Sunday, December 30, 2012

Start Smart to Finish Strong

It breaks my heart to see overweight, out of shape people trying to run, or hurting themselves doing P90xInsanity or anything else their body isn't ready for. There is a beautiful, not so subtle energy of the new year, that you can tap into and use to your advantage. But, I'd advise being smart about it. Too much too soon will result in injury and failure to achieve goals. In 2006 I lost over 75 lbs in 4 months. I started with changing my mindset. I did very little exercise. Sounds counterproductive for a personal trainer to say such a thing, but that's the truth. I eventually began doing Tai Chi/Qigong, and a lot of walking, but the first month I didn't do anything but work on changing my beliefs about my body image and creating a more productive nutrition plan. Diets do work, but they're not sustainable for long, so I suggest creating a new way of eating, and making your relationship with food one where you're in control, not your hormones. A good way to start is to limit your sugar intake to less than 6-9 grams per meal. That's not that extreme, and will help break your sugar addiction, and if you're reading this there's a good chance you most certainly are a sugar addict. It's just more likely than not, nowadays.
Another reason to fix mindset and nutrition first, is the way your body will begin to clean itself or detox. If you're severely obese, you need to work with your doctor. Years of stored toxins are going to be released from your system when you start eating clean, healthy food. That's why when people diet they feel sick before they feel healthy. Take it slow, and do it smart by educating yourself, and speaking to your doctor. Don't believe sh*t you read on the internet, even question what I'm saying, because nobody knows you better than you. It's your life, your choice, you can do this. Start smart if you want to go the distance. You can create a new healthier body, but you have to take it slow. It's a moment by moment trip. You can't lose 50 right now, but if you pay attention and follow a good plan, you can healthily lose a few pounds each week. In the beginning it's mostly going to be water weight. The numbers should drop to 2-4 pounds a week after the first few weeks. Don't be discouraged. Make a game of it. Join, or create a competition. Find a way to make it fun, and you've greatly improved your odds. Most important of all believe in yourself. Especially when you fall. Dust yourself off, and get back on track quick as you can. You deserve to be healthy and happy in a fit, strong body.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Integrative Wellness Rules by Dr. Jim Nicolai, my review.

Sometimes books written by Dr.'s (Phil and Oz come to mind) can be a bit bossy, and tedious. Not the case with Dr. Jim Nicolai's book Integrative Wellness Rules. He speaks in a way that's easy to understand. Refrains from getting too preachy, and he entertains without belaboring his point, and wearing out his welcome with the reader. The book is divided up by subject, with each subject containing several rules, or theories. Each section of the book gets right to the point without wasting any time. It's a great collection of, not just, Dr. Nicolai's knowledge, but also, many leaders in the health industry who have inspired him. Leaders like Anthony Robbins, Bill Phillips, and Dr. Andrew Weil are cited and given the respect they deserve. Dr. Nicolai describes health as our destination, and wellness is the road map to get there. That is really what this book is, a road map. It's a reference manual, you are going to want to keep on hand while planning, or fine tuning your fitness journey. Whether you're just beginning that trip, or you're an old pro, Integrative Wellness Rules will be of value to you. It's very easy to get caught up in one aspect of wellness, at the expense of others. The ideas, and rules taught in this book can help you keep the whole map in perspective. It's become popular nowadays for fitness professionals to talk about, not just nutrition and exercise, but a lifestyle change. Dr. Jim Nicolai can show you exactly what to do to create that lifestyle. I received this book for free from Hay House Publishing for review purposes.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

German Volume Training, a.k.a "10 For 10"

