Friday, May 23, 2008

Join The FitAndBusyDad Facebook Group!

Friends, I've started a Facebook group for all you BUSY DADS out there called FitAndBusyDad.

Sign-up and join me and my new friends as we talk about how to get and stay fit in less time than ever without the use of a gym!

Click HERE to join (you'll need a Facebook account) and add me as a friend.

Happy Friday!


Thursday, May 22, 2008

Happy 5th Birthday Joey

Today (May 22nd) marks the birthday of #2 daughter. The spunky, tell-you-what-she-thinks-of-you, quietly confident, little genius we named Joey.

So, here's to 2-dozen pink cupcakes with red, pink & white heart sprinkles baked at 2:30am.

Here's to the pink feathery boa that we bought you to wear all day on your special day (knowing that you'll be wearing this boa everyday for the next couple of weeks until the last pink feather falls off).

Here's to my chin-up partner who weighs an extra 45lbs and sits on my calves and holds my waist while I pull myself up to "make daddy stronger" (stay tuned for the video!).

Here's to not giving daddy a good morning kiss until he brushes his teeth because he has "dragon breath".

Here's to smelling "something so yummy" as you come down the stairs every Sunday morning when daddy makes challa French toast with bacon & maple syrup.

Here's to the new Indiana Jones movie birthday party that you wanted to have but couldn't because all of your friends parents thought it would be too "frightening" for their kids to watch (don't worry, mommy and I are taking you to see it on Saturday).

Here's to you JoJo. Happy Birthday, baby. Daddy loves you.


P.S. Back to the "fitness stuff" tomorrow.

P.P.S. Happy 34th to my good buddy JB as well!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

My First Video Blog!

Finally! Here's my first YouTube video blog. I filmed it while I was in the Dominican Republic on vacation (say hello to Juan, the gym supervisor, who wanted his 15-seconds of fame on my video). Enjoy, and stay tuned for more!


Saturday, May 17, 2008

How to Lose Your Abs in 7 Days

So I'm sitting here back at my desk in Toronto. I just finished a great vacation with the family in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic...lots of quality time, sun, heat and questionable food. I left home relatively lean with visible abs, and came back with a bit of a paunch belly!

Why? Well, let's talk about what I did right first. Over the 6-day vacation, I trained 4 days, not really doing anything incredibly structured. I did variations of different bodyweight exercises (dips, chins, push-ups and pistols). I got at least 7 hours of sleep every night (I don't think that's happened since college). I took my friend Brad Pilon's advice and fasted on our traveling/airport days. And I didn't have a single cup of coffee (which is huge because I had just bought my own espresso machine and was drinking double shots like it was going out of style!).

What didn't go right was the food situation. Breakfast was alright with lots of fresh tropical fruit and an omellette station every morning. So at least I got to start my day off well. But any meal after that was a disaster. From rubberized chicken to fish that looked and tasted the same but was labelled as grouper on Monday, mahi-mahi on Tuesday and king fish on Wednesday all fried and doused in unknown sauces. There was beef that was swimming in gravy and vegetables that looked like they were soaking in butter for a few nights (and I love butter, but not when your cauliflower doesn't taste like cauliflower anymore.) When I asked for some steamed broccoli they looked at me like I was insane.

And then it got really bad. I think I may have swallowed some water while I was showering one day and it was over for me. I had to find a beach chair relatively close to our room because I was running to the bathroom every 2 hours (a form of interval training, I guess?). My belly blew up swollen like a hot air balloon (good-bye abs) and I couldn't stomach a thing. I spent the rest of the vacation drinking water.

So now I'm home, well-rested and ready to take on the summer. I'm going to spend the summer getting my abs back and getting stronger. I was able to do quite a bit of work (I put the final touches of the book that I've been working on and filmed a couple of youtube videos that will be up for you this week). All-in-all it was a much needed "reset" from everyday city living.

Glad to be home,

P.S. My first YouTube video goes up tomorrow, so stay tuned!

Friday, May 9, 2008

The Experiment is Over....

...And I failed miserably. Not really. My Blackberry Experiment is now done, because, thanks to my friend Craig Ballantyne, I now know how to blog from my Blackberry (which I'm doing right now).

Truth be told, it's just easier having it. I've learned how to better manage my time, so I now only check it at scheduled times 2-3 times per day. I turned the E-mail notification and ringer off. I gave my wife and the kid's school their own unique rings. And now I leave the berry in the gym bag where it belongs. Voila! I just created an extra (and much needed) hour in my day.

So with my extra hour today, I got this workout in...

1a) 100 Tricep Push-Ups (it took me 3 sets)
1b) 3 x 25 KB Rows

2a) 400m runs x 4
2b) 25 KB Swings x 4

3a) Plank x 2min
3b) Side Plank x 45s/side

So it's off to the Dominican Republic in a couple of days with the family (all 6 of us!) for a destination wedding and long overdue vacation. I hope to have my first video blog up next week so stay tuned for that.

Still Busy,

Monday, May 5, 2008

Let's Get Ready To Rumble!!!!

