Just tired.

Yeah, this happens. I am quite tired. I am doing a bunch of stuff, trying to promote so much. My training, my acting stuff, my brutal camps. If I don’t write this stuff down and write lists obsessively, it doesn’t get done.

Actually, when this is done, more messages are to be sent. It’s 11:30. My daughter is in summer vacation. I get peace when they are in bed, but for the summer, that doesn’t happen much, either. But, I do what I gotta do.

The thing is, rest is just as important as the exercise part itself.

http://www.webmd.com/diet/features/cant-shed-those-pounds

http://www.webmd.com/sleep-disorders/excessive-sleepiness-10/lack-of-sleep-weight-gain

http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/sleep-unsung-hero-fat-loss.htm

Yeah, this has been my worst enemy. I am a night owl. Horrible habit. Since I was a kid, I used to love to stay up into the night reading comic books, or getting caught up in a movie. Unfortunately, it is now my greatest enemy to factor into life. I am tired a lot. I think I am mainly writing about it in hopes that sharing it will be like the effect of confession, that if I put it out there for all, I will stop doing it.

It’s also to let you know I have bad habits to overcome as well. We are all flawed individuals. I look at the time, and then realize “Wow. I know better.” Yet, I have always done this. I eat so clean now it’s boring. I exercise religiously, yet I don’t do one thing, and that’s get to bed on time.

Ok, ok. Enough realizations. I should get to bed. After the Godfather. Yeah.

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What do you guys wanna talk about? Seriously, just ask.

I have to admit, I haven’t had as much to talk about, no real anecdotes. My mind has been HEAVILY occupied on many different things. I am really kinda working through that, when I shoulda been talking to you folks. No, really. I didn’t even realize I had neglected this.

Not going to make excuses. I am caught up on Game Of Thrones, however.

Actually, I have been asked some questions on social media, and I am actually going to encourage those. So, please, leave a question in my inbox on Facebook. I will attempt to answer them, but if I can’t I will attempt to refer you to someone who can. Oh, and try to make them related to training.

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Oh, and a pic of Thor. Because, Thor.

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I did a Tough Mudder

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Yep. I just thought I would write about the experience.

Quick story – it was back around December, and an old friend asked for my e – mail and physical address ( He has been living in Texas for a couple of years), and within the hour I got a text saying “Cool. You are signed up for The Tough Mudder”. I was shocked. My friend is a psychologist, so I was going to suggest he take the other side of the couch, but I then thought “You know, this is kinda what I needed. A tangible goal. A reason to do cardio.” So, I simply texted back “Well, guess I had better start running.”

That took some getting used to. I hadn’t really been much of an endurance athlete. I had been really just getting on the bike to read. It was just after Christmas, so I had to get back to a diet. I was mainly just lifting, and working on strength goals. It’s easier to do strength goals in the wintertime anyway.

So, I decided to suck it up when the weather reached 45 and just run outside. Yeah, that sucks, but it’s all about adapting to the elements, right? Plus I really hate the treadmill. I really do. Until late March I was on there a lot. It was a pretty rough winter, really, one like  I hadn’t seen in years.  I had committed, however, to doing it, so I would head over. I got back from filming Shotgun Mythos one night, and it was 11 PM, but I headed to the gym because I had to run for 4.5 miles. I did.

So, I will fast forward. Needless to say I focused on just running hard, and could do 10 miles in 75 – 80 minutes. I had never attempted this much running before, and though it wasn’t a marathon, I was doing it. Not to mention, plenty of marathon runners will tell you, if you can run 6, you can run 26. It’s all in your head.

Alright, so, last Saturday.  I had spent the night at my sister – in – law’s house which was near the site of the event. I was picked up by a friend, who then introduced me to his girlfriend (Who was pregnant. He had a funny way of announcing his impending fatherhood, but that is another blog.), and we headed to the fairgrounds.

