Friday, February 27, 2009


I don't know about you guys, but I find it kind of tough to get my workouts in on the weekends. I've always said that, with 4 kids, our weekends are always busier than our days during the week. So to find even just 20-minutes some time is tough.

But I know that if I just got 20-minutes in, it would probably make a huge difference in my energy levels throughout the busy Saturdays & Sundays to come (in addition to giving me a big fat-burning, metabolic boost). So I've given myself and the boys over at the FitAndBusyDad Community some incentive.

I've created the The FitAndBusyDad WEEKEND WORKOUT CHALLENGE!

Every Friday, I'll post a NEW timed workout challenge. The idea is for you to perform the workout -even several times throughout the weekend - and try to get the best time possible.

After you've established your BEST time, post that time on the member forum. Whoever (honestly) posts the best time WINS! (OK, so you'll win bragging rights for now, but later on as participation increases, there will be prizes).

Since this is the first time around, I'll post this weekend's workout below. But every week after this, the workout challenge will only be available to members.

FitAndBusyDad WEEKEND WORKOUT CHALLENGE for Feb 27, 2009

40 x Jumping Jacks
20 x Push-ups
20/side x Split Squats
30 x Jumping Jacks
15 x Push-Ups
15/side x Split Squats
20 x Jumping Jacks
10 x Push-Ups
10/side x Split Squats
10 x Burpees

Good luck, Guys!

Remember, if you want in, then become a member at for FREE!

=>Sign-Up for the FR*EE FitAndBusyDad Community on Ning

Happy Friday!

Chris Lopez
the FitAndBusyDad

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Tomfoolery & Shenanigans: The Story of Our Lives

Sometimes, not all the time, but sometimes I get emails and or comments about whether or not the stories I tell are true.

Is my household that much of a circus on some nights (or early, early mornings)?

As much as I would like to say that some of it is, in fact, fabricated...I can't.

I tell the truth each and every time I recount the ridiculousness that goes on in our house. It's part of me trying to be as transparent as possible for you so that you know that you're not alone in the Busy Dad world.

BUT, just in case you need another perspective or just don't believe me when I tell you that, for example, my 5-year-old threw-up ALL OVER my 3-year-old at 4 in the morning, you can consult my wife and her new blog - Tomfoolery & Shenanigans.

It's just our life from a female perspective that I find quite entertaining - not because she's my wife, but because I enjoy her humor and writing style.

Take a gander and check it out HERE.

=>Rozanne Lopez' Tomfoolery & Shenanigans

And if your wife ever complains about how bad she has it, send her over to Rozanne's blog for a quick our expense.

The FitAndBusyDad

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

The First Guy To The Dessert Table

So I'm sitting in a conference and the facilitator calls for a lunch break.

I don't really know anyone, so I tag along with the only 3 other people that I know are Canadian (birds of the same feather, right?). One guy is a gentle giant trainer from St. Catherine's, one is a strength coach with my alma mater (the University of Guelph), and the other is a nutrition scientist in great shape.

So we all grab lunch and I'm quietly observing what these guys are eating - sandwiches, salads, greens, soup...nothing out of the ordinary.

But when you're at these "fitness industry" events, you always wonder if anyone is going to touch the dessert. Taking a look at my table, I think "OK, the trainer is jacked, so he'll hit the dessert first because he'll probably burn it off just by walking back to the conference room. Or will it be the strength coach with the traps the size of the Golden Gate Bridge?"

Then the nutrition guy pipes up, "This is ridiculous. Every time I come to these 'fitness events' there's a bunch of trainers staring at the dessert table but nobody has the stones to get up and grab a piece of cake. Why do I always have to be the first one?"

So Mr. Nutrition gets up and slaps not one but 3 pieces of various desserts on his plate.

"Now this is a guy I can hang with", I think to myself...and we've been friends ever since.

That 3-piece-of-cake-eating-nutrition-expert is none other than Brad Pilon, author of EatStopEat and the NEW controversial book "How Much Protein?".

I managed to track Brad down for an interview last week. Here's how it went down...

CL: Brad, since meeting you and reading your book over a year and a half ago, I've been living an ESE lifestyle. I still get a lot of questions about fasting and whether or not it's really healthy. How long after your first fast do you reap the actual benefits of living an ESE lifestyle?

BP: I think if done properly you should be able to 'see' benefits on the first day. By paying close attention to the cues to eat while you are fasting you are going to have a much better understanding of when and why you eat. This little thing can a have a huge effect on how you eat while you are eating.

CL: As busy dads who are slowly getting older, how does fasting benefit our production of growth hormone and do you think fasting may have anti-aging benefits?

BP: The aging thing is tricky. The only way you would ever be sure is to follow one diet for the rest of your life and see when you die...Obviously not a very fun study. That being said, I think the combined effects that fasting and resistance training have on your hormones can go a long way in preventing the typical age related declines in hormones like testosterone and GH. There are no miracles, but when you are battling age, every little bit helps.

CL: OK, let's shift our discussion onto protein. The mass media has led us to believe that protein is the new "wonder macronutrient" - thus the advent of Atkins, the Zone and South Beach. As busy dads can we ensure that we get enough protein without having to carry around a scale to measure our food? Without being Obsessive Compulsive Eaters?

BP: The easiest way is to realize exactly how much protein you need to eat. The second part is realizing that there is no such thing as a protein food.

