Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Parenting 101

I was having a conversation with some of my colleagues yesterday while we had some time between clients. We got into the subject of kids & parenting.

Since I've been a father for 10-years now and I've got 4 kids, I've managed to rack-up a lot of REAL WORLD experience as a parent.

By no means, however, do I consider myself an "expert" on the subject. I believe that parenting, like life, is an evolutionary process. Something that changes while you experience the world. What you do with one child, you may not do with the other and still try a different approach with the 3rd. Conversely, if you find something that works well, it's up to you to recognize that and make sure you repeat it with each child, still remembering that each child is different and that the same approach will not always have the same effect.

Confused? I am.

BUT, there is ONE THING that I know for sure. And if you follow this advice as a parent, you are guaranteed RETURN ON YOUR INVESTMENT.



That's it. Plain and simple. They don't need to be programmed at a different activity 5 nights a week. They don't need an X-Box. They don't need to have the latest version of Barbie or American Girl or whatever it is kids are playing with these days. What they need, is time with YOU.

Spend less time at work and spend more time playing with your kids. Show them that you're around. Teach them how to cook. Have them pull weeds with you while you're out in the garden. Kick the soccer ball around. Read the bedtime stories. Exercise with them. Be present to show them that you live a healthy life and they'll do the same. Because you can tell them WHAT to do until you're red in the face. But chances are, if you set the example, and they see it, they'll follow what you do.

Here's a workout that I did at home with my kids yesterday...

1) We all did a BODYWEIGHT WARM-UP (Squats, Push-Ups, Rev Lunges & Stick-ups) & some core stuff together (planks, bridges & side planks).

2a) Push-Ups (w/AJ on my back - She weighs about 65lbs) 3 x 15

2b) Pistols 3 x 5
(Holding Frankie who was curled up into a ball...This one was tough because Frankie's 3 and can't stay still. She weighs about 30lbs so when she's squirming she really challenged my balance. We had a lot of fun with this one!)

2c) Chin-ups (w/Joey holding on to my waist-She's about 40lbs) 3 x 8

After that, we had some fun and they showed me their form on push-ups and squats.

Then daddy showed-off and did a "clap-behind-the-back" push-up" and a clap pull-up...(that's probably why I woke up with a sore shoulder and a popped rib this morning!)

Sound silly? Maybe.

But my 3-year-old knows what a kettlebell is...and I think that's pretty cool.

The FitAndBusyDad

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Is Running Making You Fat?

I was at a barbecue this weekend and found myself in conversation with a friend whom I haven't seen in a few months. He'd put on a bit of weight since the last time I saw him and was really wanting to get back into shape. "So I think I'm going to join this new gym and start running on the treadmill to get back into it", he said.

Funny, but to most people, there wouldn't really seem to be anything wrong with that statement.

But for me, I felt like I wanted to pull my hair out.

So I put down the rack of ribs I was eating, wiped my face and took a deep breath.

See, running, as common an exercise as it is, isn't the best answer to lose weight for someone who was sedentary and wants to now drop a few pounds. Now, I'm not knocking running or "cardio" for that matter (even though I'm not a huge fan), because if it's between doing cardio and not doing anything at all, I'll take the "cardio". But there are more efficient and safer ways to "get back into it".

Safer, because running on a treadmill (or even worse, on pavement), can lead to injury if you're "just getting back into it". If you're 10, 15 or 50lbs over weight, imagine all that extra weight pounding down on one limb at a time. When your foot hits the ground, it puts 3-4 times your bodyweight on 1-leg. Multiply that over hundreds of repetitions and my knees are starting to ache just writing about it.

Not only that, but running can cause a lot of muscle imbalances and can magnify existing ones. If you've got a muscle imbalance, then chances are something isn't working right and other muscles have to overcompensate for the lack of function. That overcompensation is what leads to things like muscle pulls & strains, thus resulting in the runner having to give up the activity and become sedentary again until he heals.

To (over) simplify...

Sedentary & Fat -> Running -> Muscle Imbalance -> Overuse Injury -> Sedentary & Fat (again)

So what do we do about the extra pounds then, if running isn't the answer?

