feelings and changing our health, life, body, and world for the better. This is something I am by no means a master of, but I've come a long way.

Healthy Weight Loss Tips - Nutrition by Natalie

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Posture, Get it Straight!

I just read Janice Novak's book "Posture, Get it Straight!" It is the, hands down, best book on the subject I've found so far. She has a knack for simplifying biomechanics and it's filled with great exercises. I can't rave enough about this book. It answered some questions I've had for years, as well as given me hope to change some things about my back that I thought were unchangable.

Her website has some great info also. http://www.improveyourposture.com
I'm going to order her dvds after I get back from vacation. (Unless somebody wants to give me an early birthday present ;)
I'll post a review after I check 'em out.

Do yourself a favor and get this book!

Check out her site at http://improveyourposture.com/

Monday, March 28, 2011

A Few Quotes From Cool Cats Who Inspire Me

"It is not the strongest of the species who survive, not the most intelligent, but those who are the most adaptive to change." - Charles Darwin

"If you cannot be a poet, be the poem." ~David Carradine

"As long as you are worried about what others think of you, you are owned by them. Only when you require no approval from outside yourself can you own yourself."
-Neale Donald Walsch

"Focus more on results than method." -Tom Venuto

"Success follows joy, not the other way around." -Dr. Christiane Northrup

"The greatest danger for most of us is not that our aim is too high
and we miss it, but that it is too low and we reach it."
- Michelangelo

Saturday, January 29, 2011

give and take

If we all suddenly "got it" that to hurt another is to hurt yourself world peace would break out in under twenty minutes.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Focus on Progress, Not Perfection

I'm still doing Bill Phillip's Transformation Challenge, he's an incredible teacher and www.transformation.com is a great online community. This week my assignment was to focus on progress, and not perfection. So to put things into focus for myself I made this picture collage showing where I've been the last 5 yrs.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

With a Great Body Comes Great Responsibility

But what constitutes a great body? Everyone has their own personal ideal, but to me every single body is great. I've seen guys missing legs that had an inner, as well as outer, strength few four limbed bipeds possess. Consistently seeking improvement is the key. In other words get some guts. Most people don't have the guts to train hard. Or the guts to eat healthy. Or the guts to take responsibility for their health. The average human being is having a near-life experience.

Nobody has a "bad back", "bad knees", etc. We've just treated ourselves poorly and got back what we gave. Every thought we think, and every thing we do creates chemical reactions within. We create our health moment by moment. Every decision weakens or strengthens. So get some guts. Decide what kind of body you want, then start taking steps toward that. A great body might require a great effort. Or maybe it won't. It could very well be that it is much easier than you think.

Monday, January 3, 2011

The Calorie Deficit

If you're counting calories, I suggest getting at least 10-12 cal. per pound of bodyweight daily. Minimum. Because as you get leaner you still need to keep a calorie deficit or your fatloss hits a plateau. Most diets fail because people are inspired to change, but create too big of a calorie deficit in the beginning.

Of course, thats where proper training comes into play. With exercise you burn calories while amping up your metabolism (fuel burning system)and building muscle. Muscle burns calories even when its at rest, and due to its density it takes up less space on your body that fat.

You know all of this, I'm just reminding everyone this time of year.