Traditionally, we've been lead to believe in the idea of protein foods, like eggs as an example. However, a piece of 7 grain bread has roughly the same amount of protein as an egg. So does about 3/4 of a cup of pasta, even two tablespoons of Parmesan has an impressive amount of protein. Infact, 3/4 of a cup of pasta with a 1/2 cup of pasta sauce and some parmesian cheese has as much protein as a 3 egg omelette! So by eating a balanced diet with lots of variety, it's actually very difficult NOT to get enough protein in any given day.

CL: OK, so what about post-workout nutrition? Have you found any research supporting a specific amount of protein we need to ingest after a workout to get the maximum benefits? What about timing?

BP: The most important thing to remember is that if you are training consistently then EVERY SINGLE meal you eat is both pre and post workout nutrition.

The hormonal and structural changes caused by resistance training last for up to 48 hours, so every meal you eat while you are following a training program will have some sort of effect on your muscle recovery. That being said, I think the idea of a 'magical' period 1 hour after your workout where you make or break your muscle building is GREATLY over-exaggerated and is more marketing than science. It's an area of nutrition were we can definitely relax without seeing any noticeable change in our physique.

CL: Brad, thanks for dispelling a lot of common misconceptions about food, fasting and protein for us. Next time you're in town, dessert's on me!

Don't forget to pick-up a copy of EatStopEat and receive a FREE copy of Brad's new book "How Much Protein?"...

=>Get EatStopEat and receive "How Much Protein?" for FR*EE

See you at the dessert table!

The FitAndBusyDad

P.S. Following an ESE Lifestyle in combination with consistent FitAndBusyDad Workouts has allowed me to eat whatever I want while staying consistently under 11% Body Fat. Could this killer combo do the same for you?

=>Get Started with FitAndBusyDad Workouts

Waking-Up to Last Night's Dinner

This is a story I just couldn't pass up telling you about.

Fast asleep Sunday night after an eventful weekend (I took AJ, Joey and a couple of our cousins to York University to watch the Bronze and Gold medal women's volleyball matches), I am thankful that the bout of sickness and colds that had run rampant through our family is now over.

Everyone is well. Everyone is healthy. This will be a good week.

Deep into my sleep and now into the wee hours of Monday morning, I get a nudge from my wife who says that she's dreamt of paint splattering.

"That's great", I say. "Thanks for waking me up for that". WTF?

Moments later, the pitter-patter of little feet come to our door. I see a faint silhouhette and then hear a voice...

"I just threw-up".

It's Joey, my 5-year-old.

I struggle out of bed to examine the damage. Not that bad. Her shirt isn't wet, there's a little in her hair, but that's about it.

"Did you throw-up a lot?"

"Maybe you should come into the room", Joey says in the most innocent of voices.

So I walk in and the stench is overwhelming. Then I glance over at Frankie who's still fast asleep and I see her COVERED in Joey's puke (I'm really sorry for that mental picture).

Right now, Joey & Frankie have developed such a good relationship that they enjoy sleeping the same bed together leaving the top bunk open...maybe not so much anymore.

I wake Frankie up and then she says to me, "What smells?" Then she runs her fingers through her hair and shouts "EEEEEEWWWWWWW!" and starts crying.


I put the 2 of them in the bath (again, it's about 4:15am) and proceed to bathe them until I can't smell anything. Then I put Frankie to sleep with Rozanne and set "Pukey" up on the couch downstairs (complete with plastic bag). I strip the bed and start the laundry while Joey lays on the couch about to fall asleep again.

The next time I look at the clock, it's 5am. TIME TO GET UP!

Can anyone out there top that night? Please comment if you can so that I'll feel better!

The FitAndBusyDad

Monday, February 23, 2009

8 Simple Rules...

...Well, not quite rules, but 8 Simple Reasons Why I FAST on a weekly basis.

I get at least 3 emails per week asking me about why I enjoy fasting for 24hrs once or twice per week.

I had heard about flexible intermittent fasting before, but hadn't tried it until about a year and a half ago when I met Brad Pilon, the author of the controversial Anti-DIET book EatStopEat.

Brad is a big science geek (and I mean that in the most affectionate way), and his approach towards food and nutrition is a breath of fresh air.

No stringent eat THIS, not THAT rules.

No carrying around a scale to measure how much protein/carbs/fat I'm eating.

No BS.

Here are 8 Reasons Why I enjoy FASTING and why I think ALL BUSY DADS should take advantage of fasting as well...

1. Growth Hormone - There are 3 factors that will positively affect the amount of HGH that you produce. 1) Sleep - get a good quality 7-9hrs per night; 2) INTENSE Exercise - notice how I said "intense"...lift weights and break records - cardio may actually have an opposite effect on your HGH levels; 3) FASTING - HGH levels start to increase the longer you are into your 24hr fast.

2. I hate counting calories. - I think it's stupid. Don't call yourself a busy dad if you count calories because you wouldn't be so busy if you took that time counting and spent it doing more productive things. If you focus on eating QUALITY foods the way mother nature intended - raw fruits & veggies, meat & fish and healthy fats - and just stopped eating before you get full, then you'd lose weight. I'd bet the house on it. Sorry, guys. That's the truth.

3. It lets me eat whatever I want. My consciousness of health has changed over the years, so when I say "eat whatever I want", that still means that I eat healthily. Rarely do I ever "want" fried crap like fries, onion rings or egg rolls. I'll eat the occasional burger (not from a fast food place, but from a good burger shop...actually called The Burger Shoppe). I eat pasta because I make it at home. Ditto for pizza.

