Friday, November 26, 2010

Sports stuff....just opinions....

1) The Dallas Cowboys are playing harder, with more heart, and are better prepared since the coaching change. They gave one away against the Saints, and I feel bad for Roy Williams.

2) If anyone else but Payton Manning threw a pick when his team:
* Needs a field goal to tie and
* The team is already in field goal range
==> That QB would have been absolutely skewered in the media. Just saying!

3) The Miami Heat are nowhere near the team that the Showtime Lakers were.

4) Boise State and TCU are more deserving of a national title game than one-loss Wisconsin, Michigan State, Ohio State, Oklahoma State, Oklahoma, Nebraska, and LSU. If Auburn loses to South Carolina in the SEC championship. Either Boise St. or TCU should be in the title game EVEN THOUGH I think Auburn is better than both teams. Non-BCS teams have come up big in the past (Boise St. over Oklahoma, Utah over Alabama, Utah over Pitt).

5) Boise St. would beat Wisconsin by 3 touchdowns if they play. I agree with Pat Hill. Boise St. also has more NFL ready players on their roster.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Running Paleo Thanksgiving blog...

I am attempting to be Paleo for Thanksgiving, with the expectation of not being 100% successful. To document this effort, I am going to keep a running blog.

Tuesday morning, Novemeber 23:
4:00 AM: Wake up and call cab to make 6:20 AM flight
* Ate some leftover chicken and green beans

5:45 AM: After making it through security (no pat down, and I even used baby powder down there), I got a cappuccino.

6:50 AM: Had a diet coke and almonds on the plain (slight fail, artificial sweetener)

10:00 AM: Got some broccoli slaw from Cafe Intermezzo/ATL airport to go, at it on the flight, perfect. Got water to go with it.

1:00 PM: Lunch with Jennifer at the All-American Pub in Narberth. I got the Oyster Caesar salad and part of my girlfriends chicken and cranberry compote sandwich/no bread. Two pints of beers.

2:00-4:30 PM: Play with my nephews. Threw them around for a little bit, then tossed the football with them. Physical activity win. My nephew is nine, and has a spiral and body part accuracy from 30 yards. Impressive.

5:25 PM: Had some almonds and water

7:45 PM: Mom brought some Indian food from Edison, NJ (Little India). Had some curried goat, chicken tikka, and some different style of Indian bread (more veggies in it, but still some bread).

9:45 PM: Had some almonds, in fact a lot of them.

10:15 PM: Bed

Grade: B+ - Not feeling hungry at all.

Wednesday, November 24:

8:45 AM: Wake up. Wow, slept great. Considering I had 45 minutes of sleep then night before, not surprised. Not even hungry, that is surprising. Started the day with a cup of coffee.

10:15 AM: 4 egg omelette with chicken tikka, jalapenos, and onions. Awesome. The one thing about Paleo is that since you will be cooking more, keep the recipes simple. Eggs with leftovers - does not get much better than that.

10:30-11:15 AM: Played outside with the nephews.

11:30 AM: My sister got two GoFit kettlebells about 11 months ago. She said this weekend she wanted me to teach her some exercises. It was in her office and found the bell. It was still in the box . I watched the DVD that came with it and did some of the exercise in the DVD.

1:30 PM: Fruit chew bar and an apple. Fruit chews are not fruits, don't even go there.

2:30-3:30 PM: Helped my nephew, 4, with his speech therapy. The therapist was tough. Different learning environment in the Philly suburbs.

3:30-4:30 PM: Played football and wresting with my nephew.

7:15 PM: Dinner with the entire family. Shrimp curry, chicken tikka, butter chicken, and a small poratta, and peas.

10:15 PM: About 1 bag of microwave popcorn and more almonds.

Grade: B-


Thanksgiving Day, November 25: Thanksgiving must have mean "Cheat like you wouldn't believe on your diet" in Native American

8:15 AM: Woke up, not hungry at all. Slept great.

9:15 AM: Did last minute Thanksgiving shopping, including the bird. Picked up the following cheat items:
* Cranberry scone
* Peppermint Mocha
* Pumpkin Cream Cheese muffin
* Sesame bagel with scallion cream cheese.

10:30 AM: Started eating, but still not hungry. Only ate about 1/4 of the scone and 1/2 of the bagel. Amazing how little you eat when your hormones are somewhat adjusted. Remember my words on cheating: Cheat on quality or quantity, but not both. I am cheating on quality during the day, quantity during the main meal.

12:00 PM - 1:00 PM: Playing wresting with my nephew. I even took some "bumps" for him. He really liked that. He felt like he was giving me an armdrag.

