Monday, November 30, 2009

I Almost Went to New York Today!

I drove out to Lee, Massachusetts (see map above as I had no idea where it was either) today to conduct a workshop on strength training and flexibility. It was a great time. We had about 20 city employees attend and they all did an excellent job!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

2-part Fitness Article Released

I wrote a brief 2-piece article for a local health club this week about optimizing strength and stability. Here is part 1:

I’m back this month to talk about 2 simple methods to incorporate into your training to improve strength and stability. They aren’t overly complicated, apply to all levels, and induce great results!

1. Implement Unilateral Lower Body Exercises- You know by now I’m not a fan of most machines, so it’s time you consider engaging in bodyweight and free-weight exercises working one leg at a time. Most of our activities in everyday life are performed one leg at a time (walking/running, climbing stairs, etc…) so we should train one leg at a time with variations of squats, lunges, and dead-lifts (see lateral lunge in the pic above). Both are typically done with poor form, so please contact me if this is something you’d like to learn how to do correctly- particularly if you play a sport and need to improve single-leg power.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving

Hi everyone-

Just wanted to wish you a very Happy & Healthy Thanksgiving!


Sunday, November 22, 2009

More Vitamin D chat

I had one of those "A-Ha" moments this morning as I read an article on the hottest Vitamin right now- Vitamin D. I'm not a big "supplement guy," but I do think certain substances have their merit. Personally, I take 1,000 IU of Vitamin D. It's inexpensive and effective.

With respect to my "A-Ha" moment, it was the notion of African Americans needing more Vitamin D. The article put it best: "Melanin protects the skin against ultraviolet light. But by blocking the sun’s rays, melanin affects the skin’s ability to activate pre-vitamin D. So the darker the skin, the less vitamin D you produce. In the scientific literature, the difference is striking."

Now you know :-)

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Distance Traveled in a Basketball Game

I've often wondered how much distance a basketball player travels during a 40-minute (NCAA) game. Ironically, I came upon an article in a recent issue of the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research (JSCR). The article stated as follows: " a 40-minute game, a basketball player covers a total distance of 4500 to 6000 m."

Translating this to miles, a player during a 40-minute covers between 2.8-3.7 miles. I was surprised and would've guessed more.

Friday, November 20, 2009


Just finished reading a nutrition article that talked about an exciting study starting in January, 2010 through Harvard University. The goal of the study is to find out if Vitamin D-3 (2,000 IU/day) and EPA plus DHA (1,000 mg/day) can lower the risk of cancer, heart disease, stroke, and other illnesses. Here's hoping my two favorite supplements can shed some more positive light on the world of preventive medicine...

Optimizing Back Health

Just wanted to say thanks to the kind folks in Wakefield for coming to my presentation on Optimizing Back Health this morning. Everyone was attentive during the lecture portion, and did great with the exercises and stretches we reviewed after.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Pollan Talks Obesity

UC-Berkely's Michael Pollan is someone whose work I love reading. I recommend his books/articles to many of my clients and colleagues. He wrote a fantastic article for the New York Times recently on obesity and it's tie-in to President Obama's new health care proposal. Some of the highlights of the article I enjoyed were the following that I bolded:
  • According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, three-quarters of health care spending now goes to treat “preventable chronic diseases.” Not all of these diseases are linked to diet — there’s smoking, for instance — but many, if not most, of them are.

  • We’re spending $147 billion to treat obesity, $116 billion to treat diabetes, and hundreds of billions more to treat cardiovascular disease and the many types of cancer that have been linked to the so-called Western diet. One recent study estimated that 30 percent of the increase in health care spending over the past 20 years could be attributed to the soaring rate of obesity, a condition that now accounts for nearly a tenth of all spending on health care.

  • There’s lots of money to be made selling fast food and then treating the diseases that fast food causes. One of the leading products of the American food industry has become patients for the American health care industry.

  • As things stand, the health care industry finds it more profitable to treat chronic diseases than to prevent them. There’s more money in amputating the limbs of diabetics than in counseling them on diet and exercise.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Food Libel Laws

Like many others, I have never heard of food libel laws. This changed when I watched the film, Food, Inc. Food libel laws make it easier for food producers to sue their critics for slander. Full a complete breakdown, check out the following URL:

Friday, November 13, 2009

The "Wellness" Belt

What the hell were our neighbors to the North thinking?!?!
Good at hockey-yes, but constructing exercise equipment? Yikes!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Top "Vegetables" consumed in the United States

Excellent (alarming) statistic from one of the nutrition books I'm currently reading:

"Unbelievable as it may seem, one-third of all vegetables consumed in the United States comes from just three sources: french fries, potato chips, and iceberg lettuce."