4. I'm more productive. Imagine a life where you don't have to worry about food. You don't need to worry about what you're eating next. You don't have to prepare snacks/meals for your work day. If I know that I need to get some good, quality, uninterrupted work done, then I'll fast on that day. It's usually a Wednesday.

5. I break records in the weight room. Fasting seems to trigger something PRIMAL in me that just really increases the intensity of my weight workouts. When I lift on fasting days, I've broken records in my dead lift, push press and chin-ups.

6. I appreciate food more. When you fast, you really examine your relationship with food. Fasting has allowed me to demand more quality in the food I eat. It's made me appreciate food more and has deterred me from settling for "convenience crap". My family and I buy, prepare and consume only GOOD QUALITY food...and we appreciate how lucky we are to be able to eat and have access to such good food.

7. It allows me to stay between 9 - 11% body fat year round. I'm not a bodybuilder (surprise, surprise), so I don't go through "bulking" phases and "cutting" phases. I'm a busy dad who knows that my kids are watching my every move, so instead, I choose to eat healthy (but not restrictive) 365 days a year.

8. It's ridiculously simple. It's a lifestyle where I don't have to worry about what, when or how much I eat. I've got 4 kids...4 daughters at that! I run a business. I enjoy spending time with my wife. I have laundry to do. Volleyball & soccer practices to run. I have mouths to feed. ONE LESS THING to worry about is a welcome luxury.

Interested in trying out an EatStopEat Lifestyle?

Now's the time to try. Brad is having a special promo where you'll also get his latest controversial book "How Much Protein?".

=>Start living an EatStopEat Lifestyle Today!

Chris Lopez
The FitAndBusyDad

P.S. Adding FASTING to you life is the perfect compliment to living the FitAndBusyDad Lifestyle! Click HERE to get started with FitAndBusyDad Workouts today!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

How ATHLETIC is your child?

I'm so proud of my daughter.

Tuesday we watched AJ play in the Toronto District School Board's volleyball conference semi-finals. She was great - saving a couple of balls, getting her fair share of service aces and making a nifty little play of popping the ball up as it careened off the net.

Truthfully, volleyball at this level is just a matter of which team makes the least mistakes. Nonetheless, it's done wonders for her and her team's confidence.

I sat there quietly as I always do (I like to shout words of encouragement, but it's not my demeanor to go nuts in the stands - unlike Rozanne who get right into it). Sitting in the bleachers, I was observing some of the parents and how they would yell instruction at their kids while they were on the court.

In my experience, making any attempt to coach a child or try to give them technical pointers while they're in the midst of competition is futile. So yelling things like "spread your fingers" or "bend your knees more" will only frustrate or even worse diminish your child's confidence.

My view is, that at this level, whatever isn't practiced or taught in practice will not miraculously appear in game don't bother...enjoy the game and keep your kid's confidence up with words of encouragement.

But my post today isn't so much about coaching, but about determining whether your young sports participant is an ATHLETE or a PLAYER...

What's the difference?

Well, here in Canada for example, parents are rabid about hockey.

I see it everywhere - kids playing in their competitive leagues during the season, going to skills camps on the weekend, doing hockey specific conditioning after school, doing summer skills camps in the off-season, playing in Summer hockey leagues.

Basically it's hockey 48-weeks per year, non-stop, all in the hopes of "creating" the next Howe, Gretzky or Crosby.

And it's not just hockey. AJ has teammates on her traveling soccer squad that have similar schedules for soccer.

It makes you ask the you want to create a kid that is good at one sport so early? Should kids be so specialized at such an early age?

Is playing and being dedicated to ONE sport year-round for years and years on end good for your child?

Going around and asking colleagues and experts who have been in the game for a number of years, the answer seems to be a collective - NO.

Studies have shown that early specialization in sport (before puberty) results in a higher likelihood of overuse injuries and athlete burnout in addition to other social aspects of playing only one sport.

(For more information on early specialization and on guidance as a parent of an athletic child, check out

I think our goal as parents of children who participate in sports is to develop ATHLETICISM and NOT specialization.

Athletes are developed through participating in a myriad of activities and sports - both structured and unstructured.

Michael Jordan was a baseball player before he took up basketball full time.

Wayne Gretzky couldn't wait for hockey season to be over so that he could go outside and play with his friends in the summer.

When I was a kid I played baseball, basketball, ran track and eventually fell in love with volleyball. Prior to the age of 14, I only participated in community leagues with the bulk of my time being spent, riding my skateboard or my bike, playing stick-ball in the street or having crab walk races with my friends up someone's driveway.

These days I think kids need to just play more in an unstructured environment. Swinging on monkey bars, having foot races down the block, playing "tag" all develop athletic skills that will carry over into most team and individual sports.

And if you're a parent with the hopes of gunning for that college scholarship to ease your financial burden later on, I've got news for you. Speaking from a coach's and former varsity athlete's perspective...scouts and varsity coaches will usually take an ATHLETIC kid over a kid with better than average skills at one particular sport.

They're out to pluck the athletes that run fast, jump high and are able to stop on a dime and change direction with lightning quick efficiency.

So here's what you can expect with AJ (and then with her sisters to follow)...

-Volleyball season is over at the end of the month. After that, chances are that she won't touch a volleyball (unless we "pepper" on the beach or something in the summer) until September when the club season starts.

