Friday, December 30, 2011

Top 10 Body Transformation Lessons

Precision Nutrition recently posted a great article about Body Transformation. A "Top 10" List accompanied the article. I'm a big fan of lists/charts, and wanted to share it with you here:

1. Realize that exercise alone doesn’t work.
2. Find a big motivator.
3. Find something to lose.
4. Choose proof over theory.
5. Do one small thing every day.
6. Make your commitments a little too easy.
7. Find someone to answer to.
8. Focus on behaviors, not outcomes.
9. Let your coach track the results.
10. Get a support network.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Words to Live By!

And remember — it doesn’t matter what you eat or how you exercise between Christmas and New Years. It matters how you eat and exercise between New Year’s and Christmas!

Monday, December 26, 2011

2011 PC Conditioning MVP client

This past week I was thrilled to crown my 2011 PC Conditioning MVP. It's something I've never done in the past, but after brainstorming one day this past summer about ways to reward clients, I thought this would be an interesting thing to implement. The winner this year received a gift certificate to a local restaurant.

What are the characteristics of my MVP for 2011, you ask? It's simple. He/she...
  • Arrives early and stays late when need be
  • Rarely/never complains
  • Is constantly positive
  • Loves to train and embraces temporary moments of discomfort
  • Never gives up
  • Trusts me when I push them each session
  • Does EVERYTHING- and then some- I tell them to BETWEEN sessions
  • Tracks their exercise and nutrition progress in a journal
  • Surrounds themselves with positive influences
  • Eats a well-balanced diet with plenty of good fats and lean protein
  • Utilizes rest and recovery (sleep, soft tissue work, etc...) effectively

Monday, December 19, 2011

Awesome Home Workout

Chin-up bar, a couple Kettlebells/Dumbbells, and a desire to work hard is all you need.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Message from Jay Robb

I was reading a recent newsletter I receive from Jay Robb, the individual whose company produces the only protein powder I use and recommend to my clients. He spoke about the hustle and bustle of the holidays and I really liked what he had to say. Allow me to share it with you below:

The holiday season to me is about peace on earth. I am not sure how we got to the point where Santa is the main character, it is better to receive than give, and slowing down is not an option. Perhaps I am an odd bird, but peace on earth during the holidays means more “quiet time” not more “shopping time”. And if non-stop shopping, decorating, and partying aren’t enough, when we do have quiet time, we often spend it in front of the TV or at the movie theater watching someone else’s creation instead of experiencing the joy of the present moment.
So what would make this the perfect holiday season? To me, the answer is always, “slow down, do less, give more, and be aware.” As humans, our minds are bottomless pits for “stuff, pleasure, and excitement.” The mind will never be satisfied. Unless you can control your thoughts, your thoughts will control you. The easiest way to control your thoughts is to meditate daily. Twenty minutes in the morning and 20 minutes in the evening is ideal to turn down the mind chatter and turn up the peace and quiet. It may seem that I always oversimplify things, but the answer to most of life’s problems can be discovered in silence.
Happy holidays!
May the “hurry of the holidays” NOT be with you...

9 Things Young Athletes Need to Master

Strength and Conditioning Coach Julia Ladewski recently wrote a piece for Elite FTS discussing simple things kids should be able to do, yet most high school freshmen lack the ability to do. Check them out here:

