Pre Workout Prep

I’m pretty good about helping my body recover and revive after a good workout.  Nothing beats a tall glass of water or an ice-cold Gatorade (G2 since it has few calories, of course) after an intense training session or a couple hours of basketball.  Psychologically as much as physically, downing a protein shake or taking some Branch Chain Amino Acids (I use http://bit.ly/nhwyky) helps me feel like I’m helping my body grow and recover after punishing it. Read more of this post

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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

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

‘American Idol’ Fitness

This week I made my debut on American Idol. Since I possess very little vocal talent, I suppose I should clarify. My awesome pal, Stephanie, called earlier this week with tickets to the American Idol screening in Hollywood, and although my first instinct was to pass (as I have kids to shuttle, homework to supervise, classes to teach and clients to train), I chose to drop everything and drive those hundred miles up the coast to Hollywood in search of one of my all-time idols—Season 10 judge and Aerosmith front man, Steven Tyler.

Four of us 40-something mommies giggled and chatted on the ride up as we played hookie from the minutia of our daily lives. We somehow also managed to create a sign made with bright poster board, colored Sharpies and a funny caricature cut-out of Mr. Tyler’s prominent lips and rockin’ hair. The final product was a work of multi-tasking genius. Colorful and to the point, it read: “Steven Baby…Walk This Way and just Gimme a Kiss!” with a thick arrow pointing down toward the sign holder. We elected our cute blond friend, Maureen, to wield the sign! Needless to say, our plan worked. After waiting outside the studio for hours and making friends with other Idol fans, we were assigned our seats. When the studio usher looked us up and down with her discriminating eye to assess how we’d “read” on camera if it happened to pan over us, she also read our sign. We were clearly not here to see any particular “idol,” we had a higher calling: Steven Tyler! Read more of this post