-From March to May we'll try to get in as much family activity as we can. We're a bit limited because of Rozanne's broken ankle, but don't be surprised if we book a weekend to go snowboarding/skiing, go on some nature walks or get a bike ride in when the weather gets better. She'll also have soccer practice once or twice per week come April, so we'll be there for her to get her "soccer legs" back.

-she'll also participate in track and softball (although, I don't know how keen she'll be with softball considering I broke her nose playing catch with her this past fall...see LEFT)

-And of course, throughout the summer we like to head over to Withrow Park in Toronto's Riverdale neighbourhood to shop at the organic farmer's market and then play in the field or playground.

I guess the point that I'm trying to make is that kids need to be kids and need a VARIETY of activities help promote and support an active lifestyle.

I love competitive sports and it's a dream of mine to have one of my daughters be so successful at it that it could warrant her getting an athletic scholarship to a top school and thus receive a world class education. But my job right now as a parent and as an expert in the field of exercise and health is to make sure that she develops as an ATHLETIC KID and not as a soccer or volleyball player.

That she develops a HEALTHY LOVE FOR SPORT & COMPETITION and doesn't feel pressured to have to succeed early on in her athletic career.

The FitAndBusyDad

P.S. I'd love to hear your comments on this post - both for and against. I think it's an important topic that parents need to understand and recognize.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

What the He** is a Kettlebe**?

I was introduced to kettlebells about 16 years ago when I picked up a fitness magazine, read it cover to cover, and then got lured into the advertisements in the back of the magazine.

At first, like many of us, I didn't get it. What's a cannon ball with a handle on it going to do for me?

Boy, was I wrong.

Now, I have 7 KBs and I use them every week. Come the summer time, that will increase to everyday because I can't stand to be inside a gym when the weather's nice.

I asked my friend Troy Anderson, a coach in Tempe, Arizona why he uses KBs as his primary training tool. Here's how that conversation went down...

CL: Troy, first, tell us a little about yourself and your general philosophy when it comes to training.

TA: Sure, Chris. I’m a fitness coach located in Tempe, AZ working in the profession for 11 years. I’m the owner of Anderson Training Systems. We operate by 2 primary principles:

1-Ductus Exemplo (leadership by example)
2-Fitness Ain't Pretty, Results ARE!

Personally I am a life long under-sized, under-talented athlete that used strength and conditioning to achieve beyond my natural means and currently play Australian Rules Football as sport of choice.

I am brand new dad to a baby girl and I am looking forward to being a sporting/physical activity role model for her.

I have been using kettlebells for 5 yrs to help those from 16 to 60. Regardless of their goal(s) they are the only tool that all my 1 on 1 clients touch every single time they come in.

CL: OK, I’ll bite. Out of all the little “toys” that are available to you in a gym, why kettlebells?

TA: 2 reasons:

1-versatility you can use them anytime anywhere and get great workout in. Just last week I did a quick workout with a KB that I had in the back of my truck in the hospital parking lot, like 4 hours after my little girl was born. It was great. Sure you can do lots of bodyweight stuff but ultimately we need a way to progress or overload, and as guys don't we all really want to put weight in our hand(s)

Like in the example of my hospital workout, I would much rather - for the time, overall benefit and general enjoyment - snatch a kettlebell 100 times vs doing 50 bodyweight squats and 50 push-ups. It is just a better full-body workout

2--As a professional especially as someone who focuses on working with everyday folks I know I need to get people doing big bang for the buck full body movements; in order to help them sculpt and carve their bodies to the degree they desire. The problem is, as adults they likely have mobility issues and /or have very little lifetime exercise or athletic experience which plays a significant role when it comes to teaching some of these more athletic full body movements like squats, cleans, presses, etc...

Basically, what it comes down to is that I can teach/make the complex movement simple in a matter of 2 or 3 workouts vs 2-3 years. End result is that my clients get better results faster.

CL: Great point, man. Congrats on your little girl, and great job on just finding the time to get a workout in. I’m sure people were staring at you in the hospital parking lot. That happens to me a lot when I hook my blast straps up to the roof rack of the minivan while I’m waiting in the parking lot for my kids to get out of school!

So T, tell us what some of your favorite exercises are.

TA: We banter about this topic an awful lot I will give you my top 3 though.

#1 Snatches--most athletic and total movement out there it is a full-body strength, power, coordination movement, if you can snatch you are good to go. Peform these with high reps and you'll have a killer fat loss workout

#2 Turkish Get-up/TGU - If someone held a gun to my head and said Troy you can only use 1 exercise for the rest of your career to get clients top results this would be it.
There isn't an aspect of the body that doesn't take a beating; while not as explosive as a snatch it does take some serious focus. Which I think is very cool side benefit for most trainees it actually forces them to 'get in the moment' and quit thinking about all the BS that goes on in their day.
You can't do a TGU with out focus.

#3 Double Front Squat--I have squatted with a lot of different implements and I must say that a double KB front squat really works your legs because you get such a great and natural range of motion but it also scorches the core because of the placement of the KB's. You'll be pleasantly surprised how much your core gets worked.

CL: TGUs are one of my favorites too. You’re right, it does take a lot of concentration and mental focus. Especially when you’ve got 72lbs over your head and you need to ensure that it doesn’t come crashing down onto your skull. OK, let’s get into some conditioning stuff.

What’s a “smoke session”? There's some urban kettlebell legend that a "smoke session" is one of the toughest workouts on the planet. Can you confirm or deny these rumors?

