I Need Your Opinion

opinion

I was a little disheartened by an email I got from an ‘ex’.

I say ‘ex’ because she’s now an ‘ex-reader’.  She probably has some of her own issues unrelated to me, but it still tends to hurt my feelings when I get this sort of thing.

hate mail

*Read from the bottom up on the string of emails

 

I think it’s a little cowardly to sit behind a keyboard and spew this sort of venom, but that’s just me. I’d appreciate any thoughts you have on the subject. My purpose is to provide helpful tips and advice. My assumption is that’s why you’re here. Any advice you can offer me to support YOU further is much appreciated.

I’ll go ahead and post the tips that I sent in that email despite the fact that I offended that person. In fact, I was flattered that a different reader asked me to post these tips on my Facebook page and on my blog too.  Sometimes I wonder if the info I share is a little TMI, but if anyone can benefit from even one tip, then I’m happy.

Here was the email that I sent out:

I returned from a week in NYC with my almost 20-year-old daughter Hannah. This was a trip that mother’s dream of having with their girl. Further to this, I was happy that Hannah asked me how I manage to stay lean and fit while traveling. I do a lot of it and she realized while traveling with me that it’s not always easy.

Here are a few things off the top of my head that we discussed:
A workout – A short 20 min bodyweight hotel workout is fine in a pinch. Getting a workout done in the NYC Lion Kingmorning is best so that the day doesn’t get away and excuses don’t pop up. It takes NO time at all and keeps the metabolism revved up.

Drink up – Water that is. For me it’s the cure for headaches and dehydration. Although difficult at times I have no liquid calories pretty much EVER (except the odd glass of Malbec).

No bread - This isn’t due to gluten intolerance, it’s just an intolerance to a ‘muffin top’ ;) This really works as hard as it is to do at some places especially, but passing on bread saves massive amounts of calories.

Cut out evening starchy carbs – Keep it to protein and veggies at dinner 99% of the time. Of course being in NYC, my ONE time break in this rule was a treat of cheesecake after the Lion King performance on Thursday. This leads to the next big idea…

Plan a cheat meal – It’s easy to pass on tempting foods when I know I can have them (eventually), Nothing is on the never never list. Here’s how I planned my NYC cheat: we didn’t have dessert all week, we had sushi with no rice and sashimi for dinner (low carb) and I did a metabolic workout with Kate Vidulich mid afternoon (filming for videos). Simple things to set up the perfect storm for a big treat. Oh, and I fasted until after my workout the next morning.
Regular sleep – Going to bed and waking at a similar time daily is key for me. We pretty much stayed on schedule with our own time zone (not always possible I know).

Step out of the comfort zone – Every day was an adventure. Did we know where we were going and what to expect? Not always. We didn’t risk life and limb, but we were definitely out of our element in the big city. Doing something scary makes you feel alive.

NYC times sq H and me

Do a good deed – I found a wallet and could only imagine the panic I’d feel had it been me that lost mine. I turned it into the doorman and was thrilled that I made some strangers day who came back for it 5 minutes later. I never found out who it was but, man, it felt good to know some one had a good day because of that small gesture.

These are only a few things off the top of my head: small things that over time add up to better health.

*****************************************************************

Make sure to let me know how you feel about the comments from ‘Barb’. And like my Facebook page here too.

Never Sit Down Never Grow Old

No one really plans on getting old.

Of course we all know it’s a reality, but it’s something that happens to others and it’s difficult to see in ourselves. Often it hits us in the face when we see a photograph or when we see someone that we haven’t seen in years. It’s either a pleasant surprise or a dose of a little too much reality (often served up with a dose of mortality on the side).

I just turned 51.

Fitness008This is a recent photo that I had taken and evidence that years of doing sweaty workouts are definitely time well spent. I’ve been a gym rat for over thirty years. I want to encourage all of you who hit the gym on a regular basis now to NEVER stop or sit down.