  1. Body Weight Squat – The squat is one of the most basic movements for body awareness and strength. It is also a precursor to other movements like jumping, hopping and bounding. Toddlers just learning to walk and pick things up off the ground start off doing a perfect squat and somewhere along the way, we mess it up.
  2. Skipping – This is a basic fundamental motor pattern that should be mastered. It teaches opposite arm and leg relationship and takes a bit of coordination. Not to mention, the basic movements needed for running, like staying on the balls of the feet and proper arm mechanics.
  3. Pushups – While this is on every Dad’s list of “Things To Make Your Son Do Every Day To Stay Ahead Of The Game” it can easily get out of control if not done properly. I’ve seen many kids who say they do pushups every night, yet they are done poorly. Whether you start with plank holds or incline pushups or any variation, young athletes need to learn body position.
  4. Chin-ups/Flex Arm Hang – Apparently this is part of most kids’ Presidential Fitness Test…yet when I ask kids how often they practice them in P.E. class, they say never. Hmm…that’s another conversation for another day. Again, there are a million ways to help kids learn to do a chin-up or flex arm hang, but I think we can all agree that it’s a fundamental skill (mastering your body weight) that all kids should have.
  5. Jump Rope – I’m surprised at the amount of kids that don’t know how to jump rope. Rocky would be ashamed of us.
  6. Hip Hinge – Hinging the hips, while keeping the spine in alignment, is extremely difficult for most young athletes to understand. Most just bend forward at the waist, rounding the back. This is a key position for teaching them to create spinal stability.
  7. Lunge/Split Squat – Another basic movement that not only builds into more difficult strength moves, but can be a great movement screen as well.
  8. Landing – Learning how to stick a landing position and absorb the forces through the body are another key thing to teach young athletes. They need to know how to keep their posture in the right position (not letting their chest flop to the floor), and have a soft landing.
  9. Jumping and Hopping – While many coaches would argue that a kid should know how to land before they can jump any higher (and I do agree), basic jumping skills should be mastered. Again, timing of the arms with the legs and overall body control. And with hopping, again, I’m surprised that most kids don’t have the body control and strength to hop on one foot.

Friday, December 02, 2011

Fresh versus Frozen

The debate continues about which is better for you, fresh produce or frozen? Personally, I tend to stick to not just what is more affordable, but what is in-season. The other thing to factor in is transit time (how close are you to the source of the farming). For example, I'd rather choose fresh local blueberries than those that have had to sit on a truck for a week coming in from across the country.

Many people assume that fresh is healthier, while I disagree because flash-frozen veggies are frozen right on the spot to help preserve their nutrients. 1 cup of frozen broccoli, for example, has nearly TWICE the protein and fiber that fresh broccoli does. It has also has TWICE as much iron and slightly more Vitamin C.

Long story short, frozen produce is a fine choice. Choose local fresh when in-season and frozen when it's out of season.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Nice work by Jen Comas Keck today

Now THIS is how a woman needs to train!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Fat Loss Through Hill Sprints

Jen Comas Keck wrote an article on Fat Loss last fall that I thoroughly enjoyed. Check it out here:

Friday, November 25, 2011

Girls Gone Strong

While I don't "specialize" in any particular area of fitness, strength & conditioning, etc..., I do admittedly have the most passion for getting more females into strength training. Finally, more and more of them are grasping the ideology that women can be strong AND sexy. We're at a point in time where muscle tone is a beautiful thing. While some women still fear they will "look like a bodybuilder" if they strength train, they're now understanding this isn't the case.

There's a group of women whose work I've been following for a while online. They call themselves "Girls Gone Strong," and they epitomize what happens when you combine beauty, brains, and intelligence. Check out their videos above. And yes, I'll admit I have a big crush on a few of them (Alli McKee, Marianne Kane, & Jen Comas Keck).

Holiday Food Coma

Fantastic article from the Wall Street Journal last week discussing the theories behind why we get sleepy after a big meal. Check it out here:

Monday, November 21, 2011

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Dietary Strategies to Kick a Cold of Flu: Dr. Mercola

Raw, grass-fed organic milk, and/or high-quality whey proteinFermented foods such as raw kefir, kimchee, miso, pickles, sauerkrautRaw, organic eggs from pastured chickensGrass-fed beefCoconuts and coconut oil

Organic vegetablesGarlic. Ideally consumed raw and crushed just before eatingTurmeric, oregano, cinnamon, clovesMushrooms, especially Reishi, Shiitake, and Maitake

More Advice for Achieving Great Glutes

After working with hundreds of women over the years, I've received a lot of questions about how to achieve the "perfect butt." Whether it's looking good on the beach or simply looking great in your favorite pair of jeans, it's interesting (sad) to see so many people (men and women) choose the wrong exercises to perfect the backside. Enough with the excessive cardio already! The answer is STRENGTH TRAINING.