I'm a big fan of bodyweight circuits. (When you think about it, running, is just a bodyweight exercise.) Combine a bunch of different bodyweight movements (upper body, lower body & core work) in a circuit and you'll probably get more "in shape" that if you were to run for an hour. Here's a bodyweight workout that I like to use a lot if I'm pressed for time...

1) Jumping Jacks x 40
2) Prisoner Squats x 20
3) Chin-Ups x 10
4) Split Squats x 10/side
5) Spiderman Push-ups x 10 (Click HERE for the Spiderman Push-up demo I did on TV)
6) Burpees x 10

Save your money and train at home with your own bodyweight (especially if you're "just getting back into it").


Friday, June 20, 2008

Eat Ice Cream and Get Lean?

Today, a guest blog post from my friend Brad Pilon author of a great book on intermittent fasting called EatStopEat.

My wife and I have adopted Brad's philosophy on eating fresh, high quality, nutrient dense, great tasting food without really worrying about how many calories we're eating. Over the past few months, Rozanne's lost close to 30lbs of "baby weight" by using Brad's methods and training with intense 20-min bouts of exercise 4 days per week.

In fact, I'm writing this post and having some Ben & Jerry's New York Super Fudge Chunk right now. Curious? Read on...

Posted by Brad Pilon on Tuesday, June 17th on

Let them eat cake (and Ice-cream too)

I'm back from a busy weekend of cake, more cake and ice cream.

I came out of this weekend with 2 new pieces of knowledge:
  1. I am in complete denial that my little girl could already be 1 year old,
  2. I gained some really cool knowledge about ice cream that I want to share with you.
Ice cream is a perfect of example of my theory that we should only ever eat quality food. If we demand quality great-tasting food, I beleive that ultimately this food will not only taste better, but also be better for us (AND, since there is way less quality food out there then there is crappy food-like products, we end up eating less - which is a good thing).

When it comes to ice cream, I beleive that Haagen Dazs is pretty much the cream of the crop. In the ice cream world Haagan Dazs is the premium brand. It tastes great, but you also pay a lot of money for it.

In fact, it is so expensive that on Friday, when I was out buying ice cream for Brier's first birthday party, I by-passed the Haagen Dazs and went right for the less expensive stuff.

Then, I got curious.

I read the ingredients on the less expensive stuff...this was what was in the vanilla flavor:
Milk Ingredients, Modified Milk Ingredients, Sugar, Glucose, Mono and Diglycerides, Locust Bean Gum, Cellulose Gum, Guar Gum, Carrageenan, Natural and Artificial Flavours.
Now to compare, this is what is in the vanilla flavor from Haagen Dazs:

Cream, Skim Milk, Sugar, Egg Yolks, Natural Vanilla.
I'm sure you can spot the differences.

  • 11 ingredients versus 5
  • Ingredients that you probably already have in your kitchen versus some things that don't even sound like food.
  • Cream as the first ingredient in ice-cream, versus milk ingredients
So it becomes apparent pretty quickly that the premium ice-cream has food ingredients, while the cheaper ice-cream as food-like ingredients.

But, what about Calories?

Well, the Haagan Dazs KILLS the cheaper ice cream, providing 270 Calories versus 120 Calories per half cup. So if you are watching what you eat and trying to lose weight, this is where it gets interesting.

After all, we all know that a tablespoon full of the good stuff is way more satisfying then an entire bowl of the cheap stuff..but why is that?

Well, The next time you buy ice-cream, look at how it is sold..Ice-cream is not sold by weight, it is sold by volume. So you will buy 2 quarts of ice-cream, not 2 pounds of ice-cream.

And herein lies the mystery of premium quality ice-cream.

The small 500 ml container of Haagen Dazs weighs almost as much as a entire quart of one of the cheaper products.

Haagen Dazs ice-cream is very calorie dense because it contains much less air than the cheaper brands, which is why it does not need all of the extra stabilizers that the cheaper ice-cream contains (Mono and Diglycerides, Locust Bean Gum, Cellulose Gum, Guar Gum, Carrageenan).

The cheaper brands try to get as much air into their ice-cream as possible so that they can fill a big container with less product, ultimately saving money.

