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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The right to (bare) arms

People have always given me a hard time about my arms  It used to irritate– no, anger– me when people would insist that my arms were the only body part I worked on.  One of my best friends still teases me.  “Put some sleeves on for goodness sake!” he always tells me.

Okay, the truth is I do like to work on my biceps and triceps.  And even though I’ve always worked on my whole body– after all, one can’t really play college football without at least a little focus on chest, legs, and back–I’ll let the worst kept secret out of the bag; I like doing arms.  Heck, on most days I’ll even admit that I like the way they look.  Moreover, it’s become my signature body part.  Kind of like Angelina Jolie’s lips, “The Situation’s” abs, Frank Sinatra’s baby blues, or Kim Kardashian’s backside.  Well, maybe they’re not quite to those levels of fame and recognition.  But a guy can dream, right? Read more of this post

Just Like Bowling! (Monday’s Workout)

I have a saying: “Once you knock that first pin down, the rest will fall!”  I normally use it a the gym in reference to my Monday workouts, but you can apply it to a lot of areas in your life.

So, I just got back from ‘Bowling” and aforementioned ‘first pin’ has been knocked down: 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

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

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