I was reading an article over the weekend where various female strength and conditioning experts were interviewed and asked to name their top choices for glute exercises. Check out what they had to say here:

My Favorite Unilateral Lower Body Strength Training Exercise

Bulgarian Split Squats
"Rear-Foot Elevated Split Squats (RFESS)" remain my favorite lower body single-leg exercise. They can be performed in a variety of ways. They improve single leg strength, balance, and power. My colleague Ben Bruno wrote a fantastic article for T-Nation I want to share with you:

The 50 Commandments of Commercial Gym Etiquette

Bret Contreras wrote a really good piece recently titled "The 50 Commendments of Gym Etiquette." Check them out here:
  1. Thou shalt re-rack dumbbells and plates and return equipment to where it belongs
  2. Thou shalt not eat, talk on cell phones, text, or read while in the weight room
  3. Thou shalt respect other individuals’ space and maintain adequate distance from other lifters while they’re lifting
  4. Thou shalt not bump into a lifter or their barbell while they’re exercising
  5. Thou shalt maintain adequate distance from the dumbbell rack when using the dumbbells to allow others to obtain or re-rack their dumbbells
  6. Thou shalt not drop thy weights
  7. Thou shalt attempt to a reasonable degree to not hog equipment during busier times when others are waiting for it
  8. Thou shalt not claim the platform, squat rack, or both sides of the cable column for more than 20 minutes during peak gym hours
  9. Thou shalt not use in-demand equipment such as squat racks, platforms, and bench presses for performing isolation exercises that can be performed elsewhere
  10. Thou shalt not claim multiple units of equipment for supersets, tri-sets, or giant sets during peak gym hours if equipment is limited
  11. Thou shalt offer individuals waiting for equipment to work in whenever convenient and appropriate
  12. Thou shalt return weights and adjustments to previous settings when another lifter allows thou to work in with them
  13. Thou shalt not talk excessively to others in between sets when others are waiting for the equipment
  14. Thou shalt not utilize busy walkways to engage in exercises such as walking barbell lunges or farmer’s walks during peak business hours
  15. Thou shalt maintain adequate personal hygiene; taking showers regularly, washing thy clothes, and wearing deodorant
  16. Thou shalt wipe away thy sweat off of equipment
  17. Thou shalt be reasonable and wait for equipment if it’s in use; refraining from appearing overly impatient and intimidating while the lifter is exercising
  18. Thou shalt not engage in complex/contrast training methods during peak gym hours if space does not permit
  19. Thou shalt not grunt excessively or scream while training
  20. Thou shalt wear appropriate clothing while training and ensure that shorts are long enough to conceal private parts
  21. Thou shalt not talk to others in the middle of their sets of heavy exercise
  22. Thou shalt never tell a joke or attempt to make a lifter laugh immediately prior to or during a set of exercise
  23. Thou shalt maintain an appropriate level of seriousness while training while avoiding either extremes of the “seriousness-continuum”
  24. Thou shalt attempt to learn the basics of spotting technique in a myriad of exercises and do thy best to provide a proper spot to individuals when asked
  25. Thou shalt not abuse your spotting privileges and shalt not require a spot for a majority of thy sets, nor shalt thou attempt a lift that is way too heavy for thy capabilities and over-rely on thy spotter, nor shalt thou ask an individual for a spot if they don’t appear well-versed in spotting techniques
  26. Thou shalt inform your spotter how thy like to be spotted; letting them know if thou want a lift-off, how many repetitions thy hope to perform, whether thou want help with forced repetitions, and/or whether thou want them to barely assist you with one extra rep
  27. Thou shalt not shadow-box or throw air-strikes in between sets
  28. Thou shalt not stand in the mirror-path or walk through a lifter’s mirror-path when the lifter is in the middle of a heavy set and is using the mirror to watch their form
  29. Though shalt ask around to confirm if equipment is not in use when arriving at a piece of equipment that is abandoned yet loaded with weights
  30. Thou shalt avoid performing crazy exercises during peak hours that require excessive space or the use of many pieces of equipment and shalt try to the best of thy abilities to find a suitable alternatives
  31. Thou shalt not flex thy muscles excessively or pose in front of the mirror
  32. Thou shalt ask experienced lifters for advice during opportune moments but shalt not abuse this privilege
  33. Thou shalt not traverse the gym ponying-up unsolicited advice to other lifters
  34. Thou shalt not lie to others about how much weight thy hoisted back in the day and attempt to “one-up” other lifters
  35. Thou shalt not flirt excessively with other lifters regardless of gender
  36. Thou shalt control thy temper and attempt to maintain a positive demeanor
  37. Thou shalt not crank thy neck laterally to watch form in the mirror from the side view while lifting
  38. Thou shalt understand how to position thyself symmetrically while using a barbell and shalt use the bar spacings to assist with such symmetry
  39. Thou shalt use chalk if necessary but shalt take precautions to avoid making a mess
  40. Thou shalt not fill up your entire water bottle when others are waiting for the drinking fountain
  41. Thou shalt not place a giant gym bag where gym-goers traverse during peak gym hours
  42. Thou shalt not hog cardio equipment and should attempt to complete thy session within 30 minutes during peak gym hours
  43. Thou shalt not believe that thy method of training is far superior to everyone else’s , nor shalt thou shun all other methods simply because they don’t coincide with your goals and preferences
  44. Thou shalt place plates onto barbells with the smooth sides facing outwards and the carved part facing inwards; thereby respecting tradition and paying homage to our iron hoisting ancestors
  45. Thou shalt attempt to use the same brand, color, and size of plates if possible on each side of the barbell and try to maintain symmetry; thereby respecting tradition and paying homage to our iron hoisting ancestors
  46. Thou shalt attempt to work together and cooperate with other lifters; using common sense, having common courtesy, and respecting others
  47. Thou shalt be reliable, punctual, encouraging, and supportive to thy training partner if thy choose to obtain one
  48. Thou shalt attempt to train during non-peak hours if thou find thyself frustrated with the commandments listed above or are following a “needy” program such as GVT
  49. Thou shalt attempt to learn proper exercise form and should avoid going too heavy for thy abilities, and shalt know common form mistakes such as turning lateral raises into shoulder external rotation movements, rolling the shoulders while shrugging, heaving excessively during curls, doing quarter squats, round back deadlifts, bouncing the bar off the chest when benching, half range benching, and upright bent over rows
  50. Thou shalt understand the basics of program design; and if attempting to be athletic thou must perform mostly compound free-weight movements, maintain a balance between pushing and pulling for the upper and lower bodies, and refraining from ignoring work for the posterior chain, single leg stability, and rotary core