This is the time of year I like to "go heavy." Baby, it's cold outside, according to the song the radio keeps playing incessantly. So I warm up a little without ending up dripping in sweat the way I would if I were lifting this way in the humid summer months. Also, rather than fight all the holiday food cravings, I take in some extra calories knowing I'll be putting them to good use in my workouts. My current favorite routine is a classic known as German Volume Training, or "10 for 10." It first became popular in the 1970's, it may be even older. German Olympic weight lifters used it to pack on strength and muscle mass in record time. We're talking pounds of muscle in a month. It had a resurgence in popularity about 10 years ago, when legendary coach and trainer Charles Poliquin wrote about it. German Volume Training is simple, but not easy. Because the focus is on building lots of muscle quickly, you want to stick to your compound moves. Often called multi-joint moves, and interestingly, I'm noticing the female oriented exercise magazines are now referring to them as "metabolic moves." Compound moves are your BIG LIFTS; bench press, deadlift, squat... The lifts that build lean, fat-burning muscle tissue, and help everyone read all the words on your t-shirt. So here's the routine: You'll need to know your 1 Rep max (the heaviest you can lift on a particular exercise once.) Take 60% of your 1 Rep Max, and lift it 10 times for 10 sets, resting 90 seconds between sets.
Sounds easy, I know, and the first 3 or 4 sets kind of are, but fatigue sets in quick. There's an interesting neurological adaptation thing that happens around set 8 and 9. I'm not sure why that is, but for some reason those sets tend to be a little easier. If you can safely go past 10 reps (i.e. you have a spotter or trainer with you) I say go for it, but more than likely the 100 reps spread over 10 sets will be sufficient to stimulate new muscle growth. I don't have great bodybuilding genetics, I'm a bit of a hardgainer, but I'm a former fat guy so if I don't train, excess calories go straight to my waist. I don't take any supplements other than a multi-vitamin and fish oil, but I can build up nicely on this program. I like the German Volume approach, because after you get your big move for the day out of the way, you can throw in some sets for arms, shoulders, or whatever to fill out your workout, if you want. Probably don't even need to. Momentary muscle failure is all that's required to stimulate growth. You don't have to keep turning the light switch on, as the old saying goes. It would be an interesting experiment to see if you could seriously grow on just doing one exercise a workout. The Mike Mentzer fan in me, would love to see the results of a few weeks spent doing 3 HVT workouts a week, split between chest, legs, and back. Maybe I'll try it in 2013. If you have any questions about anything, or any advice for me, feel free to comment, or email me at, or on facebook at Andy Nieradko Personal Training.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Just a Thought

Focusing your energies on huge issues that are way outside your control or influence will take a big toll on your health. You can push the river all day, but you'll just wear yourself out in the end.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

21 Days to Master Affirmations ebook Louise Hay's teachings are so simple, and yet so easy to overlook that when you suddenly "get it", they can really knock you for a loop. This is a great presentation of her empowering ideas. By making a step each day, for 3 weeks, you can really travel some distance and improve your life. Many people scoff at the idea of affirmations. However, most would admit to having a self-talk, or an internal dialog running in their heads that can turn painful and unproductive pretty easily. We can create powerful lives, when we step up and take control of, really, the only thing we ever can control, our own thoughts. I think Louise is one of the most important teachers we've ever had.
Running, power-lifting, bodybuilding... whatever kind of training you're into, affirmations can take you to higher, and higher places. You have to dream it, before you achieve it, and you also have to believe it. A couple years ago, I noticed that Louise's affirmation and mirror work, coincides nicely with Arnold Schwarzenegger's affirmation and mirror work, as written about in his classic Encyclopedia of Bodybuilding. If you're interested in getting a copy of that massive tome, I'd suggest ebay, and also try to get the most current edition.