It had quite a bit of pageantry. There were costumes, concessions, souvenirs, whatever. One guy was Duffman from The Simpsons. As we walked further into the grounds, there were people on the other side of the rope doing the race, and people with bullhorns keeping them going. He said into it “Don’t let the guy in the Tommy Bahamas shirt beat you. No, look. He has a Tommy Bahamas shirt.” I looked. He did.

There was a group of guys all dressed as Kurt Angle. One guy was the Ultimate Warrior. However, the Mario Bros characters were the best.

So, we sign our release forms, and meet up with our team, including some people I hadn’t seen in a long time, then we get herded down to the starting area, which began with a climbing wall. We then listen to a pep talk and stirring stories, and then comes the National Anthem. Then we high five the guy with the microphone and we are off!

It was pretty easy going at first. We ran some trails, then we jumped some hay bails. We saw a lot of hay bails. We climbed them as well.  We then trudge through some mud to get up a hill. Yeah, that happened a lot, too.

Ok, I can’t describe every obstacle, so I will just go through ones of note.

I was to low crawl in some mud with barbed wire over my head. Now, to any member of the branches of the US military who have to do this on a regular basis, this is nothing new. However, it was a learning experience for me, as the poor girl ahead of me seemed stuck. I looked up to say “Are you ok?”, and got a small, superficial scratch across my head. Turns out she got slightly caught in the wire. I ducked, so it barely got me. Lesson learned.

I had callouses from years of weightlifting, and they got scraped off on the monkey bars. That sucked. Really wish I had good gloves there, because it affected my ability to climb the rope. Ah, well. today I took the bandages off, seem to be healing nicely. 

I jumped off a 15 or 20 ft platform. Too tired to be afraid of heights. I did, however, need 5 minutes, mainly because I may have been slightly dehydrated. I then went up and jumped. You can’t see anything when hitting water. It’s muddy. You just start kicking. I actually swam pretty fast, in spite of being out of practice.

Lots of climbing things. The running wasn’t an issue, so much as my lats and traps from climbing walls, helping others get over walls, out of mud pits, etc, etc. Carrying my friend on my back for 50 yards was tiring, too.

Jumping into a refrigeration tank of nasty, muddy, ice water was kinda messed up. I compare it to jumping into a Frappe’, but those are probably tastier than that nastiness. I don’t drink those. That’s not to sound snobby, I just prefer good ol’ coffee in the morning.

Oh, yeah, and I got electrocuted. I don’t remember much of that, honestly. Still, I was able to sprint across the finish line. Mainly because electrocution really wakes you up.

So, when it’s all said and done, I get some pics done. Then got my free shirt and headband. I said goodbye to teammates, who had to get their kids. Mine were playing with cousins, they were cool. They went to the pool. they were great.

So, I did it. But not without my team. So, I will now express my appreciation for the following people -

 

Matt & Tiffany, Chris & Ali, Brian & Maria (Though she had to drop out at mile 3. Give her a break, folks, she is pregnant.), I am grateful to have shared this experience with you.

 

Thanks for stopping by.

 

 

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Not gonna tell you what you wanna hear. Nope.

I feel like a I beat a dead horse with this one. Really I do.

First off, let me talk about Cognitive Dissonance. If you would like to read up on it, here you are.

http://psychology.about.com/od/cognitivepsychology/f/dissonance.htm

http://www.simplypsychology.org/cognitive-dissonance.html

So, this can occur, when people have an idea in their heads, ask me questions, and then expect reassurance instead of an actual answer. I give them information, it conflicts with the idea that they made up or “heard from a friend”, and they actually argue a bit.

Someone told me about their exercise tapes. They asked me my opinion. Before I go on, I would like to add that this happens to me once a month.