Friday, November 18, 2011

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Beautiful Video

  1. Nothing like a good cry
  2. Zdeno Chara is HUUUUUUGE!!!!!

Cool Video!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Happy Veteran's Day

Healthy Snack Option

I was reviewing some recipes I had in my archives and found one I got online a few months ago. I tweaked it a bit and after I made it, took the time to post a pic (see left). Give it a try and let me know what you think:

-1/3 cup canned Pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix….PLAIN pumpkin)
-1/2 cup cottage cheese (for those who don’t like the lumpy texture, you can use a hand mixer to puree the cottage cheese)
-1/2-1 scoop of Vanilla Jay Robb brand protein powder
-1 oz (handful) of crushed walnuts
-2-4 shakes of ground cinnamon
-pinch of Stevia (to taste)

Stir up in a bowl, let sit in freezer for 5 minutes, and enjoy. You’ll swear you’re eating pumpkin pie. So yummy!

Friday, November 04, 2011

But I Don't Have Time to Workout

I was crunched for time today and got thinking about how everyone always says they don't have time to work out. I used the "K.I.S.S. Principle" and kept things super basic. I simply did what I learned from a Yvonne Ward quote: "Push, Pull, and Do Something for Legs." Here's what that consisted of this afternoon:
  • DB Renegade Rows (see above pic #1): 4 x 5ea
  • Decline Push-ups (see above pic # 2): 4 x 10
  • DB Goblet Squats (see above pic #3): 4 x 10
I followed this with some conditioning work on the Air Dyne Bike

Basketball Never Stops

Being a "hoops junkie," I really liked this video from Nike titled "Basketball Never Stops."

Sunday, October 30, 2011

The Effects of Meat on Your Health

Weight Loss Tips

Why wait until January 1 like everyone else to drop a few pounds? Weight Loss remains the number one initiative when I encounter a personal training client for their initial consultation. While other goals (i.e. increases in bone mineral density and muscular strength and endurance) are often mentioned, weight loss continues to be what most exercise enthusiasts are after.