Thursday, December 6, 2012


There's an old joke about a U2 concert. The lights go dim, and Bono starts to clap his hands, once a second. After the audience is sufficiently confused, he steps up to the mic, still clapping, slowly, and seriously, he states, "Every time I clap my hands another starving African child dies." An angry man in the front row jumps up and shouts, "Somebody grab that sick, heartless son of a bitch, and make him stop clapping his hands!" He he. I love that joke. I bring it up to illustrate a point about perception, and how we don't heal any problem whatsoever by continuing to focus on it.
Talking about an issue, preaching, marching, drumming up support for a cure, does it ultimately hasten the arrival of a solution or a healing? Or does it just add to the energy of the problem, make it bigger, and more real, while the solution is pushed further away? It's just a thought. I'm not finger pointing. Several years ago I struggled with giving up smoking and drinking. I went to a few AA meetings, but as helpful as talking about the problem was, after awhile it just seemed to be keeping it alive. Energy is never destroyed, but it can take on a new form. I guess what I'm trying to say is, please, stop buying U2 cd's and concert tickets. (Kidding, of course.) Go kick some ass today.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Stuart Wilde

Stuart Wilde has been one of my favorite authors for awhile now. He's been described as an urban mystic, and a fringe dweller. His audio program The Journey Beyond Enlightenment is probably the most powerful thing I've ever studied. He's absolutely brilliant. He speaks his truth with great courage, even though it is sometimes tough to swallow, and his sense of humor makes it impossible not to fall in love with the guy. I consider myself very fortunate to have seen him at, what I think was, his last Hay House I Can Do It Conference in Las Vegas in 2007. It was one of the most interesting, magical experiences of my life. His website has been very active lately. He wrote a fantastic book recently called Plum Red: Taoist Tales of Old China. I have to admit, some of his ideas and visions scare the crap out of me. But the way I see it, if your spirituality doesn't thrill you and challenge you at a deep level, it's pointless. It's like going into the weight room, and lifting the same little dumbbells, and doing the same easy exercises every day. Yesterday I received one of Mr. Wilde's Warrior's Prayer Card. It's a beautifully written prayer, with an interesting energy emanating from it. If you're interested in purchasing one here's the link:

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

F**k It Therapy by John C. Parkin a review

F**k it Therapy by John C. Parkin is going to help a lot of people. Wherever you are in life, you know that stress has a stranglehold on a great number of us. Not good, considering stress is the number one killer nowadays. John offers many techniques to help you escape from the self imposed prisons we check ourselves into. The prisons of fear, self-doubt, perfectionism and many more are looked at in great detail. I found the sections dealing with the ancient art of qigong particularly refreshing. Taking something sacred and powerful, and presenting it in a unique, down to earth, fun, and naughty way is just f**king brilliant. There is great magic in those two little words "f**k it" that I can't really put my finger on to describe, but the author sums it up perfectly. I recommend you give this book a shot, but take it slow. There is a lot going on within these 316 pages, powerful processes, and even some links for helpful, exclusive online content. There is a brief section on diet and exercise, which I didn't particularly care for, but it's only a short three pages. Overall, this is a fantastic, thought provoking read. I received this book for free from Hay House Publishing for review purposes.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Knockin' Out Reps

Next time you're in the weight room and you're lifting heavy, try this: instead of counting out 10 reps in your head, count 5, twice. Or if the goal of your super-heavy set is 6 repetitions, count to 3 twice. Sounds silly, I know, but try it. It's amazing. It's a little magic trick for staying in the zone, and really developing that mind-muscle connection. That little tip has really helped me out a lot. I first heard about this technique in a podcast interview with former (and probably future) Mr. Olympia Jay Cutler.
Counting your reps backwards can be kind of fun too. It sort of feels like a NASA mission control countdown. You can imagine that the blast off at the end of the set is the muscle hypertrophy (the opposite of atrophy), the growth caused by momentary muscle failure. The real 'trick' of course is to not get caught up in the numbers, but the reps themselves. I believe workout journals are important, but whats more important is developing proper form, and excellent mind-muscle connection, because we lift weights to get stronger. We want that good pain, not injury. They say you only know you're in "the zone" afterwards. If you think you're in it, you ain't. So stay focused, feel each rep and remember those immortal words spoke by Muhammad Ali, when someone asked him how many sit-ups he does. "I don't know, I don't start counting 'til it hurts."

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Rest in Peace, Sergio Oliva

One of bodybuilding's legends "The Myth" Sergio Oliva, has passed away from apparent kidney failure at age 71. The first non-white athlete to win Mr. America, Mr. World, Mr. International, Mr. Universe, and Mr. Olympia. Cuban born, Oliva, was the only guy to ever beat Arnold out of a Mr. Olympia title; and the second winner, in history, of bodybuilding's highest title. Hadn't competed in about 4 decades, yet still when people talk about "bodybuilding genetics" Oliva is often the first picture shown.
Incredibly long, and thick muscles with insertion points located deep within the joints; just an unreal physique. After leaving competition Oliva went on to a career as a Chicago police officer for over 25 years. In 1986 he survived being shot 5 times by his (then) wife. Did I mention the guy was tough? His son Sergio Oliva Jr, is following in his footsteps into pro bodybuilding competition.
1969 Mr. Olympia Competition, Sergio "The Myth" Oliva beats Arnold "The Oak" Schwarzenegger

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Remember This

You are not as strong as you think you are; you are stronger than you will ever know.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Michael Bernard Beckwith's Transcendance Expanded

You might have seen Michael Bernard Beckwith on Oprah, or experienced his dynamic presence in the film that brought the law of attraction mainstream, The Secret. He's the Founder and Spiritual Director of Agape International Spiritual Center in Los Angeles, but he's much more than a preacher. He is a man of God. Now I don't say that lightly. I've spent much of my life running from the idea of God. The concept of God I was raised on, was a God of rules and submission to his will and his word. If you weren't with him, you were against him, and you were screwed. Eternal hellfire damnation awaited those who didn't accept the gift of salvation. That's not the kind of God you're going to find in Transcendance Expanded, nor will you find anything here blasphemous or at odds with scriptures. The book is made up of eight lessons, that explore the idea of universal spiritual truths, and a God who offers true free will without judgment. He speaks of how to unify yourself with the creative energy that formed all that is, while retaining your unique individuality and perspective. You learn that the divine energy wants to be used, not obeyed. Your Belief System, or B.S., as The Rev so poignantly puts it, cannot comprehend the greatness of the creative force. We are the universe becoming aware of itself, and we might as well accept our greatness, he says. The CD is something else out of this world. It contains musical versions of the 8 Transcendance talks produced by some of the best in the music industry, with Beckwith delivering lines with a passionate punch, in a style described as Rhythm and Joy. Both the book and the music offer a unique and positive vibrational lift. There really is some magic here worth checking out. On a side note, as a personal trainer who loves to exercise, the CD is exceptional in that it can bring positive energy into the weight room, cardio machines, or burn it to mp3 and take it on a run. It can definitely bring some empowerment and vitality to your workouts. I received this book for free from Hay House Publishing for review purposes.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Never tell your personal trainer...

"I've tried everything!" It's usually said with sincerity and desperation, but your personal trainer hears that as a challenge. New circuits, set/rep schemes, diet tweaks, and monumentally tortuous exercises are taking dark shape within my skull, every time I hear somebody announce they've "tried everything." If you had unrealistic expectations due to goals that were a physical impossibility that's a whole other issue, but, honestly, nobody has tried everything. I think it was Marianne Williamson who pointed out that Christ, Buddha, and many spiritually enlightened Masters are most often depicted in art with their palms up, and their arms open in a gesture of acceptance and forgiveness. Personal trainers, on the other hand, are usually depicted with their hands on their hips, or flexing, or their arms folded in front of them. The bossy, standoffish body language comes from somewhere. It comes from the strange relationship that develops when someone hires you to hold their feet to the fire, and push them toward their goals, yet every now and then they try to offload a bunch of excuses on you. And as Tom Venuto, one of my fitness role models, says, "You can have excuses or results, but you can't have both."
I believe in a holistic, or mind-body-spirit, approach to health. Sometimes exercise is fun, and sometimes it isn't. What's interesting, though, is that after you've pushed your limits consistently for awhile and gotten stronger and healthier the stuff that isn't fun somehow becomes fun. Eating a strict, healthy diet can be fun. Exercises that you once thought of as excruciating torture, can be fun. It's because after awhile the beautiful simplicity of it takes hold. You really do get what you give. Try that, next time you have the disempowering thought "I've tried everything."