Life has a funny way of putting obstacles in the way of training. You might find that you’re super dedicated now, but then you may get a big job, you have a family, you go on holiday or may find any number of valid reasons to have an interruption in your training schedule and then it happens: you get out of your routine and your workouts are shelved. You may think it’s temporarily, but too often it’s longer than you plan.

I know you may say it ‘won’t happen to ME’, but seriously, I tend to be the exception and not the rule when it comes to the ‘super fit and over 50’ category. All my ‘gym buddies’ from past training days have long since found a comfortable chair while I have not. I don’t rely on stories of my ‘glory days’ as an athlete from the past; I continue to live the ‘glory days’ with personal challenges now.

Do you want to have visible abs when you’re 50? Do you want to be able to do pull ups, human flags, and have strength like you do now? I’m here to say it’s not only possible, it’s probable if you play your cards right. I’m as strong as I’ve EVER been and probably even leaner than I was in my 30’s. You can be too.

It’s the 10,000 hour rule: This is the idea that it takes approximately 10000 hours of deliberate practice to master something. The ‘something’ in this case, is your body. Sadly many people spend more time and money on their car than their body.

Here are ten tips to keep in mind so that years will be more of a friend than a foe:

- Consistent short workouts trump longer sporadic ones. Often times I get asked how long I spend training each day; more important is the consistent commitment of a short amount of training time over the long haul.

-Take notes. Training journals are helpful accountability tools. I can compare performance from 20 years ago. I know what my body is capable of and I can push my limits. I can log an ache or pain so I can track what caused it, what things to avoid, when to get treatment when needed and what treatments worked.challenge workout journals

-Small smart nutritional choices add up BIG TIME in the long run. You don’t have to be a total food freak, but making hard choices 80% of the time makes a huge difference in your physique over time.

-Beauty sleep is important. Having consistent sleep patterns help recovery and keep cortisol levels low. We know that a high cortisol level is associated with increased belly fat and adrenal fatigue.

-It may sound too motherly to say ‘moderation in all things’ however that’s what works when it comes to lifestyle.

-Training need not be ‘moderate’ though. In fact, ‘pedal to the metal’ is more like it. Train with passion, intensity and intelligence.

-Train heavy. Lift as much weight as you safely can to increase and maintain as much metabolically active muscle as possible. Muscle is the fountain of youth: it keeps your metabolism fired up and helps staying lean that much easier.

-Continue to setgoals goals and give yourself physical challenges.

-You may require more recovery between workouts. Listen to your body. Sometimes less is more, as long as less is part of a deliberate plan and doesn’t become ‘nothing’ when it comes to intense workouts.

-Pay attention, your body is an incredible machine, learn how it reacts to life: training, eating, stress, sleep, etc. The great thing about aging is it gives you more time in your own skin to really get to know yourself physically, mentally and emotionally.
I hope that you’re passionate about your physique right now. I hope that this is something that only grows in intensity. Your passion for training is hopefully as ingrained in your daily lifestyle as brushing your teeth. The challenge of maintaining a kick ass body as you age is really the epitome of all challenges where YOU become the ultimate winner with great health to live life to the fullest.

aging

I never use age as an excuse and neither should you. I can help you with your fitness through my blog and challenging workout plans. I know some of the workouts I post are a little too aggressive. Some of you may be very intimidated by the workouts I have on the here.

If this is you, I have good news.

I was lucky enough to be included in the videos for a program called Functional Fitness.

 

If you are:

  • new to fitness or at all intimidated by fitness
  • recovering from an injury
  • 50+ and need a ‘gentle’ approach
  • looking for ‘follow along’ videos
  • need ‘coaching’ along the way

This is an at home fitness solution for you.