So, the tapes. DVDs. Whatever. Apparently she felt a real burning in her core. My answer”Great. What were you doing before?” The answer is nothing. I said”There you go. You will eventually plateau. Are you trying to keep up with the guy?” Well, yeah. Oh, and my husband hurt himself. “Then it wasn’t a good idea. You should be careful yourself.” But, I am feeling winded! “Yes. That is the newness of it. It will wear off soon.” Well, does this stuff work? I mean, I feel it. “Long term? No. The workout doesn’t change. You will adapt even when it doesn’t. Eventually, you will need more to prevent homeostasis. You will need resistance training, and this is also just creating torque on your joints. It should be supported with resistance training.” But, these are by a black belt, etc, etc.

Finally, I asked “Do you like them? Are you enjoying them? Then do it. Have fun! Just remember to add in some things to prevent you from getting hurt, or help you get to where you want to be! I am just telling you what you what you need to know before you become reliant on them.” I heard she was mad when I left. She is a sweet lady, and I really like her, but she brings up FOX News stories, and some other stuff I don’t like talking about. She always seems unprepared when I don’t agree, and I actually feel kinda bad on that aspect. However, I don’t really like cable news, and nor do I like their methods. Why? Because I think they are like memes. They only provide reassurance, not any information that you can use or learn from. Just make sure you stay on their side, and keep from questioning their viewpoints. I just believe you should question authority, even the ones you vote for. But, that’s another debate.

She has brought up numerous tips she has had, I have straightened her out, but I would like to see her believe in herself and take the next step for herself. Use the weights in your basement! Don’t be afraid! Stop thinking of everything but. Stop with the fads. I want to see her succeed, but I won’t do it by confirming what she knows is wrong in the first place.

This happened again recently. A former client had gone to another trainer. I continue to support her, but I told her as a competitor, she was underweight, and had to build mass. She told me she needed to cut up the flab. I say you can’t cut a steak without the cow. So, she is still saying the same things. I am being a supportive friend, but it’s hard to bite my tongue!!!!

Seriously, I can compare some of these things with Facebook Creationist arguments I see. Or the political ones. I dunno. We will only prove ourselves to ourselves, I suppose. And you know what? That’s ok.

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Today’s musings

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I thought of this meme while I was training for my Tough Mudder. I hit the wall trying to hit mile 5. I realized I hadn’t eaten enough. I am thinking about pacing, about focus, and I just couldn’t. I am still a big dude. I am an athlete, yes, but athletes don’t always look the way you would expect them to. I feel like so much about marketing has skewed how people look at the athlete. That’s why I put up a visual.

It is rare to be genetically lean. Rare. Just because I have the power physique doesn’t mean my metabolism isn’t working, it just doesn’t work the same way. To perform at a high level, I require more calories. Everyone does, but I need 3500, if not 5000 just to run those miles. Yes, it is science. 

http://www.livestrong.com/article/311097-how-many-calories-should-an-athlete-have-a-day/

I didn’t lose much weight. I lift weights, not just run. I do other cardio as well. I trained HARD, but didn’t lose weight.  I am still built like Hafthor Julius Bjornsson,  “The Mountain”, ( Ser Gregor Clegane, to be exact.), in Game Of Thrones. Not as tall, though. Or strong. In my defense, most of the world is not as strong.  He is 25 and already the 2nd strongest man in the world.

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I am thinking too much about what I see in the mirror, rather than the task at hand. I have righted that ship, I can now do 7 miles, and am back on schedule. I realized performance trumped aesthetic. I let the insecure actor get the best of me, when I knew better. Hell, calorie reduction may have increased cortisol production.

I have written before about the cognitive dissonance people have with exercise. I must now look at what I need to do differently. What would have I done differently?

Sleep more http://www.webmd.com/fitness-exercise/features/sleep-athletic-performance

Something I have always struggled with. Always. My mind is racing, and I always look back at my day with what I should’ve done. I always think about what I need to do differently. I am never satisfied. I don’t know if it serves me well, remains to be seen. I have a lot of drive, but I don’t think it is often directed well. Overcoming Still’s Disease has made me believe I have lost some years, and I feel like I am constantly trying to gain ground on those lost years.  I feel like I am constantly in a battle with time, and I think this attitude is why I lose. Such as it is, I simply acknowledge and move forward. However, it has affected my recovery during training. Gonna change that immediately.

