Thursday, May 31, 2012

A Tale of Two People

Teachers are truly special people.  I have family, friends, training clients, and group exercise participants who teach.  I teach teachers more than any other population.  I love working with them because I know how challenging their days can be and it makes me feel good helping them de-stress during an awesome workout.  One of my favorite speakers, Alwyn Cosgrove, wrote an outstanding piece recently called A Tale of Two People on how much an impact- both positive and negative- teachers can have in a young person's life.  It's a quick read and I think you'll enjoy it.  

Check it out here:

When I was in high school in Livingston I was in an advanced mathematics class. I have no idea how I got there as I was clearly the dumbest kid in the class.
Sat next to me in the class was a guy (Keith Wilson) who spent his spare time (at 14 years old) working for a company converting the program code for an arcade computer game to a home version. He used to hand in his homework on a floppy disk…
Me? I was drawing sharks on the back of my notebook…
So while studying quadratic equations, (something that has been oh-so-useful in my life…) it was clear that I didn’t understand it. I asked the teacher to go over it again. He sighed an exasperated sigh – but he went over it again.
I still didn’t get it.
So I asked again. The teacher sighed loudly and said “Okay – the rest of you take a five minute break while I go over this again for Alwyn’s benefit …..” and then mumbled “for whatever good that will do”
Obviously I felt pretty small at that point. And of course the whole class heard him and laughed.
And I still didn’t get it.
And I never asked a question to this teacher again.
And I failed the exam for the class.
This teacher was a man who had a chance to make a kid feel better and help him, or put him down and make him feel worthless. He chose the latter. Why? Just because he could. That’s the kind of person he was.
Another person in my life was my Taekwon-do instructor – Derek Campbell. My Dad was made unemployed and we could no longer afford lessons. I went to my instructor and told him that we just couldn’t afford lessons anymore and I’d be back when my Dad got a job.
He told me to show up early for the next class and become his assistant – teaching beginners. He would pay me with free lessons.
I went on to become a fourth degree black belt, and seven time UK national champion as a result.
This teacher was also a man who had a chance to make a kid feel better and help him, or put him down and make him feel worthless. He chose the former. Why? Just because he could. That’s the kind of person he was.
One person changed a kids life and made it worse. One person changed a kid’s life and made it better. I remember both of them.
We have all had, and remember these people in our lives – the only question to ask is …
What kind of person are you?

Monday, May 21, 2012

Monday, May 14, 2012

Monday, May 07, 2012

What Does Your "To Do" List Look Like?

Jay Robb Shamrock Shake

 This is a MUST try! No food dye needed in this healthy, brain-building treat!

1/2 cup avocado
3/4 cup unsweetened almond milk (or full fat coconut milk)
1/4 cup Jay Robb vanilla protein powder
2 TBS cream cheese OR coconut cream, softened
1 cup crushed ice
4 TBS erythritol (or Truvia)
1 tsp stevia glycerite (omit if using Truvia)
1/4 tsp mint extract or 1/2 tsp fresh mint leaves

Place all ingredients in a blender. Puree until smooth. Pour into 2 glasses. Makes 2 servings.

NUTRITIONAL COMPARISON (per 16 ounce serving)
McDonald's Shake = 680 calories, 20g fat, 14g protein, 111g carbs, 0 fiber
"Healthified" Shake (coconut milk) = 355 calories, 31g fat, 15 g protein, 8.9g carbs, 4.4g fiber
"Healthified" Shake (almond milk) = 146 calories, 10g fat, 12g protein, 4.9 carbs, 2.8g fiber

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Why Are We So Obsessed with Exercise?!

WINTER SUNDAY MORNINGS on Commonwealth Avenue in Newton are a blur of polypropylene and spandex. Legions of runners in fluorescent moisture-wicking fabrics labor up the hills; squadrons of cyclists in jerseys with exotic logos hurtle down them. While much of America is still in bed, this is rush hour in fitness-crazy Boston. “It’s cult-like,” says Adam Naylor, a sports psychologist and director of the Boston University Athletic Enhancement Center. “If you step back, you would think this is a little insane.”
To read the full article, click the following link:

Do It For Yourself

Training Mistakes to Avoid

“Training Mistakes To Avoid”

It’s often drilled in our head what training modalities yield optimum results, but I’d like to share a couple examples of what to avoid:

·          Training at Slow Speeds- While you should implement controlled movements while ensuring proper technique, you should not sacrifice power.  Fast-twitch/Type II muscle fibers are the ones that diminish with age.  Therefore, don’t hesitate to include faster concentrics/muscle fiber shortening.  Specifically, when pushing weights overhead on a dumbbell press, the weights should be lifted with a bit of force, assuming this “newfound force/speed” is coupled with perfect form.
·          Over-Isolation of Muscle Groups- Areas such as the hamstrings and triceps are important to strengthen, but not necessarily in isolation.  Muscles work functionally in groups, not individually.  Leg extensions and bicep curls (see above pic) should be replaced with more important, compound exercises such as split squats, push-up, and pull-up variations.