TA: Yeah funny that term came to me from a supressed memory of military training. We had this mean, little drill sergeant who dragged us out into the sand pit one Saturday night when we were supposed to have a weekend pass, and 'smoked' the crap out of us for like 90 mins. So that is where the legend of the smoke session came from. They are tough but in the program they are progressive, so they aren't just intended to be brutal for the sake of being brutal. I mean really fat loss and fitness aren't supposed to be easy.

As a kick off for the Meltdown Program launch I am thinking of doing a live smoke session, if I can figure out the technology. Ultimately a smoke session is a kettlebell specific, pretty intense interval training session. Again it’s the flexibiltiy of the kettlebell!

CL: OK, here’s a question/comment that I get a lot and just really pisses me off. What's your response to the skeptics that say "whatever you can do with a kettlebell, you can do with a dumbbell"?

TA: I would say they are full of crap. I can say that with confidence because around 6 yrs ago I was that guy and now I can admit I was 100% wrong. Here's something to think about… I would bet anyone that I can take the average or even untrained person and teach them how to effectively and safely perform a squat, deadlift and overhead press faster than anyone can do that with a dumbbell.

CL: Great challenge. I wonder if there are any trainers out there that would have the stones to take you up on it? So Troy, you’re a new dad, so I’m sure that you’re just starting to find out what all of us dads already know…that finding time to stay lean, eat well and maintain a healthy lifestyle becomes a challenge.

Can you give us some FitAndBusyDad nutrition tips?

TA: Ok a couple quick ones for you

1) You must have prepared protein source available at all times, the moment you don't you are set up for making bad decisions. Generally for me this means have some fish, polutry, pork or beef that has been grilled in my refrigerator, that way I can just warm it up and add the necessary ingredients for a complete meal.

2) Prep your veggies don't be lazy once you have purchased your veggies spend the extra 30mins are so prepping/chopping them in to usable forms so you can have them at the ready during the week.

3) Beans - Use them. They add volume, texture, fiber and some protein too. I love black beans personally

4) Flax meal and Metamucil - Add either or both help to make your protein shakes more filling and a little more complete.

CL: So, with the Kettlebell Meltdown, you’ve proven that you can get a great fat loss workout with kettlebells. But, are kettlebell workouts good for developing strength, power and/or endurance?

You can get all of the above depending on the protocol you use with your kettlebells as much as they are unique they are still a resistance training tool.

However, if you want to get into specifics, during my in-season training I pretty much exclusively use kettlebells to keep lean strong and explosive. At nearly 35 I compete and prevail against players that sometimes are more than a decade younger than I am. I attribute a lot of that to the kettlebell work.

Another instance would be my colleague Ken Black he trains almost exclusively with KB's he came down to Josh's facility a couple years ago and loaded a 300lb stone and flipped the 900lb tire. I also used the KB a lot during a train-up for strongman contest.

As for endurance I am currently using them to train a couple first time ironman competitors. While not specific to barbell sports like powerlifting and olympic lifting, KB's can definitely assist them and for an athlete, weekend warrior, or fat loss enthusiast they have more than enough fire power to provide benefit in those areas.

CL: Awesome stuff, Troy. You really know what you're talking about when it come to training with kettlebells!

To check out Troy's new Kettlebell Meltdown Fat Loss Program, click HERE.

=>Kettlebell Meltdown Fat Loss

Chris Lopez
The FitAndBusyDad

P.S. I'll be using Troy's Smoke Sessions for my FitAndBusyDad Transformation. Have you signed-up for the Challenge yet?

=>Get started with your FitAndBusyDad Transformation!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

25 Things I DIG...For Now

This is a response to my wife's post HERE.

She calls it "25 Things I LOVE Right Now"...but us "manly-men" don't say "love" (out loud), so I'm saying DIG.

(You can say "DOWN with" or "JONESIN'", whatever. You get the point)

Don't worry, I'll spare you from all the cheesy, sentimental stuff (like saying that I dig/love my wife, my kids, my family, etc, etc.). There are things in this list that I think you'll actually find useful.

So, in honor of Valentine's Days, Here are (in no particular order)...


1. Fish Oil - I talk about this one in my book. Here's what my boyz Keith Scott and Mike Roussell have to say about...The Wonders of Fish Oil on

2. Old School Hip Hop - A Tribe Called Quest, De La Soul, Jungle Brothers, Special Ed, Grand Puba, Chubb Rock, Beasties, Biggie, LONS, Black Moon, Public Enemy...the list goes on.

3. Kettlebells - Take a look at your fireplace. Does it work? Some people have soot in theirs. Some people have nice decorative logs. Some have it completely closed off. We, have KETTLEBELLS in ours.

4. NYC
- The city that doesn't sleep. From the time that I was a young buck going on long drives with my brother and my parents in the GM Caprice Estate Station Wagon (complete with the fake wood panelling on the side) to this past summer when we loaded up the mini-van and took the girls for the first time - I DIG NEW YORK. I can't get enough of this city. Two of my closest cousins live there. I've already planned to fly back (on business) next month and again at the end of May.

5. Organic Coconut Milk - It's never been a better time to be lactose intolerant! I use 1/2 a can, a scoop of pea protein, throw in some frozen berries, some maca powder, some cocoa nibs and a little bit of water and I've got breakfast-on-the-go. It tastes amazing and it's all thanks to...