I’d like to present the following weight-loss strategies that have proven to be successful with my clients over the years:

Ø Switch to smaller plates when preparing meals at home

Ø East slowly and enjoy every bite

Ø Improve both quantity and quality of sleep

Ø Invest in a digital bathroom scale to monitor weight loss

Ø Keep both a food journal and exercise journal to track your progress

Ø Avoid going to holiday parties and grocery shopping on an empty stomach

Ø *Utilize compound-multi-joint strength training exercises (i.e. squats and chin-ups versus bicep curls and leg extensions) to improve body composition and maximize caloric burning*

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Total Body Joint Mobility Warm-up

I thought Jim Laird and Molly Galbraith did a great job with the above video. They run through some very basic joint mobility exercises which benefit the body far more than the way your typical gym-goer warms up (i.e. 5-10 min. of moderate pace stationary cycling or treadmill walking). Feel free to email me with questions about the video (

Sunday, October 23, 2011

From Good to Great

I spent the majority of the weekend doing some "fall cleaning." Specifically, I made it a point to organize all the clutter that's been building up in my office for quite some time. 90% of it was notes, journals, seminar/conference info, books, etc... that have been piling up. While I still have a fair amount to do, it was nice to organize what I did.

One specific "agenda item" was to re-write/organize notes from the seminars/conferences I've attended over the last year or so. One specific speaker whose work I follow closely is Strength and Conditioning Coach Dave Jack (see above pic). Dave's worked with athletes at all levels, including Paul Pierce and many other pros. In reviewing notes I took from Dave's lecture, "From Good to Great," Coach Jack had a great quote when he was talking about running a business. He said, "the time to be concerned is when you feel comfortable." That really rang true as I've experienced this now and then and clearly that means I need to work harder.

Another quote I really liked from Dave was when he said, "Today is a gift; that's why we call it the present."

Monday, October 17, 2011

Littleton, MA Strength & Stretching Workshop

Today I had the opportunity to head out to Littleton, MA to conduct a workshop on resistance training with exercise bands (, as well as review some great stretches. The group was very attentive and I look forward to keeping in touch with them to see how they progress with the exercises and stretches.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Contrast Training

Strength & Conditioning Coach Nick Tumminello wrote a good article on Contrast Training for T Nation recently I thoroughly enjoyed. According to Nick...
"Contrast Training is easy to explain:

Or to make it even simpler:

Squats followed by jump squats. Bench presses followed by explosive push-ups. Pull-ups followed by medicine-ball slams.

The concept isn't new — researchers have been studying it since the 1960s, and strength coaches and athletes have been employing it for at least that long — but I never run out of new applications for it. I use it at various times, and with various modifications, with all my athletes, as well as the regular folks I train.

With athletes, contrast training builds strength and power simultaneously. For non-athletes, it's a great way to tap into high-threshold motor units for hypertrophy, or to boost the metabolism to improve body composition. And while you're accomplishing those objectives, you're also changing up your workout in a way that's fun and challenging."

Saturday, October 08, 2011

US Obesity Rates Continue to Climb

Sadly, 12 U.S. states have obesity rates over 30%. Here are the states with the highest obesity rates and the respective percentages of adult obesity:
  1. Mississippi (34.4%)
  2. Alabama (32.3%)
  3. West Virginia (32.2%)
  4. Tennessee (31.9%
  5. Louisiana (31.9%)

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Middleboro, MA "Heart Matters"

I recently had an opportunity to conduct a strength training and stretching workshop with some wonderful Middleboro, MA town employees. We discussed barriers to exercise, FAQs of strength training, and how to structure an exercise chart. Additionally, we practiced several exercises with resistance bands and reviewed various flexibility exercises. I had a great time and hope to go back and visit in the near future!

Sunday, October 02, 2011

Super Healthy Breakfast!

How to Modify Push-ups

The Push-up remains one of the most underrated exercises available for upper body strength improvements. I came to a point over the last couple years where I got away from anyone doing push-ups on their knees (foolishly called "Girl Push-ups") as it completely takes away recruitment of any core musculature. In the gym, I typically will have those who can't complete a standard push-up to do them against an angled barbell (see video above).

Friday, September 30, 2011


Fat Loss Nutrition"Concentration, in its truest, unadulterated form, means the ability to focus the mind on one single solitary thing."

- Komar

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Hip Thrusts

Excellent video on Hip Thrusts above. GREAT exercise!

