Thursday, January 31, 2008

The 2 Most Important Rules for Attaining the Body You Want

I was walking outside this afternoon on my way to a training session, espresso in hand. On the way, I passed by one of these new gyms claiming that without breaking a sweat, you can get the results of a 90-minute workout done in 4 minutes (do you feel another rant coming?). 4-MINUTES!?! NO SWEAT!?! Inside you'll find these huge expensive machines that look like a cross between a rowing machine, an elliptical and one of those huge industrial fans (like the ones they use on movie sets to "create" wind). This "revolutionary" machine, as told to me by one of the "trainers" at the new gym, will give me the same workout results as a 50-minute strength session, 30-minute run and 10-minute stretch session.

GIVE ME A FREAKIN' BREAK ALREADY! First it was that vibrating thing that you stood on that would shake the fat away. Then came the thigh master and the ab curler. Now there's a place that promises results in 4-minutes? Buyer beware.

I'll give it to you plain and simple...
There is no magic bullet. After 4-minutes of hardly sweating the Workout Fairy isn't going to suddenly appear and give you a 6-pack. As far as I'm concerned, there are only 2 THINGS THAT WILL DETERMINE WHETHER OR NOT YOU GET THE RESULTS YOU DESIRE (and DESERVE)...

1. Consistency - Enough with this "I'll start on Monday" BS. Get started and keep on going. If you mess-up with your diet by eating a cheeseburger and fries, don't go home with the "well, I screwed up, so I might as well have a pizza for dinner" attitude. If your car had a flat tire, would you slash the other 3? Get back up on the wagon and keep going.

2. Hard Work - Bring it. Every workout, every obstacle, every challenge. Give it your all and only good things will come. You'll get out of it what you put into it.

Sorry guys, it's not glamourous or sexy. In fact, there's nothing glamourous or sexy about the process of getting there. The glamourous and sexy of it all is when you strip down on the beach and start cleaning between the striations on your abs with a Q-tip. Very few ever really got anywhere without the 2 rules above.

Train, Live and Work Hard (and with Purpose).
The Busiest Dad in the World

P.S. Want a REAL workout in 4-minutes? It's called a TABATA...Check back next week and I'll show you what that is.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Poor Form

I'm allowed to rant a little, aren't I?

A couple of weeks ago, I trekked up to Markham (a suburb where I grew up just north of Toronto) to pick my dad up and take him to a doctor's appointment. Before heading over, I needed to get some training in so I headed down to the local YMCA for a quick lifting session. It was a dead lift day and I managed to get in some DB presses and some chins in as well. Overall, a great, quick session.

While I was on my 3rd set of deads, I noticed a relatively big guy (big as in "jacked", not big as in "fat") trying to teach a novice dude how to lift. They were doing what looked like a clean and press from the floor...AFTER they did bunch of heavy dumbbell AND barbell overhead pressing, lateral raises and front raises.

Now, I don't profess to be the most technically sound trainer when it comes to Olympic lifting (I still try to see a friend of mine who is a strength coach with the Maple Leafs organization to brush up on my technique every now and then). Here's my issue with what was going on (READ: wrong) with the situation:

1. The novice guy was about 6'3" and (I'm guessing) 150lbs soaking wet! He could hardly lift the 45lb bar that they were using. I doubt this guy couldn't even do a full push-up.

2. The guy "teaching" him had the worst form I have ever seen in my entire life! His spine was curved forward and his knees were locked when he picked and launched the bar off the floor and then he would arch his back like he was looking up to heaven to press the bar over his head.

3....And this one's the kicker. The YMCA trainers were all standing around in awe admiring the guy for such a great feat of strength. These trainers were watching and I'm sure taking notes so that they could use their new found exercise on their next 40-year-old, overweight, female client.

So what's the big deal, you say? First, a novice lifter should not be Olympic lifting at all unless he's being taught by the proper coach (ie. NOT your "boy" with the massive traps that you sit behind in English class). Learn how to squat, deadlift and bench first...better yet, show me you can do 20 push-ups. Second, just because your "boy" is massive, doesn't mean he knows what he's doing in the gym. Third, if you're a trainer or on the staff of any gym and you see someone doing something questionable, show them a better alternative...IT'S YOUR PROFESSIONAL RESPONSIBILITY! I almost went over and suggested something myself and played the "off-duty cop" roll....should I have? I didn't think it was place seeing as to them I'm just another "member" trying to get my swell on.

No, I'm not a know-it-all and I will be the first to admit that I have so much more to learn (and I've been doing this for almost 10 years now). What I do know, thanks to many a mentor, is that the basics work. Stick to your presses, squats, deadlifts, chins, rows and dips and you'll build the body you want (and that goes for both male and female athletes/lifters/regular people). Olympic lifting has it's place in the performance enhancement world, but not for 17-year-old toothpicks who don't even know how to pick a weight up off the floor properly.

The Busiest Dad in the World

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Make 2008 YOUR Best Year! Part 2

By now, most of you should be well into your New Year's routines of eating well, exercising and forming other new and healthy habits that will help you achieve success in '08. So without further delay, here my Top 5 Things You Can Do To Make 2008 YOUR Year...

5. DON'T RE-INVENT THE WHEEL. If there is someone out there who has accomplished what you want to accomplish, done what you've dreamed about doing and is making the money you want to make, then find out how they did it and replicate that process. Or better yet, ask them to be your mentor and have them show you how to do it. There's no point in going through all the struggles by yourself in an effort to be successful. It's like going on Safari in the African Wild without a tour guide. The chances of your getting eaten by a lion is less likely if you've got someone there I learned this at a seminar that I attended this past November in Palm Beach.

4. LESS IS MORE. I've preached this (and so have a bunch of my colleagues) and it applies to everything. Your workouts, your possessions, your business. Use Pareto's Law - the 80-20 rule. 80% of your results come from 20% of your efforts. 80% of your sales, come from 20% of your clients. Find out where the dead weight is and cut it out. Make things easier by simplifying. Two great books that have helped me try to simplify things in my life are The 4-Hour Work Week by Timothy Ferriss and Simple-ology by Mark Joyner.

3. Build your own HOME GYM. No, don't drop 10G's on a complete renovation, a customized lifting platform and sauna (although if I had the $$$, the time and the space that's what I'd do). But for a fraction of the price you can have a half decent set-up. My "home gym" will never take place of where I train. But for days when I'm stuck, this set-up will do. Go out and get a door gym, a stability ball, a kettlebell of a relatively challenging weight and yoga mat. That's it. I'll drop some good workouts over the next few weeks on how to use just those 4 pieces of equipment.

2. Try 24-HOUR-FASTING. I previously wrote about this HERE. I started 24-hour fasts late in the year with amazing results. Pick-up a copy of Brad Pilon's EAT-STOP-EAT and learn how incorporating 24-hour fasts into your week can help decrease body fat, increase mental awareness, increase growth hormone and help with overall hormone regulation.

1. COMMIT YOUR GOALS TO PAPER AND REVIEW THEM DAILY. I was using Brian Tracy's method of writing my top 10 goals down every single day and say them to myself before I left the house (even if that meant reading them in the warming car on a cold Toronto winter's morning). Now, I use Dax Moy's Magic 100Click Here to get it now and kick start your year! system - 100 Goals in 100 Days. Sound scary? It is! But you have absolutely no idea how POWERFUL this system is. I just started my second Magic Hundred. I completed 73 of my first Magic 100. (Still need to learn how to surf in Maui and snowboard the French Alps). If there is one thing that you need to do this year, THIS IS IT!


Tuesday, January 1, 2008

10 Things YOU Can Do To Make 2008 YOUR Year! (Formerly the Top 10 Things I Learned in 2007) Part 1

Happy New Year! It's been quite the year for my family and me. Over the past 12 months there have been a tonne of useful things that I have learned and skills that I have acquired to help make my career and life a lot more productive and fulfilling. Hopefully, some of these ideas will help you make 2008 YOUR BEST YEAR EVER.

10. The more you DO for yourself (through self-improvement, self-reflection, and looking after your health), the more you will BE for those that matter most to you (your friends, family and inner-circle) and as a result, the less you'll need to HAVE (as far as material posessions go), because you'll be fulfilled from the DO and BE. Confused? See number 9 below...

9. TAKE CARE OF YOU. Exercise, get stronger, eat clean, meditate, laugh, spend time with those you love and those who love you. No amount of money or power can ever take the place of being happy with where you are in life. (I seem to learn this one over and over again each year).

8. Take FISH OIL. If you haven't started already, you need to start NOW. Here are some of the effects of fish oil that studies have shown:
-supports testosterone levels and contribute to optimal muscle development
-reduces inflammation in your muscles and joints and speeds recovery time
-decrease triglyceride levels and reduce the risk of heart disease

-increase fat burning and also make it more difficult for your body to store fat

7. The transition from 3 TO 4 KIDS is messed up. Since I'm writing this for all those guys out there like me (dads w/"no time"), here's a warning for you...BRACE YOURSELF IF YOU'RE HAVING #4. If you've got help (nanny, mother or mother-in-law) then your transition may be easier than ours. But my wife and I, for whatever insane reason, like to do things ourselves. So life right now, to put lightly, is FREAKIN' NUTS!

6. Use a FOAM ROLLER. From a Prehab/rehab standpoint, there's no better tool out there to make your muscles feel better. Your body will thank you after a few regular sessions with a foam roller. For a tutorial on how to effectively use this amazing tool, pick-up a copy of Mike Robertson & Bill Hartman's DVD, InsideOut.

Look for the Top 5 in a couple of days!