Sunday, September 29, 2013

Motivational Monday

Exercise to stimulate, not to annihilate. The world wasn't formed in a day, and neither were we. Set small goals and build upon them.
Lee Haney

Exercise should be done to stimulate your body, to build it up, to make yourself better and stronger.  It shouldn't be punishment, or to break your body down.  It shouldn't be because you hate your body.  That is not the point.  Exercise because you love your body, because you love the feeling of your body moving in space, because the thought of not being able to move is terrible. 

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Fitness Friday

Forming healthy habits is a key step in leading a healthy life.  The best of intentions can be thrown off if you don't prepare for life's little curve balls. 

Fail to plan, plan to fail. 
Starting planning and use some of these tips to keep yourself on track.  The better/more you are prepared, the more successful you will be. 
Speaking about habits, even when we are stressed, we can turn to our positive habits just as much as the negative ones.  If you're used to splurging on food or shopping when your stressed, you'll probably always resort to that, but if you form better habits, then you are just as likely to turn to those positive habits.  This is an interesting article to say the least.  It does show that habits are important either way. 
Lets face it, we're all a little stressed and a little tired on a daily basis.  We could all use a little relaxation every now and then.  Check these 40 ways to relax and take a break to de-stress a little.  Even 5 minutes of relaxation can do wonders for you. 
Lastly, there are always bumps in the road on the path to being in better shape.  However, if you are really struggling, there may be things that you are missing from your arsenal.  Take a look at these 6 things that may be holding you back.  With #1, I would also add not knowing portion sizes. 
Weekend Workout
Sprinting is a great workout!! I love sprinting.  We've started to add it to our Saturday Morning AMP Camps when we are outside and it seems like people sort of enjoy it. 
This weekend, I want you to give it a try. 
Start yourself off with a quality warm-up of skipping, high knees, butt kicks, cariocas, shuffles, bounds, strides, backwards strides, and some sprints at 50-75% effort.  Really concentrate on the warm-up as you want your muscles to be ready for the workout without risking injury. 
If you can get yourself to a track work on running about 100 meters and then walk halfway back for your recovery.  Aim to get about 10 intervals in for a killer workout. 
You could aim to do the same thing on a treadmill, aiming for about 20 seconds of a hard sprint with a 10-20 second recovery.  Try pushing the treadmill while its not on for a really great workout. 

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Motivational Monday

"No one is going to hand you success.  You must go out & get it yourself.  That's why you're here.  To dominate.  To conquer.  Both the world and yourself."

You have to put in the work.  It may not come easy, it's going to get hard at times, but stick with it.  Keep pushing on, keep working to be successful.  Take on any challenge you may face and own it, dominate it, conquer it. 

Now go out there and dominate!!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Fitness Friday

I started this Fitness Friday theme as a way to share awesome articles with you.  I'm always reading everything I can to learn more, or just to see what else is out there.  Most of it focuses on fitness and exercise related topics, but I try to find positive articles too.  Hopefully you've enjoyed these Fitness Fridays as much as I love writing them.

We're always looking for ways to improve our lives by doing little things that make us happy.  Exercise, spending time with friends and family, relaxing are all good ways to spend time each day.  However here are TEN scientific ways to improve your life on a daily basis.  I especially love #10 as being positive and optimistic is important for all aspects of health. 

At AMP, we don't have what you would call traditional "cardio" machines.  We rely on using other things like stairs, rowers, carry variations and battle ropes for "cardio." Cardio often comes down to what your trying to accomplish.  Are you training for a 5k or marathon? Then yea long slow duration runs are for you.  If you're looking to shed some weight, a little more intensity is good for you.  I will tell you, I was in my best shape when I was sprinting in college and in so so shape training for the NYC Marathon.  Check out this Do's & Don'ts of cardio. 
If you want a quick picture to lay out your intervals, take a look at this.  It's a great break down of what to do and a little science behind it. 

Are you looking for new breakfast ideas?  Check out what the Nutrition Twins are serving up for breakfast!!  Check out there website for more awesome nutrition tips.  They are always full of great ideas. 

Finally, getting in shape is not about dieting.  Its about making changes in behavior to make this a healthy way of life.  Its a lifestyle change, not a short term "diet."  When you think diet, you think restriction and that is the opposite of what we are looking for.  Make sure you don't make these mistakes when changing your eating habits. 