6. Jason Ferruggia's Blog - This Jersey boy knows his sh*t. I get his blog updates on my RSS feed and can't wait to see what he says next about subjects ranging from Old School Gansta Hip Hop to Meditation. Between Jason and my buddies Vince Delmonte and Zach Even-Esh, I'm set for Muscle Building advice.

7. The way my 3-year-old dances -

8. Watching my 10-year-old play volleyball - I can't explain it. Pride just comes over me. Maybe because I played. Maybe because I know she's growing up. Either way, I'll always be the proud papa in the stands and will never miss a game - even when she's playing for UCLA on a full ride.

- Want an incredible amount of information on how to succeed while living the "Internet Lifestyle"? You need to check out my good friend Craig Ballantyne's blog on how to succeed with an online business. Read the interview I did with him HERE.

10. The way my 5-year-old says things in the past tense - She does the right thing by adding an "e-d" to the end of any verb that occurs in the past EXCEPT she pronounces it phonetically as, "ED" (as in Mr. Ed). For example, yesterday she said that I "push-ED" her in the snow bank (which I did) or that yesterday I "cook-ED" spaghetti. It's really too cute to correct right now. She's in French Immersion and learning 2 languages at once, so I don't want to mess with anything just yet. Let's just hope she gets rid of it by the time high school rolls around. Otherwise, she'd be really piss-ED off at me (sorry, couldn't resist).

11. BOOK: The Power of Less by Leo Babauta
- A book that really changed the way I do things. Reading it made me realize that it's not about how much you have, but the quality of things you do in your life that make a huge difference. It's an incredibly powerful book for anyone who has a tendency to get caught-up (like I did) and feel the need to pare down and focus on the essential. Read more from Leo at his blog

12. Waking-up at 5am - You probably think I'm mad because I don't get a lot of sleep to begin with, but my house is chaotic at all other times during the waking hours. The only time there is real silence is at 5am when everyone is still asleep and I can actually have some peace to be alone with my thoughts and do some writing. Therefore, I love waking up at 5am, except on...

13. Sunday Mornings - We stay in bed and then they slowly start to trickle in (one by one) until the bed is packed and my a** ends up on the floor...which is their signal to me to get downstairs because they want breakfast.

14. Tomfoolery & Shenanigans - My wife's blog that completely cracks me up. Not only because she's a very captivating & humorous writer, but because what she writes about (the madness in our house) is all, 100% TRUE.

15. Blast Straps - I take these everywhere. It's as close to a portable gym as you're going to get.

16. March Madness - College hoop is the PUREST sport there is. Guys diving on the floor, taking charges, making last-minute buzzer beaters. There's nothing better than the dramatics of a Cinderella team knocking off a national powerhouse. It's the best thing to watch on the tube, except when the powerhouse team is...

17. UNC Basketball - No other program has ever produced better NBA players. Icons like Michael, Worthy, 'Sheed, Vince, Antawn and Stack made it cool for guys to wear baby blue. Imagine a team where Rasheed Wallace and Jerry Stackhouse started while Antawn Jamison and Vince Carter came off the bench...sick!

18. Fasting - I think I talk about this enough. If you haven't tried it, you MUST. Read about it HERE.

19. Espresso - I can't talk about this enough either. My favorite is Intelligensia's Black Cat Organic.

20. My 1-year-old's hair -

21. "Chucks" (Converse All-Star High Tops) - I wore a pair of these in an 8th grade elementary school basketball game and dropped 30-something points on our opponents (yes peoples, I was BAD back then). At the end of the game the opposing coach got pissed off and thought I was making a mockery of his team. I just wore them because I forgot my Nikes and didn't want to go home to get them. Now I rock'em with jeans or squats and/or deadlifts.

22. BOOK: Tribes by Seth Godin - If this isn't a motivational book to get up off your a**, take the reigns and lead, then I don't know what is.

23. The Ab Wheel
- By far, this is the best "ab" contraption ever made.

24. Moleskine Notebooks
- My tool of choice. I have 3. A reporters' book that I take everywhere (it's my "A-Ha" book), a graphed one that I use as my training log and a planner that I'm using to replace my Blackberry.

25. My Bike - I bought a Gary Fisher urban bike last spring and now ride it everywhere. In the busy city streets of Toronto, it's the smartest method of transportation. From downtown to home it takes me 12 minutes in rush would take me 30-minutes in a car or 45-minutes on public transit. If you don't have a bike, get one. You'll love it.

There you go guys.

Don't forget to tell your wife that you "DIG" her.

It's Valentine's Day.

The FitAndBusyDad

Thursday, February 12, 2009

A 4-Step Approach To Overcoming A Sleep Deprived Work Day

Well, it happened again. With Rozanne (my wife) out with a broken ankle, I've really had to pick-up the slack getting dinner and clean-up done, evening baths, bedtime stories and at least 1 load of laundry every night. I'll tell you one thing, it's made me appreciate her a lot more.

Last night was particularly tough. With tax season coming up fast and furiously, I was up last night until 2am getting some receipts and tax stuff organized for a meeting with my book keeper. I hate not finishing a job, or leaving things to the last minute (my meeting is on Friday), so I was adamant on getting at least 1/2 of the job done.

So this morning, when I got up at 5am - 3 hours later - needless to say, I was a little groggy. Having been through this many times before (nightmares - not mine; bed wetting - again, not mine; major presentations/projects/articles), I've developed a (somewhat) regular routine to battle the grogginess and low energy that I know will plague me throughout the day.