Friday, September 23, 2011

23 Things to Think About

I found the following list on Coach Mike Boyle's blog. He got this list of 23 things from Coach Robert Dos Remedios and I wanted to share it with you as I found it very interesting.

1. I think part of a best friend’s job should be to immediately clear your computer history if you die.

2. Nothing sucks more than that moment during an argument when you realize you’re wrong.

3. I totally take back all those times I didn’t want to nap when I was younger.

4. There is great need for a sarcasm font.

5. How the hell are you supposed to fold a fitted sheet?

6. Was learning cursive really necessary?

7. Map Quest really needs to start their directions on # 5.

I’m pretty sure I know how to get out of my neighborhood.

8. Obituaries would be a lot more interesting if they told you how the person died.

9. I can’t remember the last time I wasn’t at least kind of tired.

10. Bad decisions make good stories.

11. You never know when it will strike, but there comes a moment at work when you know

that you just aren’t going to do anything productive for the rest of the day.

12. Can we all just agree to ignore whatever comes after Blue Ray? I don’t want to have

to restart my collection…again.

13. I’m always slightly terrified when I exit out of Word and it asks me if I want to save

any changes to my ten-page technical report that I swear I did not make any changes to.

14. I keep some people’s phone numbers in my phone just so I know not to answer when they call.

15. I think the freezer deserves a light as well.

16. I disagree with Kay Jewelers. I would bet on any given Friday or Saturday night more kisses begin with Miller Lite than Kay.

17. I have a hard time deciphering the fine line between boredom and hunger.

18. How many times is it appropriate to say “What?” before you just nod and smile because you still

didn’t hear or understand a word they said?

19. I love the sense of camaraderie when an entire line of cars team up to prevent a jerk from cutting

in at the front. Stay strong, brothers and sisters!

20. Shirts get dirty. Underwear gets dirty. Pants? Pants never get dirty, and you can wear

them forever.

21. Sometimes I’ll look down at my watch 3 consecutive times and still not know what time

it is.

22. Even under ideal conditions people have trouble locating their car keys in a pocket,

finding their cell phone, and Pinning the Tail on the Donkey – but I’d bet everyone

can find and push the snooze button from 3 feet away, in about 1.7 seconds, eyes closed,

first time, every time.

23. The first testicular guard, the “Cup,” was used in Hockey in 1874 and the first helmet

was used in 1974. That means it only took 100 years for men to realize that their brain

is also important.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

On the 8th Day, God Created the Schwinn Air Dyne

The Air Dyne bike remains my selection for the top conditioning tool. It's the best bang for your buck approach in my opinion. As I say to others, "you can beat the hell out of someone on it without having to worry about injuries due to its minimal impact on the joints." Good stuff! Check out this article for more info:

Monday, September 19, 2011

Push/Pull Circuit

Only have a short amount of time to train? Try the above and see if you can conquer this like Alli McKee does. Let me know how you make out. It's a quick, yet super tough way to run through a good quality push/pull circuit. Good luck!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Live and Learn: A Training Lesson

Last Tuesday, I sustained a Grade I concussion when I slipped on a sweat spot playing basketball. Like most head injuries, I also experienced a lot of neck pain due to the whiplash when my head struck the court. The injury, which has forced me to put my own training sessions on hold for the moment, got me thinking about preventing further issues with my neck/head/cervical spine.

I began doing some researching, specifically through one of my favorite publications, "Training & Conditioning" Magazine. In a recent issue, former Xavier University Assistant Strength & Conditioning Coach Rich Jacobs discussed research suggesting that strengthening the neck muscles may help to reduce an individual's risk of concussion. The following is a quote from Coach Jacobs:
"...having strong neck muscles may reduce the subconcussive forces that occur as a result of hitting the floor or taking an elbow to the head. Having strong neck muscles will help to dissipate the force. To address this issue, we have our players do manual resistance neck work. For example, they do manual resistance exercises and trapezius pulls or shrugs. This usually occurs on Mondays and Wednesdays of our workweek to spread out the accompanying soreness."