So by sticking to your guns and only eating the premium stuff, you end up eating a lot less additives, you get a better tasting product, made from real food ingredients and you get roughly the same calories PER GRAM, with a whole lot more satisfaction.

Demand quality in the foods you eat, and you will end up eating a lot more food and a lot less food-like products. You will also end up eating less often, so even if the quality stuff has more calories, it should all even out in the end.

Enjoy life, enjoy food, enjoy your weekend.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

In Case You Missed It...

I got my 15-seconds yesterday.

I appeared on CityTV Toronto's Breakfast Television yesterday morning and did a quick demo of some of the exercises that you'll find in the new FitAndBusyDad e-book. Kevin Frankish, the host, was a good sport. And even though I got cut off slightly at the end (there's just too much to talk about), I may end up back sometime soon. And sorry guys, I did NOT get a chance to meet Dina.

You can find the video HERE. (Sorry, but it's not like YouTube, so I can't embed the video into the blog.)


P.S. If you haven't already, get a sneak peak of what's in the book by signing up above for my newsletter or by clicking HERE.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Happy Father's Day

Happy Father's Day!

As a gift to everyone, I've made available 2 very special gifts. Head over to and enter your name and email address and receive a link to download...

1. My new report "Stop Wasting Your Time: 9 Things You Can Do NOW To Get The Most Out of Your Time, Your Training & Your Life"

And, for a limited time only...

2. "20-minute Dumbbell & Bodyweight Blasters for Busy Dads" - an accelerated 4-week fat loss program designed to get you ready for the beach - FAST!

If you've already subscribed to my newsletter, I'll be sending you your free gifts later today.

And the book launch?

After the week I just had...

-Rozanne (my wife) going into the hospital for some unknown facial infection where she needed antibiotics through IV every 6-hours for 4 days straight!

-living with the in-laws for 4 days while we were going through this medical ordeal

-And a surprise audition for a new fitness television show...they asked 20 people, narrowed it down to 2 (me and another guy), and chose the other guy because I didn't know how to pick-up women on camera (cut me some slack, the only thing that I've picked up in the past 10 years are dirty diapers off the floor!)

...I've had to delay the release. Not to worry though, my team and I are working to get it up later this week or early next week!

For now, enjoy the free report and the workout.

Happy Father's Day and thanks to everyone for continuing to check back.


Friday, June 6, 2008


I hear it a lot and I'm quite sick of it...

"Yeah sure, Lopez. I'd be as fit as you if I was a trainer too. I'd be as fit as you if I worked in a gym. I'd be as fit as you if I had time for the gym".

It blows my mind that these people can make every excuse in the book so that they can stay the way they are. The fact of the matter is that I'm friggin' busy! I'm busier than most people. But I still make time to stay lean and fit for 3 major reasons...

1. I do it for my kids. For them to see me active is of the utmost importance. By showing them that I make physical activity a priority in my life, they will make it a priority in theirs. (Also, I've got 4 daughters. So in a few years when the boys start coming around, I need to make them recognize who the alpha-dog is!)

2. I do it for my grandkids. No, I don't have any yet. But not only do I want to "be around" when I do have them, but I want to be able to keep up with them.

3. Yes, I am a trainer and it would look ridiculous for anybody to take training advice from me if I weighed 300lbs.

My workouts, as most of you know, aren't of the bodybuilding/marathon/2-hour type. In fact, for the past 2 years, the most time that I've spent working my own ass off is 30-minutes per session.

Why spend so much time doing a countless number of sets and high volume when all I have to do is work my ass off for 20-30 minutes and get the same, if not better, RESULTS.

I've done this for a living long enough to know that spending my valuable time on the bench press, and then doing incline dumbbell presses, then doing decline dumbbell presses then finishing with some cable flyes is a COMPLETE WASTE OF TIME.

It all comes back to training SMARTER.

Get in. Get out. GO BACK TO LIVING LIFE!

The FitAndBusyDad

Thursday, June 5, 2008

And Then There Were 3!

3 Years ago today, daughter number 3 came into our lives. (If it seems like it was just recently that I made a birthday blog post for another're right, it was. 2 weeks ago. I've got one more left.)