So since I know that it's virtually impossible for us to be fully prepared for everything in our busy dad/busy parent lives, I'd like to share with you my 4-step approach to GETTING THROUGH A SLEEP DEPRIVED DAY:

1. Water - Hydration is hugely important in this scenario. I just fill up my 1L SiGG water bottle (it's one of those new fancy aluminum ones) and make sure that it's done before I leave the house and then fill it up again before I get in the car (or get on my bike). Water seems to give me clarity and several experts suggest that it sparks creativity which is especially helpful in the early morning when I'm trying to write an article or blog post. Water usually ties me over until I start to feel like I need some...

2. Espresso (or Green Tea) - Yes, there he goes again talking about coffee. On a 3-hour sleep night, if you can avoid caffeine and get by, well then you're a better man than me, my friend!

The fact of the matter is that coffee is the #1 source of anti-oxidants in an average North American's diet. I'll fully admit that I'm an espresso junkie. Why? Well, because it's HEALTHIER THAN COFFEE.

- Espresso has less caffeine in it than regular drip coffee (50mg in a double shot as opposed to 135mg in a reg cup of coffee).
- It's less acidic (drip coffee loses all its benefit after the first cup is passed through the grounds, after that, all that's being extracted is pure caffeine and acid...ever wonder why you feel like you have to go to the bathroom after a cup of coffee?)
- Espresso is a HIGHER QUALITY product because it comes directly from the bean. If you go to a coffee house that takes pride how they "pull" their espresso or brew their coffee, you'll actually see them grind up the beans right before your eyes before the put it in the portafilter and pull your espresso.

3. Think FRESH, Eat FRESH - It may seem like logic to grab the fastest thing you can scarf down your throat - usually in the form of some "energy" bar/drink, or a bagel/piece of toast or some other sugary crap, but that is probably the worst thing you can do.

But when you're sleep deprived, your immune system is already compromised. White sugar (in the form of simple/processed/unnatural carbohydrates) has been proven to suppress the immune system even further. So that bagel with cream cheese that you just ate will probably end up making you feel crappier later on.

Instead, opt for fresh and natural...apples, berries, any vegetable, eggs or a healthy shake/smoothie are better choices than any fast food.

In fact, I usually save myself the guesswork by just taking 5 minutes before I head off to bed (I guess that meant that I actually went to bed at 2:05am) to make sure I had something prepared for this morning. I ate a baggie of sliced red peppers, an apple and 3 scrambled eggs this morning - the apple and peppers were ready to go and I made the eggs while my girls were eating their oatmeal this morning.

4. Energy Recovery Workouts - Here's the truth about workouts when you're sleep deprived. If sleep deprivation is a constant thing in your life these days, chances are that your immune system is a little depleted from it - you're stressed.

Since training is also stress, then adding more stress to your body isn't always the optimal thing to do for the day after a long night....

HOLD ON, I'm NOT giving you carte blanche to skip your workout just yet.

Rather than doing one of those long, marathon-like workouts where you pound your body for an hour straight (like running on a treadmill or doing some type of cardio exercise where you don't take breaks, or trying to break the squat record in the weight room), what you should be doing is some energy promoting stuff that won't tax your immune system making you sick the next day.

My solution is bodyweight circuits that won't take more than 2 to 3 minutes to complete one circuit. Go through each circuit 4 or 5 times resting 1 minute between each circuit. If you do that, that's a total of only 12-15 minutes of quality work (as opposed to regular cardio that's usually 30-60 minutes of total, non-stop stress on your body).

Doing the BW circuits will get your metabolic rate up and help you with those low energy moments that you'll have later in the day.

Here's a link to a couple of my favorites....

=>FitAndBusyDad Advanced Bodyweight Circuit

If you've got the time, Yoga, Tai Chi or Qi Gong would also be great forms of energy rejuvinating exercises.

Remember, sleep deprivation, pulling "all-nighters" or just not getting enough shut eye on any given night is, unfortunately, a part of parenthood. We all work. We all need to get things done.
And sometimes, we need to sacrifice some sleep to play catch-up.

Just try not to make a habit of it, and follow the steps above and you should be able to survive without any negative effects.

Have a Great Day Guys,
The FitAndBusyDad

P.S. For more Energy Rejuvinating Bodyweight Circuits, pick-up your copy of the FitAndBusyDad Training System!

=>Get Started With FitAndBusyDad Workouts!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Yesterday's Workout & I'm Taking the Day Off!

I got a great Lower Body Workout yesterday. Got in and out of the gym in 34 minutes!

Here's what went down...

1) Front Squat (2 x 8)...worked up to 185lbs

2) Rack Pull (2 x 8 @ 325)

3a) Advanced Ab Circuit x 2
3b) Behind the back BB Wrist Curls (2 x 12)

4) 200 KB Swings w/a 72lb Kettlebell

I got up this morning at the usual 5am and wrote a quick article for that will hopefully be up this week.

Then I got some quick breakfast together and headed out the door to train a client.

I got home and dropped AJ off early and now I'm taking the rest of the day off to watch AJ at her volleyball tournament.

This one's a big deal to her because it's her first school team tournament.

I remember when I was in school going to play tournaments. My favorite part was sitting up in the bleachers with my teammates scouting the other teams playing while listening to our Walkmans!

It's rare that I'd ever miss one of my daughter's tournaments. I think it's important that she knows that I support her athletic efforts 100%. That's why I'll always make the effort and take the day off to watch her play.