Controlled my diet.  This is even harder when you are training. Not working out. TRAINING. Here is an article on the difference by Mark Ripptoe, a renowned strength coach – http://www.huffingtonpost.com/mark-rippetoe/exercising-training_b_4597039.html

This is hard for any athlete. I am fixing it now, but too little, too late. I mean, I will be fine, but I made some mistakes in consistency. I was looking over some cheat sheet stuff and realizing the problem. I was also filming 3 projects ( I am an actor), and was on the run a bit, but it was manageable. I didn’t manage it. Again, gonna acknowledge and move on. I am going to begin a more aesthetic – oriented program for a while, so I will take this as a learning experience.

 

Managed time better.  This ties into my sleep pattern. I needed to be pulling two – a – days, and starting earlier. I needed to be on a tighter schedule, and got distracted. It wouldn’t have taken much, I know. I have helped other people do it. I was the corrupt cop in the movies who didn’t believe the rules applied to him, and rationalized to himself why he should. Again, lesson learned.

 

Talked to a trainer.  I have helped other trainers by coaching them through an event. I now think of who I would’ve gone to, and 2 come to mind. In fact I will give them shout – outs. Their names are Maureen “Mo” Pfaler and Haley Rheinholtz. I just needed the accountability, really.  Not anything major, just someone to help me check a list. Juggling things made me turn my focus away.

“Always was his mind on the future, never was it on where he was!” Image

- Yoda Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back 

 

Even us Supertrainers need to talk to a trainer. It’s true. Learning the hard way is good, but not always necessary. However, even someone with my experience can admit his own mistakes. Just because I have helped athletes perform doesn’t mean I shouldn’t heed advice or accountability. Even from myself.

 

Thanks for stopping by.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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My favorite exercises.

So, this is really my opinion not just on my favorite stuff, but also the stuff I see done wrong the most. It actually coincides. It’s the stuff you can’t just DO. It’s really best you work with someone to show you how to do this stuff. It’s dangerous, but fun. Ok, I probably have a different idea of “fun” than you guys.

1) CLEANS – Ok, there are numerous ways of doing this. Crossfitters often refer to the Power Clean as the “Squat Clean”, but it’s the same in Olympic lifting events. You are scored when you land in the squat position, parallel or below, upon the catch. There is also the Hang Clean, which begins above the knees, that people who have shorter arms have an easier time doing. There is a lot that goes into this, and I could blog all day about it. You have to -

A) Jump up while pulling the bar with the force from your hamstrings, calves, hips, traps and rhomboids pulling the bar, while loosening your grip

B) Extend your hips forward, almost into the bar.

C) SHRUG! Please. For the love of Odin! Shrug!

D) Catch with your elbows high, your arms parallel to the ground. The bar will be across your collarbone and just behind the front delts. Your fingertips will be just underneath it. Land in a SQUAT. As soon as the bar is up to your sternum, you should be under it for the catch. IT’S NOT A HIGH ROW!!!!

Ok. See why someone has to show you this stuff. For people who want to get more power out of it, but aren’t quite ready to grasp the concept of doing this from the floor, put weights up on blocks, the blocks being just under the plates, of course.

See why people mess this up so much???

Watch Olympian Donny Shankle just in training for it. Just…watch.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xdhOdJ_NVao

2) SNATCH/OVERHEAD SQUATS.  Ok, seriously. Why are you even attempting this???? EXTREMELY DANGEROUS! If you can’t execute a clean, you should totally leave this out of your routine. Many of the same principles apply to it as with Cleans, except you are CATCHING THE BAR OVER YOUR HEAD! There are a LOT of principles that go into this. I will just tell you now, on the landing you should make sure you have the bar lined up with your ankles, head forward, chin parallel to the ground. Chest up, in a squat. Don’t do this until you have the overhead squat mastered, and I recommend not using a barbell to perfect the movement and grip, but a PVC pipe or broomstick.