1:15 PM: Taught my dad how to deadlift with a 25lb bell. He is a natural.

2:00 PM - 2:30 PM: Has two glasses of red wine, some cheese with a little bread, and some veggies and Buffalo hummus. Awesome. Tuesday I went to a cheese shop and asked "What is the stinkiest cheese you got?" and got 1/4 lb of it. I gave some to my four y/o nephew, and after he just said "eeeeeeeeeeew" and spit it out.

4:15 PM: Thanksgiving dinner: Turkey (white and dark meat) and Gravy, Green Beans, Acorn Squash, Carrots, Peas, Red Cabbage. Heaping plateful. Strangely, not hungry at all afterwards. No mashed potatoes or stuffing, or corn. Very Paleo. Quantity or Quality, you pick.

7:00 PM: Small slice of apple pie and 1T of vanilla ice cream

8:00 PM: Some Wasabi almonds. Gave one to my 4 year old nephew. He immediate ran to the sink, doused mouth with water and said "Too hot, almond!"

10:15 PM: Was a little hungry. Jumped off the paleo bandwagon with some more hummus, some fancy cheese, and 1/2 a scone.

Grade: B-


Friday, November 26:

8:15 AM: Woke up, felt great. Not hungry at all. For the most part, felt lean even though I think I am holding a little water. This may be TMI, but I took a world-class dump this morning.

8:45 AM: Coffee and some green peppers.

11:00 AM: Some porotta (Indian bread), hummus and some grapes.

1:00 PM: Some homemade turkey soup (thanks Mom), awesome as usual.

3:00 - 4:45 PM: We went to the Boyd's department store to do some clothes shopping for my dad. Too rich for my wallet. Next door to there is DiBruno market, which has all types of high-end food. We picked up some cheese and got bread. At this place I again asked for the stinkiest cheese. This one smelled like ammonia, but tasted damn good.

After that we went to Tony Jr's for a cheesesteak. My nephew Pierce really wanted to go. I got the Steak and Greens (broccoli rabe), and my nephew got the Pizza Steak. Mine was awesome, and way better than Pat's or Geno's. Only at 1/4 of it. Not hungry.

5:15-5:45 PM: I decided to get a workout in, and my sister only has a 25lb and 10lb kettlebell. Here is the workout that I did:
Kettlebell 100s
* 100 swings: 25lb x 20L/20R/15L/15R/15L/15R
* 100 squats: 25lb x 20/15/15/15/18/17
* 100 snatches: 25lb x 20L/20R/15L/15R/15L/15R
* 100 MPs: 35lb x 20L/20R/15L/15R/15L/15R
* 100 Renegade Lunges: 25lb x 5 x 10L/10R
* 100 Cleans: 25lb x 20L/20R/10L/10R/10L/10R/10L/10R
* 100 Pushups: 10 x 10
* 100 Single Leg Rows: 35lb x 20L/20R//10L/10R/10L/10R/10L/10R
* 100 Single Leg Deadlifts: 25lb x 20L/20R/10L/10R/10L/10R/10L/10R

==> Great workout? No. To be honest, this is a little girl's workout. But it was a workout. I did improvise. Tried to work as fast as possible. I am going to enjoy dinner.

7:15 PM: Eating some Thai food, I am getting seafood, gotta increase those Omega 3s. Really killed it. Thai food is really expensive here, so I made sure that nothing went to waste. No rice though.

8:30 PM: I did have 1/2 a cupcake, since it was my niece's 2nd birthday.

Grade: A-, really stayed with it and made good choices while still "fitting in." The amazing thing is how hungry you DON'T FEEL. Managing hormones is a good thing.


Saturday, November 27:

8:00 AM: Woke up after a solid eight hours.

8:30 AM: Coffee only....

9:45 AM: Great breakfast at Little Bills diner. Scrapple and eggs, and had a little of my girlfriend's omelet.

10:30 AM - 11:45 AM: Walked the streets of Philadelphia. Went to Reading Terminal Market. Crazily, not even the littlest bit hungry. Did pick up some Amish pretzels. I did not eat any, but we did take some home.

1:00 - 3:00 PM: Had some of my mom's Turkey soup. It is more awesome the second day. Also put some laundry in while we were waiting to go to the airport. I don't know why some people make a big deal about laundry. 15 minutes of effort, TOPS. This is what laundry places do: Everything in cold, whatever happens happens. It is not hard guys. And glad the laundry is done.

2:30 PM: Did some more flips with my nephew. I also let him flip me. I have some FB pics of this. Really a lot of fun.