So I'm downing my 2nd espresso here at Dark Horse Espresso Bar in Toronto as I'm finishing this post off.

I'll break the Flip Video Cam out at the tournament and hopefully have some film for you tomorrow.

Enjoy your day!

The FitAndBusyDad

P.S. Have you started your FitAndBusyDad Transformation yet? Click HERE to get started.

P.P.S. Did I mention it's FREE to participate?

Monday, February 9, 2009

Who's Supporting Your Fat Loss Efforts?

I can't stress enough the importance of accountability when it comes to your goals - health, fitness or lifestyle.

Being accountable, not only to yourself, but to a group of like-minded peers will propel you towards success.

It will give you motivation on those days when it seems just too hard to get out bed 20-minutes early for a workout.

Or when the kid's fries are staring you in the face daring you to dip them in ketchup and stuff them in your mouth.

Accountability to a group with a similar focus and set of goals is what will take you from good to GREAT!

That's why I spend good money joining coaching groups and masterminds and have a set of colleagues/friends that won't hesitate to call me out when I don't live up to my promises or fall short of a goal.

There are a number of ways for you to find a group of people who share the same passions and goals that you do and that would welcome the opportunity to share ideas, motivational tips and, most importantly, hold you accountable.

I just started our new FREE Ning Community Site at and we'll be using this community as FitAndBusyDad TRANSFORMATION CENTRAL!

There, you'll find other dads like you and me who want to share our goals and our hardships & struggles of being busy dads who want to get or stay in shape.

I'm on the forums TWICE daily to answer any questions or concerns or to provide any tips when needed.

I'll also be putting up EXCLUSIVE videos and workouts for MEMBERS ONLY. So those of us who are on there already will have already reaped the benefits of some of the stuff that's on there.

To join, just answer a few (not so) personal questions and click submit. That's it. It's FREE. No payment. No hassles. To catches.

Just me and you and a bunch of others like us who want to share experiences or are looking for support.

=>Join the FitAndBusyDad Community TODAY

Another great tool is the (relatively) new micro-blogging site called TWITTER.

I use Twitter as a way to let my "Tweeps" know what I'm doing, what I'm eating and what I did for my own personal workouts. Thankfully, I've got a pretty active and responsive group of Twitter followers who will hold me accountable if I haven't posted for a while.

I'm getting all the participants in the 1st EVER FitAndBusyDad Transformation Challenge to follow me on Twitter and post their diets and workouts to keep them on track. By putting themselves out there, they'll feel some accountability not only to themselves, but to me and their group of followers.

If you're not on Twitter yet, click the link below to sign-up and follow me...

=>Follow @fitandbusydad on Twitter

REMEMBER...After diet & exercise, having the support of a group of like-minded individuals with similar goals (ie Social Support) is the BEST tool to help you reach your fat loss & muscle-building goals.

Success is just around the corner. Don't fall off the wagon! WE won't let you!

Chris Lopez
The FitAndBusyDad

P.S. Don't forget to enter the 1st Ever FitAndBusyDad Transformation Challenge!

=>Get Started with the FitAndBusyDad Lifestyle TODAY!

P.P.S. The last day to enter the challenge to get a FULL 12-WEEKS of Transformation is March 9, 2009. Don't delay!

Monday, February 2, 2009

What a Weekend!...Now it's time to get back to work!!!

What a game yesterday, huh?

I honestly thought that after Larry Fitzgerald took it right up the middle and straight to the house, that the Cardinals had it in the bag.

Leave it to the relentless Steelers to create a championship drive in 2 minutes that was capped off by what was probably the best catch in Superbowl history (no disrespect to Dwight Clark and David Tyree from last year's champs the NY Giants - my team!) to take the crown away from Arizona.


I stayed home yesterday and watched the Superbowl with Rozanne and the girls (well, the girls kind of just played while we watched the game).

We made it a family event and ordered pizza and some hot wings. The kids had a blast.

If I remember correctly, I ate about 4 slices of pizza and had about 10 wings. Clearly, I'm still able to pack it down. I can to treat myself to some of that stuff once in a while because I still maintain a great activity level.

Aside from my structured 4-day-a-week workouts, I also do a couple of fun kettlebell recovery workouts per week in addition to getting out to play basketball once a week.

I eat a "clean" diet.

I practice Flexible Intermittent FASTING once or twice per week.

I don't count calories.

And I make sure that I demand QUALITY in what I put in my body...well, except for last night's chomp-fest.

So how's your Superbowl hangover going? Are you recovering from your pizza and wing night?

It's great to treat yourself every now and then provided that you eat great quality stuff on "the regular" AND stick to your training schedule.

So now that your "nosh" day is over, what are you doing to get back on track?

If you remember last Thursday, I announced the 1st EVER FitAndBusyDad Transformation Challenge!

Well, I put the OFFICIAL RULES up today, so feel free to go check them out...

=>FitAndBusyDad Transformation Challenge

You've got nothing to lose now.

The Superbowl is over.

Enjoy your day guys. No more wings until after May 30th, alright? :-)

Chris Lopez
The FitAndBusyDad

P.S. The days are getting longer and spring is on it's way.

What better way to get ready for the nice weather than to get in shape and not feel like you have to keep your shirt on in 90 degree weather while you're mowing the lawn!

=>Get Started with FitAndBusyDad Workouts and Enter the Transformation Challenge!