Frankie's our spunky, extroverted comedian-in-the-making. We fondly call her "Lips" because she has inherited the famous "Big Ass Lopez Lips".

Here's an example of her comedic exploits...On our recent tropical vacation, we signed her up for the mini-disco. At the end of the night, all the kids get on stage and dance for their parents. The resort auditorium was full. They were playing a sort of "musical chairs" game where you pass a hat around and if it lands on your head when the music stops, you're eliminated.

Music stops, hat is on Frankie's head. She's visibly PO'd and annoyed (I guess she inherited her dad's distaste for losing as well).

Emcee: (Think Spanish accent) Hey baby, come over here to the mic and tell everyone your name.

Frankie, hand on hip, hat on head sways her hips over with a very annoyed look.

Emcee: So baby, what's your name.

Frankie: (Looking up at him with a piercing glare) It's Frankie.

Emcee: And where are you from?

Frankie: (Hand on hip still, piercing glare, clearly PO'd) I'm from NEW YORK! (We're from Toronto and she knows it).


Happy 3rd Birthday Supermodel!


Wednesday, June 4, 2008

FitAndBusyDad is One of the FITTEST People On The Planet

Thanks again to my friend, Dr. Gavin Maxwell, for the biological definition of fitness. According to this definition, I'm one of the "fittest" people on the planet...

Fitness defined, according to the Standford Encyclopedia of Biology is "the capability of an individual of certain genotype to reproduce, and usually is equal to the proportion of the individual's genes in all the genes of the next generation".

I've got 4 kids. 4 daughters to be exact.

The average North American household has 2.4 kids (and a dog).

My "genes are present in the next generation" almost 2 times more than the North American average.

You do the math. Other than Wilt Chamberlain (who probably has 96 kids), there aren't too many others who are ahead of me!


P.S. launches this Father's Day - June 15th!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Q & A

Sorry for the week off blogging. I've been busy working my tail off getting ready for Father's Day. This year's Father's Day will be a very special day for me. Intrigued? Read more in my first Q'n'A below...

Bodyweight Beginner

Q:Hello Chris,
After spending many years doing regular weight-training on and off I

recently shifted to bodyweight training since it´s a more flexible (timewise
and place) training form and more focus to build functional strength. Since,
I´m more or less a beginner of bodyweight training I would be very grateful
for any advice you might have to get me started with some training
suggestions or where to find more information.
With thanks,
-Stockholm, Sweeden

A: Per, thanks so much for your email. When starting out with bodyweight exercises (or any exercise, for
that matter), I think the most important thing to develop first is isometric (holding a static position) ab strength and endurance. The ability to be able to hold your spine rigid while performing any exercise is paramount in developing strength (and a great looking 6-pack that actually works). Try doing this series for a couple of weeks to build that isometric endurance in your abs:

1a) Plank (work up to doing 2-minutes straight)

1b) Side Plank (work up to 1-minute per side)
1c) Superman (work up to 2-minutes)
1d) Supine Hip Bridge (work up to 2-minutes)

Give Me More, More, More!!!
Q: Hi,
I got your work
out through Craig Ballantyne TT Members site.
The Fit and Busy Dad workout is one of the best programs i've ever seen and tried.
I'm impressed....i've been following Crossfit WOD's for a year now, which i love, and you seem to have created something here that is just as good.
Do you have any more programs available?
I visited but it is not yet up and running.
Any plans for the future?
-London, England

A: James, thanks for the kind words. I'm excited to announce that the much anticipated FitAndBusyDad Fat Loss System launches this Father's Day - Sunday, June 15th, 2008! I'll be doing a HUGE 3-day promo with bonuses from some of the industry's top professionals including: Craig Ballantyne, Dax Moy, Vince DelMonte & Brad Pilon to name just a few.

Make sure to sign-up for my newsletter above and be notified of the launch.

I'll also send you a copy of my FREE REPORT called...

"STOP WASTING YOUR TIME: 9 Things You Can Do NOW To Get More Out of Your TRAINING, Your TIME and Your LIFE!!!"

Stay Tuned. Let the countdown begin!!!