Weekend Workout
Lets start the weekend off right with a little stretch to correct all that sitting I'm sure we've done this week.  Here's a little flow to hit some key spots. 
Start off in a Half Kneeling position and lunge to stretch hip flexors & hold for about 30 seconds.  From that position raise arms above your head and reach back as far as you can.  Lastly reach one arm over head to the opposite side to stretch out the sides.  Do these all with one leg up, then switch legs and repeat all over again. 
Next is to sit in your chair, cross one foot over the opposite knee and stretch out the hip.  This is a biggie as the hip tends to get tight sitting for long periods of time.  Lastly, you can get into a downward dog position to stretch out the shoulders and hamstrings for a great finishing stretch. 

There ya go, get some mobility work going!!

Lets get to work now

Chin ups/Pull-ups
Mt Climbers
30 seconds each exercise.  Rest 30 seconds, get after another round.  4 rounds total
Next move to the next circuit.  Again 30 seconds each exercise for 4 rounds.
Body weight Rows
Jump Rope/Jumping Jacks

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Ninja Kick that Negativity!!

We can talk about being positive and having a positive attitude till we are blue in the face but it is up to you to believe in yourself.
Take all that negativity, condense it in a ball, and ninja kick it away!!

We all do it.  We all have some sort of view of ourselves that is distorted from what is in reality.  We typically think we look worse than what other people see in us.  Maybe it is because we know our faults and we focus on them constantly.....or maybe its much deeper than that.

Lets Change That Up!!

Instead of focusing so much on what you hate about your body, focus on what you LOVE about it.  Just about 
every time someone goes to a gym for the first time, or hires a trainer, it comes down to hating some aspect of 
their body, or wanting to lose this, or tone that.  What do you love about your body?  What do you love about 
yourself.  Hitting on positive points makes for better self esteem, and a more positive self image.  

Watch the video below!!

Remember focus on the good, the positive and push all that negative BS away!!

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Motivational Monday

A few days ago I wrote about setbacks and how responding to them makes you who you are.  I wrote about always grinding through, always being strong. 
One group to check out that epitomizes that daily grind is Grind Society.  Check them out on Facebook.

Anyway, when I saw this video, it got me pumped up and I wanted to share it with you.  If you haven't heard about Eric Thomas, I highly suggest you check him out.  He even has his own app, (I have it on my phone) and its always good to look to for a little inspiration when you feel like you need it. 

Make the rest of your life...
 The best of your life!!

Without Struggle There Is No Progress

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Fitness Friday

Comparison is a part of nature.  We all want to compare ourselves to other people, and we tend to gauge our own success against that of some one else.  There is no denying it, but maybe we should focus how we compare.  There is a huge difference between having money and having wealth. 

Sometimes it comes down to comparing what another person looks like.  I want so and so's arms, or stomach, or whatever.  One of the biggest complaints ends up being cellulite,  I'm not even going to try to pretend to understand what women go through but women are always looking for a way to get rid of it.  Take a quick anatomy lesson here to understand it more clearly. 

Even when women want to get rid of cellulite, they turn to "detoxing" the body.  However this is a myth and has no basis in science.  In the end it is one giant marketing scheme meant to sell products.  If you really want to "detox," drink more water and don't put crap in your body.  DONE!  No special diets, or special powders, or 500 calorie diet. 

Stretching is an important aspect to fitness and to training.  Most of it should be done at the end of a workout, when the muscles are warm and pliable.  As we age, certain compensation patterns result from a lifetime of doing things a certain way.  These stretches help keep the body moving efficiently and more importantly, pain free.  The most important parts to stretch are the hips and the shoulders as they get tight quickly through periods of sitting, especially at a computer. 

Weekend Workout
Focus on Recovery this weekend.  Every now and then it's a good idea to throw a de-loading week in your routine.  If you're working out, and dragging along, not giving it the usual 100% intensity you usually do, maybe its time to rest and recover.  Sometimes its the best thing to do for your body.  We push ourselves so hard week after week, day after day that it takes a toll on our bodies. 
Take some extra time and sleep in if you can. 

Wednesday, September 11, 2013


Life is a series of experiences, each one of which makes us bigger, even though sometimes it is hard to realize this. For the world was built to develop character, and we must learn that the setbacks and grieves which we endure help us in our marching onward. - Henry Ford.

Everyone has set backs.  Everyone has a bad day, week, month, even year.  What it call comes down to is how we respond to these bumps in the road, or plateaus in progress.  
You're not alone, you are not being singled out.  I've been injured so many times as I'm sure many of you have been.  It happens and it can throw off your training big time.  The key is evolving and adapting your training to accommodate that injury.  After my broken ankle, I focused on my upper body training, which included a lot of TRX, battle ropes, and push-ups.  I adapted, I took that obstacle and changed myself, changed my training routine to stay active.  

Now I'm not saying all setbacks are fitness/health related.  Certainly there are other things in life that can set you back, but the mindset needs to remain the same.  You MUST maintain that positive mindset.
No matter what you are pursuing, no matter what pops up.  It could be a new diet or exercise program, or new behavior patterns, or just one of life's little curve balls that it likes to thrown every once in a while. Eventually, there comes a time where a wall is put in front of you.  That wall is there to TEST you. How you react to that wall, how you adapt, will show you what you are made of.  

"You cannot control what happens to you, but you can control your attitude toward what happens to you, and in that, you will be mastering change rather than allowing it to master you."

There are 2 ways to handle life's little curve balls.  

You either change the problem or you change yourself.  Changing yourself can be quite hard.  If you do it the right way, evolve and take your "wall" head on, it can build you up., make you stronger.  However, do it the wrong way, and it can send you spiraling down.

What I want you to do is to stay STRONG!!!  

                                                                       Never give in
                                                                       Grind it out

Don't venture into that negative place where you feel sorry for yourself, or start saying "why me" or "when is my break" or "I have no luck."  That's negative self deprecating behavior and will only lead you down one path. We don't want that.  

STRONG is empowering yourself to learn from any and every setback so that next time something pops up, you can kick some butt.  STRONG is viewing them as a challenge to overcome.  


Guess what?  S@%T happens!!  You either roll with it and learn from it, or you let it conquer you and break you down.  The choice is yours.  

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Motivational Monday

If you've never heard anything by Eric Thomas, or seen any videos featuring his speeches, you are missing out on some serious awesome sauce.  Do yourself a favor, hit up Youtube and find his stuff. 
Today's Motivational Monday features Eric Thomas and follows one guy on his daily grind towards a healthy lifestyle.  Sometimes being healthy, eating right, getting to the gym, and putting in your workouts is a grind. 
Keep GRINDING it out!!

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Fitness Friday

Life doesn't get easier, you just get better at handling it.  When it comes to any goal, it's all in your mindset.  I've written numerous times on having a positive mindset and how that translates to success in any aspect of your life.  At the end Alli puts out a great 30 day mindset challenge.  Try to focus on the positive thoughts, and let the negative ones pass over you.  See what happens when you dedicate yourself towards a positive way of thinking.  

When it comes to exercise, there are some truths out there to what you should be doing.  There are also a ton of myths and garbage out there.  Among those truths...Committing to the long haul, progressing a little more each week, focusing on basic multi-joint movements, and getting stronger before trying to up intensity.  Focus on those things and ignore the myths and garbage. 

One big truth is that recovery is super important.  Now when it comes to recovery from workouts, SLEEP is key. If you're not sleeping, your are not getting that proper recovery that you body needs in order for you to reach your goals.  If you are sleep deprived, you are more likely to gain weight than those that hit their 7 hours.  Sleep also goes way beyond the weight loss world, it has effects on blood pressure, diabetes, and heart failure.  But there is good news.  Sleep also has positive effects on regenerating brain cell numbers.  So do yourself a favor and get those restful hours in.  

Lastly, we all want our kids to be healthy, fit, and active.  But are we putting too much pressure on them?  This study provides an interesting take on studying childhood obesity.  Maybe its not so much on the kids themselves, but the example WE are setting for them. 

Have a great weekend!!!

Weekend Workout
Barbell Complex.  Pick a weight that challenges your weakest exercise and go through each exercise with out putting down the weight.  Sounds easy and simple...but its not.

Squat Press
Bent-over Rows
Alternating Lunges
4 sets of 8 reps

Half Kneeling Shoulder Press Left
Half Kneeling Shoulder Press Right
Step-Up Left
Step-Up Right
Row Left
Row Right
Spilt Squat Left
Split Squat Right
Side Plank Left
Side Plank Right
2 sets of 15 reps

Get after it this weekend!!!