Here I discuss the program with the creators, Dr. Cody Sipes and Dr. Dan Ritchie:

Here’s a sample workout:

Level 2 Workout #1

Equipment: Tubing anchored chest level, dumbbells

Time: 17 min

  • Split Squat–12 reps each leg
  • Sleeping Dog front and back–3 reps each leg
  • Two arm standing dumbbell lateral raises–12 reps

(repeat)

  • Standing alternating tubing rows–12 reps each arm
  • Sleeping Dog side to side–5 reps
  • Standing alternating chest press–12 reps each arm

(repeat)

  • Standing alternating lat pull down–12 reps each arm
  • Heel Toe Rocks–30 seconds
  • Side Step Ups–12 reps each leg

(repeat)

  • Bridge with arms together–3 reps (5 sec hold)
  • Bird Dog with limb movement to side–2 reps each limb

(repeat)

dan r functional fit 3 Never Too Old

This is a fantastic program to get you moving safely.  If you need a place to get started with your return to fitness, this is the one.

Check out Functional Fitness

dan r functional fit 4 Never Too Old

OR, if you’re ready for more of a challenge, you can check out my various workout programs:

Challenge Fat Loss

Challenge Jump Rope

Challenge Burpee

Challenge Complexes

Pull Up Challenge

Female Fat Loss Over 40

Do YOU have any ‘look and feel young’ strategies? I’d sure like to know. I can use any and all advice since I plan on living to be at least 150 years old ;)

(This is your cue to comment below!)

 

 

Pull Ups Anyone?

We called it the  ‘Canuck Vs Oz Throwdown’ Lisa B n me winter walkwhen my biz partner from Australian visited Canada.

It sounds adversarial, but really, the weather seemed to be the worst enemy for my publishing partner and good friend, Lisa Bullock.

It was a long time coming, but Lisa finally made her way to Canada from Australia and Calgary’s weather did it’s best to chew her up and spit her out. It was absolutely horrible.

She combated it with a smile and was actually thrilled to see snow. She questioned the beautiful ‘blossoms’ on the trees, but I had to burst her bubble telling her that the blossoms were actually icicles ;)

Here was our finisher for a fantastic back workout:

  • 10 pull ups (assisted or inverted rows)
  • 10 push ups
  • 9 pull ups (assisted or inverted rows)
  • 9 push ups
  • 8 pull ups (assisted or inverted rows)
  • 8 push ups…….continue to count down to…
  • 1 pull ups (assisted or inverted rows)
  • 1 push ups
Here’s a short video of set 7:

This was a ‘ripper’ as Lisa would say.

Need to work on your pull ups? I sometimes forget to tell you about one of my first Challenge Workout programs called Pull Up Challenge where you can discover how to do your first pull up or add ten more to your personal best.

ch wo grp pic

Here are a few tips to help you maximize your pull up if you’re a TOTAL beginner:

Tip #1 – To lead up to an assisted pull up, just grab a bar and hang. You’ll be surprised at the stretch that you’ll get through the back and even the abdominals. Ensure that you can easily touch the ground without too much effort. Do this hang for up to 30 seconds and it will stretch and lengthen those muscles of the back, and it will also improve your grip strength.

Tip#2 – As you hang, think about inwardly rotating your scapula, or squeezing your shoulder blades together. You should start to feel a slight elevation of your body, even if you can’t move your entire body up to the bar.

This is called scapular retraction. Follow this with arching the back, looking upwards and slightly bending the arms, see if you can lift the body slightly. Your body cannot be too vertical. Imagine bringing your breast bone up to the bar. This isn’t possible if you’re hanging completely perpendicular.

Tip #3 – The most effective way to improve the pull up is to perform ‘negative’ reps. This means that you can assist yourself on the concentric portion of the movement, or the ‘pull up’ part, but then during the eccentric or lowering portion of the movement, you will take your full body weight and lower to a count of four seconds. If you can’t lift ANY of your own body weight, make this a FULLY assisted pull up by stepping up to the bar from a chair and then take your full body weight on the descent.

Just for fun, here are a few of my favorite pull up workouts:

Workout #1

Warm up – Full body warm up including jump rope, modified push ups, wall stick ups, scapular retractions from the bar (about 3-5 min)

Do 5 total rounds:

  • 1 minute of jump rope
  • 8-10 pull ups (assisted if necessary)
  • 8-10 heavy DB, BB or cable rows (last rep should be hard!)
  • 10 cable or DB pull overs
  • plank recovery (30 seconds)
  • Rest as needed

 

Workout #2 – This one uses traditional gym equipment.

Warm up – Full body warm up including jump rope, modified push ups, wall stick ups, scapular retractions from the bar (about 3-5 min)

  • 1a – 8 Pull up negatives (6 second decent, feel free to use an assist on the way up to the bar)
  • 1b – 10 Lat pull downs

Repeat for 3 total sets

  • 2a – 8-10 cable rows
  • 2b – 10 burpees

Repeat for 3 total sets

  • 3a – 10 Single arm DB rows per side
  • 3b – 10 hanging leg raise variation

Repeat for 3 total sets

 

Workout #3 – This one is tough!

Warm up – Full body warm up including jump rope, modified push ups, wall stick ups, scapular retractions from the bar (about 3-5 min)

  • 1a – 10 burpee pull ups (do an assisted pull up like a jump pull up, if that’s not possible, so this in a tri-set with the burpees first, assisted pull ups second)
  • 1b – 10 per leg spider crawls

Repeat for two total sets

  • 2a – 8-10 heavy BB deadlifts
  • 2b – 8-10 hanging leg raises

Repeat for three total sets

  • 3a – 10 Single arm DB rows per side
  • 3b – jump rope 1 min

Repeat for 3 total sets

Get more tips and workouts guaranteed to improve your pull up HERE.

 

‘It All Adds Up’ Bodyweight Workout

This workout is called “It All Adds Up”
It can be done as a bodyweight workout if you have no equipment. Have fun!
Do the following:
  • 10 pull ups (inverted rows or assisted pull ups)
  • 20 push ups (kneeling push ups)
  • 30 KB swings (squat jumps with no KB)
  • 40 sec plank (kneeling plank)
  • 100 jump ropes (phantom skips or 50 skaters per side with no jump rope)

Go for 20 minutes – try to get 4-5 rounds

 Pull Ups

inverted_row

Push Ups

kneeling_plank

 

 

 

KB Swings

KB_Swings

 

 

 

 

 

Kneeling Planks

Pull-ups

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jump Rope

jumprope

 

Yoga Bashing? You Decide…

I hate yoga. hate yoga

There, I said it.

If this offends you, well, I apologize but here’s the thing…

I may dislike yoga, but I realize that it has a very valuable purpose. And I’ve actually found a bit of a ‘work – around’ to get all the benefits of yoga, you’ll see it here and I’ll explain more in a bit…but first I need to vent about my yoga experiences…

For me, yoga sessions are LONG, you have to line up your mat ‘just so’, you’re expected to be QUIET for 75-90 minutes (I need to ask questions!), and quite honestly, the hot yoga sessions I’ve attended were NOT full of beautiful almost naked people.

This may really offend you, but in my mind, junior high gym shorts are NOT appropriate yoga wear – nobody wants to see those things hanging out (and I’m not even kidding).

My yoga sessions have been cut short by visions of things dangling that I never signed up to see. I find it hard to go to my happy place and feel all ‘zen’ when I’m constantly trying to avert my eyes. Maybe I just went to a few bad sessions….

So, when I found THIS, I was thrilled.

First of all it only takes 2 minutes – yes!

Secondly, it’s not really yoga – double yes!

Thirdly, it provides many of the BENEFITS of yoga – keep talking!

And lastly, studies have shown that when done after your regular workout session, it’s been PROVEN to burn 53% more calories.

Here’s proof:

Image

– Her regular workout burned just 211 calories

– This NEW protocol helped her take that to 323 calories! Crazy, right?

She was able to see these dramatic boosts to her metabolism using the brand new ‘yoga like’ 2-minute routines I’ll show you below.

 

 

The guy who created this new protocol, went through the hassle of testing out the validity of his claims by investing $1,000’s in a study to prove 110% that these 2-minute routines do in fact increase your metabolism by up to 53% in your first session.

So… what’s so special about this protocol that makes it so effective?

I’ll just let the inventor of the new protocol tell you all about his 2-minute breakthrough routine that you can use to burn 53% more calories while increasing your core strength and boosting your flexibility by 7%, check it out…

=> How To Boost Your Metabolism By 53% In 2-Minutes

Here’s to the benefits of yoga, maybe I’m a yoga fan after all ;)

 Your thoughts?

A Change of Pace?

Do you love the treadmill? Need a change of pace?

Take a look….

For only $9 you’ll get the ONLY treadmill program that incorporates muscle-toning bodyweight exercises along with fat blasting effective treadmill intervals.

21 all new workouts that require only the treadmill, body weight and just 20 minutes Treadmill_groupks

Workouts can be geared to those who’ve never run a step in their lives OR to the experienced runner because of a little secret something called ‘RPE’. This is a secret code used to determine intensity. Since all workouts are geared around ‘RPE’, ANYONE, (from a Grandma to an Olympic athlete), can use these 21 bodyweight exercise and Treadmill Fat Loss workouts to torch fat, get fitter than ever and HAVE FUN!

Oh yes, and you’ll get those cool bonuses like the exercise library and 10 never seen before workouts in the Ab Definition 2.0 Bonus too ;)

 

Grab Treadmill Fat Loss here before the price goes up (That’s only 29 cents a workout….man, what am I thinking?)

Dedicated to Treadmill Lovers….

blow hornAs you may know, I’ve voiced my disdain for the treadmill long and loudly for quite some time and recently I’ve enjoyed eating a little crow ;)

It seems that the treadmill is NO different than my beloved burpee or jump rope for that matter when it’s used ‘properly’. And by ‘properly’, what I mean is, for you to do exercises OTHER than just forward running at a steady pace on the dang thing.

I decided to start to make some videos for you because I don’t think my treadmill ideas were catching on – I think I’ve conditioned you to be so ‘treadmill adverse’ that when you see the word, your mind switches off and you start doing burpees…right?

And to be completely honest, I’ll never replace my beloved burpee with the treadmill, but, believe it or not, there are SOME people that actually despise burpees (I know, crazy right?) and they LOVE the treadmill, so this is dedicated to them.

So if you secretly have a treadmill hiding in your basement, it’s time to dust it off…

Here’s a video where I explain a fun workout for the treadmill. BUT, if you don’t have a treadmill (like me), then just replace the treadmill set with jump rope or, you guessed it, a minute of burpees.

To recap, here’s the workout….

  • Do one minute of a forward run at a RPE of 7 (*RPE is your ‘rate of perceived exertion on a scale of 10)
  • Do 10 prisoner squats on the rails
  • Use the timer to time yourself doing 30 seconds of pulsing squats
  • Jump off the treadmill, do 10 decline push ups.
  • Repeat the pattern where by you’ll do the minute run, 9 prisoner squats, 30 sec pulsing squat, 9 decline push ups….all the way to 1 rep of each exercise (so the run and the pulsing squat set stays the same).

Got it?

That’s a cool one right?

If you like that one, you’ll love this ===>

Treadmill_groupksFor only $9 you’ll get the ONLY treadmill program that incorporates muscle-toning bodyweight exercises along with fat blasting effective treadmill intervals.

 

21 all new workouts that require only the treadmill, body weight and just 20 minutes

 

Workouts can be geared to those who’ve never run a step in their lives OR to the experienced runner because of a little secret something called ‘RPE’. This is a secret code used to determine intensity. Since all workouts are geared around ‘RPE’, ANYONE, (from a Grandma to an Olympic athlete), can use these 21 bodyweight exercise and Treadmill Fat Loss workouts to torch fat, get fitter than ever and HAVE FUN!

Oh yes, and you’ll get those cool bonuses like the exercise library and 10 never seen before workouts in the Ab Definition 2.0 Bonus too ;)

Grab Treadmill Fat Loss here before the price goes up (That’s only 29 cents a workout….man, what am I thinking?)