5:30 PM: Picked up some Chick-Fil-A at the airport food court. I got the nuggets/12pack.

7:30 PM: Finally hungry enough to eat the nuggets. Also had a diet coke. Not Paleo, but still a good choice.

9:00 PM: Got luggage and getting a cab home. What are the odds of this. We had the same cab driver at 4:30 AM on Tuesday morning as we did at 9:00 PM Saturday night. What are the odds of that.

10:00 PM - 12:30 AM: We went out for some drinks. Had about 4 beers, and resisted the urge to eat anything. On a traditional diet, it is not the alcohol that kills you, it is the stuff you eat when you are drunk and starving that kills you. Things that I have eating while drunk:
* 13 Dunkin Donuts
* 8 Pieces of fried chicken
* 14 slices of pizza
* 50 chicken wings (OK, so I have done that sober too, I love chicken wings)
* 3 slices of pizza, 2 tamales, and a brisket sandwich
* Tuna Suprise at Hot Truck


Sunday, November 28:

9:15 AM: Woke up. Weigh in 178. Ohhhh, I gained a whole lb. Will lose it by tomorrow.

11:10 AM: I think I am going to do an ETK style program, with a special focus on coniditioning and thoracic mobility for variety days.

11:30 AM: Brunch at Gaspar's. Strict Paleo starts today! Stayed Paleo, except there is way too much food here at the buffet. Next time going ala carte.

Spent the rest of the day studying for my CompTIA/A+ certification. Aced it!

Monday, November 22, 2010

10 rules for keeping on track over Thanksgiving....

I am taking this week to visit my family at my sister's house in Philadelphia. I am really looking forward to it. I haven't seen my parents since February, and my sisters, nephews, and nieces in a year. It is going to be fun. But my family likes to eat and Philadelphia is one of the best places for good food.

1. Get 15 minutes of physical activity per day.

2. Stay Paleo, the Pilgrims probably did (Meat, Nuts, Seeds, Vegetables, and Fruits). My parents are picking up Indian food from Edison, so the first couple of days should be easy. Just need to avoid the desserts.

3. Mashed potatoes are not a vegetable, even if they are sweet potatoes.

4. Play some Dance Dance Revolution (my blog, my rules) or do some other form of "exergaming."

5. If you are traveling, see if you can find a friend that needs a workout partner. These workouts are always fun.

6. If you fall of the wagon for one meal, or one day -- get back on.

7. If you are going to indulge, enjoy it. My nephew wants to go to Tony Luke's. I hope it is better than Pat's or Geno's. Also, make it about more than the food. If someone takes me to Morimoto's, that would be devine.

8. Even if it is cold, get outside. The Sun is good for you.

9. Do not use alcohol to either stay warm or because you are thirsty.

10. If you gain some weight, don't sweat it. Most of it is water.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Training Update, and what are people thinking....

1) I have one workout left of my 12 week foray with RtK. Gained 6lbs after week 10, but after doing Paleo I lost 3 lbs in a week and a half. I am still hitting PRs in the workouts, so all it good. Here are some things about RtK
- If you are not getting a "conditioning effect" you are not working heavy or fast enough
- You should feel like your metabolism is on fire.
- If you goal is not MASS, pick another program
- Learn how to do Jerks correctly. I have seen some really shitty jerk technique from people that should know better. The grip, the hips, the ankles, the clean, the dip. Get it right.

2) Variety work on RtK. You can do some, but I would keep the intense workouts to a minimum. I pretty much stayed with:
* DDR/Swings - intense, but not in a strength way
* MaxVO2 snatches - 20kg bell/8 reps per set 20-30 minutes
* Pullups/DDR
* TGU - 24kg
* Barbell squats and good mornings (these are weak)

3) One thing I have noticed, the reason there are so many shitty fitness products out there is because the general public has so many shitty misconceptions about diet and exercise. It is the public's fault, industry is just meeting a need.

4) Most women tend to lift too light. I have picked up a few female clients that have kettlebells, but they are in the 10 and 15lb varieties. For most of these women, what a waste. Most of these women can work with a 26lb bells, which means they will burn almost 70% more calories with an appropriate bell. Not that I am pressured to make someone work with a heavier bell, but you don't use a light bell to learn technique, sorry Jillian, Ryan, and Kate.

5) Having been doing Paleo for a week and a half and talking about it, I have found people don't understand certain things:
* We are the only animal that drinks milk after weaning.
* Fruits and vegetables have a lot of fiber, but relative to whole grains have a LOT more trace minerals and vitamins.
* You can create glucose (blood sugar) from non-carbohydrate sources, i.e., proteins and fats.
* If you have gained 10lbs in the last year, you are not "all set" on diet.
* If you have gained over 15lb in the last year, you HAVE distorted eating patterns (i.e., you are eating for other reasons other than fueling the body)
* If your diet is not working for you, why are you loyal to it. People are more loyal to their dysfunctional diets than their religion or spouses.

