Thursday, January 27, 2011

Mommy and Me Workout

Having worked with a lot of new Moms over the years, I've often stressed to them the idea of incorporating their children into their workouts. Precision Nutrition, my affiliate nutrition company, published an article this week on this exact topic. Check it out by clicking the following link:

Demonstration of Female Strength

Very impressive set of "Val Slide Push-ups" above.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Determined and Purposeful

I was reviewing an article from Brian Tracy recently that discussed being determined and purposeful. The passage I enjoyed most was written as follows:

"When you set clear goals and become determined and purposeful, backing those goals with unshakable self-confidence, you develop charisma. When you are enthusiastic and excited about what you are doing, when you are totally committed to achieving something worthwhile, you radiate charisma. When you take the time to study and become an expert at what you do, and then prepare thoroughly for any opportunity to use your knowledge, skill or experience, the perception that others have of you goes straight up."

Hip-Dominant Exercise

Lower body exercises are typically divided into two groups, "Hip-Dominant" and "Knee-Dominant." The former usually includes exercises like Stiff-Legged Deadlift variations, while the latter includes exercises like Single-Leg Squat variations. The above video shows a fantastic called "2-Arm/1-Leg Stiff-Legged Deadlifts." The participant is using Kettlebells, but Dumbbells work just as good. Remember to keep a flat back, a slight bend to the knee of the grounded leg, and hips squared toward the ground at the bottom of the movement.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

8-Step Guide of Essential Practices

I was recently reviewing Sigrid Olsen's 8-step guide of "essential practices." It's aimed at those seeking to regain equilibrium and redefine themselves after a major life change. While not all of them will apply to you, it's still interesting to check out. Personally, I found a couple that I applied to my life. The list, reads as follows:

1. Connect with nature. Next to the grandeur of nature, your problems seem very small.

2. Inhabit your body. Breathe, move, dance, run — anything that helps you feel awake and alive.

3. Find a community. Seek out people who are honest and fun, who will listen and tell the truth.

4. Clean house. Literally and metaphorically, clear out the clutter that complicates your life.

5. Cherish beauty. Try to put beauty in your path each day and take the time to enjoy it.

6. Open Your Heart. Give of yourself. Generosity breeds abundance.

7. Create. Make something. Paint, sculpt, cook, plant a garden, keep a journal.

8. Celebrate life. Eat good food, have a party, travel, laugh a lot.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Dr. Weil on Protein

I could listen to Dr. Weil all day. The above video features a good lecture on protein.

The Changing Ideal Body

What exactly is an "ideal body?" Is there a celebrity whose physique you'd do anything to possess? We all have someone we look to whose physique we'd love to have, but it's interesting to hear different viewpoints as to what one's shape should be. Of course, the answer you get years ago may have been Marilyn Monroe and today it may be Halle Berry. Whether it's Michelle Obama's arms or Jessice Biel's "hind quarters," it's always interesting to hear people's answers about what healthy looks like or who has the best celebrity body (hint: my choice is above!)

The Boston Globe ran an article recently, accompanied by a video, about this topic. Check out the full text here:

P.S. "You're welcome" goes out in advance to all the guys I train who I know also love Jessica Biel :-)

7 Stretches for the Office

Most personal trainers who work predominantly with "general population" clients like I do will encounter folks with all sorts of orthopedic issues. One notable "issue" people experience is stiffness is certain areas as a result of being desk-bound every day at work. It's amazing what the implementation of a few stretches to combat immobility will achieve. Check out this fantastic article to learn a few stretches to try both at home and in the office:

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Improve Grip Strength

While general movements like pushing, pulling, squatting, and lunging are all important to an athlete, one neglected component remains grip strength. Various sports (i.e. baseball, basketball, hockey) require optimum grip strength and this needs to be included in one's strength and conditioning regimen. I began doing grip work in high school to limit being stripped of the basketball and I noticed big improvements. To enhance your grip strength, a fantastic training modality to incorporate is thick ropes. Check out the video above of thick rope pull-ups (weighted vest not required initially). They are super challenging!

Thursday, January 06, 2011

Be SPECIFIC with your goal setting

I was thinking today how one of my biggest pet peeves this time of year is when people/clients aren't specific enough with their goal setting. If I hear "I just want to be healthy" one more time I'm gonna scream. Of course, I'm kidding, but it's crucial to be specific with your goal setting. Write down and track HOW you intend to conquer your goals. Here's a good example I found on Alwyn Cosgrove's blog that a client of his wrote down:

I am going to lose 12lbs of fat by March 1st 2011
I will do this by exercising six days per week for a minimum of 30 mins
This will include metabolism boosting resistance training three times per week for a minimum of 45 mins.
I will meet with a trainer at least once a week for my resistance training sessions.
I will then continue on a three times per week program including 30 mins of resistance training and 30 mins of cardio for the next 6 weeks.
I will cut 500 calories from my diet and track this.

Now THAT is how you plan out your goals!

Don't be Scared of Fat

Dr. Andrew Weil is someone I've followed for quite some time and I wanted to share an excellent talk he gave on the power of fat. Check it out above and let me know what you think.

Sunday, January 02, 2011

Your Own Personal Year in Review

Beverly Beckham wrote an outstanding piece in today's Boston Globe in which she featured a quiz she and her family take at the end of every December. This year, I am having my clients do it. Personally, I completed it for the first time this morning and am excited to review it one year. You should too!

In 2010, I gained ____.

I lost ____.

I stopped ____.

I started ____.

I was hugely satisfied by ____.

And frustrated by ____.

I am so embarrassed that I ____.

Once again, I ____.

Once again, I did not _____

The biggest physical difference between me last December and this December is ____.

I loved spending time ____.

Why did I spend even two minutes ____?

I should have spent more time ____.

I regret buying ____.

I will never regret buying ____ even though with that money I could have bought ____.

I ____ way too much.

I didn’t ____ enough.

____ drove me crazy.

Was ____ crazier than ever last year? Or was it me?

The most relaxing place I went was ____.

I feel so ____ when I write that down.

Why did I go to ____?

The best thing I did for someone else was ____.

The best thing I did for myself was ____.

The best thing someone did for me was ____.

The one thing I’d like to do again, but do it better, is ____.