Here is Olympic Legend Pyrros Dimas doing it in 1995.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9LLbOsKkofc

 

3) The Dead Lift.  This can be done in multiple positions, depending on height, limb length, etc. I don’t know that I can just spend a paragraph on it, because it has variations. The grip changes with the stances, so I can get you a Youtube variation.

AL Kavadlo can help you here, should you need a visual. This is great. It expounds all the stuff I wanna scream at people, but tell them calmly.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TIsI20BTLtA

Wear a belt. I say this because the abs do distend upon exhale/contraction, but a belt helps a lot. This is one of the most AWESOME things you should be doing. One of the most beneficial.

4) Push Press. Ok.  This seems to be controversial. If you have just had heart surgery, leave it alone, holding your arms over your head with nothing in your hands can lower your blood pressure. If you are fresh outta shoulder rehab, don’t. If this is none of you, then do this. It’s awesome. It’s highly functional when done properly, it is a pure strength training exercise. I prefer this to seated shoulder presses, mainly because using your legs will reduce your chances of shoulder injury. Also, get your head forward when extending, your wrists just above the scapulas. No behind the neck, please!, It’s an unnatural starting position, and the danger to your rotator cuff and cervical spine isn’t worth it.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UeTXdlYdC2U

5) SQUATS – Ah, yes. Beneficial for both power and aesthetic. It has multiple purposes. Strength and symmetry. I see a lot of forward leaning to to lack of abdominal strength, stiff lower backs, or lack of hamstring flexibility. Work on that! Don’t increase weight. The bar should be across your shoulder blades, not sitting on your spine.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1xMaFs0L3ao

6) Bench – Many trainers don’t love this one, but I do. It’s like anything, know what your doing. I encourage a powerlifting bench position, your shoulder blades together, eliminating the rotator cuff, and the feet under the bench, your hips flattened. Your lower back is off the bench, yes, but your hips and sternum are now level and not causing a decline if those shoulders are tight. If you have a long arms, or shoulder flexibility issues, by all means, take a wide grip a barbell has rings on it for a reason. The closer the grip the more your triceps will work, but it can tear up your shoulders.

Don’t do a bunch of reps. It’s not that kinda exercise. You’re not at the NFL Combine. Don’t try to break the record, don’t bounce off the sternum. Just count to 3 in your head, both up and down. And if your shoulder is experiencing discomfort, just use dumbbells.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XZfsqdCOiTg

 

Ok. Hope that helped. Cool?

 

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Been a week

Hey, guys! It’s been a minute. I have been doing a bunch of stuff, business stuff. Got  a new card, and I am trying to get people all set for Brutal Camp. It would appear that I am going up against a lot of activities, (races, downtown events, etc.), so it’s more of a challenge to get the word out. Eh, that’s ok.

Speaking of races, I have the Tough Mudder in less than a month. Holy  crap. I am sore. I am now going to attempt to change some some in my training schedule as well. More sleep, an eating schedule may be in order, etc, etc. I am pretty exhausted, and there’s nothing like thinking you are doing great, then having a more experienced runner who looks about 55 or so pass you. Yeah.

Still, who cares? This has gotten me to do cardio again, I was horrible with skipping it. I would do it maybe 3 times a week, and it wouldn’t be uncommon to see me on the elliptical. Oh, yeah. I was kinda bad with breaking some of my own rules, and now it has taught me a little more about time management and performance training as well. Hell, I may go back to the drawing board with my own program. 

Anyway, that’s what’s up with that. I will write something new, I just gotta get back to more Brutal Camp stuff.

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