6) A lot of people say "they will do whatever it takes to get results" but then they don't do anything. You know what gets results: ANYTHING. ANYTHING you do will result in SOMETHING. NOTHING will always yield nothing. What the fly are you waiting for. The results ALWAYS comes AFTER the efforts.

7) There are no perfect programs. If there were, we wouldn't have magazines, just 1 book about fitness. Also, gym teachers might actually be in shape. Even if there was a perfect program for you, you wouldn't know what it is (Principle of Individual Differences). Also, after you do it for a while, it is not perfect anymore (Overload Principle). Most people would be better off picking a program and doing it, rather than trying to modify programs to FIT them.

Here is what I have noticed. Experienced trainers PICK programs and execute them. Noobs waste effort bouncing between and/or optimizing programs. Think about it.

5) I need to do more movement training, esp hamstring and thoracic mobility.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Introductory Kettlebell Seminars -- South Tampa

I am hosting Introductory Kettlebell Workshops on Dec 4th and Jan 8th. Enjoy your holidays, then get a head start on your New Year's Resolution.

Kettlebell Workshop_INTRO_generic

One week on Paleo....insight

This last week I took a 3 hour course on Paleo at Xtreme Athletix in South Tampa. I am not really looking for a diet per se, but a lot of my clients are. The Paleo/Primal/Caveman diet is becoming more popular and I wanted to get some first hand experience with it.

After 8 days here is what I have found:
* I am rarely hungry at all

* I fall asleep better at night (not "Tired and Wired")

* I see longer w/out waking up. In fact, I wake up before my alarm clock, and it feels like I have overslept. It is awesome.

* I have done more writing and my mind seems clearer.

* I am as strong. I have hitting all numbers in my RtK workouts.

* I am down one notch on my belt loop, and five lbs total. I really don't feel like buying clothes again.

* If you value your time, a seminar is more than worth the time it takes to really learn not just the HOW, but also the WHY. The WHY is important because if you don't understand, it is just this "unconventional" diet. If you have tried everything, but nothing works - the reason Paleo works where others don't is the WHY. Learn it.

===> Not everything can be hunky dory...
* Really hard to eat out on this diet. Really hard --- learn to cook and get some knife skills.
Cooking Knifes

* Impossible to eat at the gas station. Plan ahead. I work out of my car, so this is critical for me.

* I crave a sandwich, not so much for the bread, but the "sandwich" is just a great idea. No silverwear or plates.

* All my pantry (dry goods) items are non-Paleo. Basically, Paleo food is stuff that rots.

* I am not giving up my weekend beer(s). Sorry. Non-Negotiable. I count that as part of my 15% non-compliance.

Again -- don't want to pass judgement too early. Every diet works initially. I don't want to be the douchebag that goes on diet for week and feel compelled to brag to his friends about it. Also, I don't want to act like there is only one diet in the world that work. If that was true, I wouldn't have a job and there wouldn't be so many fat people around.

One word of advice to those that are frustrated with diets and have tried everything:
TRY THIS - what do you have to lose.. If you have Type II Diabetes or any other auto-immune disease and nothing else works --- TRY IT.

If think Paleo is just low carb, read the book!

I will have an update on this soon.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Found this gem on YouTube....Bud Jeffries....

Bud Jeffries is a performing strongman that has recently lost over 100lbs. He has a bunch of free tips on YouTube, just wanted to point you to them:

I met Bud at one of his seminars and he is one of the nicest guys you will ever meet. Also, he is a great speaker if you get to hear him live or in his "" series.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Some Random Thoughts....

1. Dallas Cowboys: Not sure what is up with them. They look like they are a college team. Funny thing is that is not that they are not trying, it just looks like they are unprepared in all three facets of the game. If that is the case, the coach has to go. And I am a Wade Phillips fan, only one losing season in 12 years of coaching.

2. Cam Newton/Auburn: Curious timing of the revelation of the allegations. But when you do a crime, you have to expect that. I have to believe if this info was leaked that Miss. State has to be sure of this.