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Self-Hypnosis and Subliminal Technology by Eldon Taylor; a review

The good people at Hay House publishing sent me a review copy of Eldon Taylor's book and CD, Self-Hypnosis and Subliminal Technology. I wasn't paid for this review, and this is my own, honest opinion. As a personal trainer I've long been fascinated by this subject, and its effect on personal change, specifically breaking through weight loss and bodybuilding plateaus. Eldon Taylor is an expert in his field, with over 30 years of experience. He's written many books. This was my first exposure to his writing. I give both the book and the accompanying audio CD a hearty thumbs up. This is important work. Nowadays many of us are spending a lot of time running around on autopilot, or the subconscious mind. The more we can learn how to influence that underlying mind, the more empowered our lives will be. The ideas in this book teach you ways you can rewire, or reprogram your inner self; your excuses and self-imposed limitations can be pushed to the side and you can reach previously unreachable goals. There is a section on creating your own subliminal self-hypnosis sessions. It teaches the basics to really personalize a program and make it work for you. The CD is brilliant, I've used audio programs designed by other professional hypnotists, and I have to say this disc is superior to most of them, maybe all, I need to listen some more. It definitely took me to a very deep hypnotic state. My mind is swimming in the possibilities that opened up to me after reading this book.

The "W" Press

My current favorite shoulder exercise:the W Press. Start with arms by side, making a "W" shape, and by pressing up and out you hit all 3 heads of the deltoids while avoiding strain on the rotator cuff. (At least for me, still experimenting.) You don't have to go heavy to feel this one. I saw this move in Iron Man Magazine, but a google search says it's an old school bodybuilding move created by Larry Scott.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

My Review of Neale Donald Walsch' book The Only Thing That Matters

Wow! I can honestly say, I have never read a book like this one. Ever. And I've read most of the Conversations With God series. I've gotten a lot out of the works of Neale Donald Walsch over the years, though I did find Happier Than God a bit confusing on the first read. That said, The Only Thing That Matters really, and I mean really, stands out from the pack. There's some mind blowing stuff in this sucker. A couple times, I just put the bookmark in, closed it, and stared at the back cover while I assimilated what was just communicated. This is Book 2 in the Conversations With Humanity series, I haven't yet read Book 1, but I didn't find that to be any hindrance whatsoever. You know, it's really great when a self-help book actually helps you better understand your self, your place in the grand scheme of things, and how to improve your experience of both. The Only Thing That Matters lays it all out in a way that is easy to understand (once you get past startled). It also contains five powerful gifts that will change your life if you let them. It's ironic that a book on spirituality and oneness can be so unique, the author truly outdid himself on this one. I swear, I'm not just saying that. FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from Hay House Publishing for this review. The opinion in this review is unbiased and reflects my honest judgment of the product.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