Additionally, "people who eat five or more servings of fruits and vegetables daily seem to have half the cancer risk of people who eat only two servings."

Monday, November 09, 2009

Vitamin D deficiency

100 MILLION Americans are Vitamin D deficient? Geez! Check out what Dr. Oz has to say here:

Recommended DVD

For my 500th blog post, I wanted to recommend a DVD I'll be featuring in my upcoming December newsletter. Check out a preview below...

Director Robert Kenner was also featured in an interview I enjoyed. Check that out here:

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Optimal Pregnancy Weight Gain

As a personal trainer who works with various populations, I have had the privilege of working with prenatal clients over the years. Often the question the clients pose to me (and their Dr. of course) is: "how much weight should I gain?" The Institute of Medicine recently made the following recommendations in May with regard to optimal weight gain during pregnancy:
  • Underweight women (BMI <18.5)= 28-40 lbs.
  • "Normal Weight" women (BMI 18.5-24.9)= 25-35 lbs.
  • Overweight women (BMI 25-29.9)= 15-25 lbs.
  • Obese women (BMI 30+)= 11-20 lbs.

Now you know :-)


I was speaking to a client recently about the importance of focus. Too often, people start their workout routines with excessive ambiguity. Their goals aren't defined and they typically lack focus on what they're striving to accomplish. It got me thinking of a good Anthony Robbins quote on focus: “It's not what's happening to you now or what has happened in your past that determines who you become. Rather, it's your decisions about what to focus on, what things mean to you, and what you're going to do about them that will determine your ultimate destiny.”

Sometimes we need to kind of step away from everyone else and think about what it is that will truly make us better. How will we go about this and what plan of attack have we set forth?

Friday, November 06, 2009

The Biggest Loser

I've been asked a lot over the years my thoughts on the infamous TV program, "The Biggest Loser." All in all, I'm not a fan but I did find a really good article written by Dr. Chris Mohr that I wanted to share with you:

Asics Gets the Nod

I'm a huge fan of Consumer Reports, reading every edition as I use that as a guide before I buy something. The latest edition recently crowned the Asics GEL 150TR as the top overall sneaker for both men and women. It's a running shoe that obviously is also good for walking. The reviews on confirm it's comfort, quality, etc... I haven't tried Asics in a while. I'm a big advocate of New Balance and Nike, but I'm going to give these a shot. If you own them, let me know what you think so I can share your feedback with my readers.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Lowering Your LDL

Possessing High LDL ("bad cholestrol") is an issue for far too many in this country. Many people fail to recognize that there ARE ways to LOWER your LDL. Incorporating specific foods into your diet help do the trick (i.e. oat bran and barley).
Unfortunately, our diets are often filled with saturated fats, thus INCREASING our LDL. Check out the full scoop here:

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

NOV Fitness Tips

I wrote this article for a local health club this week. Enjoy...

November, 2009 Fitness Corner

“3 Methods to Improve Your Workouts”

With the holidays aright around the corner, it’s time to examine your workouts. Specifically, you need to determine if you really are on your way to reaching your goals. This month, I’d like to suggest 3 basic, yet very effective ways to enhance your workouts:

1. Decrease your rest periods (stop wasting time!)- Too often, I see people simply sitting down on a machine/piece of equipment after a set. Instead of staring at the TV or off into space, get up and work an opposing muscle group (“antagonist”). For example, pair a set of push-ups with split squats instead of watching TV for 5 minutes after completing the push-ups.
2. Journal your progress- Write down/type up your workouts, meals, and snacks. It’s been proven through research that people who keep a written track of their exercise and nutritional habits see better permanent results.
3. Variety, Variety, Variety- You need to make progressive changes to your workout routine- and food and beverage intake-to obtain optimum physical AND psychological results. Simply put, it gets boring doing the same thing over and over again.

Monday, November 02, 2009

Organic Apples

I was out @ Trader Joe's today and picked up some organic apples. As I've mentioned, I recommend "going organic" with produce that has skin you eat (i.e. peaches, apples, and grapes). In these tough economic times, I understand it's challening to pay more, but I don't mind paying a little more if it means lower level of pesticide ingestion.

One of my "go to snacks" has always been a sliced apple with natural peanut butter. So yummy! Nothing like pairing fibrous carbohydrates with GOOD fat.