Friday, November 29, 2013

In The Pillars of Health author John Pierre offers a holistic approach to health and wellness. The four pillars supporting a healthy lifestyle offered are: nutrition, mind, movement, and compassion. This book is a fairly good starting place for someone new to these ideas. If you want to make a positive change in your life, but are unsure about where to start, this book could serve as a great road map. There are many useful ideas that can be integrated into your daily routine. I personally, found the author's inflexible vegan stance in the nutrition section a little off-putting. Not that I doubt the health benefits of such a nutritional choice, but no convincing scientific evidence is offered, just opinion. The pillar of mind, is the most interesting part of the book. A lot of good info, and personal experience working with the elderly make that portion of The Pillars of Health a good read. The section on movement was great, particularly helpful if you're job entails a lot of sitting. There are some nice and easy moves to get your blood flowing, and keep your muscles flexible and healthy. The final pillar of health is compassion, and this is where the book gets a little preachy. The author spends a good portion of each section on a fault finding expose of modern life and its foibles. After spending so much time finger-pointing, the section on compassion just comes off as a kind of ironic. But that said, there are still enough positive aspects that make this book worth reading. I received this book free for review purposes from Hay House. I was not paid for my opinion, it is mine alone.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

My Review of Heavy Duty II: Mind and Body by Mike Mentzer

The late Mike Mentzer remains a bodybuilding legend, and his inspiring, brilliant writings survive thanks to the efforts of Joanne Sharkey. The Heavy Duty series is available at I've been wanting to read this series for years, but haven't been able to afford the outlandish price asked on amazon, and elsewhere, for used copies. That said, after reading Heavy Duty II: Mind and Body, I can see why people were willing to spend close to $200 for a copy of this book. The philosophy of Objectivism Mr. Mentzer describes may not appeal to everyone, but you can't argue with the logic he applies to High Intensity Training. This book was released almost twenty years ago, yet it's shocking how timely it is. Today over-training is almost a subset of bodybuilding and fitness training. Mike had the principles and integrity to ask the questions back then, that people need to start asking again. He makes thought provoking parallels between training and the study of stress physiology. There are concepts in this book that will greatly benefit anyone serious about building their body and mind.

I'll grow into it

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Returning to the Lakota Way by Joseph M. Marshall III (my review)

Mr. Marshall is an incredible story teller. This book is filled with beautifully crafted tales. Legends told by the Lakota from one generation to the next, going back farther than can be known. He wraps up each story with a commentary, sometimes relating the story to his personal experience of growing up on a reservation with his family in the mid 20th century, and sometimes how an ancient legend can still have so much relevance in today's technologically advanced society. I found myself really taking time with this book, not just reading each story, but often, throughout the day, reflecting back on them and the ideas and lessons contained within. As a history buff, I'm always amazed at how much of the story of America is glossed over in the public school system. Hopefully someday we can get over that collective "white guilt" and teach our kids about all the other fascinating history that happened in United States. Returning to the Lakota Way manages to be insightful without being preachy, and a thoroughly enjoyable read, certainly deserving of 5 out of 5 stars. I received this book for free from Hay House Publishing for review purposes. I was not paid for my opinion, it is mine alone.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013 is taking orders again !!!

I just got the email alert, and I'm excited as all Hell. just announced they're taking orders again. Mike and his brother Ray, bodybuilding legends, passed away in 2001, but their theories live on as long as the fans support their work.(This isn't a paid plug if you're wondering.) The Mentzer approach to scientific High Intensity Training has been instrumental in forming my own training style and theory. If you want to know why I thumb my nose at the supplement industry, Px90, Crossfit, and all the other 'bro-science', money hungry, scam artists out there, read some Mike Mentzer.

If the picture link isn't working properly, just copy and paste:

Saturday, November 2, 2013

My 2nd Marathon

In some ways my 2nd marathon was more difficult than my first. I certainly pushed myself, and trained harder than last year. Still haven't broken the 4 hour mark, but I came pretty close. I did the 26.2 miles in 4:03:42. In mile 9 I had a weird issue with my right hip flexor. It all the sudden went into a spasm, and for the first time ever I really thought I was going to have to quit. The idea of quitting made me feel kind of ill, so I kept running. I "breathed healing chi" into the injury. (The old martial arts idea that chi flows where the energy goes.) And of course I was Positive affirmationing my tail off.
So without any further drama, I completed the 2013 ING Hartford Marathon. One huge difference between this running and last year was I enjoyed a much speedier recovery time. I think it had a lot to do with being fifteen or so pounds lighter, and a better job of clean eating this year. I'm enjoying the fall weather now, and backing off a little from the distance running. Lately my focus has been on weight training, and yoga. Now that fall is here, I'm determined to avoid the trap of packing on off season pounds. My personal training biz is going well lately. That helps me to walk my talk, and stay on track.