I'm certainly going to take Coach Jacobs' words to hear and apply some changes to improve my training program.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Massachusetts Ranks NUMBER ONE for health club memberships

Can you guess what U.S. State ranks #1 in health club memberships? Can you say......Massachusetts?!?! Check out the following link to read more:

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Cryotherapy on a Whole New Level

I've done some experimentation with cryotherapy/ice baths, but experiencing frostbite like sprinter Justin Gatlin does seems a bit beyond what I'd EVER want to experience. Check out the full scoop here:

10 Foods For Good Health

People often ask me "What should I eat, Paul?" Since I typically "think in lists," I like to use the article I wrote for the Watertown Tab that spells out 10 super nutritious choices. Check it out by clicking the following link:

Monday, September 05, 2011

Tennis Conditioning

With "US Open Fever," I was fortunate to get out yesterday and play 90 min. of singles with a couple clients. We followed that up with some extra conditioning:
  • 1/4 mi. jog
  • (6) 100-yd. Shuttle Runs
  • (6) Hill Runs
  • 1/2 mile jog
It was brutally humid humid, but it felt good to shower and have a delicious dinner (baked chicken breast, grilled veggies, and brown rice) after. Thanks for a good session guys! :-)

5 Tips to Getting Quality Sleep

I continue to be fascinated by the research on restoration, but more specifically, how quality sleep contributes to improved human performance. One person whose career I've followed for years is tennis star Serena Williams. She's getting older, and thus, can't simply rely on power and athleticism to defeat her opponents. She recently brought conditioning coach Mackie Hilstone on her training team and is seeing great results. One area of his focus- like mine- is on improving one's quality of sleep. Check out his top 5 tips below:
  • Have a Consistent Bedtime – Whether it is during the week or on a weekend, go to bed at the same time. This will ensure that you are in the habit of having a consistent sleep pattern.
  • Limit Caffeine – You should limit the amount of caffeine you have throughout the day, but definitely do not have it within a few hours of your designated bedtime. The effects of caffeine may in fact keep you awake well past your bedtime.
  • Exercise – It is better to exercise earlier in the day and not too close to bedtime. Daily exercise when done consistently can help promote the body’s need for rest, but a boost in energy right before bed may keep you awake.
  • Reduce Stress – Stress can inhibit one’s ability to “turn off the mind” and fall asleep. If you are experiencing stress that causes you to stay awake, consider stress-reducing breathing exercises, yoga during the day, or make an effort to eliminate the root of the stress.
  • Have a Comfortable Sleeping Environment – Make sure your bedroom is conducive to sleeping by controlling the temperature, keeping it dark and eliminating noise that may wake you up.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Tricep "Toning" 101

A majority of the female clients I encounter often put their triceps on their respective "Need to Improve" list. That said, one exercise that trumps the notorious "Cable Triceps Pressdown" exercise is the "Medicine Ball Push-up." Check out the video above for a perfect demonstration.

Cholesterol-lowering Foods

In a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, researchers found eating certain cholesterol-lowering foods results in bigger drops in “bad” <span class=
Far too often, people with high cholesterol have been told what NOT to eat (i.e. butter, red meat, and ice cream due to their high saturated fat content). The Boston Globe ran an article this week ( that divulged which nutritional choices researches concluded can help LOWER cholesterol. Last week's Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) revealed the following list:
  • oats
  • barley
  • soy milk
  • tofu
  • nuts
  • legumes
Remember, while nutritional choices do play a role in cholesterol, do not overlook genetics and aging.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Dr. Andrew Weil's Anti-Inflammatory Food Pyramid

Anti-Inflammatory Diet Food Pyramid
I refer to the above Food Pyramid all the time. The USDA has had several, overly vague and unhealthy, pyramids come out over the years. THIS is the one you need to be following!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Female Ring Chin-ups

This is AWESOME!!!!!!