The Road to My First Marathon

I ran a lot as a kid. I ran a lot in the army, but only because I was told to. When I became a civilian in 1996, I didn't really run again until 2005, after a huge amount of weightloss and lifestyle change. Manchester holds a Thanksgiving Day 5k annually, I ran my first race in 2009. Hated it. However, I noticed the effect it had on my wife. She's a former high school cheerleader, so she's always gotten really excited about any athletic endeavor I've ever attempted. She was right there with me on all the Body For Life and challenges, offering tons of support. Also really supportive of my weight training, and personal training biz, and will gladly listen to all the different theories and new breakthroughs in the science of bodybuilding and weight loss. However, the effect the race had on her was incredible. She loves the spectator side of it, which I don't really get, but I appreciate. Must be the old cheerleader in her.
In 2010 my personal training business was just starting to take off, and I was loving my full-time gig as a stay-at-home dad, when I had a major back injury. I had previously worked a year and a half at FedEx to save money for my certification. Not knowing what I know now, about the importance of a strong core and steady posture, I'd done some minor damage to my lower back. Summer '10, I was training a client who was squatting a little over 200 lbs. They thought they had placed the bar securely in the rack at the end of their set, but the left side of the bar wasn't racked at all. As the weight came crashing down, on instinct I reached out and grabbed it. That split second of time really messed me up bad. It got more and more aggravated over time, as I tried to "push through the pain" and continue my daily training schedule. One day I was at Gold's Gym, running on the treadmill, and my middle son was in his first kid's yoga class. I saw that the class was over, got excited and jumped off the treadmill, wiped it off, I walked over to the classroom forgetting there was a step down to the main floor. I felt my ankle snap, as all my weight shifted to the right of it. One of the gals from the kid's club helped me get my guys out to the car, and as soon as my wife could meet me at home to watch the kids, I stumbled into the hospital using a folded up umbrella stroller as a cane. The fracture healed with some ibuprofen, and the old R.I.C.E. (Rest Ice Compress Elevate) treatment.
I continued to train around my injuries. I think I looked better than I felt. My back would get better for awhile, then it would get worse. Sometimes it got so bad, I had to use two canes to get around. The canes were the biggest blow to my ego. There I was trying to model good diet and training as a certified fitness professional, yet I was falling the hell apart. Twice the doctor tried giving me steroid shots into the lower back muscles. That did nothing for me, except make me feel more of a hypocrite. I started attending yoga classes which helped a lot, but I'd still occasionally have a bad back spell. I remember a few times walking into the class with my cane, and having it right beside my yoga mat, doing what I could manage, and just laying there in corpse pose when they did a pose beyond my abilities. After 6 months, the docs said it was chronic and I went into physical therapy. Just as that was starting to work, I managed to overdue the stretching, and developed a hernia. So summer 2011, I went into surgery had the hernia patched, and spent several weeks maneuvering around with my 2 canes. I say all that to say this. I knew better. The whole damn time I knew better. I knew about law of attraction. I'd read Louise Hay's You Can Heal Your Life, and knew that my lower back pain was a physical manifestation of some psychological underpinnings. I knew my mind was cluttered with negative shit. I knew I was over-training at times, and I knew I had unrealistic goals. When I look back at the whole boring story, I can see how I attracted each painful piece of the puzzle. But as Esther Hicks' teachings of Abraham talk about, that contrast between where I wanted to be and where I was was vitally important. Where I was was my bouncing off place. I decided to heal.
So I ate cleaner, trained smarter, but most of all I worked on my mindset, or consciousness, heart, whatever you want to call it. I stopped complaining, to the best of my ability, and when I was with someone who was negative, I tried to listen without judging. I started looking for the good, and expecting it. Then it showed up everywhere, and things started to flow. There was a zombie walk for hunger a few towns over, so my best friend and I drove over, he got made up like a zombie, I got made up like a victim and we walked a mile and a half or so. I have some cool pictures of me walking with my cane, covered in fake blood and a pretty realistic looking head wound. I started feeling much better, and taking more responsibility for my health. I fell in love again with High Intensity Training (HIT). Brief, but heavy, intense weightlifting sessions that focus on building muscle by hitting momentary muscle failure quickly, and safely, so that recovery and growth time is maximized. It's a much more healing way of pumping iron, as opposed to the High Volume over-training I'd done in the past. I also started running, and that more than anything helped my back. I was also still doing yoga, but for some reason running just worked for me. I had to start with slow jogs on dirt trails, but eventually I worked up the stamina to run on asphalt. That year I ran the Thanksgiving 5k again. In the spring I did a challenge, dropped some weight, and haven't needed the canes since. In the summer I ran my first 10k.
That was something I didn't think I was capable of. I decided to challenge myself and run the 1/2 Marathon in Hartford in October. So I started training for it. While training a friend of mine died unexpectedly. That had quite an effect on me. I sort of felt guilty that I have so much knowledge about how to get healthier and stronger, but ultimately it seems like most people don't want to hear anything about it. I came to the conclusion that I can't "talk it" so I have to "walk it." But, "walk the talk" sounds so pompous, and also a lot of work. I just wanted to "have fun and do what needs to be done." I decided I was going to run the full marathon. 26.2 miles. Something I never dreamed of in a million years, but I trained smart, and I listened to my heart. And I ran it. My goal was 4 hours 20 min. And I ran the Hartford Marathon within 4 seconds of that goal. The thing that blew me away was how much I enjoyed it.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Secrets of Meditation by davidji

