Exercise Tips

Men’s Health is cranking it up.  I got three emails today and all of them caught my attention.  I love it when I get a morsel of information that I’m able to use.  I can’t wait to put some of these tips to good use.

Working on your core with a variety of side bridge exercises:
http://bit.ly/mFupxK

A quick 15-Minute complete body workout:
http://bit.ly/mNv90z

Weight Loss Tips with an hourly breakdown of meal and workout ideas:
http://bit.ly/iVjQza

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Schock Your Abs into Summer Shape (and yes, I know how to spell shock!)

By: Julie Manriquez (jamwritingservices@gmail.com)

Congressman Aaron Schock's abs on the cover of June's Men's Health

Last week freshman congressman, Aaron Schock, opened his shirt for the cover of the June issue of Men’s Health. Holy House of Representatives, Batman! There’s no denying that even with the airbrushing and Photoshop® removal of every bodily hair, this 8-pack (yes, with the transverse abdominus, it’s an 8-pack) is worthy of some superhero Spandex. But, Mr. Schock is 29-years-old and a Republican, which means that gravity is currently working in his favor and he enjoys sporting at least a couple of guns at all times (I’m pretty sure I see them under the shirt sleeves!). Some of my best pals are Republicans and occasionally I find myself wavering in a moderate or even (gasp!) right hand direction on issues, but these conservative abs and hyper-masculine peacocking are simply not enough to urge this mostly leftwingin’ mother of two to inch my pinkie toe across the aisle. Mr. Schock’s stance on women’s rights (he voted to defund Planned Parenthood) and global warming (opposes the reduction of coal and oil usage and believes there is little, if any, evidence of global warming and it’s effects) does not fall in line with his reported desire to reach out to the MTV generation.

Not much makes me waver from my usual news sources (The Daily Show with Jon Stewart on Comedy Central, and Chelsea Lately on E!), but this kind of hypocrisy offers the kind of intrigue that even the most credible installment of TMZ might miss. Read more of this post

Another Smash HIIT!

I didn’t eat particularly well over the weekend.  And due to a few family and work interruptions, my workouts last week weren’t anything to write home about.  So on Monday, I was angry.  And to paraphrase a famous green dude with big muscles, “you wouldn’t want to see me (workout) when I’m angry.”

I normally do my chest and legs on Monday, but since I hadn’t really done any of my body parts sufficiently well, nor had I gotten much cardio in, I really wasn’t sure what I was going to work on.  As is often the case, though, I decided on my drive over to the gym.

HIIT! High Intensity Interval Training Read more of this post

A Bit of Workout Advice

Knowing why you're training is the first step!

Jared, a friend of mine at work is getting himself back into shape.  He comes to me now and again for tips and to answer any questions he might have.  I consider it a privilege and obligation to be as helpful as I can.  This morning, he walked into my office and told me that, after a few weeks of working out, he was no longer getting tired, or at least not as tired as when he first started.  Well, first I chuckled and told him that he was probably bullshittin’ (anybody who knows me, knows that’s one of my patented sayings; in fact, I’ve reserved the domain stopbullshittin.com for later use!), After that, I gave him my thoughts.

I first asked him to give me an idea of what his workouts were like.  He said he was trying to get toned (then ripped, but first things first) and that he typically did about 15 reps (repetitions) for each set he did.  After hearing him talk for a few minutes, I realized this was something that I’ve heard–in one shape or form–several, several times in the 20+ years I’ve been working out.  I feel blessed to be able to have kept in shape for this long, both for the physical ability to work out and also for the inner drive God has given me.  And as is the purpose of this site/blog, I am here to share those gifts with others. Read more of this post

Downtime, but a little HIIT, too!

I’m beginning to realize the importance of balance in my life and setting aside time for recovery.  I am working on a post that will summarize a book that was recommended by a colleague of mine called The Power of Full Engagement that emphasizes rest and balance along four dimensions- physical, emotional, spiritual, and mental.  The physical part is a no-brainer.  As an athlete (some would say former, but real athletes know ‘once an athlete, always an athlete’), I fully understand and build into my workout program regular rest and recovery periods.  It is not so easy for me, however, to appreciate and apply that same discipline to the other areas of my life.

Which made this last weekend very, very important.  On the surface, three days in the Santa Cruz (CA) Mountains, spent listening to music; playing video games; laughing; drinking; eating; and watching basketball looks like nothing more than childish fun.  Five former teammates with an excuse to act crazy.  Well, aside from the fact that we really didn’t act crazy–the first sign, mind you, that we are getting old–it was actually a good time for us to connect in a way we hadn’t ever before.  As fathers and husbands, and as professionals in careers that have had their ups and downs, we provided for each other a much-needed refuel of energy and drive, of hope and optimism, and of passion and compassion.  With enough quiet time to reflect on things other than sports and women, we were able to give to each other comfort, guidance, and encouragement that only long-time friends can provide.  And I’m thankful to my wife and the wives and significant others of my dear friends for being so supportive of this much-needed MAN-cation. Read more of this post

5 x 5 in 25

When it comes to working out, last week was one of the worst I’ve had in a long, long while.  You see, since 1990, my first year in college, I’ve had this 3-Day Rule.  Simply put, I forbade myself from ever taking more than three days off from working out.  And except for maybe three or four times, I’ve made good on that promise.  No matter what– birthday, illness, holidays, even on my honeymoon as my wife would attest– when and if that fourth day hit, I made sure I did something.  Whether it was going for a quick run, doing some push-ups and sprints in the driveway, or going to the grocery store to buy gallon milk containers to use as makeshift dumbbells, I made sure I got my workout in.

Fast forward–um– a few years and I’m proud to admit that, even though I seldom break that pact with myself, I’m much less restrictive now, forgiving myself for the occasional lapse.  Even then, though, I make sure the workouts that I am able to get in make up for the ones I missed. Read more of this post

No More Freakin’ Excuses

Not Me, Unfortunately

No, that is not me.

Unfortunately.

Maybe 10 years ago, but certainly not now.  BUT, it is the front cover of a great article by Men’s Health Magazine.  We all have trouble getting motivated sometimes.  At the top of things for which we look for and find excuses– often legitimate, I’ll concede–is working out and getting in better shape.  Even I fight that voice that tells me to just go home and relax.  I usually push back with my own voice, usually resorting to one of the following:

  1. Excuses are for Losers!
  2. If you look hard enough, you can always find an excuse
  3. Excuses are for Losers!
  4. To have what others don’t, you have to be willing to do what others won’t
  5. Excuses are for Losers!

Fortunately, Men’s Health is more articulate and helpful in their approach.  In their article, 21 Ways to Overcome Exercise Excuses, you should fine just what you need (at least one or two motivating tools) to get you off your butt and get moving.