Tips for Success

I was reading an article by Strength & Conditioning Coach Matt Brown recently and he listed some tips he read for success. I wanted to share with you a few of my favorites:
  • Practice what you preach. This is number one. Be the example.
  • Keep it simple. What can we do that will provide the greatest effect to the body in the least amount of time.
  • Lift or press something heavy. Perform 1–5 sets of 1–5 reps on the main lifts followed by 6–15 reps on the assistance lifts, pushing to a density style training. Finish in an hour to an hour fifteen minutes.
  • Do not buy into what others say is the next best thing. Folks, TRX is not a godsend and neither is a Bosu ball or kettlebells, although kettlebells are pretty useful. Look up Dan John.
  • Warming up is great and so is stretching.
  • Stop BSing yourself. If you don’t like the way you look, change it.
  • Stay with a program. If you just purchased an e-book or whatever, stay with it for awhile—for at least 4–6 months. Don’ hop around doing randomly implemented programs. The best way to find out what works best in attaining your goals is to stay with it. A hybrid of programs would work such as 5/3/1 with three assistance exercises followed by a fat loss/Tabata/Strongman circuit. Just commit to it. Stop trying everything or better yet, stop doing nothing.
  • Do hill sprints. These are the best exercise second to clean eating for fat loss.

Living to 150?!?!

In her new book, 100 Plus: How the Coming Age of Longevity Will Change Everything, Sonia Arrison explains how living 150, 500 and even 1,000 years may be possible thanks to better health and science.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Ladies getting JACKED!

I LOVE seeing females kick butt in the weight room. There remains way too much fear with women and weight training. Too many of them lift weight that is FAR too light, and thus WILL NOT produce the "toning" effect most of them seek. Check out the above videos to watch some young women work their tails off in the weight room. You'll note that they ALL possess a LOT of lean, sexy muscle, yet maintain their femininity.

Ok, I'll also admit I have a huge "Internet Crush" on three of them (Alli McKee, Marianne Kane, and Jen Comas Keck).

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Help Make Me Boston's Most Valuable Blogger!

I received some wonderful news this week from CBS Boston. I've been named as a finalist for Boston's Most Valuable Blogger award! Please do me a favor and click the following link to cast your vote for me. I appreciate your support!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Nutrition is EVERYTHING for fat loss

I continue to preach to clients that NUTRITION is the MOST IMPORTANT variable when it comes to fat loss- NOT exercise. You can't out-train a poor diet. That being said, a colleague of mine, Mark Young, wrote the following this week on his blog:

"So when it comes down to it, if you’re trying to lose weight (or fat) diet is going to be the key to your success. Adding in ANY type of exercise is not going to have a huge impact on weight loss."

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Swimmer Diana Nyad- a true Warrior


Strong currents, shoulder pain, and asthma proved too strong for swimmer Diana Nyad, a 61-year old warrior who attempted to swim from Cuba to Key West, FLA this week. She was pulled from the water after swimming for TWENTY-NINE hours. The total swim was supposed to take 60 hours and cover 103 miles. That's unbelievable! I read her story this morning over breakfast and was amazed at the courage she had to face the media in tears. Nyad first tried to cross the Florida strait in 1978 in a shark cage but quite after 41 hours due to strong currents. Nyad said she will not attempt the swim again.

Check out my girl Hope Solo kicking ass with her off-season training regimen!

Monday, August 08, 2011

Today's Home Training Session

(pictured: Kettlebell "Bottoms Up" Hold)
I was in a time crunch this afternoon and HAD to get in a workout simply for my sanity (I'm sure some of you can relate). With limited space and equipment, I devised a quick and relatively intense session in my home studio. Here's the rundown:
  • T-Spine Mobility w/Tennis Balls (
  • Hip Rotator Mobility w/Tennis Ball (wish I had LAX ball @ home)
  • Foam Roller (T-Spine, Glutes, Hips, Hamstrings, Quads, and Calves)
  • Mini Band Walks (L/R/F/B) [2 x 10ea]
  • 4-way bridge [2 x 0:30ea]
  • Superband Anti-Rotational Press (no need to buy a $5 thousand cable column machine when I have a $10 Band I can use as effectively!) [2 x 0:30ea]
  • 1-leg Hip Thrust w/25 lb. plate on torso [2 x 8 ea @0:03 hold ea)
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------(Supersets below performed 5 rounds with 2-3 min. rest between sets)
  • Kettlebell (KB) 1-arm/1-leg SLDL x6ea
  • KB 1-arm swings x8ea
  • KB "Bottoms Up Carries" (see above pic) x 10 yards ea direction [3 round-trip laps ea arm]
  • Push-ups x10
  • DB Lateral Raises x10
  • Air Dyne (.5 mile max effort)
It was tough (Air Dyne sprints were BRUTAL), but I like getting in training sessions now and then @ home when I cramped for time.