The author begins by telling his personal story of transformation, how his life was quite successful in many ways, but he'd fallen into that easy trap of drifting through the days, working and making money, yet not feeling any inner peace or fullfillment. A state familiar to many of us. The story of his awakening was very cool, and interesting, so I won't spoil it for you. After the author tells about his personal journey, the rest of the book is a breakdown of different techniques, tips, ways, and means of meditation. Many questions I've collected over the years, were answered by this book, so I'd highly recommend it to anyone, regardless of whether they're a beginner or a seasoned meditator. The author is very good at keeping the subject interesting. Stillness and quietude can have a profound effect on one's life, but when life gets overwhelming it's often easier to just stay an overwhelmed victim, rather than dedicate yourself to a daily practice. It can be tough to see the benefits of meditation when you're caught up in the volume and drama of the daily grind, but davidji has written a great book that clears up a lot of misconceptions, and teaches how you can make time for and benefit powerfully from meditation. I was not financially compensated for this post. I received the book from Hay House for review purposes. The opinions are completely my own based on my experience.

Friday, September 28, 2012


3 time Mr. Olympia ('76-'79) Frank Zane is one of my bodybuilding heroes, he gets the whole holistic approach to training, and he wasn't "blessed" with the monster mass genetics of modern Olympians. He's one of the best examples of 'playing the cards your dealt, well.' Training is a support system for life, not the other way around. I'm much more interested in how bodybuilders look in their older years, than in their prime. The giants you can see on the posing dais this weekend in Vegas are certainly a sight to behold, but what will their futures look like, I can't help but wonder.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

How do I lose weight?

That's the question I hear everywhere. First off, don't lose weight, lose fat. Muscle, bone, and guts have weight to them, you certainly want to keep that kind of weight. Set realistic goals, and track them religiously.
Excess fat is stored emotion. Usually, fear. It's a manifestation of negativity, we're wearing our painful past when we put on excess fat. We're weighted down by the gravity of our situations. We store out "issues in our tissues." To get lean, forget the past, move on and move into a new you. Forget your story, and make a new one. If you think losing weight is only about calories in versus calories out, you're missing the big picture.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

My review of What Makes Us Healthy by Caroline Myss

Caroline Myss's audio program What Makes Us Healthy? is amazing. About halfway through disc one, I found myself shouting "Holy crap!" several times. This is the heavy duty approach to spirituality. Caroline pulls no punches whatsoever. I was blown away, quite a few times I had to hit the pause button and just sort of let the messages sink in. If you are interested in a holistic approach to healthy living and healing, you need to hear this lecture. I've been drawn to the ideas of the consciousness movement for a few years now, but I've never heard it explained this well, nor have I heard anyone so succinctly describe the history of new age ideas and where we as a people stand right now, and how we'll most likely be remembered by future generations. Caroline Myss is a great teacher. There are some hard lessons she teaches over the course of these 6 cds. Frankly, some of them scare the Hell out of me, but I intend to "cowboy up" and do the work. If you like your inspirational teachings "airy-fairie" and weak in the knees, you may not want to hear all that Caroline has to say on "What Makes Us Healthy?" but I really think you need to give it a listen. She's funny, and entertaining yet tough as nails. Tougher than many a good coach, personal trainer, or drill sergeant. I was not financially compensated for this post. I received the audiobook from Hay House for review purposes. The opinions are completely my own based on my experience.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Wishes Fulfilled by Dr. Wayne Dyer