3. Paleo Diet: I took a Paleo fundamentals class at Xtreme Athletix ( and I will be following this diet for 21 days. Now a lot of you may be wondering why I am doing this, since I am already in decent shape:
a) This is a relative new diet that is very popular, but people don't understand it.
b) The logic behind it is for the most part fundamentally sound and evidence based.
c) There are a lot of my clients that would benefit from it, and I want to go through it so I am giving a first hand rather than a third hand perspective.
d) It looks at how you feel, how you perform, and how you look. It doesn't "chase weight loss" like some other boot camps, diets, and fitness shows.
==> I have lost weight in the past on low fat, low carb, Zone, and JEL diets. Most diets work. The quality of the diet is how it fits in with the rest of your life. I would be a jackass if I recommended it w/out testing it.

Stuff I have noticed so far:
a) I am not as hungry or as thirsty.
b) Most pantry/dry food items are NOT PALEO.
c) Thinking more clearly.

4. Circuits: Personal trainers - not everything needs to be a freakin' circuit. Circuits are great, I use them myself. They are great for conditioning. Not so great for strength and size. That is why Westside does not have a circuit training manual.

5. Dragon Door Kettlebells: I picked up over 750lbs of kettlebells for friends and clients about 3 weeks ago. These new bells rock. They improved the coating so it stays on better. A great bell. Even though it would have been worth a higher price, probably saved about $600 on shipping alone.

6. BCS: If Auburn and Oregon will out, they deserve to be in the title game. If one falters (both have rivalry games), the Boise State should get the nod. I know that TCU has the better body of work, but Boise State won last year's bowl game...head to head trumps all that other stuff.

7. Have gained about 7 lbs on this cycle of Return of the Kettlebell (RtK). I am on week 7 right now. All times are coming down (no sissy circuits of burpees, walking lunges, and pink band bicep curls). Work hard and eat aggressively if you have earned it with the following:
a) 100 snatches in 5 minutes with a 24kg bell
b) Clean and Press the kettlebell closest to 1/2 your bodyweight.
==> If you haven't done this, Enter the Kettlebell (EtK) IS your mass plan.

8. Bowling: After a very rough start after not bowling in the summer, I have finally got my timing down. 694 and 645 the last two weeks. I have found that kettlebells help with the physical part of bowling (explosive strength, joint mobility, and balance) but don't have anything to do with the skill of bowling.

9. Program Design: Some people are just negligent about program design. I got 3 e-mails this week about people wanting new programs. I asked what they were doing, and they said their training programs were given to them by certified trainers. I WAS SHOCKED BY THE LAZYNESS and NEGLIGENCE that these trainers showed. Unreal.

10. Product Reviews: If you are reviewing a DragonDoor publication, hold off on the review till you actually have put it into practice for 4-6 weeks. That way, otherwise your review is just an educated guess. You can use knowledge and research to make a bad recommendation (see all the fitness related stuff on Yahoo), so unless you have put it into practice, your review is useless at best.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Return of the Kettlebell Success

Just complete week 6 of RtK. I love this program. After losing 1 lb in the first three weeks, I have gained 6 lbs in the last week. Even better than that, my performance has gone up significantly, especially in the Long Cycle. The biggest difference was really aggressive eating. When in doubt, eat. Pre- and post-workout are critical. If you do RtK right, your metabolism should be ON FIRE.

I have decreased my time in the medium day: 2 24kg x 5 x 2,4,6,8,10 from 28 minutes to ~24:30

I have decreased my time in the heavy day: 2 32kg x 5 x 2,4,6,8 from about 52 minutes to 41:15

I have already talked about some tips for the long cycle, but here are a couple more:
* Watch your breathing, you want to be full of air at the bottom of the clean and at the bottom of the jerk. I am guessing this won't be the same as GS, but you are doing sets from 2-10 instead of 40-70. Big difference.

* Don't fully externally rotate your shoulders at the top of the jerk. Harder to pack the shoulder and more strain on the back. I believe I got this tip indirectly from (Fireman) Tom Corrigan.

* Eye position: Look down on the horizon.

* When you are done with the heavy rung, get the light run on the next ladder at the point where you can finish it. This imcomplete recovery will help with density, and in turn, muscle size.

* The "second" dip should be crisp, and try to keep the heels down.

* Feel the catch at the bottom of the second dip.

* Get thoracic extension at the bottom of the clean. This helps with taming the clean and protects the back.

* Fire your hands into the corner of the handle. This improves your leverage and comfort.

As great as this long-cycle is, I would never do GS. Too hard. But the RtK program is awesome - simple and effective!

Intermediate Workshop

Xtreme Athletix is hosting an Intermediate Kettlebell Workshop. If you want to take your kettlebell skills and conditioning to the next level, this workshop is for you!

See you there!

Kettlebell Workshop_INTER_generic

To register: