Saturday, June 30, 2012

Inspiration Pic: Road to Success: 06/30/2011

Don't Ever Give Up!

Friday, June 29, 2012

6 Week Beginner Kettlebell Workout: 1 of 9: 06/29/2012

We have all seen those balls with handles on them at the gym, but how many of us have actually used one. The kettlebell is probably the most versitile exercise tool, yet many individuals pass them up. The great thing about kettlebells is that you can turn any resistance training workout into a cardio workout, and if you do the workout with high intensity and minimal breaks you can burn more fat. Seriously, burn more fat. Why? High intensity training has been shown to increase exercise post oxygen consumption (EPOC) in study participants, and this rise in EPOC leads to larger amounts of fat burned after exercise. Don't wait on using kettlebells, get started now. This workout series is brought to you by Marcus Martinez from and each week, for the next five weeks, I will cover all 9 of his installments for this workout plan.

Exercises / Reps / Sets

Swing - 10
Goblet Squat - 10
Press L - 5
Press R - 5
Push up - 10
Around the Body to Hold-10 each direction

Do as many sets ans you can in a 20 minute period. 

Perform the workout as a circuit.


Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Run for Your Lives: 06/27/2012

Challenge courses are becoming very popular. There is a wide variety to chose from like the Tough Mudder, the Spartan Race, and the Urban Warrior. Well, you can add one more to your list.... Run for Your Lives. This challenge course is full of Zombies, and no these Zombies haven't been using "bath salts". Your goal is to survive the Zombie infested area and make it to the goal line!

Zombie run takes you on a 5k running course where there is a Zombie Apocalypse and your goal is to survive. You start out with flags and these flags represent your life, lose your flags...lose your life. Don't fret yet, there are ways to get your life back throughout the course. You will also be running through some obstacles like blood, mud, and stuff like that. The goal is to cross the finish line with some life points left, but  if you die during the run you can still finish the course even if you have lost all of your life points.

The cost is approximately $87 to run in the race (cost depends on where the race takes place), and this price includes a t-shirt, medal for finishing, "safe zone", and 12+ bands that will be performing during this Apocalypse party.

Is the Run for Your Lives challenge course coming to your area? Want more information? Visit Run for Your Lives for more information.


Monday, June 25, 2012

Lifting Technique: Stabilization: 06/25/2012

Did you know that there are several different lifting techniques that are geared towards different goals in life. Some may give you more power, whereas others may allow you to lift with stable shoulders, knees, hips, and even abdominals. What ever your main goal is there is a lifting technique for it. Stabilization is a technique that any beginner should utilize, but is not limited to just amateurs in lifting. For anyone that feels that they are starting to feel a little extra sore while lifting, than training with the stabilization method is for you. If you recently suffered an injury the stabilization method is for you. Where ever you are in your resistance training I am sure you can find a reason to fit in some stabilization training.

The stabilization method is all about your timing during the lift and the amount of weight that you are lifting. There are no special mechanics that you will need to learn. The point of the lifting technique is to force you to make improvements to your current lifting mechanics and to improve your technique making your lifting more efficient. Also, this techniques will also allow you to develop an explosive power that will enable you to lift heavier weight further down the road.

Ideally you will want to lift 60 - 70% of your 1 RM. Do determine how to find your 1 RM please check out the formula found  here.

The repetitions should be high. You will want to perform 16 - 20 repetitions

2 - 4


1/2/4 or 4/2/1

1 count concentric
2 counts isometric
4 counts eccentric

Chest Fly - 1 count fly or close, 2 count hold in the close position, and 4 counts to return to the starting position

The timing is what makes stabilization training work. The eccentric load allows for the muscles to control the deceleration or decent of the weight load. The isometric hold allows the muscle to engage and strengthen the joint. Finally, the explosive concentric contraction allows the muscle to display its power. 

How long should you work in the stabilization phase? 

About 6 - 8 weeks. Many people, including myself, that have used this technique will tell you that it has improved their joint strength and health. My left shoulder, which used to hurt all the time during any overhead lifting, no longer hurts from lifting overhead and it actually feels stronger. I hope that you give it a try and find that you feel more stable and can lift with less pain or discomfort.

Have fun!

Friday, June 22, 2012

At Home Abdominal Training Tips: 06/22/2012

Not all workouts take place at the gym or the beach. Many people are kickin' it at home. Did you know that one of the best tools for your abdominal training might just be as simple as a pillow? Scott Herman will show us how to use the pillow along with some great at home exercises.


Crunches on "Flat" Setting
Crunches on "Rolled" Setting
Oblique Crunches
Toe Touches
Elbow To Knee Crunch


Do a minimum of three sets and make fatigue become your reps.

What does that mean? Simple, go until you can't go no more. Feel the burn, get tired, what ever! You should never limit yourself to just 10 reps when performing abdominal work because they are endurance muscles. So go the distance.


Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Guest Writer: David Haas: 06/20/2012

Enjoyable Fitness Activities for Cancer Patients Make a Difference

written by David Haas

Staying fit can benefit anyone, but staying fit for a cancer patient is doubly
important. When a person must withstand the brutal attack of a disease such as
mesothelioma cancer, breast cancer, cervical cancer, or other forms of cancer, it is
highly important for the individual to try to keep the body as healthy and as in-shape
as possible. When people have cancer, they are at risk for physical illness side
effects such as vomiting, fevers, headaches, and more. A body that is in shape, has
high-energy amounts, and is strong enough to withstand treatments to help end the
disease can potentially battle each of these things.

Harvard University lists some great information that can help women who have
cancer to find ways to be more active. The websites addresses issues such as
cardiovascular workouts and workouts that will help to tone and strengthen the
muscles of the body. In addition to making the body stronger and more capable of
being able to undergo constant rounds of radiation, surgery, and chemo, fitness
workouts also help to boost the energy level in a person’s body.

When family members rally around their loved one who has cancer and participate in
exercise activities with them, this makes fitness enjoyable for cancer patients. The
more enjoy a fitness schedule is, the more likely a person is to stick to the
schedule. Alternating different activities can make a dramatic difference in how
enjoyable fitness activities are from one week to the next. If a person walks every
single day as a form of exercise, this is getting in good fitness activity, yet the
individual may easily grow bored of the activity and stop exercising altogether.

Working out with family and friends is a superb way to remain motivated. This
workout time with loved ones also helps cancer patients to connect with people
close to them and to have an opportunity to vent about things they are worried
about, or to tell about recent triumphs. A close support group is vital to a person
who has cancer keeping a positive attitude. The stronger a person is able to get
through physical exercise, and the more positive support the person has, the better
the individual will be able to face the disease head-on.

Physical and mental strength are important for cancer patients due to the strain their
minds and bodies are placed under while the fight the disease. Oftentimes, physical
fitness activities can be gained through mini weekend getaways by going to a retreat
or on a weekend camping trip.

Each of these things can play a vital role in keeping a person active and also having
important social contact. The more positive a person remains throughout the term of
fighting the disease, the better odds he or she will have of remaining strong while
undergoing treatments that are necessary for eliminating the cancer. Increased
levels of energy and metabolism are another great benefit of regular exercise.

David Haas has a cancer support group and awareness program advocate at the Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance. In addition to researching the many valuable programs available to our site’s visitors, David often blogs about programs and campaigns underway at the Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance, as well as creative fitness ideas for those dealing with cancer, while creating relationships with similar organizations.

Read more:

Monday, June 18, 2012

App of the week: Strava: 06/17/2012

Strava isn't like most fitness apps. Strava is a social app that also keeps track of your training progress, routes, times, and you can compete with your peers, plus there are apps to fit your training whether you run or cycle. The best thing is that the app is free.

What the developer says:

Track your progress and challenge your friends
Record all your rides, analyze your performance and see how you stack up against friends and locals. Set new personal records and beat your friends’ times!
“Besting personal milestones are one thing; crushing your buddy's best time up a local climb with data to prove it, is something else entirely.”
- Velo News
* Record your rides with the phone's built-in GPS
* Get detailed activity stats including distance, pace, elevation and calories
* See maps of all of your rides
* FREE unlimited ride uploads
* Monitor your weekly, year-to-date and all time activity stats
* Compare your performance against friends, locals and pros
* Set personal records and earn achievements for outstanding performances
* Earn King and Queen of the Mountain honors on specific sections of road or trail
* Find great places to ride all over the world
* See the most popular segments in a given area and challenge the locals
* Get more ride analysis like heart rate, power, cadence and more
* Join challenges for your chance to win fantastic gear and prizes
* Share your rides and comment on others’
* Find and follow friends and pro riders
* Find clubs in your area and create new ones
* Update your privacy settings and preferences
“Capture the fastest time on a climb and Strava will crown you king or queen of the mountain.”
- Bicycling Magazine
“…an ingeniously conceived app…”
- Men's Journal
“…Strava's app lets you get competitive any time you want.”
- Triathlete Magazine
“Be forewarned: Strava can easily become an addiction.”
- Road Bike Action Magazine
Strava depends on GPS for recording activities. In some devices, the GPS does not work properly and Strava will not record effectively. If your Strava recordings show poor location estimation behavior, please try to update the operating system to the most recent version. We recommend running Android version 2.3.3 or above. Furthermore, there are some devices which have consistently poor performance with no known remedies. On these devices we restrict installation of Strava, for example Nexus One and HTC Hero. See our support site for more information:

Strava can be found for free at Google Play and at iTunes

Video about Strava:

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Weekend Workout Challenge: 06/16/2012

Everyone needs a challenge. Everyone needs to push themselves just a little more. Agree? Then give this a try. If you are participating in any warrior challenge (Urban Warrior, Spartan Race, Tough Mudder etc....) then this is a great challenge for you.


Jump rope or an easy jog with burpees on the minute every minute for about 5 - 10 minutes.


Push-ups to failure
Run 1 - 3 miles
Pull-ups to failure
Run 1 - 3 miles
20 - 100 burpees
20 - 100 crunches

Want to do high numbers of each exercise, but you fatigue too soon? Break your BW exercises into multiple mini sets. 

Cool down:

Light run or jog for 5 - 10 min
Stretch for 20 min

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Workout Challenge of the Week: Explosive Strength and Power Workout: 06/14/2012

Today's workout is brought to you by Marcus Martinez of Mbody This workout is a circuit that should supplement your cardio work for any day that you do it. The focus of this workout is power and explosion. I would consider this a medium to advanced level workout. Of course anything can be modified, so do so if you feel that you need to change it up for your playing field. 

Here is the breakdown

Exercises and reps:

Alt Sprawl to Snatch-10 each arm
Superman Pushups-10-20
Clapping Pullups-5-15
Kneel To Jump-20
High Swing-20

Explanation and sets:

Rest 60 seconds between sets
Complete 3-5 sets

Perform each circuit as one set


Timer or stopwatch
Pull-up bars


Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Injury Prevention Tip: Stretching: 06/12/2012

Stretching is probably one of the most forgotten part of the workout. Perhaps it is just simply overlooked, or maybe people feel that they can't stretch if they want to get their workout finished in a certain amount of time. Truth is this, if you aren't stretching you are increasing your chances of injury.

What stretching does?

  1. Improves circulation in the muscle
  2. Returns the muscle back to it's original length at the end of the workout
  3. Increases range of motion
  4. Breaks up adhesions along the muscle fascia
  5. Aids in the releases of muscle spasms 
  6. Can relax the mind and body and is similar to meditation

Who should stretch?

Everyone. All athletes and active individuals should stretch. The differences lay in the types of stretches that someone is going to perform before or after their workout.


Stretching protocols
  1. Static Stretching
    1. Hold each stretch for 30 secs or 12 - 15 sec minimum 
    2. Ideally each stretch should be performed 3x
    3. Best done at the beginning and end of your workout 
  2. Dynamic Stretching
    1. This is an explosive repetitive stretch. Example: high knees, leg swings, butt kicks or repetitive toe touches
    2. Best done at the beginning of any workout
    3. Each exercise should be preformed for sets of 10 or for 30 sec
  3. Ballistic Stretching
    1. Never bounce a stretch
    2. Not recommended
  4. Self Myofascial Release (SMR)
    1. A form of self massage
    2. Generally used with a foam roller, but a tennis ball or any ball that is not soft would work well
    3. Roll around on the foam roller or ball where you are tight
    4. Once you find a spot that is painful you will need to remain on that spot for 30 - 60 sec and then move around again until another painful spot is found

Is stretching different for workout regimens of athletic training style?

Yes and no. The only difference in how you will stretch before a training session or competition will be based off of what activities you will be performing.

Power athletes: This would include most track and field athletes (endurance athletes excluded) and Olympic lifters or power lifters, or any other athlete that would require to produce large amounts of power to generate great force and velocity to perform their task should perform dynamic stretches. For people training in this area, even if for a day, it would be recommended to start out with dynamic stretches and finish with static stretching and/or SMR. Research has shown that static stretching at the beginning of a competition or training session can decrease force output. Static stretching before any power competition can increase start to finish time for sprinters and speed athletes, decrease the force - velocity relationship in lifting, and produce decrements in the overall power generated due to a lengthening of the muscle.  

Everyone else, including endurance athletes and team sport athletes, should begin and end with any stretch technique. However, finishing with static stretching is best and highly recommended. Set aside at least 5 minutes at the end of your workout for a stretching session. The end of your workout is the most important time to stretch. 

Monday, June 11, 2012

Three Back Exercises to Break Away From the Norm: 06/11/2012

It happens all the time, people get accustomed to exercises that they are comfortable with and this can make your workout stale. Here are three exercises that are sure to help you build up a strong back while at the same time help you to enliven your routine.

Single Arm Bent Over Lateral Cable Press

1. Select a weight that you are comfortable with
2. Stand to the side of the cable pulley and grasp the cable with your arm on the opposite side
3. Without bending the elbow (don't cheat by letting the triceps assist) and keeping a straight back raise your arm up and to the side
4. Return to neutral
5. Once you are done with your reps switch to the other side 

Single Arm Bent Over Row

1. Place an Olympic barbell up against a wall or in the corner
2. Select your chosen weight plate to be lifted
3. Using your legs and a flat back lift the barbell so that your back can remain at a 45 degree angle. Keep the weight plate in front of your grip and your arm extended with the barbell at your side
4. Keep your back flat while drawing the weight toward your body
5. Extend your arm back down
6. Once you have finished your chosen reps return the weight to the floor and switch to the other side 

Single Arm Squat with Row

1. Select your chosen weight
2. Grab the pulley grip
3. Stand with an extended arm holding the cable
4. Perform a deep 90 degree squat, or go as low as you safely can
5. On your way up from the squat perform an upward back row (to increase the difficulty perform the row after you have returned from the squat)
6. Extend your arm out resisting the weight stack (keep your shoulder from pulling forward during this portion)
7. Repeat until you have successfully finished your chosen reps
8. Switch arms once your have finished your reps to one side

Friday, June 8, 2012

Unique Exercises: 06/8/2012

New Uses for a Barbell

Are you bored with your current exercise program and would like to add some new exercises to your regimen? Try out these unique exercises that work on core stability, general muscular strength, and endurance. These exercises are great for endurance training and for high intensity interval training since the weight of a standard Olympic barbell is 45 lbs, plus these exercises will not utilize the full weight of the barbell. 

Hammer Jammer 

1. make sure that the barbell is anchored into a corner
2. start with the barbell directly out in front of you and in one hand with the hand slightly above your head
3. stand in tandem with the right leg out in front if using the left hand and vise versa
4. bring the barbell towards your shoulder
5. press the barbell out and overhead
6. change hands after one complete set has been completed


1. make sure that the barbell is anchored into a corner
2. start with the barbell directly to your side
3. bend the knees and lower the torso
4. while reaching out with your free hand try to touch the ground bringing your back parallel to the ground
5. return to the start
6. switch side after completing a full set


1. make sure that the barbell is anchored into a corner
2. start with the barbell directly out in front of you
3. rotate to the right
4. come back to center
5. rotate to the other side

Tip: change the top hand for each set

For more barbell ideas please visit: new_barbell_moves 

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Featured Exercise: Cross-Training Cable Circuit: 06/05/2012

Today's workout is brought to you by Scott Herman. Scott is a leader  in exercise fitness and exercise development. He always has developed creative workouts that are challenging, fun, and exciting. This workout is not short or brief, but by the time you are done you will have performed a workout that is full body and incorporates your cardiovascular system and is full of core stabilization.

Reps and sets:

3 sets @ 60 sec per set

This can be done as a circuit with a 1 - 2 min rest in between circuit sets, or you can perform each exercise 3xs with a brief rest in between each set.

Equipment needed:

Cable weight system
Bosu ball


Crane Lunge Pull (version 1)
Chest Fly on Bosu Ball
Alternating Tricep Lunge
Abdominal Twist
Bicep Punch
One-Arm Crossover
Squat Press
One-Leg Crane