I've read several books by Dr. Dyer over the years. My favorite was Change Your Thoughts, Change Your Life, I didn't think he'd ever top it. With Wishes Fulfilled, though, I think Wayne Dyer has broken a lot of new ground, and maybe even surpassed all of his 30 plus books he's written over the past 40 years. The consummate teacher, this brilliant man, is capable of putting his own ego aside and weaving in the teachings of past luminaries from the Bible, and early 20th century consciousness leaders such as Neville Goddard, Uell S. Anderson , and the Saint Germain Discourses. The Dr. does a fantastic job of taking the huge ideas, and lofty language of the aforementioned, and boiling it down to easily digestible yet profound messages. This is an inspiring, heartfelt book. You won't feel this kind of honesty from most spiritual teachers. This is an important book, it isn't just about manifesting wishes, but creating a better world for you and yours. It's about rediscovering your true self, and potential, and then actively living it. This is an empowering book that I didn't want to put down, and will most likely read several more times. FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from Hay House Publishing for this review. The opinion in this review is unbiased and reflects my honest judgment of the product.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Dry Erase Marker Affirmations

From non competitive weight lifters, like myself, to Mr. Olympias such as Arnold, and the great Frank Zane; many who love to forge new bodies by pressing iron, espouse upon the power of affirmations. Louise Hay's book You Can Heal Your Life, is still the best book on the subject I've ever read. I heard a seminar she did with author Cheryl Richardson a few months back. Cheryl talked about this idea, I think it's absolutely brilliant, of writing your affirmations on your mirror in dry erase marker. I've been doing it consistently, and have noticed some interesting changes in my confidence, and some other issues I've been working on. I'm a big believer in mirror work, and seeing the affirmation next to my face several times a day has had kind of a subliminal effect. It really helps new ideas sink in, in a profound way.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Here's a Thought

Why do you want to reach your fitness goals? Health and longevity? To impress someone? To impress yourself? To make somebody jealous? To prove something? Competition? Survival? Protection? Getting in shape is so much deeper than scale weight, body fat %, and six packs. The stronger your "Why" is, the more likely you are to reach your fitness goals, or any other clearly defined goals. I know you know it, I'm just reminding ya.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Great Sex Naturally by Dr. Laurie Steelsmith and Alex Steelsmith

I don't think it's possible for Great Sex Naturally to have had a more intriguing title. This book was written for women specifically, and authored by Dr. Laurie Steelsmith, and her husband Alex Steelsmith. As I guy, I was expecting it to be filled with Kama Sutra-like positions, and secret, little tricks you can perform with your anatomy. This wasn't the case, but I wasn't disappointed. There are plenty of sex books out there like that. This one's chief concern is to empower a healthy sexuality treated with a holistic, or whole person approach. This idea permeates the book, and offers some paradigm shifting ideas. Of course our heart health, diet, exercise, and self-esteem affect our sex lives, but at a cursory glance it just doesn't seem that way. Looking deeper, the authors make a great case for their point, that a holistic, or balanced approach to your entire life will greatly enhance your sex life as well. Great Sex Naturally is divided into two sections. The first part deals with balancing your lifestyle. The second part is about new ideas for enhancing your sex life. It seems to be written more for monogamous couples, but certainly, singles could benefit as well. This is a great reference book to keep around for the detailed information on harmonizing your hormones. There is also tons of great info on aphrodisiacs, lubricants, and pressure points which I think many people are going to find really exciting. FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from Hay House Publishing for this review. The opinion in this review is unbiased and reflects my honest judgment of the product.