Ah yes, it smells like spring and therefore another soccer season is upon us! It's time to load up the minivan with lawn chairs and a packed cooler full of bottled water, gatorade and sliced oranges and head out to field to mingle with the other parents who also think that they're kid's the second coming of Ronaldinho.

AJ, my oldest, I'm proud to say, has made an "A" Division U11 team (yes, she just turned 10, so she's playing a year up). For us, that means lots of traveling to various weekend tournaments, lots of practices (2-3 per week) and (with the price of gas expected to go through the roof this summer) lots of money!!!

Joey (4-yrs-old), pictured above, may not return to the game this season because of the incident that occurred after this picture was taken. We're still petitioning the league, but she's gone through all the standard anger management courses and has promised to only drop-kick the ball from now on and NOT her opponents (regardless of how much she dislikes the headband they're wearing).* She has expressed an interest in art as of late, so maybe we'll just take this season off to work on her brush strokes.

*I am, of course, kidding. There was no "incident" and she'll be playing the same "bee hive", chase the ball soccer that we parents just love to watch.

As for the other 2, they're still too young. Frankie is perfectly content sitting on her princess lawn chair, sun hat on, sipping her pink lemonade and cheering her sisters on from the sideline. Mikey, as much as I know she wants to get out there, can't walk yet, let alone kick a ball. Plus, the intermittent breast feeding breaks may prove to be a distraction for the coaches.

All in all, this should be quite the summer. Even Rozanne, my wife, is playing with her usual team in a competitive women's league.

As for me, the last time I played soccer was when I was 8. I think it was my parents forcing me to get out there because I was a tubby, bacon and rice eating bundle of a child. A lot of good it did me though, because they just stuck me in net. Yes, I was the original "Big-Fat-Goalie... ...Monica Geller had nothing on me.

See you on the pitch (I mean the sideline),

P.S. I'm reading a great book right now called, "Raising Our Athletic Daughters" by Jann Zimmerman & Gil Reavill. I highly suggest picking up a copy if you have girls. It's main point talks about how participating in sports can positively affect girls lives through the difficult years of adolescence. With 4 daughters, I'll be reading this one a few times!

Friday, May 2, 2008

Another 20-Minutes

I had another great workout yesterday. It was inspired by my friend Dr. Gavin Maxwell who is a former Olympic canoeist. Back when Gavin was training, he was able to do 82 pull-ups straight (with a kip). GavMax is about 6'4", 250. Former Olympian or not, if at his size he was able to do 82 pull-ups, then at 5'11, 180, I should at least be able to do 50.

So the goal of yesterday's workout was to do 50 pull-ups in as little sets as possible and progress to doing 1 full set of 50 straight (that's a pretty lofty goal, but I'm bound to it now that it's in the blogsphere).

So here's what went down...

1) Bodyweight Warm-Up (Squats, Push-ups, Lunges, Stick-Ups & Planks)

2a) 50 x Pull-Ups (17, 12, 9, 7, 5)
2b) 100 x Close-Grip Decline Push-Ups (48, 30, 12, 10)

3) Front Squat Tabata @ 135lbs

4) 50 x Blast Strap Inverted Rows (22, 15, 13)

Then it was off to my mall escapade with Mikey my 9-month-old.


P.S. OK, maybe it took me 30-minutes ;-)

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Mall Food Sucks

I hate the mall. I hate being there. I hate feeling like I have to buy something if I'm there. I'd much rather be doing something productive than wasting my time shopping for stuff I don't need.

But when your wife needs a 2.5hr emergency root canal,

AND her dentist's office is 45-mins away from home,

AND you're with your 9-month-old,

AND it's raining outside,

AND the mall is the only place within 5-minutes of the dentist office,

AND the only other viable, indoor hang-out within a mile is IKEA,

THEN you don't have much of a choice.

So I found myself at a higher-end mall on the west end of Toronto. The worst part about the mall is the food court. How can someone possibly make a healthy decision when KFC, McDonalds and Arby's are your restaurant choices? Even the so-called "healthy" salad bars were crap with their sub-par tomatoes, browning lettuce and rubberized chicken.

I almost broke though and bought an Arby's Roast Beef Sandwich combo complete w/those curly fries (I don't think I've had one of those since high school). But, I thought, if I'm going to use up my weekly reward meal, I'm not wasting it on cheap garbage. So I got the heck out of the food court and went walking.

I was HUNGRY. I had just finished a kick-ass workout (more on that tomorrow) an hour and a half before, so my body was jonesin' for some grub. So right between a Club Monaco and a Banana Republic (like it matters) is a sushi "booth". So I go up to the lady and ask for some sashimi (instead of all the "prepared" sushi with the sugar rice in the display fridge). I end up spending about $17CDN for 15 pieces of paper thin raw fish.

What a rip off!!!

Lesson learned...

Be prepared. Pack the chicken breast you barbecued last night so that you don't have to spend 20 bucks just to eat some mediocre sushi at the mall. [It was worth it though because at least I know I'm putting something relatively good into my body (relative to a Big Mac, I guess)].

...And encourage your family to FLOSS, so that we don't end up in this predicament again!

To your dental hygiene,